Black Rhino Officially Extinct


LONDON (CNN) — Africa’s western black rhino is now officially extinct according the latest review of animals and plants by the world’s largest conservation network.

The subspecies of the black rhino — which is classified as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species — was last seen in western Africa in 2006.

The IUCN warns that other rhinos could follow saying Africa’s northern white rhino is “teetering on the brink of extinction” while Asia’s Javan rhino is “making its last stand” due to continued poaching and lack of conservation.

“In the case of the western black rhino and the northern white rhino the situation could have had very different results if the suggested conservation measures had been implemented,” Simon Stuart, chair of the IUCN species survival commission said in a statement.

“These measures must be strengthened now, specifically managing habitats in order to improve performance, preventing other rhinos from fading into extinction,” Stuart added.

The IUCN points to conservation efforts which have paid off for the southern white rhino subspecies which have seen populations rise from less than 100 at the end of the 19th century to an estimated wild population of 20,000 today.

Another success can be seen with the Przewalski’s Horse which was listed as “extinct in the wild” in 1996 but now, thanks to a captive breeding program, has an estimated population of 300.

The latest update to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species reviews more than 60,000 species, concluding that 25% of mammals on the list are at risk of extinction.

Many plants are also under threat, say the IUCN.

Populations of Chinese fir, a conifer which was once widespread throughout China and Vietnam, is being threatened by the expansion of intensive agriculture according to the IUCN.

A type of yew tree (taxus contorta) found in Asia which is used to produce Taxol (a chemotherapy drug) has been reclassified from “vulnerable” to “endangered” on the IUCN Red List, as has the Coco de Mer — a palm tree found in the Seychelles islands — which is at risk from fires and illegal harvesting of its kernels.

Recent studies of 79 tropical plants in the Indian Ocean archipelago revealed that more than three quarters of them were at risk of extinction.

In the oceans, the IUCN reports that five out of eight tuna species are now “threatened” or “near threatened,” while 26 recently-discovered amphibians have been added to the Red List including the “blessed poison frog” (classified as vulnerable) while the “summers’ poison frog” is endangered.

“This update offers both good and bad news on the status of many species around the world,” Jane Smart, director of IUCN’s global species program said in a statement.

“We have the knowledge that conservation works if executed in a timely manner, yet, without strong political will in combination with targeted efforts and resources, the wonders of nature and the services it provides can be lost forever.”

Montana’s wolf population drops

by Tribune Staff 12:02 p.m. MDT April 3, 2015

Montana’s verified wolf population declined by 73, or 12 percent, last year while livestock depredations by wolves continued to decline, dropping about 46 percent from 2013.

The minimum number of wolves counted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks at the end of 2014 was 554 compared to a minimum of 627 wolves counted at the end of 2013 according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park’s annual wolf conservation and management report.

Montana’s minimum wolf packs were counted at 134, compared to 152 last year, while breeding pairs increased to 33 from 28 counted last year.

The minimum wolf count is the number of wolves actually verified by FWP wolf specialists. The actual number of wolves is estimated to be 27 percent to 37 percent higher than the minimum count. FWP’s complete report is available online at

Overall, FWP Director Jeff Hagener said Montana’s wolf population continues to be very healthy and far above federal recovery goals.

“Among the best news is that confirmed wolf depredations on livestock again took a significant drop in 2014,” Hagener said.

Confirmed livestock depredations because of wolves included 35 cattle, six sheep and one horse in 2014, down 46 percent from 2013 losses of 50 cattle, 24 sheep, three horses and one goat. Cattle losses in 2014 were the lowest recorded in the past eight years.

The decline in wolf depredations continues a general downward trend that began in 2009.

“For FWP, and we hope for others, it reinforces the fact that we not only have more tools for managing wolf populations, but that we’re applying them effectively,” Hagener said. “One of our top priorities is to minimize livestock losses, and we think we’re continuing to make a positive impact there.”

The continuing decrease in livestock depredations over the past four years may be a result of several factors including targeted wolf depredation responses in cooperation with USDA Wildlife Services, and the effects of wolf harvest by hunters and trappers.

In the 2014 calendar portion of the 2014-15 hunting/trapping season, 213 were taken by hunters and trappers compared to 231 taken in the 2013 calendar portion of the 2013-14 season.

The total number of known wolf mortalities during 2014 was 308, down from 335 in 2013, with 301 of these mortalities being human-related, including 213 legal harvests, 57 control actions to further reduce livestock depredations (down from 75 in 2013), 11 vehicle strikes, 10 illegal killings, six killed under the newly-enacted Montana State Senate Bill 200, two capture-related mortalities, one euthanized because of poor health and one legal tribal harvest. In addition, one wolf died of natural causes and six of unknown causes.

“Montana’s wolf management program seeks to manage wolves just like we do other wildlife — in balance with their habitat, with other wildlife species and with the people who live here,” Hagener said.

For the purpose of reporting minimum counts to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana is divided into three areas that reflect the former gray wolf federal recovery zones. The three zones cover the entire state and include more than one FWP region. Following is a summary of the 2014 minimum counts verified for those areas:

In the “Northwest Montana” area, counts showed a minimum of 338 wolves in 91 verified packs and 17 breeding pairs, compared to 412, 104, and 16, respectively, in 2013.

In the Montana portion of the “Central Idaho” area counts verified a minimum of 94 wolves in 20 packs, with six breeding pairs, compared to the 2013 counts of 123, 26, and seven respectively.

The Montana portion of the “Greater Yellowstone” counts include a minimum of 122 wolves in 23 packs, and 11 breeding pairs, compared to 132, 22, and five, respectively in 2013.

The recovery of the wolf in the northern Rockies remains one of the fastest endangered species comebacks on record. In the mid-1990s, to hasten the overall pace of wolf recovery in the Northern Rockies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released 66 wolves into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho. FWP began monitoring the wolf population, and managing livestock conflicts in 2004. After several court challenges wolves were taken off the Endangered Species list in 2011.

The delisting of wolves in 2011 allows Montana to manage wolves in a manner similar to how bears, mountain lions and other wildlife species are managed, which is guided by state management plans, administrative rules and laws.

copyrighted wolf in river

Could Fewer Wolf Kills Mean Fewer Wolves?

Trappers in Montana have killed 77 gray wolves and hunters have shot 127 so far this winter — a total of 204 animals — as the season for the animals nears its end.copyrighted wolf in river

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim said the final tally for this winter’s wolf harvest is expected to fall short of the 230 wolves killed in the 2013-2014 season.

The trapping season closed Feb. 28, and Montana’s rifle hunting season for gray wolves ends March 15.

Six of the predators have been killed by landowners, under a new state law that allows wolves to be killed if they are considered a potential threat to livestock or human safety.

In neighboring, Idaho hunters have shot 113 of the animals so far this winter and trappers have killed 92.

The state’s total harvest of 205 wolves is well short of the prior year’s total of 302 animals killed.

Idaho’s wolf season ends March 31 for most of the state but continues year-round in some areas.

Wyoming did not have a wolf hunting season this winter. After losing their federal protections across the Northern Rockies in 2011 and 2012, wolves were put back on the endangered species list in Wyoming in September under a court order.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sided with wildlife advocates who said Wyoming’s declaration of wolves as unprotected predators that could be shot on sight in most of the state afforded insufficient protection.

Legislation pending before Congress would nullify the judge’s decision.

There were 1,691 wolves in the Northern Rockies at the end of 2013, the most recent data available.

Essential Species Quiz

Here is a short multiple-choice quiz to test your knowledge of our fellow animals.

Instructions: Choose the species that best fit the descriptions below.

Note: Although some may share a few of the characteristics, they must meet all the criteria listed in order to qualify as a correct answer.

1. Which two species fit the following description?

  • Highly social
  • Live in established communities
  • Master planners and builders of complex, interconnected dwellings
  • Have a language
  • Can readily learn and invent words
  • Greet one another by kissing

A. Humans

B. Prairie Dogs

C. Dolphins

D. Penguins

Answer:  A. and B

2. Which two species fit the following description?

  • Practice communal care of the youngsters on their block
  • Beneficial to others who share their turf
  • Essential to the health of their environment
  • Without them an ecosystem unravels
  • Have been reduced to a tiny portion of their original population
  • Vegetarian

A. Humans

B. Prairie Dogs

C. Bison

D. Hyenas

Answer:  B. and C.

3. Which two species fit the following description?

  • Out of control pest
  • Multiplying at a phenomenal pace
  • Physically crowding all other life forms off the face of the earth
  • Characterized by a swellheaded sense of superiority
  • Convinced they are of far greater significance than any other being
  • Nonessential in nature’s scheme

A. Humans

B. Prairie Dogs

C. Cockroaches

D. Sewer Rats

Answer:  Sorry, trick question; the only species fitting the criteria is A.

If this seems a harsh assessment of the human race or a tad bit misanthropic, remember, we’re talking about the species that single-handedly and with malice aforethought blasted, burned and poisoned the passenger pigeon (at one time the most numerous bird on the entire planet) to extinction and has nearly wiped out the blue whale (by far the largest animal the world has ever known). Add to those crowning achievements the near-total riddance of the world’s prairie dogs, thereby putting the squeeze on practically all their grassland comrades, and you can start to see where this sort of disrelish might be coming from.

When the dust settles on man’s reign of terror, he will be best remembered as an egomaniacal mutant carnivorous ape who squandered nature’s gifts and goose-stepped on towards mass extinction, in spite of warnings from historians and scientists and pleas from the caring few…


The preceding was an excert from the book, Exposing the Big Game.

Groups Petition to Reclassify Gray Wolves to Threatened Status under Endangered Species Act

I haven’t had a chance to look into this yet, but this line, from an article entitled, “Finding Balance in the Wolf Wars” in the Huffington Post caught my eye: “Our plan respects the purpose and intent of the Endangered Species Act but gives a nod to the folks who want more active control options for wolves, especially ranchers,”

The wolf is in no way “recovered” in the lower 48; they should never have been downgraded from endangered. In 1885 5,500 wolves were killed in Montana alone. Now there’s less than 5,000 in the entire country…

copyrighted Hayden wolf in lodgepoles

Does anyone have any insights on this they want to share?


January 27, 2015


Proposal presents a reasonable alternative to congressional delisting and a path to national recovery

Animal protection and conservation organizations petitioned  the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reclassify gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act as threatened throughout the contiguous United States, with the exception of the Mexican gray wolf which remains listed as endangered. If adopted, the proposal would continue federal oversight and funding of wolf recovery efforts and encourage development of a national recovery plan for the species, but would also give the Fish and Wildlife Service regulatory flexibility to permit state and local wildlife managers to address specific wolf conflicts.

Gray wolves are currently protected as endangered throughout their range in the lower 48 states, except in Minnesota where they are listed as threatened and in Montana, Idaho and eastern Oregon and Washington where they have no Endangered Species Act protections. Some members of Congress are advocating for legislation to remove all protections for wolves under federal law by delisting the animal under the Endangered Species Act. The petition proposes an alternative path to finalizing wolf recovery based on the best available science, rather than politics and fear, and would help to find a balanced middle ground on a controversial issue that has been battled out in the courts and in states with diverse views among stakeholders on wolf conservation.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, said: “Several states have badly failed in their management of wolves, and their brand of reckless trapping, trophy hunting, and even hound hunting just has not been supported by the courts or by the American people. We do, however, understand the fears that some ranchers have about wolves, and we believe that maintaining federal protections while allowing more active management of human-wolf conflicts achieves the right balance for all key stakeholders and is consistent with the law.”

Wolf populations are still recovering from decades of persecution—government sponsored bounty programs resulted in mass extermination of wolves at the beginning of the last century, and the species was nearly eliminated from the landscape of the lower 48 states. Wolf number have increased substantially where the Endangered Species Act has been implemented, but recovery is still not complete, as the species only occupies as little as 5 percent of its historic range, and human-caused mortality continues to constitute the majority of documented wolf deaths.

Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said: “A Congressional end run around science and the Endangered Species Act will create more controversy and put wolves and the law itself in jeopardy. The better path is to downlist wolves to threatened, replace the failed piecemeal efforts of the past with a new science-based national recovery strategy,and bring communities together to determine how wolves will be returned to and managed in places where they once lived, like the Adirondacks, southern Rocky Mountains, Cascades and Sierra Nevada.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s piecemeal efforts to delist gray wolves in the northern Rockies and western Great Lakes have been roundly criticized by scientists and repeatedly rejected by multiple federal courts. In addition to denouncing the Service’s fragmented approach to wolf recovery, courts have recognized that several states have recklessly attempted to quickly and dramatically reduce wolf numbers through unnecessary and cruel hunting and trapping programs. The public does not support recreational and commercial killing of wolves, as evidenced by the recent decision by Michigan voters in the November 2014 election to reject sport hunting of wolves. Wolves are inedible, and only killed for their heads or fur.

Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, said: “Complex conservation problems require sophisticated solutions. The history of wolf protection in America is riddled with vitriolic conflict and shortsightedness and it is time for a coordinated, forward-thinking approach that removes the most barbaric treatment of this iconic species and focuses on the long-term viability of wolf populations throughout the country.”

The threatened listing proposed by the petition would promote continued recovery of the species at a national level so that it is not left perpetually at the doorstep of extinction. A threatened listing would also permit the Fish and Wildlife Service some regulatory flexibility to work with state and local wildlife managers to appropriately address wolf conflicts, including depredation of livestock.

Groups filing the petition include national organizations and those based in wolf range states:

Born Free USA

Center for Biological Diversity

Detroit Audubon

Detroit Zoological Society

The Fund for Animals

Friends of Animals and Their Environment

Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf

Help Our Wolves Live

Howling for Wolves

The Humane Society of the United States

Justice for Wolves

Midwest Environmental Advocates

Minnesota Humane Society

Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection

National Wolfwatcher Coalition

Northwoods Alliance

Predator Defense

Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Wildlife Public Trust and Coexistence

Wildwoods (Minnesota)

Wisconsin Federated Humane Societies

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin


Also on:

Animals Hunted to Extinction

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Hunting Causing Extinctions in Indonesia

Indonesia’s silent wildlife killer: hunting

Commentary by Erik Meijaard, the Borneo Futures initiative
December 26, 2014

By and large, Indonesia is a peaceful country. In fact, on the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime’s list of homicide rates, Indonesia ranks number 10, making Indonesians one of the least murderous people on Earth. A ban on gun ownership probably helps, although obviously there are many other ways to snuff out another person. Maybe Indonesia’s general tendency to avoid conflict helps, too.

Whatever the reason why Indonesians are relatively unlikely to kill each other, such favors are not extended to Indonesia’s non-human wildlife. The relative safety of Indonesia’s people does not guarantee similar security for its animals.

Wildlife killing in Indonesia seems to be at an all-time high. In fact, a recent study published in the respected journal Conservation Biology indicates that on the island of Borneo, wildlife killing is now a bigger conservation threat than commercial logging.

Now such a statement is bound to generate a lot of derision. Many conservation organizations, scientists, as well as the government authorities will pooh-pooh the idea that hunting impacts are that disastrous. Why that is, I want to explore further.

But first, back to the study. The research, led by Jedediah Brodie of the University of British Columbia, deployed a series of camera traps across a gradient of disturbed areas to investigate direct and indirect impacts on wildlife. Although both hunting and new logging reduced the number of species in a given area, there was evidence that some wildlife eventually returned to selectively logged areas. This confirms analyses that my colleagues and I published in the Life after Logging book, several years ago.

The important finding is that the impacts of logging were relatively transient. Hunting pressure on the other hand was continual. Overall, hunting adversely impacted 87 percent of the species in the study.

Wild pig in a snare in Aceh, Sumatra. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

These findings resonate with other hunting studies that I have conducted over the years on Borneo.

First, our Borneo-wide interview surveys conducted in 2009 suggested that thousands of orangutans are killed every year. More than half of the killings resulted in the orangutan being turned into a tasty steak or orangutan stew. The killing of orangutans happens both deep inside forests and in areas that are being deforested. Especially in areas where orangutans co-occurred with nomadic hunting tribes, the orangutan went extinct ages ago. So for orangutans, the picture that hunting is a bigger threat than logging seems well supported.

To get a better idea of the number of animals that are commonly affected through hunting, I conducted another study a few years ago. Every month for one year we gave 18 households in a Dayak village in East Kalimantan a calendar on which they could mark – with stickers – the different types of animals they had caught. After one year this amounted to 3,289 animals with a combined weight of 21,125 kg. The majority were bearded pigs (81 percent of total weight), deer (8 percent) and fish (6 percent). That’s about half a kilo of wildlife or fish per head of the population per day.

Now the total amount is a pretty meaningless number. What really matters is whether or not the take-off levels are sustainable. That is, can people keep harvesting at this level without species populations going extinct?

Problematically, almost no one is studying this. We can, however, get some idea about the answer when we talk to local communities. And their answer is pretty gloomy.

Pretty much any species they mention is considered to be in decline. There are fewer pigs, fewer deer, fewer monkeys, fewer orangutans, fewer fish, fewer snakes. Everything is going down. People are concerned about this, because today their meat is a free resource, but when that is gone they will have to start shopping in markets and for that they need cash. But despite their worries, no one is doing anything to change hunting habits.

Ever since I started talking to people in Kalimantan in the early 1990s about their hunting habits, I have been rather baffled by the fact that so few conservation-minded people in Indonesia show any interest in the topic, unless it concerns big conservation icons like tiger or rhino. If hunting is indeed such a big conservation problem, why are we not doing anything about it?

Cuscus being sold as meat in the Wamena market in Indonesian New Guinea. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

Part of the explanation is a belief held by many conservation advocates that the ‘traditional’ people of Borneo and other tropical forest areas somehow understand the concept of sustainable hunting levels. Trust me, they don’t.

If we want to maintain fish, bird and mammal populations that are big enough to feed people in perpetuity, they will have to change their hunting and fishing habits.

Laws about killing and harvesting endangered and commercially valuable species need to be enforced. Zero-hunting zones have to be established where wildlife populations can grow. Similar no-fishing zones have proven to be very effective, if indeed enforced rigorously.

And importantly, as long as wildlife is considered a resource owned by everyone, the ‘tragedy of the commons’ will apply: no one will bother to manage the resource because nobody feels ownership or responsibility.

The empty forest syndrome – standing trees without wildlife – is staring Indonesia into the face in pretty much all forests. Which conservation organizations and government authorities have the guts to stand up and do something about it?

Surely, for such apparent non-violent, non-confrontational and chilled-out people like Indonesians, it shouldn’t be too much of a burden to also extend that peace and love to its wildlife, right? After all, as Mahatma Gandhi said, “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Erik Meijaard is a Jakarta-based conservation scientist.

This op-ed originally appeared in the Jakarta Globe and has been reprinted here with the permission of the author.

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Hunters: An Ecological Disaster

Editorial By Marla Stormwolf Patty

Comment by PRO-HUNTING man: “without hunters, there would be no wildlife left, they give millions of dollars to conservation”.

Comment by CONSERVATIONIST: “Because of hunters there is very little wildlife left, they give millions of dollars to their lobbyist groups in Washington who allow them to destroy the habitats and wild life and also give millions to start smear campaigns against conservationists who they call terrorists.”

The advent of firearms made it easier for hunters to mass murder animals. When hunters scream “No one will take away my rights to bear arms!!” What they are really saying is “No one will stop me from hunting into extinction any animal that I want to”. And hunting, despite what hunters want you to think, is not a right. No where in the Constitution does it state that you have the right to kill animals. It is considered a “privilege”, not a right. Before conservation laws, virtually anything was deemed fair game: elephants, tigers, rhinos, gorillas, wolves, deer, elk and most other large animals, and even then those laws vary depending upon what lobby the hunters appeal to.

Conservation laws in the United States are more or less based on who or what agency wishes to enforce them. And they are rarely enforced within the last few decades. Hunters have more legal maneuvering and protection than any citizen of this country does. And they know it. Laws are established based upon whether hunters will be protected from the laws outlawing any hunting. When we first went to battle on Capital Hill regarding getting animal crush videos banned, the primary concern of the NRA and political parties was “Yes, but will this law banning animal crush interfere with our need to show footage of us murdering animals?” There were only a handful of politicians and one Supreme Court judge who cared more about getting crush outlawed than the complaints of hunters who wanted to ensure that they could continue to post hunting photos, several of which showed themselves simulating sex with the animals they had murdered.


Hunting has obliterated species, both on land and in the oceans. The dodo bird’s disappearance is attributed in large part to hunters, and the historical decimation of the American buffalo from hunters nearly pushed that species to total extinction. Big game hunting was a craze beginning in the 1800’s, and their effect on animal populations was, and still is, devastating. Species of dolphins, sharks and whales are extinct or near to extinct due to the insatiable blood lust and trophy hunting of hunters. Hunters are by and large, ignorant of issues like sustainable breeding populations, and there were no protected species until the first conservation laws were passed in the 20th century. Laws had to be established in order to stop the hunters (and trappers) from destroying, like a virus, everything in their paths. When a hunter tells you that he or she is a conservationist, that is a lie. Hunters care nothing for the ecosystem.


The proof of that is seen all too often, a recent example is the Yosemite forest fire that blazed out of control on Aug. 17th, 2013. Because of high fire danger across the region, the Forest Service had banned fires outside of developed camping areas more than a week before the fire started. It cost tax payers over 127 million to fight, and in an economy that has the highest unemployment listings not seen in decades, this was something that citizens could ill afford and with families struggling to feed and clothe their children, hunters and trappers helped to make the hardship just that much harder on these families, on all of us.


Listed as one of the largest forest fires in California state’s history, it has all but gutted Yosemite. It burned more than 250,000 acres in and around Yosemite National Park, consuming 257,314 acres, or 402 square miles, and destroyed habitats, homes, commercial properties, outbuildings, untold animal populations before it was contained months later. Started by a hunter whose illegal small camp fire grew out of control. The hunter has yet to be arrested or held accountable for one of the worst fires in recorded state history. This fire managed to rival the record of the last forest fire, started by yet another hunter in 2003, the blaze in the Cleveland National Forest east of San Diego, was sparked by a novice deer hunter who became lost and set a signal fire in hope of being rescued. Causing untold damage and destruction and loss of life.


And on occasion, hunters deliberately set fire to their own homes, killing the pets of their children and endangering the lives of family and the surrounding area. As is the case of Tara Andvik, a notorious hunter who initially blamed acts of arson on animal rights activists however, it was discovered that Mrs. Andvick was guilty of setting the fires, herself.

Please view liveleak video below of the arson and this article regarding the verdict.

Other examples are the on-going attempted extinction of keystone animals who hunters and trappers see as a threat to the animals they wish to murder. Again and again, real conservationists have had to bring animals back from the brink of extinction due to hunters and their insatiable blood lust. An example of that is the recent 2013 USA Government shut down, where upon hunters took advantage of that shut down to illegally hunt wolves and other animals in Yellowstone Park.


Hunters complain about Invasive Species, when by and large they are the ones who brought the animals here in order to hunt and being that hunters and trappers are ignorant of environmental issues, their actions brought about a change in the landscape that many countries are still grappling with. For example, it was a hunter who in 1859, released rabbits into his woodland property in Australia to have something to hunt; introducing rabbits to Australia, to which the rabbits and their new environment both suffered, due to a major issue of non-sustainability. Hunters have caused the ecological damage, by importing non-indigenous species to satisfy their hunting appetites. In the early 21st century, several hunters in the American South were discovered to be importing and breeding “hogzillas”, extremely large and territorial wild boars to have another new animal to hunt. These animals are released into the local forests and do not integrate well within the existing ecosystemic structure. Hunters blame the innocent animals, however, it is the recklessness of hunters, their insatiable blood thirst and complete disregard for anything living, that is to blame.

Hunting has the direct effect of dangerously and unnaturally reducing animal populations; unless hunting is tightly regulated (which it is not in the United States and elsewhere), hunting can and does decimate species and disrupt the balance of ecosystems. It is significant to note that deer populations in the States became manipulated by humans only after the decimating of wolves and large wild cats by hunters. For more information on the hunter manipulations of animals, see Anthony Damiano’s article, Threats against activists made by hunters.

Armed with ignorance and more often than not, a 6-pack of alcohol, hunters and trappers blithely head off into the wilderness in search of trophies to mount on their walls and take photos to upload onto social internet network and websites in an effort to “ego-boost” and “show off” their kills. Much in the same manner that serial killers take trophies of their victims.

I have often wondered what it is about wolves that make hunters pathologically want to murder them. And after spending my whole life as a wolf advocate, the only answer that keeps coming back to me is the independence of a wolf is something hunters are jealous and envious of, indeed, afraid of. I have read articles, comments, posts, and websites by hunters who all spend hours upon hours despising wolves together. And invariably, in most of what I have read by hunters and have been told by hunters, and in many cases yelled at by hunters, (in a few incidences with a loaded gun at my head) what stands out the most are the complaints by hunters that wolves are a competition to hunters and wolves are better hunters altogether than humans, and their independence disturbs the hunters. Many hunters also despise cats in the same pathological way that they hate wolves. Cats are also natural hunters. And better hunters than human hunters.


In several instances, hunters even appear to encourage poaching. And poaching is never okay, and is one of the primary reasons for animal extinction on the planet, next to habitation loss from human encroachment and habitat destruction, caused by humans.


So it would seem to me that hunters kill for a blood lust. A need to feel superior and a need to kill that which they will never be, which is independent, free and a part of the natural world. By extension, hunters often express a loathing for humans who are fighting for the environment, and have a litany of words they use to describe humans who want to restore the natural balance to the planet. Most hunters often come across as hostile, dangerous, threatening and have expressed enjoyment at murdering animals for every activist they loathe. Hunters are not environmentalists. In fact, they refer to Environmentalists as “terrorists” in order to confuse the public as they continue to help to destroy the ecosystem.

In addition to the mass fires they have caused, wrecking untold disaster on national parks, water supplies, homes, acres of habitat lost and thousands of lives gone forever. If that isn’t enough, they also spend thousands flying to other countries to murder all the wildlife there whilst imperialistically stating that they are managing that country’s eco-system (ie: destroying it). It is the height of arrogance. Going to another country and telling the indigenous people there that they should be grateful for the mighty hunters who invade their countries and destroy their lands. It’s the type of mentality that allows for slavery, savagery and genocide.

Hunters are not conservationists, they have absolutely no respect for other species, nor the environment. And if a stray bullet enters your home during “hunting season”, you can expect your fears and outrage to be ignored by the hunting community at large in the same manner that they ignore property rights and the sentience of every life on the planet for that next trophy kill, that next fix for their insatiable blood lust addiction, the need for that next wolf which they can murder in order to proclaim themselves as masters of the universe.


Is bushmeat behind the Ebola outbreak?

Ebola: Is bushmeat behind the outbreak?


Bushmeat is believed to be the origin of the current Ebola outbreak. The first victim’s family hunted bats, which carry the virus. Could the practice of eating bushmeat, which is popular across Africa, be responsible for the current crisis?

The origin has been traced to a two-year-old child from the village of Gueckedou in south-eastern Guinea, an area where batmeat is frequently hunted and eaten.

The infant, dubbed Child Zero, died on 6 December 2013. The child’s family stated they had hunted two species of bat which carry the Ebola virus.

Bushmeat or wild animal meat covers any animal that is killed for consumption including antelopes, chimpanzees, fruit bats and rats. It can even include porcupines and snakes.

In some remote areas it is a necessary source of food – in others it has become a delicacy.

In Africa’s Congo Basin, people eat an estimated five million tonnes of bushmeat per year, according to the Centre of International Forestry Research.

Ideal hosts

But some of these animals can harbour deadly diseases. Bats carry a whole range of viruses and studies have shown that some species of fruit bats can harbour Ebola.

Via their droppings or fruit they have touched, bats can then in turn infect other non-human primates such as gorillas and chimpanzees. For them, like us, this can be deadly. Bats on the other hand can escape from it unscathed. This makes them an ideal host for the virus.

A bushmeat vendor in the Cantoments Market in Accra, selling grasscutters, bats, fish, antelope and moreCooked or smoked bushmeat is not usually harmful

Exactly how the virus “spills over” into humans is still not clear, says Prof Jonathan Ball, a virologist at the University of Nottingham. There’s often an intermediate species involved, like primates such as chimpanzees, but evidence shows people can get the virus directly from bats, he told BBC Inside Science.

But it is difficult for the virus to jump the species barrier from animals into humans, he adds. The virus first has to “somehow gain access to the cells in which it can replicate” by contact with infected blood.

Most people buy bushmeat from markets once it has already been cooked, so it is those hunting or preparing the raw meat that are at highest risk.

The current outbreak shows that, however difficult or rare it is, infection is clearly possible – though it must be remembered that each further infection, from Child Zero to today, has been caused by contact with an infected person.

Bitten and scratched

There has been talk of banning bushmeat, but that may simply drive it underground, experts have previously warned.

Hunting bushmeat is also a longstanding tradition, explains Dr Marcus Rowcliffe from the Zoological Society of London,

“It’s a meat-eating society – there’s a feeling that if you do not have meat every day, you haven’t properly eaten. Although you can get other forms of meat, there’s traditionally very little livestock production. It’s not so different from Europeans eating rabbits and deer.”

A Ghanaian vendor offers his catch known as ''bushmeat'' on route between Kumasi and Accra on 8 February 2008 Many West Africans eat bushmeat
Dried bush meat, at the Ajegunle-Ikorodu market in Lagos, Nigeria (13 August 2014) It is sold in markets across the region
Smoked bat carcasses for sale in GhanaMore than 100,000 bats are thought to be eaten in Ghana each year

In Ghana, for example, currently unaffected by the outbreak, fruit bats are widely hunted. To understand how people interact with this particular type of bushmeat, researchers surveyed nearly 600 Ghanaians about their practices relating to bats.

The study found that hunters used several different techniques to kill their prey including shooting, netting, scavenging and catapulting. All hunters reported handling live bats, which often meant they came into contact with blood and in some instances were bitten and scratched.

‘Healthy food’

These hunters are therefore the most at risk of contracting viruses present in bats, explains one of the authors, Dr Olivier Restif from the University of Cambridge.

The work also uncovered that the scale of the bat bushmeat trade in Ghana was much higher than previously thought, with more than 100,000 bats killed and sold every year.

“People who eat bat bushmeat are rarely aware of any potential risk associated with consumption. They tend to see it as healthy food,”…


“…how easy it is to do nothing” and other Ouotes On Overopulation

Sir David Attenborough – naturalist b1926
“The human population can no longer be allowed to grow in the same old uncontrolled way. If we do not take charge of our population size, then nature will do it for us.”

Jane Goodall – conservationist b1934
“It’s our population growth that underlies just about every single one of the problems that we’ve inflicted on the planet. If there were just a few of us, then the nasty things we do wouldn’t really matter and Mother Nature would take care of it — but there are so many of us.”

Michael Palin – comedian b1943
“The greatest politically charged challenge facing our planet? Unchecked population growth.”

Helen Mirren – actor b1945
“…I think still it is very fine not to want children. There are far too many people in the world. It is my contribution to ecology.”

Gore Vidal – writer 1925 – 2012
“Think of the Earth as a living organism that is being attacked by billions of bacteria whose numbers double every 40 years. Either the host dies, or the virus dies, or both die.”

Jeremy Irons – actor b1948
“One always returns to the fact that there are just too many of us, the population continues to rise and it’s unsustainable.”

Jane Fonda – actor and activist b1937
“There’s lots to worry about these days but you know what worries me most: the news I read day before yesterday that by something like 2045 there will be 10 billion people on the planet — or more! I’m scared. I’ll be gone but I am scared for my grandchildren and for the wild animals and for the whole human race.”

Isaac Asimov – author 1920 – 1992
“…democracy can not survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people into the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies. The more people there are, the less one individual matters.”

“Which is the greater danger — nuclear warfare or the population explosion? The latter absolutely! To bring about nuclear war, someone has to do something; someone has to press a button. To bring about destruction by overcrowding, mass starvation, anarchy, the destruction of our most cherished values-there is no need to do anything. We need only do nothing except what comes naturally — and breed. And how easy it is to do nothing.”