More sad nature news and documentary on yet another species in trouble of going extinct. This time its the top predator of the sea, the Killer Whale. The Pacific coast of North America is the largest laboratory on earth where on-going studies into the state of the Killer Whale reveal startling new information about the oceans we inhabit. Killer in Peril is a sobering report on our planet’s heath told from the unique perspective of an extraordinary animal.
Puget Sound’s southern resident killer whales are going extinct faster than the Seahawks playoff hopes, but the government agency charged with protecting them has refused to do anything about it. So today conservationists are going to court to force the agency to comply with the law and protect the whales from extinction.Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
There are now between 150 to 250 Iberian Lynx in the world.
Haven’t heard of the Iberian Lynx? That’s because it’s a rare cat native to Spain and Portugal. The population is down from about 400 in the year 2000, but they could be on the climb again. Even better news for conservationists trying to save the lynx is that a new population found in central Spain is genetically distinct from the others, meaning inbreeding can be limited to the surviving population.
Fortunately, The Iberian Lynx are no longer legally hunted and caution has been taken to protect their habitat. But like a lot of other animals, they had become endangered due to habitat degradation or by being hit by cars near their stomping grounds. Another large reason is because their main source of prey — the rabbit — has been decimated in Spain due to disease.
According to Jessica Aldred with the Guardian Unlimited, Cod levels in the North Sea are on the rise, yet restrictions need to be in place in order for the continuation of their growth. For the first time in six years, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has not placed a ban on North Sea fishing.
Martin Pastoors, chairman for the advisory committee on fishery management (ACFM), has reviewed ICES’s findings and feels that although the number of young fish has increased, it is still only half of the long term average. The key to growth lies in the hands… er, fins… of the young fish. ICES has asked governments to place a limit on the number of catches to 50% of the 2006 catches in areas where cod are still threatened. They have also asked that in the area of Kattegat, the Irish Sea and waters west of Scotland that the catches be limited to zero because of the exceptionally low levels of cod present there.
If someone told you the amount of money in your bank account was going to decrease somewhere between 100 and 1,000 times in the next year, the sheer uncertainty of that loss would send you into a panic. That rate is the same speed at which scientists estimate global warming and human pollution are affecting animal extinction each year — yet we all remain oddly at ease.
The World Conservation Union, known as the IUCN, recently released its yearly Red List of species that are facing a higher risk of global extinction. The IUCN lists these species into groups including Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable… categories not too different from those I use to balance my own checking account!
This year the IUCN added 188 new species for a grand total of 16,300 animals, plants, and marine life at risk. According to Craig Hilton-Tailor the Red List’s Manager, this number is still extremely low. “We’ve only really looked at the tip of the iceberg in terms of species that are out there and known to science.” While scientists estimate there could be nearly 15 million species in the world, only 1.8 million are confirmed to exist. Although the IUCN is the world’s largest conservation network, spanning 83 states, 110 international government agencies, 800 private organizations, 10,000 scientists, and 181 countries, they still only have the resources to review just above 40,000 species a year. So what does all this number crunching really mean?
A report from the Internal Investigations Panel for World Bank found that the organization had been encouraging destructive logging of the world’s second largest forest. According to The Nation, “the Congo’s forests act as the planet’s second lung, counterpart to the rapidly dwindling Amazon.”
The Congo forest locks around 8% of the world’s carbon. Close to 40 million people depend on the Congo forest for medicine, food and shelter. Controlling the affect of rainfall over the North Atlantic, the Congo forest plays a huge part in the biodiversity of our planet. Over the past few years, with encouragement from the World Bank, timber firms have taken around one quarter of the forest, which is equal in size to the state of California.
In 2002, the World Bank entered the Democratic Republic of Congo with the thoughts of aiding in the country’s economic recovery after years of war. New forestry laws were created. However, the Internal Investigations Panel found that the new policies set in place by the bank were having an opposite effect – not just socially, but economically.
When biologist / filmmaker Rob Stewart set out to document a creature most of us see only in Hollywood movies (or in our worst nightmares), he knew the project would be one of the most difficult in his life. But he never could have imagined the extreme and bizarre nature of those difficulties. In the process of making this emotional and tragic film about the Earth’s most feared predators, he realized that sharks were in fact prey — and that their greatest enemy was mankind.
A lifelong fascination with sharks led Toronto-born Stewart, an experienced diver and underwater photographer, to embark on “Sharkwater”. Along the way, the filmmaker managed to expose and debunk the stereotype of the 4.5 million-year-old stewards of the oceans as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveal the reality of sharks as a key component to the earth’s circle of life.
But after surviving generation after generation of mass extinctions on this planet, sharks are officially in danger of being wiped out by human greed.
I just finished watching this amazing film about our home, the planet earth. I would have to say this is one of the most engaging, powerful and inspiring films I have ever seen. The film makers where able to connect all the dots. From the moment the Earth took shape, to the rise of plant life and eventually on to us. What took billions of of years to create, we humans are managing to destroy in just 100 years.
I am asking everyone to please take two hours out of your life, and just watch this film. When your done, tell someone about it. And then, sign up for the G Living Monkie Mail, so you can start living G and be part of the solution, and not part of the problem. Thank you for caring and Living G!. G Monkie
About the film: In 200,000 years on Earth, humanity has upset the balance of the planet, established by nearly four billion years of evolution. The price to pay is high, but it’s too late to be a pessimist: humanity has barely ten years to reverse the trend, become aware of the full extent of its spoliation of the Earth’s riches and change its patterns of consumption.
More than a movie, HOME will be a major event all over the globe : for the first time ever, a film will be released on the same day in over 50 countries and on every format : movie theatres, TV, DVD and Internet. Watch It Now Online – Click Here
If you think animal extinction due to climate change is a new phenomenon, think again. Take for example the woolly mammoth. It’s long been accepted that this ancient creature was driven into smaller and smaller habitats by the earth’s rising temperatures during and after the Pleistocene era, nearly 10,000 years ago.
But a new study suggests that humans may have put the nail on the fate of the enormous long-haired mammoth’s coffin by hunting it to extinction about 4,000 years ago. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
We interrupt your reading pleasure to bring you a devastating announcement: the Maderian Large White is the first butterfly to become extinct in Europe since the 17th century.
At a recent International conference of butterfly experts, it was confirmed that many butterfly species around the world are either endangered or extinct. The conference was held as the inaugural meeting of organizations partnering together to form the Butterfly Conservation Europe. Experts from over 31 different countries were represented and the devastating news of the Maderian Large White was announced.
I once stood a few feet away from one of the last wild dingoes in Australia. I was visiting the World Heritage site, Frasier Island — or as the Aborigines named it, K’gari, meaning “paradise”. It is one of the world’s most notable eco-tourism sites and is the largest sand island featuring rainforests, crystal clear lakes, dessert dunes, and a 75-mile beach. It’s famous for its array of rare plants and animals, and is home to some of the last remaining purebred dingoes.
In 2004, these dingoes were listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Today, conservationists in Australia are pushing for a national campaign to give the dingo formal protection as a threatened species. A campaign that could not have come soon enough, as the already few populations of purebred dingoes continue to dwindle closer to extinction.
The dingo (aka “Australia’s wild dog”) is the largest native carnivorous mammal in the country and plays a vital role in maintaining the balance within its vast ecosystems. Dingoes are agile hunters whose game includes kangaroos, sheep, and deer, and smaller animals like rabbits, rodents, birds, and lizards, as well eating fruits and plants. Their hunting is vital in keeping populations of their prey in check. Dingoes communicate with howls and hunt cooperatively like wolves, but they prefer to travel independently or in small family groups or pairs rather than large packs. Dingoes are distinguished from dogs and wolves by white markings on their chest, feet, and tail, and their color ranges from sandy yellow, to red, and even black.
What comes to mind when you think of a deadly stampede? Cattle? Buffalo? A year-end sale at Barneys?
Certainly not walruses, right? But yet, thousands of them died this past spring on the Russian side of the Bering Strait — from a stampede that scientists say is a direct result of global warming.
Walruses are big-tusked mammals who, unlike seals, are unable to swim indefinitely, They typically use sea ice to rest or haul themselves onto land for a few weeks at time. (You may recall a poignant CG graphic in “The Inconvenient Truth” of a polar bear attempting to climb on various pieces of ice, only to have them crumble into pieces.)
Not sure what concerns me more: the sad, seemingly hopeless plight of the Yangtze River Porpose or the fact that in China, this beautiful animal is referred to as the “river pig”.
Obviously, I’m more concerned about the former. Especially after reading a study published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, which reveals that “the Yangtze River Porpoise, the only freshwater finless porpoise in existence, is in danger of becoming extinct”. The porpoise, which lives in the mid to lower reaches of the Yangtze and in the Poyang and Dongting lakes, is feared to soon suffer the same fate as the “baiji” or Yangtze River Dolphin. The cause of the encroaching extinction can be attributed to high concentrations of man-made chemicals found in the tissue samples of this aquatic mammal.