“Tarantula the size of your face found”

Do you want another good reason not to hang out in old buildings or big  old trees in Sri Lanka?

A giant spider the size of your face has been discovered!  It is a tiger spider-colorful and deadly. Perfect to become the star of the next horror flick.

As a group, the spiders are related to a class of South American tarantula that includes the Goliath bird-eater, the world’s largest. It’s unique leg markings include geometric patterns with daffodil-yellow and grey inlays on the first and fourth legs.

It was first seen during a Sri Lankan arachnid survey led by Ranil Nanayakkara, co-founder of Sri Lanka’s Biodiversity Education and Research.






Hiking Yosemite

A Night Atop Yosemite Falls


Hiking to Yosemite Falls in the cold heart of winter.

“Stand up for Mother Earth-even to death?”

To win this battle for peace and health on this planet we must all stand and deliver our best even if the price is high.

Do not support world leaders, irresponsible corporations and mindless reckless consumerism. The reckless and irresponsible greedy behavior are destroying life on earth.

This film is a poignant reminder to save ourselves and the planet we must stand up and be counted even if it costs us the ultimate sacrifice. This docudrama is dedicated to all who died fighting for the planet and those whose lives are on the line today.

The clip was put together by Vivek Chauhan, a young film maker, together with naturalists working with the Sanctuary Asia network (http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/).  Thank you  from Nature’s Crusaders and Mother Nature.

Thanks to UTUBE and Sanctuary Asia Networks for this powerful film clip.

Comments please

“2 Thumbs Up Award Mex. wolf count up”

To all those who are helping protect our endangered Mexican wolf population in the wild –Mother Nature and the wolves thank you.

Open season every for wolf pups

The annual survey for the number of Mexican Wolves in the wild is out and the news is good

the number of wolves has risen to 58. (up from 50 last year) This includes 6 breeding pair. (up from two last year).

The story has been reported in six regional papers – all listed below.  Let’s blitz them this weekend with a barrage of letters and show the editors, the public, and our elected officials the public cares about Mexican Wolves.  Everything you need, including talking points, links to the articles, tips for writing, and where to send your letter, follow below.

Newspapers in both Arizona and New Mexico reported this, and I encourage you to send your letter to more than one newspaper – changing it as needed to fit that publication. This way, with one letter, you have six chances of getting published.  If from Arizona, send a letter to the New Mexico papers and vice versa.   Include a personal note why you, as an out of state person, care. E.g. “I often camp in the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico out of chance I may hear a wolf howl,” or “A New Mexico with wolves is a place I’d visit as a tourist,” etc.

Be sure to send me a copy (BCC) so I can track what they’re printing. Pasted below is Defenders statement on the count.

Stories (by state) New Mexico Papers:

Albuquerque Journal (South):  More Mexican Wolves Roam the Southwest

Santa Fe New Mexican: More Mexican Wolves in the Wild

Alamogordo Daily News  More Mexican Wolves in the Wild

Las Cruces Sun-New   More Mexican Wolves Thrive in the Wild

Arizona Papers

Tucson Arizona Daily Star More Mexican Wolves in the Wild

Arizona Daily Sun:  More Mexican Wolves in the Wild


Sample Talking Points  Pick and choose from the following, but remember: these are just ideas to get you started.  Also, please USE YOUR OWN WORDS, don’t just cut and paste.


Ø  Thank the Newspaper for covering the story. E.g.  “Thanks to the Albuquerque Journal for the Mexican wolf story….”


Ø  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts to keep more wolves in the wild  by emphasizing tactics that help ranching and wolves coexist instead of removing wolves is starting to pay off.


Ø  When packs are more stable they’re able to be better parents, and pups have a better chance at reaching adulthood and reproducing themselves.


Ø  The increase comes as good news for these highly endangered animals, but Mexican wolves are not out of the woods yet.


Ø  A population of 58 wolves is still extremely small and at risk from threats such as disease, inbreeding, or catastrophic events like the Wallow Fire, which burned through Mexican wolf habitat last year.


Ø  We’re extremely fortunate that the Wallow Fire didn’t wipeout an entire generation of pups, but we can’t continue to rely on luck.


Ø  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must build on this momentum. The service should work with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to release new wolves into the wild, adding depth to the population’s gene pool and giving lobos a better shot at survival.


Ø  Defenders of Wildlife is leading efforts to create coexistence programs and is seeing significant increases in interest in programs to help ranchers learn to live with wolves.  These programs are expanding in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and other groups.


Ø  There are wolves eligible for release in both New Mexico and Arizona. The Fish and Wildlife Service should move forward with these releases soon


Ø  The Service also should move quickly to revise its out of date policy which prohibits the release of wolves directly from zoos into New Mexico.


Ø  Top predators, such as Mexican gray wolves, are vital to keeping wildlands healthy and full of life. Wildlife biologists believe that Mexican wolves will improve the overall health of the Southwest and its rivers and streams – just as the return of gray wolves to Yellowstone has helped restore balance to its lands and waters.


Ø  Citizens in Arizona and New Mexico strongly support wolf reintroduction.  Over three-quarters (77%) of Arizona voters and 69% of New Mexico voters say they either strongly support wolf recovery. See Arizona survey here.  See:  New Mexico Survey here


Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points

Below are suggestions for your letter.  If you are unsure and want me to look at your letter before sending, send to sjohnson@defenders.org


·         Keep it short  – 150 words or less. Read the articles linked above and use the talking points above if needed. USE YOUR OWN WORDS.  (Do not simply cut and paste)

·         Start by thanking the paper for their story and tie your letter to the article. E.g. “Thanks to the Journal for your story, “Can bad meat deter wolves?”

·         Make one or two strong points, don’t try to cover them all: space doesn’t permit.


·         Provide your name, address and phone number; your full address and phone number will not be published, but they are required in order to have your letter published.


·         If you are uncertain about your letter and want suggestions, I am happy to review letters.  Send to sjohnson@defenders.org


·         Submit your letter by email, or cut and paste online (some papers prefer email, others online) at:


1.      Albuquerque Journal (click here) Send letter to the Journal

2.      Santa Fe New Mexican (click here)  Send letter to the New Mexican

3.      Alamogordo Daily New (Click here) Send Letter to Alamogordo Daily News

4.      Las Cruces Sun New  email to:  letters@lcsun-news.com

5.      Submit Letter to the Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff)  (click here) Submit Letter to the Daily Sun

6.      Submit to Tucson Arizona Daily Star send email (with name and contact info) email letters@azstarnet.com


·         Blind copy me  what you send the paper.  This helps me track what they are publishing.


Provided courtesy of Scotty Johnson Defenders of Wildlife Tucson, AZ

Image courtesy of Nature’s Crusaders Library

“Help Texas get more rain to save rice crop”

Recent rains have put a dent in the Texas drought, a day of reckoning looms for the state’s long-grain rice growers, who pump millions into the

Need rain

economy in Southeast Texas each year and account for about 5 percent of America’s rice production. Come March 1, if there is less than 850,000 acre-feet of water in reservoirs along the Lower Colorado River, water managers will be forced to take the unprecedented step of withholding water from agricultural users, which will mean severe cuts to Texas rice production this year.

Now it is your turn to help.

We need to help rain come to lower Texas. Visualize steady rains that will raise the water table. Coming at intervals so the ground can absorb it.

Excerpts courtesy of  Andrew Freedman and climatecentral.org

Image courtesy of 3.bp.blogspot.com

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

“Greed and Mackerel endanger ocean life”

A school of jack mackerel in the Southern Pacific. Stocks of the fish, rich in oily protein, have declined from 30 million due to a feeding frenzy in the last  two decades.

Jack mackerel, feeds a hungry Africa. People eat it unaware of the shortage of this staple fish; much of it is reduced to feed for aquaculture and pigs. It can take more than five kilograms, more than 11 pounds, of jack mackerel to raise a single kilogram of farmed salmon.

The world’s largest trawlers, after depleting other oceans, now head south toward the edge of Antarctica to compete for what is left.

Industrial fleets bound only by voluntary restraints compete in what amounts to a free-for-all in no man’s water at the bottom of the world. From 2006 through 2011, scientists estimate, jack mackerel stocks declined 63 percent.

Greed knows no bounds until the ocean balance is totally reduced and thousands of species disappear and people starve.

Excerpts courtesy of nytimes.com  http://tinyurl.com/8yfea6u 

“Saving humpback Valentina from death”

Humpback Whale Shows AMAZING Appreciation After Being Freed From Nets

Thanks for this great video. It makes my heart sing and my energy rise. For more ways to raise  energy visit.

Thanks Great Whale Conservancy and UTube.com

“Welcome to my world-gorillas surround man”

On the last day of his vacation this man had an encounter with a troop of mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park, Uganda  unlike most will ever have.

Mj Jensen and Amy Kalama Hochreiter on FaceBook

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