Tag Archives: animals rights. conservation

NOISE POLLUTION THREATENS MARINE LIFE

We frequently hear about warming ocean temperatures, waste pollution, and habitat loss in marine environments, but little attention is given to another large issue affecting marine life: noise pollution. Noise pollution is beginning to show a major physical and behavioral affect on marine species ranging from whales, sea turtles, and sea birds to carbs, shrimp, and invertebrates. The pollution is mainly coming from the explosive sounds made by cargo ships, sonar guns, and air guns used by the U.S. Navy and during gas exploration. One species in particular, the Blue Whale, is drawing more attention to the issue because of how they’re affected by the noises.

blue-whale-qed

Noise pollution can be harmful in multiple ways. Species of whales and dolphins rely heavily on sounds while communicating with each other, hunting prey, escaping predators, and finding mates. The loud noises made during human activity can mask the sounds made by the marine organism, causing it to become lost or separated from its family, or interrupting its role in the food web. Noise pollution can also physically harm marine organisms depending on the size of the vibrations caused by the sound.

5857828257_6c003001bd_z-jpg

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has attempted to eliminate this issue on a case-by-case basis, preventing the use of the sonar guns or cargo ships when an organism is present in the nearby distance to the source of the noise. NOAA has now spent 6 years drawing an Ocean Noise Strategy Roadmap to deal with noise pollution and bring more attention to this issue. Not only are endangered species being watched closely, but also the entire effect from noise pollution is being researched to determine how whole marine environments are being altered.

Source: Goldman, Laura. “A Plan to Mute Ocean Noise for Marine Life.” Environmental News Network. 15 June 2016.

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

Biodiversity & Wildlife Crime Conference

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

Founder & CEO

Christopher@WCFF.org

www.WCFF.org

Facebook.com/WCFForg

Twitter: @WCFF_org

Twitter: @CJGERVAIS

Instagram: @wcff_org

Vimeo.com/wcff

dailymotion.com/WCFF1

LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

Advertisements

NO Oil Exploration in Belize Barrier Reef

75

The Belize government has approved a policy that will legally ban offshore exploration in all seven areas that make up the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage area. The decision will effectively exclude the entire World Heritage area from any future oil exploration and make the site consistent with the World Heritage Committee’s position that oil exploration is incompatible with World Heritage status.

The decision is a major first step forward in the government’s efforts to remove Belize Barrier Reef from the List of World Heritage in Danger. Following an IUCN-WHC mission to Belize last January, the government of Belize agreed on an ambitious 3-year roadmap that sets out a Desired State of Conservation for removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. A permanent ban on oil in the World Heritage area and its surrounding zones with a functional ecological connection to the property is anticipated by 31 January 2016.

_Belize Barrier Reef_

The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest reef system in the world. In 2009, the site was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger because of concerns on the sale, lease and development of mangrove islands and the absence of a solid regulatory framework that can ensure the conservation of its exceptional values. In 2010, the World Heritage Committee expressed serious concern about the potential for oil developments within and immediately adjacent to the iconic World Heritage site.

The World Heritage Committee has taken a very clear position that oil and mining exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status. In recent months, a growing number of firms in the extractive sector recognize their shared responsibility in conserving the worlds’s most iconic places and subscribe to a no-go commitment in World Heritage sites.

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
& Biodiversity Conference
Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Founder & CEO
Christopher@WCFF.org
http://www.WCFF.org

Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Vimeo.com/wcff
dailymotion.com/WCFF1
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

Maine Baits Bears with Doughnuts

slider-rosslakebearhunting

“Happy Hunters” proud of their kills

Maine voters appear to have rejected a ban that would have prevented hunters from luring black bears with day-old doughnuts and other pastries. With 514 of 572 precincts reporting as of 1:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, 54 percent of the electorate voted against Tuesday’s bear-baiting referendum, while 46 percent voted for it, according to the Bangor Daily News.

A spokesperson with Maine’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections, & Commissions told National Geographic that the official election results won’t be released for 20 days and that the Bangor Daily News is the state’s unofficial source. “Do you want to ban the use of bait, dogs, or traps in bear hunting except to protect property, public safety, or for research?” the ballot question asked.

Proponents of the ballot initiative to outlaw the practice say it’s just plain cruel, while the tactic’s defenders say it’s a vital tool for controlling the state’s bear population.

Maine hunters kill about 3,000 bears every year, the majority at bait barrels. The fate of two other legal hunting methods will also be decided by the referendum: trapping the animals with foot snares and cage traps, and tracking them with dog packs.

85418_990x742-cb1414701575

Bob Parker, owner of Stony Brook Outfitters, dumps a mix of doughnuts and granola into a barrel at
a bear-hunting bait site near Wilton, Maine. Photograph by Robert F. Bukaty, AP

If the ban is rejected, only “fair-chase” hunting, as the old-fashioned stalking method is termed, will be allowed. “Hunting helps keep the bear population stabilized, which is what the public wants,” said Randy Cross, one of two bear biologists with the state’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, before the vote.

But ban proponents believe that baiting, trapping, and dog hunting are “cruel and unfair,” said Katie Hansberry, a wildlife advocate with the coalition Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting, which gathered the more than 78,000 signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot. The coalition includes the Humane Society of the United States and the Wildlife Alliance of Maine, among others.

Of 32 bear-hunting states, Hansberry says, “Maine is the only one that allows all three of these cruel and unfair practices. It’s a black mark on our state.” Baiting for bears is common—it’s legal in 23 of those 32 states—but it’s a particularly touchy issue in Maine because the species’ numbers are growing.

About 30,000 black bears roam the state’s 42,905 square miles (69,050 square kilometers) of bear habitat. In comparison, about the same number of black bears are found across Washington State’s 184,827 square miles (71,362 square kilometers).

Maine’s state wildlife biologists staunchly oppose the proposed ban, saying it will actually lead to more problems between people and bears as both populations grow. (See pictures of U.S. hunters.) “These are our most effective management tools,” says Cross, who argues that they remain the best way to control the bears’ numbers. If Maine hunters don’t kill between 3,000 and 4,500 bears each year, he says, the animals’ population will soar—causing many bears to die from starvation and disease. “That’s not what people want to see,” Cross says.

In Maine, voters faced this same ballot measure a decade ago. They defeated it then, but by a narrow margin, 53 to 47 percent. “No one is calling for an end to the bear hunts,” Hansberry stresses. “But they should be fair and not cruel. They should give the bears a sporting chance—just as they do deer and moose.”

This article was first published by National Geographic on 05 November 2014.

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, Inc.
Christopher J. Gervais, Founder & CEO
Christopher@WCFF.org

Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: @wcff_2014
Vimeo.com/wcff
Skype: christopher.j.gervais
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
http://www.meetup.com/Wildlife-Conservation-Film-Festival/

Copenhagen Zoo Kills Again

Image

The same Danish Zoo that killed and publicly dissected Marius the giraffe last month is sadly back in the news. Today, March 25, 2014, two adult lions and their two 10-month-old cubs have been euthanized to make room for a new male.

The Copenhagen Zoo released a statement in an attempt to explain their reasoning: “Because of the pride of lions’ natural structure and behavior, the zoo has had to euthanize the two old lions and two young lions who were not old enough to fend for themselves,” the statement read. According to zoo officials, the new male lion would have killed the young cubs “as soon as he got the chance.” The zoo claims it tried to find a new home for the lion family, but was unsuccessful.

Unlike Marius, the lions won’t be cut up in public, because “not all our animals are dissected in front of an audience,” a zoo spokesman said.

The new lion is set to arrive in a few days. The zoo is bringing him in to start a new pride as part of its lion breeding program.

Why is it necessary to kill four healthy lions to breed more lions? And when the zoo is done with the new male lion, will they euthanize him to? Is it possible with all of the zoos, sanctuaries and animal groups around the world, no one was willing to care for the lion family.

Image