Displaying items by tag: Wildlife

TPR NEWS
Saturday, Aug. 6, the 219th day of 2016.
There are 147 days left in the year.
 
CrewHost - Jon Patch
Co Host - Adriana Odachowski DVM
Producer - Lexi Lapp
Network Producer – Ben Boquist
Executive Producer - Bob Page
Special Guests - Michael Wombacher, author of Good Dog, Happy Baby will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 8/6/2016 at 5pm EST to discuss and give away his new book
Jim Quarles, Director of Pet Development for Indigenous Pet Treats will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 8/6/16 at 630 PM ET to discuss and give away their treats

https://us.vocuspr.com/Publish/525556/vcsPRAsset_525556_87067_438e719c-5824-4fb6-8e7c-a0ada1d2fd3d_0.jpeghttps://us.vocuspr.com/Publish/525556/vcsPRAsset_525556_87068_e855e5ce-02b9-45e4-9aa6-181d0772ea87_0.jpeg

 

 

Baby Wallaroo Emerges from Mom’s Pouch at Oakland Zoo

Oakland, CA…August 4, 2016 – A baby wallaroo, called a joey, has emerged from mom’s pouch at Oakland Zoo. Wallaroos are a species similar to but smaller than a kangaroo. Too early yet to determine the baby’s sex, ZooKeepers are waiting to name the joey until a gender can be determined.

Although it’s impossible to determine an exact birthdate, zookeepers estimate it between October - November last year. Joeys are technically born after only one month's gestational period - fur-less, blind, and about the size of a kidney bean (1’’ long). The tiny newborn will crawl unaided from the birth canal to the mother’s pouch where it begins to nurse. There it will continue to develop, not making an appearance until it is six to eight months old. (Zooborns. (n.d.) Retrieved from: http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2011/05/baby-wallaroo-peeks-out-of-the-pouch.html

“We’re very excited about the arrival of this new joey, who brings our wallaroo “mob” - the term for a group of wallaroos - to 12. For guests who get a peek from our Outback Adventure Train, the joey can often be seen near its mother, sometimes resting in the shade during the warm summer days or foraging on the lush grass in the cooler morning and evening hours,” Valerie Salonga, Zookeeper.

Since a Joey will not start coming and going from the safety of its mom’s pouch with any regularity until approximately ten months of age, only recently has the youngster begun grazing on grass, eating food-pellets, and spending time with female wallaroos in the mob other than its mother. More active every week, the joey is still quite shy and mom, Tallara, remains very protective.

Zookeepers are giving mom and joey plenty of privacy during this transitional period, providing a morning diet in a holding area and allowing Tallara to choose whether or not to go on exhibit each day.

 

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 the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018,

and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife. 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, go to: www.oaklandzoo.org

###

 

Logging loopholes threaten old-growth forests; Marbled Murrelet’s protected zone reduced by 98 percent

Advisor, 202-888-7490

(Washington, D.C. August 5, 2016)The Bureau of Land Management has approved a logging plan for the forests it manages in Oregon, significantly weakening protections for the threatenedMarbled MurreletandNorthern Spotted Owl. These protections were put in place in 1994 as part of President Clinton’s Northwest Forest Plan.

“The BLM plan is huge step in the wrong direction that ignores science, the dangers of climate change, and the successes of President Clinton’s Northwest Forest Plan,” said Steve Holmer, Senior Policy Advisor for American Bird Conservancy. “The BLM is now planning to log mature forests that are needed to recover populations of the threatened Marbled Murrelet and Northern Spotted Owl, and that provide for clean water and carbon storage.”

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) submitted aletterto BLM providing feedback on the plan; ABC also urged Obama administration officials to shelve the proposed plan, instead keeping the Northwest Forest Plan in effect until it can be updated in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service.

“The Marbled Murrelet, a species listed under the Endangered Species Act, will be placed at great risk by the BLM’s plan to increase logging in mature forests,” said Holmer. “The Northwest Forest Plan provided for half-mile buffers around nesting territories. These are needed to ensure sufficient protected habitat around nests in a heavily fragmented landscape. This common-sense safeguard is being abandoned at the same time BLM is proposing to ramp up clearcutting.”

The Marbled Murrelet nests on large branches of mature and old-growth trees. It is listed as a threatened species under the ESA because of habitat loss caused primarily by logging of old-growth forests. An estimated 19,000 birds remain, but the Washington State population is currently in a steep 5.9 percent annual decline, and long-term population projections indicate a high risk of extinction in California and Oregon within the next 100 years.

Marbled Murrelet nests suffer heavier predation in areas where the forest is not intact. Clearcutting proposed in the BLM plan for Oregon will further fragment the landscape. The current buffers protect a circular area of 503 acres of habitat based on a half-mile radius from the nest site. The new plan provides for only 6.5 acres of protected habitat,a 98 percent reduction from the current standard.

Meanwhile, the Northern Spotted Owl—also listed as a threatened species under the ESA—is in decline across its range, including in Oregon. A recent study showed that the owl population has decreased by 31-68 percent in Oregon since 1985, due to the dual threats of habitat loss and competition from Barred Owls. The BLM plan calls for commercial logging in areas designated as reserves for the owl by the Northwest Forest Plan, in particular in late-successional and riparian habitats. This raises doubt that the new reserves will function properly.

The BLM plan is proposing a five-to-eight-year moratorium on Spotted Owl take until a Barred Owl control program is initiated in the planning area. (Research on the effectiveness of Barred Owl removal has just begun, and uncertainty remains as to how much Barred Owl control the public will support over the long term.)

“The Northern Spotted Owl will benefit from the proposed moratorium on take, but its habitat is at greater risk over the long term because of the extensive logging planned in late-successional areas of the reserves,” said Holmer. “We advise placing a much longer moratorium on owl take. In about 30 years, a large amount of new, suitable owl habitat will become available under the Northwest Forest Plan as forests mature. We need to stay the course and be as protective of the Northern Spotted Owl as possible until then.”

###

American Bird Conservancy is the Western Hemisphere's bird conservation specialist—the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.  With a focus on efficiency and working in partnership, we take on the toughest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on sound science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

____________________________________________________________

TPR NewsSaturday, July 30, the 212th day of 2016. There are 154 days left in the year. Crew:
Jon Patch – Host
Kellyann Payne - Co Host
Zach Budin – Producer
Ben Boquist - Network Producer
Bob Page – Executive Producer
Special Guests - Long time friend and Announcer to Hallmark Channel's Kitten Summer Games, David Frei, will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 7/30/16 at 5pm EST to discuss the the show
Loren Kulesus from Dr. Catsby's and Zack Williamson, Senior Associate at The Grommet will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 7/30/16 at 630 pm EST to discuss and give away their Innovative Cat Bowl to help prevent Whisker Fatigue

     
 

 
 

Tiger Population Rebounds in Parsa, Nepal,
Instilling Hope for the Species

Remarkable Recovery Shows Rigorous Anti-Poaching Efforts & Monitoring Key to Tigers’ Resurgence

 
July 29, 2016
 

In a rare victory for a species on the brink of extinction throughout much of its range, a scientific camera trap survey has revealed a marked increase in the tiger population of Nepal’s Parsa Wildlife Reserve. This news comes on International Tiger Day, a day dedicated to recognizing the plight of tigers around the world.

The Government of Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization, and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) collaborated to carry out the 2016 population survey in Parsa as part of their ongoing partnership to protect and monitor tigers throughout the lowlands of Nepal.

Nepal’s Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Krishna Acharya said, “The tiger population in Parsa Wildlife Reserve has significantly increased since the last census. This is fantastic news for tigers and it demonstrates that Nepal’s dedicated conservation efforts are delivering clear results. Nepal has committed to doubling its tiger population by 2022 and encouraging results like these show that we are on track to achieve that.”

Panthera Senior Tiger Program Director, Dr. John Goodrich, stated, “The impressive rise in Parsa’s tiger numbers has been fuelled by the natural movement of animals from neighboring Chitwan as conditions in Parsa have improved over the past three years. This is a testament to how law enforcement and strong government leadership can change the game for tigers. At a time when poachers are waging an all-out war against wildlife, Nepal serves as a beacon of hope for the tiger.”

ZSL’s Conservation Programmes Director, Prof. Jonathan Baillie said “Success for tiger conservation requires viable habitats, stringent protection, effective monitoring and community engagement and when those conditions are in place, tiger numbers will flourish as Parsa has demonstrated very clearly. Nepal’s exemplary track record in conserving its iconic wildlife makes it a conservation leader in the South Asian region.”

Today, just 3,900 wild tigers remain in all of Asia, largely due to poaching for the illegal wildlife trade. Nepal is estimated to support 163-235 tigers, according to a 2013 population survey. The 2016 survey confirms that Parsa specifically has seen around a 45% annual increase in its tiger population.

Nepal’s tremendous commitment to increasing coordinated law enforcement activities, harsh prosecution for poachers, and wildlife monitoring sets the nation apart from many other tiger range states. Hundreds of dedicated personnel from the Nepal Army and DNPWC jointly patrol Parsa Wildlife Reserve and other protected areas, preventing poaching of Nepal’s iconic wildlife, from the tiger to the greater one-horned rhinoceros. Yet there is still much work to be done.

Parsa’s tiger rebound can also be attributed to the empowerment of the country’s National Park and Wildlife Reserve Wardens, who maintain the authority to arrest, convict and sentence poachers. This model is in stark contrast to many tiger range states where poachers often escape with little to no jail time or fines, even after sentencing.

The success of these stringent anti-poaching efforts is especially evident in neighboring Chitwan National Park. Acting as a source population for Parsa, tigers from Chitwan have moved into the adjoining landscape, accelerating population recovery, and ultimately creating a larger more viable population that extends across both protected areas.

Since 2014, Panthera and ZSL have collaborated in Parsa Wildlife Reserve to monitor tigers and their prey using camera traps, and provide training for effective law enforcement and use of SMART, a computer-based platform that improves the effectiveness of wildlife patrols.

Parsa is also a trial site for innovative conservation technologies, which have been effectively deployed to provide valuable information to park managers. This includes ZSL’s seismic and magnetic sensors and Panthera’s PoacherCam – a remote camera that distinguishes people from wildlife and can transmit images to law enforcement, to stop poaching before it happens.

ZSL in partnership with DNPWC has also recently equipped and supported the deployment of a state of the art Rapid Response Patrol team in Parsa, which further strengthens the capacity of the park management to prevent tiger poaching before it takes place.

Over the next few years Panthera and ZSL plan to expand their efforts to support the Government of Nepal in its tiger conservation initiatives across three other protected areas that are home to tigers in the lowlands of Nepal.

Learn more about Panthera’s Tigers Forever Program.

Learn more about ZSL’s conservation efforts in Asia

About ZSL
Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. Our mission is realised through our ground-breaking science, our active conservation projects in more than 50 countries and our two Zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. For more information visit www.zsl.org

 
 
 

 
 
  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 50 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  
     
 
     

Panthera Head Office
8 West 40th Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10018

 
 
 
If you would rather not receive future communications from Panthera, let us know by clicking here.
Panthera, 8 West 40th Street 18th Floor, New York, NY 10018 United States

 

Nonprofit Horse Rescue Group Challenges Inhumane Experimental Surgery

HINES, Ore., July 26, 2016 – Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a national nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue, advocacy and education, announced today it is suing the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management to stop the BLM’s experimental sterilization of wild mares in Oregon. The lawsuit was filed late yesterday in federal court in Washington D.C.

FRER’s suit contends the BLM’s intention to conduct surgical experiments on 225 wild horses, many in various stages of pregnancy, and potentially thousands more horses over time, causes harm and suffering in violation of federal law.

The sterilizations on wild mares proposed by the BLM, to be carried out in collaboration with Oregon State University, include three untested, dangerous procedures:

  • Slicing open the mare’s vagina while sedated, but awake and standing, and blindly pulling out her ovaries – a risky and controversial surgical procedure even for tame mares under the best of conditions, let alone captive wild horses in a holding facility
  • Burning and then cutting the sedated, but conscious horses’ fallopian tubes, a procedure that is surgically untested on horses
  • Using a laser, inserted through the vagina, to scar and seal the ovaries – another surgery that has never been studied in horses

“It is unjustifiable for the BLM to conduct such barbaric sterilization experiments with a host of known risks, including death, on captive wild horses,” said Hilary Wood, President of FRER. “Performing unproven surgeries in a holding pen, let alone on the open range, is contrary to the BLM’s congressional mandate to care for wild horses, especially when responsible alternatives like the PZP contraceptive vaccine already exist to maintain population levels and ensure herd viability.”

Earlier this year, FRER filed formal comments opposing the “research” that will be done on conscious animals in long-term holding. These comments – and comments submitted by more than 20,000 members of the public – were disregarded, prompting FRER to file its suit.

“These sterilization procedures are not documented, practiced, or analyzed in non-surgical settings; they are overly invasive, and they are unlikely to have applicability for mares on public lands,” said Laureen Bartfield, DVM, an expert in population control of wild horses and the social structure of herds. “Two of the three procedures have virtually never been performed on horses, and the unvisualized removal of the ovaries, while documented in the literature, is disfavored by reputable veterinarians. The BLM’s plan is not just clinically ill advised, it constitutes animal cruelty on a large scale.”

The plans for eventual widespread sterilization of horses on the range will also run up an estimated cost to the taxpayers in the millions – and the first of the funds could be handed to OSU in the form of a BLM grant. This first group of mares to go under the knife are in BLM custody in the Hines Corral in Eastern Oregon.

FRER’s lawsuit says the experimental sterilizations represent a conflict of interest, and are not in the best interests of wild horses, but rather in the BLM’s own best interest by reducing their management load without considering their mandate to properly manage the horses.

This is not the first time the BLM has pursued surgical sterilization for wild horses. In 2011, a federal court found the bureau’s plans to castrate wild horses captured in Wyoming was of an “extreme and irreversible nature.” In 2012, the BLM was again forced to defend similar plans in federal court, and abandoned its efforts to castrate Nevada’s wild horses.

About Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER)

Front Range Equine Rescue is a 501c3 Colorado nonprofit working to end abuse and neglect of wild and domestic horses through rescue and education. Since 1997, FRER has assisted thousands of horses through its programs, and many more with expanded facilities on the East Coast. Many of FRER’s rescued horses are obtained directly from auctions and kill lots, and would have shipped to slaughter without FRER’s intervention. Through its legal advocacy, FRER has effectively prevented horses from being slaughtered for human food in the U.S., and is actively involved in preventing unnecessary and unlawful removal of wild horses and burros from public lands. For more information see www.frontrangeequinerescue.org.

###

 

 

Restoration efforts already underway must happen faster to protect water,

wildlife habitat and other natural resources

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) are taking additional steps under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to restore balance to the Florida Everglades ecosystem and help reverse decades-long population declines of the endangered Cape Sable seaside sparrow. 

These steps are outlined in a new biological opinion on the Corps’ Everglades Restoration Transition Plan(ERTP), which was implemented in 2012 to guide improved management of water flows in the Everglades. The new biological opinion will guide the Corps and partners in the Everglades restoration effort in better managing water in ways that improve habitat essential to the Cape Sable seaside sparrow. 

Actions called for in the biological opinion include operational modifications and expediting restoration initiatives already planned for the southern portion of the Everglades ecosystem to aid in providing suitable nesting habitat for the sparrow. These measures will allow the movement of additional water southward under the Tamiami Trail One-Mile Bridge flowing through the Everglades and into Florida Bay in ways that avoid prolonged flooding of the sparrow’s habitat during the nesting season. They will also provide much-needed fresh water into the Everglades and Florida Bay, benefitting wildlife such as American crocodiles, West Indian manatees, sea turtles, dolphins, a variety of bird species and gamefish. 

The ESA consultation, biological opinion, and the resulting operational modifications are part of a broad collaboration between the Service, the Corps, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service, which manages Everglades National Park, and many others to save the ground-nesting Cape Sable seaside sparrow and meet water management needs. The actions reflect the complexity of restoration requirements across the Everglades and the commitment of local, state and federal partners to find creative ways to achieve long-term restoration and conservation. 

“Although the Cape Sable seaside sparrow is on the brink of extinction, we believe with the timely and coordinated action of partners, we can save this and other imperiled wildlife for the long term,” said Larry Williams, the Service’s State Supervisor for Ecological Services in Florida. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers echoed the importance of state and federal partners collaborating in conserving the sparrow and the Everglades. 

"We’re moving forward with restoration efforts and operational modifications that will ultimately provide beneficial conditions to the many species that call the Everglades home," said Col. Jason Kirk, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District Commander. “We have been coordinating closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine what measures can be taken to improve the habitat of the Cape Sable seaside sparrow and ensure we are able to operate our water management system in compliance with the Endangered Species Act. Nonetheless, multiple environmental factors continue to threaten the survival of this rare species. Successful recovery of the Cape Sable seaside sparrow requires continued collaborative efforts among our federal and state partnering agencies and we look forward to this ongoing dialogue.” 

Prior to Hurricane Andrew in 1992, there were 6,576 sparrows inhabiting Everglades National Park. Hurricane Andrew was followed by several wet years and high discharges of water through water control structures, causing several years of poor conditions for the Cape Sable seaside sparrow. This reduced the sparrow’s ability to recover from the impact of the hurricane and its total population declined to 3,312 in 1993. The Service began consulting with the Corps on the ERTP in 2015. Due to many factors, including loss of habitat, the sparrow’s population dropped to 2,720 in 2014. After one of the wettest nesting periods on record current preliminary results for 2016 indicate the population may have decreased to approximately 2,400 birds, the lowest on record. 

The biological opinion also addresses potential impacts to two other federally listed species—American wood storks and Everglade snail kites. Current water operations are not likely to impact these birds. 

As a result of this interagency consultation and biological opinion, the Corps has committed to: 

  • Provide habitat conditions that will continue to facilitate sparrow breeding in areas where the existing habitat is of better quality.
  • Provide habitat conditions that will allow the sparrow to successfully breed and recruit in currently degraded areas.
  • Promote sparrow population resilience by identifying additional areas of habitat expansion or movement that may occur with implementation of water management projects and the onset of sea level rise.
  • Monitor and demonstrate that successful sparrow breeding and recruitment is occurring in response to the implementation of management actions. 

The Service has developed a revised set of targets to improve the conditions of the Cape Sable seaside sparrow and contribute towards the survival and recovery of the species. Targets include providing at least 90 consecutive dry nesting-season days between March 1 and July 15. The marl prairie habitat that the Cape Sable seaside sparrow requires persists under a hydrologic regime of 90-210 wet days. If the habitat is dry fewer than 90 days, the grass habitat the sparrow requires often is taken over by woody plants. If the habitat is under water more than 210 days, a wetland habitat emerges. 

Conservation efforts on behalf of the Cape Sable seaside sparrow include annual range-wide population surveys by ground and helicopter, vegetation and hydrologic monitoring, use of prescribed fire to control woody vegetation, controlling wildfires to protect sparrow habitats, and banding birds so they can be identified in the future. The Service and partners are also developing new modeling tools and genetic studies and analyzing of sparrow blood and feathers to determine if there are contaminants, such as mercury that may be negatively affecting them.  

For more information, please visit:  https://www.fws.gov/verobeach/20160722NRERTPJeopardyBO.html

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. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

                                                                                                                                    XXX

 

“People put themselves in grave danger when they respond inappropriately during an encounter with wildlife… Selfies are only making the problem worse.” - Born Free USA CEO

Washington, D.C., July 21, 2016 -- According to Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, in order to safely enjoy hikes and campouts without endangering themselves or wildlife, the public needs to stay alert to their surroundings, and make smart and compassionate decisions.

Over the past two months alone, we have seen an increasing number of incidents involving human conflicts with wild animals, particularly bears. In June, a Pennsylvania man lost his dog after a fatal run-in with a black bear and her cubs; a New Mexico marathon runner suffered injuries from a black bear after inadvertently scaring the bear’s cub; a young bear in California ripped open a tent, presumably foraging for food, injuring the camper inside; and a Montana Forest Service law enforcement officer startled a grizzly bear and was tragically killed. In July, Shenandoah National Park made the decision to close certain trails after a black bear approached a hiker, again looking to the human to provide food.

Animal welfare and wildlife conservation expert Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, explains: “Hiking trails and campsites are filled with natural wildlife populations and it is crucial that enthusiasts are aware of potential encounters, understand how to avoid conflict, and know exactly what to do if it happens. Human conflicts with wildlife are often due to people responding inappropriately when an animal is near. They put the animal and themselves at severe risk by how they react when they see a bear, coyote, bobcat, or other dangerous animal. These animals are wild, wary of humans, and protective of their territory, and should never be lured or encouraged to approach you for any reason.”

Roberts adds, “In the last two years, there has been an increase in people vying for an impressive selfie with animals ranging from seal pups, to bison, to black bears. This is becoming a dangerous epidemic that is reckless and harmful for both the public and wildlife. No selfie is worth getting killed or condemning an animal to death.”

Born Free USA offers these safety tips for outdoor adventures:

  • Keep food out of reach and never feed wild animals. Once they become accustomed to hand-outs, they lose their natural wariness and feel comfortable getting closer to humans. 
  • Resist taking wildlife selfies. Getting close to predators—like black bears—and then turning your back on them can rouse their prey drive and cause them to charge. Even getting too close to non-predatory animals—like bison—for a photo opportunity can also result in tragedy, as they might perceive you as an encroaching threat. Manipulating, touching, or removing wild animals from their habitats for a photo, or for any reason, causes severe anxiety for the animal, and puts everyone at risk for injury or death.
  • Beware of hidden animal traps. Steel-jaw leghold traps and other barbaric traps are widely used to catch and kill wild animals for their fur, and trappers often use the same trails and public lands that hikers do. Because traps are indiscriminate and can snap shut on any person or animal who triggers them, they frequently catch “non-targeted” animals, including family pets. Dogs end up maimed or killed as their families struggle to free them. For every target animal caught in a trap, two non-target animals are trapped. Adults and children have also been injured in traps, as reported in this Born Free USA database.  
  • Bears cause enormous fear for humans in the great outdoors. Most negative black bear encounters are caused by surprising the bears, luring them with food, or giving them a reason to think you are a threat. Bears have an exceptional sense of smell —seven times more powerful than dogs—and can detect odors over a mile away. Avoid packing odorous food and use bear-proof, odor-proof containers. Do not leave food or ice chests on decks or in vehicles, and become familiar with techniques for hanging food out of bears' reach. (Hang food and scented items at least 10 feet off of the ground and five feet from a tree. Be sure that tents, sleeping bags, and clothes are free of lingering food odors.)
  • As you travel through bear territory, make plenty of noise to avoid surprising a bear. If you do encounter a black bear, help him/her recognize that you are a human by talking calmly and by slowly waving your arms. During the encounter, do not make loud noises, try to imitate the bear, or run, as running may entice the bear to chase you. Slowly back away, always facing the bear, making no sudden movements, and always leave the bear an escape route. Avoid direct eye contact and pick up small children to prevent them from running and screaming. Contain and restrain dogs.
  • A black bear may stand on his/her hind legs as he/she investigates you; a standing bear is usually curious, not aggressive. Black bears may pounce forward on their front feet and bellow loudly, followed by clacking their jaw. This is a sign of fear. Mothers with cubs sometimes make “bluff charges”: short rushes or a series of forward pounces. These are signs of nervousness and not intent to attack. If this happens, momentarily hold your ground. Then, keep backing away and talking softly.
  • While camping or hiking, other predators (like coyotes and bobcats) may also be seen moving about their territory. If the animals act afraid of you, either running away or observing you from a safe distance, they are displaying normal, nonaggressive behavior. Aggressive behavior—an animal who does not run from humans or approaches them—is most often a result of habituation due to feeding by humans. If approached by a coyote or bobcat, make loud noises with pots and pans, yell, wave your arms, blow a whistle, or shake a can with rocks. Show dominance and re-instill their natural fear of humans. Do not run, as this may elicit a chase response. If hiking with dogs in coyote country, keep them on a leash. Small dogs may be especially tempting to a coyote. 

Roberts explains, “While we all deserve to explore, enjoy, and appreciate nature, we also need to understand that we are visiting the natural habitats and homes of wild animals. We can easily co-exist, as long as we treat the wilderness and its occupants respectfully and thoughtfully.”

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. 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.

Oakland, CA...July 14, 2016 – Oakland Zoo’s elephant program contributed to a special collection of peer-reviewed scientific research articles resulting from a comprehensive study on North American zoo elephant welfare. The collections is available today in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. It includes nine research papers, an overview and formal commentary explaining the significance of the work and its importance to better understand and enhance zoo elephant welfare.

“Oakland Zoo applauds AZA for taking on such a massive institutional study to work on improving the livelihood of elephants in captivity. Being involved in elephant research and data collection in and out of the field for twenty years, Oakland Zoo is committed to continuously improving the lives of elephants, a sensitive, highly intelligent, sentient, and complex being. We understand that the more we learn about this species in the wild and in captivity, we can manage them appropriately to encourage species typical behaviors. This study is one step toward that goal,” said Gina Kinzley, Co-Lead Elephant Manager at Oakland Zoo. 

This is the first and only multi-institution study to comprehensively identify and measure variables that significantly contribute to North American zoo elephant welfare, thus allowing science to inform management practices, according to Anne Baker, Ph.D., one of several principal investigators of the project. “Many AZA-accredited zoos are already using knowledge we’ve learned from the research to improve the welfare of their elephants.”

The collection, titled Epidemiological Investigations of North American Zoo Elephant Welfare, is available online and is accessible to the public. (See journals.plos.org)

The research is the outcome of work by a 27-member study team, which includes independent consultants, zoo professionals, and faculty from three universities. The study was funded by an $800,000 leadership grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded to the Honolulu Zoo Society and administered by Kathy Carlstead, Ph.D. Team members and dozens of research assistants from widely varied disciplines developed quantitative measures to assess multiple elephant-welfare indicators as well as a large variety of housing and management practices.

 “Zoo elephant welfare is a topic of public interest, but the lack of available data on this specific population made it difficult to differentiate fact from opinion, ” said Cheryl Meehan, Ph.D., the study’s consulting project manager and director of AWARE Institute, in Portland, OR. “The collection provides a scientific perspective on a number of issues that are important to the conversation about elephants in zoos, and it is forward-looking as a resource that can help shape and inform the future of elephant care.”

The collection resulted from a comprehensive study analyzing the daily lives of 255 Asian and African elephants in 68 North American zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Data were collected in 2012 and preliminary results presented at AZA conferences in 2013 and 2014. Research focused on factors related to the wellbeing of elephants that can be scientifically observed, measured, and analyzed, including: behavior, body condition, foot and joint health, female reproductive function, and walking distance -  Oakland Zoo's elephants were also part of the behavior studies which measured stereotypic behavior performance, walking distances and recumbence behavior. Nearly 96 percent of North American AZA-accredited zoos with elephants participated in the study.

Results showed that the elephants’ social lives play the biggest role in supporting behavioral health. For example, primary importance is for elephants to spend time in groups, and not be socially isolated.  Human care takers also can play an important role in an elephant’s social life through husbandry, training and interactive sessions.

 Although space is often linked to welfare in public discussions about elephants in zoos, researchers did not find evidence that the amount of enclosure space supports greater amounts of walking, decreased stereotypic behavior, improved body condition, or better foot and joint health.

The study did find that the quality of the space and management practices is important to elephant welfare. For example, the research demonstrated that decreased time spent on hard flooring significantly reduced the risk of foot and joint problems, which were found to be important health concerns for the population.

And the research team discovered a previously unknown link between the quality of enrichment and feeding programs and female reproductive health. This result indicates that day-to-day management practices could be an important tool in addressing the reproductive issues that are particularly common among female African elephants. 

“This groundbreaking approach provides a model for measuring welfare in managed animal populations with the potential to conduct similar studies to benefit many different species cared for in zoos and aquariums,” said Meehan. “And this research can be extended to inform elephant conservation efforts given that only a minority of free-ranging elephants exists in large undisturbed protected areas, while many “wild” elephants are managed in small reserves.”

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 the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018, and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife. 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, go to: www.oaklandzoo.org

# # #

 

SAN FRANCISCO – Led by staff from San Francisco Zoo & Gardens, a team of biologists, scientists and conservationists released 62 mountain yellow legged frogs into their native habitat in the Desolation Wilderness of Lake Tahoe Basin on Tuesday, July 12.  The release marks the final step in a three-year project seeking to restore the endangered frog to an area where it had been missing for decades due to non-native predators and deadly chytrid fungus.

The now two-year-old frogs were collected as eggs in 2014 in a nearby lake system and raised at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens where they grew to a healthy size.  The frogs were inoculated for chytrid in hopes they will survive future exposure to the fungus responsible for nearly wiping out entire populations of this species. 

“Releasing the frogs into their native habitat is amazing!” said Jessie Bushell, Director of Conservation at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens.  “It’s like sending your children off to college, except you want them to swim away and catch a bug.”

42 frogs were released into Tamarack Lake and 20 were released into Lake Lucille.  In the future, researchers will study how the inoculated frogs, which are microchipped, fare in the wild compared to those that were not inoculated. 

The groundbreaking scientific research and work done by conservation staff at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens is important to the survival of the species.  Participating agencies include the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology and Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL), U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

SF Zoo is in the midst of several frog restoration projects and will aid in the release of more than 100 mountain yellow legged frogs in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park next week.

Photos of the July 12 release: https://goo.gl/photos/1cRyB1G5xoVD3rnEA

 

Attached Photo: Jessie Bushell, Director of Conservation at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens, releases a mountain yellow legged frog at Lake Lucille in Desolation Wilderness on Tuesday.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVHl7zuJpfs

Website: www.sfzoo.org

About San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

Established in 1929, San Francisco Zoo & Gardens connects people to wildlife, inspires caring for nature and advances conservation action.  SF Zoo has been continuously accredited by Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) since 1977.  An urban oasis, the Zoo & Gardens are home to more than 2,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals representing more than 250 species as well as seven distinct gardens full of native and unusual plants.  Located at the edge of the Pacific Ocean where the Great Highway meets Sloat Boulevard, the Zoo is open 365 days a year from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (summer hours) and is accessible by San Francisco MUNI "L" Taraval Line.

###

Page 8 of 16