World Bank approves grant to boost hunting in Mozambique

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Bloomberg/Sunday Times
May 27, 2015

The World Bank’s International Development Association approved a $40 million grant to Mozambique to fund conservation efforts, including strengthening the country’s program of selling the rights to hunt wild animals.

The IDA approved the grant in November 2014 for a project known as MozBio, run by the Mozambican government, which aims to improve revenue collection from tourism in conservation areas. Of the funds, $700,000 is earmarked to help develop sport hunting in the southern African country.

“Hunting, when properly regulated and when revenues are distributed to communities in and around parks, is an important financing tool for governments working on the sustainable management of their parks and natural assets,” Madji Seck, a World Bank spokeswoman in Washington, said.

“Hunting blocks in Mozambique have played the role of protected areas, hosting important fauna and flora that are under very high threat in unprotected zones.”

A study released this week showing that Mozambique’s elephant population has dropped by almost half in five years because of rampant poaching, including in national parks, underscores the urgent need for the country to upgrade its conservation network.

Mozambique estimates its elephant population has dwindled to 10,300 from just over 20,000, the Wildlife Conservation Society said in a statement Tuesday.

Mozambique’s conservation areas consist of seven National Parks, 10 National Reserves, 17 controlled hunting areas and two Community Reserves, according to a World Bank document outlining the funding project. While revenue from tourism to the parks trebled to $3 million in 2013 from the previous year, that’s not enough to finance the areas, according to the bank.

Attempts to stimulate income from tourism by allocating part of the funding to developing hunting could backfire, according to critics of the practice.

“Nothing will turn away tourists faster than knowing that the beautiful and majestic animals they have come to watch might be met with a bullet,” Ashley Fruno, a spokeswoman for animal rights group PETA, said.

Victory! Another Major Airline Bans Hunting Trophies

by  May 19, 2015

http://www.care2.com/causes/victory-another-major-airline-bans-hunting-trophies.html#ixzz3b4fUmKGx

Victory! Another Major Airline Bans Hunting Trophies
In more good news for wildlife, things just got a even harder for sport hunters looking for a way to transport their trophies home.

Emirates Airlines, the world’s largest international airline, just announced that hunting trophies will no longer be allowed and that the change would be effective immediately.

In a statement, the airline said the ban will be applied to all trophies, whether or not they’re from species protected by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and it will include trophies from species that aren’t currently threatened with extinction.

It further said, “This decision is to support international governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, that are managing wildlife population towards sustaining the task to eliminate illegal trade and transportation of hunting trophies worldwide and saving wildlife heritage.”

The announcement comes just weeks after South American Airlines (SAA) announced it would no longer transport trophies from rhinos, elephants, lions and tigers in an effort to protect wildlife being targeted by sport hunters and the illegal wildlife trade.

Tim Clyde-Smith, a representative for SAA, told the media that at the time that, “The vast majority of tourists visit Africa in particular to witness the wonderful wildlife that remains. We consider it our duty to work to ensure this is preserved for future generations and that we deter activity that puts this wonderful resource in danger.”

Despite conservation efforts, Africa’s iconic wildlife continues to be targeted at an alarming rate by poaching and sport hunting that has put the future survival of a number of species in jeopardy.

Now it won’t matter whether or not hunters have the required permits, since they’re not getting their trophies on flights from either of these airlines. Not only does this send a message that sport hunting isn’t supporting conservation, but it will make it harder for anyone trying to move illegal items by claiming they’re from legal hunts.

Conservationists are cheering the latest change in policy from Emirates Airlines and hope other companies will follow the ethical lead these two airlines have set.

“This is a bold move by the world’s biggest international carrier,” said Dr. Elsayed Mohamed, Middle East Regional Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “Emirates have taken an important and responsible step in showing they are serious about wildlife conservation. We value their decision and look forward to other national airlines in the Gulf region to follow their lead.”

Delta Airlines, which TakePart previously reported is the only carrier based in the U.S. with direct flights to South Africa, is also being pushed to make a similar change in policy, but so far the airline hasn’t budged.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/victory-another-major-airline-bans-hunting-trophies.html#ixzz3b4e0J9Z5

Airline Takes On Big Game Hunters to Protect Rhinos, Lions, and Elephants

Africa’s largest airline bans the shipment of endangered animal trophies on its flights.


An elephant head with ivory tusks and other hunting trophies in a taxidermy store in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. (Photo: Robert Caputo/Getty Images)

April 30, 2015

Taylor Hill is TakePart’s associate environment and wildlife editor.

It just got harder for big game hunters to bring endangered animal trophies back home from South Africa to hang on their wall.

That’s because South African Airways, the continent’s largest airline, has banned the transport of endangered rhinos, elephants, and lions aboard its passenger and cargo flights.

“SAA will no longer support game hunters by carrying their trophies back to their country of origin,” SAA country manager Tim Clyde-Smith told the South African media on Wednesday. “The vast majority of tourists visit Africa in particular to witness the wonderful wildlife that remains. We consider it our duty to work to ensure this is preserved for future generations and that we deter activity that puts this wonderful resource in danger.”

The news broke April 25, when the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa posted internal documents from SAA revealing its embargo plans. The airline then issued a statement announcing that the embargo had gone into effect April 21 on all of its flights. No exceptions will be made, even if the hunter holds a valid permit “issued by the relevant authorities” to transport the animal, the airline said.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said in an email that a recent incident influenced the airline to establish the embargo. “Early in April 2015, a shipment lodged as machinery spare parts was discovered in Australia whilst in transit to Kuala Lumpur. The shipment contained elephant tusks and was seized. We were issued with a notice of seizure.”

“We recognize that this decision could impact several stakeholders,” Tlali added. “SAA Cargo remains committed to playing a significant role in curbing the illegal transportation of all animal species while positively contributing to national and international conservation efforts.”

Conservation groups are touting the move as a step in the right direction, helping curb the hunting of Africa’s endangered animals and limiting options for illegal wildlife traffickers who might otherwise transport wildlife products under the guise that the goods were obtained via legal hunts.

“We see this as a bold and positive move on South African Airways’ part to limit human-induced mortalities,” said African Wildlife Foundation spokesperson Kathleen Garrigan. “It’s especially impactful given that [SAA] services a major sport-hunting destination.”

With SAA taking the first step, the question is whether other international airlines will follow suit. Delta Airlines, the only U.S.-based airline with direct flights to South Africa, did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding SAA’s embargo.

If other airlines jump on board, trophy hunting might not be so appealing to big game hunters if they can’t bring evidence of their kills home. American hunters are already facing restrictions on what African animals they can go after.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials banned ivory trophy imports from Tanzania and Zimbabwe last year and are considering listing the African elephant as an endangered species—which would effectively ban all ivory trophy and elephant skin imports from legal hunts.

“This move will likely not deter hunters from hunting, but it may deter them from choosing South Africa as a destination for sport hunting,” Garrigan said.

_________________________

Also see:  With conditions: Carolinas regulators approve first federal permits for offshore oil surveys

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2015/05/04/with-conditions-carolinas-regulators-approve-first-federal-permits-for-offshore/

Petition: Demand an End to Trophy Hunting!

DEMAND AN END TO TROPHY HUNTING WILD ANIMALS

  • author: sophie m
  • target: KENDALL JONES (facebook)
  • signatures: 6,738

6,738

7,000

we’ve got 6,738 signatures, help us get to 7,000

This girl posts loads of photos of herself with endangered animals that she kills and shows them off on facebook. She is proud that she hunts defenseless wild animals to hang on her wall. This needs to stop now and we need to make a point for other poachers out there!

Bill Maher: If you’re on a safari to kill elephants and the elephant kills you instead… ‘good’

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/04/bill-maher-if-youre-on-a-safari-to-kill-elephants-and-the-elephant-kills-you-instead-good/

Bill Maher - (HBO's Real Time screenshot)

On this week’s edition of HBO’s Real Time, host Bill Maher was all about death during his New Rules segment, expressing happiness that a big game hunter was killed by the very elephant he was stalking, to a Republican named Upright who is still campaigning against Hillary Clinton from beyond the grave.

Maher began by mocking constant target Sarah Palin for her new PAC logo — featuring the Big Dipper over her head — saying stars circling over your head isn’t a sign that you’re looking to the future, “it just means you’ve walked into a stop sign.”

Also see   Laughing at religion is exactly what the world needs: http://www.salon.com/2015/04/26/bill_maher_american_hero_laughing_at_religion_is_exactly_what_the_world_needs/

Rhino Hunt Auction Winner Fears for His Safety

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http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/16/us-rhino-hunt-auction-winner-fears-for-his-safety/4517427/

Marie Saavedra, WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth 6:07 a.m. EST January 17, 2014

A man who paid $350,000 for the right to hunt an endangered African black rhino says he fears for his safety

DALLAS — A U.S. man who paid $350,000 for the right to hunt an endangered African black rhino says he fears for his safety.

Corey Knowlton said that after being revealed as the winner of a controversial Dallas Safari Club auction, he’s received death threats — so many that he says local law enforcement and the FBI are now working to keep them safe.

STORY: Black rhino hunting permit auctioned for $350,000

Knowlton, who has hunted around the world, said there has been a lot of anger and some confusion.

He leads expeditions for both everyday Joes and billionaires looking to hunt, and has been a fixture on The Outdoor Channel. His Facebook page is filled with photos of large deer he’s tracked and killed — wild boar, a bear, even a massive shark.

The Safari Club auctioned the permit to raise money for efforts to protect the black rhino.

Knowlton said his goal was to support conservation efforts for the black rhino. That’s where the money from his bid will go.

But critics feel that the chance to kill one is no kind of reward — and they’re letting him know it.

Still, Knowlton said the hunt is well-managed, and insists he will be targeting an aggressive older male that he says is terrorizing the rest of the herd, and would already be a target.

He said this is a challenge he welcomes.

“I’m a hunter. I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be intimately involved with a black rhino,” Knowlton said. “If I go over there and shoot it or not shoot it, it’s beyond the point.”

He said the death of this black rhino is inevitable.

“They are going to shoot those black rhinos … period. End of story,” he said.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Mystery blob messes up ecosystems

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Adapted from:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27362-mystery-blob-in-the-pacific-messes-up-us-weather-and-ecosystems.html#.VTFO22d0y1t

16 April 2015 by  under Climate Change

An unusual threat is looming off the Atlantic coast of Africa. Now roughly 2000 kilometres wide the mass that scientists are calling “the blob” has lingered off the coast for a year and a half and has set size records.

Fresh research published in Geophysical Research Letters has examined the causes and impacts of this anomaly, which has grown more recently.

The blob has changed water-circulation patterns, affected inland weather and reshuffled ecosystems at sea. Although scientists say the planet’s warming oceans may not be responsible for the mysterious and long-lived anomaly, some see it as an early warning of changes that might be coming to Africa in the next few decades.

Satellite imagery first alerted scientists to the strange formation in August 2013, when the roundish blob was seen over the Atlantic. Researchers don’t know what to think…

“You know that feeling of joy someone gets when they put an arrow through a giraffe’s eye…..No, me neither”*

*Recent Tweet by Ricky Gervis

More: http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2015/04/ricky_gervais_vs_rebecca_franc.html

Rebecca Francis has been famous in hunting circles since 2010, when the photogenic Utah native won the obscure reality show “Extreme Huntress.”

But now she’s famous in the wider world as well, thanks to comedian Ricky Gervais.

Last week, Gervais, a dedicated animal-rights activist with more than 7 million Twitter followers, came upon a photo of Francis posing next to a giraffe she had just killed, a big smile spread across her face. The result: a tweet heard ’round the world.

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“What must’ve happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling?”

Ricky Gervais         @rickygervais

People outraged by Francis’ apparently cavalier attitude toward killing wildlife expressed their disgust on social media and beyond.

Stunned by the criticism, Francis struck back, accusing Gervais of sexism. “Ricky Gervais has used his power and influence to specifically target women in the hunting industry and has sparked thousands of people to call for my death, the death of my family and many other women who hunt,” she said in a statement. She added: “I repeat I will never apologize for being a woman who hunts as I know that my passion for hunting and conservation is making a direct difference on the ground for wildlife.”

In the wake of Gervais’ giraffe tweet, a few people on Twitter did call for violence toward Francis. Some of Francis’ supporters have also suggested violence is the answer. One hunting enthusiast tweeted: “@rickygervais a real hunter would shoot idiots like you for the greater good of society.” Gervais retweeted it.

On her website, Francis boasts of having “taken” bears, moose, sheep, zebra and many other animals with both bows and rifles, and of mentoring other women who are interested in hunting. “For me, there is nothing more empowering than sharing that special moment of success with another female who is chasing her dreams,” she writes.

Gervais responded to Francis’ sexism claim by tweeting as if he were Francis: “I kill lions, giraffes & bears with guns and bows and arrows then pose grinning. Why don’t people like me? Must be because they’re sexist.” He then highlighted male hunters too, employing his usual un-PC humor.

Such as Tweeting, “Maybe he was hungry,” under this photo:

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Francis has gone quiet in recent days, but Gervais, whose Twitter feed often features his house cat Ollie, gives no indication that he’s done.