Monthly Archives: November 2012

Mongolia intensifies efforts to protect gobi bear


The Mongolian Ministry of Environment and Green Development has decided to designate 2013 as “Year of Protecting Gobi Bear,” a critically endangered species in the country, local media reported Saturday.

The ministry has unveiled a series of protective measures, including the establishment of a nature reserve to restore safe habitat for the rare wild species and the setup of a working group immediately to explore ways of increasing their population.

A survey conducted by environment officials and wildlife experts on the bear’s living conditions in their habitat has found that the number of the animal had declined to the near-extinction of 22 heads.

The measures also included introduction of foreign expertise on wild animal protection and reproduction and the setup of protection fund for gobi bear, a subspecies of the brown bear dwelling in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia.

Mongolian wildlife experts told local media that environmental degradation in gobi bear’s habitat and the animal’s long breeding cycle were the two major reasons for their population drop. The bear usually gives birth to one cub in every two years.

Mongolia has prohibited hunting gobi bear since 1953.

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Indonesia’s Sumatran tigers face extinction due to illegal hunting

JAKARTA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — An official at an Indonesia’s tiger conservancy area said that the population of the Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) in the Kerinci Seblat National Park (TNKS) in Indonesia’s Jambi province has been dwindling due to rampant illegal hunting, local media reported on Wednesday.

The population in the park had declined from 300 to 165 in the last decade, TNKS official Dian Rusdianto said.

Dian said that illegal hunting and poaching were still rampant in the area and TNKS officers recently confiscated 120 tiger traps set by hunters around the park.

“The diminishing population isn’t only caused by hunting and poaching, but also forest destruction by corporations which have damaged the park,” she said on Tuesday.

The forest damage does not only pose a threat to the habitat of the Sumatran tiger, but also other animals which the tigers prey on such as deer, tapir and warthog, according to her. The park has been running conservation programs, making routine inspections on tiger traps and protecting the tiger’s habitat, Dian said.

The park also tried to conserve the habitats of other animals living there, she added.

“The ones that need to be protected are animals which the tigers prey on because they can survive in any conditions as long as they have food all the time,” Dian said.

The Sumatran tiger is the last tiger species in Indonesia. Two other tiger species, namely the Bali and Java tigers, have been extinct since the 1950s and 1960s, respectively, the Jakarta Post reported.

Based on the Borner study, which took place in 1978, the Sumatran tiger population was estimated at 1,000 in the 1970s. In 1985, its population dwindled to 800 in 26 protected forest areas. Its current population is estimated to hover in the range of 500.


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Tell Minnesota: Stop Wolf Killings for Sport

When Great Lakes wolves lost their Endangered Species Act protection earlier this year, responsibility for their well-being fell on individual states. Livestock producers and other special interest groups — dead set on using this change to kill wolves for sport — pushed through laws authorizing sport hunting and trapping of Minnesota wolves. Now Minnesota’s wolves urgently need your help.

In response to these new laws, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit. Minnesota state courts refused to stop the killing. In less than two weeks, hunters shot and killed more than 120 of Minnesota’s wolves. The state‘s goal is to kill 400 by the end of the season.

Hunting season is already open, and wolf trapping season begins Saturday, Nov. 24. Hundreds more of these beautiful and intelligent animals will suffer and die in gruesome leghold traps and snares.

Wolves are an essential part of the American wild. They regulate prey populations and help maintain biodiversity. Sport hunting and trapping may actually make problems between domestic animals and wolves worse. Sport killings disrupt pack dynamics and create lone wolves that are more apt to target livestock or pets out of desperation.

Don’t let wolves continue to be killed for sport in Minnesota.

Join our allies, Howling for Wolves, with the form below and tell Gov. Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to stop sport hunting and trapping of wolves.


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Feds list rare Hawaii dolphin group as endangered


HONOLULU (AP) — The National Marine Fisheries Service is listing a population of rare dolphins living near Hawaii as endangered.

It’s also issuing new rules for Hawaii’s longline fishermen to prevent them from accidentally hooking the animals.

The agency said Wednesday it’s acting in response to two separate court orders.

The dolphins — which are called false killer whales — have been getting snagged in the longline fishery at high rates.

This is in part because the dolphins like to eat tuna, mahimahi and other fish the fishermen are catching.

The agency is listing false killer whales found in and around the waters of Hawaii’s eight main islands as endangered. There are just 150 of these dolphins remaining.

The agency expects both measures to be published in the Federal Register next week.

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Wildlife laws could protect threatened species


The Conservation Council says the State Government’s promise to introduce new wildlife laws could protect WA’s most threatened species from extinction.

The Premier Colin Barnett has promised to replace the 62-year-old Wildlife Conservation Act if the Government wins next year’s election in March.

Mr Barnett says under the proposed legislation anyone caught harming or taking a critically endangered species out of WA will face fines of up to $500,000.

Piers Verstegen from the council says the current laws are archaic and desperately need to be overhauled.

“They are not up to scratch, they’re not protecting our threatened species, and certainly it’s a welcome commitment by the State Government to overhaul those laws,” he said.

“And this could come just in time to protect our most threatened species from extinction.”

“Currently our unique wildlife like numbats and cockatoos are severely threatened and in many cases are just hanging on the brink of extinction.”

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Nordmann’s Greenshank bird on endangered list


New Delhi: Nordmann’s Greenshank, a beautiful Russian shorebird which migrates annually to many south Asian countries, including India, is listed as ‘endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The key threat to the bird is the rapid rate of reclamation and development of coastal wetlands throughout Asia for industry, infrastructure and aquaculture, said the International Union for Conservation of Nature, world’s oldest and largest global environmental organisation.

Pollution in coastal wetlands, hunting and human disturbance also threaten this species, and the degradation of its breeding habitat is caused by grazing reindeer, the IUCN said.

A few protected and non-hunting areas have been established in Russia and along the migration route of the bird, also known as Spotted Greenshank.

According to Birdlife International, breeding adults of Nordmann’s Greenshank are boldly marked with whitish spots and spangling on blackish upper side, heavily streaked head and upper neck, broad blackish crescentic spots on lower neck and breast and darker lores.

“In flight, it shows all-white upper tail-coverts and rather uniform greyish tail. Toes do not extend beyond tail tip,” it said.

“Conservation priorities include establishing further protected areas in its breeding grounds, as well as at important sites in the winter range, drafting management plans for coastal wetlands to promote their conservation, banning the hunting of all shorebirds in its breeding grounds and providing full legal protection throughout the range,” the IUCN said.

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Nearly-extinct water buffaloes now under protective radar


The endangered Asiatic wild water buffaloes largely found in Central India are now on the radar of conservationists from across the world. The international and national experts in their four-day meet from Monday in Maharashtra is to draw up an action plan for their protection.

According to experts, the global population is estimated to be around 3,400 of which 3,100 or 91% are in India, mostly in Assam and few  in Chattisgarh and Maharashtra. Wild buffaloes are presently

facing the threat of extinction in central India.

The workshop will  be  organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group,  (IUCN sub-Committee for Species Conservation Planning), Satpuda Foundation and Wildlife Trust of India under the aegis of Forest Department of Maharashtra.

Dr James Burton, who is chair of Species Survival Commission (SSC) of Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group in IUCN and also worings for Earthwatch Institute in UK, is expected to attend the workshop. Other international experts including Dr Helen Senn a research Scientist, WildGenes Laboratory of Royal Zoological Society of Scotland,Edinburgh, UK, would also attend the meet to discuss the means of protection of these species

The species is Endangered (IUCN Red List) and is threatened by poaching, loss of habitat and genetic pollution by hybridizing with domestic stock. The latter also makes population estimates of wild buffalo difficult.

The event aims at bringing together the wildlife managers as well as the wildlife experts to discuss, design and implement an action plan for conservation of wild water buffaloes in central India. said Mr. S. W. H. Naqvi, Chief Wildlife Warden of Maharashtra state.

The participants would deliberate and exchange strategies that can  protect the species in various states particularly in Chattisgarh, Maharashtra amongst others said Kishor Rithe, President of Satpuda Foundation and member of National Board for Wildlife who is instrumental to co-ordinate different agencies for organising this workshop.

The experts from Wildlife Trust of India, Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF ,Ministry of Environment and Forest, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) would also attend

the meet.

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