Groups challenge Trump administration over gray wolf delisting
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.”
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.
(Washington, D.C., January 13, 2021) The current Administration today filed a new Northern Spotted Owl critical habitat rule that has the potential to hasten the extinction of this declining subspecies. A revision of the critical habitat designation for the Northern Spotted Owl under the Endangered Species Act, the rule originally proposed to exempt only about 200,000 acres from critical habitat protections. However, the final rule instead exempts 3.4 million acres — a huge expanse of territory totaling about one-third of the owl’s protected habitat.
“This rule poses a severe threat to the Northern Spotted Owl and another threatened bird depending on old-growth forests, the Marbled Murrelet,” said Steve Holmer of American Bird Conservancy. “Just last month, federal scientists concluded that the rapidly declining population of Northern Spotted Owl should have its status changed from Threatened to Endangered. Instead, this new rule puts the owl at even greater risk.”
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).
The Best Cities for Pets
As of 2020, 68 million people are living with pets. With more pet ownership happening across the country, finding the best cities for pets could help you live more comfortably. The best cities for pets provide pet-friendly apartments, as well as plenty of amenities, such as off-leash parks, hiking spots, veterinary hospitals, and doggie daycares.
Rent.com searched for the best cities for pets analyzing the percentage of apartments in their database that were pet-friendly and allowed dogs or cats. They also looked at the average cost of veterinarian services in large metro areas with populations above 100,000 and the number of pet-related businesses and parks per capita.
Here is their ranking of the best cities for pets in the U.S.:
10. Davie, FL
9. Vacaville, CA
8. Naperville, IL
7. Arvada, CO
6. Scottsdale, AZ
5. Tyler, TX
4. Boulder, CO
3. Ann Arbor, MI
2. Charleston, SC
1. Greeley, CO
Here's what you need to know to find the best find a pet-friendly apartment for your needs.
Search for pet-friendly amenities
Newer apartment buildings come with all sorts of amenities, beyond a pool and fitness center. Pet-friendly apartments will have on-site dog parks, washing stations and even pet daycare.
Get renters insurance
You may have heard why it's important to get renters insurance. Consider buying it for the year if you're ready to move to a new apartment with your pet. It could show your new landlord that you're responsible and are covered in case your pet causes any damage to the unit.
Get a recommendation
Ask your former landlord to write a letter of recommendation, highlighting your dog's behavior and the condition of your previous apartment. You may want to include other types of documentation such as obedience school documents, pet sitters who took care of your dog and/or a former neighbor.
Pay a pet deposit
This topic will inevitably come up in your apartment search. Most apartment buildings will require a pet deposit, which is generally a few hundred dollars.
Take photos of your apartment before you move in
Be sure to take photos of your apartment before you move in. This could serve to prove that your pet didn't ruin the unit but can also be shown to future landlords to state your case that your dog is well behaved and get your security deposit back.
Talkin' Pets News
January 9, 2021
Host - Jon Patch
Co-Host - Dr. Suzanne Topor - Livingston Animal & Avian Hospital
Producer - Matt Matera
Network Producer - Darian Sims
Social Media - Bob Page
Special Guests - Bas Huijbregts African Species Director, Wildlife Conservation Program will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 1/09/21 at 530pm ET to discuss the extinction of the White Rhino
DR. INGRID TAYLOR, veterinarian and research associate for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will join Jon and Talkin' Pets on 1/09/21 at 621pm ET to discuss animal sentience and the end using animals in experiments
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
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 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
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.
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.”
New York, NY - The AKC Museum of the Dog is excited to announce “Virtual Night with the Museum,” a livestream virtual gala honoring the Museum’s longtime friend, supporter and board member Ronald H. Menaker on Friday, February 12 between 8pm -9pm.
For almost three decades, the Theatre Benefit for the Museum has been Menaker’s passion project and the Museum hopes to continue the tradition virtually with a night of celebrating and showcasing our love of dogs and the Museum’s impact on the community.
Mr. Menaker first served on the AKC Board from 1996 to 1998. Elected again in 2000, he became Vice Chairman in 2001 and served as Chairman since March 2002 until April 2019. He has been actively involved in the sport of purebred dogs for more than 40 years and has contributed to it greatly through his work with fundraising, particularly hosting the annual Theater Benefit.
The Theater Benefit has fundraised thousands of dollars for AKC affiliates such as the Humane Fund and now more recently, the AKC Museum of the Dog. In addition to hosting the Theater Benefit, Ron has also donated several pieces of artwork to the Museum, including At the Garden Gate by Matilda Lotz, Portrait of Bea Godsol by John Dwight and The Intruder by Arthur Wardle.
Open to the general public, the virtual gala will include remarks from Museum Executive Director Alan Fausel, testimonials from community members on the Museum’s impact and a silent auction. Individuals also can become an Event Sponsor. With a gift of $1,000 or more, participants can become a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Level Sponsor. Sponsors at levels Silver and above will receive a medallion on our Capital Campaign Wall. Supporters at all sponsor levels will receive recognition on the MOD Donor Wall in the Museum, in pre- and post- show content, and a dedicated space on our giving center within the sponsor level and mentions throughout the live event.
In addition to sponsorship, guests will also be able to bid in a live auction during the event for a chance to take home fabulous prizes in support of the Museum. Those who prefer to give directly can do so through the Museumofthedog.org website on the Night with the Museum Fundraising page.
Parent club members are encouraged to participate in the livestream event through Champions for Our Cause, a competition open to AKC clubs encouraging giving together as a team. The highest total amongst club teams will earn recognition on our AKC Clubs Wall of Fame. This dedicated space in the Museum will feature a plaque with the club’s name on it, to honor the club’s legacy and lasting support of the Museum.
“At the Museum of the Dog, we want to take this opportunity to honor Ron Menaker as being an integral part of the museum’s development and sustained success,” said Alan Fausel, Executive Director of the Museum. “He has been the glue that has held our institution together, and we wish to follow his example as we work towards a brighter and stronger 2021 for all museum visitors.”
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About the AKC Museum of the Dog
Founded in 1982, The AKC Museum of the Dog is dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of the art, artifacts and literature of the dog for the purposes of education, historical perspective, aesthetic enjoyment and to enhance the appreciation for and knowledge of the significance of the dog and the human/canine relationship. The museum is home to over 700 original paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints, sculptures, bronzes, and porcelain figurines, a variety of decorative arts objects and interactive displays depicting man's best friend throughout the ages. The AKC Museum of the Dog is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization funded mainly by private and corporate gift donations.
For more information on the AKC Museum of the Dog visit www.Museumofthedog.org
Talkin' Pets News
January 2, 2021
Host - Jon Patch
Co-Host - Jasmine the Dog Trainer
Producer - Kayla Cavanaugh
Network Producer - Darian Sims
Social Media - Bob Page
Movie Review written by Jon Patch with 3.5 out of 4 paws
Wonder Woman 1984
DC Comics, Warner Bros. Pictures, Atlas Entertainment, DC Entertainment and The Stone Quarry present a PG-13, 181-minute, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, directed by Patty Jenkins, written by Jenkins and Geoff Johns with a theater release date of December 25, 2020.
Talkin' Pets News
December 26, 2020
Host - Jon Patch
Co-Host - Dr. Linda Register - East West Animal Hospital
Producer - Lexi Adams
Network Producer - Darian Sims
Social Media - Bob Page