About Exposing the Big Game

Jim Robertson

It’s Hotter Than You Think: Climate-Change Summary and Update

The Extinction Chronicles

Updated most recently, likely for the final time, 2 August 2016.

The Great Dying wiped out at least 90% of the species on Earth due to an abrupt rise in global-average temperature about 252 million years ago. The vast majority of complex life became extinct. Based on information from the most conservative sources available, Earth is headed for a similar or higher global-average temperature in the very near future. The recent and near-future rises in temperature are occurring and will occur at least an order of magnitude faster than the worst of all prior Mass Extinctions. Habitat for human animals is disappearing throughout the world, and abrupt climate change has barely begun. In the near future, habitat for Homo sapiens will be gone. Shortly thereafter, all humans will die.

There is no precedence in planetary history for events unfolding today. As a result, relying on prior events to predict the…

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Update: 11 Koi Rescued From Abandoned Pond in Cumming!

With the help of Home Partners of America, which permitted access to a vacant rental property in Cumming, 11 neglected koi were removed from a dangerous situation. Thank you to everyone who took the time to speak out about this urgent issue and to Atlanta Koi Rescue for coordinating the rescue effort and ensuring a happy ending for these animals.

Please be sure to check out our other urgent alerts and help animals who still need your voice!



PETA has been alerted to an evidently abandoned koi pond reportedly located on a vacant rental property in Cumming, Georgia. We’re told that the pond once contained as many as 30 fish but that up to a month has elapsed without anyone feeding them. Water levels are running perilously low, and a nonworking pump has resulted in inadequate oxygenation. One witness claims that dozens of fish have perished since April and that approximately 10 koi remain in the murky water struggling to survive. Local entities stand ready and willing to rescue these survivors but can’t do so unless the property management company that oversees the location gives them access. Despite numerous calls from PETA and local officials to the company, access has still not been given.

Don’t allow bear hunting: Letter

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Published 

Once again it’s that time of the year when our legislators will be taking up bills that not only affect Connecticut voters, but also those without a vote, namely, Connecticut’s black bear population. The proposed bill, Bill 586, would allow the hunting of black bear in Litchfield County. The alternative to that is Bill 894, which would require the state to come up with nonlethal methods of keeping bears out of heavily populated areas. Those favoring opening a season on black bear hunting cite the numerous (8,992) reported sightings in Connecticut last year.

In 1975 the legislature passed the Deer Management Act which was Connecticut’s first regulated deer hunting season using the excuse that the deer population was overpopulated and needed to be culled. Today, the excuse for opening a season on black bear hunting is based on little if any factual information, but rather on flimsy and…

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No changes to hunting seasons

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Ruling does not allow tribal members to hunt without restriction

Posted 

From county commission meetings to the governor’s office, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a Crow tribal member’s alleged poaching in the Bighorn National Forest has officials and hunters discussing — and mostly guessing about — the ramifications of the decision.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision can be considered a victory for Clayvin Herrera, who appealed his conviction for killing an elk out-of-season in the Bighorn Mountains. However, Herrera is not off the hook and there won’t be a free-for-all in the forest, or anywhere else in the region, according to officials and those familiar with the case.

The dispute hinges on the interpretation of a 1868 treaty between the federal government and the Crow Tribe.

The treaty promised that — in exchange for the government acquiring…

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An Attack on Iran Would Violate US and International Law

The Extinction Chronicles

As President Donald Trump, National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rattle their sabers, there is no evidence that Iran poses a threat to the United States. It was Trump who threatened genocide, tweeting, “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran.” The Pentagon is now considering sending 10,000 additional troops to the Gulf region for “defensive” purposes and not in response to a new threat by Iran. Threats to use military force — like the use of force itself — violate U.S. and international law.

Last week, Pompeo said U.S. intelligence had determined that Iranian-sponsored attacks on U.S. forces “were imminent.” The…

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Botswana lifts ban on big game hunting

A young bull elephant is seen in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

GABORONE (Reuters) – Botswana, home to almost a third of Africa’s elephants, lifted a ban on big game hunting on Wednesday, citing growing conflict between humans and wildlife and the negative impact of the hunting suspension on people’s livelihoods.

Conservationists estimate the southern African country has around 130,000 elephants, but some lawmakers say the number is much higher and causes problems for small-scale farmers.

“The Government of Botswana has taken a decision to lift the hunting suspension,” the Environment Ministry said in a statement.

“The Ministry would like to reiterate that it will work with all stakeholders to ensure that re-instatement of hunting is done in an orderly and ethical manner”.

It said the return of wildlife hunting would take place in accordance with laws and regulations governing wildlife conservation, hunting and licensing, but did not elaborate. Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism Onkokame Kitso Mokaila would hold a news conference on Thursday to give details, it said.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi set up a committee in June last year to consider the hunting ban, which was imposed by former President Ian Khama in 2014 after surveys showed declining wildlife populations.

At the time, the committee chair said it recommended “a legal framework that will enable the growth of a safari hunting industry and manage the country’s elephant population within the historic range”. The committee also called for “regular but limited” elephant culling.

Botswana, a mostly arid country the size of France, has a population of around 2.3 million people and its vast tracts of remote wilderness make it a magnet for foreign tourists who want to view wildlife.

Fierce divide as Botswana lifts hunting ban

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Botswana says lifting the ban will not threaten the elephant population
Botswana says lifting the ban will not threaten the elephant population

https://phys.org/news/2019-05-botswana-elephant.html

Many conservationists on Thursday reacted with anger over Botswana’s decision to lift its blanket ban on hunting, describing it as a “horrifying” move, though others backed the idea.

Botswana fended off criticism of its decision to end the five-year ban, saying the move would not threaten the elephant population.

A government statement said the cabinet had been influenced by the “high levels of human-elephant conflict” and its “impact on livelihoods”.

“Predators appear to have increased and were causing a lot of damage as they killed livestock in large numbers,” it said.

“The general consensus from those consulted was that the hunting ban should be lifted.”

A blanket hunting ban was introduced in 2014 by then-president Ian Khama, a keen environmentalist, to reverse a decline in the population of wild animals.

But lawmakers from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party…

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Marineland confirms walrus death, two deer killed in opening day stampede

Marineland has confirmed the death of walrus Apollo and said the 18-year-old animal had a heart attack.

Cillian O’BrienCTVNews.ca writer

@cillian_obrien

Published Wednesday, May 22, 2019 12:33PM EDT 

Controversial Canadian waterpark Marineland has announced the death of one of its walruses, days after “demonstrators” were blamed for causing a stampede that led to the deaths of two deer.

The tourist attraction in Niagara Falls, Ont. announced Apollo’s death on Tuesday, confirming the 18-year-old animal died of a heart attack in late April.

“Even with the immediate intervention of multiple medical marine mammal experts, we are sad to report that Apollo passed away,” a Marineworld release said.

“While the loss of Apollo is truly devastating for all of us who knew him, we are comforted in knowing he passed very quickly and without obvious pain.”

The park is now keeping a close eye on its last remaining walrus, Smooshi, which has been subject to “extensive additional checkups to confirm the status of her health.”

“Our team is providing her with additional enrichment and care while plans for her future at the park are finalized,” the park said.

“Smooshi continues to show her love and adoration for her favourite marine mammal trainers and appeared to be in good spirits when taking to the stage at Marineland’s educational presentation on Saturday’s opening day.”

Apollo is the fourth walrus to die at Marineland in two years.

Zeus died of natural causes on Boxing Day last year. Another walrus, Buttercup, died in the winter of 2017/18.

Female walrus Sonja died suddenly in May 2017 from a rare abdominal aneurysm, the park said.

Two deer killed in stampede

Meanwhile, Marineland said it had its busiest opening day in a decade, despite protests from animal rights groups.

The park claims two men deliberately started a deer stampede Saturday, resulting in the deaths of two of the animals.

“These individuals laughed in the face of staff as they tried to get them to stop,” a Marineland statement said.

“They refused all instruction by staff and resisted efforts to remove them from the Deer Park. We are all upset by this terrible act against innocent animals.

“In order to protect our animals, we are closing the Deer Park to make modifications to prevent this type of incident from ever happening again.”

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society has called for an overhaul to provincial animal welfare legislation, which it says is failing animals kept in captivity for commercial gain.

“The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society has formed a task force dedicated to developing ‎new provincial animal welfare legislation that reflects the need for both greater protection and social justice for animals,” the charity said in a statement.

“The task force is reviewing the need for animals to be recognized under law as sentient beings to acknowledge their ability to feel, to have subjective experiences and to be treated accordingly, rather than as property.”

World’s intelligent hunters in a race for survival in Iran

TEHRAN – Foxes, the intelligent hunters who avoid humans, having a limited range in Iran, are endangered due to human encroachment on their habitats and the lack of safety, said Jalil Imani, a biodiversity and ecosystems management expert.

There are more than 20 species of foxes who eat almost anything, including small mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, worms and fruit. The common fox is considered by some as pest species, being an opportunistic hunter of game birds, ground-nesting birds and small mammals, often killing animals’ surplus to its needs.

Foxes in Iran are often seen in farmlands in search of rodents. They are also likely to feed on melons, scavenge in refuse dumps, or track hares and other small mammals, especially when there is snow on the ground. Foxes in Iran are trapped, shot, and hunted almost everywhere they occur, and yet they still manage to thrive.

Foxes feed on small animals like rats, but farmers turning pastures into agricultural land over the past few years are using pesticides to protect their product, which kill foxes’ prey, and in some case the foxes themselves by the poisonous baits.

Four fox species inhabiting in Iran, including Blanford’s, Corsac, Rüppell’s and common foxes, Imani said, lamenting, according to the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), all four aforesaid species of foxes in the world are defined as least concern, however in Iran, their condition is different.

“Blanford’s fox is assigned endangered by the Department of Environment, any hunting or trade of which is considered illegal,” he noted, adding, while Corsac fox has been listed as extinct before sighting some in northeastern part of the country, which switched to critically endangered.

Rüppell’s fox is also placed in the IUCN’s least concern category, while being vulnerable in Iran which requires protection, he said.

“Fortunately, common fox is in better condition and is not listed as endangered yet,” he added.

So far, no measures have been taken to estimate fox population in the country, he said, adding, so there are no accurate statistics on the number of foxes in the country.

“The results of genetic tests showed that genetic variation of the foxes is desirable. There are two major genetic groups in the country that are in some ways compatible with the global groups.”

Imani went on to say that the Rüppell’s fox found mainly in Yazd, Kerman, somewhat Sistan-Baluchestan and Isfahan provinces, have proper genetic diversity, so there is still hope for the preservation of the sub species.

Blanford’s and Corsac foxes while offering insufficient information for a proper assessment, can be conserved to some extent, he said, noting, for precise determination scientific analysis and researches must be conducted in this regard.

One of the most important threats to fox species are habitat fragmentation, as well as the use of pesticides eradicating their prey, road construction, rabies and stray dogs, although the conflict with humans is the leading cause for their heading toward extinction.

“Foxes feed on small animals like rats, but farmers turning pastures into agricultural land over the past few years are using pesticides to protect their product, which kill foxes’ prey, and in some case the foxes themselves by the poisonous baits.

“On the other hand, road accidents took lives of many of the smart species, for example, there is a road in northern island of Qeshm, in which one to two foxes are killed per day due to road crashes.

“Unfortunately, another threat posed to the foxes is hunting for the fur trade, or some people keep their pelt for prosperity beliefs and superstitions.

“Foxes are primarily nocturnal hunters who prefer to search for food at a time when there is little chance of being spotted by humans, therefore, they are no threat to humans and there is no need to persecute the precious species,” Imani regretted.

Corsac fox’s habitat no longer safe

An official with the Golestan DOE, Mahmood Shakiba, said in October 2018 that living conditions for rare corsac fox in the country is so improper that spotting a few nests of the species is a pleasure.

In the Iranian calendar year 1395 (March 2016-March 2017), some 14 Corsac nests have been found in Turkmen Sahara in Golestan province, of which only four nests have been active and last year the nests have no longer been active, he added.

All Corsac habitats have been destructed turning into agricultural land, animal husbandry, manufacturing workshops or factories, so that the animal has no place to live, he regretted.

What happens when species go extinct?

As the species is at the top of the food chain, it plays an important role in conservation of the country’s ecosystem as well as protecting other species.

When an ecosystem loses key species such as common fox, it triggers what ecologists call a trophic cascade—a butterfly effect that spirals down the food chain. A well-documented case study for this phenomenon is the gray wolf, once among the world’s most widely distributed mammals. Prior to their extirpation, North American gray wolves were a key predator of deer, elk, moose, bison and caribou, as well as numerous smaller mammals. Following the wolves’ disappearance, the abundance of deer skyrocketed, with some populations climbing to six times their historical size.

Disappearance of foxes also have potential of disrupting the balance. For example, common fox’s function as an apex predator control the abundance of their prey and thus help to maintain a balance of nature.

China has been emitting illegal greenhouse gas that destroys ozone layer, scientists find

The Extinction Chronicles

KEY POINTS
  • A study by scientists from the University of Bristol, Kyungpook National University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds China responsible for much of a recent spike in the emission of an illegal greenhouse gas.
  • China accounted for 40% to 60% of the global increase in trichlorofluoromethane, or CFC-11, emissions between 2014 and 2017, the study says.
  • CFC-11 was internationally banned under the Montreal Protocol because it can destroy earth’s protective ozone layer.
GP: China factories 190523
Factories in China’s Shandong province.
Zhang Peng | LightRocket | Getty Images

There has been a rise in the emission of an illegal greenhouse gas that destroys the earth’s ozone layer — and China is responsible for “a substantial fraction” of that increase, according to a new study.

The research published on Wednesday found that China accounted for 40% to 60% of the global increase in trichlorofluoromethane, or CFC-11, emissions…

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