Category Archives: endangered species

7 Gorillas in 7 Months

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, one national park has seen too much death in the last seven months. Four gorillas were found shot dead this week, following three gorilla murders in pervious months. MSNBC reports,

The four were members of a family group known as Rugendo, and the male served as a leader of that group, which the IGCP feared would now be compromised. “Before the killings the Rugendo group comprised 12 individuals,” the IGCP said. “Six are confirmed as safe, but two gorillas, a female and an infant, are missing.”

These gorillas are an endangered species. Barely 700 mountain gorillas roam in the wild, and none in captivity. It is believed that individual disagreements are leading to these meaningless deaths. The park is planning to provide 24 hour security. The gorillas will be burried inside the park.

Learn Something New Every Day: Hugo, Pelosi, and more

Now, I know that I’ve been doing a lot of linking posts lately, and by default not enough original posts. Well, rest assured, I am planning a series of Vegan Nutrition 101 posts. It’s basically going to be the absolute basics of what every vegan (or vegetarian…..or omni) should know. Anywho, these are a few things to keep your mind busy in the meantime.

  • While organics are on the rise we all still know how expensive they can be. SmartMoney’s Keli Grant has five ideas for finding cheaper organics. My personal favorite: Local farmers. Who would’a thunk?
  • The Farm Bill is up for vote this week, which Nancy Pelosi is “very proud” of. It would send millions to corn, cotton, and a few other major crops. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an expert on the subject, but that just doesn’t sound right. Muchless, something to be “very pround” of. Rep. Ron Kind has promised to ammend (or rather, correct) the bill. All ammendments must be submitted by the 24th, Tuesday.
  • A vegetarian restaurant in Brooklyn, Counter, is serving up fruity cocktails for dinner. As one customer said, “I drank my dinner a couple of times. I’m kind of proud of that… [made with] muddled cucumber. That’s a vegetable, right?” The cocktails are full of anioxidants, vegetable purees, and vitamins. And, supposedly, don’t leave you with a hangover. So, go ahead, drink up, just don’t lie to yourself; Cucumber is not a vegetable!
  • This makes me sick to my stomach. The sizzle of decaying flesh is just the frosting on the cake.
  • Another species saved from extinction! The El Segundo blue butterfly is alive an kicking in Southern California. The species was entered to the endangered species list in 1976.
  • Another reason to hate McDonalds. They have been attempting to change their image by cutting out the supersize menu and adding salads, fruit, etc. Their latest addition is the 42 oz “Hugo” drink. Full of regular soda, it contains 410 calories (the equivalent of a small meal.) Drink 5, and you’ve had your share of energy intake for the day. Am I the only one that is reminded of Hugo on Lost?
  • Castleberry Food is recalling it’s chili and dog food after finding the meat was contaminated with botulism. What? Humans are eating the same meat as their pets? Not much of a suprize, but at least they are spreading disease evenly throughout the animal kingdom.
  • Genetically modified rice has been on our shelves since 2001. Constmerist reports,

    Six years ago, Avenits Crop Science introduced Liberty Link, a transgenic rice strain resistant to Liberty, an Aventis weed killer. The Liberty Link experiment ended abruptly when StarLink – a transgenic corn strain made by Aventis that was approved only for use in animal feed, not for human consumption – was found in Kraft taco shells.

    In 2006 Liberty Link was found in Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, Mississippi, and Louisiana in products such ar Budweiser and Uncle Ben’s. Up until this point the mutant rice was not approved by the FDA, but faced with the decision to recall massive amounts of rice, and rice containing products, they instead opted to approve it, without testing.

    Their reasoning? The mutant rice was similar to mutant corn and canola that hadn’t yet harmed American consumers.

Playing Catch-Up

I’ve been gone for the past few day, but this should make up for it.

Engangered Update

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is contemplating downgrading the Florida manatees from endangered-status to threatened-status. Also, considering climate change and fishing, 10 species of penguins will be reviewed and possibly placed on the endagered species list along with the sand dune lizard, Oregon spotted frog, England cottontail rabbit, and the Texas hornshell clam.

Endangered Species List Endangered

The Bush administration has added the fewest and removed the most species from the endangered species list since 1973 – and it’s not because species’ numbers are recovering. The budget just isn’t there. There are now 279 species on the waiting list.

Moreover, the buget issues in the department have caused havoc to ensue amongst staff, fueled by the changes favorable to the industries opposing legislation.

The budget crisis is effecting endangered species to the point that the U.S. is essentially letting them die out because they just don’t have the money to support and protect them.

Orangutang Extinction and Illegal Logging

According to a report released earlier this month by the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP), Last stand of the Orang-utan: State of Emergency, illegal timbering will likely drive orangutans into extinction. Reportedly, by 2022, 98% of Indonesia’s lowland forests will be gone. Mongabay.com reports,

Last Stand said that illegal loggers operate in 37 of Indonesia’s 41 national parks and that up to 88 percent of all Indonesian timber is illegally harvested. Further pressure comes from expanding oil palm plantations used to produce biodiesel. Surging international demand has lead to an explosion of land-clearing for plantations, which by early 2007 covered more than 6 million hectares in Indonesia and 4 million in Malaysia. Associated land-clearing using fires releases so much carbon dioxide that Indonesia now ranks as the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases despite having only the 22nd largest economy.

The illegal trade of live orangutans is taking place as a byproduct of illegal logging. With this level of illegal trade, 15 years could show a decline of 98% of the orangutan’s habitat. We can thank the demand for palm oil for that.

Good News for the Animals!

Good news #1
Cockfighting has officially been banned in every state in the U.S.! Louisiana was the last state to pass the ban with a nearly unanimous vote. One House representative with personal ties to cockfighting voted against the ban. Louisiana has a one-year grace period before the ban takes full effect.

Good news #2
As of Thursday, the bald eagle has officially been removed from the endangered species list! The number of mating pairs has rissen from 417 to over 10,000 in the past 40 years.