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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wildlife News

A few wildlife stories attracted my interest.

For the first time in 40 years Blue Whales have been seen off the coast of Alaska and Canada.

So far spotted 15 of the blue whales in the Gulf of Alaska and off British Columbia. Four of the Whales have been previously seen off of southern California. They used to migrate between the two areas before hunting decimated there numbers from 200,000 to between 5,000 and 12,000.

The California population is the largest and environmentalists hope that the northerly sightings suggests that they are recovering well enough to spread into new areas.

However certain nations are trying to put a deal together to enable some form of whale hunting to recommence.

May I point you to Save the Whale week? Which runs June 8th through 14th.

Ok what next?

The WWF are reporting that a major logging operation is being planned by Asian Pulp & Paper and the Sinar Mas Group (APP/SMG) is to include large portions of the only areas that Sumatran orangutans have ever successfully been re-introduced into the wild.

This will also threaten a quarter of the last critically endangered Sumatran tigers left in the wild, the Talang Mamak and Orang Rimba indigenous peoples and a significant population of endangered Sumatran elephants.

With the latest acquisition, APP/SMG now holds the majority of the buffer areas to the national park, including large areas the Forestry Service of Jambi and the National Park management authority agreed in 2008 to designate as the Bukit Tigapuluh Ecosystem which would be sustainably managed as natural forest.

Apparently less than a third of the forest cover is within the National Park, with the areas most preferred by animals and indigenous peoples lying in the surrounding lowland forests now vulnerable to clearing.

According to Peter Pratje of the Frankfurt Zoological Society:

It took scientists decades to discover how to successfully reintroduce critically endangered orangutans from captivity into the wild. It could take APP just months to destroy an important part of their new habitat.

These lowland forests are excellent habitat for orangutans, which is why we got government permission to release them here beginning in 2002. The apes are thriving now, breeding and establishing new family groups.

Between 1985 and 2007, Sumatra island lost 12 million hectares of natural forest, a 48 percent loss in 22 years!!

Do go and look at this amazing piece of photography of a goose in flight.

And bankers get a lot of bad press at the mo so kudos to Joel Armstrong for saving these ducks.


holdingmoments said...

Some interesting links there Pete; and that 'duck man', just amazing!

Tricia said...

It's so saddening to read accounts of wildlife habitat destruction and I will never be able to support or justify the, to me, wanton slaughter of animals either directly or by removal of their natural habitat.