Wildlife

Endangered Giraffe

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 27, 2008

Blog

A Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) study revealed that man and nature are threatening at least six distinct species of the African Giraffe, which are highly endangered and could face extinction if not protected. 


The extinction threat was real since giraffes are listed as lower risk in the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List, "under the assumption that giraffe species are considered a single species and therefore managed as such". 

"Severe poaching and armed conflict in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya reduced the number of reticulated giraffes   from about 27,000 individuals in the 1990s to currently fewer than 3,000 individuals over the past decade."

Environment Awareness

Cigarette butts

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 23, 2008

Blog

Cigarette butts, snack wrappers and take-out food and beverage containers are the most commonly littered items. Cigarettes are one of the most insidious forms of litter: Each discarded butt takes 12 years to break down, all the while leaching toxic elements such as cadmium, lead and arsenic into soil and waterways.

Interlinking of Rivers

Dams Coming Down in U.S!

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 23, 2008

Blog

Dams Coming Down

 

Two years of closed-door negotiations between farmers, Indian tribes, fishermen, conservation groups and government agencies have resulted in an unprecedented (but very conditional) agreement to remove four hydroelectric dams now operating along an embattled 300-mile stretch of the Klamath River in southern Oregon and northern California. The goal of the dam removal is to restore runs of the now-endangered salmon that were once plentiful in the region and to re-assign contentious water usage rights throughout the region accordingly..............

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Though it was once the third-most productive salmon river on the West Coast, the Klamath has suffered over the last several decades as a result of misguided hatchery practices, overfishing, development and the loss of habitat to dams, mining and logging. For the dams to actually be removed, the federal government would have to approve the dam removal plan (and put up the estimated $400 million to cover costs). Then, if dam owner PacifiCorp (a major regional utility) is willing to go along with the plan, the dams could be removed as soon as 2015.

 

 

Source:  http://www.emagazine.com/view/?4054

Climate change and Global Warming

Organic farming combats global warming!

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 21, 2008

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Organic farming combats global warming

 

Data from The Rodale Institute’s® long-running comparison of organic and conventional cropping systems confirms that organic methods are far more effective at removing the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, from the atmosphere and fixing it as beneficial organic matter in the soil………..

 

The key lies in the handling of organic matter (OM): because soil organic matter is primarily carbon, increases in soil OM levels will be directly correlated with carbon sequestration. While conventional farming typically depletes soil OM, organic farming builds it through the use of composted animal manures and cover crops………

 

 

"Agriculture and forestry are a very potent sink--they will make the emissions problem easier to get a handle on,”

Organic farming for carbon capture is also compatible with other environmental and social goals such as reducing erosion, minimizing impact on native ecosystems, and improving farmer livelihoods.

 

Source: http://www.newfarm.org/depts/NFfield_trials/1003/carbonsequest.shtml

Environment Awareness

Are plastics the villain again?

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 17, 2008

Blog

Thousands of chemicals have come on the market in the past 30 years, and some of them are showing up in people’s bodies in low levels. Scientists studying obesity are focusing on endocrine disrupters - which have already been linked to reproductive problems in animals and humans - because they have become so common in the environment and are known to affect fat cells.

But could something in the environment also be making Americans fat in epidemic numbers?Animal studies in recent years raise the possibility that prenatal exposure to minuscule amounts of common chemicals - found in everything from baby bottles to toys - could predispose a body to a life of weight gain. The chemicals, known as endocrine disrupters, mimic natural hormones that help regulate, for example, how many fat cells a body makes and how much fat to store in them.These findings have led some scientists to put forth a provocative argument: They say diet and too little exercise clearly are key reasons for the worldwide rise in obesity in the past 20 years, but they may not be the only ones. Food intake and exercise just haven’t changed that much in that period, they argue. And while genetics obviously play a role - just think of someone you know who can eat three Big Macs a day and never gain an ounce - these researchers say it would be impossible to see such widespread genetic change in just two decades, giving them more reason to suspect the environment.

Source:
http://www.boston.com/news/health/articles/2008/01/14/is_plastic_making_us_fat/

Corporates and Environment

Who is responsible

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 17, 2008

Blog

"In early 2007, thousands of cats and dogs in North America fell ill with kidney ailments. Many of the pets had dined chez Menu Foods Inc., a company in Ontario, Canada, that manufactures pet foods for more than 100 brands, including Procter & Gamble, Iams, Colgate-Palmolive’s Science Diet, and Wal-Mart’s Ol’ Roy. By mid-April, investigators had traced the animals’ illnesses to melamine, an industrial chemical that tainted a few of Menu Foods’ raw ingredients. They then followed the thread to two suppliers in China, which had spiked the ingredients to cut costs and boost profits.

So where should the public point its finger? Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Wal-Mart, and the many other corporations that own the pet food brands? Menu Foods, which mixed the kibble? The Chinese manufacturers, which adulterated the ingredients? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which failed to detect anything amiss? The stores that didn’t remove the foods from the shelves, even after Menu Foods recalled them? "

Read the full article at http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/the_responsibility_paradox/

 

Bio-Diversity

Rainforest -A Christmas Song

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 27, 2007

Blog
Watch a poignant short clip on "Silent Night", the most popular Christmas Song of all times, at the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQFWEc7I_jk

Ezine

Prizes to win!

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 20, 2007

Blog

ERIC NEE: What are the differences between traditional grant giving and using prizes as a way to stimulate social change?

THOMAS VANDER ARK: Quite simply, it’s the difference between push and pull. Traditional philanthropy is a push mechanism. You pick an organization, you make an investment, you may provide advice and performance management, and you hope that they are successful and that the sector evolves as you had anticipated. Prize philanthropy is a pull mechanism where you set a goal, invite the world to compete, and hope to be surprised by the new money, the new minds, and the new methods brought to the competition.

Source:
http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/15_minutes_with_thomas_vander_ark/

See the link (Wildlife Quiz)

http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/ezine/detail.asp?at_id=564&m=12&y=2007

 for IndianWildlifeClub’s prize program!

Man Animal Conflict

Human elephant conflict

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 20, 2007

Blog

The Ugly Result Of Human-Wildlife Conflict

Assam_poisoning0028_2© IFAW/WTI

Elephants that migrate through human populated areas of India are bound to enter into conflict with farmers and other land owners. Considering there is no "safe haven" or isolated area in all of India that is free of human habituation, elephant and human conflict in inevitable. Living in such close proximity to each other has resulted in hundreds of animals falling into man-made ditches ("traps") and has caused others to be hit by cars. 

The image shown here displays the ugly and cruel side of this conflict. The poisoning of migrating herds is a common tool used to rid of them completely. The elephant here is a victim of poisoning who also had a message carved into the side of it’s hide that reads: "Paddy thief, elephant Laden". The culprit of this poisoning is equating these endangered animals with terrorists.

 Source: http://www.animalrescueblog.org/2007/12/ifaw-elephants.html


Anthropomorphism

Jumping to freedom-Salmon

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 18, 2007

Blog

Salmon Jumping to Freedom


Down on the fish farm, workers could not understand why the number of brown trout had suddenly taken a dive. But close observation revealed the reason - an aquatic version of the Great Escape.

The resourceful fish are leaping 3ft out of the water and into an eight-inch pipe which brings fresh water into the farm near Alresford, Hampshire. Following their instincts the trout, cousins of the Atlantic salmon, then swim against the flow for 30ft before finding freedom at the other end as they plop into a tributary of the River Itchen. Simon Johnson, director of the Wild Trout Trust, said: “Brown trout do have migratory tendencies and swim upstream, especially in November and December. “The water coming down from the pipe is oxygenating the pond and this could be kicking in their natural instincts. “They might well think it is a waterfall and are trying to head up it to find a place to spawn.”

The Escape Committee were caught in the act by wildlife photographer Dennis Bright, 59. A farm worker said: “It is remarkable how they manage to jump so high and through such a small pipe. “We run a low-intensity farm and like to let nature thrive so we don’t net our ponds. As a result we lose up to 40 per cent of our stock to predators every year. “To see us losing more fish through pipes that are designed to help them is a bit of a blow. But to be honest, if I were them I would be trying to escape too. Good luck to ‘em.” Wildlife photographer Dennis Bright, 59, captured the amazing aerobatic fish earlier this week. He said: “It was an incredible sight. “Swimming against the current is instinctive for trout as they head up stream to spawn but they are doing a remarkable job getting through that pipe.

 




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