2 Thumbs up Award -Leatherbacks win!


2 Thumbs Up Award goes to SeaTurtles.org and One World One Ocean

These two organizations and their dedicated volunteers have saved the habitat off our western coast for the leatherbacks at last!

-Mother Nature and all of us mere mortals are very grateful.

The news about new protections for Pacific leatherbacks along the U.S. West Coast made major headlines and is gaining momentum!  Nearly 42,000 square miles of ocean along the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington will be permanently protected for these ancient ocean dwellers. The new protections take effect Feb. 27, 2012.

Check out the video.

Excerpts courtesy of  Sea Turtle Restoration Project  @seaturtles.org

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“340+ dead sea turtles washed up in Gulf 2011”


Turtles and the people of the Gulf of Mexico deserve a healthy environment to grow up in and raise their families in.

Tell Congress we demand the funding of research and the total financial support and co operational of the oil companies that caused the Deepwater Horizon disaster for as many decades as it takes to return the human and natural health to proper balance

The turtles and the people deserve it.

Gulf of Mexico may look “pristine” again after the disaster in 2010, but the sea life continue to die at record rates. We must stand

Kemps-Ridley sea turtle hatchlings

tall and strong and fund research to clean up our messes and insist that Congress take a proactive roll in energy conservation and making the oil companies fully responsible for the restoration of the Gulf’s marine and human life and livelihoods.

 Last year’s devastating Deepwater Horizon disaster was a serious blow for sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico. But the catastrophe for the sea turtles hasn’t ended yet.

Already this year, more than 340 dead sea turtles have washed ashore on the Gulf Coast — more than three times the annual average — and the death toll is likely to be much higher. Signs point to shrimp fishing as a likely cause for the spike in deaths — perhaps combined with the lingering effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Yet the government has not taken action to save these animals struggling to survive. Defenders and our conservation partners have launched a lifesaving lawsuit to protect sea turtles, but federal officials need to hear from you.

Yet the government has not taken action to save these animals struggling to survive. Defenders and our conservation partners have launched a lifesaving lawsuit to protect sea turtles, but federal officials need to hear from you. Take action now: Urge the National Marine Fisheries Service to enforce lifesaving protections for threatened and endangered sea turtles in the Gulf.

Take action now: Urge the National Marine Fisheries Service to enforce lifesaving protections for threatened and endangered sea turtles in the Gulf.

https://secure.defenders.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2183&autologin=true&JServSessionIdr004=twjkw1joq7.app226a

“1st oil rig since BP disaster gets go ahead”


The first new offshore oil rig since the BP oil spill was given the go ahead this week with promises of safety. but endangered sea turtles are still at risk.
That’s why I spoke up  for sea turtle rescue at an oil and gas hearing in Houston that was packed with oil industry and government officials. They seemed to listen. Now they need to hear from all of  you, too,  before the March 31 deadline. Click here to take action, and read more below.


Sea turtles need rescue from oil and gas operations!

At the Texas hearing, an oil company consultant said that he loved the sea turtles as much as I do. If that’s true, then the oil companies have a lot of work to do. The loss of endangered sea turtles that we saw during the BP oil spill must never occur again. With the Kemp’s ridley nesting season just around the corner, now is the time to make things right.

Take Action by March 31, 2011

Right now we have a chance to secure new oil and gas regulations by writing to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. This is the agency that approves new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and is conducting an environmental review of the 2012 – 2017 oil and gas leasing program and accepting comments by March 31, 2011.

At the very least, oil spill response must include immediate on-water rescue of sea turtles, independent wildlife observers and rescue teams on cleanup vessels. Controlled burns and chemical dispersants must be banned in sea turtle habitat. Sea turtle swimways free of oil and gas rigs must be established. Help us get the message across by taking these steps now:

1. Click here to send a message calling for sea turtle protections in oil and gas leases.
2. Support STRP’s ongoing campaign to protect sea turtles from oil and gas with a gift of any amount you can.

Learn more: Read about our latest actions to protect sea turtles from oil and gas operations.

Sincerely yours,

Carole Allen
Gulf Office Director

At left: Carole Allen testifies on behalf of sea turtles at an oil and gas hearing held in Houston, Texas. (Houston Chronicle photo)


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“Saving the endangered desert tortoises from a solar zap”


In Arizona, Sonoran desert tortoises builds their burrows deep in the earth to protect them from the extremes of the desert climate. They have few predators, but a new project in the desert may destroy them.

Mojave Desert Tortoise Tortoises also tend to stray away from intensive human disturbances to the land. . The tortoise is able to live where ground temperatures may exceed 140 degrees F, because of its ability to dig underground burrows to escape the heat.

The landmark Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan’s Conservation Land System, adopted by Pima County, identifies extensive tortoise habitat on BLM lands. Critical habitat the tortoises need to survive.

A new energy development could destroy the homes these ancient reptiles have lived on and need to survive.

Help protect tortoise homes. RSVP to speak out Wednesday in Tucson.

Renewable energy resources can be the greenest, most sustainable sources of energy. However, these projects need to be designed to be eco friendly or wildlife and our endangered species could be in serious trouble.

Help Arizona today avoid this environmental crisis with good eco- planning.  New proposals for solar energy development could have tragic impacts for desert tortoises, bighorn sheep and other imperiled species.

Please attend the hearing and make sure that a wildlife-sound renewable energy plan is adopted?

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Department of Energy (DOE) have released a initial draft of the Solar Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for six western states, including Arizona. The PEIS will determine how and where solar projects will be developed on federal land for the next 20 years.

The draft plan outlines two possible alternatives, the Solar Energy Development Program Alternative and the Energy Zone Program Alternative. The Solar Energy Development Program — the alternative favored by the agencies involved– fails to consider implications to wildlife and other natural resources properly.

Please attend an important hearing on these plans and provide a voice for wildlife:

What: Solar Energy Development PEIS Hearing
When: Wednesday, March 2nd 7:00 p.m.
Where: Tucson Marriott University Park
880 East Second Street
Tucson, Arizona 85719

If the federal government moves forward with their favored plan, 22 million acres of federal land –larger than the entire state of South Carolina –  could be developed, including important wildlife habitats.

Of the two alternatives, the Solar Energy Zone alternative is the best bet for wildlife. While not perfect, new solar development would be directed to specifically identified areas instead of indiscriminately opening huge tracts of land.

Further, the government’s preferred plan would conflict drastically with the Sonoran Desert Consevation Plan that has been designed to protect the rich diversity of wildlife and cultural resources in the region. The existing plan has received a lot of attention for what it has been able to accomplish, but if the government preferred plan moves forward progress could be haulted.

Tell the BLM that it needs to direct development away from ecologically sensitive places, like the San Pedro River National Conservation Area. The San Pedro is the region’s last free-flowing river – it is already water-stressed – yet BLM has identified lands next to the river for water-intensive solar development.

Intelligent siting of solar power plants is key in this arid region if we are to safeguard key habitats like the San Pedro River, which are home to a host of imperiled plants and animals. The future of endangered species such as the southwestern willow flycatcher, yellow-billed cuckoo, spikedace and Huachuca water umbel depend on us making solar energy development smart from the start.

Speak out for wildlife and tell BLM to choose the Solar Energy Zone program option but drop the four wildlife-crucial regions.

The Solar Energy Zone Program Alternative, with improvements, is the best option for protecting Arizona wildlife, such as threatened desert tortoises, because it targets specific areas that will likely have fewer environmental impacts and conflicts. If the Development Plan Alternative is passed, areas vital to imperiled animals could be scraped bare and developed.

RSVP now to attend this hearing in Tucson with other Defenders supporters in your area and ensure all Arizona wildlife is protected.

With your help, we can make sure the federal government chooses the Solar Energy Zone Program Alternative and then strengthens it.

Matt Clark
Southwest Representative
Defenders of Wildlife

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

“Give sea turtles a special holiday gift”


Give yourself and a sea turtle a special holiday gift this season.

Plan to be an Eco-Volunteer
Help the sea turtles.
Experience sustainable travel with do your part to help save sea turtles.
Your next vacation could be the most important of your life.

Depending on your age you might travel to Costa Rica, the east coast South Carolina or Florida or even Texas or California. Turtles breed in many places around the US, Central America and the

Eco-Volunteer Adventure in Costa Rica for those 18 years and older.
For 2nd through 8th grade Barrier Island Center offers a summer camp program for students entering 2nd through 8th grades!

Ages 12 to 112 an 8 day turtle conservation trip includes tagging  Flatback Turtle population during this rewarding travel experience. Located in the breathtaking natural surrounds of Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat, this scientific research program collects valuable data on nesting Flatback Turtles.

With the guidance of a Conservation Volunteers marine species specialist, volunteers spend their days patrolling sections of the beach and assisting researchers.

This fun and educational opportunity blends research with an exotic location to get you involved in protecting endangered sea turtles.
•    Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) (right)

•    Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

(left)

 

 

Young leatherback

•    Leatherback turtle (right) (Dermochelys coriacea)

 

Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricate

Every year from June to September these endangered marine turtles come to lay their eggs in the white sand beaches of the Mexican Caribbean coasts. Now this unique and amazing sight can be witnessed on Cozumel Island!

Internships available for 2011

The internships are offered from mid March – mid August of each year. We offer wages and housing on the island. Students participate in all three missions of the organization. They will learn medical treatment, triaging, calculating dosages, and tagging under our rehabilitation mission. They will be required to give short educational tours to the public. They will be conducting beach patrols to look for nesting turtles and their tracks for the protection of nests under our conservation program. Interns will travel to Mexico to the largest nesting beach for the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle to train. For more information

If you really love sea turtles, sign up today. -Mother Nature thanks you!


Resources

Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/9Av1Sz

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cZ3NRh

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.tourstogo.com.au/tour/30015-8-day-turtle-conservation/

Eco-volunteers http://www.conserveturtles.org/volunteer-research-programs.php

Image courtesy of

Image Flatback turtle http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/images/tsd05flatback-turtle.jpg  http://bit.ly/bvy2BJ

Image 2. Loggerhead  http://www.answersingenesis.org/assets/images/articles/aqua/Loggerhead_Sea_Turtle.jpg

Image 3.

Image 4.

“Counting precious rainforest reptiles and amphibians by night”


The Field Museum team is taking inventory of a vast roadless area in Peru’s northern Amazon to explore conservation opportunities with local communities. Here is an excerpt written by Nigel Pitman of their important adventure into the Amazonian rainforest

“Up in the canopy the leaves and branches are black against a night sky that is almost blue. In the upper strata of the forest legions of stridulating insects are making a scritch-scritching chorus; to the right a far-off frog croaks once and falls silent; from the left comes an anxious-sounding hooting; a bat flutters past almost noiselessly, raising a tiny breeze; and ahead on the trail comes the rustling sound of the herpetologists searching through dry leaf litter…

When you see their yellow and the white light intersect and pause, they have found something maybe another amphibian or critter… Tonight the herpetologists end up recording 13 amphibians, three by song alone, as well as three reptiles: two geckos and a harmless, wiry little snake that for reasons of its own is dressed in the tan and brown patterns of a pit viper. The most entertaining moment of the night is when Jonh reaches into a small bromeliad on a fallen tree and plucks out three blue and yellow poison dart frogs, one after another, like clowns from a car.

Jonh Mueses-Cisneros and Rudolf von May herpetologists search during a nighttime survey along the Rio Cotuhe.

About every 10 minutes tonight they find some creature to log.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://scientistatwork.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/a-hundred-ways-to-be-a-frog

Image courtesy of http://scientistatwork.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/a-hundred-ways-to-be-a-frog

“Sea turtles designed for water”


The endangered sea turtle’s body is designed for ocean life. Their shells are lighter and more streamlined than those of their cousin the land turtle. Sea turtle’s front and rear “legs” have evolved into flippers making them able to glide through the water efficiently and effortlessly swimmers. They are able of swim long distances in a relatively short period of time. Sea turtles have been known to move through the water as fast as 35 mph.

Because they are not fish, but reptiles when active, sea turtles must swim to the surface every few minutes to breathe. Although during rest or periods of sleep adult sea turtles can remain underwater for more than 2 hours without breathing.

Why are they able to stay under water so long?

Sea turtles blood can carry higher concentrations of carbon dioxide than most other air-breathing animals. This allows their blood to use its oxygen supply more efficiently so their muscles and blood are able to store oxygen in large quantities. Since adult sea turtles usually sleep at night under water, young sea turtles need to sleep afloat at the water’s surface, because their blood has not developed this oxygen concentrating ability. This makes them more vunerable to prey.

In addition to solving the problems of swimming and breathing, sea turtles have also come up with an ingenious way to rid their bodies of the salts they accumulate from the seawater in which they live. Just behind each eye is a salt gland. The salt glands help sea turtles to maintain a healthy water balance by shedding large “tears” of excess salt. If a sea turtle appears to be “crying” it is usually not cause for alarm, as the turtles are merely keeping their physiology in check. It is not because they are upset or sad.

The shape of the shell gives helpful clues to how the turtle lives. Most tortoises have a large dome-shaped shell that makes it difficult for predators to crush the shell between their jaws. One of the few exceptions is the African pancake tortoise, which has a flat, flexible shell that allows it to hide in rock crevices. Most aquatic turtles have flat, streamlined shells which aid in swimming and diving. American snapping turtles and musk turtles have small, cross-shaped plastrons that give them more efficient leg movement for walking along the bottom of ponds and streams.

All turtles need our protection, please keep the waterways and ocean free of litter will help save many turtles and tortoises from extinction.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/c1fcX4

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/d0fZl7

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/b91azE

Image 1. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/c3VwZQ

Image 2. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/b7Vf9t

“23 Kemp’s Ridley released into the Gulf of Mexico”


What a beautiful sight! Twenty three Kemp’s Ridley are all cleaned up and ready to swim home.  A team from NOAA, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Riverhead Foundation and the In-Water Research Group rescued these turtles covered with oil weeks ago. No one was certain if these endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles would make it.

The Audubon Nature Institute of New Orleans, state and federal biologists began releasing the turtles back into the Gulf of Mexico near Cedar Key, Florida. Cedar Key provides excellent habitat for Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles and has long been known as an important habitat area for this species,” said Barbara Schroeder, NOAA’s national sea turtle coordinator. “Thanks to the efforts of our rescue teams and rehabilitation facility partners all of the turtles we released on August 18, 2010 have an excellent chance of surviving in the wild and contributing to the recovery of this species.

The turtles received excellent treatment and care, including cleaning and de-oiling, at Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans, La., and at Gulf World in Panama City, Fla. The turtles were then cared for by Sea World of Florida, Mote Marine Laboratory, and the Florida Aquarium.

So far about 500 live turtles have been rescued during the Gulf oil spill, and more than 450 had visible evidence of external oil. Now 350 turtles are still in rehabilitation facilities and will be released as they are given clean bills of health.

“Thanks everyone for all your love, perseverance, dedication and hard work.” -Mother Nature

Resources

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

Image courtesy of  http://bit.ly/djIk9A

“Selflessly rescuers toil to save oiled critters”


It is a lonely, dangerous and potentially health threatening job.

Rescuers are working tirelessly to save the wildlife impacted by the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. They are faced with the overwhelming task of finding and saving thousands of oiled birds and hundreds of injured sea turtles and marine mammals.

We’d like to let them know that we appreciate the incredible work that they are doing. Please join us in sending a thank you letter to the wildlife rescuers on the Gulf Coast.

Take a moment to

Thank the rescuers for saving wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hundreds of government and non-profit staff are working in the toxic environment and the hot oppressive weather to find and rescue injured wildlife.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alone, has over 500 personnel actively engaged in the response, working to protect wildlife and their habitats, including 36 national wildlife refuges. They have saved 1,643 oiled birds. They have rescued and relocated over 2,000 sea turtle hatchlings. They are also assessing the damage from the oil spill in preparation for the work that will be needed to restore the Gulf of Mexico.

Of course, more staff and resources are needed to help with the wildlife rescue efforts. But, we shouldn’t ignore the great work that is currently going on.

Let them know that you support their work to save wildlife and that you appreciate their dedication. We will compile the thank you letters and send them to the wildlife rescuers.

To send a thank you letter to the wildlife rescuers, click here.

Thank you for your help to save endangered species and their habitat.
The Endangered Species Coalition is a national network of hundreds of conservation, scientific, sporting, religious, humane, business and community groups across the country working to protect our nation’s wildlife and wild places.

www.StopExtinction.org

“Thank you to all of you for all your dedicated hard work. Our admiration and hearts go out to all of you for your tireless efforts.”

Mother Nature and  Nature’s Crew

“Endangered snakes go visiting during rainy season in Kenya”


Kenya’s Vice President, Hon Moody Awori, today unveiled a US 1.25 million dollar rehabilitation program developed by International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Kenya Wildlife Service, to enhance routine operations, research and education and wildlife security within the Tsavo National Park ecosystem.

Snake rescue In Tsavo West National Park takes special dedication to  rescue snakes. During the rainy season, snakes big and small some more poisonous than others start to move from their homes on the nature reserve to town. Large rock pythons, puff adders, spitting cobras and the deadly black mamba are always on the top of the complaint lists. Pythons become a nuisance as they take to killing goats and sheep, whilst the other snakes pose a threat to the people due to their poison.

Instead of allowing the villagers to go ahead and dispose of the snakes, KWS Tsavo West makes a big effort to go and rescue these reported snakes and take them back into safe environs inside the park.

As a result business increases at the local emergency care center of the  hospital in Mtito Andei on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway just outside Tsavo West’s main entrance gate This season it has reported six snake bite cases in just 2 days and the snake season normally carries on through July.

Instead of allowing the villagers to go ahead and dispose of the snakes, KWS Tsavo West makes a big effort to go and rescue these reported snakes and take them back into safe environs inside the park.

IFAW donated a brand new Land Cruiser, which is of great assistance during these operations, supporting KWS and Tsavo West in particular to be able to attend to and solve these human/wildlife issues.

To support IFAW’s work for wildlife in Africa, please visit www.ifaw.org/Kenya

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