Protect WA Cougars from Trophy Hunters

https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy

A terrible bill has been introduced that will allow for the expanded hound hunting of cougars. This cruel and unsporting practice was rightfully outlawed by voters in 1996.

Under this proposal, counties can authorize a hound hunt based on public safety complaints of cougar sightings. The existing law already allows for citizens to protect themselves if they feel threatened by a cougar. Despite the fact that seeing a cougar does not constitute a threat and cougar kittens are extremely vulnerable to attacks by packs of dogs, proponents of the bill want to bring back the trophy hunting of cougars with hounds. This program was in place from 2004 until 2011, and resulted in widespread, guided recreational hound hunts offered by hunting clubs throughout eastern Washington.

TAKE ACTION
Please call your state senator today to stop this dangerous proposal. Look up your legislator’s phone number. You can say: “I am a constituent, and I am calling to ask you to please oppose SB 5940.”

After making your call (please do not skip that crucial step!), fill in and submit the form below to send a follow-up message. Legislators receive a lot of email; be sure to edit your message so it stands out. 

Coast Guard Cutter Alert rescues sea turtles

February 26, 2015

http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20150226/coast-guard-cutter-alert-rescues-sea-turtles?utm_source=Daily+Astorian+Updates&utm_campaign=db4b48ca58-TEMPLATE_Daily_Astorian_Newsletter_Update&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e787c9ed3c-db4b48ca58-109860249

Submitted
Alert’s rescue diver, Seaman Brandon Groshens, cuts away the netting to free the sea turtles.

The second sea turtle swims away unharmed after being freed from the netting by SN Brandon Groshens.

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The Alert, a Coast Guard cutter homeported in Astoria, encountered the struggling turtles while on patrol Feb. 10 in the eastern Pacific

Two sea turtles caught in fishing net were freed earlier this month by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer.

The Alert, a Coast Guard cutter homeported in Astoria, encountered the struggling turtles while on patrol Feb. 10 in the eastern Pacific, according to a statement from the guard.

The cutter’s bridge watch team flagged plastic containers used as buoys floating in the water and then saw the two entangled turtles.

“Jumping into the ocean to free a couple of sea turtles is not something you wake up in the morning expecting to do” Seaman Brandon Groshens, Pendleton, said in a statement. “It was a really great feeling as they swam away, knowing that we just saved their lives.”

Commander Brian Anderson, the Alert’s commanding officer, said he was “especially proud of my diligent watch standers, and how the crew quickly came together in performing their good deed for the day.”

Killing Echo: The “Mistaken Identity” Excuse, Part One

Originally posted on Howling For Justice:

Echo Grand-Canyon NPS

Echo (Courtesy NPS)

February 27, 2015

It’s been a little over two months since Echo was shot dead by a coyote “hunter”. Her identity was confirmed by DNA analysis of her recovered scat, since she evaded all attempts of capture, making her one smart little wolf. I think Echo should have been called Miracle because it certainly was a miracle she managed to traverse the kill zone of the Northern Rockies and make it to the Grandest of all Canyons. She was the first wolf to set paw there in 70 years. Unfortunately she was not able to evade a bullet and so what could have been a new chapter in wolf recovery turned out to be a sad tale of loss. And the loss was huge. Echo defied the odds. She defied the USFWS who repeatedly said, no gray wolves in  Grand Canyon National Park. But Echo made it…

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50 Renowned Scientists Send Letter To Congress Urging “LEAVE WOLVES ALONE”

Originally posted on Howling For Justice:

Wolf Puppy Wayne Pacelle Stock Photo

“Increasingly, Americans recognize the wide range of economic and ecological benefits that wolves bring.Photo: Stockphoto”

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Pack of Scientists Urges Congress to Leave Wolves, ESA Alone

February 18, 2015

A Humane Nation

Wayne Pacele’s Blog

Today, more than 50 world-renowned wildlife biologists and scientists, many of whom have devoted their entire professional careers toward understanding the social and biological issues surrounding wolves in North America, sent a letter to Congress urging members to oppose any efforts to strip federal protections for wolves in the contiguous 48 states. If Congress were to take this adverse action, according to these scientists, it would upend two recent federal court rulings, which criticized the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for distorting the “plain meaning” of the standards of the Endangered Species Act and admonished several state wildlife agencies for conducting overreaching and dangerous trophy hunting and trapping programs upon federal delisting.

The scientists…

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The girl who gets gifts from birds

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31604026

The girl who gets gifts from birds

Eight-year-old Gabi Mann sets a bead storage container on the dining room table, and clicks the lid open. This is her most precious collection.

“You may take a few close looks,” she says, “but don’t touch.” It’s a warning she’s most likely practised on her younger brother. She laughs after saying it though. She is happy for the audience.

Inside the box are rows of small objects in clear plastic bags. One label reads: “Black table by feeder. 2:30 p.m. 09 Nov 2014.” Inside is a broken light bulb. Another bag contains small pieces of brown glass worn smooth by the sea. “Beer coloured glass,” as Gabi describes it.

Each item is individually wrapped and categorised. Gabi pulls a black zip out of a labelled bag and holds it up. “We keep it in as good condition as we can,” she says, before explaining this object is one of her favourites.

There’s a miniature silver ball, a black button, a blue paper clip, a yellow bead, a faded black piece of foam, a blue Lego piece, and the list goes on. Many of them are scuffed and dirty. It is an odd assortment of objects for a little girl to treasure, but to Gabi these things are more valuable than gold.

Gifts given by the crows
Gifts given by the crows

She didn’t gather this collection. Each item was a gift – given to her by crows.

She holds up a pearl coloured heart. It is her most-prized present. “It’s showing me how much they love me.”

Gabi’s relationship with the neighbourhood crows began accidentally in 2011. She was four years old, and prone to dropping food. She’d get out of the car, and a chicken nugget would tumble off her lap. A crow would rush in to recover it. Soon, the crows were watching for her, hoping for another bite.

As she got older, she rewarded their attention, by sharing her packed lunch on the way to the bus stop. Her brother joined in. Soon, crows were lining up in the afternoon to greet Gabi’s bus, hoping for another feeding session.

Gabi’s mother Lisa didn’t mind that crows consumed most of the school lunches she packed. “I like that they love the animals and are willing to share,” she says, while admitting she never noticed crows until her daughter took an interest in them. “It was a kind of transformation. I never thought about birds.”

In 2013, Gabi and Lisa started offering food as a daily ritual, rather than dropping scraps from time to time.

Each morning, they fill the backyard birdbath with fresh water and cover bird-feeder platforms with peanuts. Gabi throws handfuls of dog food into the grass. As they work, crows assemble on the telephone lines, calling loudly to them.

Gabi feeding birds in her garden

It was after they adopted this routine that the gifts started appearing.

The crows would clear the feeder of peanuts, and leave shiny trinkets on the empty tray; an earring, a hinge, a polished rock. There wasn’t a pattern. Gifts showed up sporadically – anything shiny and small enough to fit in a crow’s mouth.

One time it was a tiny piece of metal with the word “best” printed on it. “I don’t know if they still have the part that says ‘friend’,” Gabi laughs, amused by the thought of a crow wearing a matching necklace.

When you see Gabi’s collection, it’s hard not to wish for gift-giving crows of your own.

“If you want to form a bond with a crow, be consistent in rewarding them,” advises John Marzluff, professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington. He specialises in birds, particularly crows and ravens.

Crow on feeder

What food is best? “A few peanuts in the shell,” he says. “It’s a high-energy food… and it makes noise when you throw it on the ground, so they hear it and they quickly habituate to your routine.”

Marzluff, and his colleague Mark Miller, did a study of crows and the people who feed them. They found that crows and people form a very personal relationship. “There’s definitely a two-way communication going on there,” Marzluff says. “They understand each other’s signals.”

The birds communicate by how they fly, how close they walk, and where they sit. The human learns their language and the crows learn their feeder’s patterns and posture. They start to know and trust each other. Sometimes a crow leaves a gift.

But crow gifts are not guaranteed. “I can’t say they always will (give presents),” Marzluff admits, having never received any gifts personally, “but I have seen an awful lot of things crows have brought people.”

Not all crows deliver shiny objects either. Sometimes they give the kind of presents “they would give to their mate”, says Marzluff. “Courtship feeding, for example. So some people, their presents are dead baby birds that the crow brings in.”

Read More: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31604026

How Many Wolves Died for Your Hamburger?

by               06/27/2014

Population and Sustainability Director, Center for Biological

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephanie-feldstein/how-many-wolves-died-for-your-hamburger_b_5535494.html

When you bite into a hamburger or steak, you already know the cost to the cow, but what about the wolves, coyotes, bears and other wildlife that were killed in getting that meat to your plate?

There are a lot of ways that meat production hurts wildlife, from habitat taken over by feed crops to rivers polluted by manure to climate change caused by methane emissions. But perhaps the most shocking is the number of wild animals, including endangered species and other non-target animals, killed by a secretive government agency for the livestock industry.

Last year Wildlife Services, an agency within the Department of Agriculture, killed more than 2 million native animals. While wolf-rancher conflicts are well known, the death toll provided by the agency also included 75,326 coyotes, 3,700 foxes and 419 black bears. Even prairie dogs aren’t safe: They’re considered pests, blamed for competing with livestock for feed and creating burrow systems that present hazards for grazing cattle. The agency killed 12,186 black-tailed prairie dogs and destroyed more than 30,000 of their dens.

The methods used to kill these animals are equally shocking: death by exploding poison caps, suffering in inhumane traps and gunned down by men in airplanes and helicopters.

How many of the 2 million native animals were killed to feed America’s meat habit? No one really knows. This is where the secrecy comes in: While we know that they frequently respond to requests from the agricultural community to deal with “nuisance animals,” Wildlife Services operates with few rules and little public oversight. That’s why the Center for Biological Diversity, where I work, has called on the Obama administration to reform this rogue agency to make it more transparent and more accountable. Despite the growing outcry from the public, scientists, non-governmental organizations and members of Congress, the federal agency shows no signs of slowing its killing streak.

There are two important ways that you can help rein in Wildlife Services. First, sign our online petition demanding that the Department of Agriculture create rules and public access to all of the agency’s activities. Second, start taking extinction off your plate. Our growing population will mean a growing demand for meat and for the agency’s deadly services, unless we take steps to reduce meat consumption across the country. By eating less or no meat, you can reduce your environmental footprint and help save wildlife.

Also see: https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/save-the-wolves-go-vegan/

copyrighted Hayden wolf walking

the Dangerous “Noble Savage” Myth

Dave Foreman, formerly of Earth First! and now The Rewilding Institute, wrote in the glossary of his timely over-population book, Man Swarm and the Killing of Wildlife, of the “Noble Savage Myth: Jean Jaques Rousseau is the best-known flag-waver for the myth of the noble savage, which holds that man in a natural state was noble, peaceful, and ecologically sweet before being besmirched by civilization. Anthropology, archaeology, paleontology, history, field biology, conservation, and so on have shown this belief to have no ground on which to stand.” Foreman recommends the book, Constant Battles, by archeologist Stephen A. LeBlanc as the current must read on the subject. Having been keenly interested in the subject since reading Jarred Diamond’s The Third Chimpanzee, Richard Wrangham’s Demonic Males, and even before, I of course ordered Constant Battles to fill in the blanks.

The book arrived in the mail yesterday and I couldn’t wait to get started. From that book’s prologue: “War today and in the last century seems unprecedented in intensity, ferocity, and number of lives claimed. With this ominous could hanging over our heads, it’s easy to believe that humans have somehow abandoned the benign behavior that characterized our earliest history. What happened to those ‘noble savages’ of old who were content to live in peace and harmony and were not out to colonize and exploit the undeveloped world? The ecological catastrophes occurring all around us present another modern maelstrom—and no ecosystem is immune, from the tropical rainforest, from the pristine arctic to the ozone layer. Humankind today seems to have abandoned a reverence for nature and lost long-held abilities to live in ecological balance. Has ‘progress’—that escalating desire to be bigger, better, faster, stronger—totally extinguished our ancestral instincts to grow everything we consume and hunt only what we need to sustain us? Many view the march of civilization not as a blessing but a curse, bringing with it escalating warfare and spiraling environmental destruction unlike anything in our human past.

“Contrary to exceedingly popular opinion, and as bad as our problems may be today, none of this is true. The common notion of humankind’s blissful past, populated with noble savages living in a pristine and peaceful world, is held by those who do not understand our past and who have failed to see the course of human history for what it is.

“…I have spent my entire career attempting to make sense of the past, and I find the world completely at odds with popular misconceptions. Not only is the past I observed not peaceful and pristine, but, cruel and ugly as it may be, it provides great insight into the present. The warfare and ecological destruction we find today fit into patterns of human behavior that have gone on for millions of years. Humans have been destroying their environment for a long time and continue to do so for the same reasons they did in the past… [P]roper grasp of the past has invaluable benefits for humankind today. We are far better off understanding the past than ignoring it, or believing a mythical version of history that bears little to resemblance to what actually took place.

“A myth, due to its very nature, is not grounded in any reality, so it is susceptible to total manipulation. Though we can manipulate reality, it is subject to objective questioning, because we presume there is an objective basis to it. Once we accept a myth as truth without any consideration of its reality, how do we question its implications or manipulations on objective grounds? Myths are dangerous, and we are better off without them…”

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Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak:The wisdom of John Livingston: ‘The Fallacy of Wildlife Conservation’

Exposing the Big Game:

I ordered 2 of John Livingston’s book’s last week…

Originally posted on Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife:

54dd14929599f.preview-300 Baby otters

“I think it (hunting) always was abnormal behavior. It was the fullest expression of the commodification of nature.” — John Livingston (1923-2006)

This column is a resource for people interested in rescuing wildlife as our brothers and sisters — and in the living earth surviving intact for its own sake. It is a challenge to conservationists. Today it focuses on the wisdom of John A. Livingston.

Livingston, who died in 2006, served as executive director of Canadian Audubon in the 1950s, left to produce “The Nature of Things” for CBC television in 1962-1968, then taught ecology at York University. This column consists primarily of excerpts from Farley Mowat’s 1990 interview with Livingston, which is included in “The John A. Livingston Reader,” published in 2007. The reader also includes “The Fallacy of Wildlife Conservation,” originally published in 1981, and “One Cosmic Instant: A Natural History of Human Arrogance,” first…

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Number of wolves in Oregon grows to 77

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2015/02/24/number-wolves-oregon-increase/23968745/

 

The number of gray wolves in Oregon has increased for the sixth year in a row, as the species slowly expands into the western half of the state, according to the annual report issued by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The number of wolves increased to 77 confirmed wolves in nine packs, up from 64 wolves in eight packs the previous year. Twenty-six of the wolves listed were pups less than a year old.

Seven wolves have now reached the Cascade Range, including the famous wandering wolf OR-7, which became head of the newly formed Rogue Pack, which has five members including three pups. The pups marked the first known wolf reproduction in the Oregon Cascades since the mid-1940s.

The Keno Pair, also in the Southern Cascades, has two members.

Even with the increase, ODFW said that the number of wolf conflicts with livestock (depredation) decreased to 11 incidents, down from 13 the previous year.

Wolves in Oregon are listed statewide as endangered under the Oregon Endangered Species Act. Wolves occurring west of Oregon Highways 395/78/95 are federally protected as endangered under the federal ESA.

Wolves in eastern Oregon are now under “Phase II” management, which triggers a status review and could result in changes to how wolves are managed.

Zach Urness has been an outdoors writer, photographer and videographer in Oregon for seven years. He is the author of the book “Hiking Southern Oregon”