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Oceans: Americans want a shark fin ban
Earlier this summer, headlines across the country blasted the news that the federal government was moving to ban sales of any products containing elephant ivory within the United States —strengthening an already-in-place ban on the import of elephant ivory. This decision had a huge amount of support from the American public, as most people understand the devastating effect the global ivory trade has had upon African elephant populations for centuries.
But many people don’t know that there is an equally devastating trade of shark fins around the world, contributing to the population declines of certain shark species, and that fins from sharks facing high risk of extinction can be bought and sold—completely legally—within certain parts of the United States. When most people learn the details of this trade, they say they want it stopped. A recently released national poll found a large amount of support among the American public for a bill banning the trade of shark fins, with 81 percent of registered voters saying they would support the legislation and would like a national ban on shark fins.
It’s estimated that the fins from as many as 73 million sharks make their way into the global trade every year, and the demand for these fins drives the brutal and wasteful practice of shark finning. When a fisherman fins a shark by slicing the fins off of its body, the shark is often still alive. Once the fins are taken, the shark’s body is usually thrown back overboard, where it is left to drown, bleed to death, or be eaten alive by other animals. Indeed, the demand for shark fins is one of the greatest threats facing shark populations around the world, with some populations declining by more than 90 percent in recent decades.
Read in full at thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-environment/292409-americans-want-a-shark-fin-ban
#oceans #sharks #finning #SharkFinSoup
Image: Finned shark carcasses on the ocean floor, via Stopsharkfinning.net ... See MoreSee Less
19 minutes ago ·
India: Karnataka lost 74 elephants, 49 big cats in 20 months
In the past 20 months, the state has lost 74 elephants, 26 tigers and 23 leopards in the wild for various reasons such as poaching, termination of man-eaters and natural causes.
According to www.tigernet.nic.in, an official database of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the state has lost 11 tigers in the first eight months of this year. Of the 11 tigers, four died this month (August). Of the four deaths, one is suspected to be a case of poaching, what led to the death of the three other tigers is being ascertained.
Of the 26 tigers that died in the last 20 months, seven died of natural reasons and four in territorial fights. The Forest department had to 'terminate' a tiger in Bandipur on November 19, 2015 as it had turned man-eater, while a tiger was poached in Chikkamagaluru territorial division on April 5, 2016. The Forest department is yet to ascertain the reasons for the death of other tigers. Nagarhole and Bandipur, which have the highest density of tigers, saw maximum number of tiger deaths (20) since 2015.
However, the Forest department officials are disputing the number of tiger deaths in the state. According to a document provided by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) office, the state has lost only nine tigers, including two cubs from April 2015 to March 2016 ...
According to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) office document, three elephants were poached in the state between April 2015 and March 2016. As many as eight jumbos were electrocuted and four shot dead in the same period. Seven elephants died a natural death while 52 died of ill health or other reasons which are yet to be ascertained.
The state lost four leopards in road accidents and three in territorial fights. Two were hanged by villagers and one was beaten to death. Officials had to terminate a leopard after it was declared man-eater. Thirteen leopards died of various other reasons, says the document.
Full story at www.deccanherald.com/content/566763/karnataka-lost-74-elephants-49.html
#India #Karnataka #tigers #leopards #elephants
Image: Leopard with prey, India, by Pranavsinghi1998 ... See MoreSee Less
1 hour ago ·
Mexico: Storms led to deaths of millions of Monarch butterflies
Storms earlier this year blew down more than a hundred acres of forests where migrating monarch butterflies spend the winter in central Mexico, killing more than seven per cent of the monarchs, experts reported Tuesday.
Rain, cold and high winds from the storms caused the loss of 133 acres (54 hectares) of pine and fir trees in the forests west of Mexico City, more than four times the amount lost to illegal logging this year. It was the biggest storm-related loss since the winter of 2009-10, when unusually heavy rainstorms and mudslides caused the destruction of 262 acres (106 hectares) of trees.
This year's storm also appears to have frozen or killed about 6.2 million butterflies, almost 7.4 percent of the estimated 84 million butterflies that wintered in Mexico, said Alejandro Del Mazo, the attorney general for environmental protection.
Full story at www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/08/23/world/americas/ap-lt-mexico-monarch-butterflies.html
#Mexico #butterflies #insects #climate #deforestation #illegallogging
Image: Monarch butterflies, by Mike Baird ... See MoreSee Less
23 hours ago ·