Conservation News for Week of June 29,2018
Iceland Begins Hunting the Endangered Fin Whale
This past week Iceland began hunting endangered fin whales after a two-year hiatus. This comes despite an international ban on hunting fin whales. The company responsible is Hvalur hf. owned by Mr. Kristjan Loftsson. Rather than export the whale meat due to such little demand for whale meat in Iceland and in Japan, the company plans on producing nutritional supplements, gelatin from the bones and whale blubber for “unspecified” medical purposes. This is truly horrifying and defies all logic. We suggest a boycott of any product this company may produce in the future and that people do not travel to Iceland or support them until they curb this practice. Hunting any endangered species is absolutely abhorrent.
Seagull Gets Prosthetic Legs
‘Gumpy’ the seagull was rescued in Charleston, South Carolina and sent to the South Carolina Aquarium. Veterinarian Dr. Shane Boylan had to amputate both legs due to damage caused by fishing lines. However, Dr. Boylan worked with the College of Charleston and they have 3-D printed Gumpy a net set of legs. The bird is recovering under the care of the South Carolina Aquarium and is adapting to his new life.
Jaguars on the Rise in Mexico
Scientists over the past 8 years have been using camera traps to count jaguars. During this time, a total of 400 remotely activated cameras throughout 11 Mexican states recorded over 4,500 photographs. Within these, 348 had images of 46 different jaguars. The scientists now estimate there are now 4,800 jaguars in Mexico, which have a worldwide population of around 64,000 animals.
Canada Works to Protect their Oceans
The Canadian government has pledged over $167 million dollars to protect whales and other sea life off their coasts. The money is mainly to be spent on whale conservation and investigation of disturbances to their habitat. This is incredible news!
Starfish on the Rebound
In 2013, starfish off the west coast of North America began to die in unprecedented numbers. Scientists believe these marine invertebrates were infected with the densovirus, which ultimately turned these living creatures into a pile of goo. Over 80% of these starfish populations have died. Also, researchers believe warming of the earth’s oceans had a devastating impact allowing the virus to spread. However, starfish populations have begun to rebound. DNA evidence points to the newer generation of these creatures having a natural resistance to this disease.
Chefs for Sustainable Seafood
While Canada is working to improve the health of their marine life, in the United States the current government is looking to remove protections of fish and other marine creatures. This week the US government will vote on a bill removing many important protections that are in place to protect endangered fish and other species. However, in a surprise move, many chefs from around the country have banded together to vote the bill. They are voicing support for sustainable fishing practices, which help provide them with the fish they need to serve their customers. Incredible initiative for these men and women, bravo!
Return of the Przewalski’s Horse
Just this week the Czech military transported 4 more female Przewalski’s horses to Mongolia for release back to the wild. This bring the total to 31 aniimals transported from the Prague Zoo to this area for reintroduction. Again, if you have not listened to Episode 6 Truly Wild, The Przewalski’s Horse, please do. It tells the incredible story of these animals and how the Prague Zoo and many others worked to save this species.
New Species Discovered