In the wake of dramatic climate change news and the controversial discovery that the global wildlife population is shrinking every day it is always a bit uplifting to see that nature continues to find a way, as they say.
The world populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles fell overall by 52 percent between 1970 and 2010, far faster than previously thought, the World Wildlife Fund. The report’s finding on the populations of vertebrate wildlife found that the biggest declines were in tropical regions, especially Latin America.
Baby sea lions are washing up on shore by the hundreds in California, malnourished and suffering from a range of other maladies. 70 percent of all newborn sea lions may be dying. Some wash up already dead. In a rare move, the federal government has declared it an Unusual Mortality Event, meaning that it is a serious problem requiring immediate attention.
After five years of delay, the federal government today finally proposed to protect more than 739 miles of critical habitat for threatened loggerhead sea turtles on their nesting beaches along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. These sea turtles face serious threats to their long-term survival from drowning in fishing nets, loss of nesting beaches due to coastal development and sea-level rise.
Today, the Maryland State Senate approved a bill that would strengthen regulations on the sale, possession and distribution of shark fins throughout the state. The Maryland House of Representatives already passed the bill last month, and it will now go to Gov. Martin O’Malley to be signed into law. Oceana applauds Maryland legislators for their leadership in helping to reduce the market for shark fin sales.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a new report this week detailing the catch and bycatch (or unintentional catch) of fisheries in the Northeast from July 2010 to June 2011. The report finds that approximately 156 million pounds of fish were discarded (or thrown back overboard), likely dead or dying, from North Carolina to Maine during this period. In fact, some trawl fisheries were found to discard more than half of their catch.
Sea otters could be facing a $100 bounty on their adorable little heads if a Republican Senator has his way in Alaska, where eating is evidently a capital offense. Senator Bert Stedman just introduced a bill, SB 60, which would authorize the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to pay a bounty to “harvest” sea otters and comes with a fiscal note for $28,000 to pay for the first year, which would only pay for a fraction of the 2,800 sea otters targeted.
Mexican officials have unveiled plans to slaughter some 50,000 wild boars that have crossed the border from the United States and now threaten agriculture in Mexico. The Ministry of Environment in Chihauha state said some 3,700 acres of farmland in the border town of Ojinaga have been affected by the large number of feral pigs that have come from Presidio County, Texas.
Just a decade ago, the wildest creatures in the Forest of Dean were deer, sheep, foxes and badgers. But today there are as many as 600 wild boars roaming the 111 sq km (43 sq miles) of ancient Gloucestershire woodland — and they are breeding so fast that hundreds may have to be culled, according to an assessment by the Forestry Commission.
An animal rights group on Tuesday called for Taiwan’s largest aquarium to immediately release a whale shark in its care to prevent physical and psychological damage, which the groups said could result from the creature’s extended captivity in a small tank.
When the 7-foot-long American alligator first came into the care of the Phoenix Herpetological Society (PHS), a group devoted to reptile conservation, it was clear that his young life was off to a bad start. Likely after a skirmish with a larger counterpart, the rescued gator found himself short a tail and in need of some assistance.
A bill banning the commercial trapping of bobcats has been introduced in the California Legislature by Assemblyman Richard Bloom. The Bobcat Protection Act of 2013 would make it illegal to trap, import, export or sell any bobcat part or product.