Lions could be extinct within two decades

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The population of lions on the Earth have dwindled from 450,000 in the 1950s to around 20,000 today. The less-than-human among humans are wiping them off the face of the planet. It is a horrible trend not limited to lions.

An important Take Part article includes an interview with filmmaker and conservationist  Dereck Joubert, who believes it’s not too late to save this great species. But if too little is done, lions could be gone within two decades.

I still find it hard to believe that greedy and uncaring people are having this kind of impact on the Earth and its wildlife. But I still believe that good people out-pace the bad. We just need to pull in more from those who, to date, have been apathetic or unaware of what’s going on.

And we need to make sure we’re raising the next generation of compassionate people.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Animal welfare and the environment – two steps forward, two steps back

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Just where are we as a society in 2013, where animal welfare and environmental issues are concerned? I’m seeing some progress in some areas and a troubling trend of decline in other areas.

I like classic TV shows and movies. My viewing tends to drift to films from the 1930s to the 1970s – or so – and TV from the 60s to 70s and at times more recent stuff. I find it interesting when a reference to protecting air and water appears in a movie or TV episode from say, 1972. Or maybe a primary character is speaking about protections for animals. I was watching a show recently from the early 70s, where a character was distressed about pollution.

Fast forward to 2013 and elected officials in my home state are actually debating about opening the land up to natural gas fracking. And a push is underway to allow for the injection of polluted fracking fluid waste into deep wells in the coastal regions. We have a decades-old ban on injecting pollutants such as this into wells in the state. But now, with powerful entities pushing for it, the state legislature might open the door to full-scale pollution.

We’ve seen the very recent destruction of the Appalachian Mountain Range, by the coal industry. Mountaintops are completely blown up and the material has been dumped into mountain streams below. We would never have even seen that happen in the 1970s.

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PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Members of Federal Wildlife Services routinely engaged in acts of animal cruelty

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A Fox News story published Tuesday reports on routine acts of animal cruelty, by individuals working in the USDA’s Wildlife Services department. One person quoted in the article explains it is part of the job to have dogs attack wolves held in leg-hold traps.

Thankfully, two US Congressman – Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) and Rep. Peter Defazio (D-Ore.) are speaking out against these acts of torture to animals.

Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack was quoted in response to the reports:

USDA does not condone any form of animal cruelty and holds all employees responsible for adhering to Departmental and Agency standards and directives.

If Vilsack is true to his words, he will immediately ban the use of leg-hold traps and of course ban the use of dogs to attack wolves. And he should realize that there is a balance of nature to be addressed and killing off segments of the chain of life is no way to oversee ecosystems.

Living with Wolves special airs on TV tonight – and online

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An investigative report about wolves – within Link TV’s Earth Focus series – will air tonight on the network and online at www.linktv.org/earthfocus. The Link TV premier is set for 9:30 p.m. PT (March 11) – or 12:30 a.m. ET. And it will run again at 9 p.m. ET Thursday (March 14).
I am not sure of the direction of the show, as I have not seen it. But hopefully we’ll see information that will educate the viewing audience to the need for protections for these great animals.

The press release from LINK TV:

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The future of the gray wolf is uncertain. The polarized debate over killing wolves and the search for a middle ground is the subject of a new investigative TV special Shades of Gray: Living with Wolves, produced by Link TV’s environmental news magazine Earth Focus.

Earth Focus travels to Montana and Wyoming to gauge the views of ranchers, hunters, scientists, taxidermists, conservationists and a former Governor of Montana. It explores the complex middle ground of hard truths and innovative solutions in the polarized battle over the place of wolves in the American West. The program is produced by Earth Focus, in collaboration with the Ecologist Film Unit in the UK.

Gray wolves once ranged across North America. But by the 1930s, they were nearly extinct — trapped, poisoned and hunted by ranchers, farmers and government agents. With protection under the 1973 Endangered Species Act, the wolf population rebounded. But when wolves lost federal protection in 2011 and wolf management became an issue for the states to decide, hunting was again permitted in many areas. Recently trapping and snaring were also allowed in some states, leading many to question the fate of this once endangered species.

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Wildlife poaching uncovered in North Carolina and Georgia

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I received a press release today concerning an undercover wildlife operation in two states. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission exposed poaching and other illegal hunting activity.

Over 80 violators were uncovered, involving about 900 violations, including illegal bear baiting, illegal taking of bears, deer and other wildlife, illegal use of dogs and the operation of illegal bear enclosures.

The Release:

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RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 20, 2013) — State and federal wildlife officials announced today an undercover operation involving more than 80 wildlife violators and as many as 900 wildlife violations detected.

Primary violations stem from illegal bear hunting but include an array of wildlife and game law charges. The investigation continues and more charges are possible.

The four-year investigation targeted poachers in North Carolina and Georgia, with some work in adjacent states.

Officers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission infiltrated poaching circles to document violations including bear baiting, illegal take of bears, deer and other wildlife, illegal use of dogs, operation of illegal bear enclosures in North Carolina, and guiding hunts on national forest lands without the required permits.

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Too many reptile species are in danger of becoming extinct

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Nearly 20 percent of all reptile species are in danger of becoming extinct. Habitat loss and people killing them are two of the key areas of concern.

A recent study uncovered these findings. The Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species reports 12 percent of reptiles are classified as critically endangered, 41 percent as endangered and 47 percent are listed as vulnerable.

As habitat continues to be destroyed, we will continue to see the decline of more species. Do enough people care about this to stop this tragedy?

Find more information on this story in the Science section of NBCNews.com.

 

Crested black macaques use wildlife photographer’s camera, with fantastic results

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You will get a smile out of this story, when you the images posted with it. A wildlife photographer in an Indonesian national park left his camera unattended for a bit and the crested black macaques hanging around proved to be quick studies in using the buttons.

The results are very much worth seeing.

The Guardian has the story, with a link to the gallery of pics. (Credit to my brother Gary for finding this.)

 

New Series: Pack Mentality Universal Translator

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We hear or read regularly words, phrase and sentences we know are knowing more than political-speak, where we know the individual uttering the terms really doesn’t mean what is actually coming out of their month. They are actually trying to spin or cloud their actual views.

I’m so tired of it that I’ve decided to launch a new blog series – The Pack Mentality Universal Translator.

Today, it’s the phrase “Wildlife Management.” Translated – Open the door for more hunting, because we’ve killed off all of the natural predators in the region. 

Or – The deer need to hide, quick.

Wildlife management is usually bad news for wildlife.

 

Pack of News from the odd side of the room

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Just when you thought you’d heard it all ….: A dog in Tennessee was turned over recently to a shelter to be euthanized because he was gay. The man who dropped him off reportedly saw him mount anther male dog and thought that meant he was gay.

Can we now push for an improved education system nationally? Can we teach common sense and logic in K-through-12 and in college?

Thankfully, he was pulled from the shelter and adopted before being killed, as reported by ABC News. But there is another layer to to the story. I was a bit stunned to learn that the shelter is called “Jackson Rabies Control,” in Jackson, Tenn. Now there’s a shelter that needs a name change. It’s great to focus on rabies as a health issue, but calling your animal shelter “Rabies Control” sounds as though helping the animals find homes is way down the list.

Report – Walmart employee fired for helping stray dog: When a starving puppy wondered into a Walmart store in Oregon, an employee reportedly tried to help the little dog.

But one of her bosses told her to take the puppy back outside. When the employee suggested she was going call a rescue group to pick up the little dog, she was told to leave the store.

And this one is bit more complex: An Indiana couple faces legal peril for nursing an injured deer back to health. When they found the injured deer, they were reportedly told by an official with the state’s Department of Natural Resources to leave it to die in the woods.

Instead, the couple took it home to save it’s life. Now they face jail time a fine for doing so, as it is technically against the law to take in wildlife in this way.

A couple of things to note hear. One – a licensed wildlife rehabilitator should have been called in. If the DNR official did tell the couple to leave the deer in the woods to suffer a slow death, they are in the wrong for doing so.

Two – I do understand the reasons behind turning citizens away from trying to nurse wild animals they find who are injured or sick. It is best to let trained people take over. But on the other hand, how is it illegal to help an injured animal, but fully legal to shoot it dead?