Oakland, CA, August 24, 2014…Each year, World Lion Day is celebrated in August. On Sunday, August 24th, from 10:00am – 3:00pm, Oakland Zoo will honor lions in Africa and locally in the Bay Area by having a “Lion Appreciation Day.” On this day, zoo guests will have the opportunity to learn more about lions and have fun participating in a variety of activities. Activities include: special lion treats (enrichment) at 10:00am, a zookeeper talk at 1:15pm, face painting, a lion education station, an “I love lions!” “selfie” station, and tables by two conservation partners, Bay Area Puma Project and Uganda Carnivore Program. Guests may also purchase crafts made by communities in Uganda living near lions.
“Oakland Zoo is deeply committed to lion conservation issues all over the world,” said Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo. “We support lions by partnering with lion conservation programs, like the Uganda Carnivore Program and Ewaso Lions in Kenya. Locally, we work with the Mountain Lion Foundation, the Bay Area Puma Project and the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife on research and our new program, BACAT (Bay Area Carnivore Action Team), which addresses human-mountain lion conflicts in the Bay Area as a united alliance. We are excited to be part of this international appreciation for lions everywhere.”
Lions are one of the most popular and iconic animals in the world; however, lions are in trouble. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, it is estimated there are just over 30,000 lions left in all of Africa. Habitat loss due to human settlement and agriculture development, loss of natural prey population, and retaliatory killing by humans after lion attacks on livestock are the main reasons many believe lions are in trouble.
“Oakland Zoo is one of the primary supporters of lion conservation in Uganda. Oakland Zoo’s support of our field work has had a significant positive impact on the wildlife as well as the local villagers with whom we collaborate on human-lion coexistence, said Monica Tyler,” Uganda Carnivore Program Director. “Being honored as Oakland Zoo’s Quarters for Conservation partner this year has been especially exciting as it has brought awareness of the conservation challenges facing lions, leopards, and hyenas, and because it will bring much-needed resources for lion research and community-based conservation activities in Uganda.”
For more information about World Lion Day at Oakland Zoo, please visit our website at: http://www.oaklandzoo.org/Calendar_Item.php?i=948
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. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 525-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.
(Washington, D.C., August 6, 2014) The Cerulean Warbler—one of the Americas’ fastest-declining migratory birds—now has more protected wintering habitat in Ecuador, thanks to a cooperative effort by Fundación Jocotoco, American Bird Conservancy, March Conservation Fund, and World Land Trust that safeguards rain forest at elevations preferred by the species.
Ecuador’s Narupa Reserve now totals 1,871 acres, including a new 117-acre parcel within the reserve in addition to a recently acquired 90-acre adjacent property.
Situated in the province of Napo at elevations ranging from 3,300 to 5,250 feet, the reserve includes Andean foothill rain forest with a remarkable convergence of lowland and highland wildlife species. Narupa Reserve, which is named for an elegant species of palm, is in the buffer zone of the Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park and Antisana Ecological Reserve, which together protect 833,000 acres ranging from humid foothill forest to high Andean grasslands.
“It was absolutely a team effort,” said Rocio Merino, Executive Director of Fundación Jocotoco. “With the generous help of our excellent partners, we can now celebrate another milestone in our efforts to grow this reserve that provides such a needed haven for birds and other wildlife.”
Dr. George Fenwick, President of ABC, added: “It has been an eight-year effort and much like Rome was not built in a day, neither is a great reserve. It takes time and perseverance. The progress our collaboration has been making gives us hope that the birds and other wildlife we are trying to protect will continue to be here for future generations.”
“Partnership is essential for lasting conservation success, and I am delighted that World Land Trust has played its part in this concerted effort to extend Narupa Reserve,” said John Burton, World Land Trust Chief Executive.
Fenwick added: “The value of this reserve lies in its connection to forests at higher and lower elevations, which will allow animals, including the Cerulean Warbler, to move freely up and down slope as forests cope with climate change.”
Flagship Species: The Cerulean Warbler
The flagship species for the reserve, the Cerulean Warbler, is among the most threatened migratory land birds wintering in South America. It was formerly one of the most abundant breeding warblers in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys. Overall, Cerulean Warbler numbers have plummeted by almost 70 percent since 1966. This elusive bird winters in the northern Andes, while it breeds from the Great Lakes region to Georgia, and west to Wisconsin and Louisiana, with concentrations in the Appalachians and Central Hardwoods region.
Both the Cerulean’s breeding and wintering habitat are being lost. The eastern slope of the Andes, where Narupa Reserve lies, is one of the most important wintering areas for the species in Ecuador. During the winter of 2010-11, surveys in the reserve revealed that Cerulean Warblers are present at higher densities than is normally the case for this typically scarce bird. Identification of this warbler’s core habitat on the wintering grounds is a major focus of ABC’s Migratory Bird Program and will lead to additional conservation activities such as this acquisition at Narupa Reserve.
While numerous threats have been documented within the warbler’s breeding range, it was not until 2003 that threats to its limited wintering grounds were highlighted by “Grupo Ceruleo,” a coalition of avian experts. Contrary to the traditional assumption that wintering habitat was widely available, the coalition discovered that the Cerulean Warbler is a habitat specialist, relying on a narrow belt of subtropical forests between 2,500-5,500 feet in sheltered river basins of inter-montane Andean valleys, and that deforestation has cleared many important areas for the species. What little subtropical forest survives remains at risk, particularly from the conversion of traditional coffee plantations that provided suitable warbler habitat to “sun coffee” plantations, devoid of the shade trees on which the birds rely.
Within the reserve, more than 300 bird species have been recorded, and the list is still increasing. In addition to the Cerulean Warbler, other migratory birds that travel between the United States and South America’s humid forests include Canada Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western and Eastern Wood-Pewees, Swainson’s Thrush, and Blackburnian Warbler. Several threatened species are also found in the reserve, including Black Tinamou, Military Macaw, Coppery-chested Jacamar, and Foothill Elaenia.
Narupa: Protecting Precious Forests
Fundación Jocotoco (FJ) established Narupa Reserve at an initial size of 250 acres in 2006. FJ has managed and expanded the reserve since that time with support from March Conservation Fund and American Bird Conservancy. In 2012, ABC funded mapping work for Narupa that guided the present land acquisition.
FJ also completed construction of a guard house and camping platforms in 2013 through a grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act. Additional support from FWS, Amos Butler Audubon Society, Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society, and Southern Wings (Missouri and Indiana Departments of Natural Resources) will fund forest guards to patrol the forest and monitor regeneration on recently acquired lands that were previously pasture or farmland.
The reserve was established to protect a large block of eastern Andean foothill forest that bridges the large national parks, Sumaco Napo-Galeras and Antisana, one of the largest expanses of protected land in this part of Ecuador. These forests are globally threatened and have been the focus of extensive deforestation, as the elevation is optimal for development and agriculture. As a result, mid-elevation forests are globally under-represented in protected area systems in all Andean countries.
A nearby road was recently paved, increasing the economic factors that drive deforestation. Among the greatest concerns is cultivation of naranjilla, a plant that exhausts forest soils within a few years, leading to that plot’s abandonment and more forest clearing.
Exploring a Surprising Reserve
Because Narupa Reserve is fairly new, much of it is still poorly explored. New and surprising findings occur regularly, and a final list of birds using the reserve may yet grow to nearly 400 species. The variety of tanagers, tyrant flycatchers, and hummingbirds found on the reserve is also remarkable. A notable rarity is the Orange-breasted Falcon, a pair of which has bred for some years on a cliff immediately adjacent to the reserve; this represents the only known nesting in Ecuador for this globally threatened falcon.
Through camera trapping and analysis of tracks, several large mammals of note have been detected including puma, ocelot, and Brazilian tapir.
In addition to the variety of birds, the reserve features an expanding network of trails, and a new footbridge over the Río Hollín now provides access to primary forest at higher elevations. A few feeders are also being established. The river itself, complete with an area for swimming, provides a welcome retreat from the forest and offers a unique experience among FJ reserves.
American Bird Conservancy is the Western Hemisphere's bird conservation specialist—the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With a focus on efficiency and working in partnership, we take on the toughest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on sound science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.
Fundación Jocotoco was established in 1998 to protect the habitat of globally threatened species of birds in the Andes of Ecuador, together with all associated biodiversity. It also carries out habitat restoration of deforested areas for this purpose, and to date has planted well over 800,000 native trees and shrubs.
World Land Trust (WLT) is an international conservation charity, which protects the world’s most biologically important and threatened habitats acre by acre. Since its foundation in 1989, World Land Trust and its overseas project partners have been instrumental in the purchase and protection of over 500,000 acres of tropical forest and other threatened lands. WLT celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2014.
The special grants program has provided $1.7 million to equine rescue groups across the U.S.
NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it has granted over $1.7 million to equine rescue groups assisting retired racehorses since launching the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative in 2010. A major grants program, the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses to save them from slaughter. The program repurposes the horses for other equine functions and gives them a new lease on life for events or pleasure riding. Now in its fifth year, this total includes this year’s grants: $250,000 to 25 equine rescue organizations as part of the 2014 ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative.
“The ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative began with an anonymous donation of $1 million, and we’ve been fortunate enough to carry on this much-needed grants program thanks to the continued generosity of that donor and many other animal advocates,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “We’re grateful to have the resources to assist these rescues, which provide sanctuary and after-care to retired racers, saving them from ending up at livestock auctions and slaughterhouses.”
The organizations joining the list of rescues and sanctuaries as part of the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative for 2014 are:
- Akindale Rehabilitation & Land Conservation, N.Y.
- Brook Hill Retirement Center for Horses, Va.
- CANTER, Mich.
- CANTER, OH
- Equine Outreach, Inc., Ore.
- The Exceller Fund, Ky.
- FL TRAC, Fla.
- Friends of Ferdinand, Ind.
- Hidden Acres TB Rescue, Fla.
- Hooved Animal HS, Ill.
- Kearney Area Community Fdtn/Double R ER, Neb.
- Kentucky Equine Humane Center, Ky.
- Makers Mark Secretariat Center, Ky.
- MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, Md.
- Neigh Savers Fdtn, Calif.
- New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, OH
- Red Bucket Equine Rescue, Calif.
- Rerun Inc., Va.
- Second Stride, N.Y.
- Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue, Calif.
- Standardbred Retirement Foundation, N.J.
- Thoroughbred Athletes, Okla.
- Thoroughbred Placement and Rescue, Md.
- United Pegasus Foundation, Calif.
The selected recipients include a wide range of equine rescues from 14 states, and will each be awarded a grant ranging from $1,500–$25,000. The grant funding helps the groups increase capacity for rescuing more horses and this year primarily focused on training and rehabilitation costs such as veterinary care, therapeutic shoeing, and boarding to recover from career-ending injuries.
“We received 45 applications this year – the highest number of applications to date – and with so many strong candidates, it was difficult to select recipients knowing that lives hang in the balance,” said Schultz. “We are thrilled to provide this opportunity to these rescues to help them in their work to transition ex-racers out of the racing stable and into someone’s show barn or farm paddock.”
“Rescuing is only the beginning,” said Susan Peirce, president and founder of Red Bucket Equine Rescue, one of the grant recipients. “With deep appreciation to the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative, we will be able to continue to rescue, rehabilitate and train deserving equines.”
In 2013, the ASPCA awarded $1.4 million in grants to support equine rescues and sanctuaries in 43 states and the District of Columbia. The grants were primarily awarded as part of the ASPCA Equine Fund, which provides grants to non-profit equine welfare organizations in the U.S. for purposes in alignment with their efforts to protect horses. The grants program seeks to award equine organizations who strive to achieve best practices, including sound horse care, maintenance of updated websites and robust fundraising practices. Since 2008, the ASPCA Equine Fund has awarded a total of approximately $5.5 million to over 450 organizations.
The ASPCA has an extensive history of equine protection around the country and continues to assist domestic and wild horses through legislation, advocacy and targeted grants. To learn more about the ASPCA, please visit www.aspca.org.
About the ASPCA® Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Having created the Casa Dorada Sanctuary Project back in 2008 and working together with other local entities, the resort has dedicated significant financial and human resources to ensuring that adequate measures are in place to safeguard nests, protect eggs and eventually successfully release baby turtles into the sea.
Every late summer and fall, guests staying at Casa Dorada are fortunate to witness the arrival of female turtles on the beach right in front of the resort to lay their eggs. Then, 6 to 9 weeks later baby turtles are born making their way to the sea for the very first time, offering one of nature’s most touching spectacles. The most common turtle species encountered in Los Cabos is the olive ridley, whose regular nesting period is from July to October, while the release of baby turtles usually takes place in September and October.
Casa Dorada and its turtle conservation efforts To date, the Casa Dorada Sanctuary Project has protected more than 160,000 turtle eggs and released nearly 140,000 offspring into the sea. These efforts have helped in making the Cabo San Lucas Bay and Los Cabos a vitally important nesting area for the olive ridley.
Local involvement In order to continue protecting turtles in the area, regional governments have created The Los Cabos Sea Turtle Conservation Program. In 2005 many of the community’s hotels, resorts, restaurants, and organizations have joined in, creating The Los Cabos Sea Turtle Protection Network. In 2008, Casa Dorada was officially added to this strategic coalition. Later, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources granted the hotel federal permission to establish a working nursery for the safekeeping of olive ridley eggs, a privilege only a handful of institutions in the Southern Baja have enjoyed.
About Casa Dorada With an incomparable location on Medano Beach--the best swimmable beach of Cabo, Casa Dorada is just steps away from world-class shopping, dining, entertainment, and the marina. As a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, a collection of the world’s finest independent luxury hotels, Casa Dorada Los Cabos brings the upscale service and family-friendly features to the Cabo San Lucas oceanfront. The Resort grants visitors a more convenient, yet equally spectacular, alternative to the more remote hotel zone of the Tourist Corridor. Boasting unobstructed vistas of Land’s End and the famous Arch, Casa Dorada is just 30 minutes away from Los Cabos International Airport. All of the 185 spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom suites and penthouses, open up to Los Cabos’ most dazzling ocean view, while the luminous and contemporary interiors ensure your comfort and satisfaction.
TPR NEWS - July 12, 2014
1979, a Chicago disc jockey held a "disco demolition" between a baseball doubleheader at Comiskey Park. The second game was called off because so much damage had been done to the field. More than 50,000 fans packed the stadium that day. They say this event started the deline of disco.
How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves
Simon & Schuster | Hardcover | On Sale June 10, 2014
“Science historian and senior TED fellow Braitman takes measure of the emotional thunderstorms that cramp or even curtail the normal lives of animals….There is much here that will remind readers of Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson—a gift for storytelling, strong observational talents, an easy familiarity with the background material and a warm level of empathy….Engaging….Sparks curiosity.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Illuminating….Braitman’s delightful balance of humor and poignancy brings each case to life….[Animal Madness’s]continuous dose of hope should prove medicinal for humans and animals alike.”
“This is a marvelous, smart, eloquent book—as much about human emotion as it is about animals and their inner lives.” — Susan Orlean, bestselling author of Rin Tin Tin, Saturday Night, and The Orchid Thief
“Braitman shows us sides of the animal mind few have imagined, and in doing so, opens our eyes anew.”
—Virginia Morell, author of Animal Wise
" Laurel Braitman deftly and elegantly makes the case that animals have complex emotional lives. This passionate, provocative, and insightful book deeply expands our knowledge and empathy for all species—especially, perhaps, our own.” — Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D. and Kathryn Bowers, Co-authors: Zoobiquity: Astonishing Connections Between Human and Animal Health
"ANIMAL MADNESS is the sanest book I've read in a long time. Laurel Braitman irrefutably shows that animals think and feel, and experience the same emotions that we do. To deny this is crazy—which is why this fine book should be required reading for anyone who cares about healing the broken inner lives of both people and animals." — Sy Montgomery, author of Good Good Pig
“Braitman assembles the shattered pieces of others’ minds into a thoroughly considered and surprising realization that many familiar animals possess the same mental demons that haunt us. This insight challenges us to accept that our ancient kinship with other animals is as apparent in our psyche as it is in our physique.” — John Marzluff, author of Gifts of the Crow
“Humane, insightful, and beautifully written, Animal Madness gives anthropomorphism a good name. Laurel Braitman’s modern and nuanced definition of the word helps animals, helps people, and bolsters the connection between the two. Her thought-provoking book illuminates just how much we share with the creatures around us.” —Vicki Constantine Croke, author of The Lady and the Panda
“Only a writer as earnestly curious as Laurel Braitman—so irrepressibly game to understand the animal mind—could draw this elegantly on both the findings of academic scientists and the observations of a used elephant salesman in Thailand; on the sorrows of a famous, captive grizzly bear in nineteenth-century San Francisco and the anxieties of her own dog. Animal Madness is a big-hearted and wildly intelligent book..” —Jon Mooallem,author of Wild Ones
“Researchers have long ignored animals in need, especially in the wild. However, just as we suffer from a wide variety of psychological disorders so too do other animals. But they make a remarkable recovery when they are cared for, understood, and loved.” —Marc Bekoff, author of Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed and editor of Ignoring Nature No More
Charles Darwin developed his evolutionary theories by looking at physical differences in Galapagos finches and fancy pigeons. Alfred Russell Wallace investigated a range of creatures in the Malay Archipelago. Laurel Braitman’s lessons started closer to home—by observing her pet’s odd behavior. When Braitman’s anxious but beloved Bernese Mountain dog Oliver jumped out of a third-story window in a fit of panic and nearly died, the germ of what would become Braitman’s life passion began: She would go to the ends of the earth to learn about emotionally disturbed animals and the ways they heal, often observing incredible parallels with human healing. In ANIMAL MADNESS: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves (S&S; June 10, 2014), Braitman shares the fascinating, inspiring stories she uncovered – and comes to the conclusion that humans and many other animals are astonishingly similar when it comes to mental illness and recovery.
Braitman’s dog Oliver was the poster canine for disturbing behavior: He snapped at flies that only he could see, ate inedible items like Ziploc bags and towels (well past puppy-dom), and licked and gnawed on himself compulsively. One afternoon, when left alone for only a few hours, Oliver chewed through a metal window screen and leapt from the third floor. He was badly injured but survived. Stunned and confused, Braitman set out to understand what was driving Oliver to such extremes, and if he could be helped. Ultimately she was unable to solve his but along the way she met with dozens of veterinarians, animal behaviorists, neuroscientists, and fellow pet owners; combed through the archives of our country’s oldest natural history museums; and traveled the globe to learn from other people’s unique experiences with animals, such as human psychotherapists with gorilla, bonobo and orangutan patients, and Mexican whale-watching guides who’ve witnessed the emotional recovery of once-violent California gray whales. Through her research, Braitman discovered a form of continuity between humans and other animals that – first as a biology major and later as a PhD student at MIT – she’d never been taught in school. It turns out that many nonhuman animals, such as obsessive parrots, self-harming dolphins and anxious gorillas, can lose their minds – and when they do, it often looks a lot like human mental illness.
Thankfully, so many of us can heal. During her travels, Braitman heard dozens of moving recovery stories: parrots that learn how to stop plucking their feathers, dogs that cease licking their tails raw, polar bears that stop swimming in compulsive circles, and great apes that benefit from the help of human psychiatrists. How do these animals recover? The same way we do: with love, with medicine, with behavior therapy, and above all, with the knowledge that someone understands why we suffer and what can make us feel better.
With the ground-breaking authority and compassion of a Temple Grandin or Jane Goodall, Laurel Braitman takes us to a new frontier in thinking about animal psychology. ANIMAL MADNESS encourages us to understand and embrace the emotional life we share with animals – both in madness and in healing.
About the Author:
MIT PhD in the history of science, Laurel Braitman has written and performed live for Pop Up Magazine, The New Inquiry, Orion, and a variety of other publications. She is a TED Fellow and an affiliate artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts. Laurel lives on a houseboat in Sausalito, California, and can be reached at AnimalMadness.com. Follow her on twitter @LaurelBraitman.
ANIMAL MADNESS * by Laurel Braitman * Simon & Schuster Hardcover * On-sale June 10, 2014 * $28
ISBN: 9781451627008 * eBook ISBN: 9781451627022
Born Free USA CEO weighs in on CITES meeting July 7 to 11
Washington, D.C., June 25, 2014 -- Citizens from all 180 nations represented at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will monitor the upcoming deliberations of the CITES Standing Committee in Geneva (July 7 to 11, 2014) where decision-makers and politicians will meet to debate the future of some of the planet’s most threatened species.
According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and acting CEO of Born Free Foundation, “CITES delegates have an amazing opportunity in Geneva to address the issues of endangered species conservation – the startling statistics of the wildlife trade will surely make anyone’s blood run cold.”
Roberts explains, “As many as 50,000 elephants were gunned down for their ivory tusks last year. The horn of a rhinoceros, coveted for its alleged medicinal properties, is fetching $60,000 a kilo on the black-market, leading to unabated slaughter. The demand for tiger body parts is causing population decimation, with just 3,500 remaining in the wild. All of these issues and more require urgent attention from CITES.”
Organized criminal syndicates, money laundering, and corruption mean that tackling the illegal trade in these vulnerable species is highly complex. Ivory’s Curse, a recent report commissioned by Born Free USA, highlights alarming links between government-led militias, terrorist groups, and elephant poaching.
Elephants: “Born Free’s delegation will be calling on CITES to suspend debates about future legalized trade in elephant ivory,” explains Roberts. “Experiments to allow ivory trade in recent years have failed appallingly. Africa’s elephants are worse off today than ever before. I strongly believe this is a direct result of the international community’s failure to maintain a strong and comprehensive ban on any ivory trade. We need proactive measures such as those adopted in the Elephant Protection Initiative; ivory stockpile destruction; investment in enforcement; and we must demand eradication.”
Asian elephants will be in the spotlight at CITES, with calls for action to be taken against the illegal capture and smuggling of wild-caught infant elephants into the “domestic trade” where they are brutally trained before being touted for unsuspecting tourists to ride. There is an urgent call for domestic laws to be strengthened and enforced to prevent the laundering of illegal animals into the legal marketplace.
Cheetahs: Another strong focus for Born Free will be the illegal trade in cheetahs, which are being smuggled live out of the Horn of Africa. Earlier this year, CITES agreed to organize a multi-stakeholder workshop to address this problem, an initiative that Born Free fully supports.
Tigers: When it comes to tiger issues at CITES, the problems are all too clear. Roberts says, “Repeated requests for information from governments regarding the measures being taken to address tiger conservation have resulted in inadequate responses, at best. This has severely hampered further action by CITES, but aside from that it has become patently obvious that tigers captive bred in Thailand, Laos, China and Vietnam are feeding into the illegal domestic and international trade.”
There are now over 6,500 tigers in these horrendous “farms,” supplying a market which in turn fuels further poaching of the world’s remaining 3,500 wild tigers. Once again Born Free will do its utmost to ensure this issue gets priority attention at July’s meeting and that a serious commitment is made, as required, to stockpile destruction and closure of these notorious ‘tiger farms’.
Rhinos: Another pressing issue remains the plight of wild rhinos, victims of high levels of poaching for their horns. In 2013, over 1,000 rhino were poached in South Africa alone, and so far this year the deadly total has exceeded 440. While the Standing Committee will be considering a number of measures designed to close existing trade loopholes, many, including Born Free, are calling for a complete ban on all trade, including trophies, and the destruction of rhino horn stockpiles.
“CITES has a mammoth task on its hands, and while talk is good, it is now time for resolute action before it’s too late,” says Will Travers OBE, President of Born Free. “We need to give imperiled species such as rhinos, elephants, tigers and cheetahs a fighting chance. For some species the notion that they can, in some way, continue to endure the added pressure of controlled or limited legal trade while numbers continue to plummet is an idea that has lost credibility. The time for experimenting with the exploitation of our natural wildlife heritage is over. CITES is uniquely placed to take a leading role and to act in the best interests of these and many other species, rather than the financial interests of wildlife poachers and profiteers.”
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 give them lifetime care. Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and many more species in their natural habitat, 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.