Focusing On The Conservation of Ecosystems, Habitats & Wildlife

Hands Across The Sand: May 18th

Say NO To Offshore Oil Drilling!

Hands Across The Sand has been a global success with thousands of events in all 50 states and nearly 50 countries worldwide from New Zealand to Hawaii.

Join Hands to end our dependence on dangerous, dirty fuels. Join Hands to end global warming and climate change. Join Hands to embrace Clean Energy.

“It’s the most important thing we can do as human beings” Dave Rauschkolb, founder.

Endangered Species Day 2013

10 Easy Things You Can Do At Home To Protect Endangered Species

ESDayLogo_by_Jennifer_Hennessey-USFWS-Endangered Species Day logo-1

1) Learn About Endangered Species In Your Area

Teach your friends and family about the wonderful wildlife, birds, fish and plants that live near you. The first step to protecting endangered species is learning about how interesting and important they are. Our natural world provides us with many indispensable services including clean air and water, food and medicinal sources,  commercial, aesthetic and recreational benefits.

Check out these endangered species pages
For more information about endangered species, visit endangered.fws.gov

2) Visit a National Wildlife Refuge, Park or Other Open Space

These protected lands provide habitat to many native wildlife, birds, fish and plants. Scientists tell us the best way to protect endangered species is to protect the places where they live.  Get involved by volunteering at your local nature center or wildlife refuge.
Go wildlife or bird watching in nearby parks. Wildlife related recreation creates millions of jobs and supports local businesses.

To find a wildlife refuge near you, visit www.fws.gov/refuges/
To find a park near you, visit www.nps.gov
To find a zoo near you, visit www.aza.org

3) Make Your Home Wildlife Friendly

Secure garbage in shelters or cans with locking lids, feed pets indoors and lock pet doors at night to avoid attracting wild animals into your home.
Reduce your use of water in your home and garden so that animals that live in or near water can have a better chance of survival.
Disinfect bird baths often to avoid disease transmission.
Place decals on windows to deter bird collisions. Millions of birds die every year because of collisions with windows. You can help reduce the number of collisions simply by placing decals on the windows in your home and office.

For more information on what you can do, check out these tips from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

4) Provide Habitat For Wildlife By Planting Native Vegetation In Your Yard

Native plants provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Attracting native insects like bees and butterflies can help pollinate your plants. The spread of non-native species has greatly impacted native populations around the world. Invasive species compete with native species for resources and habitat. They can even prey on native species directly, forcing native species towards extinction.

For more information about native plants, visit http://www.plantsocieties.org

5) Minimize Use Of Herbicides and Pesticides

Herbicides and pesticides may keep yards looking nice but they are in fact hazardous pollutants that affect wildlife at many levels. Many herbicides and pesticides take a long time to degrade and build up in the soils or throughout the food chain. Predators such as hawks, owls and coyotes can be harmed if they eat poisoned animals. Some groups of animals such as amphibians are particularly vulnerable to these chemical pollutants and suffer greatly as a result of the high levels of herbicides and pesticides in their habitat.

For alternatives to pesticides, visit http://www.beyondpesticides.org

6) Slow Down When Driving

Many animals live in developed areas and this means they must navigate a landscape full of human hazards. One of the biggest obstacles to wildlife living in developed areas is roads. Roads divide habitat and present a constant hazard to any animal attempting to cross from one side to the other. So when you’re out and about, slow down and keep an eye out for wildlife.

7) Recycle and Buy Sustainable Products

Buy recycled paper, sustainable products like bamboo and Forest Stewardship Council wood products to protect forest species. Never buy furniture made from wood from rainforests.
Recycle your cell phones, because a mineral used in cell phones and other electronics is mined in gorilla habitat.
Minimize your use of palm oil because forests where tigers live are being cut down to plant palm plantations.

8) Never Purchase Products Made From Threatened or Endangered Species

Overseas trips can be exciting and fun, and everyone wants a souvenir. But sometimes the souvenirs are made from species nearing extinction. Avoid supporting the market in illegal wildlife including: tortoise-shell, ivory, coral. Also, be careful of products including fur from tigers, polar bears, sea otters and other endangered wildlife, crocodile skin, live monkeys or apes, most live birds including parrots, macaws, cockatoos and finches, some live snakes, turtles and lizards, some orchids, cacti and cycads, medicinal products made from rhinos, tiger or Asiatic black bear.

9) Report Any Harassment Or Shooting Of Threatened and Endangered Species

Harassing wildlife is cruel and illegal. Shooting, trapping, or forcing a threatened or endangered animal into captivity is also illegal and can lead to their extinction. Don’t participate in this activity, and report it as soon as you see it to your local state or federal wildlife enforcement office.

You can find a list of state wildlife departments at http://www.fws.gov/offices/statelinks.html

10) Protect Wildlife Habitat

Perhaps the greatest threat that faces many species is the widespread destruction of habitat. Scientists tell us the best way to protect endangered species is to protect the special places where they live. Wildlife must have places to find food, shelter and raise their young. Logging, oil and gas drilling, over-grazing and development all result habitat destruction. Endangered species habitat should be protected and these impacts minimized.

By protecting habitat, entire communities of animals and plants can be protected together. Parks, wildlife refuges, and other open space should be protected near your community. Open space also provides us with great places to visit and enjoy. Support wildlife habitat and open space protection in your community. When you are buying a house, consider your impact on wildlife habitat.

To get involved, contact the Endangered Species Coaltion staff.

or find a group near you on the  ESC member organization list.

Thanks for caring about our nation’s wildlife and wild places!

 Info found on Stop Extinction. Org

At Least 26 Elephants Killed in Central Africa By Poachers

Poachers have killed 26 elephants in Dzanga-Ndoki national park, Central African Republic. Photograph: Martin Harvey/ Martin Harvey/Corbis"

Poachers have killed 26 elephants in Dzanga-Ndoki national park, Central African Republic. Photograph: Martin Harvey/ Martin Harvey/Corbis”

According to wildlife officials, seventeen armed poachers invaded the protected sanctuary Dzanga-Ndoki National Park on May 6 killing at least 26 elephants, including four calves.

The elephant carcasses were found around Dzanga Bai, which is an open area where anywhere from 50 to 200 elephants gather to drink daily.

For the entire story, click here.

Poaching Pushes 2 Madagascar Tortoises to Brink Of Extinction

Illegal poaching is “raging out of control” and pushing radiated and ploughshare tortoises to the brink of extinction, according to a statement from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The ploughshare tortoise, found only in Madagascar, is being collected out of existence by illegal wildlife traffickers.
CREDIT: Turtle Conservancy

It was reported that more than 1,000 of the animals have been confiscated from smugglers in the first three months of 2013 alone!   A total of 54 ploughshare tortoises were intercepted in Thailand, and the species is “now the most common tortoise for sale in Bangkok’s infamous Chatuchak wildlife market,” according to the statement.

For the complete story, click here.

Earth Day: A Project Of The Center For Biological Diversity

CONDOMS HELP CELEBRATE EARTH DAY 2013

On Earth Day — April 22, 2013 — the Center for Biological Diversity celebrated endangered species at 20 events in 13 states across the country. More than 15,000 condoms were distributed in colorful packages (with artwork by Roger Peet) featuring species threatened by unsustainable human population growth, including the Florida panther and leatherback sea turtle. Events included a diversity of celebrations at parks, zoos, farmers’ markets, college and university campuses and more. Download our Earth Day fact sheet, which is chock-full of information on human population growth’s ecological effects.

Panther

FLORIDA PANTHER 
A predator of enormous physical grace and power, the Florida panther is one of the most majestic large felines in the wild. But while Florida’s human population has nearly doubled over the past 30 years and the coasts have become more crowded, development has increasingly moved inland, coming into direct conflict with panthers and the habitat they need to survive and thrive.

SeahorseDWARF SEAHORSE

This inch-tall, curly-tailed fish occurs only in shallow seagrass areas in the Gulf of Mexico, along the Atlantic Coast of Florida and in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, as the Gulf gets more crowded and industrialized, this seahorse faces more threats to its existence. Widespread loss of seagrass habitat due to pollution, boat damage and global warming is pushing this minuscule creature to the brink.

HellbenderHELLBENDER

Hellbenders may not be pretty, but at 2 feet long, they’re North America’s largest amphibian. Like many amphibians, the hellbender faces extinction from the strain that the effects of human population (including pollution) put on our freshwater streams in the southeastern United States.

PloverWESTERN SNOWY PLOVER

The western snowy plover, a pocket-sized shorebird, is surviving against the odds. Its habitat of open, sandy beaches is prime target for increasingly destructive human activity. Being small doesn’t prevent plovers from playing a big role in beach ecosystems, but it does make them vulnerable to the unnatural disturbances that plague their home.

LeatherbackLEATHERBACK SEA TURTLE 

As ancient as the dinosaurs, the leatherback sea turtle is the heaviest reptile on Earth. Leatherback turtles are dependent on seashores for their lifecycle. With half the world’s human population living within 100 miles of the coastline, their nesting grounds are severely threatened by development.

Polar Bear POLAR BEAR

An international icon of global warming, the polar bear is going extinct as the Arctic sea ice melts beneath its feet because of the greenhouse gas emissions of 7 billion people — especially those in high-consumption nations like the United States. The bear was put on the U.S. endangered species list in 2008.

Two New Species: Mouse Lemur Lookalikes

(Credit: Photo courtesy of Peter Kappeler)

Scientists have identified two new species of mouse lemur, the saucer-eyed, teacup-sized primates native to the African island of Madagascar.

Mouse lemurs have lived in Madagascar for 7 to million years.  But since humans arrived on the island some 2,500 years ago, logging and slash and burn agriculture have taken their toll on the forests where these tree-dwelling primates live.

Only 10 percent of Madagascar’s original forests remain today, which makes lemurs the most endangered mammals in the world according to the IUCN.

For the entire story, click here.