Sumatran tiger survival threatened by deforestation despite increasing densities in parks

Excerpt from release:  Tigers on the neighboring islands of Java, Bali, and Singapore went extinct in the 20th century, prompting new anti-poaching efforts to prevent the same fate for the subspecies on Sumatra.
Those efforts have largely been successful.The density of (Sumatra’s) tigers has
increased over last two decades and their numbers are twice as high in unlogged forests, the study found.
But the study also found that well-protected forests are disappearing and are increasingly fragmented: Of the habitat tigers rely on in Sumatra,
17 percent was deforested between 2000 to 2012 alone, erasing any gains to the tigers’ chance of survival, the study authors wrote. Habitat destruction for oil palm plantations was a leading culprit of deforestation.
Full release


Because sometimes karma works instantly.

There is no reason at all to hunt for elephants, and while they are docile animals they weigh a ton and can kill you quite easily, and a 46-year-old from Argentina learned that the hard way recently. Jose Monzalvez was tracking a herd of elephants in Namibia with another Argentine and three Namibians.

But Monzalvez and the other hunters got quite the surprise when one of the elephants charged before the group was able to find a spot to aim and shoot, crushing Monzalvez and killing him. Monzalvez was found with a hunting permit on his person by authorities.

Hunter Trampled To Death By Elephant He Was Trying To Kill


elephant2So once again it’s tough for us to feel bad for the person in this story — a person who decided to shoot an innocent animal, only to be killed by that very animal.

h/t Metro

Now read this: So This South African Hunter May Have Been Eaten By Crocodiles


World’s Rarest Penguin Population at Its Lowest in 27 Years


Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

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Nearly half the breeding population of endangered yellow-eyed penguins on the island sanctuary of Whenua Hou (Codfish Island) in New Zealand have vanished, according to a recent survey.

The animals — also known as “hoiho” in Māori — are known as the world’s rarest penguins and are only found in New Zealand.

Only 14 nests were found on the island compared to 24 last year, the survey from the Department of Conservation revealed. Since the island is predator-free with limited human access, terrestrial influences are unlikely to be the cause, the department pointed out.

Forest & Bird, a Wellington-based conservation nonprofit, is blaming the commercial fishing industry for the loss, suggesting that the animals were most likely caught and drowned in the nets of fishing trawlers.

“Unlike previous years where disease and high temperatures caused deaths on land, this year birds have disappeared at sea,” said Forest & Bird chief executive Kevin Hague in a statement. “There is an active set net fishery within the penguins’ Whenua Hou foraging ground, and the indications are that nearly half the Whenua Hou hoiho population has been drowned in one or more of these nets.”

Only three percent of the commercial trawlers had official observers onboard to report penguin deaths. Incidentally, Forest & Bird noted that all the recorded deaths came from the small percentage of boats that did have observers.

“It’s simply unbelievable that almost every penguin killed in the set net fishery was killed on a boat that had an official observer onboard,” Hague said. “As a first step, [the Ministry of Primary Industries, which oversees the fishing industry] needs to get more of their observers onto set net vessels and prioritize putting cameras on set netting boats.”

“Responsible set netters need to ask the question of their fellow fishers — why is it that the only recorded by-kill of penguins appears to be on monitored fishing vessels?” he asked.

The environmental group is urging government action and for the fishing industry to agree an immediate set of actions to eliminate the risks from set netting in the penguins’ feeding areas.

“We are asking [the Department of Conservation] and [the Ministry of Primary Industries] what they intend to do to save our hoiho from extinction, because at current rates of decline we are on track to lose hoiho completely from mainland New Zealand. We have also written to the Minister of Conservation, expressing our concern,” Hague said.

“This bird is so special that it appears on New Zealand’s five dollar note,” Hague said. “The critical information about the Whenua Hou catastrophe should not have been held back from the public. Instead we need honest conversation with New Zealanders spelling out the actions that will be taken to prevent it happening again.”

The yellow-eyed penguin is not faring any better elsewhere in the country. According to the Guardian, there are just 1,600 to 1,800 of these penguins left in the wild, down from nearly 7,000 in 2000. They face wide-ranging threats from climate change to disease.

“While nest numbers are similar to last year from Dunedin northwards, there are declines further south,” said Department of Conservation Threatened Species ambassador Nicola Toki. “The estimate for the total southern east coast based on current counts is around 250 nests, down from 261 a year ago. This number is of concern given historically there were between 400-600 breeding pairs and the current number is the lowest for 27 years.”

Recent yellow-eyed penguin/hoiho nest counts on mainland New Zealand indicate a continued decline in numbers in some areas: 

Norway temporarily suspends wolf hunting after court case

Norway temporarily suspends wolf hunting after court case
File photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix
Wolf hunting in areas outside of the animal’s designated protected zones has been suspended after the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) sued the state at Oslo District Court.

The WWF’s suit against the Norwegian state asked the court to examine Norwegian laws on control of wolf populations, and to suspend hunting in the counties of Østfold, Oslo, Akershus and Hedmark, while investigations take place, reports news agency NTB.

Oslo District Court announced its decision on Tuesday.

The decision will be put into effect immediately, Christian Hillmann, advisor for the Rovviltnemnda (Wolf Advisory Board) in the relevant region, told NTB.

WWF environmental policy department leader Ingrid Lomelde told the agency that the organisation was now looking forward to further examination of the issue by the court.

“Oslo District Court has taken an important decision by stopping the ongoing wolf hunt. We are now looking forward to the case going to court, where judges will decide whether Norwegian wolf administration is in breach of Norwegian law and international obligations,” Lomelde said.

The court itself stressed that suspension of hunting remains temporary for the time being.

Five animals have been shot since the beginning of the season in the four counties in areas outside of zones in which wolves are protected by law (ulvesonen in Norwegian), NTB reports.

WWF’s case is based on its argument that the animal is completely protected and on Norway’s own list of ‘critically endangered’ species, the agency reported as the trial began last week.

The Norwegian state is supported in the trial by the Norwegian Agrarian Association (Norges Bondelag), which has argued that halting wolf hunting would have adverse effects on food production.

The Norwegian Forest Owners Association (Skogeierforbundet) and Association of Hunters and Fishers (Norges Jeger- og Fiskerforbund) also supports the state in the case.

READ ALSO: Norwegian government could lose voters over wolves

Marine mammal populations grow on a diet of salmon

Killer whales, sea lions and harbor seals on the West Coast have feasted heavily on Chinook salmon runs in the last 40 years
[Unfortunately, unlike humans, marine mammals can’t just order a salad]

By Katie FrankowiczThe Daily Astorian

Published on November 22, 2017 8:47AM


Buy this photo

A rebound in marine mammal populations on the West Coast has come with unintended consequences for salmon.

A new study found that a growing population of fish-eating killer whales, sea lions and harbor seals on the West Coast have feasted heavily on Chinook salmon runs in the last 40 years.

Their consumption of the fish — of which certain populations are listed as endangered and threatened — may now exceed the combined harvest by commercial and recreational fisheries, researchers say.

It’s a complex trade-off, fishery managers say. And many questions remain about what a growing predator population means for the fish and why, despite the feeding frenzy, the Southern Resident Killer Whale group in Washington state’s Puget Sound area continues to show few signs of recovery.

The study was a broad but “careful accounting exercise,” a first attempt to quantify marine mammal predation of Chinook salmon on the U.S. West Coast and up into British Columbia, Canada and Southeastern Alaska, said co-author Isaac Kaplan of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

“The main story here is there are a lot of factors affecting salmon,” Kaplan said. “Those include dams and habitat (loss) and fishing and marine mammals. We know all of these things are a challenge to recovery for Chinook salmon populations.”

The researchers — a collaboration of federal, state and tribal scientists in the Pacific Northwest — used models to estimate that the yearly biomass of Chinook salmon consumed by sea lions, harbor seals and killer whales increased from 6,100 to 15,200 metric tons from 1975 to 2015, even while annual harvest by fisheries decreased from 16,400 to 9,600 metric tons.

While recovery efforts on the West Coast have boosted the numbers of wild salmon, researchers found the increased predation could be taking a toll and “masking the success of coast-wide recovery efforts.”

“We’re trying to understand all the threats that salmon face throughout their range,” said Eric Ward, a co-author and statistician (biology) with NOAA. “These fish have huge migrations. Fish from the Salish Sea or the Oregon Coast and Washington Coast migrate all the way up to Alaska and throughout that whole range they are vulnerable to predation.”

The study purposefully focused on predation by certain recovering marine mammal populations, said study lead Brandon Chasco, an Oregon State University post-doctoral student.

The study confirmed what communities near the mouth of the Columbia River already know — seals and sea lions eat a lot of salmon. The researchers estimated that California sea lions ate 46,000 adult Chinook salmon in 2015, while Stellar sea lions consumed 47,000. Harbor seals ate considerably less, an estimated 1,000 adult Chinook salmon.

“What we don’t know is if these marine mammals are effective and if they’ve taken the fish out of the mouths of other predators,” Chasco said. “Or, if it’s being stacked on top of bird consumption, stacked on top of fish consumption and the density of salmon overall is lower.”

“We just don’t know that yet,” he added, “and I don’t know when we’re going to know that.”

The question of what it all means for Southern Resident killer whales whose population numbers remain low is another gap, said Michael Ford, director of NOAA’s Conservation Biology Division and a co-author of the study. Are they being out-competed? What other stressors are at play?

But, he said, “I think there’s a lot of good news here.”

The recovery of marine mammal populations points toward the success of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, he said. The fact that these animals are eating so many salmon shows fishery managers have been successful at keeping Pacific salmon available — to some extent — to feed a growing number of predators.

Ford and others are in the middle of another study that would actually count how many salmon killer whales are eating over a certain period of time, moving beyond the theories proposed in the recent predation study. They hope to be able to make more direct comparisons between the healthy northern killer whale groups and the less-healthy southern killer whales.

Trump says ‘big game trophy decision on hold’ after lifting of elephant trophy ban

President Donald Trump on Friday announced he is suspending a controversial decision to lift the ban on importing trophies of dead elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia into the U.S., which had been assailed by conservation and animal rights groups.

“Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts,” Trump said on Twitter.

“Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke,” Trump said in the tweet, referring to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Zinke said in a statement later Friday that “the issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed on Thursday it lifted the ban. The agency “determined that the hunting and management programs for African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia will enhance the survival of the species in the wild,” a spokesperson for the agency said.

Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!

The move would overturn a 2014 rule implemented under the Obama administration that banned hunters from bringing the trophy heads of elephants they’d killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia back to the U.S.

Animal rights groups blasted the decision. Conservationists and wildlife advocates were critical of the timing of the move, noting the political turmoil in Zimbabwe, where the military has seized power and had held President Robert Mugabe under house arrest.


 Trump puts ‘big game trophy decision on hold’ after backlash2:27

The Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., called the Fish and Wildlife Service decision to lift the ban “the wrong move at the wrong time” and in a statement on Friday called on the Trump administration to withdraw it.

And critics noted that Trump’s adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, are known big game hunters. Photographs of the pair surfaced in 2012 showing the two men posing with the carcasses of several dead animals from a hunting trip they’d taken a year earlier in Zimbabwe.

The reversal of the ban would have applied to dead elephants hunted in Zimbabwe from Jan. 21, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2018, and to elephants hunted in Zambia in 2016, 2017 and 2018 “for applications that meet all other applicable permitting requirements,” a Fish and Wildlife spokesperson said.

The agency said that well-regulated sport hunting as part of a management plan can provide local incentives for conservation and raise money for conservation efforts.

Related: Zimbabwe can’t manage its elephant population while in political upheaval, experts say

The African bush elephant is currently listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, but a provision of the law allows for the import of trophies if it can be proved that hunting the animals contributes to conservation efforts.

The African savanna elephant population was found to have declined by 30 percent overall between 2007 and 2014, according to the Great Elephant Census in 2016. The population in Zimbabwe was found to have declined 6 percent overall, but some regions in the country reported populations were down as much as 74 percent.

Wayne Pacelle, the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said on Twitter that he was grateful that Trump was reviewing the decision to lift the trophy ban.

Grateful to @POTUS @RealDonaldTrump for reassessing elephant and lion trophy hunting imports. This is the kind of trade we don’t need.

The announced reversal of the Obama-era ban on elephant trophies was lauded by hunters’ rights group Safari Club International (SCI) and by the National Rifle Association, the two groups that had filed suit to challenge the ban. Hunters groups argue that hunting for sport can bring in tourism revenue that can aid conservation programs.


 End of ban on elephant trophies from Africa spurs outrage 2:51

The Fish and Wildlife Service said it had decided to allow the imports because the government of Zimbabwe, non-governmental organizations, hunter associations and other groups had provided the service with additional information that addressed the concerns in the FWS’ previous findings that led to the ban.

Royce, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in the statement Friday that “Zimbabwe is in economic and political crisis.”

“In this moment of turmoil, I have zero confidence that the regime — which for years has promoted corruption at the highest levels — is properly managing and regulating conservation programs. Furthermore, I am not convinced that elephant populations in the area warrant overconcentration measures,” Royce said.

Mass Shootings and Domestic Violence and Violence toward Animals



*Violence begets more violence!*

We are largely an ethically/morally corrupt and socially backward society,
that is sleep-walking and in denial of what is right in front of our eyes! *WE
GLORIFY KILLING!* *WE JUSTIFY WAR* – and the destruction of millions of
innocent lives, in hypocritical defiance of the very religions we espouse
and say we practice! And our children are exposed to such violence from the
time they open their eyes.

Then there’s the *desensitizing *”past-time” of* SOCIALLY SANCTIONED
HUNTING*; more than *100 million animals/wildlife** are reported killed by
hunters each year; *that number does not include the millions of animals
for which kill figures are not maintained by state wildlife agencies; and,
more *than 2-3 million healthy/treatable/adoptable companion animals are
destroyed in “shelters” each year *simply because they have been abandoned
and are homeless.

*Harvesting, culling, killing, euthanizing – call it what you will – *

*we have said *

*· that it is OK to take the lives of non-human, cognitively aware
animals – to slaughter living, breathing, sentient beings, for our own
diversion, for narcissistic, self-aggrandising “sport”; to destroy “pests”
or eliminate “inconvenient” over-populations. *

*· that it is OK to exploit and take these lives for our own
amusement, convenience or to express grievances (animal cruelty still not
taken seriously in courts; animal welfare laws do not in most cases include
farm animals); *

*· that it is OK to kill and butcher billions of sentient creatures
for personal gain and profit, whether for the dinner plate, frivolous
apparel, fraudulent research, entertainment, or any other self-indulgent
reason we can think of. *

*Many studies have shown that there is a correlation between violence
toward animals, often beginning in childhood, and violence toward people,
but we still do little to deal with it. We’re too busy justifying and
glorifying it! What a sorry lot of unevolved “deplorables”, indeed!


“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is, and do
something about it – whether the victim is human or animal – we cannot
expect things to be much better in this world…We cannot have peace among
men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that
glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the
progress of humanity.”
*~Rachel Carson*

Grizzly bear killed near Pendroy ran toward hunters

Nov 06, 2017 8:03 AM PST

A hunter shot and killed a grizzly bear near Pendroy on Saturday after the bear ran toward him and a fellow hunter.

According to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, two men were pheasant hunting when a female grizzly bear approached them with three cubs.

The bear charged at a hunting dog, which prompted one of the men to shoot in the air and yell at the bear.

The bear then ran towards the men and one of the hunters shot and killed the grizzly.

The hunters were not injured and they contacted authorities.

FWP Bear Management Specialist Wesley Sarmento said the hunter shot the bear in the chest and the face.

Under Montana law, it is illegal to shoot a grizzly bear unless it is in self-defense.

Hunters can face a $3,000 fine or six months of jail time if they are charged.

FWP is investigating the incident and Sarmento urges hunters to use bear spray, make noise, and look for bear tracks while hunting.

The three cubs-of-the-year are still alive and had left the area by Sunday morning, according to the Montana FWP Prairie Bear Monitor page on Facebook.

2 deer on hunting ranch found with chronic wasting disease

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Authorities say two white-tailed deer from a hunting ranch in Waupaca County have tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

Wisconsin State Veterinarian Dr. Paul McGraw says the bucks were among 40 deer reported to be on the 84-acre ranch. One buck was killed by a hunter and the other was euthanized due to an injury.

Both were sampled in accordance with state rules that require testing of farm-raised deer and elk when they die or are killed.

 McGraw quarantined three properties under the same ownership, which only allows movement of deer between ranches and to slaughter. The business will be allowed to conduct hunts on the quarantined ranches because properly handled dead animals leaving the premises do not pose a disease risk.

Hunting season effected by smoky conditions

 EUGENE, Ore. – With fall on the way, smoke in the area is causing a problem for hunting season.

One local store says business has been slow since the smoke started coming in.

Les Franck has been working at Coastal for eight years, and he has been hunting since he was a child.

He says the smoke doesn’t stop him, but business has been slow since the heavy smoke.

Franck says there’s always a way to protect yourself if you do choose to hunt in the smoky weather.

Alex Gray, a customer at Coastal, says smoke or no smoke, as long as they’re away from the fires, he’s all game.

If you plan on shooting or hunting, visibility plays a big role with the smoke.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to remind everyone partaking to make sure they wear their hunter’s orange.