A federal judge on Wednesday (Jan. 3) denied an attempt to delay implementation of California's law banning shark fin soup, dealing a blow to Chinese restaurant owners and community advocates who argue that the ban is discriminatory and harmful to cultural traditions. U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled that there is little likelihood of success for the lawsuit, and the plaintiffs had failed to raise enough "serious questions" to merit a suspension of the law, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed in 2011.
John Edwards was so haunted by the image of dogs chasing and killing foxes and coyotes in staged hunts that he promised to do something about it. Along with a coalition of wildlife groups, the former U.S. senator is pushing North Carolina officials to ban so-called hunt pens — fenced-in preserves where dogs track foxes or coyotes for sport.
Tigers are making a comeback, thanks to strong government initiatives in India, Thailand and Russia, scientists announced this week. Joe Walston, executive director for Asia Programs at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), praised the three countries for taking action to protect their tiger populations. The animals are endangered globally.
An orphaned black bear cub burned in a wildfire last summer is recovering and may be released in June, an Idaho wildlife sanctuary official said. The 4-month-old bear nicknamed Boo Boo was discovered by a fisherman in a tree along the Salmon River in August days after the 312-square-mile Mustang wildfire complex passed through the area. The cub had second-degree burns on all four paws and was malnourished when U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Fish and Game workers rescued him.
State wildlife officials are reporting that they've spotted an endangered whooping crane at the Sloughs Wildlife Management Area near Henderson and that they've received a report of two others along the Pond River in Hopkins County. The sightings of the rare birds, which are on the comeback from near extinction, prompted the Humane Society of the United States to again call for the halt of a hunting season on sandhill cranes for fear that shooters might mistakenly kill the whooping cranes instead.
Tanzania has withdrawn an application to sell to China and Japan more than 100 tons of ivory valued at over $55.5 million. The request submitted in early October was due to be discussed at the next Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meeting in March in Bangkok. It already had drawn strong criticism from conservation groups and some so-called “elephant range” states. Tanzania said in the application that the ivory to be sold would exclude that which was seized from poachers and any whose origin is questionable.
Link: The Citizen
South Florida's wading bird population suffered during 2012, with nesting on the decline due to the return of too much water too fast for herons, Wood Storks, ibises and egrets. The 2012 wading bird nest total was a 39 percent decline compared to the average over the past decade, according to the South Florida Water Management District. While the 26,395 wading bird nests found were just 57 less than last year, it was also the third year in a row of poor nesting totals.
Link: Huffington Post
A mother in Australia opened a cupboard in her son’s room and found seven poisonous snakes slithering inside. The brown snakes hatched in Kyle Cummings’ bedroom cupboard three weeks after he found some eggs in a tree in his backyard.