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« Reply #5685 on: Feb 13, 2019, 05:32 AM »

Birdwatch: meeting king penguins, the Falkland Islands' crowning glory

Five species of the bird breed on the islands, but the majestic king penguins steal the show

Stephen Moss
13 Feb 2019 21.30 GMT

“It’s like Scotland – but with penguins. You’ll love it!” That was how a friend of mine summed up the Falkland Islands before my visit, and he was absolutely right.

Five species of penguin breed here, raising their young in noisy, smelly colonies during the brief austral summer: the Magellanic, gentoo, southern rockhopper, macaroni and king.

Of all these, the aptly named king penguin really stole the show. At almost a metre tall, it is second only to the emperor penguin in size, and is arguably even more handsome.

Signs all around the colony at Volunteer Point, on East Falkland, warned me not to get too close. But that didn’t stop the penguins approaching me: waddling past like old men in dinner suits, as if on their way to supper at the club.

Like all penguins, the kings are a photographer’s dream. I spent hours looking for – and finding – new angles: wide shots to show the whole spectacle, individual portraits of adults and their fluffy chicks, and ultra-closeups of the birds’ heads, feet and sharp, pointed bills.

But most of all, I was transfixed by the colours, patterns and texture of their plumage – deep black, pure white and rich orange and yellow – and the shapes they made when they huddled together. Simply mesmerising.

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« Reply #5686 on: Feb 13, 2019, 05:33 AM »

Their chips are down: New Zealand seagulls under threat after 'unbelievable declines'

The birds are severely at risk, but there is little public awareness or sympathy for their plight

Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin
Wed 13 Feb 2019 01.12 GMT

Squawking, chip-stealing seagulls are under threat in New Zealand, with some colonies experiencing “unbelievable declines”, and others disappearing altogether over the past few decades.

New Zealand is home to three species of seagull but the native red-billed seagull – the beady-eyed interloper who makes an appearance at every beach picnic up and down the country – is the most common.

Despite seeming to be in abundance because of their noisy antics and attraction to urban and inhabited environments, experts say the birds are severely at risk, with just 27,800 breeding pairs left nationwide, and the main offshore breeding colonies suffering population plummets of 80% to 100% since the mid-1960s.

By comparison the kiwi – which has millions of dollars of conservation funding directed towards its survival – is much healthier, with 68,000 animals left. But in the conservation world, cuteness counts.

Graeme Taylor, a seabird scientist at the department of conservation, said: “Red-bill gulls have bad press because they are too friendly and too aggressive, they do not endear themselves to people. People see these big groups of birds hanging around for food and think ‘they’re fine’– it is very hard to break that perception. But in reality they have had quite a substantial decline and their decline is ongoing.”

The threats against seagulls are three-fold. Plunging fish stocks due to changing marine conditions and intensive fishing have meant less food for chicks. Coastal grounds converted to livestock and agriculture has threatened their natural breeding grounds, and introduced pests such as stoats and rats eating their young has further decimated an already vulnerable population.

    Seagulls are too friendly and too aggressive. They do not endear themselves to people.
    Graeme Taylor, department of conservation

Hungry from a lack of their natural marine diet, seagulls have adapted into excellent scavengers, but even that comes with problems. Improved waste management storage and facilities mean the gulls find less rubbish to consume than ever before, Taylor says, and chicks who grow up being fed by people at the height of summer often die when winter nears, as they never learn the skills to forage in the ocean.

At the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head there is some good news. Extensive predator control work to protect the northern royal albatross has also benefitted the local seagull population, and there are now close to 2,000 nesting pairs at the colony – the only colony in the country that is thriving – albeit slowly.

“These aren’t a pest, they are a key part of the marine environment out here on the edge of the Pacific,” says Hoani Langsbury, the manager of the Royal Albatross Colony.

“Stealing chips from humans is a learned behaviour. We’re in discussions with schools at the moment to try and improve relations between young people and the seagull population. This is their natural environment – it is us that have to adapt to them.”

Taylor says New Zealand’s goal to be predator-free by 2050 is good news for the gulls, and should benefit the south island population particularly.

But he believes steady and ongoing decline will continue for the vulnerable north island populations – unless people start caring about the bird in the way they do the iconic kiwi.

“The seagull is inherent to the character of our beaches. It would seem a quiet, deserted sort of place if they were to disappear.”

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« Reply #5687 on: Feb 14, 2019, 04:58 AM »

Rare Footage of Arizona Ocelot Shows What Could Be Lost by Border Wall

Olivia Rosane

Feline conservation group Conservation CATalyst released what it says is the first-ever trail camera footage of an endangered ocelot in Arizona on Sunday, at what the group said on its Facebook page is a "critical point" in the species' conservation.

That is partly because of President Donald Trump's proposed border wall, which would restrict the ability of Sonoran ocelots to cross between the U.S. and Mexico in search of food, mates and territory.

"One of the greatest single threats to ocelot recovery in the United States is the proposed expansion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall," conservation CATalyst senior researcher Chris Bugbee said on the group's Facebook page. "If there was ever a solid physical barrier that spanned the entire border, as is planned by our current administration, it would be 'game over' for both jaguar and ocelot recovery in this country. Such a fate is unacceptable."

A 2017 study by the Center for Biological Diversity looking at the potential impact of the wall on 93 threatened or endangered species found that it could drive jaguars and ocelots to extinction in the U.S.

The video, featured below, was picked up by several Arizona news outlets including Tucson News Now and the Arizona Daily Star.

Amazing Arizona Ocelot Video by Conservation CATalyst: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As7cigsNzFQ

Ocelots have been documented in Arizona since the 19th century, and five have been spotted in the state in the last 10 years. Conservation CATalyst said they have been observed breeding just 30 miles south of the border in Mexico, and may be expanding their range northward.

"I expect to see Sonoran ocelots continue to arrive in Arizona," Conservation CATalyst Executive Director Dr. Aletris Neils said. "As long as we protect the integrity of their habitat and maintain connectivity with Sonora, these cats have the capacity to naturally recolonize lost territory in Arizona."

The ocelot in the video was recognized as a male that has made his home in the mountains of Southeast Arizona and has been photographed in the area for at least five years. Ocelots are identified by their spotted coats, which act as camouflage and are unique to each cat, much like our fingerprints.

"We can tell all three video clips are from the same adult male ocelot; he is exquisite and is clearly thriving in the mountains of Arizona," Neils said.

The male earned the honor of being the first Arizona ocelot to be officially named when a group of elementary school students at Manzo Elementary in Tucson, Arizona dubbed him Lil' Jefe (a.k.a. 'the Boss-elot') earlier this month.

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« Reply #5688 on: Feb 14, 2019, 05:06 AM »

Bavaria campaigners abuzz as bees petition forces farming changes

10% of German state’s voters sign, obliging authorities to preserve species diversity

Kate Connolly in Berlin
Thu 14 Feb 2019 05.00 GMT

A petition in Bavaria on preserving species diversity, popularly known as the “save the bees” campaign, has garnered sufficient support to enforce significant changes to the state’s farming practices.

The organisers reached their target of securing the signatures of 10% of eligible voters in the southern German state well before the Wednesday evening deadline.

Environmental groups behind the push to radically change farming methods, including turning more grassland into meadow and ensuring a third of farms are organic over the next decade, are due to meet politicians to discuss the next stage in their drive.

As part of the campaign, thousands of people have rallied in the streets dressed in bee costumes, as well as staging a mass buzz-in in an attempt to produce the loudest ever buzz in the world.

The carnivalesque mood has helped secure popular support for the serious aims of the campaign to secure a long-term political commitment to safeguard the diversity of flora and fauna and improve the habitats of insects and birds, whose populations have plummeted in recent years.

Among the demands are for 20% of land to be made bee-friendly within the next six years, and 30% by 2030. Environmental education in schools and businesses should also be increased.

The fact that more than 1 million people had signed the petition by Wednesday evening means politicians will ignore its demands at their peril.

The campaign was backed by the Greens, the Bavarian Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP) and conservation groups.

Ludwig Hartmann of the Greens said the more people signed the petition, the clearer the message was to Bavaria’s Christian Social Union government under the leadership of Markus Söder. “It’s time to turn the tide and set a new course for effective nature conservation in Bavaria,” he said.

Some farmers have criticised the campaign, however, saying their efforts to embrace environmentally-friendly policies while the financial pressures on them increase have often been ignored. “We are already doing a lot, but often this is dismissed,” said Walter Heidl, the president of the Bavarian Farmers’ Association.

The campaign also demands that farmers rescue hedges and trees and preserve habitat on stream and river banks.

The state legislature is now obliged by law either to enact the petition or to propose alternative options. Negotiations must begin between its organisers and the CSU next week, and voters will have the final say on their outcome in a referendum later this year.

Agnes Becker, the leader of the ÖDP, a very small force which initiated the poll, said that the bee was the symbol but represented a much bigger issue. “It’s not so much about the honey bee as it is about a very long and ever growing list of threatened species of animals and plants,” she told a heated televised debate on the campaign last week. “But the bee is our mascot, our symbol.”

She said she and her colleagues would stick to the demands laid out in the petition, which had been compiled after extensive consultation with scientists and lawyers, calling them the minimum required to reverse the damaging effects of intensive farming and global warming.

Recent German studies into species decline showed that the number of flying insects had dropped by almost 80% in nearly 30 years. More than 15% of songbirds were lost in the 10 years to 2009. Similar declines have been witnessed elsewhere in Europe and the world.

The campaigners said ordinary citizens were also being called on to change their lifestyles, including by not covering garden lawns with wood and concrete.

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« Reply #5689 on: Feb 14, 2019, 05:08 AM »

What polar bears in a Russian apartment block reveal about the climate crisis

Arctic bears are being driven off their normal migration routes and into human habitation. We should feel pity – and fear

Russian islands declare emergency after mass invasion of polar bears

Jonathan Watts
14 Feb 2019 15.08 GMT

Polar bears prowling around a children’s playground. Polar bears lumbering along the corridors of apartment blocks and offices. Polar bears descending on a sleepy Russian town in their dozens.

To state the obvious: polar bears should not be wandering into human habitation, and certainly not in these numbers. That they are doing so in Belushya Guba shows how they are being driven off their normal migration routes and hunting trails by a changing climate. This has long been predicted – with the Arctic heating twice as fast as the rest of the planet, winter temperatures are rising and the sea ice – which is the primary habitat of polar bears – is shrinking.

In this small town in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, authorities have declared a state of emergency (a reasonable precaution after spotting an unprecedented 52 polar bears). Fences have been erected around school playgrounds and locals have tried to drive them away with warning shots and explosions. All to no avail. Many residents are afraid to leave their homes. Workers are reportedly being bused to their offices in military vehicles.

No other animal symbolises global warming like the polar bear. Over the past three decades, we have grown used to images of malnourished or solitary animals cast adrift on broken ice. But this time it’s different. There is a pack instead of a solitary beast, humanity is near rather than distant and the mood is not just of pity but fear – entirely fitting for a period in which the climate crisis suddenly feels as if it is upon us rather than a future threat.

It also highlights other problems of the Anthropocene – the name that scientists have given to our geological era, which is being shaped less and less by natural forces and more and more by human behaviour.

Belushya Guba is remote but far from pristine. The nearby seas have recently seen the first commercial offshore oil development in the Arctic. Poor waste management in this region – once the site of Soviet nuclear bomb tests and still with a heavy military presence – has attracted hungry animals to dumpsites.

The bears are obviously not environment vigilantes out for revenge. Humans are everywhere. They have nowhere else to go. But many headlines talk of an “invasion” and articles debate the need for “deportation” or execution. The echo of the refugee crisis is no accident. More and more species, along with people, are being driven from their homes by climate disruption, raising the risk of conflict.

How to respond to this emergency is also shaped by the usual political divide: the right focus on the immediate threat to human individuals, while the left tries to understand the long-term global causes. But a debate about whether the bear migration should inspire fear or sympathy misses the point. The animals are losing the winter they depend on. Ultimately, so are we. We should feel sorry and afraid both for them and for us.

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« Reply #5690 on: Feb 14, 2019, 05:11 AM »

Country diary: a heartening view of a winter rarity

Criccieth, Gwynedd: The common scoter is an endangered duck, but here they can be seen in their thousands

Jim Perrin
2/14/2019 05.30 GMT

It’s a mile from Criccieth promenade to Craig Ddu, the black crag that rears up before the beach of Morfa Bychan. This walk was one of my little terrier Phoebe’s favourites, where she could chase sticks and brandish them vigorously before digging them into the sand. She breathed her last peacefully on my lap a week before Christmas, and is buried now in a small, neat grave marked out by quartz pebbles and violets in my garden. I came back here to remember her, who delighted me through so many years; and also, because from the top of Craig Ddu you can observe one of the great natural sights around the Welsh coasts.

I headed in that direction, the wash of surf into the pebbled shore sounding in my ears; climbed to the summit without Phoebe’s brisk example to spur me on; took out my flask, mounted an optic on its tripod, made a seat of my rucksack, and scanned the sea, anxious to set eyes on a rare, wonderful winter presence that distinguishes this corner of Porthmadog Bay.

There they were, in their thousands – a huge raft of common scoter scattered a few hundred metres offshore, its size only slowly becoming apparent as separate groups undulated in and out of sight among the roll of the waves, while others fed, dipping with a small leap into the water, surfacing yards away. WH Hudson, a century ago, commented on how a scoter’s “blackness is relieved, and its handsomeness brought out, by a touch of bright orange on the upper mandible” – something I saw clearly through my glass even at this distance.

Their numbers are a winter rarity this far north. As a British breeding species, scoter are on Birdlife International’s red list, a few pairs remaining in Perthshire. Which makes these winter visitors all the more heartening a sight. Already they seem restless, flying in long lines low over the water. But for a few weeks yet, before they head back to the cold north, you can see them here, marvel at their multitudes and the mystery of migration, and be glad that our beleaguered planet still has such richness.

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« Reply #5691 on: Feb 14, 2019, 05:20 AM »

Wildlife Photographer of the Year: the Lumix people's choice winner – in pictures


David Lloyd’s Bond of Brothers, a heartwarming image of an affectionate pair of male lions, has been crowned the winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Lumix people’s choice award. The picture, among 25 shortlisted for the 2018 competition, can be seen at the Natural History Museum in south-west London until 30 June

Click to see all: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2019/feb/13/wildlife-photographer-year-people-choice-winner-in-pictures

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« Reply #5692 on: Feb 15, 2019, 05:03 AM »

Heartbreaking Butterfly Center Video Shows Bobcat At Risk From Border Wall

Lorraine Chow
Feb. 15 2019

The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas is not only a sanctuary to some 200 species of butterflies, it's also a home for the area's other unique wildlife.

With border wall construction imminent, the center posted a two-minute video featuring a bobcat living in the facility's southern 70 acres that will be cut off by the barrier once it's built.

"Little does this bobcat know," the center states in the video, "its ability to hunt, find shelter, find a mate and raise its young is about to be drastically affected by a concrete and steel wall it will never be able to get past."

What's more, the center noted, the floodlights that will be installed along the wall will "light up the entire area like a war zone all night long."

The underlying message of the clip is the U.S.-Mexico barrier's negative impact to native species and the surrounding environment.

The Trump administration waived 28 environmental laws including the Endangered Species Act in order to build 33 more miles of wall in the Rio Grande Valley, including a 5.5-mile concrete and steel barrier through the butterfly refuge. The project was funded by last year's congressional appropriations.

The National Butterfly Center Director Marianna Wright told the Guardian that the wall's construction would harm the butterflies as well as other species like the Texas tortoise, Texas indigo snake and Texas horned lizard that also find refuge on the center's land.

The butterfly sanctuary has filed an emergency restraining order on Monday to halt the construction, the Texas Observer reported. The center is also urging supporters to call their senators and representatives to stop any further border wall funding.

Meanwhile, the center wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday that trees were being taken down in their section of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Wildlife Conservation Corridor, "a remnant of native habitat set aside for species protection."

The post also included a Facebook live video from writer and conservation photographer Krista Schlyer, who went to the site to observe the construction work. Schlyer said in a later video that authorities escorted her away from the construction site.

"They really don't want me to see what's going on back there," she said.

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« Reply #5693 on: Feb 15, 2019, 05:09 AM »

Taiji dolphin hunt: activists to launch unprecedented legal challenge

Exclusive: lawsuit in Japan contends that dolphins are wrongly classified as fish and should be protected as mammals

Justin McCurry in Tokyo
15 Feb 2019 06.27 GMT

Animal rights activists have launched an unprecedented legal challenge to the slaughter of dolphins in Japan, claiming that fishermen are routinely violating animal welfare laws and exceeding government-set quotas.

The London-based organisation Action for Dolphins and the Japanese NGO Life Investigation Agency on Wednesday submitted evidence they hope will halt the annual dolphin hunts in Taiji, a whaling town on Japan’s Pacific coast, the Guardian can reveal.

“Dolphins are mistakenly viewed as ‘fish’ in Japan, and therefore domestic laws protecting mammals from cruelty have not been applied to them,” claimed Sarah Lucas, chief executive of Action for Dolphins.

The lawsuit, filed with the Wakayama district court, “asserts that dolphins are biologically mammals, and the cruelty inflicted on them in Taiji is “illegal under Japan’s own laws”.

The allegations made against Yoshinobu Nisaka, the governor of Wakayama prefecture, where Taiji is located, include that he has allegedly abused his power by issuing permits to fishermen who violate Japan’s animal welfare laws and catch quotas. It is unknown whether those allegations will be denied.

A prefectural government official declined to comment when contacted by the Guardian, saying it was unaware of the lawsuit.

The Taiji drive hunts gained notoriety after the release of the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, whose graphic footage of dolphins being slaughtered with knives, turning the surrounding sea a crimson red, shocked audiences around the world.

If the challenge succeeds, those permits will be declared invalid, and the dolphin hunts in Taiji will not be allowed to continue, Action for Dolphins said.

“This isn’t about casting moral aspersions on Japan, but about compliance with the country’s own laws” said spokeswoman Angie Plummer. “We are trying to depoliticise the debate.”

Lucas said claims by Taiji officials that dolphins were killed humanely using new slaughter methods were false.

“The method used to kill dolphins during the hunt is exceptionally cruel,” said Lucas, who was awarded 110,000 yen by a Japanese court three years ago after she was prevented from entering Taiji’s whale museum to check on the welfare of a captive baby albino bottlenose.

“A metal rod is repeatedly stabbed into the back of the dolphin’s neck and a wooden plug is inserted into the open wound to prevent blood loss. This means the dolphins die a slow, painful death, taking several minutes to bleed out or drown in their own blood.”

The suit also claims that fishermen in Taiji routinely flout catch limits set by the government.

It presents evidence that fishermen in the town have illegally caught more than 400 dolphins and whales in excess of their quotas in the past five years.

Under the Japanese legal definition, the quotas should include not only dolphins that are killed deliberately or sold to aquariums, but also those that are caught and released – sometimes after several days – and that die from collateral causes such as drowning or injury, the group claims.

“The irresponsible overhunting of hundreds of dolphins and whales has contributed to the near elimination of some species in Japanese waters,” Lucas said.

Yoshifumi Kai, a senior official with Taiji’s fisheries cooperative, said he had yet to read the lawsuit but denied that local fishermen exceeded quotas or killed dolphins inhumanely.

“Japanese authorities do not require us to count released dolphins as part of the official quota,” Kai told the Guardian, adding that dolphins killed for food were not left die prolonged deaths. “In most cases they die straight away, although that doesn’t happen 100 percent of the time. That doesn’t just apply to dolphins, though – the same thing happens to cattle.”

Some of the dolphins captured at Taiji are killed and their meat sold in supermarkets and restaurants, but the most attractive specimens are spared and sold to aquariums for up to tens of thousands of pounds each, according to Lucas.

In 2015, Action for Dolphins took legal action against the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums that resulted in 62 Japanese aquariums facing expulsion from the body unless they agreed to stop buying dolphins captured in Taiji. The town’s whale museum, however, quit the Japanese branch of the world association in protest and continues display and sell locally caught cetaceans.

Taiji’s fishermen insist they have no intention of ending the hunts, saying they are part of the town’s whaling heritage and a vital source of income for the local economy.

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« Reply #5694 on: Feb 15, 2019, 05:12 AM »

Fears killer whales held captive in Russia will freeze to death as winter seas ice over

Activists appealing to Vladmir Putin for orcas' freedom warn that many have developed frostbite

Jane Dalton

A group of killer whales held captive in Russia’s remote far East are at risk of freezing to death as their pens ice over in mid-winter temperatures, campaigners say.

Volunteer monitors have warned that the 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales, captured last year for sale to China, may start dying after many reportedly developed frostbite.

The marine mammals were taken last summer from the Sea of Okhotsk, north of Japan, to be sold to dolphinariums.

They have since been confined to pens at a “whale jail” near Nakhodka city near Vladivostok, which the monitors say are cruel because they are a fraction of the size of natural ocean habitats.

But now it’s believed ice poses a new threat. 

In winter, orcas – warm-blooded killer whales – naturally migrate to warmer seas and spend most of their time underwater.

If their dorsal fin, which regulates their temperature, freezes, they become susceptible to extreme weather.

Activists from the group Free Russian Whales, who are lobbying Vladimir Putin for the animals’ release, say they have seen one orca whose fin is “peeling off in large, flapping chunks”.

The group said: “Kirill and other orcas have developed frostbite. If something to keep the warm temperature in the enclosures is not done soon, animals most likely will start dying.

“He is completely inactive, looks sick and floating motionless for long periods.

“He often comes into contact with the icy sludge, possibly causing hypothermia with more pronounced damage to the skin… His breathing is very slow and ‘gentle’, which can be a sign of pneumonia or other diseases of his internal organs.”

Other orcas have skin lesions that it’s believed could be due to fungal diseases.

Staff at the “centre” have been seen trying to break up the ice daily, which it’s claimed causes the orcas and belugas severe stress.

“Every day a lot of ‘centre’ staff pass by, dragging their various equipment, ice-cleaning tools and heavy wheelbarrows with fish, likely causing more anxiety and stress for the killer whales,” the activists warn.

One orca has disappeared since the summer. The captors say they released it because it was behaving aggressively but experts fear it died.

Three baby belugas also disappeared, captors claiming they escaped.

The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1982.

Volunteer Oxana Fedorova said: “Orcas and other cetaceans are like us - social and highly intelligent, and we have no right to imprison them for entertainment.”

Free Russian Whales, which has been fighting their capture for years, celebrated when, last year, prosecutors said they would investigate illegal sales to China.

In the past five years, 15 orcas and more than 200 belugas have been illegally captured and sold to Chinese aquariums, according to the group.

In the UK, opponents of Japan’s decision to resume whaling staged a protest outside the country’s embassy in London, calling for it to reverse its move.

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« Reply #5695 on: Feb 15, 2019, 05:15 AM »

Climate change pushing eels in Europe towards extinction, study shows

Numbers of the vulnerable fish have plummeted by over 90 per cent in recent decades

Josh Gabbatiss
Science Correspondent

Climate change is likely to push Europe’s critically endangered eels even closer to extinction, a new study have revealed.

Populations have been in freefall for decades due to a combination of overfishing, pollution and dams being constructed along rivers, blocking their traditional migration routes.

Numbers of the once abundant fish have dropped by over 90 per cent since the early 1980s and now rising temperatures and acidic waters are posing yet another existential threat.

A new study conducted by scientists in Portugal tested the impact of the rising global temperatures on the survival and behaviour of young eels.

These “glass eels” – so-called due to their transparent bodies – were placed in different conditions to see how they would respond to a temperature increase of 4C and more acidic water, mimicking the environments expected under climate change by the end of the century.

When placed in warmer water, fewer of the young eels survived, but those that did were more active and appeared more willing to continue their migration.

This was countered by the impact of the acidic water, which appeared to dampen the eels’ innate desire to migrate towards freshwater.

This result echoed previous studies showing acidic water harming the sensory abilities of fish.

Publishing their findings in the Biology Letters journal, the scientists said they had revealed how near future conditions could soon trigger unexpected and unwelcome changes in eel populations.

“If greenhouse gases emissions to the atmosphere continue unabated and further conservation management policies are not considered in the near future, these stressors may, indeed, cause stocks disruption and push eels towards extinction,” said Dr Tiago Grilo, one of the scientists at the Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre behind the study.

Dr Reinhold Hanel, an eel expert at the Thunen Institute in Germany who was not involved in the study, said he “fully agreed” climate change is impacting eels.

He added that the new study supported previous work suggesting climate change was harming the eels by tampering with ocean currents along their migration routes or the Sargasso Sea where they spawn.

However, he also noted that for fish that travel more than 4,000 miles simply to reproduce, crossing both fresh and saltwater as they do, climate change was just one of many pressures on these vulnerable creatures.

“If you travel that far… you are at risk in many circumstances, and that is why it is the sum of these impacts that probably caused this decline,” he said.

Samuel Stone, head of fisheries and aquaculture at the Marine Conservation Society, said the research was a reminder of the “dire need” to recover depleted fish stocks.

“We are already seeing impacts of climate change on marine species and far more needs to be done to account for this in fisheries management,” he said.

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« Reply #5696 on: Today at 05:27 AM »

Week in wildlife – in pictures

Hungry polar bears, the oldest known breeding bird and a new frog species in this week’s gallery

Compiled by Eric Hilaire
 Feb 2019 14.30 GMT

Click to see all: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2019/feb/15/week-in-wildlife-in-pictures

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« Reply #5697 on: Today at 05:28 AM »


We had to take down the thread we had on animals because of being notified by the Guardian newspaper out of England that we had to do so because we had been posting article from their website. Anyway, I am a great lover of animals, and a champion for their well being. So I want to start up a new thread that will not post articles from the Guardian. Hopefully, what I do post from whatever source will just let us be because, in the end, it is about doing whatever we can to help our animal friends.

God Bless, Rad


All friends of animals,

I would like to direct your attention to a world wide organization who is doing all it can for our animals friends. They really need all the support and help possible, including donations of money. Please visit their website at http://www.worldanimalprotection.org/ to learn more about all that they do, and how you can donate to them if you feel so inclined. Below is just some of the incredibly important things that they are doing. Please help them if you can.

God Bless, Rad

                                          World Animal Protection

We move the world to protect animals.

Animals in communities: We move the world to protect the one billion animals that live in communities.
We move the world to protect the one billion animals that live in communities

Animals in farming: We move the world to protect the 70 billion animals farmed each year.

Animals in disasters: We move the world to protect and rescue animals in disaster zones. Animals in disasters

We move the world to protect and rescue animals in disaster zones

Animals in the wild: We move the world to protect wild animals – and keep them in the wild.

Global animal protection: We move the world to put animal protection at the heart of global thinking.

Education: We move the world to teach students and vets that animal protection is vital.


                                                Hope For Paws

Here is another outfit called Hope For Paws that is just doing incredible work for animals that need help that really needs financial support to help them keep doing what they do. Here is there web address so you can see what they do: https://www.hopeforpaws.org/. And here their address do donate: https://www.hopeforpaws.org/donationrecurring. And here is an example of what they do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q3PDuU17P4

Hope for Paws is a 501 C-3 non-profit animal rescue organization (E.I.N: 26-2869386). We rescue dogs, cats and other types of animals suffering on the streets or neglected in the wild. Through rescue and education, Hope For Paws works to raise awareness for abandoned animals.
Hope For Paws was founded on June 11, 2008 by Eldad Hagar.

For eight years, Eldad volunteered with other rescue organizations in the Los Angeles area. Because he gravitated towards the most challenging rescues, often saving animals with the most pressing and complex medical conditions, rescue organizations need thousands of dollars to care for the new animals. At one point, Eldad started to feel like a burden on the main organization where he was volunteering and decided it was time to be responsible for his own fundraising. Eldad spent a few hours thinking about a name for the new rescue organization, and came up with Hope For Paws.
When and why did you decide to start posting videos on YouTube?

A friend of Eldad's mentioned one day: "If I didn't personally know you, I would have never believed the stories you're always sharing with me".  She continued to say "Why don't you take a camera with you, and show me... take me with you on a rescue journey".  YouTube was a fairly new platform, and the first video uploaded by Hope For Paws was seen 14 times (10 of the views were from Eldad's Mom).  The channel has grown significantly since that first video in 2009, and as of today, Hope For Paws has almost 3 million subscribers and over 660,000,000 views!

Please help these folks and the animals they rescue.


                                                Howl Of A Dog

Howl Of A Dog is a small nonprofit animal rescue organization located in Romania.

We rescue abandoned, neglected, injured and abused animals from the streets and from over-crowded shelters, we offer them the medical care they need and find them loving forever homes.

To help reduce dog overpopulation which is a huge problem in our country and to prevent abandonment, we provide free neuter/spay programs and we also support and help low-income families pay for veterinary care and lifesaving medical treatment for their dogs.

At the same time, our efforts aim to build a more compassionate and responsible society. We want to raise awareness and show the world how amazing all animals are and how their unconditional love, loyalty and friendship can bring joy and happiness and improve the lives of their human companions.

Through the stories of our rescued animals we are trying to inspire and help humans learn to respect and protect the lives of other species we share this planet with, resulting in better lives for both the animal and human communities.

Many of the dogs we rescue are seniors or dogs with special needs that would otherwise have very few chances of surviving by themselves on the streets and would be usually scheduled for almost immediate euthanasia in over-crowded shelters from Romania. Being unfairly considered “less-adoptable” because they are old, blind, abused, traumatized or injured, these dogs wait for a home much longer than the average adoptable pet does, sometimes even years. For some of them, we may even be the only family they will ever have.

While waiting for their forever families, our rescued animals are provided with everything they need, from veterinary care and adequate nutrition to basic training and lots of affection. They even have their own parties, on Christmas and other special occasions!

All the animals we rescue are being fostered by us, at our house. They are accommodated in a very nice, clean and cozy facility that we built specially for them and they have a play yard and a large fenced-in area, with grass and trees where they can run and play safely. And of course, they also have full access to our house. They live with us as part of our family and are considered and treated as family members, being given all the love and attention they need to be happy.

Our commitment is to find the most suitable adoptive homes for the animals we save, where they will live happily, being loved and cherished. We also facilitate international adoptions and many of our rescue dogs found forever homes in the USA, Canada and Europe.

Howl Of A Dog does not receive any government funding, our life saving work relies entirely on the support and generosity of compassionate animals lovers like you.

Thank you for helping us give neglected animals the chance to live a better and happier life!

Diana Badescu, Co-Founder
Catalin Stancu, Co-Founder

Howl Of A Dog Organization
Registration Number 33570458, Romania
E-mail: contact@howlofadog.org
Website: www.HowlOfADog.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HowlOfADog
YouTube: www.youtube.com/HowlOfADog
Instagram: www.instagram.com/howlofadog
Twitter: twitter.com/HowlOfADog

Please help these folks by donating here: https://www.howlofadog.org/make-a-donation/

Some of there rescue videos can be viewed here: https://www.howlofadog.org/howl-of-a-dog-rescue-videos/


      Pegasus Society: rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of horses and donkeys in Israel

The Pegasus Society was founded by Zvika Tamuz of "Moked Hai" ("Living Hotline"), who has been rescuing animals since 1993.

Zvika has been taking care of horses for over twenty years. In 2004 he became aware of how prevalent the abuse of equestrian animals in Israel had become. Different animal welfare organizations began referring him cases involving these animals, knowing that he had the know-how as well as facility to care for them. News that somebody is actually rescuing and caring for neglected and abused horses and donkeys spread quickly. The National Traffic Police, the National Roads Association and municipal vets, who did not know how to help these animals, also started calling Zvika whenever they encountered a stray horse or donkey wandering alone in a place where they were endangering themselves and others (such as on busy roads).

With the price of iron going up, many residents of the occupied territories began scouring the border area of the Sharon plain, collecting (and quite often stealing) scrap iron. That process marked a new era in terms of the numbers of horses and donkeys in very poor physical condition working in the area. An influx of calls was received from people from Kfar Saba, Ra'anana, Hod HaSharon etc. – appalled by the sight of these emaciated and injured animals pulling carts piled high with very large and heavy loads of scrap iron, beaten mercilessly by their owners to keep them going, many of which simply collapsed on the street, unable to go on. The different animal welfare societies who received these calls referred them to Zvika Tamuz.

In August of 2006 Ms. Eti Altman, spokesperson of the "Let the Animals Live" organization, wrote to several government and state agencies, alerting them to the grave hardships endured by horses and donkeys in Israel and demanding that the government will take responsibility for the rescue operations and, for the expensive upkeep of these animals which, up until then, was being paid for by Zvika Tamuz out of his own pocket.

As a result of this effort, the Ministry for Environmental Protection began funding the rescue operations of donkeys and horses, but there still remained the problem of keeping and caring for them during the long rehabilitation periods they required. There was an urgent need for an organization that would take responsibility of these animals in Israel. Dozens of horses and donkeys were rescued by Zvika, at all hours of the day and night, seven days a week. No report of a horse or a donkey in distress was left unattended to. The fear that the owners would try stealing them back or harming them in any way prevented Zvika from making public the rescue stories, and he emphatically requested that the police would never divulge his name or address.

In May of 2007 a team of the International WAP (formerly WSPA) came to Israel on a visit and was taken by Ms. Rivi Meier, founder of The Society for Cats in Israel, to visit Zvika Tamuz's ranch. This surprise visit provided the basis for the founding the Pegasus Society.

In collaboration with WAP the Pegasus Society started on a new path with a clear vision of establishing an educational center and a visitors center that would convey the message of the plight of these animals and supply the tools that would enable the general public to recognize states of distress in horses and donkeys.

In the 'Susita' sanctuary run by the Pegasus Society these horses and donkeys are being rehabilitated both physically and mentally. Some of them remain at the sanctuary for the rest of their lives and become permanent residents.

One of the upcoming projects the Pegasus Society intends to launch in the near future is an educational program, in the Jewish and Arab sectors alike, with the intention of passing on the message of compassion and caring for animals to the younger generation.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyQvabcygSU

Here is there homepage: https://www.pegasus-israel.org/en/home

And to donate: https://www.pegasus-israel.org/en/home#!88


                                                       WOLF HAVEN

Wolf Haven International is a nationally recognized wolf sanctuary that has rescued and provided a lifetime home for 250 displaced, captive-born animals since 1982. Guided 50-minute walking visits offer guests a rare, close-up view of wolves. Wolf Haven provides a variety of educational programs, participates in multi-agency Species Survival Plan programs for critically endangered wolves and advocates for wolves in the wild.

Main website: https://wolfhaven.org/

To Donate: http://store.wolfhaven.org/donate.asp


                                                  ANIMAL AID UNLIMITED

Animal Aid Unlimited is a life-changing place for both people and animals in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.

Founded in 2002, our mission is to rescue and treat the un-owned street animals of Udaipur, Rajasthan, who have become ill or injured. Through their rescue we inspire the community to protect and defend the lives of all animals.

Animal Aid’s hospital has approximately 370 animals of different species with us under treatment on any given day, and our sanctuary is home to 150 animals.

Our work focuses on the vital moment when a resident of Udaipur sees an animal who needs help, and stops to help. Taking action is the pivotal experience that can change everything for good.

By providing a phone number someone can call and a shelter and hospital, we are inspiring action in the community. Action that though small at first, maybe just a phone call on our helpline, is the first step for someone on the road of becoming the person that animals desperately need.

Our ultimate goal is equality and protection of all animals and a complete end to the use and abuse of animals. We are working for the day that every dog, donkey, cow, pig, fish and mouse can live their lives in freedom.

Based out of Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, our emergency rescue team responds to calls on our help-line reporting sick or wounded animals in need of help throughout the day, every day. Animal Aid is the life-line for thousands of animals who otherwise wouldn’t stand a chance.

With the involvement of thousands of Udaipur residents who have become aware of street animal’s needs, we have rescued more than 90,000 injured or ill dogs, cows, donkeys, birds and cats to date.

Website: https://animalaidunlimited.org/what-we-do/attachment/street-animal-rescue/

To Donate: https://animalaidunlimited.org/how-to-help/donate/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AnimalAidUnlimited?&ytbChannel=null
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