Tag Archives: endangered species

The Little-Known Mammal Faces Destruction


The Little-Known Mammal Faces Destruction

by Amy Lignor


There is always talk, calendars, posters, charity events, and more for certain endangered species that people have literally fallen in love with. Wolves, seals, whales – you name one, and they are all well-represented by amazing organizations. However, there is one mammal out there in the world that is literally the “most-trafficked” who are not getting much of a shot at survival. Why? Because they are not spoken about as often as some of the others. Until now…


endangered species, pangolin, black market, poached for scales,  illegal trafficking, high-end cuisineEveryone detestable you can think of, from poachers to crime syndicates, are deleting the pangolin from the face of the earth. In fact, wildlife experts have stated that the level of destruction when it comes to the pangolin is “staggering.”


Take the past three months, for instance. 10,000+ pangolins have been trafficked in this short amount of time. Back in June, Hong Kong authorities actually confiscated 4.4 tons of pangolin scales that were stashed in cargo coming from Cameroon; they were labeled “sliced plastics.” This accounts for 1,100 to 6,600 African pangolin deaths, and the illegal haul was worth over $1.25 million on the black market.


In July and August, officials seized even more pangolin scales, almost a ton, in containers arriving from Nigeria and Ghana into Hong Kong. And the poor creatures, themselves – over 650 – were discovered by Indonesian authorities hidden in freezers at a home located on the island of Java.


Although some endangered critters are scary to people, pangolins are as adorable as the wolf pup. A creature covered in scales, there are eight different species of pangolins that were once found in both Asia and Africa. From a yellowish-brown hue to a dark, chocolate brown, these mammals are nocturnal, solitary and feed on ants and termites they retrieve using their long, sticky tongues and nails. Their protective scales make it so the pangolin is often put into the same category as the anteater. However, they are not. In fact, the pangolin have no “family” anywhere on this planet.


No ivory to speak of, the reason pangolins are poached is for their scales. Apparently, they can be used in medicine, as well as being used for fashion accessories and, disgustingly enough, eaten; the mammal is said to be “high-end cuisine.”


The IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group, as well as the site SavePangolins.org are doing their best to alert people of the fact that pangolins are rapidly deteriorating. Experts stated that it’s most likely the mammal has all but vanished in China, and their complete demise is quickly occurring in Vietnam and Thailand; as well as in Africa where the illegal trafficking is making the pangolin species literally disappear overnight.


TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network belonging to the World Wildlife Fund, has noted that the pangolin is mainly desirable because it is both rare and exotic. Basically, they are “in vogue” for people who want to sit high up on their thrones in society.


At the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the vote came through to provide all eight species of Asian and African pangolins with the highest level of protection possible. Supported by more than 180 countries, the law has banned the international commercial trade of these creatures who most definitely need help.


In other words, if you wish to dine on high-cuisine, go back to caviar. The pangolin is off the market!

Source:  Baret News

Spotting the Wild Animal in the U.S. of A.


Spotting the Wild Animal in the U.S. of A.

by Amy Lignor


There are many camping spots, zoos, parks, and outdoor paradises across the globe; locales where wild animals roam and humans can get close to these amazing creatures. One of the most beautiful and wild animals, rare, endangered species, American safari, Sonoma, American Serengeti, Maine, Safari Wilderness Ranch, California talked about lies near Canterbury, Kent in the United Kingdom. Opened as a private zoo in 1957, this odd collection is known by many for being one of the most unorthodox. Breeding rare and endangered species, this particular location plays home to gorillas that are the finest in the world.


But the U.S. is not left out of this particular category. In fact, there are parks in the U.S. where wild animals can be spotted, picnicked with, and more. Now that the rare and endangered species are appearing more often in the headlines, it’s time to show Americans where they can go to have a great time while spending time with and learning more about some truly incredible species.


Having an “African safari” is on many people’s “to do” list when it comes to vacations, but the “American safari” is less money, and offers prime spots:


If looking for a Western Safari, Sonoma, Arizona, is a stunning place to visit. Although wine tasting is a large part of the area, a 400-acre wildlife reserve known as Safari West is a fantastic place for the humans to roam and get up close and personal with the wildlife drifting all around. The two main goals of the reserve are conservation and breeding, focusing on animals such as cheetahs, wildebeest, and giraffes that are allowed to roam free. Elevated safari-style tents are an option for visitors to stay in as well, so they can spot everything from their “nature high-rise” or from the seats in an open-air vehicle.


If looking for moose, Maine boasts the Maine Moose Watching Tours out of Greenville, located on Moosehead Lake. This is an area forty miles long and ten miles wide where over 70,000 moose roam. And when they venture out to lick salt from the roads, visitors can spot and study them in full view during the springtime.


People wish to see the Serengeti and the animals wandering there, but even the U.S. offers up the American Serengeti set in Lamar Valley. Receiving the title of “Serengeti” this spot is full of wildlife; from wolves to bison to bighorn sheep, elk and more, Xanterra’s Parks & Resorts offers guided travels at dusk and photo safaris.


For those who are fans, supporters and providers for the endangered wolf, in Northeastern Minnesota wolf-spotting is a sure thing. The U.S. Head to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), as well as Voyageurs National Park, are the two best places to witness the stunning creatures in their natural habitat. In the Superior National Forest, BWCAW takes up over 1+ million acres filled with lakes, rivers, and streams, where the ultimate wolf spotting can be enjoyed.


A Buffalo Bills football fan can also enjoy the Buffalo Safari Jeep Tour at Custer State Park. Wildlife is beyond abundant here, with buffalo, pronghorns, and more residing within the 71,000 acres. From taking a guided tour in an open-air jeep to taking a self-drive on Wildlife Loop Road, fans and vacationers will see many creatures pop up to say hello.


For those who want to visit California and see some creatures, the Bobcat Safari along the Point Reyes National Seashore is there. The star attraction at this location is the American bobcat. Although many have also experienced the spotting of coyotes and a mountain lion here and there.


Add in the Safari Wilderness Ranch, a park that covers 260 acres where visitors can ride in a safari vehicle, crossing wetlands and grasslands to spot the roaming zebra, kudu, water buffalo and ring-tailed lemurs; the Bison Safari on Catalina Island; and, the wild elk roaming the Cataloochee Valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.


When you wish to spend time with the great wildlife roaming the U.S. of A. these locales are the best places to visit!

Source:  Baret News

A Company Still Fighting a Battle That Should be Lost

A Company Still Fighting a Battle That Should be Lost

~ Samantha Lewis

When it comes to the saving of a species – whether that be plantlife or wildlife – obstacles arise around every corner. For every no-kill shelter opened, five more dolphins seem to die in a net somewhere. For every person who helps in the courts bring down the ‘bad guys’ who kill the Black Rhino for a horn, or the Great White for some ridiculous million-dollar soup, there seems to be five more ‘bad guys’ to take their place.


Killerwhales_jumpingThe upside is that there are so many millions of people who work hard to bring back endangered species and stop others from becoming a memory. There are those who strive to rebuild habitats, delete invasive species that have taken over the lands because people stopped caring. Wetland conservation is done every day; land owners become land stewards and replace key components that have gone missing. And there are those who constantly bring about change, restoring the world’s natural resources.


There are debates as to what is right and what is wrong, however. These are fundamental arguments about how to save the world and not risk a species’ existence, or make the world so polluted that human existence is no longer able to be kept up because of the quality of air we breathe or water we drink.


The newest debate in the headlines is actually a very old, ongoing debate that has been part of our households for as long as this writer can remember. The news comes from SeaWorld, a place that has been praised for their good works, while also bashed repeatedly for their wrong choices.


Killer whales should not be held in captivity. That is the view of the majority out there; however, there is another side to the story. Captive killer whales are whales that have been hurt, which is why they were brought to shore, so to speak, in the first place because they no longer had the ability to survive against predators.


SeaWorld has taken a step in their attempt to prove to the world that they are most definitely concerned with the health and welfare of the orca; and not just Killer_Whale_Kissworried about putting people in seats to watch them do tricks for the crowd. Their step? They will be building ten-million gallon tanks (basically, double the size of the ones they have now), with technology that will create a ‘real life’ fast-moving current that the orcas can swim against.


These new “environments” are on schedule to open in 2018; first in San Diego, then on to Orlando and San Antonio. Is this nicer for the whales? Sure. Does it change anything? Basically, no. The cage is still ‘home’.


It was a spokesman for PETA that summed it up by stating: “A bigger prison is still a prison.” It is the PETA organization that is at the forefront of this issue, pushing for sanctuaries by the sea that will allow the orcas to experience the ‘real’ ocean again, be able to hear their species and their families out there, and one day be comfortable and readied enough to go back out and be reunited with the ones they love. In other words, PETA wants to put in motion a way for orcas to no longer be held in captivity.


SeaWorld is definitely speaking as if this is for pure conservation efforts, and has nothing to do with their cash flow regarding shows. In fact, SeaWorld Entertainment president and CEO Jim Atchison stated: “Our vision for our new killer whale homes and research initiatives is to advance global understanding of these animals, to educate and inspire conservation efforts to protect killer whales in the wild.”


Blue World Project is the company’s research and conservation effort that they place millions of dollars into – attempting now, more than ever, to get the people on their side.


“Free Willy” was the glory days when it came to the orca. Keiko was the killer whale who became the media darling; everyone across the globe wanted to find a way to integrate captive killer whales back into the wild. But for every good there is a bad, which came with the documentary, Blackfish, which allowed viewers to witness the life of a captured orca up close and personal. Tilikum was the ‘star’ at SeaWorld Orlando, where three trainers met their deaths, with the critical film voicing the fact that the captive conditions were the reason why the ‘killer’ killed.


SeaWorld has always vehemently denied any mistreatment to their killer whales in any way, shape or form. But their fight does not end there. The California legislature is now considering passing a bill that would ban using orcas as entertainment, period. Add in the loss of Southwest Airlines, a partner with SeaWorld that promoted them with Shamu jets, and investors who look to be pulling away from the company, no longer trusting in its healthy future – and SeaWorld ends up on the edge of its own extinction.


Is this a lesson to be learned for other companies out there that wish to profit from putting what are supposed to be ‘free’ species into cages to earn a buck? We shall see. But for now, the orca is in the limelight, earning a bigger home that will most definitely never be home.


Source: Baret News Wire

Yet Another Trumpet of the Horn

Yet Another Trumpet of the Horn

~by Carmen Schwartz

Black Rhino-Roadtrekin.com copyThis subject is talked about, it seems, when there is no other thing to talk about. Politics, religion, gun laws, conservative versus liberal, moronic news stations versus…everyone else on the planet. Issues are debated each and every hour on television, but when it comes to endangered species, it seems that the subject is buried a great deal of the time by something ‘more important.’


National Geographic states facts. Unfortunately, the worst fact of all, is that the threat against the rhino is still massive. Perhaps it would be easier to feel for this subject if you knew more about them.


Both black and white rhinoceroses are actually gray, and they are truly stunning, magnificent creatures. The Black rhino has a pointed upper lip, because of the fact that they are the roamers of the two species. They shop, browse, pick out their food from finding and consuming the best trees or bushes. They pluck the leaves and fruit from above, while the White rhino grazes, choosing the grasses for their meals.


When it comes to the Black rhino, they live life in an almost self-imposed solitary confinement. They like to be alone, with females reproducing only every two and a half to five years – which means a new generation takes a while to create. Feeding under the stars, Black rhinos like the nighttime hours, which makes sense, because under the serious rays of the African sun, they wish to stop roaming during the day and sit in the cover that the trees provide.


They keep the bugs off their skin by themselves, by rolling around in a water or mud hole and taking care of their skin. And when they do wish to find another, their incredibly keen hearing and sense of smell allows them to locate the trail of their friends that they left behind.


These horns, that seem to be their undoing, are apparently a ‘must have’ pair, with the foremost one being larger than the other. The Black rhino horns grow as much as three inches a year, with some being seen up to five feet in length. Females use their horns to protect the young, while males must use them as warriors in battle to keep away unwanted, unnecessary and classless human attackers.


It is ridiculous, after all this time and many good people bringing the Black rhino nightmare to the world so they can hear and STOP the murdering from happening, that these animals are still being killed for their horns. Some are used for medicinal purposes in the Far East. And even worse than that, other locations only want the horn to use as an ornament – a handle on a dagger that they will never use – just place under glass and never even think about the fact that their stupid decoration actually took yet another life from the almost nonexistent Black rhino population.


Poaching grows bigger…because of commercial demand. Armed poachers are on record for slaughtering twice the number of Kenyan rhinos in 2013 compared to 2012. (At least 59 this past year and 30 the year before). Good people in Kenya have increased the number of guards for these poor creatures. Heavily armed guards, in fact, roam Kenyan capital’s national park, but poachers seem to not care in the least, willing to risk their lives for the cash.


Barely over a thousand left, rhinos are being erased from this planet. An actual report from Interpol stated there had been ‘record levels of global ivory seizures worldwide in 2013.’


Powerful (but absolutely unrecorded) healing properties? Decorations for your home? Jewelry you don’t need in the slightest? These are the reasons why this amazing creature is being killed??


Don’t you find it odd that we scream and yell and stand on pulpits when it comes to children being killed in schools because of poor gun rights, but we can not seem to yell loud enough about another innocent (one among a big list), that have done nothing wrong, do not cause pain to the world, and are an addition to the world that should never be in pain or turmoil?


No offense to anyone…but is it REALLY more important to constantly rant about the ridiculous things future political frontrunners do than actually saving a life?


This is a call to action! The sad part is, this is a call to action…AGAIN, and AGAIN, and AGAIN!