Focusing On The Conservation of Ecosystems, Habitats & Wildlife

Sushi Restaurant in CA Serving Endangered Whale Meat




Charles Hambleton, an associate producer of the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” learned from friends that a restaurant in Santa Monica, CA was serving whale.  He decided to team up with animal activists who dined at the restaurant while wearing small cameras and mini microphones.  “Video of their meal shows the two activists, both vegan, being served what the waitress can be heard calling “whale” — thick pink slices — that they take squeamish bites of before tossing into a Ziploc bag in a purse,” reports the New York Times.

The meat was taken to a lab which was found to be the flesh of the Sei Whale.

Sei Whale: Photo found on www.marinewhales.com

So how is it possible that a sushi restaurant called The Hump in Santa Monica, California was serving “thick pink slices” of meat which were later found to be the flesh of Sei whale, which is an endangered species?

It is called “kujira” in Japanese and this marine mammal has been dwindling in numbers for years.  The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 makes it illegal to take these mammals from U.S. waters and the Sei whales are protected internationally, but that hasn’t stopped Japan from killing these creatures.  Claiming that they need them for scientific purposes, Japan has exempted itself from the moratorium on capturing the whales.

The question most people are asking now is “how could Sei Whale meat end up in a sushi restaurant in one of the most environmentally friendly places in the United States?”

Number of Tigers In The Wild Still Declining

Believe it or not, the population of tigers (which is the largest of the big cats) has declined by 95 percent in the last century.  What will happen in the next decade?  Will we ever stop poaching, killing and destroying their habitats before it’s too late?

Bengal Tiger: Click on Photo to View the Tiger Population Table

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature data suggests that “the global tiger population has declined to an estimated range form 3,402 – 5,140 tigers”, revised down from estimates of 5,000 to 7,000 made a few years earlier.  The data also stated that the Bali, Caspian, and Javan tigers are already classified as extinct (in the 1940s, 1970s, and 1980s, respectively).

Bluefin Tuna: Most Endangered Species Due to Severe Overfishing






According to an article today in The New York Times, Japan plans to ignore any ban on Bluefin Tuna.  The article stated that Japan will not join in any agreement to ban international trade in Atlantic bluefin tuna under the United Nations treaty on endangered species, the country’s top fisheries negotiator said.




Next month at a CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention) meeting in Doha, Qatar, a formal proposal for the Bluefin Tuna ban is scheduled which requires the approval of two-thirds of its 175 member countries.


The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) affirmed in October 2009 that Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks are declining dramatically, by 72% in the Eastern Atlantic, and by 82% in the Western Atlantic.

Brink of Extinction for Half of all Primates

According to many experts from across the world, nearly half of all primate species are in danger of becoming extinct.


Conservationists said in a news statement recently about the release of the report Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates, 2008-2010 that “mankind’s closest living relatives–the world’s apes, monkeys, lemurs and other primates–are on the brink of extinction and in need of urgent conservation measures”.





Conservationist say this threat is mostly due to the destruction of tropical forests, illegal wildlife trade and commercial bush-meat hunting.

Celebrating The Year of The Tiger: 2010

TIGERS are known for their ferocity and their power. In Chinese astrology, one of the 12 signs is the sign of the tiger.  Those born in the year of the tiger are assigned the traits of being both colorful and unpredictable.  They are adventurous, powerful, and passionate.




There are possibly as few as 3,200 TIGERS left in the wild. These big cats are the most endangered and threatened species on EARTH. To read more about this “King of the Jungle” CLICK here.


Unfortunately, according to a new report from the conservation nonprofit WWF, there are only 350 wild tigers remaining in Asia’s Mekong River region.  This loss is contributed from the drive by trade in tiger parts.  To watch a video by WWF, click on the link below or or the tiger photo above.


Video Courtesy WWF Greater Mekong


Bat Fungus Killing Thousands of Bats in U.S.

A deadly fungus called “white-nose syndrome” which has only appeared in hibernating bats along the northeastern seaboard from Vermont to Virgina is now spreading throughout the eastern United States and is on the move.


Photograph courtesy N. Heaslip, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation



This fungus is found on the wings, ears and muzzles of infected bats.  Unfortunately, the two bats that were infected were discovered in Tennessee which is approximately 65 miles from a confirmed infection site in Virginia.  If this white-nose syndrome spreads throughout Tennessee, it could wipe out two endangered bat species (Gray and Indiana bat), scientist say.

Baby Black Rhinoceros born at Germany's Berlin Zoo




The Berlin Zoo received a special gift last week – a baby Indian Black Rhinoceros.  On February 7th, this calf which has still not been named has been a wonderful addition to the zoo.




According to some statistics, there are only about 3,600 Indian Black Rhinoceros left in the wild.

Zimbabwean Security Forces – Poaching? – Really?

In a news conference today, the leader of a U.N. program to protect endangered species charged Zimbabwean security forces of being involved in the poaching of elephants and rhinoceros.   In the last 2 years, the rhinoceros population has decreased so dramatically that it is now on the verge of extinction in Zimbabwe.


Mark Davis, DVM travels to Zimbabwe to assist in the translocation of endangered black rhinos.  He is a technical advisor for the IRF (International Rhino Foundation). Click on the play button to watch the “Horror and Hope” of the Black Rhino.





WWF has reported recently that the demand in Asia for the rhinoceros horn for medical use has spearheaded the poaching in Africa and Asia to an all time high.


Dr Susan Lieberman of WWF describes the severity of the situation by saying that:


“This is the worst rhino poaching we have seen in many years and it is critical for governments to stand up and take action to stop this deadly threat to rhinos worldwide. It is time to crack down on organized criminal elements responsible for this trade, and to vastly increase assistance to range countries in their enforcement efforts.”

US-born Giant Pandas Head Back to China

Leaving on a jet plane…Tai Shan & Mei Lan Leave USA




Mei Lan of Zoo Atlanta and Tai Shan of the National Zoo in Washington were loaded into special travel crates for their flight back to their new home in Sichuan China.


In 2006, the female panda (Mei Lan) was the first cub born at the Atlanta Zoo.  She had a panda cam that was provided by EarthCam where people could watch her online.


To watch their Farewell You Tube video, click on the play button below.



Sea Turtles of Tortuguero

The Sea Turtles of Tortuguero are absolutely the main attraction of Tortuguero National Park.


If you plan on visiting the beach at night to see the spectacular sight of these marvelous creatures laying their eggs, a guide will accompany you to the beach (no one is allowed on the beach unaccompanied after 6:00 pm).



To learn more about the different types of turtles that visit Tortuguero and their nesting schedule CLICK HERE.