Florida: STOP painting tortoises!

TOR_Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 11.38.04 AM

Painting a tortoise – funny, isn’t it? Here in China, they are sold as pets … but I have not heard of a ‘painted tortoise’. Only in America…?

‘If you want to paint something, paint a rock,’ Florida officials implore after shells of a threatened tortoise species were found daubed with paint – according to The Guardian

“That doesn’t sound like a lot but we didn’t hear about this happening in the state before all this,” she said. “It could be that there are youngsters who think it’s funny or people who don’t know of the harm it causes.

“This is a threatened species with protections against harassing it, which painting it definitely is. The best thing to do is admire its natural beauty. If you want to paint something, paint a rock.”

Read the full article here 

BIG but NOT GOOD news….It’s World Elephant Day!

Africanelephant

 

 

 

The elephant is one of the most persecuted creatures on earth! African elephants are slaughtered at an alarming rate for their ivory in places like Zimbabwe and Kenya  – fueled, dare I say, by the likes of China and other Asian countries demands for luxury goods. Asian elephants especially those in Thailand, are often abused in the name of ‘entertainment’

For the above reasons, World Elephant Day was established in 2012…..

Anne Dillon, with Patricia Sims of the Elephant Rehabilitation Foundation, tell us more: It’s the fifth annual World Elephant Day. What’s happening in the elephant world, and has anything really changed for them? In 2012, the World Elephant Day campaign was created as a rallying point for elephant conservation organizations and individuals worldwide to come together to help spread the word—through unique grassroots events and initiatives—about the dire situation that elephants presently face all over the world. Those threats may pertain to the ongoing and seemingly unstoppable slaughter of elephants for their ivory, the abject circumstances that captive elephants constantly endure at the hands of the entertainment industry, or the sad life of a street elephant begging on the streets of Asia, to list only a few of the grim scenarios that may define their lives.

On a personal level – the elephants ‘I have met’ have been brilliant beasts. In Africa on safari many, many years ago were magnificent and played a key role on the savannah; in Thailand, riding on their backs was an experience and was done at a ‘Nature Park’ where conservation was the uppermost aim.

To get involved – visit http://worldelephantday.org

For environmental education – visit http://naee.org.uk

NAEE_Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 3.00.02 PM

 

 

Follow me on twitter at LearnFromNature

Remembering Cecil on National Lion Day

When it was International Cat Day just there other day …. actually my mind went to the Big Cats!

As a Zookeeper – working with chimps and monkeys – I can vouch for the importance, role and sheer power of the big cats…. NO I did not ‘fight one’ , I just appreciate how amazing the big cats are!

So: thinking of Cecil – the Zimbabwe lion killed for fun (!?) – The Guardian has re-issued their feature of the famous lion : organizers of World Lion Day are hoping to raise even more awareness of the complex nature of the relationship between lions and humans.

The recent , very sad accident regards Tigers killing a Chinese lady highlights the need to always put safety first.

Follow me on Twitter LearnFromNature  

`

Overshoot Day 2016 … ‘Waste of energy more problematic than pollution’ !

BIO_Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 1.50.17 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

If a tree falls in the Forest, does anybody hear? Bruce Cockburn’s song is about – to my mind – energy and ecology…. a tree has impact, whether we hear / know about it or not!

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. We maintain this deficit by liquidating stocks of ecological resources and accumulating waste, primarily carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Earth Overshoot Day is hosted and calculated by Global Footprint Network, an international think tank that coordinates research, develops methodological standards and provides decision-makers with a menu of tools to help the human economy operate within Earth’s ecological limits.
To determine the date of Earth Overshoot Day for each year, Global Footprint Network calculates the number of days of that year that Earth’s biocapacity suffices to provide for humanity’s Ecological Footprint. The remainder of the year corresponds to global overshoot.

From today’s The Guardian: Scotland’s industries and farmers must cut energy, greenhouse gas emissions and resource use as waste overtakes pollution as the major environmental threat, says head of regulator.

Scotland’s environment agency has warned the country’s industries and farmers that their waste and inefficiency is now the biggest threat to the environment, overtaking pollution.

In a marked shift in strategy, the regulator’s chief executive, Terry A’Hearn, will urge businesses, farmers and manufacturers to adopt a “one planet prosperity” policy designed to cut their energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, waste and resource use.

“The major threat to the environment now is that humanity is overusing the planet as a resource base,” he told the Guardian.

More about Overshoot Day here

Find / follow me on LearnFromNature on twitter

More about environmental education / NAEE 

NAEE_Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 3.00.02 PM

 

Good news: California Condor numbers are finally up!

california-condor-0022.jpg.838x0_q80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After years of intense — and often controversial — restoration efforts, biologists are finally reporting some good news for the beleaguered California condor: More chicks are surviving in the wild, and the birds are becoming increasingly independent and expanding their range, reports the Environmental News Network

Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced what it called a milestone for the California condor: More chicks had hatched and fledged in the wild during 2015 than the number of condors that had died. In late March, Steve Kirkland, the agency’s condor field coordinator, reported that two more chicks had fledged in 2015 in Baja California, but had only just been discovered, bringing the total in the wild to 270.
It was perhaps the most promising news about the condor in decades.

For the full article see Yale Environment 360 

 

World Ranger Day …. thinking of the wonderful women and men in the field!

 

Africanelephant

 

 

 

 

 

Rangers are everywhere looking after the natural world on our behalf – and alongside us! In the United States – we are on the cusp of the National Parks Service centenary  : see here to find out more, plus #FindAPark

In East and Southern Africa – teams work against the incredible challenge that is the fight to combat poachers wanting elephants : see Kenya Wildlife Service and David Sheldrick amongst many groups

In  England and Scotland – human activities constantly threaten the wilderness areas and historic  :  see national parks 

In New Zealand’s tussock lands, Department of Conservation officers aim and achieve the impossible – looking after critically endangered species such as the Takahe

All of these experiences relying very much on the continual need for successful environmental  and community education, alongside conservation and management programmes.   Here’s to #WorldRangerDay via their website and others    on twitter !

Follow me on twitter LearnFromNature

See more regards Environmental Education  

NAEE_Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 3.00.02 PM

 

 

Tigers in the news – for all the wrong reasons!

 

TIGER1_Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 8.28.39 PM

 

Today – July 25th – is International Tiger Day but this big cat is in very BIG trouble …. We must change attitudes regards Chinese medicine!

Questions:

  1. Should a tiger who attacks a person, be put down? 
  2. Should we continue to use animal products – especially from a critically  endangered species – and especially when the concepts re TCM  are doubtful at best ? Let me know what your think here or on LearnFromNature twitter 

Tigers attack women

Last weekend, at a Beijing safari park, tigers attacked 2 women who ‘got out of a car’ …. reports are that the tigers have NOT been executed (a possible response) – certainly, there has been much criticism of the safety measures at this particular safari park

Reports in Shanghai Daily (my local English-language paper), then world press including CNN 

“Many of these safari parks in China should be banned because they train tigers in a cruel way to entertain visitors or sell tiger products,” Mang Ping, a professor from the Central Institute of Socialism and a founder of the Zoo Watch animal protection NGO, told the Global Times.

TIGERS2_Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 8.29.03 PM

Legalization of trade in tiger products

Following on from the above – which raised the profile of tigers –  this news comes along..

From The Global Times: China banned the trade and use of products made from tigers in 1993.

However, in the revised version of China’s Wild Animal Protection Law which was approved on July 2 and will be put into effect in 2017, some animal populations, bred under controlled conditions with “mature” technology, can be regulated differently from wild populations and used to make commercial products, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Sorry to say – Chinese Traditional Medicine – TCM for short – has a LOT to answer for!      Education is of course key…. see NAEE

TIGERS4_Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 8.32.44 PM

See Know Your Tigers infographic