This video from the Netherlands says about itself (translated):
1 December 2015
This video says about itself:
23 November 2015
Season 16 Episode 2: Drone Art
Nansen spent four weeks filming at Arctic Watch and around Somerset Island. This video aims to share some of the magical wonders of the Northwest Passage – the beluga congregation of Cunningham Inlet, the polar bears living in the environment and the unique landscapes of this hidden gem in Canada.
Nansen Weber is the first to film high Arctic wildlife with the use of a drone.
Shot uniquely on the coast of Somerset Island, this video showcases one of the last beluga nurseries on earth – Cunningham Inlet. Nearly two thousand whales congregate annually within this inlet.
This video says about itself:
10 August 2015
From NBC in the USA:
An NBC Bay Area investigation reveals 1.2 million animals, including endangered and threatened wildlife, were killed abroad by American hunters and sent to the U.S. as trophies over the last 15 years.
By Bigad Shaban, Michael Bott, Mark Villareal and Jeremy Carroll
American hunters abroad routinely kill endangered and threatened animals for sport, and then ship the wildlife home to the United States to be mounted as trophies, according to federal records obtained by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit.
The high-priced hobby, known as trophy hunting, is legal and supported by some scientists because of its financial contributions to wildlife conservation. However, wildlife advocates and a former top U.S. official are raising questions over America’s ability to vet trophy hunting programs abroad, before determining whether certain trophy shipments should be granted approval to enter the United States. Poachers, critics say, are often able to capitalize on the lack of U.S. oversight by posing as legitimate trophy hunters abroad when they are actually killing endangered and threatened wildlife to sell on the black market back in the United States.
“Major wildlife populations, iconic populations – elephants, rhinos – are being decimated by sophisticated international syndicates that are taking the wildlife products – the rhino horn, the ivory and the tiger bone – and are selling them globally,” said David Hayes, a former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, who oversaw the regulation of sport-hunted trophy imports under President Clinton and President Obama. “It’s a huge market.”
The controversy surrounding sport-hunted trophies gained national attention in July, when a Minnesota hunter used a bow-and-arrow to kill Cecil, a well-known lion in Zimbabwe. While Cecil’s death sparked outrage in the United States, federal records obtained by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit show that during the same month Cecil was shot, U.S. hunters legally killed 69 other lions in Africa to mount as trophies back at home.
“The problem with trophy hunting is that in many cases it inspires unethical and sometimes illegal behavior on the part of hunters, and that’s what happened to Cecil the Lion,” said Michael Sutton, a former federal wildlife inspector and past president of the California Fish and Game Commission. “That reflects poorly on all hunters, not just trophy hunters.”
Each year, American hunters shoot and kill more than 70,000 animals abroad for sport, and then ship the wildlife to the United States as trophies.
The practice is legal, even though some of the animals are considered to be particularly vulnerable. In fact, the Investigative Unit found endangered or threatened animals are imported into the United States as trophies nearly every other day; they enter the Bay Area almost weekly.
The Bay Area Connection: Endangered and Threatened Animals Enter San Francisco Port as “Trophies” Almost Weekly
At least 1.2 million sport-hunted trophies have been legally imported into the United States over the past 15 years, according to 25,000 pages of data obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“I think if it’s out there, somebody, somewhere has shot it and I’ve seen it,” said Ann-Marie Holmes, a supervisory wildlife inspector for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Holmes oversees inspections at the port of San Francisco, one of more than 60 U.S. ports that have received sport-hunted trophy shipments over the past 15 years. Holmes spoke to the Investigative Unit from one of her posts inside a non-descript warehouse near San Francisco International Airport. Tucked in one corner of the building, are dozens of crates containing the skulls, horns, and dried pelts of some of Africa’s most sought after animals.
A team of inspectors routinely check incoming shipments to ensure the contents match the accompanying hunting permits.
“There’s only four wildlife inspectors for the whole part of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, so we have to use our time wisely,” Holmes said.
Inspectors check about 50 percent of incoming trophy shipments, according to Holmes. Their decision on what to inspect is often based on the shipment’s accompanying paper work and, sometimes, personal intuition.
“Prior knowledge, maybe, of the importer of record, prior intel on maybe the country that it’s coming from,” Holmes said. “We do get intel alerts regarding certain situations.”
Since 2010, the federal government has documented 2,963 violations relating to the import of sport-hunted trophies into the United States, according to records obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. About 96 percent of those cases have been closed; as a result, only two people had to serve time in jail and 440 violators had to pay criminal fines, ranging from $25 to $390,700. About 54 percent of the listed infractions concerned violations of the Endangered Species Act.
“We have found skins rolled up in other skins, where they are just attempting to hide things,” Holmes said.
During our visit with Holmes in San Francisco, inspectors came across two crates containing lion trophies. The hides were covered in pesticides to keep them from rotting in transit. Lion trophies are common in the Bay Area, according to Holmes, and usually arrive at the Port of San Francisco about once or twice a week. The federal government proposed listing the species as “threatened” last October, but since then, American hunters have killed at least 601 lions for trophies, according to records obtained by the Investigative Unit.
The United States allows the import of wildlife trophies from foreign countries, even if the species population is declining, if the country’s government can prove their trophy hunting is run in connection with wildlife conservation programs that work to strengthen the overall species.
Lions are found in most countries of sub-Saharan Africa, but a relatively small population of the species also lives within the Gir National Park in India, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are only an estimated 20,000 lions remaining in Africa, which represents a 33 percent decline in population over the last decade, according to the wildlife advocacy group Panthera.
Big Game is Big Business
While hunting rules and fees vary species-to-species and country-to-country, hunting permits can be costly. Proponents of trophy hunting say that money fuels conservation. Killing a single lion can cost a hunter up to $71,000, when you include trophy fees and the price of a several-day safari, according to a 2012 study, funded by Panthera.
Can Killing Animals Help Protect the Species?
Animals considered threatened or endangered are not necessarily off-limits for American hunters looking to kill animals abroad and import them into the United States as trophies.
“You’re going to have a lot more paperwork and go through a lot more steps to be able to get those permits to bring it in,” Holmes said.
In examining federal records from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Investigative Unit found that endangered and threatened animals are shipped to the U.S. almost every other day.
Killing older, weaker, or more aggressive animals can prove beneficial, even for a struggling species, according to wildlife biologists. Critics, however, are quick to mention that it is not often feasible for hunters to identify those types of animals before pulling the trigger.
Hayes admits effectively monitoring conservation plans in foreign countries can be challenging for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and raises questions about the agency’s ability to fully vet trophy hunting programs abroad.
“It’s tough,” he said. “It’s tough because these are Fish and Wildlife Service biologists sitting here in the United States, making decisions about what’s going on over in Africa.”
Hayes says poachers attempt to take advantage of the limited oversight by routinely using trophy hunting as a front to be able to kill wildlife and profit from it on the black market. Just last year, the agency suspended the import of sport-hunted elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Tanzania, citing a lack of information to prove that the programs “enhance the survival of the species.”
“There was evidence that under the guise of a hunting concession, international traffickers were coming into the country that was covered by its concession and wiping out elephants,” Hayes said. “There was no sport hunting involved. It was essentially a massacre of elephants that was occurring.”
Hayes said with a limited staff, it is possible the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could be missing other infractions abroad.
“Oh, it’s certainly possible,” Hayes said. “Yes. Sure.”
The future of trophy hunting
Sutton, who served as a federal game warden for six years, is an avid outdoorsman and hunter, but said it is time for the government to consider banning trophy hunting, and questions whether the money it generates always flows into legitimate conservation programs.
“That could be an important source of revenue for wildlife management or local communities, if the money actually gets into the hands of the government or local communities,” Sutton said. “In many cases, it does not.”
Sutton points to Cecil’s death in Zimbabwe as a recent example of how legitimate trophy hunting could lead to unethical and illegal behavior.
“Most Americans don’t have a problem with hunting for food, hunting for sport,” Sutton said. “It’s hunting for ego and hunting for trophies that have far less support among the general public.”
Cecil was the subject of ongoing research at Oxford University and was collared so scientists could track his movements. The lion was also a favorite among tourists at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Government authorities have since cleared the Minnesota hunter, Walter Palmer, of any wrong doing, saying he obtained the proper hunting permits to kill the lion. However, Palmer’s Zimbabwean hunting guide, Theo Bronkhorst, is still accused of illegally luring Cecil out of the wildlife refuge and is scheduled to stand trial in Zimbabwe later this month.
With society becoming increasingly urbanized and communities now experiencing fewer encounters with wildlife, Sutton said every effort needs to be made to preserve America’s outdoor tradition.
“I want to see the future of hunting and fishing in this country secured,” Sutton said. “If trophy hunting has to be limited to prevent damage to the reputation of all hunting, I think that might be a price we need to pay.”
From AFP news agency:
Over half of world’s primates on brink of extinction: experts
24 Nov 2015 at 08:55 ET
More than half the world’s primates, including apes, lemurs and monkeys, are facing extinction, international experts warned Tuesday, as they called for urgent action to protect mankind’s closest living relatives.
The population crunch is the result of large-scale habitat destruction — particularly the burning and clearing of tropical forests — as well as the hunting of primates for food and the illegal wildlife trade.
Species long-known to be at risk, including the Sumatran orangutan, have been joined on the most endangered list for the first time by the Philippine tarsier and the Lavasoa Mountains dwarf lemur from Madagascar, scientists meeting in Singapore said.
“This research highlights the extent of the danger facing many of the world’s primates,” leading primatologist Christoph Schwitzer, director of conservation at Bristol Zoological Society in Britain, said in a statement.
“We hope it will focus people’s attention on these lesser known primate species, some of which most people will probably have never heard of.”
There are 703 species and sub-species of primates in the world.
Madagascar and Vietnam are home to large numbers of highly threatened primate species, the statement said.
“All of these species are relatively large and conspicuous, making them prime targets for bushmeat hunting,” the statement said.
Russell Mittermeier, chair of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), said he hoped the report would encourage governments to commit to “desperately needed biodiversity conservation measures”.
Mittermeier said ahead of next month’s global climate conference in Paris, there was growing evidence some primate species might play key roles in dispersing tropical forest tree seeds, which in turn “have a critically important role in mitigating climate change”.
Here is the list of the world’s top 25 most endangered primates for 2014-2016 and their estimated numbers remaining in the wild.
The list is compiled by the IUCN, Bristol Zoological Society, International Primatological Society and Conservation International and is updated every two years:
Lavasoa Mountains dwarf lemur — unknown
Lake Alaotra bamboo lemur — about 2,500-5,000
Red ruffed lemur — unknown
Northern sportive lemur — around 50
Perrier’s sifaka — 1,700-2,600
Rondo dwarf galago — unknown but remaining habitat is just 100 square kilometres (40 square miles)
Roloway monkey — unknown but thought to be on the very verge of extinction
Preuss’ red colobus monkey — unknown
Tana River red colobus monkey — 1,000 and declining
Grauer’s gorilla — 2,000-10,000
Philippine tarsier — unknown
Javan slow loris — unknown
Pig-tailed langur — 3,300
Cat Ba langur (golden headed langur) — 60
Delacour’s langur — 234-275
Tonkin snub-nosed monkey — less than 250
Kashmir grey langur — unknown
Western purple-faced langur — unknown
Hainan gibbon — 25
Sumatran orangutan — 6,600
Ka’apor capuchin — unknown
San Martin titi monkey — unknown
Northern brown howler monkey — less than 250 mature animals
Colombian brown spider monkey — unknown
Ecuadorian brown-headed spider monkey — unknown
This video from the USA says about itself:
15 February 2014
From Parasitology Research:
23 November 2015
Carlos Hermosilla, Liliana M. R. Silva, Sonja Kleinertz, Rui Prieto, Monica A. Silva, Anja Taubert
A number of parasitic diseases have gained importance as neozoan opportunistic infections in the marine environment. Here, we report on the gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna of three baleen whale species and one toothed whale: blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (Balaenoptera physalus), and sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) from the Azores Islands, Portugal. In total, 17 individual whale fecal samples [n = 10 (B. physalus); n = 4 (P. macrocephalus); n = 2 (B. musculus); n = 1 (B. borealis)] were collected from free-swimming animals as part of ongoing studies on behavioral ecology.
Furthermore, skin biopsies were collected from sperm whales (n = 5) using minimally invasive biopsy darting and tested for the presence of Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, and Besnoitia besnoiti DNA via PCR. Overall, more than ten taxa were detected in whale fecal samples. Within protozoan parasites, Entamoeba spp. occurred most frequently (64.7 %), followed by Giardia spp. (17.6 %) and Balantidium spp. (5.9 %). The most prevalent metazoan parasites were Ascaridida indet. spp. (41.2 %), followed by trematodes (17.7 %), acanthocephalan spp., strongyles (11.8 %), Diphyllobotrium spp. (5.9 %), and spirurids (5.9 %).
Helminths were mainly found in sperm whales, while enteric protozoan parasites were exclusively detected in baleen whales, which might be related to dietary differences. No T. gondii, N. caninum, or B. besnoiti DNA was detected in any skin sample. This is the first record on Giardia and Balantidium infections in large baleen whales.