Sixteen-year-old Female Gorilla “Isaro” is the Mother – Part of Isabukuru’s Group of Mountain Gorillas
 
Mountain Gorillas are Critically Endangered – Less Than 900 Left in the World!
 
WHAT:
Today, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is excited to announce the arrival of mountain gorilla twins!  A rare occurrence, twins are unusual among mountain gorillas and this is only the third case recorded among the groups monitored by the Fossey Fund.  Unfortunately, two of the previous sets of twins recorded did not survive.  The twins were born on January 18, 2016 in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda to sixteen-year-old female Isaro - she is also the mother of 6-year-old Keza and 3-1/2 year-old Icyororo.  Gorilla mothers are completely responsible for infant care at this stage and even despite the increased energetic demands of nursing twins, she will not allow other group members to hold or assist in any other way.  The twins are part of Isabukuru’s group of mountain gorillas which now has a total of 21 individuals!  The twins will be named at the 12th annual Kwita Izina ceremony this year. 
 
 
WHY:
·         Roughly 25% of mountain gorilla infants do not survive their first year of life and we expect the rate for twins to be just as high if not higher.
·         Currently the group is in an area that is very cold and hard to reach. On Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, the group was seen near a lake in an area with an abundance of food - great news for a mother of twins!
·         Of the more than 270 births that have occurred in the Karisoke Gorilla Groups over the last 50 years, only 3 have involved twins.
 
WHO:
Established as the Digit Fund by Dian Fossey in 1978, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International is a nonprofit dedicated to the conservation and protection of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. For nearly 50 years the organization has monitored the endangered mountain gorillas-the only species of gorillas to have population growth in recent decades. The fund is committed to promoting research on gorillas and their threatened ecosystems and to helping the people who live near gorillas improve their health and quality of life to become stewards of their own natural environment.
 
Follow the Twins on Social Media & Online:
Hashtag - #gorillatwins
Twitter - @savinggorillas

Washington, D.C., February 1, 2016 -- For the first time, wildlife conservationists have confirmed that lions are living in a remote national park in Ethiopia, following a recent expedition supported by Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation. The discovery was made after an expedition into the heart of Alatash National Park in northwest Ethiopia, on the Ethiopia-Sudan border, led by Dr. Hans Bauer, a renowned lion conservationist working for Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU). See the complete report here.   

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, “The confirmation that lions persist in this area is exciting news. With lion numbers in steep decline across most of the African continent, the discovery of previously unconfirmed populations is hugely important—especially in Ethiopia, whose government is a significant conservation ally. We need to do all we can to protect these animals and the ecosystem on which they depend, along with all the other remaining lions across Africa, so we can reverse the declines and secure their future.”

In this groundbreaking discovery, Dr. Bauer and his team found original and undisputable evidence of lions in the region—successfully obtaining camera trap images of lions and identifying lion tracks. The team also concluded that lions were likely to exist in the larger, adjacent Dinder National Park across the border in Sudan.

Alatash is a huge region that very few people have visited. Though lions are thought to have been present there for centuries, and locals knew of their existence in the area, the international community was unaware. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) only considered Alatash a “possible range” for the species.

Dr. Bauer said, “Lions are definitely present in Alatash National Park and in Dinder National Park. Lion presence in Alatash has not previously been confirmed in meetings at the national or international level.”

“Considering the relative ease with which lion signs were observed, it is likely that they are resident throughout Alatash and Dinder. Due to limited surface water, prey densities are low and lion densities are likely to be low. We may conservatively assume a density in the range of one to two lions per 100 km2. On a total surface area of about 10,000 km2, this would mean a population of 100-200 lions for the entire ecosystem, of which 27-54 would be in Alatash,” he added.

The African lion is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species, with a declining trend throughout most of its range. Lion numbers are estimated to have declined 50%-75% since 1980 and the species only occupies 8% of its historic range across the continent. Roberts adds, “Lions were thought to be locally extinct in Sudan, so the new findings are encouraging. Now that the expedition is complete, the next step is to communicate with the governments of Ethiopia and Sudan and look at the needs for conservation in the area so that this previously undiscovered lion stronghold can be protected.”

The discovery comes as Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation have just announced Born Free’s Year of the Lion 2016 initiative and the 50th anniversary of the iconic film, Born Free.

The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase out zoos. The Foundation rescues animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and gives them lifetime care. Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles, and many more species in their natural habitats, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict. The Foundation’s high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers, and get results. Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide. More at www.bornfree.org.uk.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

 

 

Watch Jora and Black’s epic 10,500-mile journey from Bulgaria to South African sanctuary

Washington, D.C., January  20, 2016 – This week the Born Free Foundation has released a heartwarming video of two ex-circus lions who were successfully rescued from Bulgaria and now thriving in their new South African home.

Eight-year-old brothers Jora and Black made international headlines when they were rescued by Born Free from a beast wagon in Bulgaria more than three months ago.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of the Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA, “Thanks to generous public support, Born Free was able to transport Jora and Black 10,500 miles via the United Kingdom to their new life and forever home at the Shamwari Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  Their story has a happy ending; no wild animal should suffer in unnatural, cruel captivity, and Born Free will save every one we can until wild animal circuses are a thing of the past.”  

The seven minute video, made available for the first time this week, reveals how Born Free successfully rescued the lions, and shows the highly emotional moment the brothers were released from their traveling crates and stepped out onto African soil for the first time.

Born Free Foundation Projects Manager, Karen Pettman, said Jora and Black had settled into their new home quickly. “We are delighted that they have now adapted to their spacious home at Born Free’s Big Cat Rescue Centre on the Shamwari Game Reserve. Jora and Black clearly love being together and are very playful with each other. They are also becoming firm favorites with the center’s visitors, who they will often come out to say hello to, chasing each other along the edge of their enclosure.”

Taken in as small cubs, Jora and Black were originally part of a circus act touring Eastern Europe and Turkey. Following the Bulgarian government’s much-welcomed ban on the use of wild mammals in circuses, the lions were left to languish in a stifling beast wagon until the owners agreed to re-home them with Born Free. They will now be given lifetime care in their large, natural, and safe accommodation at the Born Free Jean Byrd Education and Rescue Centre in Shamwari.

The release of the video comes as Born Free declares 2016 the Year of the Lion to highlight the plight of lions worldwide and to mark the 50th anniversary of the motion picture Born Free, starring Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA co-founders Virginia McKenna and her late husband, Bill Travers as pioneering conservationists Joy and George Adamson, and their successful rehabilitation of Elsa the lioness to the wild. Screenings, activities, news, and events are planned throughout 2016.

The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase out zoos. We rescue animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care.  Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles, and many more species in their natural habitats, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict. Our high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers, and get results. Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide. For more information about Born Free, please visit www.bornfree.org.uk.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

Conservation Speaker Series  (Saving the Birds of the Bay Area) at Oakland Zoo

Thursday, January 14th from 6:30pm - 9:00pm

The Bay Area is a site of hemispheric significance for an astonishing array of migratory birds, as well as year-round resident. How can we protect so many species, with such varying sets of needs, in the midst of an ever-growing urban metropolis of 8.5 million people? Learn how one of the nation's leading Audubon chapters has been working on behalf of our local birds - and connecting people to conservation efforts around our Bay - for 99 years! Cost is $12-$20 sliding scale. All proceeds benefit the Golden Gate Audubon Society. No registration necessary and tickets available at the event. For more information about the event visit www.oaklandzoo.org or contact Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (510) 632-9525 ext.122. Oakland Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA 94605

Zoovie Night at Oakland Zoo

Friday January 15, 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Put on your jammies and enjoy an evening of Zoovie magic with the whole family. Bring your pillows, blankets, and chairs and snuggle up in our auditorium for a specially selected animal-or nature-themed movie (Finding Nemo). Meet some of our nocturnal Education animals brought to you by Roosevelt, Oakland Zoo's costumed alligator mascot. Hot chocolate (with marshmallows, of course) and popcorn will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own treats and traditional family movie fare. Let the show begin! Cost is $7 per adult and $7 per child to cover the costs of the Animal close-up program and snacks. Note that the movies are a complimentary addition to the evening’s activities. Please note that memberships do not apply toward program fees. Pre-registration is required, contact Paula Booth at (510) 632-9525, ext. 220 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Oakland Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA 94605

ZooKids: Kids and Crafts - Carnivores, Herbivores & Me

Saturday, January 16 & 23 9:30am – 12:00pm

Does your little one love animals? ZooKids classes are a great way for children age 4-5 to have a fun and educational adventure at the zoo.

Each program includes a mini zoo tour, craft, games, animal close-up, and snack. What do you like for dinner? Did you know some animals eat only meat; some only plants, and some eat everything? Learn how carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores are specially adapted for their unique diets. Cost is $23.00 for current Oakland Zoo members or $26.00 for non-members. Pre-registration is required, Contact Paula Booth at (510) 632-9525, ext. 220 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Oakland Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links road, Oakland, CA 94605.

Volunteer Orientation at Oakland Zoo

Saturday January 30, 10:00am

Interested in meeting new people, working with animals, and having fun? Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, learn a new skill, share your knowledge with others, and make a difference. Oakland Zoo is always looking for volunteers to help us in a variety of departments. Join the over 500 volunteers that donate their time and talents as part of the Oakland Zoo family. Come to our New Volunteer Information meeting and sign up to be a part of our volunteer family. Pre-registration is required. There is no fee associated with this meeting. For more information go to our website www.oaklandzoo.org  or contact Lisa O’Dwyer, Volunteers Programs manager at (510)632-9525 ext. 141. Oakland Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA 94605.

Teddy Bear Tea with Friends at Oakland Zoo

Saturday February 6, 9:30am – 12:00pm

It’s tea-time at Oakland Zoo and you are cordially invited! Children bring an adult, a stuffie, and learn all about one of our Zoo’s special animals. Enjoy a morning of snacks, activities, books and play while making and delivering an enrichment gift straight to the zoo animal you’ve been learning about. When the fun is done, children will receive a surprise-filled treat bag to take home.  Program Fee: $26.00 per child and $12.00 per adults. Pre-registration is required, Contact Paula Booth at (510) 632-9525, ext. 220 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Oakland Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links road, Oakland, CA 94605.

Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Speaker Series Presents Action for Sharks

Wednesday February 10, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Presented by marine biologist and ocean advocate David McGuire, Founder and Director of Shark Stewards. As Californians, we have a special responsibility for ocean conservation. Shark Stewards protects sharks and critical marine habitat for the health of our oceans through science, education and advocacy. Come learn about the challenges sharks face in the wild, and what you can do to help.. Cost is $12.00- $20.00 sliding scale. All proceeds benefit Shark Stewards. No registration necessary and tickets available at the event. For more information about the event visit www.oaklandzoo.org or contact Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or  (510) 632-9525 ext.122. Oakland Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links road, Oakland, CA 94605.

Parent’s Night Off at Oakland Zoo

Saturday, February 13, 5:30pm- 10:30pm

Parent’s Night Off is designed with adults in mind – we offer a safe, fun-filled environment where you can drop off your children knowing they will have a blast playing and learning about wildlife. We will feed them and take them on a guided walk in the zoo to visit with the animals. Afterwards, we will head back to our auditorium to meet an animal up-close and play some games. If it’s an evening program, we end the night with a movie on the big screen. We guarantee you will pick your child/ children up happier, smarter, and exhausted! It’s a win-win all ‘round! Cost is $45.00 per child and $30.00 for each additional sibling. Pre-registration is required, contact Paula Booth at (510) 632-9525, ext. 220 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Oakland Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links road, Oakland, CA 94605.

Zoovie Night at Oakland Zoo

Saturday February 20, 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Put on your jammies and enjoy an evening of Zoovie magic with the whole family. Bring your pillows, blankets, and chairs and snuggle up in our auditorium for a specially selected animal-or nature-themed movie (Disney Nature: Monkey Kingdom). Meet some of our nocturnal Education animals brought to you by Roosevelt, Oakland Zoo's costumed alligator mascot. Hot chocolate (with marshmallows, of course) and popcorn will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own treats and traditional family movie fare. Let the show begin! Cost is $7 per adult and $7 per child to cover the costs of the Animal close-up program and snacks. Note that the movies are a complimentary addition to the evening’s activities. Please note that memberships do not apply toward program fees. Pre-registration is required, contact Paula Booth at (510) 632-9525, ext. 220 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Oakland Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA 94605

ZooKids: Kids and Crafts – Let’s Leap!

Saturdays, February 20 & 27 9:30am – 12:00pm

Does your little one love animals? ZooKids classes are a great way for children age 4-5 to have a fun and educational adventure at the zoo.

Each program includes a mini zoo tour, craft, games, animal close-up, and snack. It's Leap Year! A lemur can leap 25 feet. Frogs can leap 20-50 times their body length. Squirrel monkeys leap from tree branch to tree branch. Can you leap? How far? Come learn about special adaptations of leaping animals in celebration of Leap Year! Cost is $23.00 for current Oakland Zoo members or $26.00 for non-members. Pre-registration is required, Contact Paula Booth at (510) 632-9525, ext. 220 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Oakland Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links road, Oakland, CA 94605.

Conservation Speaker Series (Project Coyote) at Oakland Zoo

Friday March 18, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Wild Things - Coexisting with North America’s Native Carnivores.

Wolves, Bears, Bobcats, & Coyotes - oh my! Project Coyote Founder & Executive Director Camilla Fox will talk about why native carnivores matter, and how they keep ecosystems healthy. America’s war against predators is costly, brutal, and ineffective. Learn about national programs aimed at stopping the mistreatment and mismanagement of carnivores through education, science and advocacy.Cost is $12.00- $20.00 sliding scale. All proceeds benefit the Project Coyote. No registration necessary and tickets available at the event. For more information about the event visit www.oaklandzoo.org or contact Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (510) 632-9525 ext.122. Oakland Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA 94605.

Teddy Bear Tea with Friends at Oakland Zoo

Sunday February 20, 9:30am – 12:00pm

It’s tea time at Oakland Zoo and you are cordially invited! Children bring an adult, a stuffie, and learn all about one of our Zoo’s special animals. Enjoy a morning of snacks, activities, books and play while making and delivering an enrichment gift straight to the zoo animal you’ve been learning about. When the fun is done, children will receive a surprise-filled treat bag to take home.  Program Fee: $26.00 per child and $12.00 per adults. Pre-registration is required, Contact Paula Booth at (510) 632-9525, ext. 220 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Oakland Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links road, Oakland, CA 94605.

Zoovie Night at Oakland Zoo

Friday March 25, 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Put on your jammies and enjoy an evening of Zoovie magic with the whole family. Bring your pillows, blankets, and chairs and snuggle up in our auditorium for a specially selected animal-or nature-themed movie (Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip). Meet some of our nocturnal Education animals brought to you by Roosevelt, Oakland Zoo's costumed alligator mascot. Hot chocolate (with marshmallows, of course) and popcorn will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own treats and traditional family movie fare. Let the show begin! Cost is $7 per adult and $7 per child to cover the costs of the Animal close-up program and snacks. Note that the movies are a complimentary addition to the evening’s activities. Please note that memberships do not apply toward program fees. Pre-registration is required, contact Paula Booth at (510) 632-9525, ext. 220 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Oakland Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links road, Oakland, CA 94605.

Spring Break ZooCamp at Oakland Zoo

March (Three-Day Workshops): 28-30 and April 4-6

March (Two-Day Workshops): 31 – April 1 and April 7-8

9:00am – 4:00pm

Unsure what to do with your children during their school's Spring Break? Send them to us! Spring Break ZooCamp runs Monday - Friday during the Spring Break weeks most common among East Bay school districts. This year we are offering a three-day workshop on Monday-Wednesday and a two-day workshop Thursday-Friday. Cost ranges from $150-$240 depending on program on Zoo Membership discount. Pre-registration is required. Contact Liz Low at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (510) 632-9525, ext.280 for registration details. www.oaklandzoo.org/zoocamp. Oakland Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA 94605.

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid’s activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org

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(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) January 11, 2016—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has updated its policy on free-roaming abandoned and feral cats to encourage collaboration among veterinarians, humane groups and wildlife conservation entities in efforts to reduce these cat populations in a humane and ethical manner.

While emphasizing that there is no “single solution” to reduce the population of free-roaming abandoned and feral cats, the policy states that approaches should give consideration “to the welfare of the cats and wildlife themselves, the ecosystem in which the intervention will be conducted, the expertise and abilities of those implementing the intervention, societal and cultural attitudes, and public health.”

The updated policy, approved by the AVMA House of Delegates on January 9 at its regular winter session, was the result of more than two years of discussion and review among a broad range of stakeholders, including the AVMA’s Animal Welfare Committee, Committee on Environmental Issues, and Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine, as well as others having feline, avian and wildlife interests and expertise.

“The updated policy reflects extensive review and compromise among major stakeholders and was revised to reflect new information, help build consensus, and provide leadership per the management of free-roaming abandoned and feral cats,” said Dr. Joseph Kinnarney, president of the AVMA.

Dr. Kinnarney explained the policy was the result of “great efforts” to represent the diverse viewpoints related to the issue of free-roaming abandoned and feral cats, while maintaining scientific credibility and a policy that provides valuable and practical information for AVMA members and the public. 

“The revised policy represents iterative progress toward resolving the free-roaming abandoned and feral cat problem, while recognizing that there is currently not consensus around what an ultimate solution will look like,” Dr. Kinnarney said. “It also points to the veterinary profession as a key player in developing approaches that are both science-based and socially responsible.”

 

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TPR NEWS
Saturday, Jan. 9, the ninth day of 2016. There are 357 days left in the year.CREW
Jon Patch - Host
Jillyn Sidlo - Co Host
Amanda Page - Reporter
Ben - Network Producer
Bob Page - Executive Producer-----------

 

Year of action and celebration will honor the 50th Anniversary of the film Born Free, and a significant portfolio of critical work to protect lions globally

Washington D.C./Horsham, West Sussex, January 4, 2016 --  On the 50th anniversary of the iconic, award-winning motion picture Born Free, the Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA have declared 2016 The Year of the Lion. The initiative was announced today by Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation, and co-founders of both organizations, Virginia McKenna OBE and Will Travers OBE, President.  

Elsa the lioness captured the hearts and minds of a worldwide audience in the 1966 classic film Born Free, but today the international wildlife charity that bears its name sounds the alarm over the future of lions. The film starred legendary actress Virginia McKenna and her late husband Bill Travers portraying the pioneering conservationists George and Joy Adamson and their successful rehabilitation of Elsa to the wild.

According to Roberts, “Born Free’s Year of the Lion campaign is reflective of the film’s anniversary that started it all, as well as the fact that today the fight for the survival of lions in the wild has never been more urgent.  Experts believe their numbers have plummeted to fewer than 20,000 across Africa, as their habitat dwindles and becomes more fragmented; horrific retaliatory killings are perpetrated; and lions by the hundreds are slaughtered each year by trophy hunters in the name of ‘sport.’ It is imperative that their plight is taken seriously, immediately. The species’ decline has been rapid and steep and without concerted action at all levels of government globally, the species could disappear from significant parts of Africa during our lifetime.”

Lions across West, Central and East Africa have declined by 60% or more over the past 20 years, and in West Africa they have been declared critically endangered. More than a dozen African countries are already thought to have lost their lion populations, and the international demand for lion bones and body parts is further exacerbating this downward spiral.  From 2003-2012, over 24,000 lion specimens were declared to have been exported from 102 countries, including 19 lion range states -- countries where lions still roam naturally in the wild.

Across the globe, the public is more aware than ever about the need to save lions before it is too late. The slaying of Cecil the lion made headlines worldwide in 2015, and the recent documentary Blood Lions revealed the horrors of professional and canned hunting to audiences in over 100 countries.  Many airlines have stopped shipping lion trophies; France and Australia have banned lion parts imports; and field conservation projects are underway across Africa to save this beleaguered species.

McKenna said, “There was a time, fifty years ago, when wild lion numbers were in excess of 100,000.  Though aware of the challenges lions faced, even then, I could never have foreseen the devastation that was about to befall this iconic species. Filming Born Free was a life-changing experience. It taught us to understand and respect lions and their nature. We could never have imagined the impact the film would have, not only on our family but also on the many millions that watched it. It is unimaginable to contemplate the possible extinction of these extraordinary animals and we must do whatever is in our power to stop their further decline.”

In 2016, the spotlight will be on lions at the meeting of The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), convening in Johannesburg where, in September, more than 180 countries from around the world will debate, and possibly decide, the future level of protection afforded to lions. Born Free is calling for an end to commercial trade and an up-listing of African lions to CITES Appendix I (highest priority).

During Born Free’s Year of the Lion, the organization will also participate in a major scientific lion census in the heritage site of Meru, the heartland of George and Joy Adamson and Born Free, to establish how many lions remain in the area. Steeped in the history of wild lions and their conservation, Meru is still home to the descendants of Girl, Boy and Ugas, three of the lions featured in the Born Free movie.

According to Travers, “It is hoped that with Year of the Lion and the poignant anniversary of the much-loved film, people will again look at what is happening to this most majestic and iconic of wild animals. Lions are in our DNA. It is still within our grasp to reverse this devastating trend, but only if we wake up now and take action.”  

There will be special screenings, events, news, and information online throughout 2016 to mark the 50thanniversary of the film.

President Barak Obama said “I think I may have teared up at the end (Born Free) when they release Elsa. I couldn’t have been more than four or five.” 

For further information on the Year of the Lion, visit: www.bornfreeusa.org/yearofthelion. and www.bornfree.org.uk/yearofthelion.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation," the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

TPR News
Saturday, Jan. 2, the second day of 2016.
There are 364 days left in the year.Crew
Jon Patch - Host
Vince Centonze - DVM/ Co Host
Lisa Centonze - DVM/ Co Host
Lexi Lapp - Producer
Ben - Network Producer
Bob Page - Executive Producer

 

Chelonian Conservation and Biology – Four decades of research on Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are consolidated in this comprehensive review article, offering new and updated demographic information. The data collected show how the green turtle has rebounded from near extinction in the 1970s to a population of about 4,000 breeding females today.

The scope of research conducted during these years is detailed in the journal Chelonian Conservation and Biology. The Hawaiian Institute of Marine Biology and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began studying the green turtle in 1973 by monitoring and tagging nesting turtles. In 1982, a marine turtle research program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) started studying sea turtle strandings and necropsying dead turtles. A companion program launched in 1990 sought to rescue, rehabilitate, and conduct clinical research on stranded turtles.

Early research showed that unregulated commercial hunting of Hawaiian green turtles, primarily for the restaurant trade, was unsustainable. Preliminary data from that period convinced the state of Hawaii to legally ban all commercial taking of turtles. This was followed by adding the green turtle to the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

These green turtles primarily inhabit the northwestern Hawaiian Islands that extend from Nihoa to Kure. As remnants of extinct volcanoes, these islands are geologically older than the southeastern Hawaiian Islands, where the eight large islands are home to most of Hawaii’s human population and still-active volcanoes.

Seven long-term data sets and associated sample arrays now exist and are catalogued at NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Honolulu, HI. Samples were collected annually over periods of 24 to 41 years. The seven data streams include nesting female monitoring and tagging; ocean capture/basking turtle tagging; strandings; necropsies, including pelagic turtles by catch; rehabilitation and release; euthanasia; and satellite tracking.

“I am extremely encouraged and confident that the resiliency and durability of the Hawaiian green turtle population can overcome any reasonable challenges it may face, so long as human take is sustainable,” said George H. Balazs, a researcher with NOAA and lead author of the review.

The research on green turtles in the Hawaiian Islands offers a model for understanding recovering sea turtle populations. Conservation and management practices in Hawaii founded on this research serve as a learning tool for other Pacific islands trying to sustain important sea turtle resources.

Full text of the article, “A Review of the Demographic Features of Hawaiian Green Turtles (Cheloniamydas),” Chelonian Conservation and Biology, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2015, is now available online.

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About Chelonian Conservation and Biology
Chelonian Conservation and Biology is a scientific international journal of turtle and tortoise research. Its objective is to share any aspects of research on turtles and tortoises. Of special interest are articles dealing with conservation biology, systematic relationships, chelonian diversity, geographic distribution, natural history, ecology, reproduction, morphology and natural variation, population status, husbandry, community conservation initiatives, and human exploitation or conservation management issues. For more information about this journal, see http://www.chelonian.org/ccb/.

 

Habitat Protection Urgently Needed to Compensate for Barred Owl Competition

Northern Spotted Owl by Chris Warren

Northern Spotted Owl by Chris Warren

Washington, DC, December 10, 2015: TheNorthern Spotted Owlis in decline across its entire range, and its rate of decline is increasing—that is the conclusion of a major demographic study produced by federal scientists, published Wednesday, December 9, 2015, in the journal “The Condor.” The study examined survey results from monitoring areas across the range of the imperiled owl.

This research indicates that since monitoring began in 1985, Spotted Owl populations declined 55-77 percent in Washington, 31-68 percent in Oregon, and 32-55 percent in California. In addition, population declines are now occurring in study areas in southern Oregon and northern California that were previously experiencing little to no detectable decline through 2009.

“This study confirms that immediate action is needed to reduce the impact of Barred Owls and to protect all remaining Spotted Owl habitat. It also points to the need to restore additional habitat by maintaining and expanding the successful reserve network of the Northwest Forest Plan,” said Steve Holmer, senior policy advisor with American Bird Conservancy.

While habitat loss continues to threaten the Spotted Owl, new threats have emerged. Barred Owls, whose range has increased in recent years to coincide with the Northern Spotted Owl, can outcompete the Spotted Owl for food and territory. The study says:

We observed strong evidence that Barred Owls negatively affected Spotted Owl populations, primarily by decreasing apparent survival and increasing local territory extinction rates.… In the study areas where habitat was an important source of variation for Spotted Owl demographics, vital rates were generally positively associated with a greater amount of suitable owl habitat.

 

However, Barred Owl densities may now be high enough across the range of the Northern Spotted Owl that, despite the continued management and conservation of suitable owl habitat on federal lands, the long-term prognosis for the persistence of Northern Spotted Owls may be in question without additional management intervention.

The Importance of Spotted Owl Habitat

Dr. Katie Dugger, a research biologist at the USGS Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit of Oregon State University and lead author on the report, said: “The amount of suitable habitat required by Spotted Owls for nesting and roosting is important because Spotted Owl survival, colonization of empty territories, and number of young produced tends to be higher in areas with larger amounts of suitable habitat, at least in some study areas."

Much attention has turned to the increased threat posed by Barred Owls since the Northern Spotted Owl was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. However, Holmer stressed that adequate habitat is the only long-term solution to the Barred Owl threat.

“Science shows that Northern Spotted Owls and Barred Owls can coexist where there is enough high-quality habitat,” he said. “A large amount of owl habitat will become available as the Northwest Forest Plan continues to restore the old-growth ecosystem.”

Northern Spotted Owl & the Northwest Forest Plan

The Northern Spotted Owl is a rare raptor often associated with the complex features and closed canopy of mature or old-growth forests. Since it is associated with older forests, the owl serves as an “indicator species”—its presence indicates that the forest is healthy and functioning properly.

Historically, Spotted Owl decline has been traced to habitat loss caused primarily by logging. Because the owl is dependent on older forest types, logging of old-growth forests is particularly harmful. Once these forests are logged, it can take many decades before suitable habitat regrows.

The Northern Spotted Owl's1990 listing intensified issues concerning federal forest management. As a consequence of prior overcutting of owl habitat and a lack of compliance by the land-management agencies with wildlife protection requirements, logging of federal forests was largely halted across the owl’s range.

In reaction to the stalemate over federal forest management, in 1994, the Clinton Administration established the Northwest Forest Plan, a landscape-level resource management plan that established a series of forest reserves across the range of the Northern Spotted Owl. The plan was intended to both protect remaining owl habitat and to encourage development of future habitat.

After 20 years, USDA Forest Service monitoring reports indicate the plan is meeting its objectives to restore wildlife habitat as well as to improve water quality; forests of the Northwest are also now storing carbon instead ofacting as a source of emissions.

“The monitoring reports confirm that the system of reserves has slowed the decline of the owl,” Holmer said. “But the Spotted Owl’s continued decline makes clear that this reserve system is not enough due to competition from Barred Owls. Urgent action is needed to address the Barred Owl threat and to protect all Spotted Owl habitat on federal land.”

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