Welcoming Winter Wildlife

December 31, 2020 by  
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Watching butterflies and birds or spotting a rabbit contribute as … The post Welcoming Winter Wildlife appeared first on Earth 911.

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Welcoming Winter Wildlife

Can Solar Farms Promote Local Food Security, Wildlife Habitat?

December 17, 2020 by  
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A big concern with large-scale solar farms is the impact … The post Can Solar Farms Promote Local Food Security, Wildlife Habitat? appeared first on Earth 911.

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Can Solar Farms Promote Local Food Security, Wildlife Habitat?

French court persecutes noisy frogs in Grignols

December 16, 2020 by  
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A French judge has sentenced a pond full of frogs to capital punishment. Their crime? Being too noisy. The judge decreed the pond must be drained within 90 days. The legal battle over the frogs of Grignols, a village (population: 587) in the Dordogne area of southern France , has a long history. The frogs live in the backyard pond of Michel and Annie Pécheras. Twelve years ago, Michel re-excavated the 300-square-meter pond and moved it farther from the property line of his neighbor, Jean-Louis Malfione. Things seemed fine for a few years. But in 2012, Malfione brought legal action due to the amphibians’ cries of “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?” during the mating season. At times, their amorous ribbits reached 63 decibels from Malfione’s open window. Related: First fluorescent frog in the world found in South America The case was thrown out by a judge in 2014 but later upheld by a judge in Bordeaux. Since then, several legal jurisdictions have heard the case. French environmentalists have become increasingly agitated. Some campaigned for the frogs to be relocated to another pond, but that appeal failed. The environmental group Société pour l’Étude et l’Aménagement de la nature dans le Sud-Ouest is appealing to France’s highest court. The Association Cistude Nature has stated that six protected frog species make their home in the pond. This isn’t the first noise complaint heard in rural French courts. Other cases have been heard about roosters crowing, ducks quacking, church bells pealing, crickets chirping and cowbells clanging. One farmer even had to pay 8,000 euros because a neighbor thought his cows smelled bad. Threatened with fines and even prison, Michel and Annie have started emptying the pond. Not only will the frogs be left homeless and probably die, the fish and ducks that live in the pond will be out of luck, and passing wildlife like wild boar, herons and deer might have to start carrying reusable water bottles. Many people around the world are lending their support to the frogs and other wildlife that the pond supports. More than 95,000 people had already signed this petition within days of its appearance online. Via The Guardian Image via Jill Wellington

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French court persecutes noisy frogs in Grignols

San Antonio unveils new wildlife land bridge

December 16, 2020 by  
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The newly built Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge now connects two sections of a San Antonio park that were previously separated by a highway. The bridge, which is aimed at serving both humans and animals, was developed to reduce human-wildlife conflicts along the busy highway. According to the  City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department , the bridge is the biggest of its kind in the U.S. The six-lane highway crossing the Phil Hardberger Park makes it difficult for animals to get from one side to the other. Even though there are barriers restricting the animals from crossing the highway, there are those that still break through. This has led to various accidents on this highway. Related: $87M wildlife bridge in California will be a haven for mountain lions Former Mayor of San Antonio Phil Hardberger, who shares his name with the park, said in an interview that the animals within the park have always been threatened by the highway. “Even though you do put up barriers, they’ll get across or start to get across,” Hardberger said. “Right now, it’s six lanes. [The Texas Department of Transportation] says it will eventually be eight lanes. We’ve had some accidents between cars and deer especially and some of the smaller animals as well.” The bridge, which opened on Friday, has already be used by local wildlife, as seen by construction workers. The new structure is 150 feet long and about 150 feet wide. It is also designed to feature walking trails for humans and natural vegetation for the animals. Once the vegetation is fully developed, the bridge is expected to resemble the look of the park . San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg has applauded the project, expressing his expectations for the park once the landscape is fully developed. Nirenberg said , “I look forward to watching the landscape grow and mature with native trees and plants and observing wildlife through viewing blinds designed by local artists.” For years, measures intended to help wildlife cross busy roads and other human-made impediments have been implemented. According to  National Geographic , such structures originated in France in the 1950s. Today, there are plenty of these structures around the world, including in the United States. Currently, there are similar projects underway in Houston and San Francisco. + San Antonio Parks and Recreation Via Huffington Post Photography by Justin Moore; rendering via San Antonio Parks and Recreation

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San Antonio unveils new wildlife land bridge

Winning design for Museum of Architecture and Urbanism announced

December 16, 2020 by  
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A recent competition sponsored by the National Agency for Administrative City Construction aimed to find a comprehensive design for the new Korean Museum of Architecture and Urbanism (KMUA) in Sejong, South Korea . The winning team was recently announced, along with plans for the project. The final design came from a team made up of Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Maider Llaguno Munitxa, Ivaylo Nachev, Carlota Mendez, Claudia Baquedano and Claudia Zucca of AZPML, in collaboration with Yukyung Kim from UKST. Their  green design  focuses squarely on illuminating architecture as a science and art, while respecting Korean history and the environment.  Related: Academy Museum of Motion Pictures achieves LEED Gold certification The team sought to address the  environmental issues  caused by urbanization with the understanding that cities are responsible for an estimated 70% of global carbon emissions and 66% of energy consumption. What better way to highlight the issue than to design the KMUA as an example of environmentally responsible architecture? With this idea at the core, the team worked with a foundation of four primary goals. The first goal was to exemplify the best practices in construction, including urban mining, the preservation of resources and the reduction of embodied energy, carbon emissions, construction waste and  pollution . Putting this into practice, the team designed oversized scaffolding using reused steel from decommissioned buildings. This framework will house examples of real architecture. Additionally, natural lighting pairs with tiered outdoor spaces and indoor skylights. The second goal was to honor Korean architecture with traditional Hanok roofs. Considering the building’s location and purpose, the team prioritized creating a structure that fits into the landscape . Also, the team aimed to pay tribute to a time in Korean development that saw a destroyed national economy blossom into an example for the world. Much of this happened through urban transformation, and the KMUA will stand as a tribute to that growth. The fourth design goal was to create a space that will not only function as a museum but also provide educational, multimedia and workshop facilities. Primarily an exhibition space, the structure will house both permanent and revolving exhibitions of architectural features. In short, the museum will feature examples of architecture in both the displays and the building itself. To achieve  energy efficiency , the building will use glass and natural ventilation. Additionally, the building enclosure is designed as a high-performance floor-to-ceiling glazed membrane, with embedded heat recovery vents. Demonstrating a dedication to sustainable building, the entire structure will abide by the Design for Disassembly doctrine. This means the materials used in construction can be disassembled and reused at the end of their usable life as part of KMUA. + AZPML Via ArchDaily   Images via AZPML

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Winning design for Museum of Architecture and Urbanism announced

Your guide to sustainable holiday gifts for parents

December 16, 2020 by  
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Our parents give us so much, and the  holidays  present the perfect opportunity to give them something back in return. Read on to learn about the best eco-friendly and sustainable holiday gifts of 2020 for parents. Organic pajamas There’s nothing better than a pair of comfortable pajamas once the weather turns for the holiday months. Gift your parents a matching pair of jammies made from sustainable fabrics like organic cotton to keep them warm (and give them an excuse to take cute holiday photos).  This set  from Hanna Anderson comes in a ton of different festive patterns and colors with sizes for the whole family, and they’re super affordable as well.  Related: The sustainable wardrobe: it’s more accessible than you think Hand-woven baskets Help your parents decorate with a cute artisan gift like Lola & Mawu baskets made from upcycled vintage indigo fabric and natural undyed straw. The baskets are hand-woven out of indigo shawls made from locally grown cotton, handspun and dyed with natural vegetable pigments. Some of the fabric is 30 or 40 years old, so the textiles have varying shades and textures from age. All are woven in Bolgatanga, Northern Ghana. Low-flow showerhead If you have a little extra money to spend, why not help upgrade your parent’s home with an environmentally-friendly appliance?  Nebia , for example, makes low-flow showerheads that feature atomizing nozzles. Or, splurge for the Spa Shower 2.0 with re-engineered spraying nozzles for optimal temperature and coverage. Apart from saving up to 65% of water when compared to standard showers , they look super sleek and futuristic, too. Bamboo bathrobe Go along with the above shower theme with a fuzzy bathrobe made from  sustainable materials . Make your parents feel like they’re at the spa with one of  Cariloha’s  unisex robes, made of a super-soft blend of bamboo viscose and Egyptian cotton. The bamboo fabric is naturally moisture-wicking, odor-resistant and allergy-resistant. Or, try these waffle robes from  Coyuchi , made from organic, GOTS + Made Safe Certified cotton sourced and woven in Turkey. Loungewear Quarantine made 2020 the year of loungewear, so it only makes sense to end the year with some too.  GALERIE.LA  prides itself on high-quality sustainable loungewear made with Fair Trade principles and eco-friendly materials. Customers can even use a badge system to designate and search for purchases based on individually sustainable values such as recyclability and  vegan materials.  Matcha kit Inspire your parents to stay healthy with a superfood latte blend like the options from Golde. Cacao Turmeric offers a sweet and savory alternative to hot cocoa, with added health benefits thanks to its blend of seven essential  superfoods  that support skin, debloating and stress balance. Drink it on its own or add it to smoothies for a powerful antioxidant punch. The popular  Make Your Matcha Kit  includes everything you need to whip up a delicious and healthy Matcha latte, including a tin of powdered pure Matcha and a bamboo whisk. Fancy composter Composting  is usually reserved for those living in cities that support curbside compost bins or people with room in their yards for a bulky spinning composter. Enter Vitamix, the company that brought us one of the world’s most powerful blenders, and its compact  FoodCycler FC-50 . This high-tech composter only needs about one cubic foot of space and a power outlet to work. A carbon filter lid eliminates odors (meaning you can keep it conveniently inside your kitchen), and the removable waste bucket makes it easy to transport your newly-processed nutrient-rich fertilizer from the composter to your garden. Personalized wood cutting board Give a gift that is both decorative and functional for the holidays, like a personalized wood cutting board.  Etsy  offers plenty of beautiful options to fit any budget, with options to personalize anything from names to family recipes and even skylines. Not into personalization or don’t have time for a custom order? Check out  Totally Bamboo’s  cutting boards, shaped into different states with laser-engraved cities, sights and attractions. Wine and cheese set For parents who love a good cheese board, opt for this  Wine & Cheese Set  made completely from upcycled wooden chopsticks. Perfect for couples, the set includes a stylish 11-inch charcuterie board with two matching wooden coasters. The company is carbon negative, so you can feel even better about your sustainable purchase! Face masks Since everyone needs face masks these days, go for one that supports a good cause! Proceeds from sales of  these masks  go toward animal conservation thanks to a partnership between WNC Nature Center and Wildlife Artists. If you’re more into the ocean,  these  ocean-themed masks are made using recycled ocean plastic waste and sold at-cost by PADI to help raise awareness for ocean pollution. Vellabox Candles aren’t just perfect for housewarming gifts, they’re also a hit around the holidays.  Vellabox  offers a gift that keeps on giving with monthly subscription boxes delivering artisan candles made from natural materials, with options for one-month, six-month or twelve-month packages. The candles contain lead-free wicks, use phthalate-free fragrance oils and are made using sustainable 100%  soy , coconut or vegetable waxes. Images via Hanna Andersson, Lola & Mawu, Nebia, Coyuchi, GALERIE.LA, Golde, Foodcycler, Totally Bamboo, ChopValue, Pexels, PADI and Vellabox

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Your guide to sustainable holiday gifts for parents

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

December 15, 2020 by  
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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

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

Doc Antle is the latest Tiger King star to be indicted

October 13, 2020 by  
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In the latest “Tiger King” criminal news, Bhagavan “Doc” Antle has been indicted on charges of wildlife trafficking and animal cruelty. Antle owns Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina and appeared on the “Tiger King” series as a wild animal trainer. After investigating for several months, Attorney General Mark Herring announced last Friday that Antle had trafficked lion cubs between Virginia and South Carolina. Herring scrutinized Antle’s relationship with Keith Wilson, owner of Wilson’s Wild Animal Park in Virginia, and determined that both zoo owners trafficked lion cubs between the two states. A grand jury in Frederick County indicted Wilson and his nephew on 46 counts of animal cruelty in November 2019. Related: USDA closes Tiger King zoo for animal welfare violations In December 2019, Herring’s investigation led to a search of Antle’s property. Antle and two of his daughters, Tawny Antle and Tilakam Watterson, faced misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and violating the Endangered Species Act . Antle has denied all charges against himself and his daughters. “I have spent my entire professional life promoting the welfare and conservation of big cats and other species. I have deep regard and feelings for the animals in my care and would never hurt or abuse them in any way,” he told CNN . “I look forward to being able to answer these charges and to be able to clear my good name.” Netflix released “Tiger King”, a true crime documentary miniseries, in late March 2020. The series delves into the complicated relationships between big cat conservationists and collectors. The show focuses on Joe Exotic, former owner of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, who last year was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for murder-for-hire and wildlife violations. While the show became wildly popular amidst the pandemic, it’s done less for its stars, several of whom are now making their way through the legal system. “The show ‘Tiger King’ made a number of false statements about my personal life that I just let slide off my back,” Antle told CNN. “But what the State of Virginia has done, to falsely attack my treatment of animals, to attempt to slander my reputation and my life’s work, solely to appease animal rights activists that have influence over the elected officials that have brought these charges is far different and it’s very personal to me.” We’ll find out more when Antle has his day in court. Via HuffPost and CNN Images via Pixabay and Zoo Friend

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Doc Antle is the latest Tiger King star to be indicted

Burmese roofed turtle is rescued from extinction

September 4, 2020 by  
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The Burmese roofed turtle has been saved from the brink of extinction. The turtle had not been seen for over 20 years, leading many conservationists to assume that it was extinct . But in 2001, one Burmese roofed turtle was spotted in markets in Myanmar, sparking interest among scientists. From this point forward, efforts to save the endangered species were put in place by scientists in collaboration with the government of Myanmar. The efforts have paid off, with nearly 1,000 of these turtles existing today. The Burmese roofed turtle is a giant Asian river turtle that is characterized by its large eyes and small, natural smile. Since the sighting of a surviving turtle in Myanmar about 20 years ago, the population of the turtles has been increased to about 1,000, thanks to serious conservation efforts. Some of the turtles have already been released to the wild, while the others are still within captivity. Related: This turtle with a green mohawk is one of the most endangered reptiles in the world These turtles were once thriving around the mouth of the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar. But by the mid-20th century, fishing and overharvesting led to a significant drop in the number of turtles. For years, the state of the species was unknown, given that Myanmar had closed its borders. Scientists could not access the country and, as a result, could not make any efforts to save the turtles. By the time Myanmar reopened its borders in the 1990s, scientists could not find any Burmese roofed turtles and began to believe that they were extinct . “We came so close to losing them. If we didn’t intervene when we did, this turtle would have just been gone,” Steven Platt, a herpetologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society, told The New York Times . Turtles and tortoises are among the most vulnerable species globally. About half of the planet’s turtle and tortoise species , a total of 360 living species, are threatened. The scenario is especially bad for species across Asia, where turtles and tortoises are affected by habitat loss, climate change and hunting for consumption. But the recent good news on the growing population of Burmese roofed turtles gives hope that concerted conservation efforts can continue to save more vulnerable species. Via The New York Times and Wildlife Conservation Society Image via Wildlife Conservation Society

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Burmese roofed turtle is rescued from extinction

Wild in Africa jewelry supports wildlife conservation charities

August 14, 2020 by  
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When National Geographic filmmaker Shannon Wild moved to Africa in 2013 to make wildlife documentaries, she found herself in the hospital after a near-death experience in Masai Mara. After pushing her body to the point of complete exhaustion for her career, she was medevaced to Nairobi and became bedridden for three months. Unable to even hold a camera initially, and with the knowledge that going back into the field would take months of stamina-building physical therapy, she started a grueling 6-month recovery period. Shannon had built up a collection of beaded bracelets throughout her travels, and one day, yearning for a creative outlet, she began dismantling and redesigning them. Using her past experience in graphic design and marketing, she was able to establish a business, Wild In Africa – Bracelets for Wildlife , to commemorate her healing journey and the love for animals and wildlife that brought her to Africa in the first place. Related: Make a statement with Serendipitous Project’s eco-friendly jewelry Today, Wild responsibly sources beads from all over the world and donates 50% of the purchase price of the Wild in Africa jewelry to 10 separate wildlife charities . The gender-neutral bracelets include a combination of stone beads, tribal charms and pendants that pay homage to the colors and textures found in the natural world. On the company’s website, the charity that each bracelet supports is outlined on the product’s page. It includes a general description of the organization’s values and goals, from bringing an end to the global rhino horn trade to conservation plans for Zambian carnivores. There is also a link to the charity so customers can learn more about where their contributions are going. The packaging is eco-friendly and recyclable , and materials are sustainably sourced. The company also offers a membership for first access to special, limited-edition bracelets and behind-the-scenes looks at featured charities. + Wild in Africa Images via Wild in Africa

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