“Cheetah tears”-a love story


How the cheetah got the lines down their face

(A Traditional Zulu Story)

Long ago a wicked and lazy hunter was sitting under a tree. He was thinking that it was too hot to be bothered with the arduous task of stalking prey through the bushes. Below him in the clearing on the grassy veld there were fat springbok grazing. But this hunter couldn’t be bothered, so lazy was he! He gazed at the herd, wishing that he could have the meat without the work, when suddenly he noticed a movement off to the left of the buck.cheetah tears

It was a female cheetah seeking food. Keeping downwind of the herd, she moved closer and closer to them. She singled out a springbok who had foolishly wandered away from the rest. Suddenly she gathered her long legs under her and sprang forward. With great speed she came upon the springbok and brought it down. Startled, the rest of the herd raced away as the cheetah quickly killed her prey.
The hunter watched as the cheetah dragged her prize to some shade on the edge of the clearing. There three beautiful cheetah cubs were waiting there for her. The lazy hunter was filled with envy for the cubs and wished that he could have such a good hunter provide for him. Imagine dining on delicious meat every day without having to do the actual hunting!

Then he had a wicked idea. He decided that he would steal one of the cheetah cubs and train it to hunt for him. He decided to wait until the mother cheetah went to the waterhole late in the afternoon to make his move. He smiled to himself.
When the sun began to set, the cheetah left her cubs concealed in a bush and set off to the waterhole. Quickly the hunter grabbed his spear and trotted down to the bushes where the cubs were hidden. There he found the three cubs, still to young to be frightened of him or to run away. He first chose one, then decided upon another, and then changed his mind again. Finally he stole them all, thinking to himself that three cheetahs would undoubtedly be better than one.

When their mother returned half-an-hour later and found her babies gone, she was broken-hearted. The poor mother cheetah cried and cried until her tears made dark stains down her cheeks. She wept all night and into the next day. She cried so loudly that she was heard by an old man who came to see what the noise was all about… To read the rest of the story click here.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.safariwest.com/cheetahtearstory
Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/aDr8Pi

“Rescue BamBam and change its name too!”


Bam Bam is an adorable 4 month old male Chihuahua and Terrier mix. He is currently at the Lancaster Shelter and unfortunately his time will be officially up this Monday, February 15th.  If he is not rescued or adopted by Monday, then he will be put to sleep. Please RT and network Bam Bam so that we can save his life!

Save this dog

I’m not exactly sure how Bam Bam ended up in the Lancaster Shelter but he is listed as having been exposed to Parvo.  Fortunately enough for Bam Bam, he seems to be just fine and healthy and has not shown any signs at all of Parvo the entire time he has been at the shelter (since Jan. 26th).  But even Bam Bam’s cute face and playful puppy nature has not been enough for anyone to adopt him.  Because he was exposed to Parvo, many people who have seen him in the shelter and are interested in adopting him, back out once they find out about it.  So now he is running out of time and only has until this Monday.  Is there a rescue or person out there who will take a chance on this young pup’s life?

If you’re interested in adopting or rescuing Bam Bam please contact the Lancaster Shelter at (661) 940-4191.  Bam Bam’s impound #/ID is A4080577.

Lancaster Shelter
5210 West Avenue I
Lancaster, CA 93536 Lancaster Shelter
5210 West Avenue I

Resource

Twit and Image courtesy of   http://twitwall.com for the Lancaster Shelter

“Save sea otters, whales, sea turtles and others Feb 11 deadline”


Oily otters, slimy sea turtles, oil soaked feathers, oil slicked marine wildlife and befouled beaches along America’s coasts

Is this our destiny.

New offshore drilling proposals in Alaska, Florida, California and Virginia threaten marine wildlife and local economies that depend on clean, healthy beaches.

Tell President Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force that you support responsible management of our ocean resources and OPPOSE offshore drilling that could threaten America’s vital coastal ecosystems.

Friday February 11 is the deadline for public comments.

Please sign this petition today.

Offshore oil spills could threaten sea otters, threatened and endangered sea turtles, a variety of marine birds and other wildlife with extinction.

If such a spill were to occur off the coast of California, threatened southern sea otters could be doomed to extinction. Likewise, a spill off Florida’s coasts could decimate the beach habitat that threatened and endangered fish and sea turtles that have been so hard hit with freezing coastal weather.

New offshore drilling activities and infrastructure could also hasten the extinction of American’s threatened polar bears and endangered bowhead whales. Click here to help.

Planned drilling by Shell would put a 514-foot-long drill ship and an armada of support vessels in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea — a vital hunting area for polar bears and key migratory route for bowhead whales. The noise and disturbance caused by such activities could disrupt whale migration and make the search for food even more difficult for polar bears that are already losing the sea ice they need to hunt and survive.

Help protect our ocean wildlife. Sign our petition and urge Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force to prioritize good science and wildlife protection as it decides how our coastal resources will be managed.

Unfortunately, overfishing, pollution, climate change and other threats have pushed our ocean resources to the brink. Careful planning is urgently needed, to protect our most treasured marine wildlife and the livelihoods of many that depend on the sealife for jobs and sustainance. The risks outway the temporary benefits of this oil.  Healthy, clean, sustainable oceans with support more life and a healthier economy for our future.

Please take a moment right now to sign our petition to Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force.

Our oceans stand at a crossroads, and we have a choice: responsible, science-based management of these precious places or oily otters and other wildlife and industrialized oceans.

It’s up to us to make our voices heard and ensure that the Obama administration makes the right choice for future generations. Please take action today.

Resources


Excerpts
courtesy of  https://secure.defenders.org

Image courtesy of   http://www.greenexpander.com/oilsoakedbird.jpg

“The Governor holds wolves in the crosshair in Utah”


Governor Herbert of Utah is the link holding the fate of the nonnative wolves in his hand . Seems Utah Senate passed and sent the bill on to the House of Representativesand to kill or relocate all migrating wolves that come through their state.  A major problem with this bill is it leaves the door wide open for the slaughter of even native wolves, because migrating wolves do not wear a visa to identify them.  Wolves come through Utah headed to Yellowstone, Colorado, Arizona and the Southern Rockies. This movement is needed to keep the gene pool healthy and keep the population numbers stabilizing.

Wolf in crosshairs in Utah again

This anti-wolf bill could pass as soon as this week and is backed by the misleadingly named Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife — the very same group whose Idaho chapter has been holding wolf-killing derbies to raise funds for anti-wolf litigation.

For twenty years now the wolf population has been returning to nearly normal levels, with Utah, Alaska leading the charge to wipe out wolves we must let Governor Herbert know that wolves are a vital link in the ecosystem.

Wolves play critical roles in their ecosystems. They keep prey, like elk and deer, moving so they do not over graze an area. Since the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, biodiversity has soared, as streamside areas have bounced back due to reduced grazing pressure form elk and deer. In turn, beaver populations have rebounded, providing healthy habitat for a wide range of birds and aquatic animals and plant life. The balance Mother Nature intended.

The bill now goes to the state house of representatives and, if approved there, would require the approval of Governor Gary Herbert.  If passed into law this bill would circumvent Utah’s Wolf Management Plan and violate the Endangered Species Act.

Please sign the petition to encourage the Governor to save the wolves before February 14. Make it a Happy Valentine’s Day for the wolves of Utah.

Stop wolf killing derbies.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   https://defenders.org

Petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction

Image courtesy of  Nature’s Crusaders library

“Coral reefs are the world’s underwater rainforests”


Coral are the rainforest of the ocean. Its reefs quickly create new species. The biodiversity of life on the reef is comparable to the multiplicity of life forms in the rainforests. There are 30 of 34 known animal phyla living on the reef. About 2800 species of fish are known to live in the reef region. Of the 500 or so species of reef building corals found throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans, about 350 are known to be on the Barrier Reef. It could be decades before scientists have a complete list of all the plants and animals found on any one reef. Many species are still to be identified and named. Preserving and nurturing the coral will protect the entire food chain and our web of life as we know it.

In the richest of all regions of coral reef development (central Indo-Pacific), a single acre of coral reef habitat may harbor many types of marine algae, hundreds of brightly hued fish species, and thousands of different kinds of invertebrate animals. Coral reefs are the largest living structure on the planet.

500 million years ago the first coral reef grew. Now the world’s coral reefs are in crisis

The economic importance of maintaining a healthy coral and pollution free coastal shoreline cannot be under estimated:

1. Coral reefs cover are home to 25% of all marine fish species.
2. 500 million people rely on coral reefs for their food and livelihoods.
3. Coral reefs form natural barriers that protect nearby shorelines from the eroding forces of the sea, thereby protecting coastal dwellings, agricultural land and beaches.
4. Coral reefs, protect parts of Florida from be submerged.
5. Medicines made coral have been used in the treatment of cancer, HIV, cardiovascular diseases and ulcers.
6. Corals’ porous limestone skeletons have been used for human bone grafts.
7. It is estimated that coral reefs provide $375 billion per year around the world in goods and services.

Threats to the world’s coral reefs include:
1. Pollution -waste products from gasoline and oil, trash, plastic, cans, bottles, cosmetics, human carelessness, agriculture waste run off
2. Disease – bacterial, white pox, band and rapid wasting disease, coral bleaching, shedding – a sick environment equals sick coral
3. Over-fishing -destroying the food chain by taking all the largest fish and other sea creatures
4. Dynamite and cyanide fishing  especially in the Far East -Indonesia, Phillipines, Malasia, China, Japan
5. Sedimentation – muddy freshwater enters the sea by realizing that gaps in continuous fringing and offshore reefs faced the river mouths.
6. Bleaching caused by rising ocean temperatures from global warming

Healthy coral

If the present rate of destruction continues:

a. 70% of the world’s coral reefs will be destroyed by the year 2050.
b.  25% of coral reefs have already disappeared and an estimated two-thirds of all coral reefs are at risk today.1
c. 88% of the reefs in Southeast Asia – the most species rich reefs on earth – are at risk.
d. Since 1975, more than 90% of the reefs in the Florida Keys have lost their living coral cover.

Only we can change this destruction

  1. Take care and help clean up the our streams, shores, ocean and all waterways.
  2. Decreasing our carbon footprint
  3. When diving being respectful of the environment and staying off the coral.
  4. Take pictures of coral for souvenirs.
  5. Refusing to buy fish that are harvested by in long lines, dynamiting or cynanide poisoning ( the last two methods are from the Far East).
  6. Recycle, reuse and take trash home for proper discard on land, lake , stream, the seashore or ocean.

Support organizations that are helping protect the coral reef and sealife. Get involved.

Coral reefs are a world treasure. Our economic and health depend on them staying healthy.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.terradaily.com//Coral_reefs_quickly_create.html

Excerpts courtesy of  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeast_Asian_coral_reefs

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.barrierreefaustralia.com/great-barrier-reef-info2.html

Excerpts courtesy of   http://www.nature.org/joinanddonate/rescuereef/explore/facts.html

Image courtesy of  http://images.google.com/foodweb

Image courtesy of  http://www.uncwil.edu/bio/images/JRPBahamasspongesandcoral.jpg

“Kutai the Super Bowl soothsayer cousins dying back home”


Although Oregon Zoo’s youngest orangutan, Kutai, has predicted the winner of the football game in four out of five of the previous Super Bowl, it cannot predict the survival of its mates in the Kutai National Park East Kalimantan, Borneo Indonesia.

Does this orangutan mama look like yours?

While you are reading this and the forest home of Kutai’s cousins the National Park is beng destroyed. In 2004, the number of orangutans in the area, numbered 600 individuals has fallen to only 30-60 individuals today, due to massive destruction of the national park. The ones left are now living isolated in the Prevab – Mentoko block by the Kaltim Prima Coal mine by the Sengata/Papa Charlie river.

The Center Orangutan Protection (COP) urges the Commission for Corruption Eradication (CCE) to immediately enforce the law.  It seems that corrupt greedy officials with their eyes totally on lining their pockets are selling off the preserve for a variety of “development” projects. If the CCE has not been bought out or their heads are not buried in the sand, they need to enforce the law.
More and more local people need to be helped to find work protecting their lands so the children of the future can still have a tropical forested home to enjoy.  COP’s education program aimed at raising awareness among young people on the importance of saving orangutan. COP is developing a curriculum to integrate with schools’ core subjects.

Not only should these “officials” be jailed, but steps are needed immediately by folks that love orangutans, other wildlife and tropical forests must work together through international wildlife groups to  help the Center for Orangutan Protection stop this slaughter and destruction of these world treasures.

To save the last population of Orangutan sub species morio (Pongo Pygmaeus Morio) in Kutai National Park, East Kalimantan, the Center for Orangutan Protection (COP) urges the Commission for Corruption Eradication to immediately enforce the law. The number of orangutans in the area, which was 600 individuals in 2004, has fallen to only 30-60 individuals at present, due to massive destruction of the national park. The ones left are now living in the Prevab – Mentoko block separated from the Kaltim Prima Coal mine by the Sengata/Papa Charlie river.

COP invite fresh graduate school students and local NGO activists to attend courses to learn any communication skills like campaign, photography, filming, blogging and   writing. We believe that communication skills will much more useful to help participant and their environment.

Resources
Excerpts
courtesy of  http://www.kptv.com and http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100206/ap
Excerpts courtesy of  http://naturealert.blogspot.com/2009/05/in-crisis-orangutan-population-in-kutai.html
Image courtesy of NatuRe’s Crusaders files for illustration purposes only.

“Needed camel drivers with boats and $$$”


Australia is swamped by camel orders and the numbers keep going up
After many Nature and news correspondents wrote about the million wild camels up for slaughter/culling in the Outback of Australia Australian producers are being swamped with requests for live camels and camel meat, especially from the Middle East, after a soaring wild population prompted a government cull, companies said.
There have been hundreds of requests but no ship to transport them. The transport fees make the cost very high.

Strong foreign demand could save camels from being culled, but warned that the animals were too tall for conventional ships used to carry cattle. Who has ships that could transport these camels?
Left unchecked these feral camels will negatively impact on the environment
Camels feed on more than 80% of the available plant species. Degradation of the environment occurs when densities exceed two animals per km  squared, which is presently the case throughout much of their range in the Northern Territory where they are confined to two main regions: the Simpson Desert and fringing pastoral properties, and the western desert area comprised of the Central Ranges, Great Sandy Desert and Tanami Desert.

Some traditional food plants harvested by Aboriginal people in these areas are seriously affected by camel browsing. While having soft-padded feet makes soil erosion less likely, feral camels do have a noticeable impact on salt lake ecosystems, foul waterholes and destabilise dune crests which contributes to erosion.
The current population is doubling approximately every nine years and there is evidence that impacts will increase along with the population. The significant damage that camels have done, and are currently doing, to the fragile ecosystems, cultural sites, isolated communities, and pastoral enterprises of desert Australia has gone largely unnoticed by the bulk of Australia’s population.

The effects on built infrastructure may be severe, as camels may sometimes destroy taps, pumps and even toilets as a means to obtain water, particularly in times of severe drought. They also damage stock fences and cattle watering points. These effects are felt particularly in Aboriginal and other remote communities where the costs of repairs is prohibitive.

The problem with invading camels searching for water has become great enough that the Australian authorities have planned to eradicate as many as 6,000 camels that has become a nuisance in the community Docker River, where the camels have caused severe damages in their search for food and water.

Resources
Excerpts
courtesy of   http://www.seeddaily.com/Australia_swamped_by_camel_orders.html
Excerpts courtesy of   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_feral_camel
Image courtesy of   http://www.seeddaily.com

“Why must we save these endangered animals and forests?”


Our future as a species may be tied to saving these animals and forests from extinction.

Besides the beauty and the uniqueness of these ancient animals and forests, scientists are finding that
1. Leatherback turtle blood clots quickly so sharks can not detect their scent after being injured. This  may help scientists unravel clues to stem bleeding in humans. After surgery or injury, bleeding can cause death if not quickly stopped.

2. Cheetah’s are the fastest land animal. Their muscle protein structure may help understand their speed and help in muscle rehabilitation after an accident.

Cheetahs may run free in India

3. The naked mole rat is being studied for his longevity and extended family structure.

4. Leatherback turtles, the biggest species of turtle, can dive deeper than other turtles, leading experts to wonder how they regulate buoyancy. That and the shape of their shells could give clues to submarine or ship design.
5. Honey bee sting is used to decrease pain in joints from arthritis.
6. Frogs and lizards feet and a spider’s webs are being studied for their stickiness and its strength.
7. Tropical forests soak up greenhouse gases and are the treasure house for plants used to heal and a new source of income for poor nations.

Conserving endangered animals, sea life, the oceans, wetlands, forests and the air we breathe may take on such economic value that we will do whatever it takes to save them and us.

Resources


Excerpts
courtesy of   http://www.reuters.com

Images 1 and 3. courtesy of Nature’s Crusaders library

Image 2. courtesy of   http://costaricanconservationnetwork.wordpress.com/leatherback.jpg

“First time environmental education santioned by Feds”


Environmental literacy in the U.S. Department of Education budget for the very first time.

President Obama and Secretary Duncan have made innovation and student achievement a major platform of the Obama Administration and as a result have included environmental literacy in a new program. The proposed budget includes a new       $1.0 billion for Effective Teaching and Learning for a Complete Education program designed to improve instruction to support college- and career readiness standards, in part through the use of technology to deliver high-quality content. The new program includes 3 components:

  • Literacy: $450 million, an increase of $36.7 million, to consolidate 7 existing Elementary and Secondary Education Act programs into a new program that would help States and local education authorities improve literacy skills by supporting professional development and improved instructional materials.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): $300 million, an increase of $119.5 million, or 66 percent, to expand the Federal investment in improved teaching and learning of STEM disciplines, especially in high-need schools and school systems, and prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers.
  • A Well-Rounded Education: $265 million, an increase of $38.9 million, or 17 percent, to consolidate 7 current authorities and expand support for the subjects important to a complete curriculum, including: history, the arts, foreign languages, environmental literacy, and economic and financial literacy.

What does it mean?  In the short term, it means that we can expect President Obama’s education bill (Elementary and Secondary Education Act, formerly known as No Child Left Behind) to include language from the No Child Left Inside Act, which will help force the hand of Congress, where we already have 87 House cosponsors and 17 Senate cosponsors.

We still have a great deal of work to do, and we will continue to count on you to take action and stay involved. In the meantime, congratulations to all of you—you made this happen!

“Advancing the environmental literacy of our students is key to addressing today’s increasingly complex environmental and related economic, social, natural resource, and energy issues,” said Don Baugh, Director of the No Child Left Inside Coalition. “It will not only better prepare students for college and the 21st Century workforce, but help to combat childhood obesity and related health problems by getting kids outside to learn about the natural world.  On behalf of our entire 1,500 member Coalition, I commend the President and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for recognizing the critical role that environmental education plays in preparing our students for the green economy.”

One giant step for environmental betterment at a time.  Thank You!

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.cbf.org

Image courtesy of  http://www.psychologytoday.com/Outdoor_adventure.jpg

“Lime in the coconut -no it is an octopus!”


Nature’s Crusaders welcomes the first cephalopod Amphioctopus marginatus to use a tool. Not like a hammer,  but this octopus adopts coconut shells from the muddy shallow sea bottom and makes itself a portable home by putting one shell below its body and one or more above it . Then it anchors its body to half of the coconut shell below by suction.

With its legs extended over the bottom shell, the octopus proceeds to tip toe across the muddy bottom on its eight legs. The Coconut Octopus would be more vulnerable to predators in shallower waters, so it carries these shells for protection and camouflage.
To see this amazing octopus in action click here.

Resources


Excerpts
courtesy of  National Geographic

Excerpts courtesy of  http://blogs.discovermagazine.com

Image courtesy of   http://wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/Octopus_marginatus.jpg

Video courtesy of  http://www.youtube.com

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