The European bison population is no longer vulnerable

January 14, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The European bison’s population has increased sufficiently for it to be removed from IUCN’s list of vulnerable species. Thanks to long-term conservation work, the population has increased to more than 6,200, up from a 2003 figure of only 1,800. Rather than vulnerable, the European bison is now classified as “almost threatened.” Romania is the place to be if you’re a bison — or somebody who wants to see them roaming free. The largest populations are in Vân?tori Neam? Natural Park, ?arcu Mountains and F?g?r? Mountains. The Tarcu herd of over 65 bison was developed by WWF Romania and Rewilding Europe. Related: Cow escapes pen to live wild with a herd of bison in Poland The 5-year LIFE Bison project started in 2016 and is set to end March 30, 2021. Its mission is to create a viable population of bison in Romania that would breed in the wild, promoting biodiversity . The project also aims to use bison as an ecotourism draw that will help local communities. The LIFE Bison project is co-funded by the LIFE Programme, the European Union’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action that was created in 1992. “The bison calves born in the wild and the support of local communities are good signs that bison belong to these ancestral lands, but let’s not forget that the species is still threatened by various challenges, from habitat loss to ambiguity in legislative processes,” said Marina Drug?, LIFE Bison project manager, WWF-Romania, in a press release. “That is why we believe that only by working together can we ensure the progress made in the last 70 years will not decline, but that we will witness a change for the better.” The European bison hit a low point early in the 20th century, when it only survived in captivity. The reintroduction of the bison into the wild began in the 1950s. So far, Russia, Poland and Belarus have the largest subpopulations. But the species will still rely on conservation measures for the foreseeable future. + LIFEBison Photography by Daniel Mîrlea/Rewilding Europe via WWF

Here is the original: 
The European bison population is no longer vulnerable

Trump administration reverses migratory bird protections

January 7, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Trump administration reverses migratory bird protections

In a last-ditch effort to protect fossil fuel companies, the Trump administration has reversed a conservation law that prohibits such companies from killing migratory birds accidentally. Fossil fuel industries have long been seeking the reversal of the law, which is part of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The law has been protecting migratory birds from deaths caused by disasters like oil spills for over 100 years. The rollback now means that the federal government will not fine or prosecute companies that lead to the death of birds through their actions. Accidental environmental disasters such as oil spills and electrocutions could kill thousands of birds without any implications, as long as the cause of death was not intended to kill the birds, even if the company was conducting illegal activity. Related: Migratory birds triumph over Trump administration “This rule simply reaffirms the original meaning and intent of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by making it clear that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not prosecute landowners, industry and other individuals for accidentally killing a migratory bird,” said David Bernhardt, Secretary of the Interior. However, environmentalists view the issue differently. Eric Glitzenstein, director of litigation at the Center for Biological Diversity, said the move is cruel and harmful to biodiversity .  “It’s horrendous,” Glitzenstein said. “It will just have a really overwhelming negative effect on our already dwindling bird populations.” The Migratory Bird Treaty Act was originally put in place to protect birds from poachers and hunters. The act made it illegal for any person to hunt, capture or kill birds or take their nests or eggs from certain listed species without a permit. Although the act did not clearly mention the accidental killing of birds, it has been instrumental in protecting birds from the actions of fossil fuel companies. The act was used under the Obama administration in prosecuting seven oil companies in North Dakota for killing 28 birds. The same act was instrumental in a $100 million settlement against BP for the killing of 1 million birds in the Deepwater Horizon Spill. Via The New York Times Image via NPS/Patrick Myers

See the original post:
Trump administration reverses migratory bird protections

Scientists discover 503 new species in 2020

January 4, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Scientists discover 503 new species in 2020

A total of 503 new species were discovered by scientists at London’s Natural History Museum in 2020. According to the scientists, the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop the work of identifying new species at the museum. Although the museum remained closed to the public, scientists continued working behind closed doors, making findings and providing valuable information to the scientific community across the world. Tim Littlewood, an executive director of science at the museum , said that identifying new species can only be made possible by referencing already known species. The museum plays an important role in providing species references and continues to increase the number of known species annually by identifying new ones. Related: IUCN’s latest Red List update comes with good and bad news “Once again, an end of year tally of new species has revealed a remarkable diversity of life forms and minerals hitherto undescribed,” Littlewood said. “The Museum’s collection of specimens provide a resource within which to find new species as well as a reference set to recognize specimens and species as new.” In an article published by the Natural History Museum , Littlewood noted that a decline in biodiversity across the world calls for rapid action in identifying species. “In a year when the global mass of biodiversity is being outweighed by human-made mass it feels like a race to document what we are losing,” he said. As time passes, many species available in nature are driven to extinction before they are even discovered. According to a  United Nations Report , the native species of land-based habitats have decreased by at least 20% since 1900. The report also shows that about one-third of all marine mammal species are currently threatened. Among the 503 new species identified this year is the unique and critically endangered Popa langur monkey. “Monkeys are one of the most iconic groups of mammals, and these specimens have been in the collections for over a hundred years,” said Roberto Portela Miguez of the Natural History Museum. “But we didn’t have the tools or the expertise to do this work before.” For humanity to protect more species, it is important that we start by knowing which species exist. The work being done by the Natural History Museum lays the foundation for the protection of endangered species worldwide. + Natural History Museum Via EcoWatch Photography by Thaung Win via Natural History Museum

Go here to see the original: 
Scientists discover 503 new species in 2020

Raphael Warnock could prioritize environmental justice in Senate

January 4, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Raphael Warnock could prioritize environmental justice in Senate

The January 5 Senate runoff in Georgia pits two very different candidates against each other. There’s incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler, a pro-Trump business executive. Then there’s Raphael Warnock, a Democrat and senior pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, which has been part of a growing trend of Black churches pushing for environmental justice. Loeffler has warned that Warnock will turn the U.S. into a socialist country, as reported by Financial Times . Warnock said in a statement that it’s past time to fix “environmental wrongs and provide communities on the frontlines of our climate crisis a voice and a means to fight back against the pollution that threatens their children and families.” In order to achieve “true justice for Black and Brown communities in Georgia and across the country,” he said in the statement, people must address “historic shortcomings by placing equity and justice at the center of federal climate and environmental policy.” He indicated that he planned to do this work in the Senate. Related: How to support environmental justice Ebenezer Baptist Church is one of the most famous churches in the country, because Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. served as pastor there. The church was known as a leader in the civil rights movement and has been getting more involved in environmental activism since the early 2000s, when the church’s singles program was transformed into an environmental ministry. Instead of the usual singles activities, participants upgraded the church’s energy efficiency and started community gardens. “We were trying to care for God’s creation,” said Garry Harris, an Atlanta engineer and sustainability entrepreneur who led the singles ministry for more than 10 years. Warnock has been senior pastor at Ebenezer since 2005. In 2019, he hosted an interfaith meeting at Ebenezer to address climate change. Al Gore and Reverend William Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, also participated. Environmental justice has been coming to the forefront as more people have become increasingly aware of the preponderance of polluting industries in low-income neighborhoods. Black churches often frame climate issues as public health, as congregants may live close to chemical plants, oil refineries or toxic waste dumps. If Warnock wins the runoff, he will have the power to speak up for these communities. Via Inside Climate News Image via Wikimedia Commons

See more here:
Raphael Warnock could prioritize environmental justice in Senate

Humane Society UK finds top brands selling real fur disguised as faux fur

December 23, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Humane Society UK finds top brands selling real fur disguised as faux fur

The Humane Society International (HSI) U.K. has warned shoppers to be wary of purchasing faux fur products online, even from leading brands including Amazon , eBay, Shein and Romwe, among others. This warning follows a recent HSI investigation, which revealed that online retailers are selling items labeled to contain faux fur despite actually including real fur. In the investigation, HSI’s undercover shoppers purchased various faux fur products; the items were then subjected to laboratory tests to determine whether they contain animal fur. As it turns out, most of the items were made with real fur. In the investigation, a beanie hat was purchased at £13.99 (about $18.79) from Amazon U.K., a pair of faux fur fluffy sliders at £16.99 (about $22.82) from eBay, a faux fur key chain from Shein at £2.49 (about $3.34), and faux fur pompom earrings, also £2.49, purchased from Shein were all found to contain real animal fur. Related: Denmark’s top fur cooperative is closing “Fur is cruel, which is why most Brits don’t want to buy it,” HSI Executive Director Claire Bass said. “So it’s really concerning that yet again we’ve found popular online shopping websites selling an alarming number of products described as faux fur which have turned out to be trimmed with real fur from fox, mink, raccoon, dog, and rabbit.” Other brands found to be selling misleading products include Just Your Outfit, Danielli and Boho Styles, all of which were found to sell “faux fur” products that contain real animal fur. Some products were even labeled “ vegan ” and “cruelty-free”. Fur farming is currently illegal in the U.K., but there is no ban on selling fur products. HSI has been running the Fur Free Britain campaign, which has gained momentum, with animal rights groups, celebrities and even politicians fighting to stop the sale of animal fur products entirely. “Fur-farming is rightly banned in the U.K., but for as long as animal fur from overseas is allowed to be sold here, we remain complicit in the cruelty, creating a minefield for shoppers who wholeheartedly reject that cruelty,” Bass said. “We urge the government to bring forward plans to implement a fur sales ban in the U.K. so that British consumers can trust that their ethical purchasing decisions are not in vain.” + Humane Society International Via VegNews Image via Marcus Bellamy

Continued here:
Humane Society UK finds top brands selling real fur disguised as faux fur

Court issues largest fine for wildlife crime ever for a demolished bat habitat

December 15, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Court issues largest fine for wildlife crime ever for a demolished bat habitat

U.K.-based construction company Bellway housebuilders has been fined 600,000 pounds (about $800,000) for demolishing a bat roost in South London. This is the largest fine issued to any party for a wildlife crime in history, according to local police. The company carried out the demolitions in 2018. When faced with the charges, the representatives admitted to destroying the home and breeding site of bats in Artillery Place Greenwich. The location is a well-documented bat roosting and breeding site. Before the demolition, soprano pipistrelle bats had been documented at the same location in 2017. In the U.K., all species of bats are protected by the law. Anyone found tampering with the mammals or their habitats is subject to prosecution. According to the Metropolitan Police, Bellway has now been forced to pay the fine plus other charges. The court required the company to pay an additional 30,000 pounds (about $40,000), and Bellway agreed to donate 20,000 pounds (about $27,000) to the Bat Conservation Trust. Related: Dutch town helps out rare bat species by installing “bat-friendly” streetlights “With the expert assistance of colleagues from specialist units within the Met, the officers constructed evidence to prove that the company had indeed committed an offense by carrying out work at a site where bats were known to inhabit,” said Metropolitan Police Inspector David Hawton. “Bellway Homes has admitted responsibility for this and I hope it reinforces the message that this legislation is there for a reason and should be adhered to.” The case was decided at Woolwich crown court in early December, when the company pleaded guilty to the destruction of a bat habitat. Due to compelling evidence, Bellway had no other option but to accept the charges and pay the fines imposed. Evidenced revealed during the hearing showed that Bellway was notified in its planning phase about the need to find mitigating measures for the protected species as well as to secure a protected species license. Still, the company defied warnings and went forward with the project. Via The Guardian Image via Rodrigo Curi

Excerpt from:
Court issues largest fine for wildlife crime ever for a demolished bat habitat

House passes Big Cat Public Safety Act

December 9, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on House passes Big Cat Public Safety Act

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a landmark legislation that will see big cats protected from human mistreatment. The Big Cat Public Safety Act (BCPSA) prohibits individuals from owning big cats in their homes or in roadside zoos. The act was passed by 272 votes, compared to 114 members who voted against the legislation. The bill, which was introduced by Michael Quigley and Brian Fitzpatrick in 2012, has been in the pipeline for a long time. Due to public outcry, the legislation has now been passed, prohibiting exploitation of big cats such as lions, leopards, and tigers . “After months of the public loudly and clearly calling for Congress to end private big cat ownership, I am extremely pleased that the House has now passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act,” Quigley said. “Big cats are wild animals that simply do not belong in private homes, backyards, or shoddy roadside zoos.” Related: ‘Tiger King’ drama overshadows abuse of captive tigers in U.S. The success in passing this legislation in the House has been attributed to the exposure of animal exploitation on the Netflix series “Tiger King.” Following the show’s popularity, in April 2020, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released footage showing the abuse that tigers and other big cats suffer at the hands of Joe Exotic, one of the leading personalities in “Tiger King.” The footage of Joe Exotic and other zoo workers routinely abusing big cats lead to public outrage, which resulted in varying levels of discipline for several people featured in the show. Joe Exotic himself is currently in prison for wildlife violations. The case of Joe Exotic’s mistreatment of wildlife is but one among many. Due to such incidences, multiple states have been implementing rules to control human-wildlife interactions. Currently, only five states, Nevada, Alabama, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, have no laws protecting big cats. As such, it has become necessary to have a federally recognized law to protect these animals. Keeping big cats in roadside zoos and homes also poses a public health threat. Since 1990, over 400 dangerous incidences, including 24 deaths, have been reported in 46 states and Washington, D.C. According to HSUS CEO Kitty Block and Sara Admunsen, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, the only way to end these incidences is by introducing federal legislation. “But to wipe this problem out for good, we need strong federal laws that will prevent unscrupulous people from forcing wild animals to spend their entire lives in abject misery while creating a public safety nightmare,” they said in a joint statement.  The Big Cat Public Safety Act now moves to the Senate floor for voting. Via VegNews Image via Sherri Burgan

Read more from the original source: 
House passes Big Cat Public Safety Act

Outdoor adventures in Hot Springs, Arkansas

December 9, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Outdoor adventures in Hot Springs, Arkansas

If you look at an aerial view of Hot Springs, Arkansas , you see a few rows of buildings squeezed in between wild, green mountains. This resort town, about an hour southwest of Little Rock, is an unusual place where you can walk out the door of your downtown hotel and within minutes be shopping at boutiques, taking the waters in a historic bathhouse or hiking a national park trail. I visited in October, as COVID-19 ramped up nationwide and everybody seemed to be seeking outdoor activities. I found plenty in Hot Springs. Outdoors fun in Hot Springs Hot Springs National Park encompasses both the cultural assets of Bathhouse Row and the natural resources, such as many miles of trails in the Ouachita Mountains. Because bathhouses aren’t as popular as they were in 1900, the park has to think of new strategies to maintain its rank as the 18th most-visited U.S. national park . “It’s a lot of work to keep the park relevant to the American public,” said park ranger Ashley Waymouth. She’s preparing programming for 2021, the park’s centennial. Some of the plans revolve around that magic number 100, such as rallying people to donate 100 hours of volunteer work to the park in 2021 or walk/bike/paddle 100 miles in Arkansas. There will even be a special ‘bark ranger’ event for dogs. Related: This modern art museum was once a cheese factory in Arkansas Early Hot Springs medical practitioners prescribed walks of various distances and altitude gains as part of their patients’ health regimens. Today within the national park, the Hot Springs and North Mountain Trails and the West Mountain Trails offer hiking options ranging from short, scenic loops to the 10-mile Sunset Trail. Many of the trails are interconnected. A short walk from downtown, the Peak Trail leads you to the Hot Springs Mountain Tower. You can take an elevator or walk 300-plus steps up the 216-foot tower to get a panoramic view of the surrounding forest. Once you reach the open-air observation deck, you’re 1,256 feet above sea level and can admire 140 square miles of park and mountain views. For a more cultivated outdoors experience, venture about 8 miles from town to Garvan Woodland Gardens . Now run by the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design, the garden started out as the personal project of philanthropist and lumber heiress Verna Cook Garvan. Now, visitors wander 5 miles of paved pathways through an ever-changing landscape, be it an explosion of daffodils in spring or fall color in October. The garden also attracts architecture buffs, especially to see the spectacular Anthony Chapel, a light-filled structure of glass, wood and stone. In 2018, a gorgeous and innovative treehouse opened within the Evans Children’s Adventure Garden, delighting adult visitors as well. Hot Springs is also a mountain biking destination. The Northwoods Trail System has 26 miles of single-track, multi-track and other types of trails, plus a bike skills park, to keep beginning to advanced riders entertained for days. Northwoods hosts the annual Gudrun MTB Festival each November. Trail runners and hikers can also use this trail system. Wellness The city of 37,000 was founded on wellness, and you’ll still find options along those lines. Some visitors expect natural hot springs like you find in the west. But Hot Springs’ water is protected. Springs are covered, and their flow is directed. You can still experience the water at two of Hot Springs’ historic bathhouses. The Buckstaff is a bit more old-school, while the Quapaw operates more like a modern spa. When I visited in October , public bathing was still happening despite COVID-19. Bathers were asked to social distance in the Quapaw’s multiple pools of varying temperatures. The water felt good, but not as relaxing as it would’ve been in pre-pandemic times. Hot Springs has several yoga studios, including Om Lounge Yoga and The Yoga Place . For the safest options during the pandemic, check out Garvan’s schedule of outdoor classes, such as yoga and tai chi in the garden. Dining out During my October visit, I found a couple of places for excellent vegan food. The best meal I had was lunch at the Superior Bathhouse : hot, salty, blistered shishito peppers followed by a Vietnamese-inspired veggie and noodle bowl. The tofu was so good, I suspected it was from an obscure Arkansas soy artisan, but it turned out to be the magic of the Superior’s chef. For breakfast or a caffeine fix, Kollective Coffee + Tea is the place to go. Owner Kevin Rogers’ family has long been into coffee, including a Christmas tradition of sending each other unusual coffees . “We’d try to one-up each other every year,” he said. Rogers was surprised when he found the best cup of coffee close to home. Onyx Coffee Lab , an award-winning roaster in Northwest Arkansas, supplies Kollective with its coffees. I had to agree it was one of the best soy cappuccinos I ever had. Kollective draws local and visiting vegans from around the country. “It’s pretty significant for us based on how rare it is in town,” Rogers said of the demand for the restaurant’s vegan dishes. In addition to a changing assortment of vegan pastries and mini cheesecakes, Kollective offers a couple of plant-based full breakfasts, including vegan frijoles rancheros. SQZBX is open for takeaway during the pandemic. This pizzeria offers vegan cheese, which is not exactly widely available in Arkansas. Where to stay I stayed at The Waters, which afforded a lively view of Hot Springs’ main drag. George Mann, best known for designing the Arkansas State Capitol, was the building’s main architect. It was called the Thompson Building when it was built in 1913 and originally housed doctors’ offices catering to visitors taking the healing waters. After a huge renovation in 2017, The Waters offers perfectly modern and spacious hotel rooms. But my favorite part was the lovingly restored tile work in the hallways. A popular rooftop bar provides beautiful views of Bathhouse Row and the mountains beyond. Hotel Hale , which just opened in 2019, is a boutique hotel inside a restored bathhouse. The owners incorporated exposed brick walls, original pine floors and arched windows into plush and comfortable rooms. If I ever visit again, I’d love to stay here. But I’d probably never leave the bathroom; the Hale pipes in hot spring water so you can take the waters in your own private bathtub. Images via Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat Editor’s Note: Like the author, we recommend taking the utmost care to keep those around you safe if you choose to travel. You can find more advice on travel precautions from the  CDC  and  WHO .

More:
Outdoor adventures in Hot Springs, Arkansas

New global bee map gives scientists a conservation baseline

November 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on New global bee map gives scientists a conservation baseline

Bees are crucial pollinators for crops that humans consume, but their populations are on the decline. Now, a new, global bee map is tracking more than 20,000 bee species on Earth to help aid in their conservation. Many scientists worked together on the map, including John Ascher of the National University of Singapore, who compiled a checklist of all known bee species. He and other researchers cross-referenced several datasets about bee life on every continent except Antarctica, which doesn’t support bee life. Related: New solar farm in Indiana boosts local pollinators The study concluded that bees are more prevalent in dry, temperate areas away from the equator. More bees make their home in the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere. The U.S., Africa and Middle East are popular with bees. These creatures prefer deserts to forests, since trees don’t offer as many food sources. “People think of bees as just honey bees, bumble bees, and maybe a few others, but there are more species of bees than of birds and mammals combined,” Ascher said. “The United States has by far the most species of bees, but there are also vast areas of the African continent and the Middle East which have high levels of undiscovered diversity, more than in tropical areas.” Honeybees have been well studied, but scientists have little information on more than 96% of bee species. While bee colonies are famous, many people might be surprised that some types of bees are solitary insects. “Many crops, especially in developing countries, rely on native bee species, not honey bees,” said study researcher Alice Hughes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Yunnan. “There isn’t nearly enough data out there about them, and providing a sensible baseline and analyzing it in a sensible way is essential if we’re going to maintain both biodiversity and also the services these species provide in the future.” The study’s authors hope that combining all of this bee data will be an important step toward conservation. + Science Daily Via BBC Image via Rebekka D

Originally posted here: 
New global bee map gives scientists a conservation baseline

Tristan da Cunha establishes a massive marine protected area

November 16, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Tristan da Cunha establishes a massive marine protected area

The government of Tristan da Cunha, a four-island archipelago of about 250 people, has announced that it will be protecting approximately 700,000 square kilometers of its waters. This U.K. overseas territory is a small, volcanic archipelago, but it is also one of the most diverse wildlife habitats globally. Tristan da Cunha has now established the world’s fourth-largest Marine Protected Area (MPA). Tristan da Cunha is home to some of the most rare and endangered species in the world. Some of the wildlife now protected under the new regulation includes sevengill sharks, yellow-nosed albatross and rockhopper penguins. The new law also protects birds and other vulnerable animals that live on the islands. Related: Surfing citizen scientists collect important ocean data Tristan da Cunha’s chief islander James Glass said that the measures to be implemented include banning bottom sea trawl fishing , sea mining and other activities that may harm the marine environment or its wildlife. “Our life on Tristan da Cunha has always been based around our relationship with the sea, and that continues today,” Glass said. “The Tristan community is deeply committed to conservation : on land, we’ve already declared protected status for more than half our territory.” The archipelago’s decision has been celebrated by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. This move will help the U.K. achieve its target of protecting 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. With the new MPA, the U.K. now protects a total of 4.3 square kilometers, which is equivalent to 1% of the world’s oceans. The U.K. government is now urging other nations across the world to take similar actions. “We are in danger of killing our seas. We are warming them up, making them more acidic and every day we fill them with turtle-choking, dolphin-poisoning plastic that is turning our ocean into a vast floating rubbish dump,” Johnson said. “We need collective global action if we are to bequeath a world that is every bit as wonderful and magnificent as the one we inherited.” Via The Guardian Image via Yagerq

Read the original here: 
Tristan da Cunha establishes a massive marine protected area

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 3229 access attempts in the last 7 days.