Poachers have decimated elephant populations across Africa and parts of Asia, killing thousands of animals for their revered ivory. Yet in Sri Lanka, home to some 7,000 wild Asian elephants, a different, more hopeful story is playing out.
A significant legal precedent was set today that will protect migratory birds from lethal collisions with the highly reflective windows of office buildings. Cadillac Fairview, one of Canada’s largest commercial property owners and managers, was charged under s. 14(1) of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and s. 32(1) of the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). In a ruling released Monday, Judge Melvyn Green of the Ontario Court of Justice found that hundreds of birds, including threatened species, had been injured and killed at the company’s Yonge Corporate Centre, consisting of three office buildings in Toronto, during the 2010 spring and fall migrations.
Endangered bonobos are being sold as pets in the jungles of central Africa, British conservation experts have discovered. The apes, which are close to extinction, can fetch thousands of pounds on the black market. They are caught by poachers in forests in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo and taken to ports hundreds of miles away to be sold to sailors who see them as a status symbol. There are thought to be only between 15,000 and 20,000 bonobos, also known as pygmy chimpanzees, in the wild.
An initial chemical analysis on 14 Borneo pygmy elephants that died mysteriously could not conclusively determine if they were poisoned, and more tests will be conducted abroad, an official said Friday (Feb. 8). The endangered elephants were found dead last month in a protected forest in Sabah state on Borneo. Sabah is home to most of the remaining 1,200 Borneo pygmy elephants that exist worldwide. The elephants are feared to have been poisoned because they encroached on Malaysian plantations.
Link: Yahoo! News
Just a stone's throw from two of Los Angeles' busiest freeways lies the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve, a unique spot in an urban jungle. The northern portion of the reserve is adorned with 30-foot-tall cottonwood trees, spots of coyote bush and other plants. Native plants cover 50 percent of the nature spot, says Kris Ohlenkamp with the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society. On the other side it was significantly more than that," he says. A cement corridor leads to the southern part of the reserve. "This 48 acres was the original wildlife area," Ohlenkamp says, "and now it's all gone."
An American tiger trainer was mauled and killed at a circus in Northwestern Mexico by one of the big cats performing with him, officials said Tuesday (Feb. 5). Amateur video showed Alex Crispin Suarez, 35, circling around two tigers and making the animals turn while standing on low platforms during a performance on Saturday in the Indian village of Etchojoa in Sonora state.
Link: Yahoo! News
The attention of Thailand’s 85-year-old king is helping revive interest in a fading local tradition — the rollicking Thai monkey show. The show, known in Thailand as “Lakorn Ling,” features monkeys that wear costumes and makeup as they perform roles adapted from Asian classical novels and folklore. The monkeys dance, lip-sync and fight with swords.
Most people seem to agree that setting aside a 55-acre former sewage lagoon as a public wildlife viewing area is a good idea. The disagreement comes over whether dogs should be allowed on the property, owned by the city of Snohomish.