Category Archives: Megafauna

Japan’s “Scientific Whale Hunt”

The Japanese whaling fleet is currently hunting minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean. This is in violation of a ruling by the International Court of Justice on March 31, 2014 that ordered Japan to stop this practice immediately. The waters around Antarctica are a designated whale sanctuary. Despite this ruling and the protected area, this does not stop Japan’s whalers who kill in the name of “scientific research.” Really? Who actually believes this?

in 2016 the Japanese Whaling Fleet returned home with a reported 333 minke whale carcasses, some where pregnant females. Japan has said it conducts this “scientific whaling” strictly for research; however, the meat is sold commercially and government agencies say the ultimate goal is the resumption of commercial whaling.

Learn more through the power of film and what you can do to stop this. Come to the eight year anniversary of the WCFF this fall. Ten days of film screenings, receptions, panel discussions, field trips, networking, VR & more. Join us October 18-28, 2018. To advertise with, sponsor the film festival, submit a film, or join the planning committee, contact: info@wcff.org

Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
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China’s New Ban on Ivory

On Sunday, January 31 a total ban on Ivory in China was put into place. President Xi Jinping declared the import and export of elephant ivory to be illegal in the nation that has the  world’s largest importer of elephant tusks for decades.

This ban will greatly reduce the number of elephants killed by poachers in Africa, which at one point was nearly 100 animals a day, over 30,000 annually. The partial ivory ban declared by China in 2017 helped reduce the number of elephants killed by nearly 40%. Now that a total ban is in place in China, conservationists hope this number will be reduced much further. The African Elephant population was near 10 million animals in 1900 and reduced to 1.2 million by the mid 1980’s. Today as few as 300,000 remain on the continent.

Poaching for ivory has been the biggest threat to the survival of the two species of Elephants in Africa, the Savannah and Forest Elephants. Loss of habitat and increased human population is another concern as urban development continues with the expansion of cities and roadways. The human population will soon reach 1 billion on the continent alone and this means less space for wildlife.

The establishment of wildlife corridors, connecting national parks and protected areas from one country to the next is the only hope for elephants, big cats, giraffes and of Africa’s wildlife both large and small.

Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
http://www.WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: @wcff_org
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LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

 

Your Favorite Big Mammals Are in Deeper Danger Than You Thought

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A report in the journal BioScience recently revealed that some of the world’s most beloved large mammals could disappear forever if action isn’t taken soon to protect their habitats. Threatened megafauna, which typically inspire more public sympathy and concern than similarly endangered species of plants, bacteria, or smaller animals, in this case include bears, rhinos, and gorillas. In the report, titled “Saving the World’ Terrestrial Megafauna,” a global team of conservation scientists laid out issues of particular concern to these animals’ well-being, including vast deforestation, the expansion of land used for livestock and farming, illegal hunting, and rapid human population growth.

“The more I look at the trends facing the world’s largest terrestrial mammals, the more concerned I am we could lose these animals just as science is discovering how important they are to ecosystems and to the services they provide to people,” said William Ripple, an ecology professor at the College of Forestry at Oregon State University and the report’s lead author. “It’s time to really think about conserving them because declines in their numbers and habitats are happening quickly.”

The 43 scientists note that large mammals have widespread impacts on their ecosystems, and affect everything from regulating disease risks for humans and maintaining healthy populations of animals lower down in the food chain, to preventing wildfires and spreading seeds. The experts examined global trends confronting lions, rhinos, wolves, zebras, tigers, elephants, and other animals, concluding that “Most mammalian megafauna face dramatic range contractions and population declines.In fact, 59 percent of the world’s largest carnivores and 60 percent of the world’s largest herbivores are classified as threatened with extinction on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List. This situation is particularly dire in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, home to the greatest diversity of extant megafauna.”

The scientists finished the report with a call to action for world leaders: “We must not go quietly into this impoverished future. Rather, we believe it is our collective responsibility, as scientists who study megafauna, to act to prevent their decline. We therefore present a call to the broader international community to join together in conserving the remaining terrestrial megafauna.” Hopefully their voices and research will not fall on dull ears, but will help leaders and the public come together to take measures to save these large creatures, beautiful and vital for our planet’s health.

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Source: Silva, Christina. “Humans Cause Animal Extinction: Large Mammals Including Elephants And Gorillas Are Under Threat, Study Finds.” International Business Times. 27 July 2016.

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Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
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