New owl species discovered in the Philippines

Cebu Hawk OwlHearing about new animal species is definitely exciting and kind of gives one hope about the future of the environment–unless people manage to mess up those animals’ chances for survival. Anyway, 10 new owl species were discovered in the Philippines, two of which are completely new: the Cebu hawk owl and the Camiguin hawk owl. According to Lisa Paguntalan, field director of Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Programme, the owls may be considered endangered because they were found only in small forested areas and islands.

Photo by Christian Artuso

Save the Wolves!

From Credo Action:

To make up for the fact that rapid tar sands oil mining is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of rainforest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for strychnine poisoning and aerial shooting of thousands of wolves in areas of tar sands mining.1

Tell Prime Minister Harper: Stop Canada’s planned wolf killings!
If Alberta Canada’s tar sands oil fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake only giant ponds of toxic wastewater.2

It’s obvious why this would pose a massive threat to all wildlife species who reside there, including birds, caribou and the iconic spirit bear.

But instead of preserving the habitat caribou need for their survival, the Canadian government’s answer is to blaze ahead with tar sands oil extraction, and kill thousands of wolves who would naturally prey on the caribou. The Ministry of the Environment’s plan calls for aerial shooting, and poisoning with bait laced with strychnine — a particularly painful type of poison.

Tell Prime Minister Harper: Stop your planned wolf killings! Preserve wolf and caribou habitat, and stop the irresponsible development of tar sands oil which threatens all of us.

This plan to kill wolves is a misguided, cruel response that does nothing to alleviate the greater problem: Tar sands development is a huge threat to wildlife, local communities, and all of our futures.
But despite the clear negative consequences, the Canadian government continues working to rapidly expand tar sands production and sales, including with the Keystone XL Pipeline to export tar sands oil all over the world.
Understandably, this has begun to earn Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and many in the country’s government, a negative reputation, to which they are becoming increasingly sensitive.2

The Ministry of the Environment has not yet moved forward with this planned wolf kill. And with enough public pressure, we can get them to abandon the plan, and build the case for Canada to stop their devastating race to expand tar sands oil fields.

Click HERE to sign the petition.

Fish is not food…at the moment

Recently here in the Philippines, news broke out about the widespread death of fish in fish farms. No, it’s not anything sinister. It’s just that fish farms have been operating following greed as a principle. One area is supposed to hold only 30,000 fish, but many operators have been piling in 50,000 to as high as 100,000, leaving the fish with no room to swim and even breathe.

That certainly sounds terrible enough. But apparently, the fish are also being fed feeds that consist mainly of chicken manure. I can’t fathom how anyone thinks stuffing a fish farm with too many fish and feeding them chicken manure of all things is a good idea, but hey, maybe it makes sense to the fish farm owners. One thing’s for sure, their attempt to turn large profits quickly has blown up in their faces, since nobody’s keen on buying fish these days.

I think this situation also calls into question the assertion that fish is a more healthful alternative to meat, since over here, it seems like both fish farm owners and livestock farms think that it’s a good plan to feed fish and livestock nothing but rubbish and then make them available for human consumption to people, not thinking that what they put into the animals actually have an effect on them and whoever consumes them as well.

Save the turtles

From Credo:

News has just emerged from the Gulf Coast that BP is burning endangered sea turtles alive.

A boat captain who has been leading efforts to rescue the endangered turtles says BP has blocked his crews from entering the areas where the animals are trapped, effectively shutting down the rescue operation.

BP is using “controlled burns” to contain the oil spill. Shrimp boats create a corral of oil by dragging together fire-resistant booms and then lighting the enclosed “burn box” on fire. If turtles are not removed from the area before the fire is lit, they are literally burned alive.

The sea turtle most affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is the Kemp’s Ridley2 which is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Parties responsible for killing the endangered turtles are liable for criminal penalties that include prison and civil fines of up to $25,000 per violation. As a result, BP perversely has a financial incentive to let the endangered turtles be incinerated rather than to allow rescue crews to cull them from the burn boxes before the containment fires are lit.

“They ran us out of there and then they shut us down, they would not let us get back in there,” said turtle rescuer Mike Ellis in an interview with conservation biologist Catherine Craig that was posted on YouTube.com.

Enough is enough. Tell BP to allow the rescue boats back in and stop burning endangered sea turtles alive. Clicking here will automatically sign your name to our petition.

Thank you for working for a better world.