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Author Topic: Defending Wildlife  (Read 2489 times)

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Re: Defending Wildlife
« Reply #105 on: August 03, 2019, 03:54:41 pm »

The bear was officially returned to the list created by the Endangered Species Act on Tuesday. ANIA TUZEL PHOTOGRAPHY / FLICKR

Indigenous Groups Applaud 👍 Return of Grizzly Bear to Endangered Species List


Native tribes and their supporters on Friday defended their push for the continued inclusion of the grizzly bear of Yellowstone National Park on the endangered species list. The bear was officially returned to the list created by the Endangered Species Act on Tuesday, nearly a year after a federal judge found that the Trump administration had exceeded its authority when it attempted to remove the species.

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Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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Wolf 🐺 Delisting is Premature and not Based in Science


The gray 🐺 wolf is an inextricable part of the cultural and ecological landscape of the west. Once driven almost to extinction in the continental United States, the recovery of the wolf in the Northern Rockies and the Great Lakes regions is one of the great American conservation success stories.

The famous author Barry Lopez wrote in Of Wolves and Men, “The wolf exerts a powerful influence on the human imagination. It takes your stare and turns it back on you.” That stare is one of the reasons that people have such a profound connection to wolves, even though many have never seen one in the wild or even in person.

Thanks to the protections of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), wolves are now recolonizing the Pacific Northwest and could one day be seen by more than just a lucky few. At this time, gray wolves only occupy 10% of their historic range, and just this week a wolf crossed the border into Colorado, renewing hope for their return to the Southern Rockies and beyond. But now the Trump administration wants to remove all remaining ESA protections for wolves and the result could mean devastation for wolves and their continued recovery.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed a rule in March that would strip wolves of all federal protection (whether threatened or endangered) in the lower 48 states by delisting them under the Endangered Species Act. The gray wolf is currently protected under the ESA throughout the lower 48, except in the Northern Rockies states, including Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and eastern portions of Oregon, Washington, and northern Utah. Since 2011, when wolves were removed from federal protection in the Northern Rocky Mountain states, more than 3,500 wolves have been killed. If wolves are removed from federal protection in the rest of the continental United States, even more could be killed. Defenders, along with over 1.5 million people across the country, filed comments opposing this move, but the Trump administration could finalize the rule this fall.

Scientists, even those requested by the FWS to complete a peer review of the delisting proposal, agree that delisting gray wolves is premature. Reviewer Adrian Treves, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and founder of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab, found “demonstrable errors in the proposed rule and the draft biological report," concluding that “several of the Service's documents' interpretations and syntheses are neither reasonable nor scientifically sound.” Treves further stated to Courthouse News: “it looks like they decided to delist and then they 😈 compiled all the evidence that they thought supported that decision. It simply doesn’t support the decision.” Relying on incomplete and unsound science that fails to acknowledge the importance of multiple areas for wolf recovery in major determinations on the future of the species is reckless and unlawful.

Predators like wolves are essential for a healthy, functioning ecosystem. By preying on the weak and diseased, wolves help maintain healthier and stronger ungulate populations. The presence of 🐺 wolves also helps prevent overgrazing of vegetation, improving and creating habitats where biodiversity can thrive. This was the case when, with the help of Defenders, wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park. Once the 🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺 wolves began to repopulate the area, prey populations like elk changed their grazing behaviors, allowing vegetation to flourish, ultimately inviting new species to populate the area. This phenomenon, known as a tropic cascade ✨, was the result of protection and valuing of wolves as integral to a healthy environment rather than a varmint to be eliminated.

Defenders of Wildlife has always been on the front lines of wolf recovery. For years both before and after reintroduction, we have worked tirelessly with ranchers and landowners to promote coexistence and the use of non-lethal tools on the landscape that ease hostility towards wolves and prevent conflict. We also continue to work with lawmakers to keep wolves protected. We believe this delisting is premature and dangerous to the recovery and continued existence of the wolf population. Without ESA protection, small populations that are still getting their footing will be placed in jeopardy and at the mercy of states with increasingly hostile anti-wolf policies. We would be reversing all of the progress we have made from a time when wolves could only be found within the confines of Yellowstone and potentially returning to the days of trophy contests and unregulated killing.

The Trump administration may want to strip wolves of federal protection, but Defenders will not stop working to ensure these majestic creatures retain the legal protection they require to survive. Join us in standing up for wolves!


Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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Re: Defending Wildlife
« Reply #107 on: August 15, 2019, 06:54:48 pm »

Court Approves Ban on Cyanide Bombs in Wyoming Forests


Days after 🦀 Trump's 😈 EPA gave a thumbs-up to the ongoing use of sodium cyanide in M-44s (or "cyanide bombs"), forest creatures across 10 million acres in Wyoming caught a break from the lethal devices.

A judge has approved an agreement, secured by the Center and allies, to ban M-44s across the state's national forests. It also requires the federal program "Wildlife Services" — which uses cyanide bombs — to analyze the impacts of its killing of coyotes, bobcats and other Wyoming wildlife. And new trapping restrictions will help protect grizzlies and other animals. Read more.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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Re: Defending Wildlife
« Reply #108 on: August 23, 2019, 05:15:34 pm »

An initiative of the Center for Biological Diversity

Wild, Incisive, Fearless.

Five Things to Watch at This Month’s Big Wildlife Trade Treaty Meeting

New wildlife trade rules being discussed at CITES could affect 550 species, including elephants, rhinos and giraffes.
Extinction Countdown

August 16, 2019 - by John R. Platt

 Dozens of important and potentially controversial decisions for the world’s most imperiled wildlife will come out of Geneva over the next few weeks.

That’s where the representatives from 183 nations will gather to discuss issues related to legal and illegal wildlife trade at the 18th triennial meeting of the member parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a treaty aimed at regulating the commercial sale of threatened plants and wildlife.

CITES protects species by adding them to what’s known as its Appendices — listings of species that may or may not be traded. Species listed on Appendix I are banned from all international trade, while those on Appendix II may only be traded from proven sustainable populations. About 90 percent of CITES listings appear on Appendix II.

CoP18This year’s 12-day CITES meeting (Aug. 17-28), known as the Conference of the Parties, was originally scheduled for earlier this year in Sri Lanka but delayed due to violence in that country. The postponement didn’t diminish the meeting’s scope, though. The agenda includes a record 57 proposals affecting more than 550 highly traded species, ranging from megafauna such as elephants, rhinos and giraffes to less charismatic but lucratively traded species like sea cucumbers and rosewood trees.

“CITES sets the rules for international trade in wild fauna and flora,” CITES Secretary General Ivonne Higuero said in a press release earlier this month. “It is a powerful tool for ensuring sustainability and responding to the rapid loss of biodiversity — often called the sixth extinction crisis — by preventing and reversing declines in wildlife populations. This year’s conference will focus on strengthening existing rules and standards while extending the benefits of the CITES regime to additional plants and animals threatened by human activity.”

Let’s take a look at five of the biggest issues on the table this year:

1. Rhinos and Elephants

Despite rampant, ongoing poaching threats, proposals this year could actually open up legal trade in elephants or rhinos.

Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe have proposed allowing legal trade in elephant ivory from their countries, as well as from South Africa, something that’s currently banned. Zimbabwe, meanwhile, wants to be allowed to sell live elephants to China.

These countries’ elephants are all currently listed under CITES Appendix II, while other nations’ elephants are listed in Appendix I. The four nations argue their elephant populations are healthy and can withstand international trade, but most experts argue that any legal ivory sale helps to spur demand for the products, which then inspires additional poaching and illegal trafficking. Experts also point out that African elephants frequently cross national borders, so they shouldn’t be considered the “national property” of any given country.

Meanwhile, a competing proposal would move elephants from these four nations to Appendix I, which would end the current “split listing,” restrict international trade and put all African elephants on the same level playing field.

We’ll have to wait and see which, if either, of these proposals gains traction. CITES itself recently published a report that found “poaching continues to threaten the long-term survival of the African elephant,” so the prospects of opening up trade again seem less than likely, but proponents of commercialization remain steadfast.

Rhino by Henri Bergius (CC BY-SA 2.0)

As for rhinos, eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland) and Namibia want to open up trade for their southern white rhino populations, with the former wanting to sell rhino horns and the latter asking to sell both hunting trophies and live rhinos. South Africa also wants to increase trophy hunting of its black rhinos. Similar proposals were defeated at the last meeting three years ago, but commercial interests continue to push for legalization of the horn trade, something that’s likely to persist in the years ahead even if the proposals are again shot down this month.

2. Giraffes

The world’s tallest animals have undergone a shocking 40 percent population decline over the past few decades, and CITES will take up the issue for the first time this year. Thirty African states have submitted a proposal for restricting trade in giraffe hunting trophies, bones and hides under Appendix II.

Giraffe by David Davies (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The trophy hunting alone is a huge deal; according to the proposal, “the United States imported more than one giraffe hunting trophy a day” from 2006 to 2015. That’s more than 3,500 giraffes killed by American hunters over a single decade — the same period during which giraffe populations fell to fewer than 100,000.

Meanwhile we know the trade in most other giraffe products — such as the growing trade in giraffe-bone gun and knife handles — is extensive, but there are also huge data gaps concerning their country of origin or whether the specimens were legally or sustainably acquired. This reveals a need to place serious controls on this trade.

The disappearance of giraffes has often been referred to as a “silent extinction,” but the threats facing these iconic mammals have finally started to generate some noise. The fate of Africa’s giraffes may hinge on whether that’s now loud enough to generate support from a majority of voting parties this month.

3. Vaquita

A few weeks ago we heard that the population of critically endangered vaquita porpoises had fallen to fewer than 19 and possibly as low as six. Many conservation organizations now say it’s the last chance to save this species from extinction.

Tom Jefferson, via NOAA Fisheries West Coast

CITES can’t address the vaquita directly — there’s no trade in the animals — but in 2016 the parties to the treaty agreed to take on illegal trafficking of a fish from the same area called totoaba. Illegal gillnet fishing for totoaba — their swim bladders sell for big bucks in China — has been responsible for the deaths of dozens of vaquita over the past few years.

That agreement, sadly, didn’t lead to much, if any, action. Now, as Mexico prepares to allow commercial breeding of totoaba, conservation organizations (including the Center for Biological Diversity, publisher of The Revelator) have called for trade sanctions against Mexico to ensure more vaquita protective measures are put in place. They’re also calling for additional funding and other support to conserve both vaquita and totoaba in the wild and stronger law enforcement to address the illegal totoaba trade.

This may also serve as a reminder for Mexico and other countries to follow through on their promises to protect other imperiled species.

No matter what happens in Geneva this will be a critical year for the vaquita — and, we hope, not one that will end with the species’ extinction.

4. Exotic Pets

Hundreds of species commonly found in the legal and illegal pet trade will be up for discussion this year, including a wide range of lizards, iguanas, turtles, tortoises, frogs, newts and even spiders. Most would be added to Appendix II, but several proposals would place species — such as the highly trafficked Indian star tortoise — on Appendix I to end all legal international trade.

Indian start tortoise by Damith Osuranga Danthanarayana (CC BY 2.0)

Perhaps the most interesting species on the pet-trade list is the spider-tailed horned viper from Iran, a huge, venomous snake known for using its tail to attract and kill birds.

👀 Spider-tailed horned viper from Iran

Trade in this species isn’t exactly rampant yet, but it’s turned up for sale recently on German social-networking sites. This measure would proactively try to control that trade before it gets any worse.

Of course, not all of these species are exclusively threatened by the pet trade. The tokay gecko, for example, is also highly traded for use in traditional medicine. That leads us to our next big topic.

5. Wildlife Trafficking

CITES will have an active agenda related to illegal wildlife trafficking this year, with key discussions on songbirds, big cats (especially China’s large number of tiger farms), coral, hawksbill turtles, saiga antelopes, rosewood and other species.

Wooly Mammoth 

Even woolly mammoths are on the list. (Yes, sometimes extinct species require protective trade restrictions. In this case ivory from recently killed elephants is sometimes disguised or laundered as mammoth ivory, a trade that could be curtailed by a proposal to add mammoths to Appendix II.)

Illegal wildlife property. Photo: Ryan Moehring/USFWS

In addition to species-specific proposals, the participants at this year’s CITES meeting will also discuss building international capacity to track and address the multibillion-dollar wildlife crime industry — a problem so pervasive that some experts say it may require an entirely separate convention. They’re also expected to discuss Vietnam’s role as both a consumer country and a hub for transit of wildlife parts, improving the livelihoods of rural communities, tactics to address wildlife cybercrime, and what to do with confiscated products from species such as pangolins, rhinos and rosewoods.


And on top of all that, the CITES parties will also discuss their strategy for the year 2020 and beyond. With biodiversity around the world in crisis and hundreds of thousands of species at risk of extinction, that may end up being the biggest topic of all.


Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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Care2 Action Alerts <actionalerts@care2.com> 4:52 AM (19 hours ago) to me

California, Create Overpasses to Save 🐯 Animal Lives!


Thank you for helping my petition succeed!   Freya H

California will soon build the largest wildlife overpass in the world! More information here.


Freya H

Care2 Petitions

The link to this petition is: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/971/815/735/california-create-overpasses-to-save-animal-lives/
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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✨ WildEarth 🎋 Guardians 💫 30th Anniversary Video
« Reply #110 on: September 25, 2019, 06:21:58 pm »
✨ WildEarth 🎋 Guardians 💫 30th Anniversary Video
158 views • Sep 5, 2019

409 subscribers
For the past 30 years WildEarth Guardians has been protecting and restoring the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health of the American West.

Website: https://wildearthguardians.org/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wildearthguard

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WildEarthGua...

When the politically powerful can turn one of our nation's iconic wildlife into a trophy mount something is fundamentally wrong.

In 2017, the Trump administration stripped Yellowstone’s grizzlies of it’s protected status under the Endangered Species Act paving the way for trophy hunting.

The moment I heard this I knew we were in for another long battle. What gave me hope was knowing that we're good at doing what is right in the wild, we've been doing it for a long time.

In 1989, Sam Hitt, Steve Sugarman and Letty Belin founded Guardians. Their purpose: to defend the forest from clearcut logging and protect an endangered owl.

Highlighting their vision, ability and determination, in 1996 a federal judge issued a landmark legal injunction halting logging on more than 21 million acres in 11 national forests throughout New Mexico and Arizona.

Our Victory rocked the timber industry to the core.

But it also solidified the idea that Guardians’ innovative, creative and uniquely disruptive approaches to conservation really work.

Throughout our history we’ve had impact way beyond our size.

In March 2019, we won a legal victory blocking 300,000 acres of wild lands from fracking, protecting our climate.

In April 2019, we won a lawsuit driving another nail in the coffin of the federal coal program, which accounts for 15% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2011, we won a historic legal settlement protecting more than 250 critically imperiled but unprotected species.

Ongoing advocacy protects sage grouse habitat from mining, livestock grazing and oil and gas development throughout the West.

But between the Trump Administration, population growth and the 🦕🦖 fossil fuel and timber industries, the American West faces an unprecedented barrage of threats.

The very landscape of how to do conservation is constantly changing.

The fossil fuel industry is in a drilling frenzy, denying climate science.

The Rio Grande is running dry.

Public lands are being ripped from public hands.

Native species are being driven to extinction.

Millions of animals are being trapped, snared and poisoned.

We have to do more.

We agitate, we litigate but we also educate and legislate. We are Guardians. The work of nurturing an ethic of care is our job, it's our purpose. Within each of us there's a sense that we're Guardians.

Whether or not we win or lose, cultivating and nurturing that ethic is what we do. Our job is to protect the vulnerable from the powerful.

28,000 Guardians oppose wildlife slaughters funded by tax dollars.

33,000 Guardians oppose fracking in Chaco.

70,000 Guardians oppose de-listing wolves from the Endangered Species Act.

In the fall of 2018, we restored Endangered Species Act protections for the Grizzly.

With Guardians like you we’re giving them the freedom to roam.
Category Film & Animation
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 08:44:43 pm by AGelbert »
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For Immediate Release, October 22, 2019


Sophia Ressler, (206) 399-4004, sressler@biologicaldiversity.org

Lawsuit Challenges Federal Killing of Washington’s Bears, Beavers, Bobcats

SEATTLE— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program today over its killing of thousands of native animals a year in Washington state.

The lawsuit seeks an updated environmental analysis of the agency’s wildlife-killing programs, which shoot, trap and snare black bears, bobcats, beavers and other animals vital to maintaining healthy ecosystems in Washington. The suit was filed in federal court in the Western District of Washington.

“Washington’s bears and bobcats deserve better, so we’re suing Wildlife Services to force officials to consider alternatives to their mass-extermination programs,” said Sophia Ressler, a Center attorney. “The science shows that nonlethal methods of addressing wildlife conflicts work. Wildlife Services should acknowledge that research and scrutinize its cruel and outdated programs.”

Wildlife Services is a multimillion-dollar federal program that uses painful leghold traps, strangulation snares, poisons and aerial gunning to kill wolves, coyotes, cougars, birds and other wild animals. Most of the killing responds to requests from the agriculture industry.

In 2018 Wildlife Services reported killing more than 1.5 million native animals nationwide. In Washington state last year, the agency killed six black bears, 397 beavers, 376 coyotes, 429 marmots, 448 squirrels and thousands of other creatures.

Animals that aren’t intended to be killed — including pets and protected wildlife like wolves and eagles — are also at risk from the programs’ indiscriminate methods. Wildlife Services killed nearly 300 of Washington’s pocket gophers last year. This risks harming the state’s four species of endangered pocket gophers.

“We need to stop Wildlife Services’ destructive war on Washington’s wildlife,” Ressler said. “It’s long past time to use the best available science to inform these management decisions. Not doing so is irresponsible, dangerous and ecologically destructive.”

The National Environmental Policy Act requires Wildlife Services to rigorously examine the environmental effects of killing wildlife and to consider alternatives, such as those that rely on proven nonlethal methods to avoid wildlife conflicts.

Today’s lawsuit is part of a larger Center campaign to hold Wildlife Services accountable for its inhumane, unscientific wildlife-killing programs across the country. Court victories in California, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming have led to vast on-the-ground improvements in the programs in these states.

The environmental analyses for Washington’s programs for killing predators and aquatic mammals are almost a decade old. According to today’s complaint, Wildlife Services must use recent information to analyze the impacts of its mammal-killing programs on the environment and Washington’s unique wild places.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.


Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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The Revelator: A New Threat to Public Lands

BLM truck

The Trump administration wants to relocate the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management from Washington, D.C., to Grand Junction, Colorado. It claims this move will put agency staff closer to the public lands that they manage. But there's reason to suspect that the true motive is to drastically weaken the BLM — and give 🦖 oil and 🦕 gas companies better access to its staff.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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