In Canada, mountain caribou recovery falters

http://www.hcn.org/issues/48.18/in-canada-mountain-caribou-recovery-falters?utm_source=wcn1&utm_medium=email

A decade of conservation efforts has done little to stop the decline of the endangered ungulates or their rainforest home.

Alberta announces tree planting will be part of caribou protection plan

By: Staff The Canadian Press Published on Sat Oct 01 2016

EDMONTON – The Alberta government says it’s moving ahead with the oil and
gas industry to restore habitat for dwindling caribou herds.

The province announced Saturday that work is beginning that will eventually
see trees planted along thousands of kilometres of land that were cleared
for seismic lines in the Little Smoky and A La Peche caribou rangelands.

The work starts with compiling a restoration guide, as well as setting up a
pilot project along 70 kilometres of seismic lines in the spring.

A $200,000 contract will be issued to source and grow the trees for the
pilot project, and $800,000 will be earmarked for an operational plan to
restore 3,900 kilometres of lines.

The federal government has given provinces until 2017 to come up with range
plans and recovery strategies for caribou herds, which are in danger across
the country.

The Alberta government released a draft plan for caribou protection in its
northern and central regions in June, where one particularly threatened herd
has declined to only a few dozen.

“We are pleased with the leadership role taken by the oil and gas industry
in working to ensure we have a made-in-Alberta plan that provides an
economic certainty for industry and workers who make their living in the
north and do what’s right to protect this iconic animal,” Alberta’s
environment minister, Shannon Phillips, said in a media release.

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier noted the tree-planting
efforts will provide jobs and strengthen local economies.

The clean energy think tank the Pembina Institute says on its website that
oil companies that create the seismic lines to get information about
underground rock formations must remove trees and other obstacles in order
to make room for their vehicles and equipment.

The seismic lines and roads into forests and wetlands provide wolves with
easy access to caribou, which results in more predators than the herds can
tolerate.

In Alberta, decades of development have left herds clinging to a few scraps
of old-growth forest. Numbers have declined by about 60 per cent and some
ranges are more than 80 per cent disturbed.

Portions of the Alberta draft plan released in June called for energy
development to be “rescheduled” and logging old-growth forest on caribou
range to be blocked. It said wolves would continue to be shot to try to
manage the population, although bears also eat caribou calves.

The draft also suggested fencing off a 100-square-kilometre habitat for
female caribou during the calving season to protect them from predators.

The fence proposal drew fire from some environmental groups who argued the
major issue that needed to be addressed was the loss of natural habitat to
industrial expansion.

There were also suggestions that caribou coming out of a predator-free
enclosure would not know how to handle themselves in the wild.

Russia plans to kill a quarter million Siberian reindeer amid anthrax fears

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/10/01/russia-plans-to-kill-a-quarter-million-siberian-reindeer-amid-anthrax-fears/

October 1 at 1:15 PM

You know Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid…?

They may all be dead soon.

Faced with a public health crisis straight from a dystopian horror movie, officials in a remote region of Siberia have proposed killing off 250,000 reindeer by Christmas to minimize the possible spread of deadly anthrax bacteria, according to the Siberian Times.

The alarm started in July, when an outbreak of the bacteria killed a 12-year-old nomadic boy and sickened nearly 100 nomadic people in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, a vast northwestern region of the Siberian tundra. More than 2,300 reindeer also died.

The region’s governor, Dmitry Kobylkin, declared a state of emergency but also tried to reassure the Nenets, the nomadic indigenous people of the region, who roam with the herds of reindeer and depend on them for their existence.

“There is no epidemic in Yamal,” Kobylkin told the Associated Press then. “Only a small area was quarantined.”

The Yamal Peninsula, where the outbreak occurred, was immediately closed off and the carcasses of the dead animals burned. Kobylkin said all the reindeer on the peninsula — some 300,000 — were vaccinated, the AP reported.

Hundreds of nomadic reindeer herders were evacuated to Salekhard, the region’s capital, and the government set aside about $1.3 million to help them build a new settlement, according to the AP.

Still, the outbreak has prompted officials to propose killing 250,000 reindeer by Christmas, a far greater number that would be reduced anyway in an annual “cull” of the animals that takes place each November and December, the Siberian Times reported.

[A lightning strike killed 323 reindeer, and this is the ghastly aftermath]

A Russian federal veterinary official has said the reindeer population in Yamal was already “too high,” and thus, unsustainable.

“The more dense the animal population is, the worse the disease transfer medium (and) the more often animals get sick,” said Nikolai Vlasov, deputy head of Russia’s Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service, according to the Siberian Times. “Density of livestock, especially in the tundra areas that are very fragile, should be regulated…. Otherwise, they will kill the pastures and later will destroy the indigenous minorities of the north who will have nothing to live on. It is impossible to breed reindeer without limits.”
An estimated 730,000 reindeer live in the Yamalo-Nenets region, the largest herd in the world, according to the paper.

Further complicating the matter, officials believe the mysterious outbreak may have started because a heat wave this summer thawed a decades-old corpse of a reindeer that was infected with anthrax, re-releasing the bacteria into the air.

This summer, temperatures in Yamal reached record highs of 90-degrees Fahrenheit and above, an unusual occurrence for what is typically a bitterly cold tundra. (Yamal means “end of the land” in the Nenets language.)

[Scientists are floored by what’s happening in the Arctic right now]

As the warmer temperatures caused a layer of permafrost to melt, the infected reindeer carcass was exposed to the surface — and, with it, spores of reanimated anthrax bacteria that grazing reindeer quickly picked up.

As The Post’s Ben Guarino reported in July:

Zombie bacteria that awaken from old corpses might sound like the stuff of an “X-Files” episode. The premise is far from a complete fiction, however.

For one, anthrax bacteria are hardy microbe. As University of Missouri bacteriologist George Stewart told the Missourian in 2014, the organisms turn into spores in the cold. They play the long game, waiting in the soil for the temperatures to rise. Once it hits a certain threshold, they morph back into a more mobile, infectious state.

“The soil in the Yamal Peninisula is like a giant freezer,” Jean-Michel Claverie, a biologist with the National Center for Scientific Research in France, told NPR in August. “Those are very, very good conditions for bacteria to remain alive for a very long time.”

In addition to culling a quarter-million reindeer this year, officials have also proposed that the animals be moved south and fenced in to allow northern pastures to recover from overgrazing, the Guardian reported.

Both proposals have drawn criticism from those who say they would be detrimental to the way of life for some of the nomadic herders.

“A huge number of nomads on the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas will lose their means of existence and opportunities to maintain their traditional way of life,” Olga Murashko, an anthropologist, told the paper.

Bruce C. Forbes, a professor at the Arctic Centre in the University of Lapland, said that dramatically culling the reindeer in Yamal or to move to a fenced-in reindeer population “would be to simply replace one set of problems with another,” citing overgrazing issues even in the Finnish system of managing the reindeer population.

More: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/10/01/russia-plans-to-kill-a-quarter-million-siberian-reindeer-amid-anthrax-fears/

Sarah Palin does the Climate Hustle…

In case she hasn’t noticed, Alaska is seeing its share of climate changes

http://www.climatehustlemovie.com/

Scorching temperatures. Melting ice caps. Killer hurricanes and tornadoes. Disappearing polar bears. The end of civilization as we know it! Are emissions from our cars, factories, and farms causing catastrophic climate change? Is there a genuine scientific consensus? Or is man-made “global warming” an overheated environmental con job being used to push for increased government regulations and a new “Green” energy agenda?

CLIMATE HUSTLE will answer these questions, and many, many more. Produced in the one-of-a-kind entertaining and informative style that has made CFACT and Marc Morano’s award-winning ClimateDepot.com one of the world’s most sought after sources for reliable, hard-to-find facts about climate issues, this groundbreaking film will tear the cover off of global warming hype, and expose the myths and exaggerations of this multi-billion dollar issue.

CLIMATE HUSTLE will reveal the history of climate scares including global cooling; debunk outrageous claims about temperatures, extreme weather, and the so-called “consensus;” expose the increasingly shrill calls to “act immediately before it’s too late,” and in perhaps the film’s most important section, profile key scientists who used to believe in climate alarm but have since converted to skepticism.

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Quebec hunters prevented from harvesting Labrador caribou

http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2014-04-22/article-3696336/Quebec-hunters-prevented-from-harvesting-Labrador-caribou/1

by Derek Montague
Published on April 22, 2014

Hunters were going after threatened Mealy Mountains herd: source

A group of Innu hunters from the Quebec North Shore were recently prevented from illegally hunting the threatened Mealy Mountains caribou herd in Labrador, according to a source.

A Labrador woodland caribou is shown. Some herds are considered threatened, such as the Mealy Mountains herd. — Photo courtesy of the provincial wildlife division

The 10 or so hunters were headed to the Birchy Lakes area, about 150 kilometres away from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, when wildlife officers stopped them.

The incident happened earlier this month.

Considered threatened

According to a 2009 publication from the Department of Environment and Conservation, the Mealy Mountains herd was estimated at just 2,500 animals and considered threatened under the provincial Endangered Species Act and the federal Species at Risk Act.

Quebec hunters crossing the Labrador border to hunt caribou illegally is a problem that stretches back several years.

Back in 2007, two Quebec men from Pakua Shipi Innu were fined $18,000 each for killing caribou from the Mealy Mountains herd.

Serious problem

Former Labrador wildlife officer Hollis Yetman recalls how serious the problem was in the early 2000s, when caribou poaching near the Quebec-Labrador border was common.

“(The hunting) was significant. In 2003, there was endangered species legislation enacted and that was the catalyst for wildlife officers to have some strength and some backbone … that they could officially charge aboriginals for hunting these threatened caribou herds,” said Yetman.

Protected by wildlife officers

“If it wasn’t for a small, core group of wildlife officers that have had continuity protecting these herds for the past 10-15 years, I would say that the population would be far less than what they are now.”

Yetman is worried a few undetected hunts will be all that’s needed to decimate the Mealy Mountains herd and other woodland caribou.

“Basically, the Department of Justice keeps its eyes over these woodland caribou herds. Right now they’re doing a good job with their limited surveillance. (But) it only takes one or two undetected hunts by anyone and you will cause serious population problems with these herds,” said Yetman.

“The numbers are that sensitive.”

Yetman also feels that conservation efforts are also held up too much by the notion of aboriginal hunting rights.

“I think that the aboriginal right overshadows the need to protect these caribou a lot of the time,” said Yetman.

“The only thing keeping some of these caribou alive is the dedication of two or three of the wildlife officers who keep an eye on them.”

TC Media requested an interview with Justice Minister Darin King, but there was no response by press time, as government offices were closed Monday.

TC media was also been unsuccessful at reaching Pakua Shipi Chief Dennis Mestenapeo.

Killing of entire Alaska wolf pack upsets National Park Service…And Me!

Before admiring the “subsistence” lifestyle, think of wolves that the state of Alaska shoots from planes to provide “game” for their hunters…

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by Nick Provenza

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Fish and Game officials killed an Eastern Interior wolf pack last week, and the National Park Service — which had been studying the animals — is none too pleased.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that all 11 wolves in the Lost Creek pack near Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve were shot. That included the pack’s alpha pair, which had been fitted with tracking collars as part of an ongoing research project.

Doug Vincent-Lang, acting director for the Alaska Division of Wildlife Conservation, says the wolves were in an area adjacent to the preserve that has been targeted by the state for aerial predator control, which is part of an effort to boost moose and caribou numbers.

But Yukon-Charley Superintendent Greg Dudgeon said the shootings are a setback for a long-term study of wolf behavior that began roughly 20 years ago. He said the Lost Creek pack had been monitored for the past seven years.

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2014/03/killing-of-entire-alaska-wolf-pack-upsets-national-park-service/
___________________________

ALASKA… National Park Service and State Clash over the recent Wolf Pack Killing

An entire wolf pack was shot and killed by aerial gunning for the sole purpose of boosting moose and caribou numbers, discarding the fact that they were part of a twenty year study by NPS!

On Feb. 21, the state agency shot all 11 members of the Lost Creek pack near Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. That included the pack’s alpha pair, which had been fitted with park service collars as part of an ongoing research project.

Yukon-Charley Superintendent Greg Dudgeon said the shootings are a setback for a long-term study of wolf behavior that began roughly 20 years ago. He said the Lost Creek pack had been monitored for the past seven years as part of the study, which looks at wolf migration patterns, denning habits and population changes.

Alaska fully intends to continue it aerial killing of wolves, calling it Predator Control.

TAKE ACTION…

CONTACT ALASKA FISH AND GAME, AND ALSO DIVISION OF TOURISM AND TELL THEM WHY ALASKA IS NOT A TRAVEL OPTION…

TOURISM DIVISION
Kathy Dunn
Tourism Marketing Manager
907-269-5734
kathy.dunn@alaska.gov

ALASKA FISH AND GAME
Online Comment link…
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=contacts.emailus

Man Mauled by Grizzly in Alaska was Hunting Guide

Unfortunately these type of stories always seem to end with one or more animals dead…

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Man mauled by grizzly in Alaska recounts attack

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man who recently was mauled by a grizzly bear near northern Alaska’s remote Brooks Range said he recognized the animal that left him with broken teeth and a deep gash in his arm from his guide trips.

Jim Tuttle said he and the hunters he guided often spotted the bear, nicknamed Buddy. But the animal was never aggressive toward them until two weeks ago, when Tuttle was walking along a creek and saw it charging.

Tuttle said 16 years of guiding in the area had dulled him to the risks of working in bear country. When the incident occurred earlier this month, he was walking to a caribou carcass by himself, armed only with a pair of trekking poles.

“I am partly to blame. I got complacent, and I paid for it,” he told the Anchorage Daily News (http://bit.ly/19VFd8D ). “I guess I should have had a gun in my hand, safety off, ready to shoot.”

He said the attack northwest of Anaktuvuk Pass lasted less than 15 seconds. When it was over, Tuttle was spitting out broken teeth and needed a tourniquet on his left arm. One of his cheekbones was cracked.

Because of dense fog, Tuttle had to wait 36 hours for a National Guard helicopter to reach him. Following surgery and dozens of stitches, he is recovering at his Anchorage home.

Tuttle suffered nerve damage to the face and wounds to his groin and knee have temporarily hobbled him. A cast on his left wrist has fixed his forearm in place so it can grow back muscle.

Tuttle, 52, said he feels lucky to be alive.

He had flown into the hunting camp in early August, where he planned to stay for two weeks. The camp was 15 miles from the base camp run by his outfitter, Arctic North Guides.

Chris Carrigee, who stayed in Tuttle’s camp with his son before the mauling, said grizzlies were commonly in the area and would eat meat scraps that hunters left behind.

Carigee had taken photographs of his son and Tuttle in front of Buddy with their coffee and oatmeal. He said he didn’t feel there was any danger.

On Aug. 14, after Carrigee and his son left, Tuttle was working with new hunters. The group killed a caribou that morning. They carried some of the meat back to camp and ate lunch before Tuttle returned to the carcass.

He heard the bear coming from behind him. He swung his hiking poles in the animal’s face, but the bear knocked him over and bit him on the arm and hand before walking away.

“I thought maybe I’d get lucky, and she’d leave. No, she turned right back around, and then really chewed and got into where she could bite my face,” Tuttle said. “I said to myself, ‘You’re dead.’

After the bear left, Tuttle made a tourniquet from rope in his backpack, and waited 10 minutes to make sure the bear didn’t return, before limping back to camp.

The hunters called to request a rescue, but the camp was fogged in.

The owner of Tuttle’s outfitting company flew in the following morning during a break in weather with a retired paramedic and medical supplies. But they left Tuttle, believing they couldn’t fly him all the way to a hospital.

At 3 a.m. the following morning, the National Guard helicopter came.

The bear was killed by one of the hunters in Tuttle’s group. Harry Reynolds III, a retired biologist who worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for more than 30 years, said it’s hard to say what made the bear attack. “They’re wild animals,” he said.

———

Information from: Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, http://www.adn.com

Associated Press

The Infertile Union

So you don’t get the idea I go around unfairly picking on small grassroots groups, here’s an excerpt from my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport, wherein I take on the Goliath of all national green groups for siding with hunting…

Sport hunters have enjoyed so much laudation of late they’re beginning to cast themselves as conservation heroes. What’s worse is that many modern, influential green groups are swallowing that blather, hook, line and sinker. Maybe they ought to reread the words of Sierra Club founder, John Muir:

“Surely a better time must be drawing nigh when godlike human beings will become truly humane, and learn to put their animal fellow mortals in their hearts instead of on their backs or in their dinners. In the meantime we may just as well as not learn to live clean, innocent lives instead of slimy, bloody ones. All hale, red-blooded boys are savage, fond of hunting and fishing. But when thoughtless childhood is past, the best rise the highest above all the bloody flesh and sport business…”

Henry David Thoreau, another nineteenth-century nature-lover whose forward-thinking writings were an inspiration to Muir, cautions, “No humane being, past the thoughtless age of boyhood, will wantonly murder any creature which holds its life by the same tenure he does. The hare in its extremity cries like a child. I warn you, mothers, that my sympathies do not make the usual philanthropic distinctions.”

If those dated messages and mockery are lost on twenty-first-century Sierra-clubbers, Edward Abbey’s sentiment should be obvious enough for anyone, “To speak of harvesting other living creatures, whether deer or elk or birds or cottontail rabbits, as if they were no more than a crop, exposes the meanest, cruelest, most narrow and homocentric of possible human attitudes towards the life that surrounds us.”

Early vanguards of ecological ideology recognized Homo sapiens as just one among thousands of animal species on the planet, no more important than any other in the intricate web of life. They also abhorred sport hunting.

But a shocking turn-around is taking place in the current bastardization of the environmental movement. The Sierra Club and other large, corporate green groups are embracing (read: sleeping with) powerful hunting groups like the Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association (NRA). In a transparent effort to appear down-home and therefore more in touch with nature, they’re making the fatal mistake of joining frces with sportsmen whose conservation “ethic” exists only so their preferred prey species can be slain again and again.

The infertile union between super-sized modern green groups and mega-bucks hunting clubs must have been sired by their shared conviction that humans are the most crucial cogs in the wheel of life (or at least the squeakiest wheels in the dough machine). As the only animal capable of coughing up cash when the collection plate comes around, human beings (every last gourmandizing, carnivorous one of them) are the primary concern; their wants must be given priority over those of all other species. Contemporary environmental organizations, seduced by a desire to engage as many paying members as they can get their hands on (regardless of their attitudes towards animal life), must believe blood-soaked money is as green underneath as any.

Forever stagnating in “thoughtless childhood,” members of hunting groups like the NRA live for the day they can register a record-breaking trophy with the Boone and Crocket Club—formed by Roosevelt “to promote manly sport with rifles.” Fund for Animals creator, Cleveland Amory, took issue with the sporty statesman in his anti-hunting epic, Man Kind? Our Incredible War on Wildlife. A benevolent humanitarian for humans and nonhumans alike, Mr Amory wrote, “Theodore Roosevelt…cannot be faulted for at least some efforts in the field of conservation. But here the praise must end. When it came to killing animals, he was close to psychopathic. Dangerously close indeed (think: Ted Bundy). In his two-volume African Game Trails, Roosevelt lovingly muses over shooting elephants, hippos, buffaloes, lions, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, zebras, hartebeest, impalas, pigs, the not-so-formidable 30-pound steenbok and even (in what must have seemed the pinnacle of manly sport with rifles) a mother ostrich on her nest.

But don’t let on to a hunter your informed opinion of their esteemed idol, because, as Mr Amory points out, “…the least implication anywhere that hunters are not the worthiest souls since the apostles drives them into virtual paroxysms of self-pity.” Amory goes on to say:

The hunter, seeing there would soon be nothing left to kill, seized upon the new-fangled idea of “conservation” with a vengeance. Soon they had such a stranglehold [think: Ted Nugent] on so much of the movement that the word itself was turned from the idea of protecting and saving the animals to the idea of raising and using them—for killing. The idea of wildlife “management”—for man, of course—was born. Animals were to be “harvested.” They were to be a “crop”—like corn.

Fortunately, a faithful few are seeing through the murky sludge spread where green fields once thrived. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Captain Paul Watson (founder and president of about the only group still using the word conservation to mean protecting and saving animals) recently took another in a lifetime of steadfast stands by resigning from his position on the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club. He refused to be a part of their whorish sleeping with the enemy—their pandering to sportsmen by holding a “Why I Hunt” essay contest, complete with a grand prize trophy hunt to Alaska. To think of how many trees were needlessly reduced to pulp for this profane effort when the answer to why hunters hunt was so succinctly summed up in just one sentence by Paul Watson, “Behind all the chit-chat of conservation and tradition is the plain simple fact that trophy hunters like to kill living things.”

Just as the naïve young girl who falls for the charms and promises of a sunny sociopath learns, the hard way, about his hidden penchant for abuse and violence, the Sierra Club and other middle-ground eco-friendly groups may soon learn the dangers of looking for Mr. Goodbar in all the wrong places. How will they divorce themselves from this unholy alliance when the affair goes sour and sportsmen reveal their malicious, hidden agenda by calling for another contest hunt on coyotes or cull on cougars, wolves or grizzly bears to do away with the competition for “their” deer, elk, moose or caribou?

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If They Mated…

Those who watched Late Night with Conan O’Brien (that goofy red-haired guy who was going to take over the Tonight Show when Jay Leno moved to the 10:30 time-slot and then found out he wasn’t making enough money there and stole the show back from Conan—who is much funnier and who would have put him to shame in the ratings) remember a bit he did called “If They Mated.” Using the latest computer technology formerly known only to NASA to explore worlds beyond our galaxy, they were able to show us what certain celebrities’ (who’ve been rumored to be going out together) babies would look like…if they mated.

Upon learning that turrible Ted Nugent (bow hunting enthusiast, outspoken NRA supporter and wanna-be musician) was caught by the camera with his arm around former VP candidate and fellow bloodthirsty Republican animal assassin, Sarah Palin (aka: “Caribou Barbie”),…

…I borrowed the technology from Conan (who, as you know, borrowed it from NASA) to find out what their baby would look like…IF THEY MATED: