World’s Last Remaining Tigers Live Under Severe Threat of Extinction

GR: Our grandchildren will probably see the last of the wild apes, elephants, giraffes, lions, and tigers. We humans are eliminating Earth’s wild animals. Though some of us might feel remorse, most of us are more concerned with our daily routine: struggling to acquire wealth, satisfying desires, interacting with family and friends, and shopping at Amazon and Walmart (our leaders are like the rest of us except they wouldn’t be caught dead in Walmart). Last week there was a teacup storm over the raw truth of climate change. The true disaster is the careless and relentless destruction of nature in which human-caused climate change joins farming, fishing, hunting, dumping, and urbanization as an instrument of nature’s destruction. Can anything stop the human juggernaut’s inexorable destruction of nature? It appears that, like an avalanche, it will continue until all human potential is gone. Sad.

“The world’s last remaining tigers are living under severe threat of extinction, having lost 93 percent of their historical range and suffered a population crash of 95 percent during the past century.

“The major threat to their continued existence on Earth is poaching to meet the high demand in Asia for their parts and derivatives.

“This demand is exacerbated by the legal trade in lion bone, so it was with dismay that the Environmental Investigation Agency witnessed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) 17th Conference of the Parties last year decide to allow South Africa to export up to 800 lion skeletons a year—as long as the lions were sourced from captive breeding facilities in South Africa.

“Ahead of next week’s 29th meeting of the CITES Animals Committee, in Geneva, Switzerland, the Environmental Investigation Agency has produced the detailed briefing The Lion’s Share: South Africa’s trade exacerbates demand for tiger parts and derivatives outlining the threat.” –Environmental Investigation Agency (Continue: World’s Last Remaining Tigers Live Under Severe Threat of Extinction.)

How This Tanzanian Musician Made Ivory a National Campaign Issue

GR: Individual activists are important spark plugs for nature conservation and wildlife protection. Here’s a great example.

Shubert Mwarabu promotes the grassroots campaign to save Tanzania’s elephants at a festival in Iringa, in the southern highlands. PHOTOGRAPH BY MOHAMED MVUMBAGU, FEMINA HIP

“Until Shubert Mwarabu saw a photograph of an elephant with its face hacked and bloodied, poaching was an abstraction. He didn’t know anything about ivory trafficking, or even what ivory was used for. That was in 2011, and the Tanzanian musician was 25.

“The photo had a powerful impact on him, and from then on, he says, he threw himself into the fight to save Tanzania’s elephants.Mwarabu, who previously had organized clubs in primary schools for advocating against child abuse, now started school conservation clubs. He composed songs about protecting elephants. His first, called “Let’s Talk About Poaching,” or “Tupige Vita Ujangili” in KiSwahili, was played on Tanzania’s national radio station.

“His efforts have been noticed in Tanzania and beyond. The California-based nonprofit Generation Awakening, which works to support young environmental activists, appointed him their first country ambassador.

“In October 2013, Mwarabu launched a one-man campaign, naming it Me Against Poaching, to show that change can come from a single person.

“Now he’s leading the first organized citizen campaign to lobby the Tanzanian government to halt the ivory trafficking that has made this East African country ground zero in the slaughter of Africa’s elephants. Okoa Tembo wa Tanzania, “Save Tanzania’s Elephants,” succeeded in making conservation an election issue in the hotly contested presidential race, Mwarabu says.” –Maraya Cornell (How This Tanzanian Musician Made Ivory a National Campaign Issue)

WATCH on the original post: A video aired in 2013 shows investigative journalist Aidan Hartley attempting to gain access to a maximum-security warehouse in Tanzania that holds perhaps the world’s largest cache of raw ivory. Maintaining this stockpile is expensive. Moreover it can’t legally be sold. So why not follow Kenya’s example and burn it!

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.)

Ring-Tailed Lemur Populations Have Crashed by 95 Percent

GR: Sad times if you care for wildlife. The researchers explain that Ring-Tailed Lemurs declined to this point with no outcry because no one was watching. Around the world at this crucial time for wildlife, there are too few scientists monitoring populations. “The two most prolific Lemur researchers, Alison Jolly and Robert Sussman, have died and we are the only descendants with active research in Madagascar,” said researcher Tara A. Clarke of the organization Lemur Love.

Credit: Eric Kilby Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

“Madagascar’s beloved ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) have all but disappeared from many of the island nation’s forests. According to two worrying new studies, the species’ population has fallen to between 2,000 and 2,400 animals—a shocking 95 percent decrease since the year 2000.

“To put that number in context, there are now fewer ring-tailed lemurs living in the wild than there are living in zoos around the world.

“Factors driving the decline include rapid habitat loss, hunting, and the illegal pet trade, according to a paper published last month in the journal Primate Conservation and a second paper published today in Folia Primatologica.

“The situation is so bad that many ring-tailed lemur sub-populations now contain fewer than 30 individuals. In addition, the animals have completely disappeared from at least 15 sites they once called home.

“The now-empty forests are “very sad, quiet and dusty,” says Marni LaFleur, lead author of the second paper and a co-director of the conservation organization Lemur Love. “There was a thick layer of crunchy leaf litter on the ground, and dust on top. Some trees were heavy with ripe and rotten fruits. Without birds or mammals to consume them, the untouched fruits just rot in and around the trees. Normal aspects of a forest, which as a biologist I have a fairly keen eye for—footprints, scat, bite marks, sleeping spots, calls—are absent.” John R. Platt

(Continue reading: Ring-Tailed Lemur Populations Have Crashed by 95 Percent – Scientific American Blog Network.)