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Across Africa, Elephant Populations Are Collapsing: Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife

March 26, 2019
Gentle giants, gunned down: Poaching is pushing the African elephant to extinction. Their numbers have plummeted by 62 percent over the last decade alone. Between 2010 and 2012, an estimated 100,000 African elephants were killed by poachers seeking ivory, meat and body parts. A century ago, there were around 10 million elephants roaming Africa. Today, only around 400,000 individuals remain. Hunters argue that trophy hunting older male elephants helps supports elephant conservation efforts; however, the revenue generated from hunting fees that local communities ultimately see is insignificant. In addition, “older male elephants are very important to the health and genetic vitality of a population,” according to Cynthia Moss, head of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project in Kenya. “Killing these males compromises the next generation of the population.” (Photo credit: Jeremy T. Hetzel/Flickr)

Rainforest Rescue: When people think of Botswana, they often picture majestic herds of elephants roaming free across the savanna. For years, the country has been a safe haven for Africa’s elephants. But unless we speak out, we may soon be seeing images of grinning trophy hunters posing with their kills. Elephant populations are collapsing across Africa. Yet Botswana’s government wants to “manage” its herds by lifting its ban on trophy hunting and carrying out “regular but limited culls.” The authorities even suggested that the meat of the elephants could be canned and sold as pet food.
>>>Urge Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi to keep the hunting ban in place, reject the proposed culls and step up measures to fight poaching.

PETA: A total of 350 dogs were pulled out of the 2018 Iditarod—likely because of exhaustion, illness or injury. A necropsy report for Blonde—a dog who died after being pulled from the race—revealed that his death was consistent with aspiration pneumonia, showing that he likely choked to death on his own vomit from being forced to run excessively hard, the leading cause of death for dogs who die in the Iditarod. More than 150 dogs have perished in the history of this race, not counting innumerable others who died during the off-season while kept on chains or who were killed simply because they couldn’t run fast enough.
>>>Urge The Odom Corporation to join the growing list of companies that have ended their affiliations with this death race.

Pew Charitable Trusts: The Pacific Fishery Management Council is considering authorization of one of the most damaging methods of fishing in the world: pelagic longline fishing gear. This is despite the Council’s stated commitment to reduce the injury and death of non-target marine life, commonly known as bycatch. Notorious in international waters, longline boats deploy lines that can stretch up to 60 miles with hundreds of hooks that ensnare recreationally important fish such as marlin, sharks, seabirds and a host of other marine wildlife. If pelagic longlines are ultimately authorized, the decision will thwart existing efforts to reduce bycatch, specifically the transition of the drift gillnet fleet to less harmful fishing methods such as deep-set buoy gear.
>>>Urge the Pacific Fishery Management Council to oppose the use of pelagic longlines off the West Coast.

Care2: Tales of unethical treatment of animals at the Austin Zoo have long been whispered by employees but it wasn’t until a few animal deaths that workers there finally said they had enough. According to the Austin American-Statesman, nearly 24 current and former staff members told reporters that the zoo had, on several occasions, opted to let sick and dying animals suffer. In 2010, when Annie, one of the zoo’s patas monkeys, went blind, they decided to separate her for her own good. Alone, she languished for nearly 10 years, suffering a rattlesnake bite and several strokes that progressively rendered her paralyzed. Zoo officials then let her wither away for a decade until she finally died in her caretaker’s arms. This is not normal procedure and it shows why this zoo is not accredited and their mission of “helping animals” is suspect.
>>>Tell Marriott, Lowe’s and Whole Foods to cut ties immediately with the Austin Zoo to send a message that this type of treatment towards animals is not acceptable.

Cause for concern…

Risk ignorance: The landscape between the Cape Fear River and the Outer Banks was submerged in water after Hurricane Florence dumped 13 trillion gallons of rain onto the Carolinas in September 2018. Scientists estimate that the hurricane was 50 percent worse due to climate change. Though the Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Obama administration stressed the importance of climate risk, the new plan formed by the Trump administration does not even include the phrase “climate change.” (Photo credit: Matin Guptil/Flickr)

Round of applause…

Dirty business: The scarred landscape of a coal mine in Estercuel, Spain. On March 8, Antonio Huertas, the CEO of Mapfre, the largest non-life insurer in Spain and Latin America, announced that his company would stop underwriting new coal mines and power plants, and would no longer invest in firms that derive more than 30 percent of their revenue from coal. (Photo credit: Jennifer Woodard Maderazo/Wikipedia)

Parting thought…

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead

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