Angeline Rijkeboer made this video on 19 March 2015.
This video from the USA says about itself:
20 March 2015
North Cascades National Park, considered the “wild nearby” for its incredible scenery and wildlife, is also at the center of an opportunity being led by the National Park Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and U.S. Forest Service to restore a grizzly bear population.
Recovering these rare bears to the North Cascades Ecosystem, an area of nearly 10,000 square miles of protected public land, including the national park, would be a gift of the natural world to ours and future generations. It also provides a rare opportunity to recover all of the large native wildlife that were present prior to the turn of the 19th century.
Grizzly bears, of which less than twenty likely remain in the North Cascades Ecosystem, have long been an important cultural symbol for local Native American tribes, as well as playing an important ecological role for the health of the environment and other animal species.
Join the National Parks Conservation Association and special guests, including TV host and bear specialist Chris Morgan, to learn more about grizzly bears, their importance to creating and maintaining healthy ecosystems, the history leading up to the current public process, and how you can get involved.
• Bill Gaines, Ph.D., Wildlife Ecologist and Director of the Washington Conservation Science Institute. Gaines has been involved in the grizzly bear recovery efforts in the North Cascades for the past 25 years.
• Chris Morgan, Ecologist, bear specialist, author, filmmaker and TV host. Chris has spent more than 20 years working as a wildlife researcher, wilderness guide, and environmental educator on every continent where bears exist.
• Joe Scott, International Conservation Director, Conservation Northwest
• Rob Smith, Northwest Regional Director, National Parks Conservation Association
From Newsweek in the USA:
Africa’s Conservation Miracle: The Return of the Rhinos
By Simon Barnes / March 23, 2015 2:29 PM EDT
Habitat destruction. That’s almost always the answer to a question of wildlife conservation. Why has this species declined? Why has that species gone extinct? Because the place where it lives is being or has been destroyed.
The ever-increasing demands of the human population in India mean that there is less room for tigers. A vast suite of creatures – many unknown to science – go under every day with the continuing destruction of the rainforest. Migrating birds find their journey impossible when their rest-and-feed-up stopovers are destroyed. The baiji – Yangtze river dolphin – went extinct this century because of the pollution and traffic of its home river system.
It all comes back to one problem: that of the ever-expanding human population and its ever-increasing demands. But fly over the Luangwa Valley in Zambia and you see an endless expanse of glorious uncluttered savannah. It’s still wild as hell. Here is a habitat in the best possible shape, a place where conservation can for a moment set aside concerns about the loss of wild places.
If you take a walk anywhere in the two great national parks that dominate the valley – though you’d be well-advised to bring an armed scout – you will find yourself in perfect black rhino habitat. It’s mostly the kind of wooded savannah black rhinos love, studded with bushes, plenty of browse. Plenty, too, of Kigelia or sausage-trees: drooping with enormous elongated white fruit, so that each tree looks like an Italian delicatessen. Rhinos gourmandise on the fallen sausage-fruit, and scatter the seeds in their dung.
Forty years ago, Zambia had the third largest black rhino population in Africa: around 12,000, with 4,000 of them in the Luangwa Valley. Twenty years later there were none. They were declared extinct in Zambia in 1998. They had been poached out of existence in the 1970s and 1980s to meet illegal commercial markets. The Yemeni wanted the horns for dagger-handles, and the Chinese medicine trade has an immense and expanding appetite for them. Rhino horn is believed to help relieve fevers and disorders of the blood; it’s not used as an aphrodisiac, though the myth dies hard in the West.
There are five living rhino species: in Asia the Javan, Sumatran and Indian, in Africa the white and the black rhinoceros. (Both species are actually grey, and tend to be the colour of the country they live in, from their habit of ecstatic rolling and dust-bathing.) Tests in Switzerland found that rhino horn has no effect whatsoever on a mammalian body, good or bad, though an experiment by Chinese scientists demonstrated that immense doses had a very small effect at reducing fever in mice.
But it’s not about what rhino horn does, it’s about what people believe it does. And in the 1970s and 1980s the price it fetched was more than enough to establish an effective poaching industry in Zambia. It worked well until they ran out of rhinos. That left behind a still-perfect ecosystem lacking one of its most significant species. The North Luangwa National Park and the South Luangwa National Park are both jumping with elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo and most of the sexy species of African megafauna. The Luangwa River has the highest density of hippos in the world and one of the highest concentrations of Nile crocodiles.
It’s a thriving place. The south park has a well-established tourist industry, one that tends to be well-run, with high ethical standards. The north park is different – no permanent camps, hardly any roads. The tourist industry there is scanty, expensive and adventurous. And there are black rhinos there.
If your prime target in conservation is birds, you have a much easier time of it. You just get the habitat right and wait for them to fly in. So how long do you have to wait for a flight of rhinos?
The answer is five years. They came in not under their own power, but by Hercules aircraft. Five of them landed in North Luangwa National Park in 2003, five years after the declared national extinction, rather longer since the last rhino was killed for its horn in Zambia.
The North Luangwa Conservation Programme (NLCP) had taken four years of preparation to set up, but now the great adventure was on, a glorious attempt to put the toothpaste back in the tube. It was established by Frankfurt Zoological Society, and it receives funding from organisations that include Save the Rhino, which is based in London. Ten more rhinos came to North Luangwa in 2006, five more in 2008, and another five two years later. That meant that by 2011, there were 25 rhinos in a well-watched and well-guarded area of 220 square kilometres. They were kept in protected circumstances, initially in a boma, or timber-walled enclosure.
Now the population is free-ranging, protected by the vigilance of people on the ground. Circumstances are not entirely natural – at least not yet – and the project will supply lucerne and sausage-fruit to animals in sub-optimal condition and to lactating females.
It’s not been straightforward. It never is. The process makes considerable demands on the animals involved. They’re not machines: the flight is difficult and the instant change of environment is traumatic. Such things can be hard for domestic animals, as horse-people will tell you. For wild animals, not selectively bred for docility, there will always be problems.
Some rhinos found it harder to make the change than others. Others possibly contracted trypanosomiasis, from the tsetse flies that favour the Valley and so make it a no-go area for cattle farmers – which is the reason the habitat has remained in such good shape for so long. Others died in fights. And in the traumatic year of 2011, six of the rhinos died: more than 15% of the population. “It was one of the hottest and driest years on record,” says Claire Lewis, technical adviser for the NLCP. “All wild animals suffer under such extreme conditions. It was hugely disappointing, but we had to be pragmatic about it.”
That is the problem with all small populations: there is no such thing as a small disaster. The project is still a fragile thing: it wouldn’t take much to lose the lot, at the cost of a good deal of money and great deal more hope. A mother of a three-month-old calf was found dead and the calf never seen again. Such things are hard to deal with for the people on the ground.
There was easy consolation to be found: six more calves were born. There is now a population of 34 black rhinos in North Luangwa National Park, and it’s time to think about expanding. At the time of writing, and in the entire history of the project, not a single rhino has been lost to poaching. This is a kind of miracle: and it comes from hard work, high motivation and considerable skills. The rhino trade has gone through the roof. Demand has escalated – and with it, the criminal trade.
In 2007 South Africa lost 13 rhinos to poachers; in 2014 the number was 1,215. …
The trade is much easier than it was 30-40 years ago, as the supply lines are infinitely shorter. There is a strong Chinese presence in much of sub-Saharan Africa these days, including Zambia. It’s a fair assumption that some of these are involved in illegal trading. So it seems that the North Luangwa rhino population is approaching critical mass just as the rhino-horn trade is more demanding than ever. It’s an illegal trade that’s right up there with gold and cocaine.
The NLCP has no option but to work on the prevention of poaching – 250 anti-poaching officers make 60 four-man 10-day patrols every month. The boots-on-the-ground policy makes sure the rhinos aren’t easy targets. Their work is backed up by regular flights, surveying both rhinos and intruders. In recent years, there has been much greater emphasis on intelligence-led operations. “We have to be very careful about showing our hand here,” Lewis says. “But we have invested more and more in the Intelligence and Investigations Unit run by ZAWA (Zambia Wildlife Authority) and they’ve had some success. We see this as our priority until the international cartels are broken down.” The price of living rhinos is eternal vigilance.
The next stage is the beginning of the abnegation of control. A population of 70 to 80 rhinos within a few years is feasible if the vigilance keeps on paying off. Patrolling will become less intensive – the rhinos would be using a much greater area and there isn’t the funding to put more people on the ground.
There is talk about reintroducing rhinos elsewhere in Zambia: the South Luangwa National Park, and on the other side of the country, in the Kafue National Park, though Ed Sayer, the chief technical adviser at NLCP, says: “If we can get through this period of severe threat, then those areas need to start setting up the necessary security now. It took us four years at a time when rhino poaching was much less intense.”
This is an extraordinary project. It’s much harder than flying in the face of nature, it’s flying in the face of human greed. But so far it’s working. It’s a miracle of hard work and good planning and the sort of dedication that, in an earlier age, would lead to canonisation. There have been rhinos back in the Luangwa Valley, rhinos back in Zambia for 12 years. And they’re still there. At the time of writing, anyway.
This 2011 is about a Bay Lycian salamander, an endangered species from Turkey.
From Wildlife Extra:
15 animal species have the lowest chance for survival
Climbing rats, seabirds and tropical gophers are among the 15 animal species that are at the absolute greatest risk of becoming extinct very soon. Expertise and money is needed to save them and other highly threatened species.
A new study shows that a subset of highly threatened species – in this case 841 – can be saved from extinction for about $1.3 billion a year. However, for 15 of them the chances of conservation success are really low.
The study published in Current Biology concludes that a subset of 841 endangered animal species can be saved, but only if conservation efforts are implemented immediately and with an investment of an estimated US $1.3 billion annually to ensure the species’ habitat protection and management.
Researchers, led by Assistant Prof. Dalia A. Conde from University of Southern Denmark and Prof. John E Fa from Imperial College, developed a “conservation opportunity index” using measurable indicators to quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation.
To estimate the opportunities to conserve these species the researchers considered:
1. Opportunities of protecting its remaining habitats, which are restricted to single sites. Important factors are costs, political stability, and probability of urbanization.
2. The possibility to establish protected insurance populations in zoos: Important factors are costs and breeding expertise.
The researchers computed the cost of, and opportunities for, conserving 841 species of mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians listed by the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) as restricted to single sites and categorized as Endangered or Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
“AZE sites are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites,” said Dr. Dalia A. Conde, lead author on the paper and Assistant Professor at the Max-Planck Odense Center at the University of Southern Denmark, adding:
“Conservation opportunity evaluations like ours show the urgency of implementing management actions before it is too late. However, it is imperative to rationally determine actions for species that we found to have the lowest chances of successful habitat and zoo conservation actions.”
While the study indicated that 39% of the species scored high for conservation opportunities, it also showed that at least 15 AZE species are in imminent danger of extinction given their low conservation opportunity index (see list below).
The estimated total cost to conserve the 841 animal species in their natural habitats was calculated to be over US$1 billion total per year. The estimated annual cost for complementary management in zoos was US$160 million.
“Although the cost seems high, safeguarding these species is essential if we want to reduce the extinction rate by 2020,” said Prof. Hugh Possingham from The University of Queensland, adding:
“When compared to global government spending on other sectors – e.g., US defense spending, which is more than 500 times greater, an investment in protecting high biodiversity value sites is minor.”
Prof. John E. Fa said, “Our exercise gives us hope for saving many highly endangered species from extinction, but actions need to be taken immediately and, for species restricted to one location, an integrative conservation approach is needed.”
The paper stated the importance of integrating protection of the places these particular species inhabit with complementary zoo insurance population programmes.
According to Dr. Onnie Byers, Chair of the IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, “The question is not one of protecting a species in the wild or in zoos. The One Plan approach – effective integration of planning, and the optimal use of limited resources, across the spectrum of management from wild to zoo – is essential if we are to have a hope of achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.”
Dr. Nate Flesness, Scientific Director of the International Species Information System, stressed “We want to thank the more than 800 zoos in 87 countries which contribute animal and collection data to the International Species Information System, where the assembled global data enables strategic conservation studies like this.”
Dr. Markus Gusset of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums added “Actions that range from habitat protection to the establishment of insurance populations in zoos will be needed if we want to increase the chances of species’ survival.”
The 15 species with the lowest chances for survival in the wild and in zoos are:
1. Bay Lycian salamander, Lyciasalamandra billae, Turkey.
2. Perereca Bokermannohyla izecksohni, Brazil.
3. Campo Grande tree frog, Hypsiboas dulcimer, Brazil.
4. Santa Cruz dwarf frog, Physalaemus soaresi, Brazil.
5. Zorro bubble-nest frog, Pseudophilautus zorro, Sri Lanka.
6. Allobates juanii, Colombia.
1. Ash’s lark, Mirafra ashi, Somalia.
2. Tahiti monarch, Pomarea nigra, French Polynesia.
3. Zino’s petrel, Pterodroma madeira, Madeira.
4. Mascarene petrel, Pseudobulweria aterrima, Reunion Island.
5. Wilkins’s finch, Nesospiza wilkinsi, Tristan da Cunha.
6. Amsterdam albatross, Diomedea amsterdamensis, New Amsterdam (Amsterdam Island).
Their low chance for survival is due to at least two of the following factors:
High probability of its habitat becoming urbanized
Political instability in the site
High costs of habitat protection and management.
The opportunity of establishing an insurance population in zoos for these 15 species is low, due to high costs or lack of breeding expertise for the species.
This video is called How marine mammals survive underwater life – BBC wildlife.
From Wildlife Extra:
First global review on the status, future of Arctic marine mammals published
The precarious state of those mammals is underscored in a multinational study led by a University of Washington scientist, published this week in Conservation Biology, assessing the status of all circumpolar species and subpopulations of Arctic marine mammals, including seals, whales and polar bears. The authors outline the current state of knowledge and their recommendations for the conservation of these animals over the 21st century.
“These species are not only icons of climate change, but they are indicators of ecosystem health, and key resources for humans,” said lead author Kristin Laidre, a polar scientist with the UW Applied Physics Laboratory.
The overall numbers and trends due to climate change are unknown for most of the 78 populations of marine mammals included in the report: beluga, narwhal and bowhead whales; ringed, bearded, spotted, ribbon, harp and hooded seals; walruses; and polar bears.
“Accurate scientific data – currently lacking for many species – will be key to making informed and efficient decisions about the conservation challenges and tradeoffs in the 21st century,” Laidre said.
The publicly available report also divides the Arctic Ocean into 12 regions, and calculates the changes in the dates of spring sea ice retreat and fall freeze-up from NASA satellite images taken between 1979 and 2013.
Reductions in the sea ice cover, it finds, are “profound.” The summer ice period was longer in most regions by five to 10 weeks. The summer period increased by more than 20 weeks, or about five months, in the Barents Sea off Russia.
The species most at risk from the changes are polar bears and ice-associated seals.
“These animals require sea ice,” Laidre said. “They need ice to find food, find mates and reproduce, to rear their young. It’s their platform of life. It is very clear those species are going to feel the effects the hardest.”
Whales may actually benefit from less ice cover, at least initially, as the open water could expand their feeding habitats and increase food supplies.
Approximately 78 percent of the Arctic marine mammal populations included in the study are legally harvested for subsistence across the Arctic.
“There’s no other system in the world where top predators support human communities the ways these species do,” Laidre said.
The study recommends:
Maintaining and improving co-management with local and governmental entities for resources that are important to the culture and well-being of local and indigenous peoples.
Recognizing variable population responses to climate change and incorporating those into management. In the long term, loss of sea ice is expected to be harmful to many Arctic marine mammals, however many populations currently exhibit variable responses.
Improving long-term monitoring while recognizing monitoring for all species will be impossible. Alternatives include collecting valuable data from subsistence harvests, using remote methods to track changes in habitat, and selecting specific subpopulations as indicators.
Studying and mitigating the impacts of increasing human activities including shipping, seismic exploration, fisheries and other resource exploration in Arctic waters.
Recognizing the limits of protected species legislation. A balanced approach with regard to regulating secondary factors, such as subsistence harvest and industrial activity, will be needed, since protected species legislation cannot regulate the driver of habitat loss.
While the report aims to bring attention to the status and future of Arctic mammals, the authors hope to provoke a broader public response.
“We may introduce conservation measures or protected species legislation, but none of those things can really address the primary driver of Arctic climate change and habitat loss for these species,” Laidre said. “The only thing that can do that is the regulation of greenhouse gases.”
The report was funded by the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and NASA. Co-authors are Harry Stern at the UW; Kit Kovacs, Christian Lydersen and Dag Vongraven at the Norwegian Polar Institute; Lloyd Lowry at the University of Alaska; Sue Moore at the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service; Eric Regehr at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage; Steven Ferguson at Fisheries and Oceans Canada; &Ostroke;ystein Wiig at the University of Oslo; Peter Boyeng and Robyn Angliss at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center; Erik Born and Fernando Ugarte at the Greenland Institute of National Resources; and Lori Quakenbush at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
The study builds on a 2013 report by the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, a multinational group that advises the Arctic Council on biodiversity and conservation issues. Laidre was one of the lead authors for the chapter on marine mammals.