Zooterra, a leading innovator in wildlife and habitat conservation consumer engagement, today announced the launch of its patent-pending platform that enables donors to engage in nature conservation in a transparent and fun way using digital tokens, geolocation and satellite imaging technologies. Starting today, users on Zooterra will be able to buy a limited set of 2736 genesis digital tokens, called "terras," each linked to one hectare of the Kasigau Wildlife Corridor, a 200,000 hectare (500,000 acre) area of dryland forest in southeastern Kenya protected by Wildlife Works. Three different conservation projects from the Kasigau Wildlife Corridor will be supported with each terra purchase on the Zooterra platform: aerial surveillance, wildlife water pans, and efficient agricultural techniques.
"Nature has never been more vulnerable as it is today. Despite gaining $125 trillion of value from nature annually, we have lost 60% of wildlife populations, 50% of rainforests, and 33% of protected land. Existing donor engagement models lack the transparency, personalization, and follow-up to engage more people, with 82% of donors not fully knowing where their money is going. Our goal is to become the most direct and transparent way to help protect wildlife and natural habitats. We show users exactly what, where and how they impact when they have a stake in nature," said Julio Corredor, Founder & CEO of Zooterra.
On the Zooterra platform, you can become a "Guardian of Nature" by buying a digital token called terra, each associated with 1-hectare of natural area from around the world. Proceeds from each terra directly support a specific project linked to your terra's habitat, wildlife or the local community. Individuals gain a sense of ownership through the token and consequently become Guardians to the natural area and its wildlife.
The ownership of the unit is recorded and viewable on the platform ensuring uniqueness and rarity of each terra. As you collect more terras and project badges from around the world, you build your Guardian of nature history and reach higher levels while getting updates on the projects and areas supported and satellite image analysis. Visit http://www.zooterra.com today to become a Guardian of Nature and help transform the way we protect habitats and wildlife.
About Zooterra: Zooterra is the first company to bring together geolocation, digital tokens, and satellite imaging to reimagine how people engage in nature conservation. Zooterra personalizes the nature conservation experience by more directly connecting consumers to natural areas and wildlife. This breaks the degrees of separation between people and nature and creates the opportunity for more meaningful engagement and to generate more funding for conservation. Zooterra's mission is to democratize engagement and action around habitat and wildlife conservation. Learn more at http://www.zooterra.com
About Wildlife Works: Wildlife Works is the world's leading REDD project development and management company with a unique approach to applying innovative market-based solutions to biodiversity conservation and helping local landowners in the developing world monetize their forest and biodiversity assets. Wildlife Works is actively developing a portfolio of REDD projects with an aim to protect five million hectares of native forest, mitigating 25 million tons of CO2 emissions per year, and creating thousands of sustainable jobs in rural communities. Learn more at http://www.wildlifeworks.com ________________________________
The U.S. pet industry continues to expand, with sales rising almost 5 percent to top $90 billion in 2018 and growth projected over the next five years, according to U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2019-2020, a new report by market research firm Packaged Facts.
And technology will be a major driver.
Two overlapping trends — both in force for going on two decades and both primarily marketing-driven — continue to heavily influence industry growth through the infusion of new products and services into the U.S. pet market: humanization and premiumization. Potent as these market drivers may be, however, they are now par for the course, such that pet industry participants need to think increasingly outside the box, according to Packaged Facts.
“With so many pet-specialty-type products available online or in mass channels, and more showing up each day, the winning marketers, retailers, and service providers of tomorrow will be those whose operations are technology-based, with e-commerce capabilities and product/packaging designs and service paradigms serving as make-or-break differentiators,” said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.
Key trends, according to research published in U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2019-2020, will be:
- Products and services with demonstrable pet health and safety benefits, increasingly via tie-ins with veterinarians in terms of R&D and end-user support.
- Omnichannel operations interweaving online operations and capabilities with brick-and-mortar innovation and familiarity.
- Products delivered via subscriptions (aka auto-replenishment) and services supported by monthly or annual subscriptions or membership plans (e.g., pet health monitoring systems, veterinary clinic wellness or membership plans).
- Products that link pet owners to vendors and petcare service providers via smartphone apps.
- Linked soft and hard products such as pet food and smart feeders, and cat litter and smart litter boxes, with supplies being reordered automatically or via smartphone app.
- Products designed to make life easier for pet owners by facilitating — if not outright performing — petcare tasks.
Two adorable, but critically endangered, Amur leopard cubs were born at Bridgeport’s Beardsley Zoo at the end of January.
The mother, a 6-year-old Amur leopard named Freya, gave birth to three cubs initally, but only had two cubs survive. One of the cubs had to be euthanized due to maternal-induced injuries.
The surviving cubs, a male and a female, were removed from Freya when she began hyper-grooming behaviors, which posed a danger to their wellbeing.
The surviving female cub suffered the loss of her tail due to the hyper-grooming, and underwent lifesaving surgery shortly after birth. She was treated with antibiotics for an infection, but has completed the medication and is doing well.
Amur leopards are critically endangered, which means they face an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild, with approximately 80 animals remaining there. There are approximately 200 in human care worldwide, with slightly more than 100 in Russia and Europe, and slightly fewer than 100 in the U.S. With such a small population, each Amur leopard born is extremely important to the survival of the species. Six Amur leopard cubs were born in the U.S. in 2018, with five surviving.
“Amur leopards are on the brink of extinction,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “The Species Survival Plan’s breeding recommendation is designed to bolster the number of individuals in human care, for potential future breeding, as well as the opportunity to return certain members of the species back to the wild someday. The birth of these cubs brings a few more precious Amur leopards to the population, which can help ensure the survival of these majestic animals for future generations.”
Police in Utah cited a dog owner for leaving the animal in a car for hours while he went skiing, according to KSTU.
Officers responded to several calls about a barking dog in a car at a park and ride lot Sunday morning. They found the dog anxious and without any food, water or blankets.
“He was showing signs of, not duress, but needing to vacate the vehicle,” said Officer Kevin Salmon of the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. “The dog was obviously wound up and agitated from being in the car.”
Salmon used a device to open the car’s door.
“I wasn’t willing to risk the dog’s safety over leaving him in the car in sub-freezing temperatures the rest of the day,“ Salmon said. “I sat there and watched the dog for an hour hoping the owner would respond.”
He brought the animal to police headquarters where it was given food. The owner eventually came to retrieve the animal in the afternoon.
“He said, ‘I left the windows cracked,' which at that point made the situation worse,” Salmon said.
Temperatures were below freezing, but the owner told officers, he planned to leave the dog in the car while he enjoyed the day skiing.
“He is under the assumption that by leaving the dog at home, the dog was going to bark and he didn’t want to bother his neighbors,” Salmon said.
The owner received several city code citations, but police do not plan to pursue any animal cruelty charges.
“This is going to be a good learning experience for him and I don’t anticipate having the same problem,” Salmon said.
Much like intense heat, sub-freezing temperatures can be fatal for animals left alone in cars. Police hope this serves as an example to use common sense when caring for pets.
Scientists say they've found a mysterious type of killer whale that they've been searching for for years. It lives in parts of the ocean near Antarctica — and it could be the largest animal to have remained unidentified by biologists.
The notion that there might be some unusual kind of killer whale emerged in 1955. Photos from New Zealand showed a bunch of whales stranded on a beach. "This was a very different-looking group of killer whales," says Robert Pitman, a marine ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The whales were smaller than other killer whales, and they had rounded heads and pointier fins. "And most importantly," Pitman adds, "they had a little tiny eye patch," a white spot under each eye characteristic of killer whales. These patches were unusually small, in some cases almost nonexistent. Biologists were mystified.
Then in 2005, Pitman met a French biologist at a science conference who showed him a photo of an odd-looking killer whale swimming in the southern Indian Ocean. "And I looked down, and there they were, the New Zealand killer whales," he recalls.
For Pitman, the hunt was on. Last year, he assembled a team to go to Cape Horn, in Chile, to look for what's now technically called the "type D" killer whale. Local fishers had been complaining that some kind of whale was stripping fish off their lines.
NOAA biologist Lisa Ballance, who's married to Pitman, was part of the team. "From the beginning, I had referred to it as the needle in the haystack," she says. "It's a big ocean, and it's a rough ocean." It was a slow start. Their ship at Cape Horn was trapped at anchor for eight days by howling weather. But then they got a 12-hour quiet spell. "We left that night," Ballance recalls, and "pounded into the seas so that we could get to our spot at first light the next morning." Pitman picks up the story: "The sun came up in the morning at 5:50. We had type D killer whales swimming around our boat."
"There they were," Ballance recalls, for a moment at a loss for words. "Uh ... I can't even ... it was thrilling for all of us." Pitman adds: "It's like seeing a dinosaur or something. It's one of those moments that biologists live for. And I said, 'That's it! That's the New Zealand killer whale!' " There was no mistaking its peculiar look, says Ballance. "Visibly," she says, "this form is the most unusual and distinct form of killer whale on the planet." Later, they realized why the whales swam up to them. The team had lowered an underwater microphone over the side on a long cable, with cameras attached.
Pitman says it must have looked like a fishing line with fish on it — it looked like breakfast. "And you can imagine them thinking, 'Hey, where's our fish?' " he says. "But that was definitely the way to bring them to the boat."
The team was able to snip off small tissue samples from the whales by firing a harmless dart, attached to a line, into their skin. An analysis of the DNA will determine if this is actually a completely new species or just an unusual subtype. Either way, the mystery killer whales of the Southern Ocean have been found. ----------------------------------------------------------
Two cases of cattle larceny in Lincoln County recently were pursued by the New Mexico Livestock Board, the most recent resulting in the arrest over the weekend of Teal Ray Bennett.
According to New Mexico Court records, Bennett was charged March 1 with 10 counts of cattle larceny, a 3rd-degree felony; 10 counts of shipping, driving or receiving livestock out of state without an inspection, a 4th-degree felony; and 10 counts of failure to exhibit written evidence of ownership or legal possession of livestock, a misdemeanor.
His first appearance occurred March 5 in Lincoln County's Division 1 Magistrate Court in Carrizozo. Bond was set at $50,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 2.
Troy Patterson, area supervisor for the livestock board, could not be reached for comment or more details Wednesday.
Lincoln County Sheriff Robert Shepperd said the board handled the case using its police powers connected to livestock. Greg Mendoza was the case agent.
Cattle enjoy the shade and water at this ranch in the Hondo Valley of Lincoln County. (Photo: Dianne Stallings/Ruidoso News)
Bennett worked at one time for rancher Ed Tinsley, owner of the K-Bob's restaurants, the sheriff confirmed.
"The reason the Texas Rangers were involved was because he (allegedly) was taking the cattle from New Mexico and selling them in Texas," Shepperd said.
"Texas is not a brand state so you don't have to brand your cows in Texas. New Mexico is a brand state and before you can sell any cows, there are brand inspections and a process."
Based on the information he was given, Shepperd said he understood Bennett was arrested at a bull sale in Roswell on warrants executed by Chaves County Sheriff's deputies.
"He does have a pretty lengthy criminal history, but mostly in Texas," the sheriff said. "He came from Texas up here."
The livestock board earlier arrested a woman and her partner for allegedly stealing cattle from a neighboring ranch and re-branding them, the Sheriff said.
"It's still cattle rustling," he said.
You have probably read about robots replacing human labor as a new era of automation takes root in one industry after another. But a new report suggests humans are not the only ones who might lose their jobs.
In New Zealand, farmers are using drones to herd and monitor livestock, assuming a job that highly intelligent dogs have held for more than a century.
The robots have not replaced the dogs entirely, Radio New Zealand reports, but they have appropriated one of the animal’s most potent tools: barking. The DJI Mavic Enterprise, a $3,500 drone favored by farmers, has a feature that lets the machine record sounds and play them over a loud speaker, giving the machine the ability to mimic its canine counterparts.
Corey Lambeth, a shepherd on a sheep and beef farm, told RNZ the machines are surprisingly effective. “That’s the one thing I’ve noticed when you’re moving cows and calves that the old cows stand up to the dogs, but with the drones, they’ve never done that,” he said, noting that means the drones move livestock faster, with less stress, than the dogs do.
Farmers told RNZ the drones come in handy for more than just herding cows and sheep. The robots allow farmers to monitor their land from afar, monitoring water and feed levels and checking on livestock health without disturbing the animals.
Jason Rentoul told RNZ last spring that a two-hour herding job that used to require two people and two teams of dogs could be accomplished in 45 minutes using a single drone. “Being a hilly farm where a lot of stuff is done on foot, the drones really saved a lot of man hours,” he said. “The drone does the higher bits that you can’t see [from the ground], and you would [otherwise] have to walk half an hour to go and have a look and then go, ‘Oh, there was no sheep there.’ ”
Farmers all over the world are using drones. In South Africa, they monitor crop health from above, which boost harvests, according to CNN. In California, winemakers use drones equipped with sensors to grow healthier grapes, according to MIT Technology Review. Because drones fly closer to the ground, they are able to provide high-resolution images that are less expensive than hiring someone to fly over a field in a manned aircraft, the publication reported.
In New Zealand, farmers say some dogs already are learning to work alongside drones, identifying the machines as more co-worker than foe. “A good herding dog, he’s already figured out if the drones are working on that side, I’ll go over here [to the other side] and work over here,” Rentoul said.