Thursday, February 18, 2016

Save Uganda’s Kafuga Forest! - International Tree Foundation

Save Uganda’s Kafuga Forest! - International Tree Foundation Bookmark and Share

One of the world’s great ecological treasures, Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, is under threat from plans to clear fell the adjoining Kafuga Forest.

You can help stop this environmental vandalism by supporting PROBICOU’s efforts to persuade the authorities that we must conserve this valuable remnant of ancient forest.

Please sign these online petitions to Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment:

A campaign to #SaveKafugaForest has just been launched by our partners Pro Biodiversity Conservationists in Uganda (PROBICOU)

The forest is a vital buffer zone for the National Park’s critically-endangered mountain gorillas – supporting 400 gorillas out of a total world population of 880 – and hundreds of other species of rare mammals and birds. It is also an important source of food, medicine and clean water for local villagers.

What is the Sixth Mass Extinction? | World Economic Forum

What is the Sixth Mass Extinction? | World Economic Forum Bookmark and Share

The Sixth Mass Extinction is upon us. And it's our faultA monarch butterfly rests on a rope at the Monarch Grove Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, California, December 30, 2014.

Simply put, the Sixth Mass Extinction is a massive die-off of plants and animals all across the planet. There have been five others throughout time, but this one is different; it’s entirely caused by man.

Habitat destruction, climate change, pollution, poaching and over-consumption of resources are all coming together to possibly eliminate half of all species by the turn of the century.

Why should we care?

Because it’s folly to think that we can lose half of everything else, but that we’ll be just fine.

Protect Pangolins, the World’s Most Illegally Trafficked (and Potentially Cutest), Mammal From Disappearing

Protect Pangolins, the World’s Most Illegally Trafficked (and Potentially Cutest), Mammal From Disappearing Bookmark and Share

Protect Pangolins, the World’s Most Illegally Trafficked (and Potentially Cutest), Mammal From Disappearing

(Photo:Christopher Scott / Getty Images)


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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Now is Not the Time to Downlist the West Indian Manatee

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This action is premature, and we urge the Service to postpone reclassification until the agency can assure ongoing protections and minimization of threats to the species and its habitat.

In making its downlisting determination, the Service has relied heavily on population counts, rather than evaluating the long-term viability of the population as required by the Endangered Species Act. Higher numbers of manatees does not mean that the population has recovered adequately to ensure its survival. In Florida, hundreds of manatees can be lost to single events including cold snaps and red tide. From 2010-2015, 3,217 manatees died in Florida waters. This figure represents 53% of the highest Florida manatee population count ever recorded (6,063 in 2015). In 2013 alone, 830 manatees died as a result of unusual mortality events.

The Service has failed to account for ongoing and increasing future threats to Florida manatee survival.
In particular, the agency has failed to account for the increased danger to Florida manatees from the loss of both natural and artificial warm water refuges. Expected coal plant closures, anticipated future requirements to cease thermal discharges, reduced spring flows, and the absence of sanctuary protections at many springs leave manatees at risk of future significant population declines. The Service has not determined what level of population growth and subsequent loss are sustainable for Florida manatees although the Core Biological Model predicts future growth followed by population decline.

The Service has also not adequately addressed cumulative impacts from continued development, increased vessel use, and ongoing water quality problems that threaten the aquatic plants on which manatees depend for survival.
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