Tag Archives: endangered species

Be Quick to See the Seahorse!

 

The fantastical sea horse in the 1st Edition of Black Pearl of Laramoth

In the Doofuzz Dudes and the Black Pearl of Laramoth the Doofuzz Dudes ride under the sea on seahorses.

The seahorse is actually a tiny creature and would not provide much off a ride. The fictitious variety that live under the Sea of Laramoth are much bigger.

Unfortunately the sea horse might sadly be relegated to the realms of fiction very soon as they are now right on the verge of annihilation.

Once again we can thank the Chinese. Is there anything that is not in their herbal brews? I’m sure that at some time or other they’ve also popped parts of people in them!

Well, sea horses are one of the ingredients in Chinese herbal medicine.  This has sealed their fate. To cure a cough or whatever, these delightful creatures have been fished to the brink of extinction.

Still, there are some in the sea at Port Stephens.

They are fascinating creatures.  Seahorses are unique in the animal kingdom because the male carries the embryos and then gives birth to hundreds of tiny, fully developed babies.  It’s the only animal in the world where the male actually gives birth.

According to http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2408718.htm  although seahorses are protected in Australian waters, there are no longer many seahorses remaining in the water at Port Stephens. It was speculated that there is not adequate food for them there. Of course, it’s all very well to protect a species, but if their food sources or habitat is not protected then there’s not much hope for them is there?

In ‘Last Chance to See’ on the weekend, Steven Fry featured the Seahorse.

They also featured the chimpanzee. I did not realize that the chimp is also under threat of extinction. According to http://www.iied.org/sustainable-markets/key-issues/environmental-economics/paying-local-communities-for-ecosystem-servic   Chimpanzees in Uganda are under threat because of the bushmeat trade; habitat loss and fragmentation due to agriculture and human settlement; and conflicts with farmers.  Their habitat has been lost to agriculture and human settlements. At the heart of this problem is the attitude of most farmers that chimpanzees and the conservation of forest habitats are a threat to their own livelihoods.

 The International Institute for Environment and Development project team is working with smallholder farmers in a participatory process to determine the forest management practices needed to conserve chimpanzee habitats in the corridor area and the payment packages of cash and in-kind support measures which will provide incentives for conservation.

Chimpanzees have been stolen for zoos for a hundred years and also used extensively in medical research. It is unfortunate that chimpanzees are remarkably like humans, which is not necessarily a good thing. Just like humans they can be violent, jealous, vengeful and hold grudges. But unlike humans, they can’t speak up for themselves and they don’t have finances to save themselves.

Misguided people (think Michael Jackon and his Bubbles) think that chimpanzees make delightful pets. No doubt they are cute when they are babies. However they grow up to be very strong and could easily kill their owner. Also, like any human, they reach puberty and want a mate. Behavioural changes then can make them very dangerous to humans and their fate is usually to be locked alone in a cage when that day arrives. I have previously written about the sad story of monkey babies roslynmotter.com/…/dont-monkey-around-with-the-monkeys.

I am always thinking how sad it is for monkeys that so many of them are locked alone in cages for the satisfaction of humans. I am proud to say that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) rescued one monkey that I recently saw alone in a cage in a silly private zoo in Turkey.

What would we say if aliens captured humans and kept them in cages in their zoos? It was serve us all jolly well right if they did.

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One Hell of a Beauty

Have any of you environmentalists been wondering who the culprits are who are using rhino horn powder and driving the poor creatures to extinction?

I understood it was the Chinese who created the demand for the rhino horn to put in their medicines.

However, there is another person who has the big bucks necessary for the purchase – Elle Macpherson.

To quote a recent article in Woman’s Day Magazine (28th June, 2010) –

Elle Macpherson, 47, is on the hunt for a new youth elixer after ditching her favourite treatment – rhino horn powder, which she describes as tasting “like crushed bone and fungus”. Her change of heart came after learning rhinos are endangered.

I thought my eyes must be deceiving me!  How amazing!

As opposed to jet setting Elle, I am just an ordinary person with no celebrity network, but even I know that rhinos are on the brink of extinction because of the insane demand for their horn.
Since this has been the case for decades, I have to ask what planet Elle has been living on – guess it’s Planet Elle. I wonder if she pondered on why the price was so high?

Trade in rhino-horn powder has been banned since 1995.

To quote Richard Kay of the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1286313/Alan-Bennett-1-500-pickpockets.html#ixzz0rYDrJD6W

Veteran ­environmentalist Tony Fitzjohn, from the George ­Adamson Wildlife ­Preservation Trust, tells me: ‘This is incredibly irresponsible. I have never been so disgusted in my 40 years of trying to save wildlife.

‘Her remarks mean that people will come after these scarce and ancient animals with guns.

‘Men die protecting them, and the well-being of countries that rely on tourism and wildlife are diminished.

I certainly now have a very negative view of a beautiful woman who is so insecure about her looks that she would be instrumental in killing such a magnificent creature so that she can erase a couple of wrinkles.

I just hope that someone tells her that tigers are endangered and so are most exotic animals these days just in case she hears that they can prolong her beauty too.

It’s rather sad when a wealthy and beautiful woman starts to panic about aging.  Besides the fact that I doubt that rhino horn makes one iota of difference to her face, I really wonder if the good her beauty does for the world is worth the lives of the many rhinosauruses that have been killed for it! If she can’t age gracefully why not do what everyone else seems to be doing and have botox or a facelift?

 I think Elle was the genius who said that she wouldn’t have a book in her house unless she’d written it. What a shame, if she had read a couple of other people’s books she might know that rhinos are endangered. However, she is quite a canny business woman and I think she might have worked out that there was a reason that she was paying thousands of dollars for an ounce of the powder.

Sadly, the beauty and fashion industries are two of the major reasons that so many magnificent creatures are in demise.

Every time I see snake skin boots, belts, shoes and handbags I wince. How many boas have been killed to service that fashion?

The musk deer has been driven to the point of extinction by the perfume industry for their musk.

Watch any old movie and you’ll see tiger skins as rugs and leopard skin and jaguar hats and coats on the actresses.

I have always thought that the only fair thing would be if animals were issued with guns to protect themselves.  Now that would be interesting.

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1411 Tigers

Yes, that’s right! There are 1,411 tigers left in India. 

Well, I suppose the figure is symbolic as who can be sure if it’s 1,400 or 1,450? However, the bottom line is that there are not many left at all. A century ago India had 40,000 tigers, now it has come down to a miserable 1411! There is not much hope for the Indian tiger.

Save the Tiger

Only 1,411 tigers left!

Throughout India huge placards have been erected on the sides of the road and there are also frequent television commericals to remind us.

The problem is that the tigers’  natural habitat has been so eroded by logging and burning that really there is nowhere for them to live happily. Their natural food has been depleted due to diminishing territory (it has been proven that for the most part tigers prefer to eat larger rather than small animals – and their territory has been diminished too). So it follows that in order to get a meal a tiger has to hunt where it can, and this more often than not, means poaching livestock from farmers.

It is forbidden to kill tigers but it does happen that farmers kill them and at present there is such a court case in Goa, where in early 2009 a villager killed and burnt a tiger which had been killing livestock.  The forestry department has made a big issue of this killing and is prosecuting it to the full extent of the law. 

Don't scare animals!

The Navhind Times in Goa expressed beautifully and succinctly the deeper meaning behind the fate of the tiger in its editorial dated 10th February, 2010,  titled ‘Living with Tigers’.  I quote –

Saving the tiger means saving humanity. The tiger is a symbol of the protection of all species on our earth since it is at the top of the food chain. Saving tigers means saving the animals the tiger lives on, such as buffalo and deer.

As these animals live on plants, saving them for the tiger means saving the forests. And saving the forests means more oxygen in the atmosphere, protection of soil and storage of rain water, which are necessary for the survival of man.

Thus, saving tigers means saving humanity. If tigers are not there, our future generations won’t be there.”

Of course, the tiger is under threat everywhere.  The Siberian tiger is equally,  if not more endangered than the Indian tiger due to poaching and to illegal logging in Siberia. Tigers in South East Asia have lost their homes due to the burning of jungles to make way for palm oil plantations and everywhere the tiger is poached for the Chinese herbal market.  It is an horrendous thought that anyone would still (or ever, for that matter)  hunt such a regal and magnificent animal for any reason.

However, we must not forget why the tiger is at risk.  As with so many endangered species, we have taken their land, their forest and their food. We exploit them for their skins and their bones. We take everything and give nothing in return.  Unfortunately it could be too late before we find out what that means for mankind.

See another person’s opinion at http://www.bharathreddy.info/india-has-just-1411-tigers-left-to-save/

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