Category: Environmental

Sri Lanka: Elephants are Feeding On An Open Dump and Many Are Dying After Ingesting Plastic Waste.

Click on the following to see the distressing video footage:

Sri Lanka: elephants feeding in garbage dumps (msn.com)

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/cars/watch/sri-lanka-elephants-feeding-in-garbage-dumps/vp-AASMVtJ?ocid=msedgdhp

In eastern Sri Lanka, elephants are feeding on an open dump and many are dying after ingesting plastic waste.

Regards Mark

Joaquin Phoenix, Stephen Fry, And More Celebs Battle To Save Moon Bears From Extinction.

Celebrities like Ricky Gervais, Paul McCartney, and Alicia Silverstone are pushing for the end of the bear bile trade

Ahost of high-profile names are joining forces in an effort to protect the endangered Asiatic black bear (aka moon bear). The species is being pushed to the brink of extinction in Vietnam due to bear bile farming – a trade purportedly rife with animal cruelty. 

Sir Paul McCartney, Dame Judi Dench, Stephen Fry, Slash, Russell Crowe, Ricky Gervais, Alicia Silverstone, Mayim Bialik, William Shatner, Alan Cumming, Kesha and Joaquin Phoenix are among those pushing to rescue the remaining bears trapped in Vietnamese bile farms. 

What is bear bile farming?

Bear bile farming keeps moon bears captive in order to extract bile from their gallbladders. It began in Asia in the 1980s with the view of using it for medicinal purposes, according to animal protection charity Animals Asia. 

And it does come with benefits, the non-profit clarifies. The bile contains high levels of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), which can be used to treat liver and gallbladder afflictions in humans. 

But obtaining the substance comes at a brutal cost. The trade involves keeping bears in cramped cages and often unhygienic conditions. The extraction process is invasive and results in “unimaginable physical and psychological suffering,” Animals Asia adds. 

Some bears must endure the “free drip” method, whereby a hole is created in the animal’s gallbladder and repeatedly reopened. Others undergo extraction of the bile through a four-inch needle. 

Bear bile farming was outlawed in Vietnam in 1992. But legal loopholes have allowed producers to continue their operations. Animals are frequently poached from the wild to be used for their bile, which has shaken wild moon bear populations. They are now on the endangered species list. 

In 2017, after years of rallying, the Vietnamese government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Animals Asia. The agreement assigned Animals Asia as its partner in shutting down the trade for good.

The charity is working to rescue the remaining moon bears in Vietnam – it predicts there are around 400 left on Vietnamese farms. However, around 12,000 bears are still living on bile farms across Asia, the organization states.

The rescue mission

Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao is almost at full capacity, following the recent rescue of its 651st bear. Many of the rescues were young adults (five years or younger) or cubs, who were just a few months’ old. 

Now, the organization is building a second facility to accommodate the next group of rescued animals. This 12-hectare sanctuary will be located in the Bach Ma National Park in central Vietnam. The charity hopes to save all of Vietnam’s captive moon bears from bile farms by 2026. 

Celebrity support

Animals Asia launched a petition to raise awareness of the issue, which includes a pledge to “raise your paw for the moon bear.”

Broadcaster and actor, Fry, has placed his support behind the campaign. “The beautiful moon bear is at risk of becoming extinct in Vietnam if we don’t do something to save them. They have been cruelly farmed for their bile, often ripped from their mothers in the wild when they were just baby cubs,” he said in a statement sent to PBN

Actor Dench, also a signatory of the pledge, said she is “proud” to be a part of the effort, which is a “crucial step” in saving the species and “giving back the life stolen from hundreds of bears left in bile farms.”

She commented: “​​Animals Asia has pledged to rescue every last bear from every last bile farm across Vietnam. So I’m pledging my support, and I’m hoping thousands more will pledge their support as well.  Join me. Raise your paw for the moon bear, to finally end bear bile farming in Vietnam, and ensure that no bear is left behind.”

Those interested can find the petition and pledge here. 

Regards Mark

Jill Robinson Feeds Rescued Bears

USA: Hunters Slaughter 20 Gray Wolves At Yellowstone National Park.

20 gray wolves killed in Yellowstone National Park by hunters
Hunters use bait to lure the wolves into traps Credit: Adobe

The woodland stretches into Montana where hunting is legal and officials fear more killings are to come

Hunters killed 20 gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park, US, making it the bloodiest season yet.

According to reports, the illegal killings took place over a period of three months this winter. The deaths mark the most since the animals were reintroduced to the region more than two decades ago.

One pack is now considered “eliminated,” The Washington Post reports. Now, less than one hundred remain in the 3,500 square mile park, which spans across Wyoming and into Montana and Idaho.

Hunting is prohibited at Yellowstone, yet park officials fear more bouts are to come as there are months to go in Montana’s hunting season

.

Wolves killed by hunters in Yellowstone National Park

Further to the story, The Washington Post reveals that the park’s superintendent is concerned about wolves being killed.

Cam Sholly reportedly said that an “extraordinary number” of Yellowstone wolves had already been killed. And, that Montana’s governor Greg Gianforte should do more to prevent it.

But Gianforte stated that any wolf entering the Montana state lines may be “harvested” under law, the news outlet adds.

Here, hunting is legal and poachers can use bait to lure animals into leghold traps.

A spokesperson for Yellowstone National Park, Morgan Warthin, told The Washington Post: “Allowances for trapping and especially baiting are a major concern, especially if these tactics lure wolves out of the park.”

Regards Mark

Hunters Slaughter 20 Gray Wolves At Yellowstone National Park (plantbasednews.org)

EU: Time is running out to end the European Union’s shark fin trade.

17 January 2022

EU citizens have until 31 January 2022 to collect the final 100,000 votes out of the 1 million needed for a successful EU Citizens’ Initiative to demand the end of the shark fin trade in the EU.

Shark finning refers to cutting off the fins of live sharks on board a fishing boat and throwing the shark overboard to die in the water.

While shark finning is prohibited on EU vessels and in EU waters, and sharks must be caught with fins attached to their bodies, the EU is one of the world’s largest exporters of fins and a significant transit area for the global fin trade.

The EU exports approximately 3,500 tonnes of fins per year, with a total value of around 52 million euros. 73 million sharks are slaughtered each year for this purpose.

So far, 900,000 EU citizens call to “end the trade of fins in the EU including the import, export and transit of fins other than if naturally attached to the animal’s body”. Should they reach 1 million by 31 January, the European Commission could then decide to propose a new regulation to achieve this goal.

Sign the European Citizens’ Initiative here.

Regards Mark

Gabon- National Park: Fatal attack by chimpanzees on gorillas

Actually, the two live peacefully side by side (??) But now a group of chimpanzees has shown themselves surprisingly aggressive towards the larger apes.
Researchers have observed for the first time how they attack gorillas and even killed two.

Two adult male chimpanzees in Loango National Park in Gabon.

Chimpanzees have long been considered peaceful fellows.
But at least since the 1970s we have known that they can do things differently – when Jane Goodall documented extremely brutal and bloody attacks by the great apes.
They usually go after rival conspecifics in territorial disputes.
In addition, chimpanzees prey on smaller animals, including other species of monkeys.
However, it was not previously known that they also attack other hominids.
But researchers observed two deadly attacks by chimpanzees on gorillas in 2019.

“Interactions between chimpanzees and gorillas were previously considered relaxed,” says behavioral biologist Simone Pika from the University of Osnabrück, Germany, describing the relationship between the primates in a press release:

“We have regularly observed both species peacefully in foraging trees, and our Congolese colleagues have even witnessed chimps and gorillas playing together”.

In the Loango National Park in Gabon, Africa, the monkeys lived happily side by side until the brutal attacks took place.

Since 2005, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and the University of Osnabrück have been researching the behavior of around 45 chimpanzees in relation to their social relationships, interactions with other groups, their hunting behavior, their tool use and their communication.

In the journal Scientific Reports they describe the disturbing incidents and remember the first one in February 2019:
“At first we only heard screams from the chimpanzees and thought we were observing a typical encounter between neighboring chimpanzee communities.
But then we heard chest drumming, a display behavior characteristic of gorillas, and realized that the chimpanzees had encountered a group of five gorillas.”

Silverback on chest drums.

A total of 18 chimpanzees attacked a silverback, three adult females and a baby for 52 minutes.
The second time, in December 2019, 27 chimpanzees attacked seven gorillas, including one adult male and three females, one cub and two children, for 79 minutes.

In both attacks, the gorillas tried to defend themselves and fought back. However, they had no chance against the majority of the chimpanzees.
The adult animals were able to escape, but two gorilla babies were killed, one of them even being eaten by the chimpanzees.
Only three of the attackers were injured.

How did the attacks come about?

The researchers don’t know for sure. Attacks and killings between different animal species usually occur because of hunting for prey or competition for food.

“It could be that the coexistence of chimpanzees, gorillas and forest elephants in Gabon’s Loango National Park has led to greatly increased competition for food, which in extreme cases erupts in deadly conflicts between the two great ape species,” explains co-study author and primatologist Tobias Deschner from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Climate change may also have contributed, as it makes food and other resources increasingly scarce.

The researchers have several possible explanations for the observed aggression.

“Interspecies kills can be interpreted as either foraging behavior or competition for food. We are only beginning to understand the impact of food competition on the interactions between the two great ape species,” says Simone Pika.

“Our study shows that there is still a great deal to explore and discover about our closest living relatives and that Loango National Park, with its unique mosaic habitat, is a unique place to do so”.

https://www.welt.de/kmpkt/article232779377/Schimpansen-greifen-Gorillas-an-und-toeten-sie.html

And I mean..Here the following must be said: The two species have never lived side by side peacefully because they don’t usually meet in the wild.

The human species is expanding, and its fellow animal inhabitants are left with less and less living space.

It`s about distribution struggle for increasingly scarce resources, obviously that’s man-made, man has a decisive part to play in it.

The term “murder” does not apply to killings within the animal kingdom because it comes from the human world of consciousness and animals are not capable of the complexity of categorical thinking.

They give themselves no moral and ethical account of why they do or don’t do something.
Precisely this characteristic of conscience is also part of the qualification of a homicide: whoever kills insidiously and with full calculation is a murderer.
The characteristic cannot be applied to animals. And chimpanzees belong in the animal world.

My best regards to all, Venus

UK: UK Charities Condemn Pathetic Government ‘Betrayal’ of Allowing Bee-Killing Pesticide In Sugar Beet Crops.

WAV Comment – As if the UK government is not in enough deep water with their Covid drinks parties ! – another issue to anger the general public and to head them deeper down to road to election loss next time round. Pathetic by ignoring scientific advice – but then they, the fools, have always thought of themselves as better. The people will decide.

The government has ignored the advice of its scientific advisers to allow sugar beet farmers to deploy a banned bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticide in 2022.

British Sugar has successfully applied for an exemption to permit the banned pesticide, known as Cruiser SB, to be used in England this year because of the threat to sugar beet posed by a virus transmitted by aphids.

The decision by the environment secretary, George Eustice, to allow the “emergency” use of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam came despite the Health and Safety Executive and the government’s expert committee on pesticides concluding that the requirements for an emergency authorisation had not been met, and that pollution from the pesticide would damage river life.

Announcing the decision, the environment secretary said that farmers would be forbidden from growing flowering plants for 32 months after the sugar beet crop to reduce the risk to bees, but admitted: “It was not possible to rule out completely a degree of risk to bees (and this is the case even with a 32-month exclusion) from flowering plants in or near the field in the years after neonicotinoid use.”

Environmental charities condemned the move as “shameful” and “a betrayal”.

Sandra Bell, campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Allowing a bee-harming pesticide back into our fields is totally at odds with ministers’ so-called green ambitions, not to mention directly against the recommendation of their own scientists. This decision comes just two months after the government enshrined in law a target to halt species loss by 2030.”

Stephanie Morren, senior policy officer for the RSPB, said: “As we tackle the nature and climate emergency on our doorsteps we need decision-makers to support our farmers in delivering sustainable farming. This means upholding the ban on highly toxic pesticides like neonicotinoids, and instead working to support our farmers in reducing their reliance on these harmful chemicals.”

Matt Shardlow, chief executive of Buglife, said: “Neonicotinoids approved under the current pesticide approval process devastated populations of wild bees and heavily polluted rivers. It is shameful that no action has been taken to ensure that bee and wildlife destroying pesticides are properly assessed as being pollinator safe before they are approved or derogated for use.”

Neonicotinoids were banned for agricultural use across the EU and Britain in 2018 due to their devastating impact on bee populations. Tiny traces of these toxic chemicals in crop pollen or wildflowers damage bees’ ability to forage and navigate. A recent scientific study found that even a single exposure to a neonicotinoid insecticide could significantly damage future generations’ ability to reproduce.

The exemption for Cruiser SB was also granted in 2021 but was not needed by sugar beet farmers because modelling indicated that the yellows virus carried by aphids would pose no threat. In 2020, according to the government, the virus destroyed a quarter of the national crop.

Defra spokesperson said: “This decision has not been taken lightly and is based on robust scientific assessment. We evaluate the risks very carefully and only grant temporary emergency authorisations for restricted pesticides in special circumstances when strict requirements are met.

WAV Comment – ‘evaluate risks carefully’ = Defra bullshit.

“Last year the threshold was not met so the authorisation was never exercised. Strict criteria remain in place meaning this authorisation will only be used if necessary.”

UK charities condemn ‘betrayal’ of allowing bee-killing pesticide in sugar beet crops (msn.com)

Regards Mark

Additional:

Bees will die as ministers approve toxic banned pesticide for second time, warn experts (msn.com)

Bees will die as ministers approve toxic banned pesticide for second time, warn experts

A third of the UK bees have disappeared in 10 years  - AFP via Getty Images
© AFP via Getty Images – A third of the UK bees have disappeared in 10 years

Ministers have given the go-ahead for farmers to use a banned bee-harming pesticide in England for the second year running.The government went against the advice of its own scientific advisers, who said they did not see the justification for applying the neonicotinoid to sugar beet this year.

A single teaspoon of thiamethoxam is toxic enough to kill 1.25 billion bees, according to biology professor and insect expert Dave Goulson, and wildlife chiefs warned the decision could devastate already-struggling bee populations.

Environment officials announced they will permit the use of the pesticide to try to combat a virus transmitted by aphids.

They say the UK’s sugar harvest could otherwise be at risk this year and that “its exceptional temporary use will be tightly controlled and only permitted in very specific circumstances when strict requirements are met”.

Neonicotinoids are considered so harmful that they were banned by the UK and the EU in 2018, but since then 12 countries, including France, Denmark and Spain, have also granted emergency permits for neonicotinoid treatments to go ahead.

This time last year there was an outcry when ministers first gave beet farmers the green light to apply the pesticide, although eventually it was not used because a cold winter killed off the aphids.

Wildlife experts warned the decision “sounds a death knell for millions of bees and other insects” and flies in the face of government pledges to halt biodiversity loss.

The Pesticide Collaboration, which encompasses environmental organisations the RSPB, Friends of the Earth, Buglife and the Wildlife Trusts, said the would harm of wildlife and that the government should increase protection for bees and other wildlife from the harm caused by pesticides.

Minutes from a meeting of the Expert Committee on Pesticides say members agreed that the requirements for emergency authorisation had not been met and that pesticide water pollution caused by the decision would harm river life.

Even minute traces of neonicotinoid chemicals in crop pollen or wild flowers “play havoc with bees’ ability to forage and navigate, with catastrophic consequences for the survival of their colony”, according to the RSPB.

recent study showed that even one instance of exposure of a “neonic” insecticide significantly harmed bees’ ability to produce offspring.

A third of the UK bee population is thought to have vanished in a decade, yet up to three-quarters of crop species are pollinated by bees, studies show.

Thiamethoxam is a seed treatment, taken up by the whole plant, including the flower, pollen and juices from the plant insects forage on, wildlife experts say.

Sandra Bell, of Friends of the Earth, said: “Allowing a bee-harming pesticide back into our fields is totally at odds with ministers’ so-called green ambitions.”

Joan Edwards, of The Wildlife Trusts, said the decision was “a clear betrayal of promises made to protect the natural world and comes at a time when nature declines are worse than ever”, adding: “Less than two months ago the government adopted a legally binding commitment to halt the decline of wildlife by 2030 within its flagship Environment Act – the authorisation of this neonicotinoid flies in the face of this commitment and sounds a death knell for millions of bees and other insects.”

A Defra spokesperson said: “This decision has not been taken lightly and is based on robust scientific assessment. We evaluate the risks very carefully and only grant temporary emergency authorisations for restricted pesticides in special circumstances when strict requirements are met.

“Strict criteria remain in place meaning this authorisation will only be used if necessary.”

The government also says work on gene editing will help develop crops that are more resistant to aphids.

WAV Comment – I (Mark) am so angry about this; we are trying so hard to encourage bee reproduction and increase numbers with our ‘Bee Hotels’; and yet here we have a dickhead government that simply appears to give the green light to the deaths of millions more. Dickhead government by name, dickhead government by nature.

Here below you can see a few pictures of our bee hotel once we had made it. The little chambers in each log act as breeding tunnels for new bees to develop and then go into the wild as pollinators.

Webinar On Why Britain Should Ban Hunting Trophies – 11/1/22 at 11.00AM GMT. See Below for Details.

Hello Mark!

I know it’s short notice, but TUESDAY, January 11th at 11:00AM GMT is Ban Trophy Hunting’s webinar…  Jane Goodall and the former Pres. of Botswana (who banned trophy hunting) are both listed as speakers)

(20+) Why Britain should Ban Hunting Trophies ASAP | Facebook

Event by All-Party Parliamentary Group on Banning Trophy Hunting

Public  · Anyone on or off Facebook

The UK Government has pledged to ban hunting trophies – but isn’t able to say when.

A new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Banning Trophy Hunting (APPG) reveals that British imports of hunting trophies from protected species may be going up – and that official figures may be just the tip of the iceberg.

The APPG is calling on the government to name a date for the introduction of its bill, or to instead adopt the Hunting Trophy Import (Prohibition) Bill promoted by backbencher John Spellar MP which has won cross-party support and is scheduled for debate on Friday, 14 January.

On Tuesday 11 January, the APPG launches its new report ‘Shooting up – Are Britain’s Trophy Imports & Hunting Companies Booming?’ in a webinar open to the public, and challenges the government to bring a swift end to imports of hunting trophies into Britain.

Panelists include world-famous conservationist Dr Jane Goodall; Lt Gen Serestse Khama, former President of Botswana; Professor Phyllis Lee of the Amboseli Trust; Sir Roger Gale MP (Con); Baroness Sue Hayman (Lab); Dave Doogan MP (SNP); Lord Chris Rennard (Lib Dems); Hywel Williams MP.

Join us on:

Zoom –
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87432433558

Facebook Live – Link to be posted on the day of the event.
YouTube – Link to be posted on the day of the event. 

Regards Mark

Drought in Africa

Drought in Africa-By Martin BuschmannMEP

The rain doesn’t come any more. It has not rained in eastern Kenya for over a year.
Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia are also affected. The ground has dried up, nothing grows anymore.
Millions of people in East Africa are at risk of starvation.

The animals are also affected. Giraffes die of thirst in the wildlife parks, the wildebeest and zebras never migrate.
Without water, nothing grows along their migration corridors.

First it hit the hippos, which need large amounts of water and mud to live.
60 carcasses could be counted.
40 bodies of Grevy’s zebras were also found. They became infected with anthrax, the spores of which remain in the dry soil for decades.
All herbivorous animals struggle to survive during the drought.

Monkeys band together and attack water tankers or food vans along the streets.
Because of man-made climate change, the rain cycle is permanently disrupted.
And if it does rain a bit, the rock-hard ground cannot absorb the water.
Disastrous floods are the result.

Large parts of the country are becoming uninhabitable and people can no longer make a living.
Disaster seems inevitable.

https://www.facebook.com/Tierschutzabgeordneter/

And I mean... drought in Kenya, tornadoes in the USA … Europe / Germany will be soon the next one.
Germany produces more Co2 than the entire continent of Africa.

Such droughts are undeniably caused by climate change; therefore we MUST understand such reports not as NATIONAL, but as INTERNATIONAL disasters.

But every time people find a different excuse that someone else is to blame and that we don’t have to / can’t do anything.
That is simply wrong and only works in a conspiratorial dream world without any reference to reality.

If you think you have “nothing” to do with what is going on around you and whether it is a meter or a thousand away from you, then you are just that, one … one who pollutes the environment!

It’s time to pull the emergency brake.
Otherwise, potentially catastrophic climate change and the sixth mass extinction of biodiversity can no longer be prevented

My best regards to all, Venus

Trophy Hunters – Exposed, and A Psychological Perspective – Books.

TROPHY HUNTERS EXPOSED – Inside the Big Game Industry by Eduardo Goncalves

Thousands of animals threatened with extinction were shot by trophy hunters last year. Attempts to protect dwindling lion and elephant populations have been thwarted by hunters. They are now allowed to shoot twice as many critically endangered black rhinos. How has this happened?‘

Inside the Big Game Industry’ is an explosive investigation into the trophy hunting industry, its key players and donors, and how it is stripping endangered animals of the protections they need.  It reveals how a top fundraiser for Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin’s right-hand man, the head of a paramilitary death-squad and a former WWF Director have shot record-breaking lions, elephants, rhinos and leopards.  It exposes the identities of over 500 hunters who have won industry awards for shooting all the ‘African Big Five’; the leading figures in the UK industry including a salesman who helps hunters shoot juvenile lions in enclosures; and the extraordinary kill tallies and trophy collections of hunters around the world.  It also lifts the lid on how household brands – and our taxes – are funding lobbyists, how the Boy Scouts and Salvation Army in the US are helping the industry recruit a new generation of child hunters, how lobbyists are posing as ‘conservation’ groups … and how the industry boasts it ploughs more money into US elections than some of the world’s biggest corporations.  Read how psychologists and criminologists fear trophy hunting could be fuelling violent crime, and how the industry could spark devastating outbreaks of diseases in local communities …The author, Eduardo Goncalves, is an award-winning campaigner, journalist and conservationist. He has been a consultant to WWF and CEO of a national animal welfare charity. In 2018, he founded the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting (CBTH) which is today supported by some of the world’s biggest names in music, sport, film and TV. In 2019, CBTH persuaded the UK government to support a ban on imports of hunting trophies. 

Proceeds from the sale of ‘TROPHY HUNTERS EXPOSED – Inside the Big Game Industry’ will be donated to the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting http://www.bantrophyhunting.org

Trophy Hunting: A Psychological Perspective by Geoffrey Beattie

Explores the psychology of trophy hunting from a critical perspective and considers the reasons why some people engage in the controversial activity of killing often endangered animals for (so called) sport.

This book explores the psychology of trophy hunting from a critical perspective and considers the reasons why some people engage in the controversial activity of killing often endangered animals for sport.

Recent highly charged debate, reaching a peak with the killing of Cecil the lion in 2015, has brought trophy hunting under unprecedented public scrutiny, and yet the psychology of trophy hunting crucially remains under-explored. Considering all related issues from the evolutionary perspective and ‘inclusive fitness’, to personality and individual factors like narcissism, empathy, and the Duchenne smiles of hunters posing with their prey, Professor Beattie makes connections between a variety of indicators of prestige and dominance, showing how trophy hunting is inherently linked to a desire for status. He argues that we need to identify, analyse and deconstruct the factors that hold the behaviour of trophy hunting in place if we are to understand why it continues, and indeed why it flourishes, in an age of collapsing ecosystems and dwindling species populations.

The first book of its kind to examine current research critically to determine whether there really is an evolutionary argument for trophy hunting, and what range of motivations and personality traits may be linked to this activity. This is essential reading for students and academics in psychology, geography, business, environmental studies, animal welfare as well as policy makers and charities in these and related areas. It is of major relevance for anyone who cares about the future of our planet and the species that inhabit it.

Additional Links –

Safari Club International

About Us – Safari Club

Dallas Safari Club

Home – Dallas Safari Club (biggame.org)

National Rifle Association

Home of the NRA | National Rifle Association

Regards Mark