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Month: July 2018

Iceland Accused of Killing Blue Whale in Hunt

Update on the whaling situation in Iceland. The whaling company has already slaughtered 22 whales to include the young male blue whale (identified by experts). However, the company claims this is a fin/blue whale hybrid and is “legal” according to them. Regardless this is horrific and pressure needs to be placed on Iceland and its government to stop the hunt of endangered fin and critically-endangered blue whales. #boycottIceland continues.

Humans Are Causing Animals & Plants to go Extinct 1000x Natura Rate

The death of Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino highlights the plight of many of Earth’s disappearing biodiversity. Extinction is a normal process and has been discussed on the podcast previously, see Episode 1. However, current extinction rates are 1000x a normal healthy ecosystem rate. Scientists are gravely considered at the current extinction crisis and rather than losing a few leaves here and there off the Tree of Life, we may end up losing entire branches. Again, we believe education and awareness are one of the main ways we can help our planet.

Humans are causing animals and plants to go extinct 1,000 times FASTER than their natural rate, warn scientists

 More Inclusive Ecological Planning Needed Argues Scientist

A team of researchers out of Australia published a paper arguing that instead of just setting aside natural areas a more inclusive approach is needed. They describe a shift is needed to a more ambitious ‘nature retention targets’ rather than the current model. In short, these targets would establish the baseline levels needed of for natural systems functions and then work towards supporting these.

Nature retention, not just protection, crucial to maintaining biodiversity and ecosystems: Scientists

Orcas Now Facing Extinction

Bad news coming out of North America with orca populations off the Pacific Northwest in decline. The diets of these Southern Resident Killer Whale populations are primarily Chinook Salmon, but as these salmon populations continue to decline, so are the orca populations. With a proposed gas pipeline leading to Vancouver, Canada, experts warn boat traffic will have detrimental effects on these whales.

Ocean ‘Icon’ in Danger: US Pacific Northwest Orcas Facing Extinction

Palm Oil Disastrous for Wildlife But Is the Best Oil We Can Produce

In an effort to feed over 7 billion people, palm oil is a major source of cheap oil consumed worldwide. In fact, it provided a third of the world’s vegetable oil from only 10% of the land used for oil-producing crops. The IUCN reports that palm oil plantations, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia are damaging over 190 threatened species. They also report ‘sustainable’ palm oil is not much better in preventing deforestation. Yet, they also report that other crops that can be used could be much more devastating for other wildlife. For example, soy or corn being grown in the Amazon basin. Therefore, strategies to ensure sustainable palm oil is in fact properly certified and maintained is strongly urged.

Palm oil ‘disastrous’ for wildlife but here to stay, experts warn

New Book on De-Extinction

A Swedish Science Journalist, Ms. Torill Kornfeldt has released a book about traveling the world and talking to scientist about their work in bringing back extinct animals. We have an incredible interview next week with a scientist who recently published a paper discussing opinions on de-extinction from conservation biologists. In the provided link is an interview about this book and the idea of ‘de-extinction.’

Jurassic World? Bringing back extinct animals with Torill Kornfeldt

New Species of the Week

Clistopyga crassicaudata Wasp

Whenu Hou Diving Petrel

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Honey Badger Takes on an Antelope, and It Does Not Go Well

Words cannot describe this. Be sure to catch Episode 10 Hijinks with the Honeybadger and then this series of images will make more sense. BTW the badger walked away with just wounded pride.

Link to Article HERE

Images created by Dirk Theron/Caters News

Giraffe Killing for a Trophy Sets Internet Ablaze

This week a Kentucky (USA) woman shared her image of an 18-year old male giraffe she had shot and killed on a trophy hunt in South Africa. Many shared the image, some defending her, but many condemning her. This brings up again the argument that trophy hunting of endangered species is actually good and leads to money being contributed to conservation of many species. However, in the case of trophy hunting in Africa this is far from true. In fact, very few gaming ranches actually do work and donate money to conservation. In a well referenced write up which will be posted below, the authors argue that ecotourism is far more valuable to helping conserve endangered species compared to trophy hunts. They go on to state many more compelling arguments on why trophy hunting does very little to conserve animals and is nothing more than a selling tag line. We actually visited this issue last November, which can be read HERE.

The Myths of Trophy Hunting

Kentucky Woman Branded ‘White American Savage’ After Posing with Dead Giraffe She Shot

Kenya Plans Death Penalty for Poachers

It is no secret that poaching of many endangered species within the African continent and around the world has only increased in the past two decades. In a bid to save their animals, and understandably to protect their valuable tourism industry, Kenya has proposed to sentence poachers to death for their crimes. The debate is now currently raging in many circles.

SOS Elephants: Kenya Summit on Poaching Crisis

Kenya’s death penalty plan for poachers has stirred a hornet’s nest

Critically Endangered Red Wolf May Lose Critical Protection

In a surprise move, the United States Department of Interior proposed to allow private land owners to shoot any red wolf that may wander on to their property in the state of North Carolina. We recently did a Red Wolf episode and we highly recommend you listen to it if you have not yet it is

Episode 28: Last Howl of the Red Wolf

Episode 29: Autumn Lindey and Red Wolf Conservation

There are less than 50 Red Wolves estimated to be left in the wild. This is clearly misguided judgement and we highly recommend you contact your political leaders (if in the USA) to record your displeasure in this measure.

Interior Department plans to let people kill endangered red wolves

Support the Red Wolf Coalition  and Defenders of Wildlife

NOAA Sending Out Sailing Drones

In a new era of technology and science, NOAA is launching 11 unmanned sailing drones to conduct oceanic research. The drones have multiple measuring capabilities such as temperature, salinity, fish populations using sonar and more. Such an incredible advancement.

Flotilla of saildrones deploy to Arctic and Pacific for earth science missions

Increase of Marijuana Farms Leading to Humbolt Marten Decline

In a story similar to that of the Black Footed Ferret, the Humbolt Marten is facing extinction. Not due to direct causes but by by-products of farmers using poisons to kill off rodents that may harm their crops and equipment. Many farmers in the region, particularly marijuana farmers protecting plastic irrigation tubes from rats and mice, are using anti-coagulant poisons to kill them off.  However, the Humbolt Marten eats these rodents as part of their diet and thus are dying off as well. Fortunately, the state of California is beginning to implement plans to help this species.

Sprawling Marijuana Farms are Driving this Adorable Little Creature to Extinction

Hogle Zoo Masks its Rhino

Jim Weinpress this week talked about one of the animals he used to care for, ‘Princess’ the white rhino. Apparently during the spring and summer Princess suffered from allergies and insects which resulted in irritating her eyes. The Hogle Zoo has worked with multiple agencies to develop a fly mask to help protect her eyes and she now wears it after months of training.

Hogle Zoo rhino ‘Princess’ gets royal treatment, custom mask made for eye irritation

New Species of the Week

Shieldtail Snake

Swire’s Snailfish






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