Posts Tagged ‘extinction’

Alaska Bears At Risk (as usual)

From the website of Big Wildlife:

The Alaska Board of Game is scheduled to discuss three controversial issues affecting Black Bears during their next series of meetings during October 8-12. The issues would legalize the taking of any Black Bears, including sows and cubs, the use of cruel traps for Black and Brown Bears, and the reclassification of Black Bears as “furbearers,” which would allow for the sale of bear body parts and skins. These new measures would make room for the indiscriminate killing and removal of Black Bears from Alaska without requiring the Board of Game to complete the normal process of drafting a formal predator implementation plan. Under this plan, the Board is required to gather data data on the proposals, including the numbers of predators and prey in specific game management units, provide proof that any control actions are necessary in these units, and publicize the plan before authorizing such controversial methods of control. Without these measures of protection, the Black and Brown Bears of Alaska are under serious threat of abuse and eradication through over-hunting and disruption of normal family cycles. Please contact the Board of Game to express your concern for this lack of due process on such questionable and negligent methods of “predator control.” Please contact Chairman of the Board Cliff Judkins and Vice Chairman Ted Spraker along with members Ben Grussendorf, Teresa Sager Albaugh, Stosh Hoffman Jr., Lewis Bradley, and Nate Turner by faxing your letter to (907) 465-6094 or calling (907) 465-4110. Boards Support Section phone (907) 465-4110 fax (907) 465-6094. Big Wildlife thanks you for the work you do to help us protect nature’s precious species!

Save Tigers Now

WWF/Martin Harvey

2010 is the “YEAR OF THE TIGER” on the Chinese lunar calendar. How ironic that the very existence of tigers is teetering on the edge right now as so many have been killed and poached and wiped out from their natural environments. There are probably about 3,200 tigers left in the wild–that’s in the entire world. The number of tigers in the wild has declined by 97% and three subspecies are already extinct.

The Chinese calendar repeats every twelve years. Continuing the decimation of the species means that by the next Year of the Tiger, in 2022, they could all be gone.

The World Wildlife Fund has a subsite: Save Tigers Now where you can learn more as well as donate directly to their conservation efforts. The goal is to reverse this ridiculous decline, and in fact DOUBLE the population of tigers in the wild by the year 2022. Leonardo DiCaprio is the ambassador for Save Tigers Now, and his commitment (to this and so many hugely important environmental issues), and ours, is what it will take to counter the poaching demand (tiger skins, bones, and organs are used in Chinese medicine and as tourist souvenirs) and indiscriminate clearcut logging and habitat destruction in Asia.

Anyone who knows me (or has looked at my photo on the “about” page of this blog) knows that I am wild about tigers. My experience at the Tiger Temple in Thailand and holding 5-week old tiger cubs as well as interacting with an adult tiger are memories that will always be with me. May we take the action required so that tigers can be more than only memory.

Hey There, Stretch

Giraffe

photo by Billy K. Dodson/Giraffe Conservation Foundation

They’re improbably built and impossibly graceful. Watching a giraffe move through the bush in the wild is like watching a boat rock on medium seas. They undulate and roll their way along, each step of their long legs reverberating through the entire body of counter-weighted levers (that neck and those legs require lots of precision balancing). When they break into a run it looks like slow motion, but the steps are so long, they cover great distances very quickly. They are beautiful to watch and gentle as can be.

The Giraffe Conservation Foundation is dedicated to a sustainable future for all species and sub-species of giraffes in the wild. The giraffes indigenous to West Africa, for example, were dwindling in number at an alarming rate–there were only 50 left in the wild in 1996–but through community education and conservation efforts as well as convincing governments that there is value in protection of wildlife, their numbers are bouncing back (there are more than 200 now–still a crazy-low number, but much better than 50).

Education is the key to conservation, and GCF has major initiatives in Botswana, Kenya, and Niger. Scientific research and partnership with local communities is making a difference, and more careful planning with development is beginning to show sensitivity to habitat protection…but the work is only ramping up. For the numbers of any species to get down to mere double digits, like 50, is unforgivable…is there a way you can get involved and support? Find out more here.

Croak!

frogAPRIL 28 IS SAVE THE FROGS DAY

Despite the deafening chirping I’ve been hearing every night the past several days as spring has finally sprung, it turns out that frogs are the most threatened group of animals on the earth. Nearly one third of the planet’s 6,468 amphibian species are threatened with extinction. At least 100 species have disappeared in the past decades. A “normal” rate of extinction would be perhaps one species every 250 years.

Find out how to help at www.savethefrogs.com and do something today, and tomorrow, and beyond. It is a scary marker for the way we’re spiraling, and an easy way to make a difference.