A polar bear swam continuously for over nine days, covering 687 kilometers (426 miles), a new study has revealed. Scientists studying bears around the Beaufort sea, north of Alaska, claim this endurance feat could be a result of climate change. Polar bears are known to swim between land and sea ice floes to hunt seals. But the researchers say that increased sea ice melts push polar bears to swim greater distances, risking their own health and future generations.
Link: BBC Earth News
One of the most recent additions to the crew of performing dolphins at the Chicago area's Brookfield Zoo, 4-year-old Nea, died Sept. 5 following an apparent "freak accident" collision with another dolphin.
Link: Huffington Post
Americans who hunted and killed endangered African elephants in Zambia cannot bring trophies of their prey back home, a federal judge ruled this week. "Plaintiffs paid a princely sum for the opportunity to shoot African elephants in Zambia and then they wanted to import the animals' corpses back to the United States," Chief U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth. "The trouble is that plaintiffs' attempts at post-mortem importation run up against some complex law."
Link: Courthouse News Service
Monkey, a 3-year-old baboon who had been living in an East Side (Madison, Wis.) laundry room until he was surrendered to the Dane County Humane Society earlier this month, on Aug. 29 was transferred to the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Texas.
An animal lover since childhood, Hayden Panettiere is using her star power to help prevent her favorite marine animals from becoming extinct.
Link: US Magazine/Yahoo! News
Drought takes toll on over 500 South Texas monkeys
When Tim Ajax took over as the director of the South Texas Born Again USA Primate Sanctuary a couple of years ago, he heard a story from a neighbor about the demise of a nearby town. "Millett was an active, thriving town down here about six miles south of Dilley off of 35,” Ajax said. “They had their own school and general store and it supported a large farming contingency down here.
The Food Network is known for showcasing a huge variety of foods — you don't fill an entire network by sticking to basics. For a long time, that variety included shark meat. Until very recently, the Food Network website listed shark tacos and shark au poivre among its thousands of recipes. But thanks to 30,000 petitioners on change.com, shark meat is now a thing of the past for the Food Network.
Link: Huffington Post
It was seen as one of the most distressing effects of climate change ever recorded: polar bears dying of exhaustion after being stranded between melting patches of Arctic sea ice. But now the government scientist who first warned of the threat to polar bears in a warming Arctic has been suspended and his work put under official investigation for possible scientific misconduct.
Link: The Guardian (U.K.)
He's wild at heart! Ian Somerhalder testified before Congress on July 28 for wildlife conversation. The Vampire Diaries actor, 32, is head of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people to help them positively impact the planet and its creatures.
Link: US Magazine/Yahoo! News
In a rare defeat for Republican leadership, the House on July 27 backed a Democratic proposal allowing the Interior Department to continue adding new species to the Endangered Species Act. A spending bill backed by GOP leaders would have only allowed species to be removed from the endangered list, rather than added. Republicans said the current program encourages lawsuits from advocacy groups that seek to have species listed as threatened or endangered, costing the government tens of millions of dollars.
A slick black head breaks the surface, drawing delighted shrieks from whale watchers in a growing, and lucrative, activity that some say should replace Iceland's controversial whale hunt. Since their meager beginning in the 1990s, whale safaris in this island state have grown to attract tens of thousands of visitors each summer. But its proponents tensed up when Iceland reintroduced commercial whaling in 2006, and the two sides remain uneasy bedfellows.
MANYANI, Kenya — Record prices for ivory are fueling a sharp increase in poachers killing elephants, even those in protected areas, conservation groups warned July 20 — the same day that Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki burned five tons of confiscated ivory to highlight the problem.
The long-tailed macaque is being threatened with extinction by a huge surge in international trade and the destruction of its habitat in Southeast Asia, conservationists said on July 15. Species Survival Network (SSN), an international coalition of more than 80 charities, says trade in the species had more than doubled in the second half of the last decade.
BERLIN - Two runaway circus elephants in Germany surprised passers-by and police by showing up at a bus stop during a brief bid for freedom, officials in Hanover said on July 12. Dunia, a 40-year-old Indian elephant, and her counterpart Daela, a 25-year-old African elephant, were apprehended by police near the western city of Hanover over the weekend nonchalantly munching on tree leaves and looking for all the world as if they were waiting for the bus.
Link: Reuters/Yahoo! News
As our heat wave continues to intensify, the over 500 monkeys at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary down in Dilley, Texas are going about their monkey business to stay cool. The "splish splashes" of monkeys doing cannonball jumps into the water and drenching themselves with water hoses can be heard in enclosures across the sanctuary's 186 acres.
Link: KXAN.com (Texas)
The Bahamas on July 5 joined the growing global movement to protect sharks, betting that the endangered animals are worth more to visiting divers than they are to fishers. The law, signed into effect by Lawrence S. Cartwright, the agriculture and fisheries minister, bans all commercial shark fishing in the country’s 243,000-square-mile territorial waters and prohibits trade in shark products.
Link: New York Times
Taeko Nose says she may never forget the image of her two dogs - "her children" as she calls them - tied up on a leash as she was forced to leave her home during Japan's nuclear crisis. Certainly three months afterwards, it's still etched in her mind.
Link: Reuters/Yahoo! News
The Dutch parliament has passed a bill banning the slaughter of livestock without stunning it first, removing an exemption that has allowed Jews and Muslims to butcher animals according to their centuries-old dietary rules. If enacted and enforced, religious groups say observant Jews and Muslims would have to import meat from abroad, stop eating it altogether, or leave the Netherlands.
Link: Associated Press/Google
Wild animals could be banned from circuses in Britain if a cross-party alliance of MPs succeeds with a call on Thursday (June 23) for government action. Members of Parliament will vote on a motion brought forward by backbenchers from the three main parties proposing a ban.
The New York state Assembly overwhelmingly adopted legislation this week that outlaws sales of bear gallbladders and bile — which are used in traditional Asian medicine to treat everything from headaches and fever to liver ailments. The Senate unanimously approved the bill last week. It now goes to Gov. Cuomo’s desk.
Link: New York Daily News
An army transport plane flew Tuesday from a military airport to take four rare wild horses to Mongolia as part of the Prague Zoo's efforts to reintroduce the endangered species to its native habitat.
Link: Yahoo! News/Associated Press
Animal activists expressed outrage Friday, June 3 at the discovery of two dead snub fin dolphins tied to mangroves and weighted with a concrete slab, saying every death took the rare species nearer to extinction. The dolphins were found in wetlands in Australia's world-famous Great Barrier Reef region last week by a recreational fisherman. Police said they suspected they were caught in a net cast by illegal fishing crews.
A probe by Living on Earth finds that some butcher shops in the are offering lion meat — but it's unlikely it came from some big game hunt. Living on Earth’s Ike Sriskandarajah found lion meat on the shelf at his neighborhood butcher and followed the trail to a dark corner of the exotic meat trade.
Link: Living on Earth
A federal judge on May 17 put a hold on an agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and an environmental group that would have removed the perpetual log jam that hinders protection for threatened and endangered species.
Link: Los Angeles Times
Tigers. African and Asian elephants. Rhinos. Great apes. Marine turtles. The U.S. Postal Service unveiled a stamp May 11 on Capitol Hill at the Annual Association of Zoos and Aquariums reception that could help save them all. When issued in September, net proceeds from the sales of the Save Vanishing Species semipostal stamp will be transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support the Multinational Species Conservation Funds.
Link: U.S. Postal Service
The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it intends to work through a backlog of more than 250 imperiled animal and plant species over the next six years to decide if they need protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Link: AP/Chicago Sun-Times
The state's failure to enact laws banning the sale of bear gallbladders and bile has allowed New York to become a haven for poachers and profiteers who ship the valuable products overseas for use in traditional Asian medicines, wildlife advocates claim. "Our biggest concern is about New York being used as a laundering point to get gallbladders out of the country," said Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA. "They are being shipped out of New York to places like Korea."
Link: New York Daily News
The world stands to lose 230 million hectares of forest by 2050 with drastic consequences for the climate, biodiversity and the global economy, the World Wildlife Foundation said on Wednesday. "Those responsible — policy-makers and industry — are sawing away at the branch we're all sitting on," WWF's head of forests, Philipp Goeltenboth, said in a statement, noting that the area projected to be lost is 27 times the size of Austria.
YULI, Taiwan — When he was young, Taiwanese aboriginal hunter Lin Yuan-yuan became a legend after he killed two ferocious Formosan black bears. Now he has devoted his life to saving the endangered species. The 55-year-old is still revered by his tribe, the Bunun mountain people, as a guardian of the island's biggest land animal as it struggles to survive poaching and continued degradation of its traditional habitat.
Link: Agence France-Presse
Congress on Thursday, April 14 approved a budget bill that includes a rider removing wolves in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Utah from the federal endangered species list and sets the stage for near-term delisting in Wyoming. The measure returns control of wolf management to the states.
Link: Environment News Service
Born Free USA's executive vice president, Adam Roberts, gives an overview of our organization and what some of our most pressing issues are in an interview with the Vegan Consultant website.
Link: Vegan Consultant
Ruby the African elephant, who became a rallying symbol for animal activists during her time at the Los Angeles Zoo, has died at a sanctuary in Northern California. The 50-year-old female pachyderm died March 29 at the Performing Animal Welfare Society elephant sanctuary in San Andreas, where she had been living since May 2007, according to a sanctuary spokeswoman.
Link: Los Angeles Times
The number of Indian tigers living in the wild rose to 1,706 at the latest count, giving a boost to conservation efforts for the endangered species in the country with the world's largest population of the big cats. But the government on March 28 raised concern over a sharp decline in the habitat where tigers were found, which could shrink further if the government goes ahead with new development projects.
The Japanese whaling town of Ayukawa has survived the wrath of environmental groups for decades, but had no defense against a giant tsunami that wiped out the industry here, possibly for ever. One of only four communities in Japan that have continued to hunt and eat whales in defiance of international opposition, the town was already down to a single operating company, Ayukawa Whaling.
The Canadian government on March 25 announced an increase in the number of seals to be killed in a controversial commercial hunt off its Atlantic coast. The quota was hiked 20 percent from last year's 388,200 seals to a total of 468,200, including 400,000 harp seals and 60,000 gray seals. The hooded seals quota stayed at 8,200.
Thousands of albatrosses and other endangered species at a wildlife sanctuary northwest of Hawaii have been killed by the tsunami which devastated Japan, U.S. officials say. Thousands of petrels and fish were also killed as huge waves swept over parts of the remote, low-lying Midway atoll. The sanctuary is home to more than 2 million birds.
Link: BBC News
A coalition of wildlife campaigners are seeking to have the African lion placed on the US endangered status list for animals. They argue that the battle to save lions from extinction in their homeland should begin in the United States.
Link: Yahoo! News
Firefighters in the Philippines were shocked to find tigers, pythons and other wild animals when they responded to a recent house fire. Officials say five tigers, three Indian star tortoises, two Burmese pythons and several cats and dogs were rescued unhurt. The house was gutted.
Link: Yahoo! News
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will give high priority to an investigation into the large numbers of baby dolphin deaths along the Mississippi and Alabama coasts, an official told the Sun Herald on Feb. 23. Since the first of the year, 24 stillborn or infant calves have washed ashore in the two states. The BP oil spill might prove to be a factor.
Link: Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.)
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — All members of a pod of 107 pilot whales that stranded on a remote New Zealand beach have died, including 48 that were euthanized, the government's conservation department said Feb. 21. The stranded whales were discovered by hikers Sunday near Cavalier Creek on Stewart Island, off the southern tip of New Zealand's South Island.
Link: Yahoo News!
Japan has temporarily suspended its annual Antarctic whaling after repeated aggression by a conservationist group, a government official said Feb. 16. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ships have been chasing the Japanese whaling fleet for weeks in the icy seas off Antarctica, trying to block Japan's annual whale hunt. Japan has halted the hunt since Feb. 10 after persistent "violent" disruptions by the anti-whaling protesters, said fisheries agency official Tatsuya Nakaoku.
For years now, the Valley Zoo and the City of Edmonton have failed to provide any consistent rational account of the condition and treatment of Lucy the elephant. Her health problems demand expert and fully transparent examination. Zoocheck Canada has offered to negotiate with the zoo to allow a panel of expert veterinarians to review Lucy's many health problems. There can be no possible excuse for refusing such an offer.
Link: Edmonton Journal
NAIROBI, Kenya – An environmental impact study on a road Tanzania wants to build through the Serengeti found that it may affect the famed wildebeest migration and threaten endangered species, according to a copy of the leaked report. Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, though, says his government will continue with plans to build the 33.5-mile (54-kilometer) road through the park.
Nevada wildlife commissioners defied a contingent of bear hunt opponents Feb. 4, voting 7-1 to hold a season this year for killing 20 black bears in Northern Nevada. The vote confirmed a Dec. 4 decision to establish the state's first regulated bear hunt. The dissenting vote came from Charles Howell of Las Vegas, who represents sportsmen on the nine-member panel. He said the 20-bear limit was "ridiculously low," considering that California hunters were permitted to take 1,900 black bears last year.
Link: Las Vegas Review-Journal
A survey of oyster habitats around the world has found that the succulent mollusks are disappearing fast and 85 percent of their reefs have been lost due to disease and over-harvesting. Most of the remaining wild oysters in the world, or about 75 percent, can be found in five locations in North America, said the study published in BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences.
Link: AFP/Yahoo! News
A recent petition filed with Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke asks for the listing of spring-run Klamath River Chinook salmon as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Center for Biological Diversity, Oregon Wild, the Environmental Protection Information Center and the Larch Co. filed the petition on Jan. 25, citing a number of factors they believe have led to a decline in spring-run Chinook numbers as well as strategies for mitigating the impacts.
Link: Siskiyou Daily News (Yreka, CA)
China has banned animal circuses and warned its zoos they must stop abusing animals or face closure. Live animal shows and circuses are hugely popular in China, and draw around 150 million visitors a year at 700 zoos. However, animal rights campaigners have repeatedly complained that the shows should be stopped.
Link: The Telegraph (Warning: Contains mildly graphic photograph of a tiger carrying a live bird in its mouth.)
Born Free USA, working with Animal Protection New Mexico (APNM), put out an Action Alert last September asking members to speak out for more than 200 chimpanzees housed at an Alamogordo, N.M., facility. These chimps, who are semi-retired and have not been used as subjects for laboratory experimentation since 2001, were to be shipped to Texas where they again would be subjected to invasive and harmful experiments. In recent weeks, the National Institutes of Health canceled the transfer until the National Academy of Science reviews policies on using chimpanzees in biomedical research, which is anticipated to take about two years. So for now, the chimps are safe – thank you all for your extraordinary efforts!
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — If you want to own a pet monkey, you’re out of luck in Illinois. A ban on new monkey ownership is one of hundreds of state laws that took effect Jan. 1.
Link: Daily Herald (Plainfield, Ill.)
China is extending its so-called panda diplomacy agreement with the United States, letting giant pandas stay at the Washington national zoo for another five years, a Chinese conservation official said Jan. 19. "This is a great opportunity ... to advance our friendship," Zang Chunlin, secretary-general of the China Wildlife Conservation Association, told reporters.