Famous Rare White Wolf Killed in Yellowstone, $10K Reward Offered

GR: Killing for a thrill must be like pedophilia. It satisfies an inner urge so despicable that self-delusion creates and supports justifications that seem ludicrous to observers. Thus, we often hear that killing wildlife is a necessary form of protection. Perhaps a poacher/cruelty registry would help park rangers and others keep track of offenders.

“The Center for Biological Diversity is contributing $5,000 toward a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for illegally shooting and killing a famous wolf in Yellowstone National Park.

“The 12-year-old wolf—one of only three known white wolves in Yellowstone—was the alpha female of the canyon pack.

“The Center for Biological Diversity’s pledge, along with the $5,000 offered by the National Park Service, $5,000 from the Wolves of the Rockies and the Go Fund Me campaign launched by the Heart of the Wild Yellowstone with the goal of raising an additional $15,000, comes as National Park Service officials are seeking leads in their criminal investigation of the incident. The wolf, mortally wounded from a gunshot, was found by hikers on April 11 in Yellowstone National Park near Gardiner, Montana.

“We sure hope they catch the despicable killer of this wolf,” said Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Shooting this wolf in Yellowstone National Park, an area that should be a safe haven for wildlife, is not only illegal but repulsive.” –Center for Biological diversity (Continue reading: Famous Rare White Wolf Killed in Yellowstone, $10K Reward Offered.)

Celebrate World Penguin Day by Taking Action

GR: Here’s another opportunity to lend your support to nature conservation.

Join the #Antarctica2020 movement!

“In October 2016, the 25 member governments that make up the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) agreed by consensus to designate the world’s largest marine protected area (MPA) in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. Commercial fishing is banned throughout an area that covers more than 2 million square kilometers, including the Ross Ice Shelf.

“The Ross Sea Region MPA is a huge conservation win for the world’s oceans and an important first step toward fulfilling a commitment that CCAMLR governments made in 2002 to create a broader Southern Ocean MPA network.

“When CCAMLR members meet again in October this year, we expect them to continue this good work by designating MPAs in the Weddell Sea and in the waters off East Antarctica that set aside areas where no commercial fishing is allowed. Such an action would continue the momentum toward establishing a network of marine protected areas and reserves throughout the Southern Ocean by 2020. We need your support to make that happen!” –The Pew Charitable Trusts (Sign the petition:  Take action now!)

Prescott, Arizona History: Prescott Used to Have Countless Prairie Dogs

GR: People have eradicated inconvenient social groups and wildlife many times; it’s what we do. We haven’t prevented the growth of our own population, but we have a firm grip on the Earth’s wildlife. About half of all animals are gone, replaced by  people.

The Prairie Dog was present around Prescott, AZ for thousands of years before the city appeared. Apparently, nature got along just fine with Prairie Dogs and without us. Today, the Prairie Dogs are over most of Arizona, but they still survive in spots in the region. A few people work to help them continue surviving.

Eradicating the Prairie Dog

“For a rodent, they are undeniably cute. But to farmers and ranchers they’re a horrible pest. Where there are prairie dogs, agricultural output decreases 25-85%. (*1)

Humane Society Prairie Dog Coalition

“Yavapai County once had 1.5 million acres “infested” with prairie dogs. (2) When Prescott’s airport was first being laid-out, workers “went up and down both runways with shovels leveling the mounds and filling up the holes made by the hundreds of prairie dogs that infested the field.”(3)

“So, what happened to them?

“Mass rodenticide!

“It must be remembered,” the newspaper wrote, “that these rodents destroy a vast amount of forage, which, if saved, could be used for the production of beef and mutton. In many cases, the prairie dogs permanently injure the range by eating the roots of plants which bind the soil and prevent erosion. In many localities, the destruction of plant life has been caused by extensive washing away of the soil after the summer rains.” (*4) –Drew Desmond (Prescott, Arizona History: Prescott Used to Have Countless Prairie Dogs).

Trapping Cruelty Addressed In New House Bills Seeking Bans

GR: The economic justification for trapping and hunting is fading away along with the animals. Even indigenous cultures with strong animal hunting and eating traditions need to change because their human populations are growing too large to survive on meat. We need our leaders to make family planning and vegetarian diets more acceptable and accessible. Read more about this “barbaric sport.”

Let’s end cruelty to wild animals in the United States. “Continue reading” the article below for information and links for giving your opinion to your elected representatives.

Oregon coyote caught in a Wildlife Services trap: Brooks Fahy/Predator Defense

“Brooks Fahy has been working for decades to save wild animals from painful traps — and while he has seen hundreds of sad cases, there’s one coyote he’ll never forget.

“Fahy, who is the executive director of the nonprofit Predator Defense, received a call from a concerned citizen about an animal caught in a trap. After scouring the Oregon woods, he found the young coyote — his leg was badly pinched in a leghold trap.

“When I walked up on that coyote, he looked at me and then he looked down, like he was ready to accept his fate,” Fahy told The Dodo.

“Animals caught in traps can wait days before they’re found and killed — sometimes for their meat or fur, other times just for recreation. Some animals caught in traps try to gnaw off their own limbs out of desperation. “Traps are notoriously nonselective, whether it’s an M44, a neck snare, a leghold trap, any animal that comes along could get caught,” Fahy said. Endangered species and even people’s beloved dogs can be injured or even killed because of indiscriminate traps.

The trap was set out by Wildlife Services, a branch of the USDA that kills tens of thousands of coyotes each year by trapping, shooting, snaring and poisoning them.

Warning: Graphic image below

“The coyote Fahy found seemed to be determined to stay alive. There were some puddles of melted snow near him, which he appeared to have been drinking from, Fahy said: “He had been in the trap a long time, a week minimum.”

Fahy also noticed a branch sticking up out of the ground beside him that was all chewed up.

“He’d been gnawing on it to relieve the pain,” Fahy said.

“As Fahy got closer, he noticed paw prints in the ground and the vestiges of smaller animals. “There were these small bones around him — we realized that a mate was bringing him food,” Fahy remembers. “It’s gut-wrenching. It haunts me to this day.” –Sarah V. Schweig (Continue reading:  Trapping Cruelty Addressed In New House Bills Seeking Bans.)

Unlocking The Cage

GR:  Legal personhood for chimps is the subject of a New York Supreme Court trial underway now. The film described below provides background on the issue. Like Aldo Leopold, I believe that our acceptance of animal equality is as important as controlling human population and global warming if ever we hope to form a sustainable culture on this planet. Respecting chimpanzee rights is a step in the right direction. The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) is preparing other cases. I believe Elephant freedom will be next. Click this link for the Animal Bill of Rights and other legal information.

Here’s the film trailer. The film synopsis follows.

Synopsis, Unlocking the Cage

“Unlocking the Cage follows animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. After thirty years of struggling with ineffective animal welfare laws, Steve and his legal team, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), are making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform an animal from a thing with no rights to a person with legal protections.

“Supported by affidavits from primatologists around the world, Steve maintains that, based on scientific evidence, cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins, and elephants have the capacity for limited personhood rights (such as bodily liberty) that would protect them from physical abuse.  Using writs of habeas corpus (historically used to free humans from unlawful imprisonment), Wise argues on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State.

“Unlocking the Cage captures a monumental shift in our culture, as the public and judicial system show increasing receptiveness to Steve’s impassioned arguments. It is an intimate look at a lawsuit that could forever transform our legal system, and one man’s lifelong quest to protect “nonhuman” animals.”  –Source: Unlocking The Cage.

Carnivores in the Crosshairs (H.J. Res. 69)

GR:  This type of management (eliminate predators to please human hunters) is more than just a crime against nature; it’s a foolish plan that has failed many times before. Predator and prey populations go through natural cycles. When people interfere, we can’t predict what will happen. It would be better to hand all the hunters a camera and challenge them to get some unique photos.

The Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule is under siege, and the consequences could be dire for bears and wolves in the state.

“You may have heard about H.J. Res. 69, a dangerous bill that jeopardizes bears, wolves and other carnivores by tossing out the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule. This legislation is set to hit the Senate floor any day now, and its enactment could have drastic implications for wildlife in Alaska and public lands management nationwide.

The Low-Down on H.J. Res 69

“H.J. Res. 69 would overturn the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule, which the Obama administration issued last year to conserve native carnivores, including bears, wolves and their young, on as many as 76 million acres of national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The timing of when this rule was finalized matters significantly, as its fate is now subject to the Congressional Review Act (CRA)—you can read more about that here.

“Legislators and their special interest allies already jammed H.J. Res. 69 through the House of Representatives, despite strong bipartisan opposition that labeled it as “The Killing Baby Animals in Alaska Act.” The Senate is currently considering whether to bring this harmful bill up for a vote.

Threatening Wildlife in Their Home

“Without the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule in place, the state of Alaska could pursue its scientifically indefensible predator control program on these federal lands. This controversial program allows the killing of mother bears and their cubs, killing wolves and their pups in their dens, and trapping, baiting and using airplanes to scout and shoot bears. The state’s goal is to drive down carnivore numbers to artificially inflate populations of game species.” –Defenders of Wildlife (Continue reading:  Carnivores in the Crosshairs – Defenders of Wildlife Blog.)

Sydney Seafood Store Convicted of Animal Cruelty for Inhumane Treatment of Lobsters

GR:  I find it delightful that law protects these sentient creatures from cruelty. Let this idea spread and it will transform our society into a much happier, stable, sustainable civilization.

“A popular seafood store in Sydney, Australia, was charged with animal cruelty for its treatment of lobsters, resulting in the first animal cruelty conviction in New South Wales (NSW) involving crustaceans. In both the U.S. and Australia, no matter how horrendously they are treated, it is rare for criminal cruelty charges to be brought in cases involving animals who are considered “food.” This is especially true when those animals are non-vertebrates, making this case particularly notable.

“The conviction of Nicholas Seafood resulted from an inspection by the NSW Royal Society for the Prevention of Animals (RSPCA) after it obtained video showing a worker butchering a lobster alive with no attempt to render the animal unconscious beforehand, in violation of NSW’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The video shows a lobster struggling to escape during the dismembering process, remaining alive after the animal’s tail is cut off—which according to the RSCPA does not kill but causes immense pain—and before being put through a band saw.

“The RSPCA issued a fine, but Nicholas Seafood decided to take the matter to court, resulting in the conviction of an Act of Animal Cruelty and a $1,500 fine. The company has said its staff have now been properly trained to kill the lobsters in a manner considered “humane” according to government guidelines.

“Whether crustaceans are covered under animal cruelty laws depends on how the specific legislation defines “animal.” There is no national animal protection law in Australia, but each state or territory has its own law protecting animals. Some restrict the definition of animal to vertebrates, but others, including NSW, include crustaceans in that definition. Crustaceans were added to NSW’s Prevention of Animal Cruelty Act in 1997 “after it was medically proven they feel pain.” In contrast to the vertebrate species included in the law, crustaceans are only covered when being prepared as food.” –Nicole Pallotta (Continue reading:  Sydney Seafood Store Convicted of Animal Cruelty for Inhumane Treatment of Lobsters | Animal Legal Defense Fund.)

‘It’s very scary in the forest’: Should Finland’s wolves be culled?

alaska-wolf-yva-momatiuk-and-john-eastcott-national-geographic-creative

Alaska wolf Yva Momatiuk-national-geographic-creative

GR: How can 235 wolves be too many when Finland has 5,500,000 humans? Does nature hold no value in our eyes? E. O. Wilson’s recommendation that we dedicate half of the Earth to wildlife would insure that moose, wolves, ravens, and other wildlife would survive, and so would we. The tiny part of the ecosystem these far-north creatures represent is an essential part of the natural processes that allow humans and other creatures to live on Earth. The alternative of a farm-and-concrete-covered world just isn’t sustainable and it’s not at all attractive.

The following article becomes more of a report than a question if you compare wolf kills to automobile kills or if you would like to preserve nature on Earth.

Moose antlers emerge from a frozen lake. Photograph: Davide Monteleone for the Guardian

“The story of a kill is told in the snow. On the Finnish island of Porosaari, we find the first paw print. “That’s a male,” says Asko Kettunen, retired border guard, hunter and tracker. How can he be sure? “It’s big.”

“Five ravens rise from dark pines, croaking in the icy silence; they will scavenge anything caught by the wolves. We wade through knee-deep snow. There’s a spot of vivid blood and a tuft of moose hair, cleanly cut, which Kettunen deduces has been ripped from a living animal. This, he says, is the moment the wolves made contact. First they try to puncture the intestines; if they succeed, the moose may run on, but the damage is done.

“We find moose tracks, each hoof print far apart: the animal was running. Kettunen points to wolf prints on either side, to where a second and third wolf joined the chase. There are blood spots and more hair and a pine sapling snapped in two. “The moose collided with a tree, so it was not that well,” Kettunen says, with Finnish understatement.

“There are spots of blood by every moose print now. Finally, up the hill, is the kill zone. A young moose has been reduced to two front legs and a skin detached precisely from the body, intestines that spill like butcher’s sausages and a mound of freshly chewed grass where its stomach once was. Kettunen thinks that five wolves feasted here the previous night. We find faeces and a curved bed of snow where a contented wolf took a postprandial doze.

“Finland has a wolf problem. Five and a half million humans share the country with an estimated 235 wolves, and that’s too many, say rural Finns, whose livestock and hunting dogs are being killed. Some parents are scared that wolves will attack their children. “Before, wolves were afraid of people,” Kettunen tells me. “Now people are afraid of wolves.” For the past three years, the government has assuaged these fears with a wolf cull. Last winter, 43 wolves were killed in a “management hunt”, while total fatalities numbered 78, including “problem” wolves shot by police and road casualties.” –Patrick Barkham (Continue reading:  ‘It’s very scary in the forest’: should Finland’s wolves be culled? | World news | The Guardian.)

Act now before entire species are lost to global warming, say scientists

GR:  The top two threats to species are habitat loss due to human farming and construction and the spread of invasive plants and animals. We have expected climate to catch up, and here is clear evidence that this is so. What can we do? Simple, stop destroying habitat, ignoring invasive species, and burning coal, oil, and gas. Simple to say, that is, but probably impossible to do.

“The impact of climate change on threatened and endangered wildlife has been dramatically underreported, with scientists calling on policymakers to act urgently to slow its effects before entire species are lost for good.

“New analysis has found that nearly half (47%) of the mammals and nearly a quarter (24.4%) of the birds on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species are negatively impacted by climate change – a total of about 700 species. Previous assessments had said only 7% of listed mammals and 4% of birds were impacted.

“Many experts have got these climate assessments wrong – in some cases, massively so,” said Dr James Watson of the University of Queensland, who co-authored the paper with scientists in the UK, Italy and the US.

“Published in the Nature Climate Change journal, the analysis of 130 studies reported between 1990 and 2015 painted a grim picture of the impact of the changing climate on birds and mammals already under threat.” –Elle Hunt (More:  Act now before entire species are lost to global warming, say scientists | Environment | The Guardian.)

Taking the Lives of Wolves

Without Respect for the Innocent

We kill by accident as we drive the roads we built over the woods and prairies, we kill by accident when we hide the land beneath houses and farms, and we kill on purpose when we seek excitement to end the life of a one-time enemy who is now our friend.  Here’s a poem by Mary de la Valette:

wolves-runningThey have run all day
With the Caribou,
Now, silvered shadows
On the moonlit tundra
They gather.
In one small last circle
They raise their heads
In ageless ritual
And sing.
A planetary, timeless howl.

And the wind
Takes their song
In her arms
And scatters it
Like silver rain
Over the earth.
And the last whales
Sing
For the wolves.
And the last elephants
Lift their great heads
And sing.
And all the earth’s children
Sing for the wolves
For they know
What tomorrow brings.

And the wolves
In their silver circle
Sing for life
Sing for the earth
Sing for t he Caribou
For they know
The men in helicopters
Wait.

And tomorrow
They will run with the caribou
Run for life.

By Mary de la Valette

romeo-the-black-wolf-of-alaska Nick Jans