“Historic pact to save Canadian boreal forest lands”


A truce of possibly historic nature for nature.
Two unlikely bed fellows have come together and laid down their prejudices to help save a two thirds of the all the certified boreal forest lands in Canada. This area of old growth forest that forms the border between Canada and the tundra is critically

Ancient Canadian forest and migratory Woodland caribou saved

important to carbon sequestering for the earth and home to the migratory Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou).

The Forest Products Association of Canada and nine leading environmental groups collectively have agreed to the boreal forest and the woodland caribou while allowing sustainable forestry practices to continue. The agreement was signed on May 18, 2010 with the world watching.

Through the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement 72 million hectares (277,993.554 square miles) of forest licensed to FPAC members. Under the agreement, new logging will be suspended on nearly 29 million hectares (111,969.626 square miles) of boreal forest, and in return Canopy, ForestEthics and Greenpeace will suspend their “Do Not Buy” campaigns while the agreement is being implemented.

Area of Suspended Timber Harvest in Boreal Caribou Range

endangered migrating Woodland caribou

This is our best chance to save the endangered “Woodland caribou, permanently protect vast areas of the boreal forest and put in place sustainable forestry practices,” said Richard Brooks, spokesperson for participating environmental organizations and Forest Campaign Co-ordinator of Greenpeace Canada.

Another Canadian company that supports sustainable lumber practices is RONA’s Wood Products, the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products, will by the end of 2010, buy and sell only 100% of the softwood lumber – spruce, pine and fir – sold in corporate and franchised stores will be from forests certified under three programs recognized by RONA: the Forest Products Marking Program (CSA), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The policy gives preference to lumber certified to the FSC standard, which the Company considers best responds to its requirements with regards to biodiversity and relations with local communities.

Go Canada -Mother Nature thanks you.

Will Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe’s follow suit in the US? Buy sustainable or recycled or pressed wood products.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  canadianborealforestagreement

Excerpts courtesy of absoluteastronomy.com/Migratory_Woodland_Caribou

Image 1. courtesy of  resurrectionfern.typepad.jpg

Image 2. courtesy of  cpawsmb.org/woodland-caribou.jpg

Map of protected boreal forest canadianborealforestagreement.com

“North Pacific Grey whale found vacationing off coast Israel”


Possible this is the first time in 200 to 300 years that a Grey whale has been seen off the coast of Israel. It is an adult mammal a mature whale measuring some 12 meters (39 feet) and weighing around 20 tons.

grey whale

The Grey whale was first sighted off Herzliya in central Israel on Saturday May 8. It is possible that it traveled thousands of miles from the north Pacific through the melting ice of the Bering Straights looking for food.  It appears to be underweight, and might have gone astray.

“It’s an unbelievable event which has been described as one of the most important whale sightings ever,” said Dr Aviad Scheinin, chairman of the Israel Marine Mammal Research and Assistance Center which identified the creature.

Once the Grey whales were plentiful in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but the population of the Atlantic Grey whales became extinct in the 17th or 18th centuries. Until this sighting the only remaining colonies live in the western and eastern sectors of the north Pacific.

The Pacific Greys annually travel 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometres) round trip from the northeastern Pacific  rim in  October to warmer waters around the Gulf of California and back.
So it is possible that this whale when autumn came,  began travelling south, keeping the land mass on the left and heading for the Californian Gulf with the aim of “turning left” into the bay.

But instead, it reached Gibraltar and turned left into the Mediterranean and ended up off the shores of Israel, Scheinin said.

“The question now is: are we going to see the re-colonisation of the Atlantic?” he said. “This is very important ecologically because of the change of habitat. It emphasises the climate change that we are going through.”

So far, the whale seems to be happy enough in the waters off the shores of Israel, he said.

“It is pretty thin, which indicates the trip was quite harsh, but we think it can survive here,” he said. “Grey whales are very generalist in what they feed on.”

Is this the first of many Greys to relocate?   Keeping waterways clean can foster the re-habitation of many species.

Resources

Excerpts and Image courtesy of  TerraDaily.com and AFP

“Good news/bad news for the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle in Texas”


This is the first year that such a sharp decline of nesting Kemp’s Ridley have been documented on their home beach in Rancho Nuevo, Mexico, in the state of Tamaulipas. In video footage from 1947 approximately 42,000 Kemp’s Ridley nested during that single day! About 80% of the nests, about 33,000, were collected and transported to local villages in that year. In 2006, about 12,143 nests were documented in Mexico, with 7,866 of those at Rancho Nuevo. The three main nesting beaches in Tamaulipas, Mexico are Rancho Nuevo, Tepehuajes, and Barra del Tordo. Nesting also occurs in Veracruz, Mexico, and Texas, U.S., but on a much smaller scale. Occasional nesting has been documented in North Carolina, South Carolina, and the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida.

Kemp's Ridley sea turtle

Good news bad news

On the Texas coast, 251 Kemp’s Ridley nests were recorded from 2002-2006. For the 2007 nesting season, 127 nests have been recorded in Texas, with 73 of those nests documented at Padre Island, This nesting season has just begun and 21 Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles were found dead or dying on beaches in the Upper Texas Gulf Coast. Many areas lack the proper protection needed.  Federal officials and conservationists are concerned about unusually large numbers of dead Kemp’s Ridley turtles that have washed up on beaches along the upper Texas Gulf Coast since April 1.

The new rewrite of the endangered Kemp’s Ridley Recovery Plan is open for input until May 17, 2010. The current plan lacks adequate protection for the turtles on the Texas nesting beaches and offshore habitats.

The Sea Turtle Restoration Project needs your help to
Strengthen Recovery Plan for Texas Sea Turtles

Almost extinct 20 years ago, the Kemp’s Ridley appears to be on the road to recovery. Upper Texas Gulf Coast can expect greater numbers of turtles and must get greater habitat protections to strengthen our recovery efforts. The current Recovery Plan looks ahead 10-20 years assuming continued population growth, ignoring deaths by shrimp trawls, beach vehicle traffic, and habitat destruction these endangered species need strong protections.  We have until May 17 to ask the Recovery Plan Committee to update their Plan to include greater protections for the growing numbers of Kemp’s rRdleys nesting on Texas beaches


Take Action to Protect Endangered Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles

We have until May 17, 2010 to ask the Recovery Plan Committee to update their Plan to include greater protections for the growing numbers of Kemp’s Ridleys nesting on Texas beaches.

Two ways you can help our efforts today:
1) Click here to send a letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service urging greater protections for Texas Kemp’s ridleys.

2) Please donate to the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, Adopt a Nest, or make a large contribution and receive an onyx carved turtle.

Thank you for your continued support of our beloved and endangered Kemp’s Ridleys sea turtles at the  Island National Seashore. Those 127 nests are a record for the Texas coast, passing the 2006 record of 102 nests.

We have until May 17 to ask the Recovery Plan Committee to update their Plan to include the growing numbers of Kemp’s ridleys nesting on Texas beaches and accelerate the scientific process of identifying the most important marine foraging, breeding and inter-nesting habitat for these endangered sea turtles.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://seaturtles.org

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.nps.gov/pais/naturescience/kridley.htm

Image courtesy of  Nature’s Crusaders library

“Model of success-Dr Marker + cheetah”


Yesterday, a few fortunate individuals shared an intimate luncheon with Dr. Laurie Marker of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) during her stay in Tucson,Arizona.

She is a pioneer who has worked out a successful living model of teaming conservation of an endangered animal with a strong economic model that educates local farmers and ranchers and their children in ways to save their livestock while allowing predators like the cheetah to survive.

Her work is a landmark and turning point for conservationists and environmentalists to lead the way for improving the quality of life for the local people  and saving endangered “predators”.

Through her passion for saving the critically endangered cheetah,  she has reached out and carefully listened to the farmers and ranchers in Namibia, Africa. After hearing their concerns she set up research projects to collect data and get answers to alleviate their fears of cheetahs.

She continues to work hand in hand with the locals to find ways to protect and improve the health of their stock, and is creating sustainable businesses as well.

Before she came, locals felt that the solution for predator encroacment was to shoot any possible predator that came on their land. Now, they call Dr. Laurie before they shoot the cheetah. She and her rescue team will immediately respond. They will go anywhere in Namibia day or night to save a cheetah.

Dr Marker’s work:

  • Has improved the survival rates of new born calves and kids
  • Has improved the health of the farmers live stock.
  • Her eco-business plan has lead the way for other conservation efforts to follow.
  • Has saved and returned 500 cheetahs to the wild.

For her life work she has received many international awards, but her greatest reward  and biggest dream is to see the cheetahs thriving across its entire range again from Africa to the Middle East and Russia.

How much longer will cheetahs

be able to live in the wild?


To help Dr. Laurie continue saving the endangered cheetahs, click here.

Resources

Image 1. courtesy of   http://cheetahfund.ca/laurie-and-chew.jpg

Image 2. courtesy of  http://www.maasaimara.com/Cheetah-1.jpg

“Ahoy mates! 95 rare right whales playing near Martha’s Vineyard”


A mother and her calf are cruising near the Vineyard in Nantucket and in and out of adjoining canals.    

Ninety- five  right whales are playing and feeding today in what might be one of the largest gathering of these rare whales in history.

These endangered whales eat plankton and billions of copepods (tiny crustaceans) while consuming about a ton of food a day. The copepods are packed with protein and calorie-rich oils. Their near-surface feeding and traveling activities put them at risk for vessel collision.

The mother-calf pairs often wander into smaller waterways like the Cape Cod Canal and Salem harbor. There are two first time mother this season.

The North Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis,is greatly endangered.  An adult right whale measures about 50 feet (15 metres) in length. There are two other species of right whale, Eubalaena australis, which lives in the southern hemisphere, and Eubalaena japonica, the North Pacific right whale. The three different species of right whales never meet in their ocean travels. While southern right whales are increasing at a rate of 7-8% per year, North Atlantic right whales are not showing any signs of recovering from historical whaling with approximately 350 individuals left.

Man is the greatest threat to these highly endangered whale, because of collisions with ships and entanglement in fishing gear, and pollution.

Resources


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

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

Image courtesy of  http://blog.eol.org/right-whale.jpg

“Can we help each other like a grouper?”


Grouper excavating holes

Holes, holes everywhere, but nobody seems to be making them. Well, as maddening as that seemed to Felicia Coleman director of Florida State University’s Coastal and Marine Laboratory as she sleepily gazed at the seafloor.
Then suddenly the digger appeared. It was a red grouper.

The young grouper instinctively began clearing away the rocks, sand and debris  from around one of the sandy depressions and carrying mouthfuls of seabed dirt away.  When the hole in the ledge was large enough the fish would cosy down into its new home. These young red groupers were creating lodging for itself and other species to come later.

When they leave the hole behind, spiny lobster become the grateful next tenants.
The red grouper excavates and maintains complex, three-dimensional rock ledge structures that provide critical habitats for the spiny lobster and many other commercially important species in the Gulf of Mexico. Coleman and other researchers watched it work hard to remove sand and rocks from the sea floor, exposing hard rocks crucial to corals and sponges and the animals they shelter.
Grouper grow and move slowly, maybe that is the secret to their longevity of 29 years.
These homes sites serve to attract mates, and other beneficial species such as cleaner shrimp that pick parasites and food scraps off the resident fish. The shrimp in turn attract other predators that the red grouper like to eat. They prefer to dine at home by inhaling their food  through their gills and rapidly drawing in a current of water. Their diet includes fish, crustaceans, cephalopods like octopus and squid, plus other invertebrates.  Why move much when dinner is served to you while your lounge in comfort of your self designed hole on the sea floor?

Most abundant along Florida’s west coast, Red Grouper are found on watery ledges and in crevices and caverns from North Carolina to Brazil.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/51hinp

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/14FWCA

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


“Water will rule”


Oil was king, but water will rule the world’s future.
Who ever controls the potable or drinkable fresh water supplies will control the the development of life on earth.

There are more deaths from unsafe water than from war says the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“More people die from unsafe water

than from all forms of violence, including war.”

When we fail to keep our water ways, rivers, lakes and oceans clean, we set up for more poverty, disease, starvation and death. Dehydration in Eastern and Western countries is the root of our disease patterns and little or decreased access to good quality water could become the ever increasing root of struggles between nations.

The United Nations Childrens Agency (UNICEF) noted that more than 155 million people, or 39 percent of the population in West and Central Africa, have no access to potable or drinkable water.
..Daily millions of tons of untreated sewage, industrial and agricultural wastes {are dumped) into the world’s water systems,..clean water has become scarce and will be scarcer as a result of climate change.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says global peace and security will depend on access to water.

Government stability and economic growth will always depend on countries’ ability to successfully manage water in a world where water resources grow scarcer by the day… “become better stewards of our water resources.”
We can all help protect our water supplies now, by refusing to pollute even our waste water by refusing to dump medicines, pesticides and non biodegradable chemicals or junk into our sewage system. Cleaning up debris around and in our water is growing in importance. Cleaning up mine trailing ponds and refusing to allow companies to dump wastes into our water ways and oceans while helping to remove trash, plastics and cosmetics from our beach fronts and rivers and harbors help secure better future for our endangered world.

Our actions count in the overall plan and balance of our earth,

You are missing and vital link to a healthier tomorrow for us all.

Resource

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

“Whales send Navy back to reconsider”


Navy war games could impinge on the endangered right whales calving area off the Florida coast. For only the second time in the history of whale birth videography, a right whale birth has been filmed.

Derecha, a right whale, gave birth Saturday in the ocean off Vilano Beach. This happened within approximately 10 miles of the patch of ocean where the Navy wants to conduct its war games exercises. It would install hundreds of devices on the ocean floor that can monitor the training movements of ships, submarines, planes and helicopters. Onshore trainers would use the equipment to give crews almost immediate analysis and feedback on their performance.
What it would  not measure is the environmental impact of the devices, the ship traffic and sonar use at the location could have on the endangered whales in their only known birthing area. Environmental groups known and are suing to protect the whales and their habitat. Not known is the effects of these “activities on dolphins, other sea creatures and the ocean floor.
Annually during the winter months, Right whales from New England and Canada migrate to the Florida-Georgia coast.  The total population is thought to be about 450, more than 100 whales went to the area this winter.
Resources
Courtesy
of http://bit.ly/crDFRM

“Amoy tiger at root of endangered tiger tree”


If the genetic tree for any living animal has a root,  the South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) also known as Amoy, or Xiamen tiger is possibly the genetic mother for the tigers.  It is smaller and the most critically endangered of all living tiger subspecies. Possibly fewer than 20 of these tigers are left in the wild. The South China tiger is considered one of the world’s 10 most endangered animals.

Can we save them from extinction?

Male tigers measure about 2.6 m (8 ft) from head to tail and weigh about 150 kg (330 lb). Female tigers are smaller, measuring about 2.3 m (7 1/2 ft) long. They weigh approximately 110 kg (240 lbs). Both have short, broad stripes spaced farther apart than those of Bengal and Amur tigers.

These tiger prefer to eat animals from insects to humans (not recently) that weigh 30-400 lbs. They are known to stalk and follow their prey for hours. They can run in short bursts of speed averaging 35 mph, to catch its prey, but lack the stamina to maintain their top speed for long. These big cats kill their prey by suffocating it similar to cheetah kill technique. South China tigers can feed on almost anything, from small insects to Gaurs.

Gaurs

Man nearly exterminated the tigers in the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1959, Mao Zedong, during the “Great Leap Forward”, ordered the elimination of the tiger, leopards and wolves as “enemies of the people”, because they attacked farmers and villagers.The wild tiger population of the South China tiger fell from more than 4,000 to less than 200 by 1982. The Chinese government then reversed the classification of the tiger, banning hunting altogether in 1977, but this seems to have been too late.

Does not this seem like the same cycle of destruction then attempted preservation that is happening to many of our endangered animals today?

For twenty years now, no one has seen the South China tiger in the wild. Today there may only be 20 to 30 South Chinese subspecies living in the Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang.

Rewilding is being tried in China by savechinastigers.org

Resources

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

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/asLd3V

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

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

“Seriously Threatened Asian otter is pest controller of the rice paddies”


The smallest species of all otters in the world is threatened. It measures only 94 cm (3.1 ft) from head-to-tail and weighs between 2.7 to 5.4 kg (6-11.9lbs). Their body shape is typically slender, streamlined and very flexible.  Its dextrous forepaws with claws that do not extend above the fleshy end pads of its toes and fingers help it easily forage for crabs in the rice paddies.

Asian small-clawed otter family

This dexterity created a job for this Asian small- clawed otter. This cleaver little dynamo improves the farmer’s economy by consuming small crabs that are considered agricultural pests. To get to them, they may uproot plants in the irrigated rice fields. Thus, they help control the pest population for the local farmers by wandering in area between patches of reeds and river debris where many crab species (Brachyura) are found. The small clawed otters prefers pond areas and rice fields more than the rivers, but can adapt to a river area with low vegetation. This species spends most of their time on land unlike any other otters.

They, like other otters, help keep a healthy balance in the shellfish and crustacean populations in their habitat. Due to ongoing habitat loss, pollution and hunting in some areas, the Oriental small-clawed otter is evaluated as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, because of rapid habitat destruction, hunting and pollution.

Their population is decreasing. The endangered Oriental Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinerea), is also called the Asian Small-clawed Otter lives in coastal regions, mangrove swamps, tidal pools and freshwater wetlands from Southern India to South China, South-east Asia, Sumatra, Java, and Palawan. It is known from all regions of Sabah and Sarawak, Brunei, and in Central of Kalimantan and in almost all other parts of Borneo.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of Wikipedia.org

Excerpts courtesy of  azcentral.com/wildlife-world-zoo-otters.html

Excerpts courtesy of  itech.pjc.edu/SCOTTER/ASCO

Image courtesy of    sea-way.org/otter2.jpg

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