After reading “The U.S. plans to lift protections for gray wolves” (March 10), I believe that the future for the gray wolves is bleak. Part of the reason gray wolves are endangered is that they were hunted and poisoned as if they were pests. Allowing them to be hunted once again will most likely put them…
Lions have reduced by 33 per cent in Uganda’s game reserves over the last 10 years. This is according to the findings of a census undertaken in Murchison Falls, Kidepo and Queen Elizabeth national parks.
The finding shows that in the three parks, the number of lions has reduced from 600 to 400 in the past decade. The biggest decline was recorded in Murchison Falls, where the ‘king of the beasts’ decreased from 320 to 130 animals.
The executive director of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Simon Nandipo attributes the trend to the weak legal framework against poaching and wildlife trafficking in the country, human activities which include, among others, wire snares and wheel traps, and conflict with communities neighbouring the parks.
Nandipo says that the animals are trafficked out of the country through the different entry and exit points, including the…
VANCOUVER – B.C. has greenlighted the logging of 314 new cutblocks in the critical habitat of southern mountain caribou across the province in the past four months alone.
The shocking discovery made by the Wilderness Committee is prompting the organization, along with Greenpeace Canada, to call on Catherine McKenna, federal minister of environment and climate change, to issue an emergency order to halt logging of southern mountain caribou critical habitat while negotiations for conservation plans are underway.
“If the province logs what little is left of caribou critical habitat then all this planning will be for nothing,” said Charlotte Dawe, conservation and policy campaigner for the Wilderness Committee. “We need the federal government to step in and protect habitat before it’s all gone.”
Four months ago, negotiations were well underway between the federal and provincial governments and First Nations to create an effective caribou conservation plan. But while in negotiations the B.C. government continued approving cutblocks in critical habitat.
“It’s as if B.C. is holding a clear out sale for logging companies to ‘get it while you can!’ It’s the great caribou con from our very own B.C. government,” said Dawe.
“On the one hand B.C. says it’s protecting caribou while on the other, they’re handing out permits to log habitat as fast as they can. How much more evidence does the federal government need to prove that B.C. is failing to protect caribou?”
McKenna, announced last summer that southern mountain caribou are facing imminent threats to their recovery noting, “immediate intervention is required to allow for eventual recovery.” The announcement came after the functional extinction of two caribou herds in B.C.
The evidence is piling up against the B.C. government’s claim that they are effectively protecting caribou throughout the province.
“If the B.C. government was serious about protecting and recovering caribou throughout the province then they should have rejected these cutblocks,” said Eduardo Sousa, Senior Campaigner for Greenpeace Canada. “Instead, by approving these blocks, they are negotiating conservation agreements in some of these very same areas in bad faith. It’s appalling and we can’t trust them now.”
Almost a year ago the Wilderness Committee revealed 83 cutblocks were approved in the critical habitat of B.C.’s eight most at-risk herds. Logging rates have increased since the finding; in the past four months, 134 new cutblocks have been approved in the same critical habitats.
There are two southern mountain caribou local populations where logging approvals are the highest in core critical habitat — the Telkwa and Chilcotin populations. Both have 13 cutblocks each set to be logged.
Despite compelling evidence that caribou will disappear without mature forests, a recent report risks their survival by giving cover for government to ramp up wolf killing while allowing industry to continue destroying critical habitat. The authors claim that “intensive population treatments” — aerial gunning and strychnine poisoning of wolves, hunting of cougar, moose and deer, and maternal pens for caribou — are necessary until we Canadians understand that unless we use natural resources more responsibly caribou will vanish.
The report Saving Endangered Species Using Adaptive Management not only lacks scientific rigor in its design, but should also be questioned for side-stepping an ethical review process that would have prohibited its publication. Unlike provincial biologists, academics are not allowed to conduct inhumane research, let alone publish it. But…
recipient: President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi
Talk about bad ideas! The Botswana government has announced a plan to allow the hunting and killing of elephants and use their meat to make dog food.
You read that correctly. Knowing that the elephant is on the brink of extinction, the Southern African nation has decided to do something absolutely crazy, repeal the ban on trophy hunting. Elephant carcasses would then be harvested for pet food!
Home to one-third of all African elephants, Botswana was once considered one of the last bastions of safety for the imperiled animal. But all that has recently changed. The country — which has 130,000 elephants, the most of any nation — has experienced an alarming spate of elephant poachings. In the past 4 years, poaching has increased by 540%. And from July to September of 2018, 90 elephants were poached — compare that to 14 killed in the same amount of time in 2014.
Yet, instead of creating policies that would better protect the elephant, they are doing the opposite and making it easier to kill them.
Botswana says there have been too many interactions between people and elephants in recent years. But that is no excuse to give the green light to elephant trophy hunting. There are other ways to mitigate human-elephant interactions without having to kill them. And to turn them into dog food is just shameful.
Please sign the petition and tell Botswana you are against their new plan to turn Dumbo into Dog Chow. Tell them to ditch this terrible plan.
Rapid and “devastating” Arctic warming is now almost unstoppable, United Nations researchers warn in a major new report.
Unless humanity makes very rapid and deep pollution cuts, Arctic winter temperatures will rise 5.4° to 9.0°F (3° to 5°C) by 2050 — and will reach an astounding 9° to 16°F (5° to 8.8°C) by 2080 — according to a report by the U.N. Environment Program released Wednesday.
Even worse, the report, “Global Linkages: A graphic look at the changing Arctic,” warns that warming will in turn awaken a “sleeping giant” in the form of vast quantities of permafrost carbon. This carbon has been frozen in the permafrost for up to thousands of years, but as the atmosphere warms, the permafrost will thaw. This will release the trapped carbon, and trigger more planet-wide warming in a dangerous feedback loop.
As the report explains, warming in the Arctic is occurring at least twice as fast as warming across the planet as a whole, thanks to Arctic amplification. One reason for this amplification is that when highly reflective snow and ice melts due to higher temperatures, it is replaced by the dark blue sea or darker land, both of which absorb more solar energy than they reflect, leading to more melting.
“Arctic amplification is most pronounced in winter and strongest in areas with large losses of sea ice during the summer,” researchers explain, so winter warming in the region is projected to rise three times faster than the world as a whole.
But as this feedback loop plays out, it also triggers another one: the thawing of the Arctic permafrost and the release of the carbon that it contains.
Thawing permafrost is an especially dangerous amplifying feedback loop because the global permafrost contains twice as much carbon as the atmosphere does today . The permafrost, or tundra, is soil that stays below freezing (32°F or 0°C) for at least two years. It acts like a freezer for carbon, but now humanity has decided to leave the freezer door open.
The thawing releases not only carbon dioxide but also methane — a far more potent greenhouse gas — thereby further warming the planet. And as the planet continues to warm, more permafrost will melt, releasing even more greenhouse gases in a continuous feedback loop.
“New evidence suggests that permafrost is thawing much faster than previously thought,” the report warns. Indeed, a recent study found that Siberian permafrost at depths of up to 30 feet warmed a remarkable 1.6°F (0.9°C) from 2007 to 2016.
The most dangerous climate feedback loop is speeding up
The U.N. report quotes the saying: “What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic.”
For instance, the Arctic’s rapid warming is weakening the jet stream, which leads weather patterns to stall, and that drives more extreme weather in this country, such as heavy precipitation on the East Coast and extreme drought on the West Coast.
And the quicker the Arctic heats up, the quicker the land-based Greenland ice sheet melts and the quicker sea levels rise. One 2017 study concluded that Greenland ice mass loss has tripled in just two decades.
But the authors of the U.N. report explain that simply meeting the initial emissions reduction targets in the 2015 Paris Climate Accord will not be enough to stop “devastating” warming and the loss of nearly half the permafrost this century. Those initial targets would not limit total warming to 2°C (3.6°F), which is why the agreement calls for ratcheting down those targets over time in order to keep warming “well below 2°C.”
So, to avoid accelerated warming, massive permafrost loss, ever-worsening extreme weather, and multi-feet sea level rise, the nations of the world must not only make deep cuts in CO2 emissions over the next decade, but also they must then keep ratcheting down global emissions to near zero around mid-century.
Scientists say Ocasio-Cortez’s dire climate warning is spot on
Yet, President Donald Trump is taking the country in the dangerously wrong direction by starting the process of withdrawing from the Paris agreement and rolling back domestic climate efforts.
What humanity needs to avert catastrophe are the kind of rapid emissions reductions envisioned in the Green New Deal, which aims for a carbon-free power sector by 2030 and the decarbonization of all other sectors as fast as technically possible.
Despite this extremely worrying fact, president-elect Donald Trump—who once tweeted, “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”—recently announced that he had picked Myron Ebell, an active climate change denier, to lead the transition of the Environmental Protection Agency.
This bodes poorly for us, and even worse for our potential offspring: Research shows that future generations will be the ones to suffer the worst consequences of climate change, not us. In light of this…
Hunter wounded in Little Bridge Creek area last October
State wildlife police have completed an investigation into a shooting incident last fall that resulted in a wounded hunter being airlifted from the Methow Valley.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) law enforcement officials have handed their report over to the Okanogan County prosecuting attorney, who will decide whether to file charges in connection with the incident, said Sgt. Dan Christensen, Okanogan County supervisor for WDFW police.
The incident occurred on Oct. 20, during deer hunting season, on U.S. Forest Service land in the Little Bridge Creek area west of Twisp. Christensen said the investigation found two groups of hunters, all from the west side of the state, were involved in the incident, which took place near a spur road off Little Bridge Creek Road.
According to the investigation, Nathan Hlebechuk, 45, of Seabeck, and his…
PALENVILLE, N.Y. — The Rip Van Winkle Rod and Gun Club in Palenville in Greene County is holding its 6th annual “Crow Down,” a crow-hunting competition scheduled for March 29-30.
The two-day event is a fund-raiser for the club and is open to the public. Tickets will be awarded for every dead crow turned in, which can be applied to door prizes. There will also be “pay-to-play” raffles for firearms and other hunting/fishing gear, said Keith VanRoy, a club spokesman. There is no prize for shooting the most crows.
VanRoy said the area around the rod and gun club is not a crow hot spot, unlike a number of Upstate cities such as Auburn, Rochester, Albany or Watertown which have more than its share of…
Even if the world were to cut emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, winter temperatures in the Arctic would rise 3-5°C by 2050 and 5-9°C by 2080, devastating the region and unleashing sea level rises worldwide, UN said. Other environmental p…
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