U.S. District Officials Ban Poison Traps In Colorado

Since the Chilean government snubbed a billion-dollar mining project to save endangered penguins, other executives have been following suit. To prevent accidental deaths, district officials in Colorado have placed a ban on cyanide traps.

“Today’s agreement is the latest step in ensuring the federal government and the state of Colorado follow the law and the best science in managing wildlife,”

The M-44 device is spring activated, shooting poison at potential farming predators. Though meant primarily for coyotes, the M-44 has injured an Idaho teen, also subsequently killing his dog. Known for its leniency with hunting measures, Colorado isn’t making an impression on activists. The ban marks its first steps towards respecting endangered wildlife populations.

“This agreement represents a sign of good faith moving forward to do the right thing when it comes to Colorado’s wildlife and ecosystems,” [said] Matthew Bishop with the Western Environmental Law Center.

In just 15 states, over 16,500 traps have been deployed. Since raccoon corpses aren’t really my thing (nor do I think they’re anyone else’s) the ban is doing us and nature a favor.

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Georgia Businesses To Save Gopher Tortoises

The year is 2018 and urban jungles are taking over natural landscapes. As slabs of concrete take over grassy, scenic footpaths, a select few are taking action against mining and oil exploration. While some species are recovering all on their own, others are in need of a little backup. One such creature is the gopher tortoise, working hand-in-hand with Georgia businesses in the hopes of making an epic comeback.

Georgia businesses… [are] working with wildlife agencies, private foundations, environmental groups – and even the Department of Defense – on a project to save the gopher tortoise. They hope to protect enough animals that federal regulation won’t be necessary.

Among the tortoise freedom fighters is electrical company Georgia Power, whose plants house a number of burrowing critters. The group remains sensitive to gopher tortoise habitats during construction season, keeping power lines at bay. The group is also raising money to fund reforestation efforts.

“I actually am very optimistic that they are a species you can recover,” [said research scientist Tracey Tuberville]. “Everybody has the same goal. Even if it’s just to make sure they’re not listed, in the end that means effective conservation for tortoises.”

The gopher tortoise may be slow — but quick enough to show Georgia giants they mean business.

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Norway Halts Fur Production As It Goes Out Of Style

The fashion industry is incredibly temporary. Trends come and go, save for those that are timeless — like sustainable fashion. As mink and fox slink out of style in Norway, its government is planning on keeping it that way. Once a giant in the fur world, Norway is finally banning the material, much to the delight of activists.

Animal rights group Noah hailed the decision as part of a shift against what it views as an outdated and cruel business with dwindling appeal to fashion-conscious consumers.

“We’re very pleased,” Noah leader Siri Martinsen said.

Old-fashioned may be the best way to describe fox farming, as its Norwegian industry peaked in 1939. Back then, the nation boasted 20,000 farms, compared to its 3% output today.

“It’s not a very lucrative business in Norway,” said Sveinung Fjose, of Menon Business Economics and an expert on fur farms. “It wouldn’t harm the Norwegian economy severely” to close it down.

As expected, fur breeders are disgruntled — but hey, gotta evolve with the times.

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China Calls For Near-Complete Ban On Ivory Sales

Following India’s campaign against the use of wild animals in circus shows, China has caved to international pressures. In a giant leap forward, the mass ivory consumer is finally placing a near-total ban on the material. Things will definitely be looking up for 30,000 African elephants slaughtered by poachers each year.

China and the U.S. both agreed to “near-complete” ivory bans, which prohibit the buying and selling of all but a limited number of antiques and a few other items.

Ivory is in demand for intricate carvings, trinkets, chopsticks, and other items.

With no proven clinical use, ivory used as medication is purely based on superstition. Despite previous international bans, China has consistently managed to quietly condone black market trade — until now.

“The Chinese government’s ban on its domestic ivory trade sends a message to the general public in China that the life of elephants is more important than the ivory carving culture,” said Gao Yufang, a Ph.D. student in conservation biology.

With no means to curve laws, China is finally bound to the positively inescapable ban. There is no guarantee to a drop in poaching, but when society gets it, it seems everything falls naturally into place.

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Be King Of The Jungle: Easy Ways To Help Wildlife

While it’s up to high-profile activists like Leo to rehabilitate the world’s most endangered species, we, too can be wildlife warriors. Ordinary citizens have been doing what they can to keep animal populations afloat. Some have gone as far as fending off wildfires for an entire sanctuary — and despite how heroic it may sound, isn’t always necessary in becoming a true environmentalist. In fact, there are many different and simple ways to help wildlife.

Contrary to popular belief, being involved in animal conservation doesn’t always entail direct contact. You can start you journey (and continue it) within the comfort of your home. A great way to set the scene is to reduce your carbon footprint. This can be as simple as recycling, researching, and making eco-friendly choices. Carbon emissions are unforgiving when it comes to marine life in particular. Slowing the pace of climate change will do wonders for all species.

If you are more of a people person but still have a soft spot for nature’s greatest, share your knowledge. Spread awareness. Use your own strengths to get the word out. If you are an illustrator, infographics are popular on social media. Writing about the state of our wildlife is also important. Anything that will paint a clear picture of the current goings-on may also encourage others to participate. For go-getters, visit an animal preserve. Learning more about how certain species function may help you understand how to approach them.

Believe it or not, your shopping habits can also make a difference. Faux fur may be all the craze, but will often encourage many to purchase real fur. To set an example, buy responsibly. Ivory keychains may look charming, but are never worth the suffering an elephant goes through. In fact, elephant poaching has surpassed its limits in that some calves are being born without tusks. Refraining from purchasing leather may not revive the animal it was taken from, but it will allow the industry to dwindle in popularity. After all, if nobody is buying your product, why go through the trouble of making it?

Many wildlife conservation groups are big fans of hefty donations. But pledging your time is also just as valuable. If you have a weekend to spare, volunteer. There are a profusion of non-profit organizations that will almost always accommodate a number of volunteers. Figure out where your skills will be most useful. Are you looking for a hands-on experience caring for injured or abandoned animals? Perhaps you are also keen on hosting fundraisers. Whatever the case, there will likely be a place for you.

If you are eager to get up close and personal, you can choose to adopt an animal. Of course, these adoptions are symbolic — a Bengal tiger won’t be curling up on your sofa. However, you’d be remotely caring for an animal you can truly develop a bond with by learning about it and providing for it.

Many interested in keeping our wildlife safe often believe that the only way to do so is to walk right into the fire. But most of the time, that isn’t the case. Doing what you can wherever in the world you are is always enough. Trust me — like in a zoo, bears, lions, and monkeys enjoy admiring you from a distance.

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