Talkin' Pets News

September 23, 2017

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Karen Vance

Producer - Daisey Charlotte

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guests - Pet Expert and Trainer Travis Brorsen will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 9/23/17 at 5pm EST to discuss his new series My Big Fat Pet Makeover on Animal Planet

Becky Robinson, President and Founder of Alley Cat Allies will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 9/23/17 at 630pm EST to discuss their organization and their efforts in hurricane relief

 

Leading animal advocacy non-profit releases 2017 Trapping Report analyzing animal trapping laws

WASHINGTON – September 22, 2017 – Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, today released its 2017 Trapping Report, which assigns a letter grade to each of the 50 U.S. states based on the existence and effectiveness of the state’s animal trapping regulations on animal welfare, wildlife conservation and public safety.

“Indiscriminate body-crushing traps are used to capture or kill furbearing animals who are deemed a ‘nuisance’ or who are valued only for the fur on their backs,” said Prashant K. Khetan, CEO and general counsel for Born Free USA. “In many instances, animals are caught in these brutal traps, but remain trapped for days, slowly dying while subject to the elements, other animals, physical pain and emotional torture. And both targeted and non-targeted animals—including household pets and endangered species—fall victim to these traps. While our report card applauds the states that are leading the way to end trapping, we must also ask ourselves, ‘what kind of a society allows this senseless butchering of our beloved wildlife to continue year after year?’ It must end. And end now.”

The report card is compiled by reviewing the laws of each individual state on a variety of different trapping-related topics and then, using a weighted point system, assigning individual letter grades and a final weighted grade to each state. Grades also include positive marks for prohibiting the trapping of bobcats and otters, two species native to most states but vulnerable to overexploitation.

According to Born Free USA’s analysis, only four states received an “A” grade or better:

  1. California
  2. Colorado
  3. Hawaii
  4. Washington
  5. Alaska
  6. Arkansas
  7. Idaho
  8. Iowa
  9. Louisiana
  10. Missouri
  11. Montana
  12. Nevada
  13. North Carolina
  14. North Dakota
  15. South Dakota
  16. Texas
  17. Virginia
  18. Wyoming

Conversely, 14 states received an “F” grade:

“As the report clearly shows, most states don’t have good laws on trapping,” Khetan said. “We’re working to shed light on the issue and help the states who are most interested in turning around their legislation.”

For those who are interested in standing up against trapping, Khetan recommends that they:

·         Learn more about the anti-trapping and anti-fur movement here

·         Write their government representatives to encourage them to enact and enforce better laws, including to prevent trapping on public lands

·         Support fur free products/retailers

To view the 2017 Trapping Report Card, as well as the full report, visit http://www.bornfreeusa.org/trappingreportcard.

About Born Free USA

Born Free believes that every animal matters. Inspired by the Academy Award-winning film, Born Free, we work locally, nationally and internationally on the conservation frontlines, in communities, classrooms, courtrooms and the halls of Congress, to end wild animal cruelty and suffering, and protect threatened wildlife. Born Free USA also operates one of the country’s largest wildlife sanctuaries, which provides a permanent home for 600 primates. Many are retired from research facilities, some rescued from inhumane conditions at circuses, zoos and private ownership. They have often endured a lifetime of abuse, neglect and cruelty. But at our sanctuary in Dilley, Texas, they are safe and live free.

Launched in 2002, Born Free USA is inspired by Virginia McKenna and her (late) husband Bill Travers, who, along with their son, Will, founded The Born Free Foundation (UK) in 1984. Their experience in Kenya filming the classic 1966 Academy Award-winning film Born Free, the story of Joy and George Adamson’s fight to successfully return Elsa the lioness to a wild and free life, launched the couple’s Compassionate Conservation movement, aimed at keeping wildlife in the wild. This movement continues to motivate millions of followers and activists across the globe. In 2007, Born Free USA merged with the Animal Protection Institute.

More at www.bornfreeusa.orgwww.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

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Dangerous Pesticides Kill Wildlife, Harm Unique Ecosystems

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Pesticides Science and Regulation, American Bird Conservancy, 202-888-7475, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Staff Attorney, Earthjustice, 415-217-2000

(Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2017) On behalf of American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the nonprofit environmental law organization Earthjustice has petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission to adopt a statewide prohibition on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in the more than one million acres of wildlife habitat under its jurisdiction. “We need to be sure that these lands remain safe havens for birds and other wildlife,” said Cynthia Palmer, ABC’s Director of Pesticides Science and Regulation.

Neonics are a relatively new class of chemicals with the potential to derail California’s efforts to safeguard its unique ecosystems. Neonics are deadly to pollinators and other wildlife, including birds. For example, a single seed coated with neonics is enough to kill a songbird, and exposure to just one-tenth of a coated seed per day during the egg-laying season is enough to impair reproduction. Even tiny doses can cause birds to lose coordination and the ability to fly. Neonics are also lethal to many of the terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates — including butterflies, bees, earthworms, and mayflies — that are critical food sources for birds and other wildlife.

“What’s so stunning about these pesticides,” said Palmer, “is the fact that they can actually exacerbate the pest problems they were meant to solve. By harming pollinators like bees and butterflies, as well as natural pest control agents like birds and beneficial insects, neonics are sabotaging the very organisms on which we all depend.”

Europe has enacted a moratorium on the use of neonics, and Canada has proposed a nationwide ban on the most widely used neonic, imidacloprid, given the risk it poses to birds, insects, small mammals, and other wildlife. In addition, many U.S. companies such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, True Value, and BJ’s Wholesale Club, as well as state and local legislatures, are reining in the use of neonics. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service banned neonic use on National Wildlife Refuge lands as of last year.

“We hope that the California Fish and Game Commission will follow the lead of the federal Fish and Wildlife Service and prohibit any use of neonicotinoid pesticides on the important network of wildlife refuges it oversees throughout California, one of the nation’s most biodiverse states,” said Trent Orr, the Earthjustice staff attorney who worked on the petition.

“It’s time for the agencies managing state refuges across the nation to join in protecting our endangered species and other wildlife from these poisons,” Palmer stated. “California has long been an environmental standard-bearer for the other states on everything from auto emissions to building codes. We urge the California Fish and Game Commission to lead the way on pesticides, as well, by adopting a statewide prohibition on neonicotinoid insecticides.”

(Photo: Banning the use of neonics on Califonia's public lands would benefit songbirds such as Horned Lark and many other species. Photo by Tom Grey)

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American Bird Conservancy is dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

Earthjustice, the nation’s premier nonprofit environmental law organization, wields the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. Because the earth needs a good lawyer.

 

 

New IUCN Red List Assessment Classifies Snow Leopards as ‘Vulnerable’ to Extinction, One Step Up From ‘Endangered’ 

September 14, 2017

New York, NY – The mysterious snow leopard has been delivered a piece of good news. The Red List classification from the International Union for Conservation of Nature–IUCN–improves the conservation status of the big cat from “Endangered” to “Vulnerable.” Yet, these iconic symbols of Asia’s great mountain wilderness still face numerous threats, many rapidly growing, in their high mountain home.
 
The snow leopard was listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List–the globally accepted, international standard for assessing extinction risk—for each 5-10 year assessment since its initial listing in 1972. The change in status came after a three-year assessment process by five international experts including scientists from academia and from Panthera, Snow Leopard Conservancy, and Wildlife Conservation Society, organizations active in snow leopard conservation. The assessment was then reviewed and approved by eight international felid and Red List assessments experts, the IUCN Global Mammal Assessment team, and the central Red List Unit.
 
Dr. Tom McCarthy, Executive Director of Panthera’s Snow Leopard Program and a member of the assessment team, said, “To be considered ‘Endangered,’ there must be fewer than 2,500 mature snow leopards and they must be experiencing a high rate of decline. Both are now considered extremely unlikely, which is the good news, but it does not mean that snow leopards are ‘safe’ or that now is a time to celebrate. The species still faces ‘a high risk of extinction in the wild’ and is likely still declining–just not at the rate previously thought.”
 
The assessment cites a number of recent studies that used more scientifically robust methods than in the past and which suggest snow leopard numbers are likely higher than previously thought. Dr. Rodney Jackson, Founder and Director of the Snow Leopard Conservancy (SLC) and another member of the assessment team, said, “Even with such positive supportive information, the assessment team took a conservative approach, including using the lowest estimated global population size of 4,000 when determining if the Endangered threshold could be met.”
 
One of the reasons that snow leopard status has improved is greatly increased conservation efforts. Dr. David Mallon, snow leopard expert and member of the assessment team, points out that in the last few decades there has been a significant increase in the number of protected areas within the snow leopard range. The species’ range is extensive, and covers more than 1.8 million square kilometers of mountain habitat in 12 range countries across Asia.
 
Dr. Jackson stressed that local initiatives such as community ranger monitoring efforts and the building of predator-proof corrals to control conflict over livestock losses are helping to protect the cats from retaliatory killing in many locations.
 
The snow leopard is the top predator of the world’s greatest mountain chains–the Himalaya, Karakoram, Hindu Kush, Tien Shan, Altai, and other mountain regions of Asia. Unfortunately, even in these near-inaccessible mountains, the snow leopard faces numerous threats.
 
“Continuing threats include poaching for its thick fur and overhunting of its wild prey,” said Peter Zahler, Coordinator of the WCS Snow Leopard Program and also on the assessment team. “There is also an increasing number of domestic livestock raised by local people in these high mountains that degrades the delicate grasslands, disturbs wild sheep and goats and drives them into less productive habitats.” Zahler pointed out that this can also lead to disease outbreaks in wild sheep and goats due to transmission of novel pathogens from their domestic counterparts. “The loss of wild prey can lead to attacks on domestic stock, which itself can lead to retaliatory killing of snow leopards by local shepherds,” Zahler said.
 
Zahler added, “It is important that a change in status is not misinterpreted–this change does not mean that the snow leopard has been ‘saved’ and efforts on its behalf can stop. The IUCN’s Vulnerable status means a species is still vulnerable to extinction, and the snow leopard population is still believed to be in decline and facing a high risk of extinction. Threats–poaching, habitat destruction, loss of prey species–still exist and new threats such as roads, border fences, and climate change, are increasing. So conservation actions must continue and be increased to conserve the species.”

Read Panthera's Q&A on this news.
 

About Panthera 
Panthera, founded in 2006, is devoted exclusively to preserving wild cats and their critical role in the world’s ecosystems. Panthera’s team of leading biologists, law enforcement experts and wild cat advocates develop innovative strategies based on the best available science to protect cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions, pumas, snow leopards and tigers and their vast landscapes. In 36 countries around the world, Panthera works with a wide variety of stakeholders to reduce or eliminate the most pressing threats to wild cats—securing their future, and ours. Visit panthera.org.

About Snow Leopard Conservancy
SLC, founded in 2000 by Dr. Rodney Jackson and Ms. Darla Hillard, aims to secure the survival of the snow leopard, by conserving its mountain habitat, enhancing local livelihoods and alleviating the human-wildlife conflict which threatens its existence. By blending traditional knowledge with modern science, SLC works in partnership with local people, to increase environmental awareness, advance grassroots conservation initiatives and involve them in non-invasive monitoring of snow leopards. By developing an appreciation for this wild cat, the ultimate goal of the Conservancy is to turn conflict into coexistence. Visit snowleopardconservancy.org.
 
About Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. WCS has been a global leader on snow leopard conservation since the 1970s, with current programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org.


For International Primate Day on September 1st 2017, Animal Defenders International is calling for action to end the use of primates in research. Worldwide an estimated 200,000 primates are experimented on each year, with over 70,000 animals used in research across the US,one of the world’s largest users of primates.

Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer said: The continued use of primates in research is unethical and unnecessary. Harmful to both our closest relatives and to science, governments must end primate tests and facilitate the adoption of modern alternatives without delay.”

Some primates are forcibly removed from the wild and used as breeding machines to supply the industry, or used themselves in tests. In addition to the trauma causedto individuals during the capture process, subsequent confinement, and during procedures until their deaths, this brutal practice harms local populations threatening their survival. 

In Latin America, ADI has exposed the capture of owl monkeys for use in malaria experiments in Colombia. Taken from the trees, these nocturnal primates go from the forest to a barren cage. Our evidence led to a tribunal revoking the experimenter’s permits;although this groundbreaking decision has been overturned. Elsewhere, in Africa and Asia, ADI has revealed dire conditions inside the monkey breeders, who take primates from the wild to maintain their breeding stocks. At the monkey farms, individuals are confined to cages and routinely manhandled. In Florida, already home to a number of monkey breeders, ADI is opposing plans for a facility which seeks to import thousands of primates from outside the US.

Primates are frequently used in brain experiments because of their apparent similarity to humans. However, despite being our closest relatives, non-human primates differ from us in a number of ways, including the immune system. Their use in research therefore can never reliably predict potential human effects. Aspirin for example causes birth defects in monkeys, but is widely used by pregnant women without the same effect.

Such species differences are the fundamental flaw of using animals in research.Each species responds differently to substances, with an animal’s age, diet, sex, even bedding material, also affecting results. As a result animal tests can delay scientific progress and lead to human tragedy.

Just days after being given trial drug BIA 10-2474, the six male volunteers in the highest dose group were hospitalized. Four volunteers displayed neurological symptoms, with at least one losing all his fingers and toes; one of the six volunteers died a week after receiving the dose.  No comparable effect had been seen in monkeys or other animals given high doses of the drug over long periods. Some monkeys were estimated to have received around 75 times the dose given to the volunteers.

In another drug trial tragedy, TGN1412was given to volunteers who then suffered multiple organ failure as the drug triggered an uncontrollable immune response. One volunteer was hospitalized for three months, another had their fingers and toes amputated, and all are likely to suffer permanent damage to their immune systems and live with the danger of developing cancer and lupus.  The drug had been tested extensively in laboratory animals including in doses 500 times greater in monkeys with no drug-related adverse events.

Investment in animal research, predominantly with primates, has been wasteful and unsuccessful. A review has shown that not one of the 85+ candidate AIDS vaccines successfully tested in primates have been effective in human patients.

ADI has documented the suffering of primates for product safety tests at the notorious contract testing facility Huntingdon Life Science (now known as Envigo). Monkeys were strapped down to restrain them while substances were pumped directly into their stomachs, and they suffered a range of debilitating symptoms.

Researchers claim that the use of primates in brain research is ‘necessary’ but sophisticated neuroimaging techniques are available to study human behavior and brain function.Comparing data from human electrical brain activity with data obtained by experimenters using electrodes in restrained monkeys, Professor Furlong and his team at Aston University in the UKhave shown the same level of data can be obtained, directly relevant to human patients.


International Primate Daywas established by Animal Defenders International in 2005 to highlight the threats to and abuses of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom – apes and monkeys – from their use in research and entertainment, for meat and the pet trade.

Around 20,000 primates are imported into the US every year, from countries such as China, Vietnam and Mauritius. ADI USA revealed the hidden suffering of primates bred for research on the tropical Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. Biodia, one of the biggest suppliers of laboratory monkeys in the world, sends thousands to miserable deaths in the USA and worldwide. At this facility we filmed baby monkeys torn from their screaming mothers to be tattooed, pregnant monkeys manhandled and pinned down in terrifying routine procedures and screaming monkeys being swung by their tails.http://www.ad-international.org/animal_experiments/go.php?id=3503

Over 2,000 primates were imported into the UK from Asia and Africa last year. ADI infiltrated Nafovanny in Vietnam filming the macaque monkeys in small, filthy, broken cages – images the huge dealer of monkeys to the USA and UK denied were on their premises – until we proved otherwise. They once roamed free only to be torn from the trees and forced to live for years in these dismal prisons. http://www.ad-international.org/publications/go.php?id=1577 Monkeys filmed Huntingdon Life Sciences were supplied by Nafovanny.http://www.ad-international.org/publications/go.php?id=1576

Non-animal methods

  • There are many alternatives to the use of animals which are more reliable and are based on better science such as,human cell, tissue and organ culture, including 3D models containing different tissues providing a better representation of the actual situation in a living human;databases of known information, and sophisticated analytical techniques.
  • Advancednon-animal methods include the lung-on-a-chip, which mimics the movements of the breathing lung, providing provide low-cost alternatives for drug screening and toxicology tests
  • Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is an analytical tool of unprecedented sensitivity. It can be used to study samples from human volunteers given ultra-low, harmless, doses of new drugs (called micro-dosing). Obtaining early data from humans can avoid the unnecessary exposure of volunteers in clinical trials to potentially toxic drugs.  Safe, relevant to the correct species. Emerging technologies like AMS have many advantages, including speeding the development process and improving safety.
  • Other cutting edge methods available to develop and test drugs include computer simulations and modelling, high throughput screening for rapid analysis of compounds for drug discovery, epidemiological studies of human disease, transmission, genetics and environmental factors; fMRI and other imaging techniques.

Species differences

The fundamental flaw of using animals for safety testing, and other forms of research, is species differences. With each species responding differently to substances, primate and other animal tests can never reliably predict potential human effects.

  • Macaque monkeys are frequently used in toxicology testing, but they have specific genes which are vital for drug metabolism (when a drug works through the body). These genes are not found in humans and this is just one of the reasons for differences in drug metabolism between monkeys and humans.
  • The action of drugs also varies; for example Aspirin causes birth defects in monkeys, but is widely used by pregnant women without the same effect.
  • A review showed that none of the 85+ candidate AIDS vaccines successfully tested in primates have been effective in human patients Horses, rats and mice cannot vomit.
  • Morphine drugs are a depressant in rats, dogs, hamsters and other species, but produce tremors and convulsions at comparable doses in mice and cats.
  • The breast cancer drug tamoxifen was designed as an oral contraceptive. It is in rats, but in women it has the opposite effect. It is now used in the treatment of breast cancer, despite causing cancer in rats in some studies.

Animal Defenders International (ADI):Los Angeles – London – Bogota

Ending the suffering of animals in captivity and protecting wild animals and their environments

Active worldwide to end the suffering of animals: animals in entertainment – film, television, advertising, circuses and sport or leisure; animals used for food or fur; protection of wildlife and the environment; trade in animals; zoos, pets, entertainment and laboratories. Funding and promotion of advanced scientific methods to replace the use of animals in research. ADI investigates, produces evidence and reports on the scientific, legal and economic issues for each case study, recommending solutions. Education and awareness to public, media and officials. Where ADI’s evidence has been a catalyst for change, we collaborate with governments to conduct large-scale seizures of wild animals in captivity and relocate them to forever homes – back to their natural habitat wherever possible.

www.ad-international.org

Talkin' Pets News

August 5, 2017

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Jarrod Lazarus

Producer - Lexi Lapp

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guest - Emmy Award winning co-anchor of FOX News Tampa Bay, Cynthia Smoot will join Jon & Talkin' Pets 8/5/17 at 5pm EST to discuss the Cheetah Conservation Fund & the House Appropriations Committee amendment to eliminate restrictions on killing wild horses

American Bird Conservancy’s Statement on New Bills to Ban Chlorpyrifos

(Washington, D.C., July 25, 2017) We applaud the U.S. Senators who today introduced a bill to ban chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide that has been killing birds and poisoning the environment for the past half-century: Tom Udall (D-NM)Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA). We’re also grateful to Representatives Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), who have offered a companion bill in the House.

The “Protect Children, Farmers & Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act” would prohibit all chlorpyrifos use by amending the U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that oversees food safety.

Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate related to sarin nerve gas, is used in production of common crops such as strawberries, apples, citrus, and broccoli. In addition to the pesticide’s well-known threats to human health, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is concerned about the pesticide’s effects on birds, including to declining species like the Mountain Plover (shown). A recent draft biological evaluation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that chlorpyrifos is likely to adversely affect 97 percent of all wildlife, including more than 100 listed bird species listed under the Endangered Species Act.

ABC has been calling for a ban on the use of chlorpyrifos for years. EPA scientists agreed and were on course to ban the pesticide from use on all crops. In March 2017, however, the EPA administrator reversed the recommendation of the agency’s own scientists and extended chlorpyrifos’ registration for another five years.

"It’s high time to outlaw the use of chlorpyrifos. It’s well known that this pesticide is lethal to birds, other wildlife, and people,” said Cynthia Palmer, ABC's Pesticide Program Director. “We’re encouraged by the leadership shown today in Congress.”

(Photo: Mountain Plover by Greg Homel/Natural Elements Productions)

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American Bird Conservancy is dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

Feared Extinct, the Táchira Antpitta Has Been Found in Remote Andean Region

 

(Washington, D.C., July 25, 2017) An international team of researchers has solved one of South America’s great bird mysteries. Working deep in the mountainous forests of western Venezuela, they have rediscovered the Táchira Antpitta, a plump brown bird species not seen since it was first recorded in the 1950s.

The 7.5-inch-long Táchira (TAH-chee-rah) Antpitta had not been spotted since 1955-56, when ornithologists first recorded and described it. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the species as Critically Endangered, and many feared it was lost for good.

Last year, scientists of the Red Siskin Initiative (RSI) — a conservation partnership between the Smithsonian and several scientific organizations in Venezuela — organized a team to go in search of the antpitta. The team was led by Jhonathan Miranda of RSI and Provita, and included colleagues Alejandro Nagy, Peter Bichier of the University of California at Santa Cruz, and Miguel Lentino and Miguel Matta of the Colección Ornitólogica Phelps (COP). American Bird Conservancy (ABC) provided financial support through a William Belton Conservation Fund grant as part of its ongoing Search for Lost Birds.

The team set out in June 2016, knowing that several factors were likely to make the antpitta especially challenging to find, if in fact it still existed. The species inhabits dense undergrowth at altitudes of 5,000 to 7,000 feet in a rugged and hard-to-reach region of the Andes. Difficult to identify visually, the bird differs in coloration in subtle ways from related species.

Antpittas are also easier to hear than to see. But without sound recordings, nobody knew what to listen for.

The researchers had an advantage: They knew where to look.  “We followed the route described in the earlier expedition’s field notebooks to locate the original site of the discovery,” Miranda said.

To reach the remote location, part of what is now El Tamá National Park, the team traveled by foot on steep and narrow Andean trails, with a mule train to carry their gear. From their campsite, the team hiked two hours in the dark to reach appropriate habitat at dawn, the best time to hear the birds sing.

The first day there, Miranda and Nagy detected the distinctive song of an antpitta they had not heard before. “We were thrilled to re-find the Táchira Antpitta during our first day in the field,” said Miranda, “and we think they persist in more places we have not yet searched.”

Over the next week, the team was able to confirm the mysterious song as that of the long-lost Táchira Antpitta, obtaining the first photographs and sound recordings ever made of the living bird.

“The rediscovery provides hope and inspiration that we still have a chance to conserve this species,” said Daniel Lebbin, ABC’s Vice President of International Programs. “We hope this rediscovery will lead to improved management of and attention for protected areas like El Tamá National Park.”

“El Tamá National Park is an important part of Venezuela’s natural heritage and recognized by the Alliance for Zero Extinction as a critical site to protect for the Táchira Antpitta and other biodiversity,” said Jon Paul Rodriguez of Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC, the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research), Provita, and the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

“Jhonathan Miranda and his RSI colleagues have resolved one of South America’s great bird mysteries, and we hope their findings will contribute to a renewed effort to conserve this species,” said Lebbin.

In the coming months, the team plans to publish the full details of their findings in a scientific journal, including how the Táchira Antpitta’s voice and visual characteristics distinguish it from other similar species. Additional field work is necessary to learn more about this mysterious bird. Similar habitat can be found nearby in Colombia, and the species might also occur there. Better knowledge of the species’ vocalizations and the visual identification gathered in this study will help researchers determine the species' full range, ecology and habitat requirements, and how best to ensure its conservation.

“This species was originally described by William H. Phelps, Jr. of the COP and Alexander Wetmore, former Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution,” said Michael Braun of the RSI and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. “It is fitting that the Red Siskin Initiative, in which COP and the Smithsonian are key collaborators, has been instrumental in the rediscovery. We invite those interested in helping us learn more about this species to join us.”

The Venezuela search team owes its success to a number of individuals and institutions. Logistical support came from ABC, RSI, IVIC, COP, Provita, INPARQUES, Ascanio Birding Tours, the Smithsonian Institution, and the following individuals: Carolina Afan, Miguel Angel Arvelo, David Ascanio, Michael Braun, Felix Briceño, Brian Coyle, Dan Lebbin, Cipriano Ochoa, Tomás Odenall, Jorge Perez Eman, Jon Paul Rodriguez, Kathryn Rodriguez-Clark, and Bibiana Sucre.

(Photo: Táchira Antpitta by Jhonathan Miranda)

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American Bird Conservancy is dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

Colección Ornitólogica Phelps (Phelps Ornithological Collection) is a private organization aiming to know the diversity, distribution, taxonomic and systematics of the birds of Venezuela. It is the largest and most complete collection of birds in Latin America, and among the 20 largest collections in the world, which has allowed Venezuela to be the country of Latin America best known in birds.

Provita is an NGO devoted to conservation of Venezuela's environment in its widest sense, using multiple fields of knowledge and innovative approaches to achieve integral solutions. In our almost three decades, we have successfully completed hundreds of projects, ranging from recovery of emblematic endangered species, to developing alternative livelihoods for indigenous and rural communities.

The National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, is the largest natural history museum in the world, with more than 140 million cataloged specimens, and annual visitorship of more than 7 million. The Museum conducts natural history research and fieldwork around the globe.

Talkin' Pets News

June, 17, 2017

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jeremy Miller - SuperPet

Producer - Lexi Lapp

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guest - Jackie Bowen, Executive Director of Clean Label Project will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 6/17/17 at 5pm EST to discuss the top 10 and bottom 10 pet foods on the market

 

(Washington, D.C., June 7, 2017) American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is concerned by today’s order from Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) review the federal government’s Greater Sage-Grouse conservation plans. Sec. Zinke emphasized that the review would focus on potential oil and gas development on public lands.


"Sage-Grouse have already paid a terrible price in terms of population and habitat losses from past habitat loss and oil and gas drilling,” said This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., ABC’s Vice President of Policy. “This review is not a good use of the Bureau’s time or taxpayer dollars, but it is likely that the Sage-Grouse will be the biggest loser.”

 

The plans were finalized in 2015 after 5 years of collaborative effort by stakeholders across the West. Any weakening of the conservation standards laid out in the plans would likely result in further losses to a species on the brink of becoming endangered. Sage-Grouse remain at risk, with populations declining in several states.


The existing plans were designed to halt the loss of Sage-Grouse habitat, and to balance conservation with activities such as oil and gas drilling. They also include safeguards to justify the decision not to list Sage-Grouse under the Endangered Species Act.


“The Interior Department should not abandon this progress or ignore the stakeholders, including sportsmen, business owners, and conservationists, who invested years of work and countless resources into developing the existing plans,” said Holmer.


Western leaders including Gov. Matt Mead of Wyoming and Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado sent Sec. Zinke a letter in late May stating that the plans do not need significant changes. Western economies benefit from roughly $1 billion a year in economic output driven by outdoor recreation and tourism in Sage-Grouse habitat.


Many important grouse habitats have already been heavily fragmented by past oil and gas development. In Wyoming’s Buffalo Planning Area, for example, 27,122 oil wells were drilled between 1999 and 2008, with more than 10,300 additional wells planned by 2028.


(Photo by Pat Gaines)

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American Bird Conservancy is dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

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