Displaying items by tag: Wildlife

Talkin' Pets News

September 17, 2022

Host - Jon Patch

Co Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestial Custom Dog Services - TN

Producer - Devin Leech

Network Producer - Ben Boquist / Jayla Green

Social Media - Bob Page

Movie Review written by Jon Patch with 4 out of 4 Paws

Where the Crawdads Sing

Sony Pictures Entertainment, 3000 Pictures and Hello Sunshine present a 125-minute, Drama, Mystery, Thriller, directed by Olivia Newman, screenplay by Lucy Alibar and based on the book by Delia Owens with a theater release of July 15, 2022.

DOUG TO THE RESCUE

Season 2

A Curiosity Original Series

Season 2 of the Heartwarming Hit Docuseries Premieres 5 New Episodes

June 16th on Curiosity Stream

Aerial cinematographer, animal rescuer and environmental activist Doug Thron is back with his next-generation infrared drone technology, going from one disaster-torn corner of the world to another, rescuing wild animals, lost puppies, and everything in-between.

 

Aerial cinematographer, animal rescuer and environmental activist Doug Thron is back for a second season of Doug To The Rescue, allowing cameras to follow along as he uses his cutting-edge infrared drone to locate and rescue animals in desperate situations around the globe. This season, he’s going further than ever, encountering animals in the wild like never before – from the East African Grasslands where the communities struggle to live in harmony with a growing hyena population… to the Dominican Republic… to tornado-ravaged Kentucky towns - working with scientists, experts, and conservationists to pioneer new paths for his cutting edge technology. Whether it’s a wild fox, a newborn puppy, or a pack of urban hyenas, Doug is on a mission to make sure no animal is left behind.

 

The Curiosity original series Doug To The Rescue is produced for Curiosity by Lone Wolf Media. Executive producers are Kirk Wolfinger and Ezra Wolfinger for Lone Wolf Media. Jorge Franzini, VP of Original Content Development & Programming for Curiosity, also serves as executive producer.

EPISODE DESCRIPTIONS:

Episode 1: Dominican Republic: In our season opener, Doug takes his drone to the Dominican Republic to rescue puppies that have been abandoned in the municipal town dump.

Episode 2: Malawi: At the request of a conservation research group, Doug heads to Malawi in East Africa to help track a pack of hyenas through the urban landscape.

Episode 3: In Malawi, Doug puts his infrared drone to the test, tracking huge fruit bats across the city and pioneering a new path for wildlife medical care.

Episode 4: Greenville, CA: After the Dixie Fire devastates the tiny CA town of Greenville, Doug heads in with his old friend Shannon to rescue the pet cats and wild animals that have been left behind in the burn zone.

Episode 5: Kentucky: In the season finale, Doug takes his drone to the tornado-ravaged towns of Kentucky to rescue the slew of cats and dogs that have been lost in the brutal December 2021 storm.

About Doug Thron:

As one of the most widely published aerial photographers in the country, Thron has been shooting professionally for 3 decades. After using his drones to film the devastation left in the wake of the 2018 “Camp Fires” in Paradise, CA, Doug joined efforts to rescue animals stranded in the burn zone. Driven by his commitment to the environment and his life-long love of animals, Doug now travels the globe, anywhere his unique talents and technology can help.

New Search for Lost Birds Aims to Find Some of the Rarest Birds on Earth

Worldwide effort will support expeditions to find 10 birds that haven’t had a confirmed sighting in a decade or more

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Pictured above are the top ten most wanted lost bird species, as designated by the collaboration that aims to find them. See below for an identification list. Artwork by Lynx Edicions

(Washington, D.C., December 17, 2021) A new global search effort is calling on researchers, conservationists, and the global birdwatching community to help find 10 rare bird species that have been lost to science. The Search for Lost Birds is a collaboration of Re:wild, American Bird Conservancy (ABC), and BirdLife International, with data support from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and its eBird platform used by birders around the world. It’s an extension of Re:wild’s Search for Lost Species program, which launched in 2017 and has since rediscovered eight of its top 25 most wanted lost plant and animal species. As its name suggests, however, the Search for Lost Birds focuses exclusively on rediscovering enigmas in ornithology.

“During the past five years, since we launched the Search for Lost Species, our list of species that could be considered lost has grown to more than 2,000,” said Barney Long, Director for Conservation Strategies for Re:wild. “We never planned to look for all of them alone, but to encourage others to search and develop partnerships to help. Through this new partnership we’ll be able to get more targeted expeditions in the field. If we can find these lost birds, conservationists can better protect them from the threats they face.” 

The Search for Lost Birds is hoping to harness the collective power of the global birdwatching community to help search for species on the top 10 most wanted lost birds list. Cornell’s eBird platform provides an example of what the global birding community can accomplish: eBird currently has more than 700,000 registered users who have collectively submitted more than 1 billion sightings of birds from around the world. However, none of those observations have included any of the top 10 most wanted lost birds.

None of the top 10 most wanted birds have had a documented sighting in the wild in at least 10 years, but they are not classified as “extinct” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The reasons behind their disappearances range from habitat destruction to invasive species. In a few cases, species may have gone missing simply because scientists don’t know where or how to look for them, or don’t have access to their habitats, which may be remote or in places that currently have travel restrictions. Many of the lost birds are native to areas that are rich in biodiversity, but also urgently need conservation efforts to protect their biodiversity.

“By working with partners and collaborators from around the world, the Search for Lost Birds hopes to engage the knowledge and expertise of the global birdwatching community to solve these conservation challenges,” said John C. Mittermeier, Director of Threatened Species Outreach at ABC. “By directly reporting sightings and information through eBird, birdwatchers and citizen scientists from anywhere in the world can help us find and learn more about these lost species.”

The 10 birds span five continents and a variety of groups of species, from hummingbirds to raptors. Some have recently been lost to science, while others have been lost for more than a century. Two species, the Siau Scops-Owl and the Negros Fruit-Dove, have only ever been documented once, when they were originally described in the mid-1800s and in 1953, respectively.

The top 10 most wanted lost birds are:  

  • Dusky Tetraka, last documented in 1999 in Madagascar
  • South Island Kōkako, last seen in 2007 in New Zealand
  • Jerdon’s Courser, last seen in 2009 in India
  • Itwombwe Nightjar (or Prigogine’s Nightjar), last seen in 1955 in Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Cuban Kite, last seen in 2010 in Cuba
  • Negros Fruit-Dove, last seen in 1953 in the Philippines
  • Santa Marta Sabrewing, last seen in 2010 in Colombia
  • Vilcabamba Brushfinch, last seen in 1968 in Peru
  • Himalayan Quail, last seen in 1877 in India
  • Siau Scops-Owl, last seen in 1866 in Indonesia

Two expeditions, led by local and national partners and funded under the Search for Lost Birds partnership, are preparing to head into the field during the next year. The expeditions will focus on the Siau Scops-Owl in Indonesia and the Dusky Tetraka in Madagascar. Expeditions for other species are expected to be underway in the coming year as well.

The Siau Scops-Owl was last seen 155 years ago, when it was first described by science, but there have been unconfirmed reported sightings and calls of a bird that potentially matches the description of the owl during the past 20 years. Much of the forest where it was originally discovered has been destroyed, but given how challenging it can be to detect small forest owls, conservationists believe that there is a chance that a small and as-yet-overlooked population may still survive.

The Dusky Tetraka was last definitely seen in Madagascar 22 years ago; before that, there had been very few confirmed sightings of the species in the humid understory of the forests of eastern Madagascar.

One species on the list, the South Island Kōkako, has already been the focus of an on-going search. The South Island Kōkako Charitable Trust has been leading a community-driven search for the bird for the past 11 years, following up on possible sightings and reports of people hearing what sounds like the bird’s haunting call. They launched a public search campaign in 2017 that has drawn nearly 300 reports of possible encounters with a South Island Kōkako, which, in addition to historic reports, they have rated and mapped.

“We are optimistic that the Search for Lost Birds will lead to exciting rediscoveries, but ultimately it’s about conservation,” said Roger Safford, Senior Program Manager for Preventing Extinctions at BirdLife International. “We know that with good conservation efforts, species can be rescued from the brink of extinction, but only if we know where the last populations are. We hope these expeditions will capture people’s imaginations and catalyze conservation.”

ABC supports field expeditions to search for these species and works with partners to conserve rediscovered birds. For example, ABC is supporting Brazilian partners’ efforts to recover the population of the Blue-eyed Ground-Dove, rediscovered in Brazil in 2015.

Other recent rediscoveries of bird species have fueled hope that expeditions for the top 10 most wanted lost birds will be successful. An expedition in Colombia in March 2021 seeking the Sinú Parakeet, one of Re:wild’s top 25 most wanted lost species, didn’t find the parakeet, but did document dozens of species that had never before been recorded in Cordóba Department. In Indonesia, the Black-browed Babbler, a bird that had only had one documented sighting, was rediscovered after 170 years in February 2021. The data that expeditions for the Search for Lost Birds collect will be shared with eBird.

The Search for Lost Birds may also help bring to light previously overlooked records of some of the birds on the top 10 most wanted list that have not been fully documented or confirmed. The Search for Lost Birds will work to follow up on records that may have remained in biologists’ field notebooks and memories, and attempt to collect photographic confirmation that the species still exist. If those sightings can be confirmed, it could help conservation efforts for those species.  

The rediscoveries of other lost birds have also led to conservation efforts that helped them recover from threats to their survival. The Madagascar Pochard in Madagascar is another example of a lost species that was once lost, but is now increasing in population thanks to conservation efforts following its rediscovery.

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Photo: Illustrations of the top 10 most wanted lost birds. Top row (left to right): Himalayan Quail, Negros Fruit-Dove, Itwombwe Nightjar, Santa Marta Sabrewing. Middle row (left to right): Vilacamba Brushfinch, Siau Scops-Owl. Bottom row (left to right): Jerdon’s Courser, Cuban Kite, Dusky Tetraka, South Island Kōkako. (Illustrations © Lynx Edicions)

American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild 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.org, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).   

BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation Partnership: a global family of over 115 national NGOs covering all continents, landscapes and seascapes. BirdLife is driven by its belief that local people, working for nature in their own places but connected nationally and internationally through the global Partnership, are the key to sustaining all life on this planet. This unique local-to-global approach delivers high impact and long-term conservation for the benefit of nature and people.


Re:wild protects and restores the wild. We have a singular and powerful focus: the wild as the most effective solution to the interconnected climate, biodiversity and pandemic crises. Founded by a group of renowned conservation scientists together with Leonardo DiCaprio, Re:wild is a force multiplier that brings together Indigenous peoples, local communities, influential leaders, nongovernmental organizations, governments, companies and the public to protect and rewild at the scale and speed we need. Re:wild launched in 2021 combining more than three decades of conservation impact by Leonardo DiCaprio and Global Wildlife Conservation, leveraging expertise, partnerships and platforms to bring new attention, energy and voices together. Our vital work has protected and conserved over 12 million acres benefitting more than 16,000 species in the world’s most irreplaceable places for biodiversity. We don’t need to reinvent the planet. We just need to rewild it—for all wildkind. Learn more at rewild.org.

EXPLORING AWE-INSPIRING FACTS ABOUT ANIMALS’ EMOTIONAL LIVES AND REVOLUTIONARY NEW WAYS TO SHOW COMPASSION

PETA Founder Ingrid Newkirk discusses her latest book ‘Animalkind’ and what lies ahead in our relationship with animals as humanity emerges from the pandemic

INGRID NEWKIRK, Author and PETA Founder

BACKGROUND:

As humanity emerges from the pandemic and returns to offices, in-person attendance at sports events, and evenings out at restaurants, many new questions arise about our relationship with animals. Since Ingrid Newkirk founded PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in 1980, it has become an unstoppable force and the largest animal rights organization in the world. Her latest book Animalkind explores the richness of animals’ lives, their talents, emotions, and intelligence, and how we humans can act to prevent harming them. The book delves into the many ways our modern world is leaving animal exploitation in the dust, from cutting-edge technology that is replacing experiments on animals to the apple, grape and tea leaf leathers and synthetic fibers that are already shaking up the clothing industry and the arrival of animal-free foods from plant milks to veggie “chicken” nuggets made of soy.

Ingrid Newkirk will be available to discuss her latest book, share fascinating animal facts, and explore a vision of the future that will allow humans to create a better world—such as choosing new materials over animal hide, fur, and feathers; giving teachers and students dissection models that can be re-used and do not reduce wild frog populations; healthier and environmentally protective vegan foods that remove the need for slaughterhouses and factory farms; and virtual reality experiences that allow close encounters with animals never possible in the circus.

DID YOU KNOW THESE FUN ANIMAL FACTS?

· While the divorce rate in the U.S. is around 40 to 45 percent, swans, like many birds, are so devoted to their romantic partners that they have a 95 percent rate of staying together for a lifetime.

· Oinks, grunts, and squeals aren’t just arbitrary noises made by pigs More than twenty of these sounds have been identified with specific circumstances, from wooing mates to expressing distress and joy.

· Cows communicate with each other using subtle changes in facial expression; rhinos use a breath language; and frogs have learned to combat street noise by using drainpipes to amplify their calls.

· Chickens form complex pecking orders in which each bird not only understands her ranking but can recall the faces and ranks of more than one hundred other birds.


For more information please visit: www.PETA.org

More About Ingrid Newkirk:

Ingrid Newkirk is the founder of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and the acclaimed author of Save the Animals! 101 Things You Can Do, Kids Can Save the Animals, and The Compassionate Cook. She currently resides in Washington, DC.

26% of all mammals are at risk of extinction

41% of all amphibians are at risk

30% of sharks and manta rays are at risk

13% of all birds species are at risk

 

WILD VET ADVENTURES:

SAVING ANIMALS AROUND THE WORLD 

WITH DR. GABBY WILD

 

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The recent UN World Wildlife Day (celebrated on March 3rd) remind us of the urgent need to protect wildlife and raise awareness of challenges facing the world’s wild fauna and flora. Inspire your little nature lover with National Geographic Kids’ WILD VET ADVENTURES: SAVING ANIMALS AROUND THE WORLD WITH DR. GABBY WILD where you will travel the planet to meet some of Earth’s most incredible critters through the eyes of adventurous wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Gabby Wild.

Whether it’s pioneering elephant acupuncture, or treating Jane Goodall’s chimps, Dr. Wild’s vibrant conservation mission has taken her around the globe to work with zoos, museums, top conservation organizations, and universities. Her non-profit foundation is dedicated to the protection of the world’s most endangered creatures.

Join Dr. Gabby Wild on Tuesday, March 9th as she discusses:

·       Her most unusual patients and scariest vet experience

·       Interesting veterinarian care from jaguar dentistry to darting wild monkeys for care

·       Her non-profit foundation dedicated to the protection of the world’s most endangered creatures

·       Exotic animal behavior from their quirky natural traits to curious facts galore

·       How the book covers over 80 animals from regal lions to playful pandas, fearsome Gilamonsters to creepy tarantulas, and more.

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Dr. Gabby Wild has traveled the world to save animals. From pioneering elephant acupuncture to treating Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees in Uganda. Kids often recognize Dr. Wild as the veterinarian from Animal Jam Classic (over 130 million registered users) where she has answered questions from children about wild animals. Some of her noted recent collaborations: World Wildlife Fund, National Geographic Society, Jane Goodall Institute, Harvard University, Oxford University, The American Museum of Natural History, The Bronx Zoo, Zoological Society of London, Natural History Museum ( London) , and Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris). American-born and raised shortly there after in France and later in Boca Raton, FL, when Dr. Wild is not traveling to save animals, she is an emergency room doctor and veterinary surgeon at The Animal Surgical Center on Long Island. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University, Master’s of Public Heath from the University of Minnesota, and is also a published genetics researche

Lawsuit Filed to Restore Bird Protections

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Kentucky Warblers are among the hundreds of bird species that benefit from a strong Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Photo by Frode Jacobsen

(Washington, D.C., January 19, 2021) A coalition of national environmental groups filed litigation (Case Number: 1:21-cv-00448) today challenging the current Administration's move to eliminate longstanding protections for waterfowl, raptors, and songbirds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The litigants include American Bird Conservancy, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The move challenges a new rule by the outgoing Administration that greatly weakens essential protections provided by the MBTA. This rule comes at a time when scientists have raised alarm over the loss of 3 billion North American birds during the past 50 years. It would end enforcement against “incidental take” of birds ― the predictable and preventable killing of birds by industrial practices. The Administration seeks to codify this in spite of the fact that last August, a federal judge struck down this opinion.

“We urge President-elect Biden to quickly eliminate this threat to migratory birds and act to establish a permitting system to reduce preventable mortality,” said Steve Holmer, Vice President of Government Relations for American Bird Conservancy (ABC). “Congress can support this effort by passing the Migratory Bird Protection Act.

“Last fall, a federal court overturned the Administration’s reinterpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that ended decades of enforcement and let industry off the hook for killing birds,” said Holmer. “Today’s lawsuit challenges a federal rule based on the same bad reasoning.”

The outgoing Administration continues to argue that the law applies only to the intentional killing of birds and not “incidental” killing from industrial activities activities that kill millions of birds every year, such as oil spills and electrocutions on power lines. This reinterpretation was first put in place in December 2017 through a legal opinion from the Interior Department.

Citing To Kill a Mockingbird, U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni wrote that “if the Department of the Interior has its way, many Mockingbirds and other migratory birds that delight people and support ecosystems throughout the country will be killed without legal consequence.” In rejecting the Administration’s opinion, the court noted that the MBTA makes it unlawful to kill birds “by any means whatever or in any manner” — thus the Administration's interpretation violates the plain language of the statute.

“Implementation of this rule will result in the needless killing of birds at a time when many bird species desperately need our help,” said ABC President Mike Parr. “It’s always our preference to solve problems without lawsuits, but the egregious nature of this rule requires nothing less.”

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American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild 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).

Press Release

Groups challenge Trump administration over gray wolf delisting

Response to outgoing administration removing Endangered Species Act protections from the gray wolf  
 
 

Today six environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s rule that removed Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states except for a small population of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made its decision despite the science that concludes wolves are still functionally extinct in the vast majority of their former range across the continental U.S.

Earthjustice filed the lawsuit on behalf of Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Oregon Wild and the Humane Society of the United States

“This is no ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment for wolf recovery,” said Kristen Boyles, Earthjustice attorney. “Wolves are only starting to get a toehold in places like Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, and wolves need federal protection to explore habitat in the Southern Rockies and the Northeast. This delisting decision is what happens when bad science drives bad policy.”

Nicholas Arrivo, managing attorney for the Humane Society of the United States, said, "The delisting we've challenged today represents the latest chapter in the sad saga of the Fish and Wildlife Service's failure to do its duty to protect and ensure the recovery of wolves under the Endangered Species Act. We're confident that the court will strike down this illegal decision and restore the federal protections needed to give America's wolves a genuine opportunity to recover."

“Stripping protections for gray wolves in the Lower 48—before they have fully recovered and in the middle of a wildlife extinction crisis—was based on politics, not science,” said Bonnie Rice, endangered species campaign representative at the Sierra Club. “Gray wolves are still missing from vast areas of the country. Without Endangered Species protections, wolves just starting to return to places like California and the Pacific Northwest will be extremely vulnerable. Wolves are critical to maintaining the balance of natural systems and we are committed to fighting for their full recovery.” 

“We hope this lawsuit finally sets the wolf on a path to true recovery,” said Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Restoring federal protections would allow further recovery in places like California, which is home now to just a single pack of wolves. Without federal protections, the future of gray wolves rests in the hands of state governments, many of which, like Utah and South Dakota, are hostile to wolf recovery.”

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s decision to remove Endangered Species Act protection from gray wolves in the lower-48 states threatens populations just beginning to make a comeback in national parks,” said Bart Melton, wildlife program director for the National Parks Conservation Association. “After decades of absence, gray wolves are starting to re-inhabit park landscapes in Oregon, Washington, California, and Colorado. However, these populations are far from recovered. Rather than working alongside communities to support the return of wolves, the administration unlawfully said, ‘good enough’ and removed ESA protections. We are hopeful the court will reinstate these protections.”  

“It is far too premature to declare wolves recovered and to strip protections from them in the Western two-thirds of Oregon,” said Danielle Moser, wildlife program coordinator for Oregon Wild. “Removing wolves from the endangered species list would turn their management entirely over to Oregon’s embattled Department of Fish and Wildlife, which continues to push for hunting and trapping of the state’s already fragile wolf population.” 

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared a premature victory with its reckless decision to strip gray wolves of federal ESA protections,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO with Defenders of Wildlife. “This decision, if it stands, will short circuit gray wolf recovery, limit the range available to wolf packs, and subject wolves to fragmented state laws, some with hostile anti-wolf policies. Defenders is challenging this decision in court and pushing the agency to reinstate needed legal protections.”

Background

Gray wolf recovery in the United States should be an American conservation success story. Once found nationwide, gray wolves were hunted, trapped, and poisoned for decades; by 1967 there were fewer than 1,000 wolves in one isolated part of the upper Midwest. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protected gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act in 1978. Today there are recovering wolf populations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho; wolves have begun to inhabit Washington, Oregon, and California; and unclaimed wolf habitat remains in states like Maine, Colorado and Utah.

Last year, 1.8 million Americans submitted comments opposing delisting. Additionally, 86 members of Congress (in both the House and Senate), 100 scientists, 230 businesses, Dr. Jane Goodall from the Jane Goodall Institute, and 367 veterinary professionals all submitted letters opposing the wolf delisting plan. Even the scientific peer reviews commissioned by the Fish and Wildlife Service itself found that the agency’s proposal ignored science and appeared to come to a predetermined conclusion, with inadequate scientific support.

PETA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO ACKNOWLEDGE ANIMAL SENTIENCE AND END EXPERIMENTS

 

NIH must review the ethics of using animals given their own research findings that animals think and feel

 

DR. INGRID TAYLOR, veterinarian and research associate for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

BACKGROUND:

A wealth of scientific evidence supports the fact that animals are aware of the world around them and experience a full array of emotions, including fear, love, joy, curiosity, loneliness and pleasure. More than 2,500 studies have shown what many people already knew: that dogs, rats, cows, sheep, pigs and others experience emotions, ranging from joy and happiness to sadness, grief and post-traumatic stress disorder. They even experience jealousy, resentment and empathy.

Specific examples of animals and feelings include:

  • Rats: demonstrate remorse for bad decisions; will forgo treats to help another rat in need; giggle when tickled.
  • Mice: woo their mates with high-pitched love songs.
  • Sheep: recognize pictures of familiar faces; show anger, boredom, disgust and happiness.
  • Chickens: become upset when their chicks are stressed and try to soothe them.
  • Cuttlefish: experience REM sleep and may dream like humans.
  • Hermit crabs: aware of pain.
  • Octopuses: have planned daring escapes from aquariums, making their moves when they know they aren’t being closely watched.
  • Pigs: engage in complex play, devising games with toys and other animals.

Despite all the evidence—from scientific studies funded by NIH—that animals are sentient, and despite a wealth of modern-day alternatives, the agency continues to fund deadly experiments on them. In response to this practice, PETA is calling on the government to acknowledge that animals are living feeling beings and end of animal experiments. PETA is asking the NIH to begin by immediately reviewing the ethics of using sentient animals in biomedical, behavioral and psychological experiments.

For more information, please visit www.PETA.org


More About Dr. Taylor: Dr. Ingrid Taylor is a research associate for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. As a veterinarian, she researches biomedical experiments that use animals and provides expert opinions on pain management, experiment protocols and other welfare issues. She liaises with government regulatory agencies, universities and corporations to end their use of animals in experimentation. She has met with pharmaceutical companies in Europe to discuss their animal welfare programs and consulted on numerous cruelty cases for PETA Before joining PETA, she spent several years in clinical veterinary practice and served in the U.S. Air Force.

 

Bas Huijbregts

African Species Director, Wildlife Conservation Program

Bas Huijbregts
Media inquiries: News And Press Page
 

Bas leads WWF’s work on wildlife conservation in Africa, focusing primarily on elephants, great apes, and rhinos. The most exciting part of protecting these charismatic, flagship species is that by protecting those, the protected areas and wider ecosystems on which they depend are also protected. His work entails landscape planning, protected area management, law enforcement, community-based natural resource management, and the monitoring of species populations over time and space. Given the current poaching crisis on the continent, a particular focus is given to reinforcing protection efforts in WWF’s priority landscapes and fighting wildlife crime.

Bas first started working in Africa in 1996 doing large mammal and socio-economic baseline surveys. These surveys laid the foundation for the creation of the 3,700 sq. mile Minkebe National Park, one of the last strongholds for the African forest elephant.

From there, Bas led the Gamba program along the coast of Gabon, home to the world’s most important nesting site for leatherback turtles, surfing hippos and elephants on the beach, followed by positions as conservation director for Gabon and for the Central Africa region. Before joining his wife in the US in 2014, he led the joint WWF/TRAFFIC Central Africa wildlife crime initiative based out of Yaounde, Cameroon.

With the last male ailing, the northern white rhino is almost gone

In this July 28, 2017, photo, wildlife ranger Zachariah Mutai takes care of Sudan, the world's last male northern white rhino, at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia county in Kenya.
(Joe Mwihia / Associated Press)

The beleaguered northern white rhinoceros moved closer to extinction this week after conservationists announced that the health of the only surviving male of the species was deteriorating.

The rhino, named Sudan, made headlines last year after it was dubbed “The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World” on the dating app Tinder as part of a campaign to spread awareness about rhinos and raise money to help protect them.

But now Sudan’s days appear to be numbered.

He was “starting to show signs of ailing,” according to a statement posted Wednesday on Twitter by the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the preserve in Kenya where the 45-year-old rhino has lived since 2009. “His health has begun deteriorating, and his future is not looking bright.”

“We are very concerned about him — he’s extremely old for a rhino and we do not want him to suffer unnecessarily,” it said. White rhinos live until around 40 on average, though those being cared for in captivity can survive longer.

Sudan developed “an uncomfortable age-related infection on his back right leg” at the end of 2017, the conservancy said. A team of veterinarians from around the world assessed the animal, which responded well to treatment and began to heal, soon resuming normal movement and foraging habits.

But recently, a secondary and much deeper infection was discovered beneath the initial one and Sudan was taking longer to recover, “despite the best efforts of his team of vets who are giving him 24-hour care,” the organization said.

There are two other white rhinos left in the world — a female named Najin and daughter Fatu, both also living at the conservancy in Kenya. Health problems or their ages — around 28 and 17, respectively — have left them unable to reproduce.

Wildlife experts and conservationists expressed deep regret over the prospect of the northern white rhino completely dying out. Technically, the species is already classified as extinct because it no longer exists in the wild, conservationists said.

“This is a distinct lineage of white rhino,” said Barbara Durrant, director of reproductive sciences at San Diego Zoo Global. “The loss of a population, especially of a mega-vertebrate like a rhino … is a significant loss in terms of genetic diversity.”

The zoo had had eight northern white rhinos in its Safari Park near Escondido over the years since 1972. The last one, a female named Nola, died in 2015.

This 1996 file photo shows northern white rhinos at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Between 1972 and 2015, when the last one died, the zoo hosted eight northern white rhinos.
(Bob Grieser / Los Angeles Times )

All types of rhino are threatened. No more than 26,543 are left in Africa, and no more than 163 in Southeast Asia, along with at least 3,500 in other parts of Asia, according to Save the Rhino, a conservation charity based in Britain.

Poaching is the main cause of the decline and disappearance of rhinos from the wild. They are hunted for their horns, which are trafficked primarily in China and Vietnam for such uses as cures for illness.

More than 7,245 African rhinos have been lost to poaching over the last decade, including 1,028 last year in South Africa, according to Save the Rhino.

The poaching danger is often coupled with degradation and loss of habitat and the vulnerability the animals face living in conflict zones, said Bas Huijbregts, who leads the World Wildlife Fund’s wildlife conservation efforts in Africa.

The habitat of the northern white rhino included Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic — nations racked by war, political strife and lack of governance.

The northern white rhino “had the unfortunate characteristic of living in one of Africa’s most unstable regions,” Huijbregts said.

Various initiatives are being explored to preserve the species or possibly reintroduce it after the three remaining rhinos die. They include collecting the eggs from the ovaries of at least the younger of the two female northern white rhinos for possible in vitro fertilization.

“That hasn’t happened yet, but the technique is being optimized,” Durrant said.

San Diego’s Frozen Zoo is among at least two research facilities that already have northern white rhino semen.

Durrant said other possible options include using stem cell technology to create a northern white rhino embryo and implanting it in a surrogate female southern white rhino; creating a hybrid between the northern white rhino and the southern white rhino; or cloning the animal if that technology can be applied to the species.

“Once we create sperm and eggs from northern white rhino … we have to know how to mature those eggs in vitro, how to fertilize them in vitro, how to grow the embryos to a certain stage and then how to do embryo transfer,” Durrant said. “We have lot of work to do to develop those technologies.”

Science though is unlikely to bring back the herd, conservationists said.

“Let’s hope it will be another wake-up call for the world to understand that we have to do much more to combat the threat to rhinos,” Huijbregts said. “The key message here is that when the demand [for rhino horn] stops, the killing stops.”

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