Displaying items by tag: extinction


American Bird Conservancy invests in on-the-ground conservation for the Townsend’s Shearwater and other endangered species

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The Townsend’s Shearwater, along with several other seabird species, will benefit from on-the-ground conservation work and financial support from American Bird Conservancy. Photo by GECI, J.A. Soriano

(Washington, D.C., May 30, 2019)Today, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) announced awards totaling $100,000 to restore important seabird nesting colonies in Mexico, Peru, Chile, and the Dominican Republic. The awards will leverage additional matching funds, putting a total of $243,000 on the ground for direct conservation. Through this effort, ABC and partners are investing in the future of some of the Western Hemisphere’s most imperiled seabirds, including the Townsend’s Shearwater, Guadalupe Murrelet, Ashy Storm-Petrel, Townsend’s Storm-Petrel, Peruvian Diving-Petrel, and Black-capped Petrel. These species are listed as Endangered and Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Some of the nesting sites where the projects will occur are globally recognized for their unique biodiversity through the Alliance for Zero Extinction.

These restoration grants, the first of their kind offered by ABC, address an urgent need for increased investment in capacity for seabird restoration, particularly in South America, where 38 globally threatened seabirds occur amidst unaddressed and growing threats, such as introduced predators.

Support for local initiatives is a key focus of these awards. “We are pleased to provide funds to dedicated local conservationists, many of whom are the only individuals or groups working to protect seabirds in their countries,” says Hannah Nevins, ABC’s Seabird Program Director.

Awards include:

  • MexicoYuliana Bedolla and Federico Mendez of Grupo Ecología y Conservación de las Islas (GECI) will lead a project focused on restoration and monitoring on seven Mexican islands to protect four globally threatened seabird species. GECI is globally recognized for its expertise in eradicating nonnative species from islands. The project will benefit the Critically Endangered Townsend’s Shearwater and Endangered Guadalupe Murrelet, Ashy Storm-Petrel, and Townsend’s Storm-Petrel. Social attraction and artificial burrows will be used to attract birds to nest sites protected from nonnative predators.
     
  • Peru – This project will support conservation of the Endangered Peruvian Diving-Petrel by providing baseline information on nonnative rodent impacts at the birds’ island nesting sites. It will also create a framework to communicate the need for conservation action, including invasive rodent eradication, on two important seabird islands off the Peruvian coast in the Reserva Nacional de Paracas. This effort will be led by Dr. Carlos Zavalaga of Universidad Científica del Sur, Marine Ecosystems Research Unit - Seabird Group, and Dr. Joanna Alfaro of ProDelphinus, in Lima, Peru.
     
  • Chile – Social attraction techniques that broadcast bird calls to simulate the sounds of an active colony will be used to attract Endangered Peruvian Diving-Petrels to the island of Chañaral, which was formerly home to the world’s largest nesting colony of the species, but is now empty. An earlier project to eradicate habitat-damaging nonnative rabbits has made the island safe for the birds to return. This work will be led by Coral Wolf of Island Conservation in collaboration with local partner Dr. Claudia Fernández Zamora of Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile.
     
  • Dominican Republic – A team, led by Ernst Rupp of the conservation nonprofit Grupo Jaragua and Dr. Yvan Satgé from the South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Clemson University, will work in the Sierra de Bahoruco to protect the few known nesting sites of the Endangered Black-capped Petrelby controlling nonnative predators.

“For species such as the Black-capped Petrel, few nesting sites have been found, so it is critical to protect each and every known site. The clock is ticking loudly for this species. Adult birds return every year to the same burrow and are subject to an onslaught of threats — human disturbance, agricultural encroachment, forest fires, and nonnative predators,” says Nevins.

Seabirds are among the most imperiled groups of birds. About one-third of seabird species are in decline worldwide due the above-mentioned threats, along with sea-level rise, reduction of prey due to overfishing, and fisheries bycatch. Most seabirds nest on or under the ground in burrows, where they are especially vulnerable to nonnative predators, including feral cats, mongooses, rats, and mice.

“Through these awards, ABC seeks to promote the kind of coordinated, large-scale efforts needed to conserve seabird nesting colonies,” added Dr. George Wallace, ABC’s Threatened Species Conservation Officer. “The goal is to ensure that our children will see these magnificent species persist into the next century and beyond.”

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American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization 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. Find us on abcbirds.orgFacebookInstagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).

Talkin' Pets News

May 11, 2019

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestrial Custom Dog Services

Producer - Zach Budin

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guest - Friend of Talkin' Pets PAUL BOGART’S NEW SINGLE “MOTHERS & SONS” IS JUST IN TIME FOR MOTHER’S DAY and he will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 5/11/19 to discuss his new single and give away autographed pics

Talkin' Pets News

November 24, 2018

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestrial Custom Dog Services

Producer - Daisey Charlotte

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Social Media / Producer - Bob Page

Special Guest - Ronnie McMullen - CEO of Ancient Life Oil will join Jon and Talkin' Pets at 721pm EST to discuss his CBD product.

 

Cynthia Smoot is the Emmy award-winning co-anchor of the FOX 13 11 O'clock News

When she's not at the anchor desk, Cynthia's likely covering a story about Florida's fabulous wildlife or people and their pets. She loves nature and enjoys helping Tampa Bay viewers get to know some of the interesting creatures in our own backyard, such as "Winter," the little dolphin at Clearwater Marine Aquarium that lost her tail but now swims with the help of a prosthesis.

She has also reported on some of the area's most notorious animal cruelty cases, following the story of "Casper," a boxer that was nearly starved to death, from the day he arrived at the county shelter to the day he went home with his new adoptive owner.

Cynthia has also traveled to the Everglades to report on the threat of Burmese pythons to our native wildlife, and to Boca Grande, where invasive spiny-tailed iguanas are pushing out threatened gopher tortoises and eating native birds.

In 1998, Cynthia received a prestigious Emmy award for "A Real Life Horse Whisperer," the story of Monty Roberts, who helped revolutionize horse training with his non-violent methods.

Cynthia grew up in Yorktown, Virginia and received her B.A. in communications from James Madison University. She's a 30-year veteran of broadcast journalism, with a career that began in radio as an award-winning morning news anchor and news director, and for the past 28 years, in television as a producer, reporter, and anchor.

Before coming to WTVT in 1997, Cynthia spent 13 years at the FOX owned and operated TV station in Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, North Carolina as the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news anchor. In North Carolina, she was deeply involved in children's issues and received a number of community awards and honor for her involvement and advocacy on issues relating to foster care and adoption, infant mortality, teenage pregnancy and working women.

Cynthia was also involved with the North Carolina chapter of "Operation Smile," twice
traveling abroad with medical teams to report on the life-changing surgery they perform on children with facial and limb deformities.

Cynthia lives in Tierra Verde with her husband Bill, greyhound Karma, and Bo the cat. Cynthia’s horse, Bucky, prefers the country life in Manatee County.

If you would like to contact Cynthia, you can email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @CynthiaSmoot.

 

Cheetah Conservation Fund is the world’s leading organization dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. Founded by Dr. Laurie Marker in 1990, CCF has created a set of integrated programs aimed at addressing the principle threats to the cheetah.

 

CCF’s conservation programming is rooted in scientific research. CCF maintains a research program on the biology, ecology and genetics of cheetahs that publishes papers in peer-reviewed journals annually, and currently operates the only fully-equipped genetics lab at an in-situ conservation facility in Africa.

 

Using this research as an underpinning, CCF has created a set of integrated programs that together address the threats both to the cheetah and its entire ecosystem, including human populations. CCF operates from the principal that only by securing the future of the communities that live alongside the cheetah can you secure a future for the cheetah. Helping people helps cheetahs.

 

Learn about the cheetah and what we do to help it win the race against extinction:

 

Welcome.

 

If you’re here, it’s a pretty good bet that, like me, you think the cheetah is special. It’s the world’s fastest land animal, and the oldest species of big cat. It’s also Africa’s most endangered big cat. We’ve lost over 90 percent of the world’s wild population in the past 100 years. And if we don’t act now, we might lose the cheetah forever.

 

I invite you to join us

 

Be part of our work here in Namibia and around the world. Donate. Visit. Volunteer. While we love hosting interns, working guests and visitors at our International Research and Education Center in Namibia, Africa, the truth is that you can help the cheetah right now, right where you are.

 

What will it take to save the cheetah?

 

Saving the cheetah means addressing its entire ecosystem, including the people who live in the cheetah’s range. Ninety percent of cheetahs in the wild live outside protected areas, alongside human communities. Securing a future for the cheetah means securing the future of the people who live in cheetah country. For nearly 25 years, Cheetah Conservation Fund has been doing just that – through our celebrated Livestock Guarding Dog program, and our award-winning habitat restoration project, Bushblok. We’re based in Namibia, where the world’s largest population of wild cheetahs lives, and everything we do is aimed at creating a thriving ecosystem so that cheetahs and humans can live together.

 

We need you, starting today.

 

Join our mailing list and learn more, be part of our CCF family. The race is on to save the cheetah, and with your help, we can win it.

 

For Cheetahs Everywhere,

 

Founded in Namibia in 1990, Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is the global leader in research and conservation of cheetahs. CCF is dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild.

 

The vast majority of wild cheetahs are outside protected areas, in areas populated by humans. Saving this magnificent animal from extinction requires innovative conservation methods that address the welfare of both cheetah and human populations over large landscapes. CCF has developed a set of integrated programs that work together to achieve this objective. CCF’s programs have effectively stabilized and even increased the wild cheetah population in Namibia.

 

CCF’s mission is to be the internationally recognized center of excellence in the conservation of cheetahs and their ecosystems. CCF will work with all stakeholders to develop best practices in research, education, and land use to benefit all species, including people.

 

CCF is an international non-profit organization headquartered in Namibia, with operations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and partner organizations in several other nations.

 

Location

 

Cheetah Conservation Fund is located in Otjiwarongo, Namibia, about three hours north of the capital city of Windhoek. CCF’s International Research and Education Centre is a renowned research facility that sets the standard for researchers and students worldwide seeking to learn more about the cheetah. It is a center for conservation programming and education, the base from which CCF reaches thousands of farmers, tens of thousands of students and hundreds of thousands of online supporters worldwide.

 

Even with all of this world-class, innovative conservation work going on, CCF is also an ecotourism destination, providing informative and memorable experiences for travelers whether they visit us for a day, or stay overnight in our guest house accommodations. Ask anyone who’s been here – there is no place on earth like CCF.

 

Research Facilities

 

Through the generosity of Life Technologies, CCF has developed a DNA laboratory that conducts a non-invasive, genetic monitoring program to provide accurate population estimates of cheetahs in Namibia and other home-range countries. The laboratory also researches questions involving cheetah gene flow and geographical patterns of genetic variation, as well as adaptive questions related to the cheetah’s behavioral ecology in specific habitats. The lab plays a key role in training the next generation of wildlife geneticists.

 

Learn more about Research

 

Model Farm and Creamery

 

The CCF Center includes several model farms that have been developed to research and display predator-friendly and commercially viable livestock and wildlife programs. Innovative business initiatives include the Bushblok compressed fuel log, made from invasive thorn bush and the Dancing Goat Creamery which makes goat’s cheese made from CCF’s goats which are protected by its Anatolian Shepherds and Kangal Livestock Guarding Dogs. Educational groups and visiting farmers have the opportunity to see first-hand that farmers and cheetah can co-exist.

 

Education Centre and Cheetah Museum

 

CCF’s education center and Cheetah Museum displays are designed around CCF’s scientific research findings and provide detailed information about the cheetah: its history, physiology, importance within the ecosystem, conflict with humans, and what CCF is doing to ensure the species’ survival for future generations.

 

CCF’s Education Team presents two-day or longer environmental courses for school groups with overnight accommodation provided at the CCF educational campsites. Since 2000, over 15,000 students have participated in these courses at the Center. In addition to school groups, regional youth groups, youth officials, teachers, health officials and farmers participate in specially designed programs at CCF’s Center.findings and provide detailed information about the cheetah: its history, physiology, importance within the ecosystem, conflict with humans, and what CCF is doing to ensure the species’ survival for future generations.

 

The CCF children’s educational playground demonstrates that learning can be fun. Children complete a range of activities designed to demonstrate cheetah physiology and environmental issues.

 

Learn more about Education

 

Resident Cheetahs

 

Since its founding in 1990, CCF has had great success working with farmers who have cheetahs living on their land. This has led to over half of the more than 900 cheetahs CCF has worked with being released back into the wild. But there are always orphaned and injured cheetahs and here at CCF they are given a large, peaceful sanctuary. These cheetahs, not able to make it in the wild due to behavioral or medical problems, are part of ongoing research to better understand cheetah biology, physiology and behavior. Some of CCF’s orphan cheetahs can be viewed at feeding time (14:00 h on week days and 12:00 h on weekends), or can be seen close up on a Cheetah Safari Drive. You can watch cheetahs run like the wind during a ‘Cheetah Run’ or view them in their natural habitat in CCF’s Bellebenno Reserve with excellent photo and viewing opportunities (based on availability). Enjoy a private safari through CCF’s own “Little Serengeti”, a picturesque open plain featuring large herds of hartebeest, oryx, springbok, warthog, and jackals; and don’t miss out on the ‘Cheetah Exclusive’, during which you will enjoy a unique personal encounter with one of CCF’s ambassador cheetahs and spend some time with CCF’s research staff.

 

Sponsor a Resident Cheetah

 

The cheetah is one of the most specialized of the 37 cat species with only one species in its genus, Acinonyx. During the 1980s, CCF and its research collaborators studied many aspects of cheetah biology including genetics, reproductive physiology, and virology. These early studies identified the cheetah’s limited genetic variation that results in reproductive and health problems. CCF’s current research focuses on a number of aspects of the cheetah’s life cycle, ecology, biology and genetics.

 


 

Health and Reproduction

 

CCF’s on-going research on the wild cheetah includes studying the genetics and relatedness of the population, the incidence of disease, stress hormone levels, and the reproductive health of the population. Through weighing and measuring for morphometric studies, analysis of dental structure and reproductive fitness, CCF is learning more about the overall health of the world’s cheetah population.

 


 

The Life Technologies Conservation Genetics Laboratory

 

CCF is home to a world class research facility that is unique in Africa. It includes the Haas Family Veterinary Clinic and the Life Technologies Conservation Genetics Laboratory, which is the only fully-equipped genetics lab in situ at a conservation facility in Africa. From this facility, CCF collaborates with scientists around the globe on research that not only benefits the cheetah and its ecosystem, but other big cats and predators as well. The Haas Family Veterinary Clinic allows us to not only collect samples from cheetahs that we take into our facility, it allows us to provide prompt veterinary care to our cheetahs, dogs, goats and other animals when they have need.

 

Assuring the good health of all our residents is an important part of making conservation work here at CCF. The genetics laboratory was made possible thanks to the generous donation of PCR machines, a Sequence Analyzer, and an initial batch of reagents from Applied Biosystems (now Life Technologies) at the time of the setup and a new laser in 2012. The addition of the state of the art non-invasive laboratory for our international scat samples in 2009 was supported by the Ohrstrom Foundation. We have had the chance to be able to use a great genetic analysis software called “geneious” since 2010, for which licenses were generously donated by the company who created it (Biomatters). Additional donations from private individuals and the surplus department of the National Institutes of Health provided valuable equipment such as a UV work station, centrifuges, pipettemen, electrophoresis systems and a camera system for the visualization of DNA, spectrophotometer, scales, glassware, and other lab ware.

 

We want to thank everybody for their support. One of the major motivating factors in having a laboratory in Namibia is to be able to process samples locally instead of having to send African samples to the US and Europe. This has several advantages including decreasing the dependence of Namibia from other countries and allowing Namibian students to be exposed to genetic research and conservation at CCF, at the same time avoiding the complications of sample export. Since 2009 we have trained 1-2 Namibian graduates a year in the laboratory. CCF is committed to working with students, both in Namibia and abroad, and training the next generation of environmental and genetic scientists.

 


 

Scat Detection Dogs

 

Trained scat-sniffing dogs help CCF ecologists find cheetah scat in the field. DNA is then extracted in its laboratory to identify individual cheetahs and understand cheetah population structure.

 


 

Genome Resource Bank

 

CCF has developed best-practice techniques for storing sperm, tissues and blood samples in its Genome Resource Bank (GRB), to provide ‘insurance’ for the cheetah’s survival. As a result, CCF maintains one of the largest GRB’s for an endangered species. Cryopreservation methods continue to be studied and refined in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, USA.

 


 

Behavior Demographics, Home Range, and Reintroduction

 

CCF investigates the movement of the cheetah to determine home ranges, habitat preference and seasonal use, territoriality, and behaviors unique to individual cheetah populations that may be critical for their survival. CCF develops and implements relocation, reintroduction, and non-invasive monitoring methodologies to ensure a viable wild population, and gathers data on the status of wild cheetahs.

 


 

Cheetah Census Research

 

Cheetahs are very difficult to count using conventional census techniques due to their secretive nature. CCF has tested various census and monitoring techniques, including radio-telemetry, spoor track counts and camera traps, and calibrating these to existing known density estimates in its research study area.

 


 

Ecological Research

 

CCF identifies vegetation and monitors growth patterns within CCF study areas, identifying target areas for ecological management, and investigating how bush encroachment affects biodiversity. CCF also conducts prey base studies that monitor habitat use by game species. CCF collates historical data regarding predation, develops methodologies for the reintroduction of prey species, and encourages standardized prey studies in other cheetah-range countries.

 


 

Investigating Human and Wildlife Conflict

 

CCF collaborates with farmers to better understand traditional farm management techniques and perceptions. CCF evaluates various non-lethal livestock management and predator control techniques that can reduce the indiscriminate removal of cheetah. The CCF research program includes CCF as a Model Farm and non-lethal predator control such as livestock guarding dogs.

 


 

Long-term Research and Education Partners:

 

 

 

View our research library

 

Environmental education plays a key role in Cheetah Conservation Fund’s (CCF) mission. CCF believes that public education and the development of national pride and international concern for the cheetah are critical to its survival, and therefore educates farmers, teachers, and the public about methods to conserve biodiversity and about the role of the cheetah and other predators in healthy ecosystems. CCF’s Education program includes:

 

Cheetah Fact Sheet Educational Resources

 


 

CCF’s International Research Conservation
And Education Center

 

In central Namibia, CCF operates a Field Research and Education Center to conduct formal and informal education programs. The Center is open to the public daily and offers educational activities, programs for visiting school groups, and training for Namibian and foreign university students.

 

CCF’s education center and Cheetah Museum displays are designed around CCF’s scientific research findings and provide detailed information about the cheetah: its history, physiology, importance within the ecosystem, conflict with humans, and what CCF is doing to ensure the species’ survival for future generations.

 

CCF’s Education Team presents two-day or longer environmental courses for school groups with overnight accommodation provided at the CCF educational campsites. Since 2000, over 15,000 students have participated in these courses at the Center. In addition to school groups, regional youth groups, youth officials, teachers, health officials and farmers participate in specially designed programs at CCF’s Center.

 


 

School Outreach Programs

 

Along with educational activities conducted at the Center, CCF’s Education Team presents outreach programs at schools and community events throughout Namibia. Since 1994, over 300,000 students have participated in a CCF outreach program.
 
Educational Resources

 


 

Farmer Training And Community Outreach

 

As 90 percent of Namibia’s wild cheetahs live on farmlands and come into conflict with farmers, livestock and game farming interests, CCF conducts a specific environmental education program for the farming community. CCF makes presentations at individual farms, farmers’ association meetings and agricultural shows, highlighting proven cheetah behavioral characteristics and predator-friendly livestock management techniques.

 

CCF’s Education Team conducts week-long training courses for communal conservancies, emerging and re-settled farmers, and extension officers. CCF’s courses are aimed at improving understanding of farming production principles and systems as well as providing hands-on training. Topics include cattle husbandry, herd and veld management, disease and vaccination programs, business principles and inventorying conservancy resources. Other topics include basic conservation training on sustainable wildlife utilization and the role and value of predators, predator kill identification and other ‘predator-friendly’ farming practices. Over 3,000 participants have undergone training at CCF’s Center. Several training courses are conducted each year.

 


 

International Training Courses

 

Cheetah conservation is interconnected to social, economic, and environmental factors which are of national concern. The next generation of African conservation managers must be equipped with the best training available. CCF has hosted several education and conservation biology courses for wildlife professionals. Collaborative partners include the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the Namibian Ministry of Higher Education. Over 300 Namibian and international course participants have completed courses on natural resource management, environmental education, conservation biology, game capture, and integrated wildlife, livestock and predator management.

 

CCF has close links and assists in training and sharing program successes with other countries where cheetah live, including Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Iran, Algeria and more recently, Angola. In many of these countries, efforts are currently underway to develop new conservation programs or support existing cheetah conservation efforts. CCF’s international collaborations involve distributing CCF materials, lending resources and support, and providing training through Africa and the rest of the world.

 

Additionally, CCF has been working in an advisory capacity with the Wildlife Trust of India and India’s authorities to discuss the best strategies for re-introducing cheetahs in India.

 

Countries in which CCF maintains ongoing collaborations:

 

Kenya

 

The Kenya cheetah population has declined over the past decade. The Kenya Wildlife Service has asked CCF to determine population distribution in the country as well as to identify population needs. CCF established a Kenyan satellite centre and employed two staff to begin research, conservation, and education programs. In addition, CCF is assisting with a project in the Masai Mara to study the impact of tourism on cheetahs and has worked with the industry to distribute awareness materials. In cooperation with Friends of Conservation, Kenya Wildlife Service, and Kenya Wildlife Clubs, CCF has provided student and teacher resource materials for their use in schools throughout Kenya.

 


 

Tanzania

 

In 2013, Tanzania became the fourth country to which CCF has sent its celebrated livestock guarding dogs to help with human-wildlife conflict. The dogs were sent to the Ruaha Carnivore Project (RCP) run by Dr. Amy Dickman. RCP is part of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), with whom CCF Founder and Executive Director Dr. Marker conducted her doctoral research. Goats from neighboring farms have been brought to a specially prepared kraal in the RCP research area to begin training the puppies. This represents the first known attempt to bring in specialized guarding dogs to help Tanzanian pastoralists protect their livestock.

 


 

Botswana

 

Botswana’s cheetah population may be the second largest free-ranging population, and a large percentage is found outside of protected areas. Botswana has used CCF as a model in the development of their programs. CCF has trained the Botswana Cheetah team in handling cheetahs, and developing survey and educational materials that will be utilized with the local farming community.

 


 

South Africa

 

CCF’s sister organization, Cheetah Outreach uses hand-raised, captive-born cheetahs as educational ambassadors at local schools, and to introduce the public to the problems facing the cheetah. Cheetah Outreach has adopted CCF’s Namibian education model, and has developed and implemented a school curriculum with the Western Cape Education Department. CCF works closely with the National Cheetah Monitoring Program and the DeWildt Cheetah Research Center.

 


 

Iran

 

The Iranian Cheetah Conservation project is supported by a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) grant entitled “Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah, Its Natural Habitat and Associated Biota”. CCF maintains in close contact (weekly or more) with the Iranian groups involved in this project to provide support and guidance in their conservation efforts to save this last remaining population of Asian cheetahs. CCF has been to Iran twice to assist on the project and have been given a permit to work in Iran thus allowing a closer collaboration with this group.

 


 

North and West Africa

 

CCF’s Director is an active member of a newly developing North and West Africa project to identify the needs to save the Sahel cheetah. Currently, working in cooperation with a French Zoological Park, the Paris Museum of Natural History, and the Cat Specialist Group a formal group was developed. In addition, in 2005 CCF joined a collaborative survey team into Algeria to begin laying ground work for conservation efforts in this country. CCF trained one of the Algerian team members in Namibia in 2004.

 

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.

 

New Reserve May Stave Off Extinction for Cherry-throated Tanager

(Washington, D.C., June 5, 2017) The critically endangered Cherry-throated Tanager, which numbers as few as 30 individuals, has gained a much-needed refuge in Brazil’s threatened Atlantic Forest. The 4,171-acre (1,688-hectare) private natural heritage reserve, not yet named, protects essential habitat and provides a lifeline for the species.

The Cherry-throated Tanager went unseen for more than 50 years and was believed to be extinct in the wild until 1998, when it was sighted again in privately held, well-preserved forest patches in the Caetés region of Espírito Santo. Protecting every possible acre is important in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, where only about 10 percent of original habitat remains.

The new reserve is the second-largest private protected area in the state of Espírito Santo and shelters more than 250 bird species, in addition to the Cherry-throated Tanager. Five other globally threatened birds are also found in the surrounding Caetés region: White-necked Hawk, Brown-backed Parrotlet, Golden-tailed Parrotlet, Vinaceous Amazon Parrot, and Bare-throated Bellbird. Threatened mammals, including endangered buffy-headed marmoset and brown-throated sloth, will potentially gain habitat as well.

SAVE Brasil worked with Grupo Águia Branca, one of the country’s largest transportation and logistics companies, to create this private reserve. SAVE has also been working with the state government to create a 10,625-acre (4,300-hectare) wildlife refuge adjacent to the private reserve, and American Bird Conservancy (ABC) supported SAVE on the public consultation process in 2016. ABC and SAVE’s support of the government on outreach for the wildlife refuge also helped in the creation of the private reserve.

“We hope that creation of the new reserve will accelerate the process of establishing the wildlife refuge,” said Dan Lebbin, ABC’s Vice President of International Programs. “With a total of nearly 15,000 acres (nearly 6,000 hectares), these two protected areas would contribute much-needed hope for the tanager’s survival.”

Cherry-throated Tanager occurs primarily in the forest canopy at elevations between approximately 2,800 to 4,000 feet (850 to 1,250 meters). Single individuals or groups of up to 10 birds can be found, occasionally associated with mixed-species flocks. The population may be as high as 250 but is more likely closer to 30 individual birds left in the world. Recent sightings have been of small groups of two or three tanagers observed at the same site.

The species is a candidate for designation as an Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species. AZE species are those assessed as endangered or critically endangered that are restricted to one site globally. These species are those in most urgent need of conservation globally.

As few as 30 Cherry-throated Tanagers are left in the world. Photo by Ciro Albano

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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.

SAVE Brasil (Society for the Conservation of Birds in Brazil) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to the conservation of Brazilian birds and nature. Following a participatory approach, we work together with governments, civil society organizations, universities, business and communities to develop and implement strategies, programs, and actions that contribute to a better, healthier and more beautiful planet for animals, plants, and people.

 

Washington, D.C., February 16, 2017 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, is calling on the U.S. Department of the Interior to issue its decision listing all pangolin species as endangered as World Pangolin Day approaches on February 18. In July 2015, Born Free USA and other wildlife groups petitioned the U.S. government to designate seven species of pangolins as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). If granted, the import and interstate sale of all pangolins and pangolin parts would be fundamentally prohibited in the U.S.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “Fragile pangolins are considered the most heavily-traded mammal in the world today, coveted in markets globally for their scales, meat, and other body parts. Concerted and coordinated global action is essential to save them from extinction, and the U.S. has an opportunity to contribute to long-term conservation of all pangolin species with ESA protection. We have no time to lose, and it would be a shameful indictment of conservation leadership if these animals were to disappear while American government paralysis leads to inaction.”

Born Free USA is encouraging the U.S. to act now, following overwhelming votes last fall by the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora, which listed all eight species of pangolins on Appendix I of the Treaty, thus terminating international commercial trade. Most species received CITES trade protection by consensus, and the two Asian pangolin species that received an actual vote had but one dissenting vote.

Roberts adds, “It is estimated that, in the next 21 years, African pangolin species could decline by 30 to 40%, while some Asian species could decline by up to 90%. Although the international community made a great commitment last year to strengthen the protection of pangolins, these efforts will be in vain with no enforcement of new regulations.”

A pangolin is snatched from the wild every five minutes, and at least one pangolin is killed every hour in Asia. Between July 2000 and July 2016, more than one million pangolins were trafficked. Just in the past two months alone, there was a seizure of almost three tons of pangolin scales smuggled into Thailand from Congo and destined for Laos; an arrest of a Tanzanian pangolin smuggler in Uganda with six tons of scales; a seizure in Cameroon of 670 kg of pangolin scales bound for Malaysia; and a seizure in China of more than three tons of pangolin scales, corresponding to about 5,000-7,500 pangolins, in a container labeled as containing timber from Africa.

“These reports are catastrophic. Pangolins have an extremely important ecological role. If they go extinct, there would be a cascading impact on the environment. They are natural controllers of termites and ants, and their loss would be devastating on multiple levels,” Roberts says.

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 North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-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.

 

Reserve Expansion Protects Araripe Manakin, Other Species

 

(Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2016) American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and its Brazilian partner Aquasis have secured more than 170 acres of critical habitat for Araripe Manakin, one of the world’s rarest and most spectacular birds. The land acquisition roughly doubles the size of the existing Araripe Oasis Reserve in northeastern Brazil, and connects it to the much larger Araripe National Forest, potentially protecting new breeding territories for the striking red-and-white bird and other rare species such as Yellow-faced Siskin.

Expanding the reserve is a critical contribution to the survival of the Araripe Manakin, an Alliance for Zero Extinction species. Discovered only 20 years ago, the species has dwindled to a population of fewer than a thousand individuals. These birds depend on a unique type of forest found only at the base of the Araripe Plateau in Brazil, where encroaching human development—including farming, cattle grazing, and home construction—has pushed them to the edge of extinction.

In 2014, ABC helped Aquasis purchase 140 acres in a prime breeding area for the Araripe Manakin. This year, ABC and Aquasis had the opportunity to acquire an adjacent property that includes springs, streams, and forests—all the elements required to support as many as eight new breeding territories for Araripe Manakin. The purchase was made possible by the support of the IUCN National Committee of The Netherlands, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Quick Response Biodiversity Fund, David Davidson, Larry Thompson, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and a number of other donors who generously gave to ABC’s online campaign.

“With this expansion, we can continue to secure the Oasis Reserve as an epicenter for forest habitat protection and restoration, the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and the wise use of water resources along the slopes of the Araripe Plateau,” said Alberto Campos, Aquasis Co-Founder and Director of Development.

Refuge in a Dry Land

The Araripe Plateau occurs in the heart of the vast, semi-arid, drought-stricken caatinga biome that dominates most of the landscape of northeastern Brazil. Water here is precious, and the demand for it is increasing as the region quickly develops into an urban landscape.

The Oasis Reserve provides a life-giving source of water for the surrounding communities living in the caatinga shrublands. It also serves as an essential refuge for other birds that specialize in this habitat, such as the Silvery-cheeked Antshrike, the White-browed Antpitta, and the Caatinga Antshrike.

Another endemic species in the area, the Yellow-faced Siskin, will also benefit from the reserve expansion. This northeastern Brazilian bird, a favorite target of the pet trade, uses many kinds of habitat, including lowlands, mountains, forests, and open areas. The bird was relatively common until the 1980s but it has declined substantially in recent decades.

Expanding the reserve not only protects essential territory for the birds, it enables conservation actions that will boost their numbers. “For many of these species closing in on the brink of extinction, we need to do more than just protect habitat,” said Bennett Hennessy, ABC’s Brazil Program Coordinator. “We need to understand the species’ limiting factors and actively manage habitat to increase the population. The Oasis Araripe Reserve has the in-depth research knowledge to apply habitat improvement techniques to increase the population of the Araripe Manakin on land the reserve owns.”

Managing water resources will be essential to that effort, because streams have been an important limiting factor in the recuperation of the Araripe Manakin. The birds breed in understory vegetation that overhangs running water. While this makes it harder for predators to reach the birds’ nests, it limits breeding sites in such a drought-prone area where springs and streams are rare.

Because streams are so important for local agriculture, most streams in the region, even those in forested areas, are heavily used, with water diverted elsewhere for use by people. Human activity, including habitat destruction that leads to forest loss, has also been directly destroying Manakin breeding habitat. The removal of stream-edge vegetation leaves fewer areas in which Araripe Manakins can nest.

The reserve extension will allow Aquasis to better manage two vitally important springs in the area for the benefit of birds as well as people. The southern spring will be managed to create two streams, which Aquasis will reforest with vegetation that offers ideal breeding habitat for the Araripe Manakin.

Aquasis will also now be able to use the northernmost spring to create a stream route that traverses more of the forest area and offers more breeding territory for the birds. With good stream management and revegetation, Aquasis predicts it will be able to provide habitat for 12 new nests in the northern part of the reserve—where the newly acquired land is located—and eight in the southern section. That would support breeding areas for as many as 20 pairs of Araripe Manakins, whose reproductive success will be vital to the survival of their species.

 

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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.

Aquasis (Association for the Research and Preservation of Aquatic Ecosystems) was established as a non-governmental organization in 1994, and is the leading organization in Brazil for the protection of the Araripe Manakin. In 2011 Aquasis published the species Conservation Action Plan, which was approved by the federal Ministry of the Environment in Brazil.

 

By Luciano Beheregaray, Flinders University / 8th of January, 2016

THE Galápagos Islands, 1,000 kilometres off the coast of South America, are probably most famous as the place that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. They are home to an extraordinary array of wildlife, including giant Galápagos tortoises, the world’s largest land-living cold-blooded animals.

The tortoises once thrived in the archipelago. There were originally 15 species that evolved as the islands formed volcanically. However, since the arrival of people four species have become extinct.

A few weeks ago we returned from an expedition to the islands in search of two of these extinct species of tortoises. It may sound like a fool’s errand, but our expedition was a success.

Here’s how we did it.

Tortoises under threat

The Galápagos Islands were colonised in the late 1800s. A combination of poaching by whalers and pirates, and introduced pests competing for food and eating eggs and hatchlings, led to tortoises being exterminated on some islands, and dramatically reduced on others.

Lonesome George, photographed before his death at the age of about 100. Flickr/putneymark, CC BY-SA

Darwin wrote about the harvesting of the species of tortoise found only on Floreana Island (Chelonoidis elephantopus), which was exterminated within 15 years of his visit to the Galápagos in 1835.

The tortoise found only on Pinta Island (Chelonoidis abingdoni) went formally extinct in 2012, when its last representative, a male held in captivity and nicknamed Lonesome George, died. He was a major conservation icon and at one point considered by Guinness World Records as the world’s rarest living creature.

The Galápagos Islands, showing locations mentioned in this story.

Finding extinct tortoises

Ten years ago our genetic research program made a very surprising discovery. Some tortoises on Volcano Wolf, on Isabela Island, didn’t match others normally found on the volcano (Chelonoidis becki). Instead, their DNA matched that of the extinct species from Floreana and Pinta.

Volcano Wolf – the highest point of the Galápagos Islands. Luciano Beheregaray

These exciting discoveries led to an expedition on Volcano Wolf in 2008, where we tagged and sampled over 1,600 tortoises. DNA analyses revealed an astonishingly large number of tortoises with mixed genetic ancestry in this sample: 89 with DNA from Floreana and 17 with DNA from Pinta.

How was this possible?

It is likely that people have been moving tortoises around the islands. Old logbooks from the whaling industry indicate that, in order to lighten the burden of their ships, whalers and pirates dropped large numbers of tortoises in Banks Bay, near Volcano Wolf.

These animals were collected from lower altitudes islands (Floreana and Pinta) during centuries of exploitation by whalers and pirates, who made the archipelago a regular stop-off for their crews to stock up on these handy living larders.

Many of these tortoises made it to shore and eventually mated with the native Volcano Wolf species, producing hybrids that still maintain the distinctive saddleback shell found in the species from Floreana and Pinta. These hybrids include animals whose parents represent purebred individuals of the two extinct species.

An arduous expedition

Our recent expedition was aimed at finding the animals with a high proportion of ancestors from Floreana or Pinta.

It was ambitious, logistically complex, and very strenuous.

Our team of park rangers, scientists, and veterinarians from 10 countries were divided in nine groups of three to four people each. The daily mission included patrolling large areas of unstable razor-sharp lava fields and of spiny thick vegetation across Volcano Wolf, the tallest of the Galápagos. Added to this ordeal were the frequent encounters with wasps, the equatorial heat, and an El Niño induced six-day period of non-stop rain.

When one of the target tortoises was found, we would contact our mother ship by radio and clear the vegetation of the volcano slopes to make room for the cargo net of our expedition’s helicopter. The precious tortoise would then be moved into the net and airlifted to the ship, which was anchored in Banks Bay.

Our teams discovered more than 1,300 tortoises, including nearly 200 that potentially have mixed ancestry from Floreana or Pinta. We airlifted 32 of them to the ship and then to the captive breeding facility of the Galápagos National Park on the island of Santa Cruz.

A giant Galápagos tortoise with ancestry of an extinct species being airlifted to our ship. Elizabeth Hunter

Included in the 32 were four females with Floreana genes and one male and one female from Pinta that were tagged and analysed in 2008.

Reintroducing ‘extinct’ tortoises

The DNA of these tortoises will be analysed to inform the best breeding strategy. We want to restore as much as possible the genes originally found on Floreana and Pinta.

The captive-born offspring of the two extinct species are expected to be released in their native islands within the next five to ten years.

Giant tortoises relocated by our expedition from the Volcano Wolf, Isabela Island, to the captive breeding program of the Galápagos National Park, Santa Cruz Island. Joe Flanagan

Reintroduction of these tortoises to the islands where they evolved, together with large-scale habitat restoration efforts, is essential for the restoration of the island ecosystems. These long-lived large herbivores act as “ecosystem engineers”, altering the habitat they live in to the benefit of other species.

Wouldn’t low genetic diversity hinder the long-term persistence of reintroduced populations?

This is a logical concern for reintroduction programs that rely on a small number of captive breeders. However, giant Galápagos tortoises can bounce back from major demographic crashes and respond well to reintroduction programs.

For instance, the Volcano Alcedo tortoise population, arguably the largest in the Galápagos, is derived from a single female lineage thought to have survived a catastrophic volcano eruption in pre-historical times.

The reintroduction of over 1,500 captive-born offspring of the species once found on Española Island is another success story. The repatriated Española population, all derived from 15 captive breeders, now seems well-established.

Bringing back the Floreana and Pinta species from extinction, something inconceivable not long ago, is now a possibility. Its appeal is further increased by the fact that our expedition found that many more tortoises with genes from Floreana and Pinta still wander on the slopes of the Volcano Wolf. Adding them to breeding programs will boost the genetic diversity in the released individuals and calls for a new expedition soon to come.

We anticipate arduous but rewarding times ahead for giant tortoise conservation biologists.The Conversation

Luciano Beheregaray, Professor in Biodiversity Genetics and ARC Future Fellow, Flinders University and Adalgisa 'Gisella' Caccone, Senior Research Scientist and Lecturer, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Yale University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

“New Jersey has the opportunity to be a leader on this issue.” Born Free CEO

Washington, D.C. November 9, 2015 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, will testify in New Jersey at a hearing today in support of Senate Bill S. 3416 to ban the possession, transport, import, export, processing, sale, or shipment of many imperiled species, including the “big five” African species: African elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and Cape buffalo. 

The bill, introduced by Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-21), is intended to curb trophy hunting. It was introduced after the tragic death of Cecil the lion, who was allegedly lured outside of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and killed by an American hunter in July. His death was particularly tragic because he was a known, local favorite, and was collared as part of an Oxford University study.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation, "Illegal trafficking of wildlife products is directly responsible for shocking declines in wild animal populations in recent years, and this bill is a crucial step toward reducing the availability of wildlife in consumer markets, thus reducing poaching and trade. New Jersey has the opportunity to be a leader on this issue. In 2014, New Jersey became the first state to ban the sale or import of ivory and rhinoceros horns in order to stem the state’s role as a major hub in the illegal trade of these products.”

Senator Raymond Lesniak said, “S. 3416 will stop nonsensical trophy killings being imported, transported or possessed in New Jersey in order to protect endangered, threatened or vulnerable animals from being killed to be a trophy for someone. I urge my colleagues to do the right thing today by voting in support of this humane legislation.”

Trophy hunting, involving the selective killing of wild animals for ‘sport’ is extremely controversial. Pro-hunting groups often make the argument that hunting brings conservation funding into a country through hunting permits. However, not only are the steepest declines in lion populations seen in countries with the highest hunting intensity, but there is proof that the funds reaching the local community are miniscule, reports Born Free USA. 

In 2013 Born Free USA, along with partner organizations, commissioned Economists at Large to investigate the facts.  The study shows that the trophy hunting industry makes a minimal contribution to national incomes. 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, and even pro-hunting sources find that only three percent of the money actually reaches the rural communities where hunting occurs. While trophy hunting supporters routinely claim that hunting generates $200 million annually in remote areas of Africa, the industry is actually economically insignificant and makes a minimal contribution to national income.

This information reinforces Born Free USA’s call for wildlife photography safaris and other non-consumptive use, to be the focus for tourist activities, which make a greater contribution to conservation and the African economy without killing lions.

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.

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