Posted on January 3, 2016 by Other Nations
We humans don’t relate well to nonhuman animals at the population level–so goes the theory. But give us the particulars about a specific individual–tell us his or her story–and we get it: this is someone who has an interest in living. Someone with places to go…kids to raise…food to procure. Like us, this is someone who wants to avoid danger–while living the good life. This is an individual with a story–and a history. Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal rights, climate change, Conservation, endangered species, environmental ethics, factory farms, hunting | Tagged: Endangered Species Act, grizzly bears, grizzly delisting, trophy hunting, Yellowstone | 5 Comments »
Posted on December 17, 2015 by Michelle D. Land
Michelle D. Land
Harris’s Hawks, native to the Southwest, form complex social groups and hunt cooperatively, sometimes stacking 3-birds high to maximize good perching locations and find prey more efficiently.
Why animal protection organizations and environmentalists don’t collaborate more meaningfully is a long-standing question without a satisfactory answer.
Typically, the explanation for a lack of sustained cooperation between the two is that animal protectionists are concerned about individual animals, while environmentalists care only about populations or healthy ecosystems. This “mission loyalty” is a false dichotomy. Climate change perturbations, palm oil plantations, industrial farming, habitat loss, over-harvesting…the list of intersecting interests is too long to exhaust. Ecosystems are comprised of millions of individual animals. And individual animals depend upon healthy ecosystems to thrive. Conservation biologists, Chris Darimont and Paul Paquet in their 2010 article, Wildlife conservation and animal welfare: two sides of the same coin? illuminate this point:
Although rarely considered, depriving animals of their life requisites by destroying or impoverishing their surroundings causes suffering of individuals through displacement, stress, starvation, and reduced security. The same human activities driving the current extinction crisis are also causing suffering, fear, physical injury, psychological trauma, and disease in wild animals. These discomforts are well beyond and additive to what might occur naturally (i.e., non-anthropomorphic).
On November 18th, a report by the Endangered Species Coalition entitled
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal law, animal rights, animal welfare, endangered species, environmental law | Tagged: Chris Darimont, David S. Favre, Harris's Hawk, Paul Paquet, Thomas Smith | 2 Comments »
Posted on November 10, 2015 by David
Posted on October 15, 2015 by animalblawg
Charles T. Jordan
A settlement has been reached that will provide whales and dolphins some peace and quiet in the waters around Hawaii and Southern California. The US Navy, on September 14, agreed to curb its use of sonar in these waters in order to prevent harming whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals.
Studies have sh own that whales and dolphins use their ears to navigate and survive in their habitat. However, this has gotten more difficult due to the immense quantities of noise in our waters. One particularly devastating source of noise is sonar. Vessels use sonar to detect dangers in the water to prevent collision. Sonar systems send out a high pitched and far ranging sound waves which have been shown to be harmful to marine mammals. The Navy, in its own five year Pacific weapons testing and training plan, estimated that marine mammals would be effected nearly 9.6 million times during high-intensity sonar exercises and weapons detonations. Injuries to the animals include ruptured eardrums and temporary hearing loss which in turn affects the animal’s normal behavior patterns; resulting in stranding, habitat avoidance and abandonment, and even death.
For many years a number of environmental groups (including the NRDC, Earthjustice, and Greenpeace) have been fighting the Navy and National Marine Fisheries Service (NFMS) in order to protect marine mammals from sonar interferences. Most recently in Conservation Council for Hawaii v. National Marine Fisheries Service, the plaintiffs sued NFMS to enforce the Navy’s five year training and testing plan in Hawaii and Southern California. On September 14 a settlement was reached, in which the Navy agreed to limit the use of sonar in the waters. These limits include; maintaining safe distances from mammals, limited number of sonar and weapon training and testing within certain areas near southern California (map 1), and prohibiting sonar and weapon training and testing in areas near Hawaii (map 2).
While this settlement represents a significant win for these marine mammals, and will certain do a lot to insure their survival, Continue reading
Filed under: ABA-TIPS Animal Law Committee, environmental law | Tagged: animal law, environmental law, marine mammals, navy sonar | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 7, 2015 by Other Nations
Photo from Care2 petitions – click image
Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations
Cecil the lion is dead, long live Cecil. Obie the tiger lives–and dies–in successive purgatories for 45 years running.
Cecil, a unique individual and beloved personality, was slain by a small and hollow man for no reason other than ego. This one “special” lion’s death triggered a tipping point and unleashed worldwide condemnation.
And then there’s Obie, one beloved football mascot who has required a veritable breeding mill to produce the 45 individuals who’ve served as namesake. Make no mistake–it’s the mascot who’s beloved, not the unique tiger cub plugged into the role annually. Old Obies live and die in obscurity as wild captives no longer cubbishly cute, as now-dangerous adults consigned to–well, who knows? Who cares? Continue reading
Filed under: animal rights, animal welfare, canned hunting, endangered species, exotic animals | Tagged: captive tigers, Cecil the Lion, Obie tiger cub, Ohio Dangerous Wild Animal law | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 15, 2015 by Other Nations
“Blaze” & cub in 2011; Amy Gerber photo. Click image for more photos.
Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations
A 63-year-old male hiker is dead, killed and partially consumed by a grizzly bear while hiking in Yellowstone National Park. A 259-pound mother grizzly, who was at least 15 years old, is also dead, killed by the caretakers of her home in Yellowstone National Park. Her two female cubs-of-the-year, likely seven or eight months old, are dead insofar as their ability to live wild, free-ranging lives goes; they’ve been shipped off to the Toledo Zoo for lifetime incarceration.
It was the hiker–a man referred to by the media as “an experienced hiker”–who set this string of tragedies in motion by breaking cardinal rules for hiking in griz country: he hiked alone, off trail, without bear spray. While acknowledging that his tragic death has left a grieving human family, his apparent lack of regard for the safety measures that could have saved his life as well as the bears’ lives is squarely responsible. Bears do what bears do for their own reasons. When we enter their home, it’s up to us to do so with respect and humility. Continue reading
Filed under: animal rights, endangered species, environmental ethics | Tagged: Blaze, grizzly bears, wildlife, Yellowstone | 6 Comments »
Posted on June 29, 2015 by David
The Bluefin tuna has been on the endangered list for several years. Despite that, there is nothing in place to prevent them from being hunted and eaten. There are no catch limits, so fishermen feel no need to hold back on catching obscene numbers of endangered tuna. A single Bluefin tuna can sell for nearly $2 million. Such profits are of much greater concern to the fishermen than preserving the species. As such, the population has decreased substantially from being continuously hunted while no one seems to care that they are dangerously near extinction.
Hunting the Bluefin harms not only the species, but also the rest of the ecosystem. Because the Bluefin are natural predators, they serve as a major source of population control. They have few predators themselves, so as their population decreases, there will be a natural increase in the smaller animals that the Bluefin eats. Such overpopulation of the Bluefin’s prey can cause other species to become endangered, as an increase in one part of the food chain can mean serious danger to those one step below it. You can learn more about the Bluefin tuna here.
We can only hope the fisherman who profit from the Bluefin tuna will eventually realize their mistake. Because they’ve made such a point to catch as many as they can, they have caught more than can be sustained naturally. They have even hunted baby tuna, which were unable to reproduce. By doing that, the fishermen have almost guaranteed that there will be a substantial population decrease, as the adults have been caught and the young ones with the unused ability to reproduce, have been served on plates as well. While this limit in the population will increase the boon one fish can bring, it will make fishing a more competitive field. This will mean that fishing for these tuna will no longer mean Continue reading
Filed under: animal law, endangered species, environmental law | Tagged: animal law, bluefin, environmental law, overfishing, tuna | 1 Comment »