“Hopping to Camelot -Bristol Zoo”


With one third to one half of all amphibian species around the world  threatened with extinction and more than 160 species lost in the last decade alone, a Sir Lancelot is needed if the world is going to “hop” with success.

The extinction crisis is mainly due to man’s destruction of amphibians’ natural habitats, but in a deadly combination with pollution and climate change, they now face an even bigger and deadlier threat – a fungal disease called Amphibian chytrid.
This killer Chytrid fungi, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, (Bd) is steadily spreading throughout the world and is a major factor in the decline of amphibian population on every continent.

Saving endangered lemur leaf frogs


Who will save the hopping damsels in distress?

Golden mantella frog

Enter the Bristol Zoo in London. It has become the Sir Lancelot for two critically endangered  rain forest frog species. The Lemur Leaf Frog and the Golden Mantella Frog will live in the Camelot of amphibian enclosures the Amphipod.

This Camelot love shack  will  encourage breeding in a “safe house” until the threat from the fungus declines in the world. That may take 100 years, but the frogs hopefully will survive.
The building will be managed like a quarantine facility, that will keep frogs safe and away from any threat of disease,while allowing their keepers the opportunity to provide the specialized care needed.

Bristol Zoo believes if each zoo in Europe could save one or two species that would  save hundreds of endangered species that might otherwise be lost. Raising funds to build AmphiPod took nearly a year. Bristol Zoo says it still needs around $45,000 to run the facility for the next three years.

Will you help? Click here.

The Lemur Leaf frog (Hylomantis lemur) from Panama and Costa Rica and Madagascar’s Golden Mantella frog (Mantella aurantiaca). According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Leaf frog has lost 80 percent of its population in the past 10 years, largely because of the chytrid fungus. The Mantella frog lives in a tiny habitat less than 10 square kilometers ( 3.9 sq. miles) in size, which is rapidly being destroyed along with most of Madagascar’s biodiversity-rich forests.

For these very lucky frogs, hopefully it be a paradise where their numbers will increase and multiply and once again fill the earth.

Nature’s Crusaders helping to save our world one inspired person at a time.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/bUJUtm

Image 1. courtesy of    http://bit.ly/bKCb5q

Image 2. courtesy of   http://bit.ly/9snqym


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“Orcas’ behavior can become aggressive in captivity”


Being the apex predator in the oceans,  very intelligent  a groupie by nature -it lives in pods,  to be forced to live in a tank in isolation and only let out for training, shows and mating goes against its very nature. This is the life of  Tilikum the oldest a 30-year-old, 6-ton male orca that has fathered the most offspring.
Many orcas get sick in captivity. Dorsal fin collapse seen in 60–90% of captive males. This male (Tilikum), at SeaWorld Orlando, Florida  has a collapsed dorsal fin. Most male captive killer whales, and some females, have a dorsal fin that is partially or completely collapsed to one side. This is caused by a collapse of the collagen structure in the fin. Collagen is the strong flexible structure that gives our nose its shape. Some orcas in the wild have the same problem just less frequently.
The captive environment usually bears little resemblance to their wild habitat. Captive life is stressful due to small tanks, false social groupings, increases disease potential, isolation and chemically altered water. To relieve their stress, captive killer whales may get aggressive toward themselves, other killer whales, or humans. Captive orcas often give birth at a much younger age than in the wild, and the young mothers may have difficulty raising their offspring, because they have no models to learn from. Thus calves born to these mothers have a relatively low survival rate.
Even though the orcas are feed enough food, it lacks the quality of live in the ocean surrounded and caught by the pod.  Their diet in the wild varies depending on what is available, and may include fish, walruses, seals, sea lions, penguins, squid, sea turtles, sharks and whales.
Considering man cannot duplicate the natural habitat of these predators, we should leave them in the ocean and try to rewild those that came from the ocean and not bring any more into these artificial environments. This is not a guarantee that these domesticated animals can succeed in the ocean. Remember flipper his rewilding was a failure, because he never learned how to hunt or dive deep enough to survive and was never accepted into a pod.
Never forget these are wild animals that deserve a home big enough and healthy enough to support their longevity. Leave orcas in the ocean.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://theboxhouston.com/brandigarcia/killer-whale

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

Excerpts courtesy of  http://news.discovery.com/killer-whale-attack-explanation.html

Image courtesy of  http://myanimalblog.files.wordpress.com/orca.jpg

“Rewilding can it save the cheetahs?”


Cheetahs seem to have originated in the United States in the  Texas, Nevada, and Wyoming area. They spread through Europe, Asia and Africa, were nearly wiped out with the last Ice Age, approximately 10,000 years ago. It is thought that only 500 might have survive. From the those few cheetahs, the current stock of cheetah.

cheetahs hunting

The present world population of cheetahs are derived from inbreeding by those very few surviving populations and closely related animals. This has created the weak genetic traits in the living cheetah population today. Cheetahs no matter which of the four subspecies are more closely related than identical twins. Studies have shown that there is less than one percent difference in DNA between the subspecies. Human genetic diversity is about thirty-seven percent diversity.

The smallest of the large cats, and one of the most endangered. Without a doubt, the imminent threat of extinction is due to man’s direct interference. People hunt cheetahs as pests,  for house pets, trophies and its fur. People have decimate this beautiful animals food supply to support livestock, and convert their habitat to farmland. People are the reason that cheetah numbers are falling today.
Cheetahs are in need of a booster shot  from several areasIf there were a magic wand:

  • the genes  pool of the cheetahs needs increasing through crosses with genes from ancient relatives.
  • Cheetah mothers in the wild by nature are solitary so the cubs are vulnerable when mom goes hunting. Maybe closer monitoring can help save them.
  • Cheetahs have great speed, but do not have the strength of other big cats in their jaws, so they cannot compete with the lions for territory or food. Protected areas maybe the only answer for this weakened species. Not economically practical though.

As long as the adults stay in the wild, they seem to stay healthy.

  • Keeping them in captivity tends to increase diseases in these cats.
  • The sperm have a low viability so artificial insemination results are not impressive.
  • Mating in captivity yields poor results.

Rewilding has not been very successful or wide spread, somehow this may hold the key to increasing their numbers.
Surrogate semi wild mothers for abandoned cubs may help the cubs learn survival skills and finally be released back to the wild.

There are several groups in Africa working with cheetahs and the people that live on the cheetah lands. Education is making inroads with the farmers and helping development economic alternatives is helping to save the lives of many cheetah cubs and adults.

Wild verses pet cheetahs

If cheetahs are to survive man and cheetah must learn to coexist. Don’t let this cheetah ( pictured on the right)  be the only memory the next generation has of this beautiful endangered cat.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/dhR8XY

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/9Rg6E0

Image courtesy of  Nature’s Crusaders library

Image courtesy of  http://bit.ly/bpO1sK

“Operation Helicopter Rescue at National Radio Observatory”


Green Bank National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) the oldest national observatory in the US became Ground Zero for Operation Helicopter Rescue.
When you work in science you must be prepared for everything. It is a common occurrence when studying the stars in the heavens to observe various shooting stars and meteors falling out of the heavens. Nothing quite prepared the staff at the observatory to become assistants and support staff for one military Black Hawk helicopter rescue and the repair of another.

Rescue based at NRAO

On February 19, 2010 A National Guard Blackhawk helicopter took flight from the NRAO airstrip after being repaired Friday morning on its way to the crash site of a downed training Navy helicopter near the Randolph County line Greenbank, Pocahontas County, West Virginia.

The downed chopper was part of a training mission, carried 14 Navy personnel and three members of the West Virginia National Guard. It went down in more than four feet of snow.

Back to the story…
The National Guard Rescue copter landed at the observatory, because they were running out of fuel and needed minor repairs. After the emergency landing the crew ran into staff from the Observatory leaving for the day. Since the observatory has kitchen and dormitory facilities besides nearness to fire rescue services this chance landing became the ideal recovery and warm overnight facilities for the rescue mission. Scientists not only care about stars , but people too.  The facilities were offered to the military for their use. There were 17 people needing rescue.

The National Guard used the NRAO offices as their main base of operation and a make-shift hotel in the 60 bed bunk house and chow  hall on site. A cafeteria worker at the observatory, volunteered to prepare meals. She made lentil soup, chili, hot ham and cheese sandwiches and plenty of coffee. Six observatory employees offered their help in setting up the dorm to house the military personnel and worked with them on the search effort.
 By using sleds local search and rescue crews joined the National Guard and worked through the night to transported all 17 victims off the mountain.

The more severely injured were transported individually by sled with only a rescue worker. All others were transported down the hill in groups.
The sleds met up with a small snow groomer, a track-wheeled vehicle used on ski slopes, which then took them to a larger groomer waiting nearby. The large groomer, which was outfitted with a heated rear section, transported the injured to a group of ambulances waiting about a mile

snow groomer to the rescue

away from the Fire and Rescue team’s Snowshoe area station house.

By 12:30 p.m. Friday Mission Observatory Rescue was complete and all were safe.

“Thanks everyone for your help.” – Nature’s Crusaders

Resources

Excerpts and Image 1. courtesy of   http://bit.ly/9Zd8Wi

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/aEpkzo

Image 2. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/daKmwt


“Turning back time to sanction commercial whaling”


A return to commercial whale going backwards in time
This is a compromise?

There are compromises then there are ridiculous compromises.
The draft Consensus Decision by the Small Working Group on the Future of IWC that would allow only the countries that currently take whales under the “research” provisions of the treaty to hunt them under the proposed management regime. Japan, Norway, Iceland,  and the Faroe Islands, which together kill some 1,500 + whales a year. would be allowed to continue.

IWC wants to saction whaling

The draft proposal would bring whaling by all 88 member countries under the control of the IWC. Currently, the IWC has no control over whaling under objection/reservation to the treaty or whaling under special permit, the so-called “research whaling.
The IWC proposes caps on the number of whales to be taken that are “within sustainable levels” for a 10 year period. Sounds good, but most quotas are not decided. The draft comments that catches would be reduced “significantly” from current levels.

Japan annually in Antarctic plan to take 900 minke whales, which are not an endangered species, and another 50 endangered fin whales.
However in 2009, Japan only killed 679 minke whales and one fin whale over a five-month stay in the Antarctic region, playing war games with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Japan’s goal had been to kill up to 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales.

Who is behind this sudden change in course from being an advisory commission to controlling whaling around the world by reversing the hands of time and sanctioning whaling again. Leave these ancient mammals in the sea.
The IWC proposal states that a fundamental component of the Consensus Decision is that the commission will “focus on the recovery of depleted whale stocks and take actions on key issues, including by-catch, climate change and other environmental threats.”
Resources

Excerpts and Image courtesy of   http://www.ens-newswire.com

“Japanese whalers know not what they do”


For the love of the whales and dolphins

So Sea Shephard’s infamous Captain Pete Bethune has done the ultimate risky PR move, to save the Southern Right and Minke whales of the Antarctic Ocean, he has quit blocking the Shonan Maru II and climbed aboard their vessel. Not once, but twice.

Captain Pete Betune

He got thrown into the sea when he boarded the first time. Persistence pays I guess and he some how got aboard and made it into the captains quarters. Why did he enter the lion’s den you ask?
Well, after they rammed his ship and destroyed it, he went aboard to make a citizen’s arrest and ask for compensation for his 3 million dollar ship!

So the captain had him thrown in the brig and will be returning with the crew to Japan. So until they get their quota of slaughtered whales for “research”, he will have free room and board in the other teams camp.
No one yet knows if he will be brought to trial when they return.

Looking for momma

Seems that both sides have joined forces to promote the ban on whaling, because the amount of PR the capture of this “pirate” at sea is focusing on the antiquated barbarism – this slaughter at sea will speed the ending of this practice.

Even now, one more country, New Zealand is telling Japan that if diplomacy doesn’t work to encourage them to end this practice, then they too may join the team of countries taking them to World Court later this year.
The strange thing is no one should be eating whale meat. Whale and dolphin meat is so filled with toxins that feeding your children this meat is certain to increase their potential cancer risks.
So what is the point? -$$$$
None of the fishermen or officials that line their pockets with the bloody toxic profits from whaling cares about the health or future of their country. Very sad. Please send them peace, they know not what they do.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://www.nzherald.co.nz

Image 1. courtesy of   http://www.abc.net.au.jpg

Image 2. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/9P3geQ

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

“Aussie Toad Wars-battle rages Meat ants vs Cane toads-ants winning “


In the wild west of Western Australia the toad wars are on. The Cane toads are still winning the battle for territory against humans, animals and plants. The imported toxic Cane toad is the nemesis of the environment and is spreading across Australia.

Cat food to the rescue

Humans are leading the attack against the poisonous  Cane toads on many fronts but their efforts have failed.
They have tried battering, gasing, shooting, running over and even freezing the toxic toads out of existence, but  scientists say just a spoon full of Whiskas could stop the warty horde. When fighting a predator war one must fight with another predator or the toads will continue to win the Toad Wars. Their poison kills all comers. The toads reproduce prolifically, eat anything, are incredibly tough, secrete poison that kills pets and wildlife and injure humans. They have withstood various campaigns to wipe them out.

Now an enterprising Aussie research team lead by Professor Shine has discovered a secret weapon to use against the toads. It seems that the newly emerged baby toads are extreemily vulnerable to Meat ant attacks.

Meat Ants or Gravel ants are the most abundant ant in Australia and measures up to 1 cm long. They build large nests underground and use sand, gravel or dead vegetation to line the surface around the nest entrance. The worker ants have powerful jaws and communicate using chemical signals. The workers are very aggressive and often attack in large numbers when they feel the vibrations of an intruder. Meat Ants do not sting but do have a nasty bite and can discharge a defensive chemical which really smells awful. Meat ants are omnivores eating plants and animals. The look for food during daylight hours.  Australian farmers sometimes use the ants as a quick and easy way to remove an animal carcass by placing the dead animal over a nest. Within a few weeks the ants would have stripped the carcass to bones.

Meat ants to the rescue Toad Wars take new turn

Now back to the Toad Wars

So cat food is placed near the shores of the emerging young cane toads. The ants being meat eaters are attracted by the smell of cat food find it a short “hop” (pun intended) to go from eating canned to dining on raw meat. The toads freeze when bitten by the ants rather than flee so the ants are treated to fine  toad a la cart.  Humans and the ants are happy.
Toad mortalities has increased by fourfold with the addition of cat food baits.
Meat ants have already killing millions of cane toads, but seem to be willing to up their consumption.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.sciencealert.com.au.html
Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/bM2M1N

Image courtesy of  http://www.stardestroyer.net/mrwong/Cane-toad-2.jpg

Image courtesy of  http://bit.ly/azVgvl

“The smiling whale needs protection to survive”


While most whales “smiles” are fixed, the extra movement afforded by the Beluga’s unfused cervical vertebrae allows a greater range of apparent expression.  Belugas are critically endangered. With more found in aquariums are caught in the wild, though captive breeding programs than in the wild. They have the dubious honor of being the first whale species to be kept”successfully” in captivity.

Beluga whale

The Beluga or White Whale (Delphinapterus leucas) is an Arctic and sub-Arctic species of cetacean. It is one of two members of the family Monodontidae, along with the Narwhal. This marine mammal is commonly referred to simply as the Beluga or Sea Canary due to its high-pitched twitter.[3] It is up to 5 meters (16 ft) in length and an unmistakable all-white color with a distinctive protuberance on the head.

Belugas can be trained to retrieve. Both the United States Navy and the Russian Navy have used Belugas in anti-mining operations in Arctic waters. In one instance, a captive Beluga helped bring a distressed diver who was performing a stunt in his pool up to the surface, possibly saving the diver’s life.

Only about 300 individuals remain!

Already on the brink of extinction, the beluga is now facing multiple new threats – increased oil and gas drilling, port expansions, and the proposed Chuitna Coal Strip Mine, just 45 miles west of Anchorage, Alaska.

 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service has proposed designating more than 3,000 square miles of ocean as critical habitat for the critically endangered Cook Inlet population of the beluga whale.

March 3rd is the deadline for the comment period – let them know that designating critical habitat would be a crucial first step in protecting this iconic species.

Please sign our petition today to protect critical habitat these magnificent and endangered whales need to survive.

Resources

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

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

Image courtesy of   http://www.solarnavigator.net/animal_kingdom/animal_images/whale_beluga_surfaced.jpg

“Very lucky 11 lb spiny lobster new home Monterey Bay Aquarium”


Spiny lobsters are found in almost all warm seas, including the Caribbean and the Mediterranean Sea. The fossil record of spiny lobsters has been extended by the discovery in 1995 of a 110 million year-old fossil near El Espiñal in Chiapas, Mexico.

In March 2009, Monterey Bay Aquarium member Tom Powers caught a huge, 11-pound California spiny lobster off the Channel Islands near Ventura, California. The largest one on record was over 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) long and weighed over 11.8 kilograms (26 lb).

spiny lobster gift

Instead of eating it, Tom donated the lobster estimated to be more than 50 years old to the Aquarium. Since then the animal has been on display in the Enchanted Kelp Forest section of the Splash Zone exhibit.

In January 2010, the lobster started to molt, (shed its outer exoskeleton so it can continue to grow. The Aquarium staff took the lobster to a special observation tank where it could be carefully watched. Within two days, the lobster had surrendered its outer covering and was wearing a new outer body. Amazingly, it also regrew a missing antenna and claw during the molting process.

Although a little lighter in weight now, the prized lobster is healthy and happy back on exhibit.

Resources
Excerpts
and Image courtesy of  http://montereybayaquarium.typepad.com
Excerpts courtesy of   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiny_lobster

“Poaching +aphrodisiacs + greed + ignorance = the ‘blood diamonds’ of species survival”


You may be seeing the last of these species

It seems even those we pay to protect our animals make more money poaching than caring for the future of animals in their country. Zimbabwe security forces poached 200 rhinos during these past two years. Ivory is worth more now than gold on the black market. They are not alone.

As terrible as this is, we are supporting this behavior every time we purchase something made from ivory, tiger aphrodisiacs or wear a fur pelt from some skinned animal, go hunting for sport or chop up our forests or lands to plant non sustainable crops, build nuclear plants or drill into the sea bed for oil.

Only we can create a new healthier world.

Why do we bother to try to save endangered animals on one hand

– we wipe them out with the other?

Is there president for continuing to work with animal populations that have very few members thus limiting their genetic pool? Especially when “the blood diamond effect” is so pervasive? Why is the gene pool diversity needed?

As current genetic knowledge has it, the more diverse the number of genes contributing to the reproductive pool the stronger the chance that healthy, genetically strong traits to be passed down to offspring insuring the survival of the species.

Many of our most well known animals like the South China tiger, the orangutan, the Sumatran elephant and rhino, the panda, the tortoise, many of the whales, the sea turtles, the cheetah, monarch butterfly, pacific salmon, the North American bears, the wolf, jaguar, sharks, tuna, hundreds of frog, toad and other amphibians… are a few of thousands of animals and plants destroyed along the way to the bank or for aphrodisiacs or to make homes by slashing and burning or long lining their lives to the brink of extinction.

As the blood diamond, the African diamond mined at the expense on the backs of the blacks in the mines of South Africa, so to is the ivory horns, tiger penis, animal pelts, turtle shells and eggs, shark fins, roe of fish, palm oil, illegal animal trade , over fishing, etc are the bloody diamonds rampant in modern society.

Should we try to save an endangered species?

Junaidi Payne chairman of the Borneo Rhinoceros Alliance (BORA) and longtime conservationist with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), Malaysia answers this question this way, “There are estimated to be 11,000 orangutans [in Sabah alone] and probably 1,500 [Bornean pygmy] elephants, but there are no more than forty rhinos… New populations have stagnated and are going down slowly. It’s about need.

Bornean rhino probably has only 6-7 fertile females. MAYBE THEY CAN BE SAVED.

It is the maybe that keep us going against all odds as explorers of old trying to cross Antarctica and the success stories along the way like the miracles from medical field. Against all odds and commonly held genetic theory some will survive and flourish outside of captivity in their natural habitat. We can do it.

Intensive conservation measures pulled the white rhino back now about 17,480 white rhinos live in east and southern Africa and are the most populous rhino species in the world. Rewilding of the tigers in China is under way trying to help the South China tiger’s numbers. We cannot give up on our world.

Life in all forms is too precious.

Thanks to everyone who loves enough to give their time, energy and money to save our world. Everyone can help become a Crusader for Nature.” – Mother Nature

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://news.mongabay.com/2009/1201-hance_tam.html

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/bEKRms

Image courtesy of  http://www.ens-newswire.com/20090716_rhinopoaching.jpg

Image courtesy of  http://english.people.com.cn/200605/24/images/tiger1.jpg


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