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.
Some animals, such as wild tigers in Kazakhstan, are making a comeback thanks to environmental groups. However, others, like the humble sea turtle, are escaping extinction all on their own.
Massive efforts to save the egg-laying turtles by changing fishing nets and creating protected and darkened beaches are working, said . . . Antonios Mazaris, an ecology professor at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.
“There’s a positive sign at the end of the story,” Mazaris said. “We should be more optimistic about our efforts in society.”
Before, endangered giant turtles had a difficult time with their survival due to hunting, fishing, habitat destruction, and pollution, among other things. In fact, only one of seven sea turtle species isn’t endangered. Mazaris recently found that of 299 sets of turtle populations, 95 increased. That’s serious cause for some… shell-ebration.
“Sea turtles are bellwethers. They’re flagships that we use to tell the story of what’s going on in the oceans… And that’s why people should care about turtles.”
Thanks to new fishing practices and allocated nesting hubs, the population of previously endangered giant turtles now increase by 10 – 15% annually. The Ridley sea turtle species had formerly seen a drop of roughly 38,000, and this initial devastation of turtle populations may have been our own doing. However, our awareness and action are also partially to thank now.
Wild tigers are resurfacing in Kazakhstan after a 70-year absence and it seems Italy may be experiencing something quite similar. Wild wolves, a symbol of the country, are making a comeback in the outskirts of Rome after nearly a century.
“This is the first time in more than 100 years that wolves have been found living near Rome,” [said professor of natural sciences] Alessia De Lorenzis.
“We think they probably arrived here from the area around Lake Bracciano, north of Rome, where wolves have always existed, even when the species was pushed towards extinction,”
Biologists spotted the wild wolves roaming a reserve in Castel di Guido. They are of no apparent threat to livestock, as they survive on a diet of wild boars. Researchers have blamed their initial demise on hunting.
Killing wolves was encouraged in Italy until the 1970s, by which time only 100 or so individuals remained in Italy. But the species was given protected status in 1971 and has since gradually recovered.
There are around 1,500 – 2,000 wolves inhabiting Italy, with others bordering France. French farmers have claimed that the slender beasts have been attacking their sheep. But then again, perhaps it’s time we listen more to the animals’ needs and less to ours. Based on studies of animal extinction or endangerment, we could surmise it isn’t really the animals crying wolf, is it?
As the animal kingdom experiences sharp drops in certain populations, there have been global efforts to keep them afloat. India has banned circus shows involving wild animals while the U.K. has banned bee pesticides. Latest to hop on the conservation train is British Columbia, which is putting an end to seasonal grizzly bear hunts.
“It is no longer socially acceptable to the vast majority of British Columbians to hunt grizzly bears,” [Forests Minister Doug] Donaldson said Monday. “That’s the message.”
For 15,000 grizzly bears, a halt to the spring hunt is a cause for celebration. Prior to the ban, 1,700 permit-holders hunted some 300 grizzlies annually. Despite the good news, the B.C. government is now faced with handling rural operators that thrive on the hunt.
“The easy decision is done,” she added. “Now the hard work on addressing all the other cumulative threats to grizzly bears, such as habitat loss and food supply, has to begin.” [said Grizzly Bear Foundation head Rachel Forbes.]
On the human side of things, wildlife protection isn’t all fun and games. For the animals, however, things aren’t so bad.