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Thread: Threatened & Endangered Species

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    Exclamation Threatened & Endangered Species

    Sumatran rhinos approaching extinction...

    The fight to save the world’s smallest rhino
    Wed, Dec 21, 2016 - CRITICALLY ENDANGERED: Unlike their African cousins, Sumatran rhinos are born covered in shaggy, reddish-brown fur, which has earned them the nickname ‘hairy rhino’
    Deep from within the Indonesian jungle a solitary, seldom seen forest giant emerges from the undergrowth. It is a Sumatran rhino, one of the rarest large mammals on Earth. There are no more than 100 left on the entire planet and Andatu — a four-year-old male — is one of the last remaining hopes for the future of the species. He is part of a special breeding program at Way Kambas National Park in eastern Sumatra that is trying to save the critically endangered species from disappearing forever. The species is so rarely seen that even villagers living near the park were stunned when a wild rhino wandered into their community. “They thought it was a mythical creature,” Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary at Way Kambas head veterinary surgeon Zulfi Arsan said. “They chased her and so we had to rescue her.” Sumatran rhinos are the smallest of all rhinos and the only Asian variety with two horns.

    Unlike their better-known cousins in Africa, Sumatran rhinos are born covered in shaggy, reddish-brown fur, earning them the nickname “hairy rhino.” Their woolly covering fades to black or disappears almost entirely over their lifetimes, which span 35 to 40 years. This hair — coupled with their smaller stature and short horns — gives Sumatran rhinos like Andatu a gentler, softer appearance than their imposing, armor-plated cousins. They once roamed the vast, dense forests of Sumatra, Borneo and Malaysia, but land-clearing and poaching have devastated their numbers. Last year, the species was declared extinct in the wild in Malaysia, leaving just tiny herds of two to five rhinos scattered across Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo. Somewhere within the 1,300km2 of Way Kambas live an estimated 36 wild rhinos, Arsan said.


    Andatu, a Sumatran rhino, one of the rarest large mammals on Earth, grazes at the Rhino Sanctuary at Way Kambas National Park in eastern Sumatra, Indonesia

    In Sumatra there are also small clusters in the west and the island’s northern Leuser ecosystem — the last place on Earth where wild rhinos, orangutans, tigers and elephants roam together. Poaching is a serious threat. The last rhino killed in Way Kambas was in 2006, Arsan said, but staff take no chances in this section of lowland forest. Armed rhino protection units patrol the habitat, disabling snares, and identifying authorities of intruders and suspicious activity. “There’s still illegal activities inside the park,” Arsan said. “The demand for the horn, for rhino products, is still there.” Three males, including Andatu, and four females are kept in a 100 hectare natural rainforest enclosure within Way Kambas, where vets and researchers take every opportunity to study their unusual breeding patterns.

    Sumatran rhinos are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. Females are only fertile for a small window each cycle and need male contact to ovulate. Even then, intercourse does not guarantee conception. To make matters worse, Sumatran rhinos are solitary by nature and often clash upon interaction. “In 100 years we’ve had just seven babies. It’s very hard,” Arsan said of historic efforts to breed the rhinos. Andatu’s birth in 2012 was heralded as a milestone — he was the first Sumatran rhino born in an Asian breeding facility in more than 140 years. Since then he has been joined by a sister, who arrived this May to much fanfare.[ Andatu is close to reaching sexual maturity and conservationists hope he can play a star role in ensuring the longevity of the species. “Every birth is a hope,” Arsan said.

    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/worl.../21/2003661659

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    It's very sad that foolish beliefs about the properties of Rhino horns are causing the extinction of a species. People are so ignorant. Rhino horn has no more value as a product than compressed hair would.
    "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

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    Exclamation

    Habitat shrinkage endangerin' cheetahs...

    Cheetah Numbers Decline as African Habitat Shrinks
    December 26, 2016 — Amid population declines for many wildlife species in Africa, conservationists are sounding alarm bells for the cheetah, the fastest animal on land.
    An estimated 7,100 cheetahs remain in the wild across Africa and in a small area of Iran, and human encroachment has pushed the wide-ranging predator out of 91 percent of its historic habitat, according to a study published on Monday. Consequently, the cheetah should be defined as "endangered" instead of the less serious "vulnerable" on an official watch list of threatened species worldwide, the study said. "This period is really crunch time for species like cheetah that need these big areas," said Sarah Durant, a cheetah specialist at the Zoological Society of London and the lead author of the report published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. About 77 percent of cheetah habitats fall outside wildlife reserves and other protected areas, the study said, requiring outreach to governments and villages to promote tolerance for a carnivore that sometimes hunts livestock.

    Besides habitat loss, cheetahs face attacks from villagers, loss of antelope and other prey that are killed by people for their meat, an illegal trade in cheetah cubs, the trafficking of cheetah skins and the threat of getting hit by speeding vehicles. A cheetah has been recorded running at a speed of 29 meters (95 feet) per second. The species may move more slowly while hunting and it can only maintain top speeds for a few hundred meters. More than half of the world's cheetahs live in southern Africa, including in Namibia and Botswana, which have relatively sparse human populations. Cheetahs have been virtually wiped out in Asia, save for fewer than 50 in Iran, according to the study, whose contributors included the Panthera group and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Durant said there was uncertainty over the 7,100 number, which was based on data from experts in areas where cheetahs live and estimates for other areas. Cheetahs are difficult to find because they move over vast regions, she said.


    Three newly-born cheetahs rest at their enclosure in Prague's zoo, Czech Republic.

    Durant also led a previous assessment of nearly 6,700 cheetahs published last year by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which keeps a watch list of threatened species. Since then, experts have provided new information and refined counting methods, contrasting with rough estimates in the 10,000-range in recent decades. The cheetah population in Zimbabwe declined from an estimated 1,500 in 1999 to between 150 and 170, according to a survey conducted between 2013 and 2015 by a group called Cheetah Conservation Project Zimbabwe. The group solicited cheetah photographs and reports of sightings from tourists, safari guides and others and interviewed more than 1,000 people, including village heads and cattle managers.

    Cheetah experts note that Angola is developing a plan to protect cheetahs and African wild dogs. That could yield better data on cheetah numbers in a country where information has been thin, said Rosemary Groom, a conservationist who participated in an October workshop on the subject in Angola's Quicama National Park. Despite habitat loss across the continent, the Mara area in southwest Kenya and in the adjacent Serengeti National Park in Tanzania still offers a refuge, said Femke Broekhuis, head of the Mara Cheetah Project. Recent data from a GPS collar on one Mara cheetah showed that it traveled 19 kilometers (12 miles) overnight, she said. Cheetahs often roam alone, though on Monday morning Broekhuis saw a rare sight: five male cheetahs, together.

    http://www.voanews.com/a/ap-cheetah-...s/3652186.html

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    I find rhino fossils in a Fl river.They have been extinct here for millions of years.Hopefully, they will continue to exist in more than the fossil record
    I believe in the Sun, even at night. I believe in love, even when I am alone. I believe in God, even when He is silent. (Especially , then)




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    Exclamation

    60% of species are under threat...

    Primates facing 'extinction crisis'
    Wed, 18 Jan 2017 - Primates are facing an extinction crisis, according to researchers who have found that 60% of species are under threat.
    The world's primates face an "extinction crisis" with 60% of species now threatened with extinction, according to research. A global study, involving more than 30 scientists, assessed the conservation status of more than 500 individual species. This also revealed that 75% of species have populations that are declining. The findings are published in the journal Science Advances.

    Professor Jo Setchell from Durham University, a member of the team, explained that the main threats were "massive habitat loss" and illegal hunting. "Forests are destroyed when primate habitat is converted to industrial agriculture, leaving primates with nowhere to live," she told BBC News. "And primates are hunted for meat and trade, either as pets or as body parts." Other threats - all driven by human behaviour - are forest clearance for livestock and cattle ranching; oil and gas drilling and mining. "The short answer is that we must reduce human domination of the planet, and learn to share space with other species," Prof Setchell commented.

    No alternative

    The study also cited poverty and civil unrest as a driving force for hunting - in the poorest parts of the world many people are being driven to hunting primates in order to feed themselves. "We need to focus on the development of these parts of the world and make sure people have an alternative source of protein," said Prof Serge Wich from Liverpool John Moores University. He pointed out that the loss of primate species represented the loss of forests that are essential for the future of our own species. "These forests provide essential services for people," he told BBC News. "They help in being carbon stocks to mitigate climate change; they help in providing clean water and providing pollination services for people, so they can grow their crops." The researchers also pointed to some personal choices that people could make as consumers, particularly in the west, to avoid contributing to tropical deforestation. "Simple examples are don't buy tropical timber, don't eat palm oil," said Prof Setchell.

    But more broadly, "we need to raise local, regional and global public awareness of the plight of the world's primates and what this means for ecosystem health, human culture, and ultimately human survival. "In industrialised nations, we must decrease our demand for resources that we don't need, and stop confusing wants with needs." Dr Christoph Schwitzer, from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature is also director of conservation at Bristol Zoological Society. He told the BBC that it was his "strong belief" that "with a concerted effort by the world's governments and conservationists, primate declines can be halted and populations stabilised". He added that changes in consumer behaviour could help, for example "choosing FSC-certified wood and paper products, and making sure palm oil comes from sustainable sources". Dr Schwitzer added: "Protected areas [of habitat] and efficient law enforcement will be key."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38652196

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    Red face

    Granny once whupped a grizzle bear dat tried to get into her 'special' brownies...

    Yellowstone Grizzly Bears to Lose Endangered Species Protection
    June 22, 2017 — Grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park will be stripped of Endangered Species Act safeguards this summer, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced on Thursday in a move conservation groups vowed to challenge in court.
    Dropping federal protection of Yellowstone's grizzlies, formally proposed in March 2016 under the Obama administration, was based on the agency's findings that the bears' numbers have rebounded sufficiently in recent decades. The estimated tally of grizzlies in the greater Yellowstone region, encompassing parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, has grown to 700 or more today, up from as few as 136 bears in 1975 when they were formally listed as a threatened species through the Lower 48 states. At that time, the grizzly had been hunted, trapped and poisoned to near extinction. Its current population well exceeds the government's minimum recovery goal of 500 animals in the region.


    Lifting the bears' protected status will open them to trophy hunting outside the boundaries of Yellowstone park as grizzly oversight is turned over to state wildlife managers in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, as well as to native American tribes in the region. Hunters and ranchers, who make up a powerful political constituency in Western states, have strongly advocated removing grizzlies from the threatened species list, arguing the bears' growing numbers pose a threat to humans, livestock and big-game animals such as elk.



    A grizzly bear walks in a meadow in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming



    Environmentalists have raised concerns that while grizzlies have made a comeback, their recovery could falter without federal safeguards. They point to the fact that a key food source for the bears, whitebark pine nuts, may be on the decline due to climate change. "The grizzly fight is on. We'll stop any attempt to delist Yellowstone's grizzlies," the Oregon-based Western Environmental Law Center said in a Twitter post. "We anticipate going to court to challenge this premature, deeply concerning decision," Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director for the conservation group WildEarth Guardians, said Thursday.


    Native American tribes, which revere the grizzly, also have voiced skepticism about ending its threatened classification. Zinke said the final delisting rule by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be published "in coming days" and go into effect 30 days later. As proposed last March, the rule will not affect four other smaller federally protected grizzly populations in parts of Montana, Idaho and Washington state. A much larger population in Alaska remains unlisted.


    https://www.voanews.com/a/yellowston...-/3912181.html

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    Cool

    Mexico using dolphins to save endangered vaquita porpoise...

    Mexico to use dolphins to save endangered vaquita porpoise
    June 30, 2017 - Mexico announced plans Friday to use trained dolphins to corral the last remaining vaquita marina porpoises into a protected breeding ground, a last-ditch bid to save the critically endangered species.
    Scientists estimate there are just 30 remaining vaquitas, the world's smallest porpoise, a species found only in the waters of the Gulf of California. Environment Minister Rafael Pacchiano said the authorities would deploy dolphins trained by the US Navy to herd as many vaquitas as possible into a marine refuge.


    He admitted the project, due to start in September, would be difficult. "We've spent the past year working alongside the US Navy with a group of dolphins they had trained to search for missing SCUBA divers. We've been training them to locate the vaquitas," he said in an interview with radio network Formula. "We have to guarantee we capture the largest possible number of vaquitas to have an opportunity to save them."



    This undated handout picture released on March 19, 2017 by the US environmental group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society shows a dead newborn "vaquita marina" porpoise found at Playa Hermosa beach in the Gulf of California, Mexico


    The government also announced Friday it has permanently banned the fishing nets in which vaquitas are often killed. The nets, known as gillnets, are used to catch another species, the totoaba fish, whose swim bladder is considered a delicacy in China and can fetch $20,000 per kilogram. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which has warned the vaquita risks going extinct by next year, praised the move.


    The latest measures come after Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a deal on June 7 with Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim to increase efforts to save the vaquita. DiCaprio had taken Pena Nieto to task on social media for not doing enough to save the species. But the two later buried the hatchet. The Hollywood heartthrob welcomed the permanent gillnet ban as "great news" on Twitter.


    https://www.yahoo.com/news/mexico-do...231237146.html

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    Angry

    Aww, poor koala bear...

    Dead koala found with ears cut off in Australia
    Sat, Nov 11, 2017 - A koala has been found dead in Australia with both its ears cut off, the latest in a spate of animal mutilations that police yesterday called “troublesome and disgusting.”
    An emergency services worker stumbled across the grisly find on a road at Warrnambool, about 225km from Melbourne in Victoria state, on Monday. It is not clear if the animal was dead or alive when its ears were removed. “Police members are investigating what can only be described as a very troublesome and disgusting incident involving the mutilation of a koala,” Warrnambool Sergeant Pat Day said. “We certainly want to get to the bottom of it. There is no reason for anybody to treat an animal in this way, whether it be alive or dead,” he said.


    A koala named Oxley Kaylee, who lost an eye and had her left hind leg amputated after being hit by a car, recuperates at the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie

    Victoria Police said in a statement the incident followed a series of kangaroo and wallaby mutilations in the area. No further details were given.

    In June, a kangaroo was found shot dead, dressed in leopard-print and tied to a chair holding a bottle of alcohol, also in Victoria state.

    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/worl.../11/2003682074
    See also:

    Video shows Florida farm workers regularly beat, stabbed cows
    Nov. 10, 2017 -- A Florida dairy farm is under criminal investigation after the release of an undercover video showing employees beating cows, police said Thursday.
    The video, released by the Animal Recovery Mission, showed workers at the Larson Dairy Farm in Okeechobee, Fla., beating dairy cows with steel rods and kicking and stabbing them. The farm is a major supplier to Publix, one of the largest grocery store chains in the nation. "Larson Dairy cows are milked, tormented and beaten three times a day, 305 days a year for life," a narrator says in the video. The video also shows calves confined in small cages and lying in their own feces, as well as a pile of dead calves stacked against a wall. "Newborn calves suffer alone and confined in inadequate shelter," the narrator says. "Many calves quickly succumb to the life at the Larson Dairy Farm."

    Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen said he assigned an investigator to the case and expects charges to be filed. Noel also said he personally knows and defends the owners of the Larson Dairy Farm. "I stand before you to say that these gentlemen would not condone this activity and had they known about it, they would have fired them on the spot," Noel said, according to WPBF-TV.

    Farm owner Jacob Larson said one of the employees shown in the video has been fired. "The unusual use of force is simply unacceptable on our dairy or on any other farm," he said, according to the Sun-Sentinel ARM lead investigator Richard Cuoto said it's unlikely the company didn't know about the abuse. The video was taken by an undercover employee who said the use of abusive tactics on cows was the norm. "Many of the cows that were brought to that milking station and put in line to have milkers put onto those udders were controlled violently," Cuoto said, according to CBS12 News.

    VIDEO
    Last edited by waltky; 11-10-2017 at 05:34 PM.

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    I am ashamed to be a member of our species when i hear stories like this.

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