Tag Archives: Hunting

Last of the BIG Tuskers

“Last of the BIG Tuskers”, produced by James Currie, will screen as a world premiere at the 2018 WCFF.
The WCFF informs, engage and inspires wildlife conservation through the power of film. Join us for our eight year anniversary in New York, NY, October 18-28, 2018. Ten days of film screenings, panel discussions, receptions, field trips, networking, Virtual Reality and more. Get your 2018 All Access Film Festival pass today: http://www.wcff.org/nyc-festival-2018/
Contact: info@wcff.org to join the planning committee. Advertise & promote your brand on the big screen during the festival. Take a page in the full color program book.

 

Christopher J. Gervais, FRGS
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
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KAMCHATKA Bears – Official WCFF Selection

“Kamchatka Bears: Life Begins” produced by produced and directed by Irina Zhuraleva is an official selection to the 2018 WCFF.
OFFICIAL TRAILER: https://vimeo.com/273768950
The WCFF mission is to inform, engage and inspire wildlife conservation through the power of film. Join us for our eight year anniversary October 18-28, 2018. Ten days with over 100 documentary films screened, many World and North America premieres. Panel discussions, receptions, field trips, networking, virtual reality/360 and more. All Access Film Festival passes are available now for purchase: wcff.org/nyc-festival-2018/
 
Contact: info@wcff.org to join the planning committee. Sponsor the film festival, advertise on the big screen during the outdoor summer series and the October festival. Take a full or half page in the full color, hard copy program book that is distributed in Africa, Australia, China, Europe, India, North and South America.

Christopher J. Gervais, FRGS
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

Ancient People of Namibia – Official WCFF Selection

“The Ancient People of Namibia” produced by Akin Esgin & Burak Dogansoyal of BBA Broadband Films is an official selection to the 2018 WCFF.
 OFFICIAL TRAILER: https://vimeo.com/265045383
The WCFF mission is to inform, engage and inspire wildlife conservation through the power of film. Join us for our eight year anniversary October 18-28, 2018. Ten days with over 100 documentary films screened, many World and North America premieres. Panel discussions, receptions, field trips, networking, virtual reality/360 and more. All Access Film Festival passes are available now for purchase: wcff.org/nyc-festival-2018/
Contact: info@wcff.org to join the planning committee. Sponsor the film festival, advertise on the big screen during the outdoor summer series and the October festival. Take a page in the full color program book to be distributed in USA, China and other countries.
Christopher J. Gervais, FRGS
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
Vimeo.com/wcff
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

Borneo Orangutans Disappearing FAST

A new IUCN study reveals the island of has lost 150,000 between 1999-2015, largely as a result of & . The last Census in 2012 reports 104,700 of the critically left. If current trends continue with habitat loss and killing another 45,00 could die by 2050.
The WCFF informs, engage and inspires wildlife conservation through the power of film. Join us for our eight year anniversary in New York, NY, October 18-28, 2018. Ten days of film screenings, panel discussions, receptions, field trips, networking, Virtual Reality and more.
 
Contact: info@wcff.org to join the planning committee. Sponsor the film festival, advertise on the big screen during the outdoor summer series and the October festival. Take a page in the full color program book to be distributed in USA, China and other countries

 

Christopher J. Gervais, FRGS
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
Vimeo.com/wcff
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

The Epic Battle Against Invasive Lionfish

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First reported near Florida in the 1980s, lionfish have since spread throughout southeastern U.S. waters, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea, taking over coasts from New York to Brazil. These brightly-striped ornamental fish, native to the Indo-Pacific, were believed to have been let loose in U.S. waters by the aquarium trade.The problem: with insatiable appetites (they’ve been found to eat over 70 fish/invertebrate species) these invasive creatures have since wreaked havoc on coral reefs and fisheries, eating both other species’ prey and grazers that clean algae from reefs. Plus, no predators have stepped in to gobble up the strange species, allowing the fish to reproduce relatively unchecked.

Still, scientists and environmentally-minded entrepreneurs alike have been taking action against ballooning lionfish populations, creating and testing everything from underwater robots to fish traps loaded with special recognition software, all designed to drastically lower the lionfish headcount. “It’s the inverse of every fisheries management plan you’ve ever heard of,” says marine biologist Corey Eddy, who focuses on lionfish near Bermuda. “Usually we’re trying to minimize the pressure on fish populations so they can rebound. Now we’re saying, let’s start wiping them out.”

Though strategies like hosting spearfishing tournaments and giving out special lionfish culling permits can help individuals nab hundreds of lionfish in a day, this is nothing compared with the two million eggs a female lionfish could spawn every year. Add that to the fact that they can lurk below 130 feet, too deep for average divers, and scientists have speculated that robots may be better than humans at controlling lionfish populations.

Colin Angle, cofounder of iRobot, had this same thought while diving in Bermuda, only natural since his company has created robots from the Roomba to radioactive nuclear waste cleaners. Inspired by the idea to employ robots in lionsih control, Angle and his wife, biochemist Erika Ebbel, began nonprofit Robots in Service of the Environment (RISE), with the goal of creating an affordable autonomous underwater robot that lethally shocks lionfish by early next year. RISE members feel that lionfish could ultimately become the next popular delicacy, a demand that would vastly help limit lionfish populations. “Ultimately the way this becomes a success is by creating a market and the interest of consumers in eating lionfish,” says John Rizzi, executive director of RISE. “The best way to challenge the sustainability of a species is for humans to eat it. Whether that’s good or bad, in this case that will benefit the environment.”

Similarly, recreational divers Bryan and Anna Clark were inspired to start a nonprofit environmental group called Coast Watch Alliance, which works to simultaneously protect reefs and battle lionfish. Bryan Clark is working on a prototype to suck up the fish with a vacuum-like gulp. He’s also developing a “hunting ROV” (remote-operated vehicle) with a camera to seek out the fish before diving down. He feels that both technology and financial motives will help decimate the lionfish. “Some people are going to harvest lionfish because it’s great for the environment, others will do it because it’s fun to do while they’re diving. But a lot of people are going to do it because they’re going to make some money taking lionfish to the market,” he says.

It just so happens that lionfish have already unwittingly stepped into the spiny lobster fishery commercial market, as 20 percent of lobster traps end up catching lionfish as well. “lf the lionfish are showing up in those traps, uninvited and unintended, then why not get them to show up intentionally?” notes diver Bob Hickerson, who’s putting his contractor skills to good use by designing a better lionfish trap. The “Frapper Trap” (from the French word meaning “to strike down”) will implement a pattern recognition program to seize lionfish, and let other species free. Along with his wife, Maria, his father-in-law, and volunteers from Team Frapper, he hopes to have a trap ready to test in the next six months. “We can’t stand back and watch our reefs being taken over by lionfish,” he says.

Nevertheless, even with such a broad range of arsenals being developed, experts believe that total destruction of lionfish is impossible, though creating a strong commercial market for selling the species to diners could prevent them from devastating entire ecosystems.

“I think commercial incentive will be a big part of the solution, supplemented by spearfishing in shallow water and some of these other things,” says Stephen Gittings, science coordinator at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “Some of these might sound like crazy ideas, but you never know until you try.”

Source: Gaworecki, Mike. “The lionfish invasion: a call to arms?” Mongabay. 14 December 2016.

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Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

Biodiversity & Wildlife Crime Conference
Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Founder & CEO
Christopher@WCFF.org
www.WCFF.org

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500 White Rhinos Up for Bid at South Africa’s Kruger National Park

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South Africa’s Kruger National Park plans to make 500 white rhinos available for private bidders hoping to protect the animals and their highly-prized horns. The park asked potential investors to “make a written offer to purchase white rhinos in batches of 20 or more”.

Ideally, this measure would remove the animals from the rampant poaching that occurs at the park: over 1000 were poached in South Africa last year alone, more than three times the number in 2010. Rhino horn is used as a traditional medicine and a mark of wealth in growing consumer markets China and Vietnam.

As many as 5,000 of South Africa’s 20,000 rhinos are already owned by private ranchers, marking the expansion of a vast game farming industry that caters to eco-tourism and big-game hunting. Rhinos attract tourists for game viewing and legal trophy hunts, and some ranchers hold out hope that the horn trade will eventually be legalized.

Still, the risks and costs of keeping rhinos safe from poachers, even on private ranchers, may dissuade potential buyers from investing in the rhinos. “You are asking someone to put a large amount of money on the table in a speculative venture,” Pelham Jones, chairman of the Private Rhino Owners Association, told Reuters.

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This article was first published by The Guardian on 06 Oct 2014.

 

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
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Governor of Montana gives Christmas gift to Bison

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Wild bison will be allowed to migrate out of Yellowstone National Park and stay in parts of Montana year-round thanks to Governor Steve Bullock. The governor agreed on 12/12/15 to expand year-round habitat protection for wild bison in Montana outside Yellowstone National Park.  Historically, thousands of wild bison have been hazed or killed as they migrated from Yellowstone into Montana during the winter and spring months. This will allow hundreds of wild bison to live without the fear of being killed as the search for food in lower elevations in an area 400 square miles north and west of the park.

Wild bison have largely been blocked from staying in Montana year-round like other wildlife due to a concern by cattleman and ranchers that their livestock could contract brucellosis, an introduced disease that can cause infected pregnant animals to miscarry. This disease may spread to domestic livestock from the migrating wild bison and elk.

The chances of infection are small and there are management tools available to prevent such a transmission from happening. In fact, no documented transmission from wild bison to livestock has ever occurred.

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The governor did ad that he plans to continue to pressure the National Park Service to reduce Yellowstone population of nearly 5,000 bison. Yellowstone has one of the largest wild bison herds remaining. Since the 1980’s more than 6,300 wild bison have been killed to “cull” the species in response to the fear of brucellosis spreading.


Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

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

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Maine Baits Bears with Doughnuts

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“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.

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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.

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