Oakland, CA November 10, 2014 – After multiple months of waiting for final permits, Oakland Zoo has acquired the required state and federal permits to help save the Mountain Yellow-Legged frog, a highly endangered amphibian. This frog species, which once hopped throughout California’s upper elevations, has dropped significantly in numbers, more than ninety percent in the past decade, due in part to chytrid, a skin fungus that thickens the frog’s skin so they cannot breathe.

Zookeepers helped to acquire and transport a group of twenty-six adult Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs, which are separated into specific populations – Dusy Basin, Ebbetts Pass, and Marmot Lake, with each group occupying its own aquatic habitat in the zoo’s Biodiversity Center. The frogs are housed in a quarantine area that is a climate controlled environment, carefully planned and constructed to provide a suitable habitat and space for these rare amphibians and their different life stages. “The conservation work Oakland Zoo is embarking on with the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog is a race against time,” said Zoological Manager, Victor Alm. “The Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs along with the Southern yellow-legged frogs are some of the most endangered amphibian species in North America. Oakland Zoo is one of a handful of zoos supporting and working with the state and Federal Government agencies along with the scientific community to find ways to save this species before it is too late.” Eighteen tadpoles from Big Pines Lake area were also recently acquired. The tadpoles, which were wild caught, are part of a head-starting effort with a host of players and agencies from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to Dr. Roland Knapp of Sierra Nevada Aquatics Research Lab and Dr. Lance Vredenburg of San Francisco State University as well as several other zoos. In the near future, Oakland Zoo will be playing a role in head starting and releasing tadpoles back into their natal habitat. “This is a big step for the Zoo and it adds one more piece to the vison of the Biodiversity Center and our onsite conservation programs,” said Victor Alm, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo. Zookeepers will be working hands-on with these creatures and will have a direct role in their recovery back into the wild.

Oakland Zoo will feature the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog project at a Conservation Speaker Series focused on taking action for frogs. On Thursday, November 13, 2014, from 6:30pm – 9:30pm, the Zoo is honored to host guest speaker Dr. Kerry Kriger, founder of SAVE THE FROGS!. Dr. Kriger is an ecologist for the world’s leading amphibian conservation organization. He conceived and coordinates Save The Frogs Day, the world's largest day of amphibian education and conservation action, and has given presentations on amphibian conservation in Australia, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ghana, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, South Korea, and the USA. His research has made him become a recognized expert on the amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, a topic on which he has published fifteen articles in peer-reviewed international scientific journals. Dr. Kriger's research into amphibian declines has been supported by the National Geographic Society and various philanthropic organizations throughout the world.

During Dr. Kriger’s presentation, he will introduce the audience to amphibian conservation in the 21st century. Discussion topics will include the lifespan of a frog, the thousands of frog species that live throughout the world, the difference between frogs and toads, and why frogs are disappearing worldwide. This eye-opening evening will feature photos Dr. Kriger has taken while traveling around the world. “Amphibians are indicators of the health of an eco-system,” said Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo. “As it is Oakland Zoo’s conservation mission to protect biodiversity of ecosystem, frogs are an important focus for our efforts. Our work with the Puerto Rican crested toad and groundbreaking research with the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog is critical to the health of habitats across the planet and in our own backyards. It is with great respect that we welcome Save the Frogs! to our speaker series and know Dr. Kriger will inspire our audience to care and act for the good of frogs everywhere.” The Conservation Speaker Series is open to the public and will take place in Oakland Zoo’s Zimmer Auditorium, located in the lower entrance of the Zoo. Parking is free and the admission price for the evening’s speaker presentations is $12.00 - $20.00 per person (sliding scale). All proceeds from this event will be donated to SAVE THE FROGS!.

ABOUT SIERRA NEVADA MOUNTAIN YELLOW-LEGGED FROGS:

The tadpoles of the Mountain yellow-legged frog species are some of the largest of any frog species found in North America. These tadpoles spend two to three years in this life stage before metamorphosing into adults. This is due to the cold temperatures in their native habitat and the overwintering they go through in their high alpine lakes and streams. Adult Mountain yellow-legged frogs range from two to three inches in length. Depending on what life stage they are at depends on what role they occupy in their ecosystem. They are herbivores as tadpoles and carnivores as adults and their life stage also reflect their vulnerability to chytrid fungus. Mountain yellow-legged frogs used to be one of the most numerous vertebrates in their high alpine habitat; however, due to introduced sport fish and the emergence of chytrid fungus, they are now one of the rarest. Zookeepers at Oakland Zoo feed the adult frogs a variety of invertebrates such as mealworms, crickets, earthworm, beetles, etc. Tadpoles are fed an algae based flake diet, which is prepared in-house.

ABOUT SAVE THE FROGS!:

SAVE THE FROGS! creates educational materials and provides inspiration and training to volunteers around the world to empower them to go into their communities and conduct activities that benefit amphibians. To ensure the growth of the amphibian conservation movement, SAVE THE FROGS! has awarded over $24,000 in grants to conservationists in 11 countries. SAVE THE FROGS! passed successful legislation designating the California Red-Legged Frog as California's official state amphibian and regularly meets with politicians to educate them about a variety of issues that impact frog populations. SAVE THE FROGS! began constructing wetlands at schools in October, 2014 and we welcomes assistance from the public. For more information about SAVE THE FROGS!, go to www.savethefrogs.com.

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO’S BIODIVERSITY CENTER AND CLASSROOM:

In August of 2013, Oakland Zoo opened its new Biodiversity Center, a breeding, research, and education facility devoted to the conservation of endangered and threatened animals, plants and habitats. The Center directly supports critically endangered species both through captive breeding and by head starting. Animals bred in the Center are introduced to wild habitats. Juveniles vulnerable in the wild are brought to the center during their developmental period and returned to the wild once they are past their most vulnerable period. The California Biodiversity Classroom educates visitors on the crucial interdependence of plants, animals, people, and the environment as well as the importance of becoming responsible stewards of California’s rich natural heritage through hands-on, interactive scientific research activities including “citizen science” projects, habitat restoration, and field biology workshops.

The Biodiversity Center was made possible by an initial grant from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) and matching funding from an anonymous donor through the San Francisco Foundation. Chevron Corporation also participated by providing funding for interpretive materials and equipment for the California Biodiversity Classroom.

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid’s activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org.

 

Global leader in wildlife conservation says certain populations may face extinction in our lifetime  

Washington D.C., October 28, 2014 – According to Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, the world has become a scary place for many wild animals. In advance of Halloween, the organization highlights 13 of the scariest facts concerning wildlife today.

Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, says, “These are some of the blackest times we have ever seen for tigers, lions, rhinos, and elephants. Some of these species may face extinction not in my daughter’s lifetime, but in my own. Furthermore, we have a horrific epidemic still going on with exotic animals being kept as pets and for entertainment purposes, which is not only inhumane, but also a severe public safety issue. We have more to be afraid of from private ownership of big cats than black cats this Halloween.”    

Thirteen seriously scary facts about animals:

  1. With as few as 3,500 wild tigers left in the world, and numbers rapidly decreasing, the future for this iconic species in its natural habitat is precarious. There are more tigers kept in captivity in the U.S. than there are in the wild.
  2. The elephant poaching crisis has reached historic levels, and some elephant populations may face extinction in our lifetime. An estimated 35,000 to 50,000 elephants are poached each year for their ivory. Elephants are now being killed faster than they are being born.
  3. Approximately 35,000 African lions remain in the wild, declining more than 50% since 1980.
  4. Only six northern white rhinos are left on the planet, and rhinos in South Africa are being poached in greater numbers every year to supply horns to Asia.
  5. Since 1990, more than 200 people — including children — have been injured by captive primates in the U.S.
  6. Over half (54%) of National Wildlife Refuges allow cruel trapping. These lands are not safe havens for humans, wildlife, or pets.
  7. Cheetahs may be the fastest land animals, but they are no match for criminals who capture them from the wild as cubs, take them away from their mothers, and smuggle them to the Middle East, where they are highly prized as pets and live with a chain around their necks. Cheetahs can fetch $10,000 each on the market and only 10,000 remain in the wild.
  8. Born Free USA has recorded 225 captive exotic animal incidents in America alone since 2013. Each case shines a horrific spotlight on the dangers of human/exotic animal interaction.
  9. Six states do not require a license or permit to own exotic animals.
  10. Consumption of bushmeat has been linked to anthrax, Ebola, monkeypox, SARS, and foot and mouth disease. Experts estimate that the bushmeat trade could eliminate all viable populations of African apes within the next five to 15 years.
  11. Nearly 100,000 native carnivores are killed by the federal government on public and private lands each year in the U.S., including by poisons, steel-jaw leghold traps, strangulation neck snares, denning (killing coyote pups in their dens), hounding, and shooting.
  12. Ninety percent of foxes raised on farms are killed for the fur trim market. The number of animal pelts used for trim may soon outnumber those used for full-length fur coats.
  13. Bear gallbladders and bile have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. There are approximately 10,000 bears in barbaric Asian bear farms in China, Korea, and Vietnam, caged and “milked” cruelly for their bile. American black bears are poached in our forests to slice out their gallbladders and feed the same bear parts markets globally.

Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Washington, D.C. – April 29, 2014) – An open letter to President Obama published today in the Washington Post expresses support for the Administration’s proposed new rules to halt domestic ivory sales.  Signatories on the letter include high-profile individuals, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Goodall and Dave Matthews, alongside a coalition of businesses and conservation organizations representing millions of Americans. 

Representatives of the coalition issued the following statements:

 

Jane Goodall PhD, DBE, Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger Peace, said: “The mass poaching of elephants in Africa should be of great global concern.  I applaud the US ban on ivory in its intent to counter the devastating toll on dwindling elephant populations in the wildand address the physical and emotional suffering of these intelligent and highly social animals. It is my hope that this strong move by President Obama will encourage other countries to do whatever it takes to endthe demand for ivory products – from wild elephants – within their own borders.”

Iain Douglas-Hamilton, DPhil, OBE, and Founder of Save the Elephants, said: “At the heart of the elephant poaching crisis is the seemingly insatiable demand for their tusks.  Closing the door to the illegal ivory trade in the U.S. is an important step towards saving elephants, and signals to the world that the continued existence of elephants must be valued above mere ivory trinkets."

Dr. Patrick Bergin, CEO – African Wildlife Foundation said: “If we want all countries to make a commitment to living elephants by getting tough on the ivory trade, then the United States, as one of the largest ivory markets in the world, must lead by example. We commend the Administration for setting the tone on this issue—that the U.S. values living elephants above the profit from dead ones. We can live without ivory; elephants can’t.”

 

Azzedine Downes, President and CEO, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said: “The Administration appreciates the difference between a carved statue and a living, breathing elephant, and the proposed US ivory rules would help ensure that this planet doesn’t lose its most iconic animal for the sake of souvenirs. If implemented, these new rules would significantly reduce the amount of illegal ivory smuggled into and sold in this country, and would set an example for the rest of the world.   

“Americans across the political spectrum agree with this effort, and now is the time to implement the strongest possible protections for elephants and other endangered wildlife.”

Charles Knowles, Executive Director, Wildlife Conservation Network said:  “With over 30,000 elephants killed last year for their ivory, it is time for the world to do something to stop the slaughter of one of the world’s most intelligent, sensitive and self aware animals. Their future depends on a global coalition to develop and deploy well-funded, strategic and efficient actions to address the growing demand for ivory,  its trafficking and ultimately poaching of elephants. We support the US government’s leadership in these efforts.”

Jim Maddy, President and CEO of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums

“AZA-accredited zoos connect people with elephants and help raise awareness about the conservation issues these incredible creatures face in their natural ranges,” said Jim Maddy, President and CEO of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. “The ivory rules proposed by the Obama Administration are an important step. Now we need to do what we can to educate people on what they can do to help end the illegal ivory trade.”

Carter Roberts, President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund said: “There are just too many loopholes in the current system for Americans to feel secure that the ivory they buy or sell is not connected to the ongoing slaughter of elephants in Africa.

“If we hope to influence this issue globally, we have to get it right here in the United States. The illegal ivory trade is fueled by organized crime. By placing restrictions on ivory sales, the Administration is making a commitment to not tolerate the senseless slaughter of wildlife and the global criminal syndicates profiting from it.”

Cristián Samper, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society and a member of the U.S. Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking, said: “WCS thanks the Obama Administration for its strong action to eliminate ivory sales and to save elephants.  We thank the thousands of U.S. citizens who are making a difference by backing an ivory ban and joining the 96 Elephants.org Campaign, and we encourage all to make their voices heard. Just in New York State, we know that more than 80 percent want an ivory ban based on a recent poll. This ban is important in the United States and we need clear, decisive action to save these magnificent animals. Along with our partners, we are committed to stopping the killing, stopping the trafficking, and stopping the demand.”

It is estimated that between 25,000 and 50,000 elephants are killed for their ivory each year, resulting in fewer than half a million elephants remaining in Africa’s savannas and

jungles — a drastic plunge over the last 50 years.

###

About African Wildlife Foundation

Founded in 1961, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is a leading conservation organization focused solely on the African continent. AWF’s programs and conservation strategies are based on sound science and designed to protect both the wild lands and wildlife of Africa and ensure a more sustainable future for Africa’s people. Since its inception, AWF has protected endangered species and land, promoted conservation enterprises that benefit local African communities, and trained hundreds of African nationals in conservation—all to ensure the survival of Africa’s unparalleled wildlife heritage. AWF is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Kenya and registered as a 501(c)(3) in the United States. For more information, visit www.awf.organd follow us on Twitter @AWF_Official and Facebook at facebook.com/AfricanWildlifeFoundation.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN)

WCN’s mission is to protect endangered species and preserve their natural habitats by supporting entrepreneurial conservationists who pursue innovative strategies for people and wildlife to co-exist and thrive.

 

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and six other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.

 

 

About World Wildlife Fund                                                                                                           

WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for over half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more and follow our news conversations on Twitter @WWFnews.

 

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) MISSION:WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.VISION:WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth.To achieve our mission,WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 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. Visit:www.wcs.org;facebook.com/TheWCS;youtube.com/user/WCSMedia; follow:@theWCS.

A-Team For Wildlife hosts the International A-Team of conservation prodigies from around the world.  This group consists of amazing young people doing record-breaking things to help endangered animals.  Our International A-Team of young champions provide inspiration and set examples for all children to emulate. We facilitate the formation of Local A-Teams and introduce kids to youth leadership and change-making.  School Assembly Programs on Endangered Species is another one of our services, which also introduces students to forming Local A-Teams.  Our amazing "Wild Life Website", soon to be released, provides education and support to Local A-Team members and their fund-raising campaigns. To those who demonstrate exceptional activity and leadership we offer "Exciting Educational Wildlife Experiences" - free trips to zoos, preserves, and even overseas safaris.  In short, we are developing the next generation of professional conservationists and their supporters.

While the entire A-TeamForWildlife approach is unique and of interest to any child who loves animals - and that means nearly all kids - I think our International A-Team of conservation prodigies is especially newsworthy.  Never before have outstanding youth achievers come together in one organization to deliver an animal-friendly message to all children.  Never before has an organization of adult professionals pledged to support these youth champions and facilitate the development of their young careers in conservation.  And each of our 15  young people (from ages 9 to 18) has an absolutely amazing and inspiring story of success to share.

Our Story



Hi, I’m Sarah, the founder and CEO of LoveAnimals.org.

My passion in life has always been to help animals and prevent their suffering. I wasn’t passionate about solving one issue or helping one particular species. I wanted to help all animals on a grand scale, by doing something that could move the needle in the right direction for animals everywhere.

I began my career as an attorney in the UK, with the hope that I could impact animal welfare through the law. I realized however that the law was not enough - I wanted to do something more proactive that would help animals right now. Upon moving to the U.S in 2008 (my husband Scott is Colorado born and bred), I began working as the Program Officer for the Animal Assistance Foundation, one of the largest foundations exclusively funding animal welfare initiatives in America. For three and a half years I oversaw the charitable distribution of $1.2 million annually. $1.2 million sounds like a lot of money, but it was a drop in the bucket. I saw hard working non-profits doing fantastic work to help animals every day but they all needed access to more resources.

When I began learning about websites like DonorsChoose.org and Kiva.org, a friend and I asked the obvious question - why is there no website like this for animal welfare and wildlife conservation? And so Love Animals was born. After months of research and hard work we incorporated a non-profit in January 2012 and help our first board meeting. Next came more hard work – convincing the world that we needed LoveAnimals.org AND the money to get it off the ground. We were joined by many people who helped us raise enough to build the website and organization. In August 2012 software development began. The rest is…well…you’re on our website so you can see the rest! LoveAnimals.org was launched in Spring 2013. Check out our launch press release.

Through Love Animals I can fulfill my personal life's mission to have real impact to improve the lives of animals everywhere. Please consider joining me in this mission - follow our progress as we launch this new non-profit, tell your friends about LoveAnimals.org and please consider making a donation to help us grow.

Thank you
Sarah 



Love Animals Culture and Values
1.We care about change and always work to make the world better
2.We want to excel in our field. We have pride in our work and always strive to be the best
3.We consider our people to be our greatest resource
4.We value what our people have to say and we listen when they speak
5.We trust that our people are honest and always do their best
6.We do our best work in a fun and relaxed environment, where creativity and innovation flourish
7.We are always respectful and respected in our interactions
8.We provide impeccable service to the non-profits and donors we serve
9.We Love Animals
10.We know you Love Animals

RESTON, Va. – (January  17, 2014)National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is teaming up with Open Road Films, RedroverCo., Ltd. and ToonBox Entertainment for the release of The Nut Job, opening in theaters nationwide on January 17. As the education partner for the new animated film, NWF is providing resources to help kids, parents, teachers and animal enthusiasts of all ages celebrate some of our most clever, acrobatic backyard inhabitants on January 21 for National Squirrel Appreciation Day.

In animated 3D, The Nut Job is an action-packed comedy that follows Surly (voiced by Will Arnett), a mischievous squirrel, who must plan a heist to get into his town’s biggest nut shop so that his park pals can gather enough food to survive winter. With his sidekick, Buddy, he assembles a ragtag crew to help him get inside and takes them on a fun-filled adventure.

“National Wildlife Federation is the perfect education partner for this film,” says Will Arnett. “I am glad to be part of a project that shows how wonderful these sometimes unappreciated animals can be.”

“Having just made a film in which I play a squirrel, I’m very partial to them, and am delighted to hear that the National Wildlife Federation is celebrating National Squirrel Appreciation Day, encouraging us to celebrate backyard wildlife every day,” says Katherine Heigl.

“We hope the lessons of working together and sharing that Surly learns will encourage kids, families and wildlife enthusiasts of all ages to help us plant trees to provide homes and food for squirrels and other wildlife through NWF’s Trees for Wildlife program,” says Carey Stanton, NWF’s senior director for education.

At www.nwf.org/TheNutJob, there are other ways to celebrate National Squirrel Appreciation Day and show your love for squirrels:

· Show your love for squirrels and also encourage people to take action on behalf of wildlife by entering the NWF sweepstakes for a private hometown screening for up to 100 friends to see The Nut Job. The sweepstakes deadline is 11:59 p.m. EST on January 22, 2014.

· Download the official The Nut Job poster.

· Tweet your pics of squirrels using the hashtag: #squirrelday.

· See the NWF App, Squirrel vs. Bird Feeder.

· Play Squirrel Seek in Activity Finder, NWF’s database of activities to help connect families with nature.

About the film:

The Nut Job is based on the 2005 award-winning comedy short film Surly Squirrel by animation veteran Lepeniotis, The Nut Job marks the Canadian-based ToonBox's first feature film with Korean partner Redrover, in association with Gulfstream Pictures, which is handling U.S. sales. Fully financed by Redrover and its partners.  An all-star cast of Katherine Heigl, WillArnett, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon and comedian Jeff Dunham,have all lent their voices for the animated comedy feature. For Facebook: http://www.fb.com/TheNutJobMovie and Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TheNutJobMovie.

About National Wildlife Federation:

National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization, inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.

About Open Road Films:

Founded in 2011 by AMC Entertainment Inc. (AMC) and Regal Entertainment Group (Regal), the two largest theatrical exhibition and entertainment companies in the United States, Open Road Films is a dynamic, acquisition-based domestic theatrical distributioncompany.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Provides $5.1 Million in Grants to 11 States for Conservation Projects Partners offer $3.1 million in matching funds Imperiled species will benefit from a total of $5.1 million in grants to 11 states through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s competitive State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program. The grants, which focus on large-scale conservation projects yielding measurable results, will be matched by more than $3.1 million in non-federal funds from states and their partners for projects that work to conserve and recover Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and their habitats. “The projects funded by these grants target some of the most imperiled species and habitats in the United States,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “These projects are receiving funding because they are tied to well-thought-out conservation plans that identify the highest-priority areas where we can make the biggest difference for imperiled species.” The SWG funds will benefit a variety of species and habitats: In North Carolina and South Carolina, partners’ work will help inform decision-making and management for the robust redhorse and up to 52 additional fishes, mussels and crayfish. In Minnesota, SWG funds will support conservation actions to benefit the imperiled wood turtle, the rare smooth softshell turtle, the Blandings turtle and other turtle species of greatest conservation need. SWG funding also will be used by Iowa, Missouri and Illinois to conserve and improve habitat for the greater prairie-chicken as well as a range of other bird and butterfly SGCN. For more information about each of the grant projects, visit http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/SWG/SWG2013FundedProjects.pdf SWG-funded projects implement strategies and actions to conserve SGCN as identified in approved State Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plans (also known as State Wildlife Action Plans). Funding for the grants comes from Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations. “We appreciate the strong ties formed by state agencies and their partners to protect these imperiled wildlife species and their habitats,” said Hannibal Bolton, the Service’s Assistant Director for Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration. “These partnerships are critical to the on-the-ground success of these projects.” All 50 states and six territorial wildlife agencies have approved State Wildlife Action Plans that collectively provide a nationwide blueprint for actions to conserve SGCN. The plans were created through a collaborative effort among state and federal agencies, biologists, conservationists, landowners, sportsmen and -women and the general public. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) is a 75-year partnership to benefit fish and wildlife and provide Americans with access to the outdoors through a self-imposed investment paid by manufacturers and users of gear bought by anglers, boaters, hunters and shooters and managed by federal and state fish and wildlife agencies. Fishing and hunting licenses and motorboat fuel taxes also support fish and wildlife. For 75 years, the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has provided more than $14 billion for fish and wildlife, supplied jobs for many Americans and benefited local economies through boating, fishing, hunting and shooting activities. The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

Oakland, CA - On Thursday, August 22, 2013, Oakland Zoo will open its new Biodiversity Center, a breeding, research, and education facility devoted to the conservation of endangered and threatened animals, plants and habitats.

“The Oakland Zoo Biodiversity Center is an important contribution to the global efforts to preserve our planet’s rich and diverse wildlife through conservation, research, education, and public participation”, said Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care, Conservation and Research. “The Center will directly support critically endangered species both through captive breeding and by head starting. Animals bred in the Center will be introduced to wild habitats. Juveniles vulnerable in the wild will be brought to the center during their developmental period and returned to the wild once they are past their most vulnerable period.”

The Biodiversity Center Research Labs will house and display current and ongoing research activities and programs focused on the study, management, protection, and restoration of threatened and endangered species including the Western pond turtle, California condor, mountain lion, and mountain yellow-legged frog.

For more than five years, Oakland Zoo has partnered with Sonoma State University and San Francisco Zoo to research, raise, and release western pond turtles back into the wild. Turtle eggs are collected each year from a site in Lake County and transported to SSU for incubation. Once the eggs hatch, the tiny turtles are raised by zoo keepers at Oakland Zoo and San Francisco Zoo. To date, Oakland Zoo has fostered more than 150 baby turtles until they were large enough to live in the wild. Continued studies of their nesting patterns, breeding, habitat threats, incubation, growth, and diets are bringing the partnership closer to a long range strategy to save these important reptiles.

“The North Bay Western Pond Turtle Project has been a unique collaboration between the Conservation Department at Oakland Zoo and my laboratory at Sonoma State University that is a model for the key role that zoos can play in both basic science and applied conservation of imperiled local species,” said Dr. Nick Geist, Associate Professor of Biology at Sonoma State. “Working closely together we have been able to establish a highly effective program that has the potential save these amazing animals. Without the zoo’s enthusiasm and expertise of their staff, we never could have had this kind of success.”

The California Biodiversity Classroom will educate visitors on the crucial interdependence of plants, animals, people, and the environment as well as the importance of becoming responsible stewards of California’s rich natural heritage through hands-on, interactive scientific research activities including “citizen science” projects, habitat restoration, and field biology workshops. For example, Zoo staff, volunteers, and guests currently participate in “citizen science” projects collecting data for local, state, national, and international conservation agencies. Since 2010, staff and volunteers have conducted bird counts as part of Project Feeder Watch, a winter-long study of migratory patterns led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies in Canada. Oakland Zoo’s own Wild Watch program was created in 2013 and uses citizen scientists to monitor and record year-round wildlife and environmental change throughout the Zoo and Knowland Park. While not open to the general public, the Biodiversity Center will be available for specially arranged groups of junior high students, high school students, college students, volunteers, and researchers.

Located in the newly renovated building that formerly housed the Zoo’s Veterinary Care Center, the Biodiversity Center was made possible by an initial grant from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) and matching funding from an anonymous donor through the San Francisco Foundation. Chevron Corporation also participated by providing funding for interpretive materials and equipment for the California Biodiversity Classroom.

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and supports wildlife conservation on-site, locally and globally. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks.

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WASHINGTON D.C.             (AUGUST 8, 2013) – To generate awareness for the plight of the African lion and the distinct possibility that the species could disappear from the wild within our lifetime, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) joins wildlife groups around the globe in celebrating the inaugural World Lion Day 2013 on Saturday, August 10. World Lion Day is the first global campaign of its kind to impress the biological, cultural and economic importance of the lion and the urgent need to protect the species.

While the popular imagination holds the lion as a symbol of courage and power, African lion populations are plummeting due to a number of factors including loss of habitat, human-wildlife conflict, and trophy hunting. The number of African lions has declined by more than 50 percent in the past three decades. The most recent evidence shows that as few as 32,000 lions are left in the wild, and many experts believe there to be far fewer.

IFAW views trophy hunting as a particularly pernicious—and needless—threat to African lion populations. Trophy hunting targets the healthiest members of the lion population and creates unsustainable pressures on the species. Approximately 600 lions are killed every year in trophy hunts and approximately 60 percent of all lions killed for sport in Africa are imported to the United States as trophies.

To help alleviate the threat of hunting on the species, IFAW, along with a coalition of other wildlife groups, petitioned the U.S. government in 2011 to list African lions as an Endangered Species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

“World Lion Day 2013 is an important opportunity to stress African lions’ dire situation, and expose the unnecessary threat trophy hunting poses,” said Jeff Flocken, North America Regional Director, IFAW. “Classifying the African lion as Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act would send a message that this magnificent but imperiled animal is dying for sport at the hands of wealthy Americans, and the U.S. government will no longer add this to the many threats lions already face.”

Currently, lions are the only great cat not protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Safeguarding the future of the African lion would not only conserve a beloved species, but it would also work to preserve a vital sector of Africa’s tourism economy. The lion’s symbolic significance translates to real-world economics. A study commissioned by IFAW, Born Free USA, and Humane Society International found that African countries and rural communities derive very little benefit from trophy hunting revenue. By depleting the beloved species, trophy hunters jeopardize non-consumptive nature tourism, such as wildlife viewing and photo safaris. These non-consumptive nature tourism activities contribute much more to African economies than trophy hunting.

As a portion of any national economy, trophy hunting revenue never accounts for more than 0.27 percent of the GDP. Additionally, trophy hunting revenues account for only 1.8 percent of overall tourism in nine investigated countries that allow trophy hunting – an insignificant amount, especially when you consider that local communities receive a mere 3 percent of overall trophy hunting revenues.

To learn more about World Lion Day, visit http://worldlionday.com/the-campaign/. For more information about IFAW’s campaign to list the African Lion as an endangered species, visit

http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/get-involved/help-protect-african-lions-hunters.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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RE:  Response to President Obama’s Executive Order:  Combating Wildlife Trafficking

(Washington, D.C. – July 1, 2013) – Illegal trade in wildlife around the planet is both rampant and shockingly destructive to humans and animals.  We applaud President Obama’s executive order to elevate the U.S. government’s engagement in the fight against the growing illegal wildlife trade.  This action gives recognition to the threat the illicit trade poses not only to animals like elephants and rhinos, but also to people – a grim reality thoroughly documented in a new IFAW report, Criminal Nature:  The Global Security Implications of the Illegal Wildlife Trade . The President’s decision to prioritize the issue will hopefully save hundreds of lives of people on the frontline of this battle, and also save hundreds of thousands of individual animals exploited by this brutal trade.

To view and download a full copy of Criminal Nature:  The Global Security Implications of The Illegal Wildlife Trade, please visit www.ifaw.org/stopwildlifecrime

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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