Tag Archives: Endangered Species list

Endangered Species List is Finally “Buzzing”

 

Endangered Species List is Finally “Buzzing”

by Amy Lignor

 

Although it would be a heck of a lot nicer to say that the Endangered Species List was getting smaller and smaller because creatures are being saved every day and they’re all now thriving, this is actually a tale of the list getting larger, but having that increase be a good thing.

Endangered Species List, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Xerces Society, bee protection, Hawaii, yellow-faced bees, get the buzz
Photo by John Kaia

The list has never “buzzed” at any point in our time, but after a great deal of turning away from a particular species that seriously needed help, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finally added seven species of yellow-faced bees (from the state of Hawaii) to the U.S. Endangered Species List. And because of this move, there is now hope that they can be saved by the special protection that the federal government claims it will give to them.

 

Extra protection is more than important when it comes to these species, because bee populations all across the country have been declining. Not a lot of people even noticed; for 90% of the population, bees are still a species you either run away from so as not to get stung, or swat them in the air. It took a lot of time to make people see that bees are a necessity to this planet and the consistent decline of the species has been frightening.

 

It was a decade ago that 33 different bee species were placed on an FWS “watch list” because of the concern. Then, the concern turned to real fear. The seven types of bees now defined as being endangered are: Hylaeus anthracinus, Hylaeus longiceps, Hylaeus assimulans, Hylaeus facilis, Hylaeus hilaris, Hylaeus kuakea and Hylaeus mana, and are the very first bees in the country to be protected.

 

The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that actually petitioned the U.S. back in 2009 to protect the bees. Especially seeing as that the common North American bee, the rusty-patched bumble bee, was moving closer and closer to extinction. These seven that did make the list, however, are native only to Hawaii, and without them left to pollinate, various plants would go the way of the do-do, as well. Now all we have to do is make others see that there are a variety of bees vanishing that the rest of the country absolutely needs.

 

The bee’s diverse habitats are becoming devastated by various activities, such as building and industry, as well as from fire issues. With the loss of bees goes the loss of native vegetation which would then harm grazing practices. In other words, conservationists are breathing a sigh of relief that the FWS has added them to the list and is finally taking the bee issue seriously.

 

With the seven bee species now federally protected, the next step in the saving process can begin. Such as, authorities can now focus their conservation efforts on helping the bee populations recover before it’s too late. Although this first step took ten years to come to fruition, now everyone must concentrate on better control and management of natural bee habitats. Currently these species are found in areas that are quite small and surrounded by land developments, meaning that federal lands must be officially designated so that the bees can come back from the brink of death.

Source:  Baret News

Avoiding a Greek Tragedy

 

Avoiding a Greek Tragedy

by Amy Lignor

 

For those who love history, or just extremely good movies, you have already set your eyes on the Skyrian horse. Sometimes referred to as the Skyros pony, these semi-wild creatures are legendary. Since well before what many believe to be the beginning of creation, this elite horse was responsible for carrying Man into battle – from simple men to the gods, themselves. In fact, the Skyrian horse was supposedly responsible for pulling Achilles’ own incredible chariot. Seeing their plight in 2016, however, it would be safe to say that all the gods on their mount want nothing more than to send thunder and lightning down on us mortals for the simple fact that the stunning horse is on the verge of becoming extinct.

Skyrian horse, legendary creatures, Greek island of Skyros, Skyros Island Horse Trust, Endangered Species list, Skyros pony, Greece

 

These creatures have lived on the Greek island of Skyros for two thousand years, and now one organization – the Skyros Island Horse Trust – has made it their mission to save this extremely rare animal. From the overgrazing of sheep to interbreeding with donkeys to the one problem that is plaguing all species around the world – disappearing habitats – there are only 200 Skyrian horses left on Earth.

 

The Skyros Island Horse Trust is trying to not only save but also bring back the species ten-fold. Through welfare, conservation and education initiatives, this nonprofit is striving to make sure that one of the few creatures carved on ancient friezes, do not perish.

 

As with all of the creatures sitting on the Endangered Species list, the Skyrian horse needs to have their quality of life improved. And the Trust is also working overtime to create the widest genetic pool of the equines on the island while staying true to the Skyrian type. The Skyros pony has an extremely friendly demeanor, making them perfect for equine-assisted therapy as well as teaching children how to horseback ride, yet another “hobby/sport” that has declined.

 

A compelling animal, the Skyros pony is thought to be featured on the actual Parthenon in Athens, as well, which makes them very much a living, breathing facet of history. To see them go extinct would be a horror.

 

When speaking with scientists, it is stated that the Skyros pony descends from equines brought to Greece as far back as the fifth century B.C. Once the isles were filled with them, yet the animals grew smaller in number as well as in size, evolving to island life. Solid in color, the Skyrian horse has a thick, plush mane. Standing 3.5 feet at the shoulder, they are classified as a pony because of their stature, yet have similar proportions to full-size horses with small, strong hooves.

 

It is more than time to turn our gazes toward these loving animals and try to find a way to all come together in order to bring back conservation in Mediterranean countries, which is difficult because of all the daily problems they are facing. With the country of Greece stuck in a very difficult economic situation at the moment, the Skyrian horse is even worse off than other animals’ trying to be saved globally. Even though this particular horse has status and is a truly rare breed, Greece has no government resources or funding to help save them.

 

In the end, the people are the ones that must stand up and fight for the animal’s survival. Even though in politicians’ eyes the complete extinction of the Skyros pony falls far down on their list of things that must be done, sitting back and doing nothing will most definitely lead to another Greek tragedy. One that is most definitely not fiction, and one we can definitely stop from happening.

 

Source:  Baret News