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Wildlife Crime — [Andrew Rosindell in the Chair]: 20 Mar 2019: Westminster Hall debates wildlife crime

In her response to the wildlife crime debate Therese Coffey demonstrates a distinct lack of understanding or willful ignorance on the issues of illegal hunting, raptor persecution and killing of hares. Does she get that hares are killed by their thousands in ways other than hare coursing and that the government have made those ways perfectly legal. They need protecting – full stop.

And we need an end to brood meddling. It clearly doesn’t work.

“In the recent judicial review into the lawfulness of Natural England’s decision to grant a licence for trials of hen harrier brood management, the claimants’ claims were dismissed. The proposed brood management scheme will continue. It seeks to manage the conflict between the conservation of hen harriers and the grouse shooting industry. That decision means the important work to protect and conserve the hen harrier can continue.”

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2019-03-20a.374.2#g393.3

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Bolsonaro’s election is catastrophic news for Brazil’s indigenous tribes

Bolsonaro’s election is catastrophic news for Brazil’s indigenous tribes.

Bolsonaro plans to deregulate deforestation. Since the election in Brazil and his ecocidal rhetoric, deforestation in Brazil doubled in two months.

Bolsonaro is quoted as saying:

It’s my advice and I do it: I evade all the taxes I can.

I would never rape you, because you don’t deserve it.

I will not fight against it nor discriminate, but if I see two men kissing on the street, I’ll beat them up.

I would be incapable of loving a gay son. I wouldn’t be a hypocrite. I prefer that he die in an accident than show up with some guy with a moustache.

She doesn’t deserve it [to be raped] because she’s very bad, because she’s very ugly. She’s not my type, I’d never rape her. I’m not a rapist, but if I was, I wouldn’t rape her because she doesn’t deserve it.

There will not be a centimeter demarcated for indigenous or quilombo reservations.

As this article states, “The country’s 900,000-strong indigenous people are among the many minority groups Jair Bolsonaro has frequently targeted with vitriolic hostility. “It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry wasn’t as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated their Indians,” he once said. If he enacts his campaign promises, the first peoples of Brazil face catastrophe; in some cases, genocide.

There are around 100 uncontacted tribes in Brazil, more than anywhere else on earth, and all are in peril unless their land is protected. Bolsonaro has threatened to close down FUNAI, the government’s indigenous affairs department, which is charged with protecting indigenous land. Already battling against budget cuts, if it disappears uncontacted peoples face annihilation.”

What has happened to us? When did the lunatics take over?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/31/jair-bolsonaro-brazil-indigenous-tribes-mining-logging

When nature says ‘Enough!’: the river that appeared overnight in Argentina

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/01/argentina-new-river-soya-beans

Until the early 1990s, the Morro basin was a patchwork of water-absorbing forests and grasslands, but they are mostly gone, replaced by maize and soya beans.

It may be a good move to cut down on cattle ranching worldwide (to prevent deforestation, to cut back on carbon and methane production, to limit the ongoing human health crisis caused by increasing meat consumption, to avoid further water pollution from farm runoff, to limit predator persecution, and to spare countless animals the endless cycle of slaughter), but an irony here is that soya beans, the hero of every vegan and vegetarian, come at a terrible price. Deforestation and clearing for cattle ranching has been replaced with deforestation in favour of this detrimental monoculture of soya bean farming.

If course, it is true that the humble soya bean is the new answer to reducing or cutting out meat consumption, but the majority of this soya and maize is being grown to become feed for the animal agriculture industry, something the attached article completely fails to mention. Animal agriculture is literally eating up our planet in countless ways.

Less than a third of Argentina’s rainforest remains. Losing that much established forest means losing deep networks of tree roots which naturally absorb large amounts of water from underground aquifers. The result is a huge new river appearing on land as has happened in Argentina. Why is this a surprise now? There are myriad experts in these fields worldwide who would have known this was a likely outcome as a result of mass deforestation. Why aren’t scientists involved in such massive economic and environmental processes and decisions?

Brazil has been in the grip of terrible deforestation for decades. With a changing climate, increased precipitation and otherwise poor substrate, deforestation in these countries inevitably means more landslides and more flooding, and perhaps more new rivers. We are drastically altering the landscape of the planet, destroying habitats and disrupting entire ecosystems.

Countless wildlife have lost their homes during this shift to soya bean plantations and deforestation, something that cannot ever be undone. When are governments of countries with such invaluable habitats going to quit putting profit before protecting and preserving their and the world’s most precious and vulnerable natural heritage? Rainforests are incredibly diverse, most are quite ancient, and they are so important to the world in terms of carbon sinks and wildlife biodiversity – they must be protected.

Seal poo reveals plastic’s path in the sea : Research Highlights

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-02649-z

Almost one-third of the fish and nearly half of the seal-faeces samples contained one to four plastic fibres and fragments. Among the most common was polyethylene, which is found in plastic bags and bottles.

How to stop the humble hedgehog disappearing from British gardens and countryside forever

The Conversation

File 20180103 26145 1k3gyfy.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Where have all the hedgehogs gone? shutterstock

Daniel Allen, Keele University

When the humble hedgehog was crowned “Britain’s national species” in a BBC Wildlife Magazine poll and “Britain’s favourite mammal” in a Royal Society of Biology poll, no doubt, sentimentalised memories of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, played a role in swaying public opinion.

Ecologist and author Hugh Warwick explained how:

Beatrix Potter managed to sprinkle some magic over the hedgehog, transforming it into the irresistible companion of our gardens.

But despite their popularity, hedgehogs are now something of a rare sight in British gardens – and are in fact disappearing at the same rate as tigers worldwide. Rural hedgehogs in the UK have halved in number since 2000, while urban hedgehogs have declined by a third. More widely, UK hedgehog numbers have dropped from an estimated 30m in the 1950s to under a million today.

So what’s to blame? We are. Well, the changing lifestyles and tastes of people, to be precise. Farming methods have changed dramatically over recent years – becoming increasingly intensive. This has led to the removal of many hedges, an important habitat for the British hedgehog. It has also had negative implications on their main diet of worms, beetles, slugs, caterpillars, earwigs and millipedes.

The country’s roads are also busier. Hedgehog road deaths are estimated to exceed 100,000 a year in Britain. Road networks also cut through habitats leaving hedgehogs isolated, while our gardens are increasingly becoming more humanised. Lawns have been turned into tarmac for cars, foliage has been torn out, decking added, garden borders peppered with slug pellets, and hedges replaced by impenetrable fences and walls. All of which mean that hedgehogs are not only losing their habitats, but also their chances of survival.

Hedgehog friendly gardens

The plight is such that the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and People’s Trust for Endangered Species launched Hedgehog Street in 2011 to encourage people to champion the species and its habitat.

Hedgehog feeding station. British Hedgehog Preservation Society Facebook

At the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2014, designer Tracy Foster made Hedgehog Street a reality, creating a summer garden to demonstrate “how neighbours can work together to help hedgehogs by providing routes through garden boundaries”. Sharing slogans such as “no one garden is enough” and “make a hole, make a difference”, the hedgehog haven won People’s Choice for Best Small Garden and the coveted RHS Gold medal. The first permanent Hedgehog Street garden was unveiled at RHS Harlow Carr, in North Yorkshire in April 2017.

I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations

I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/28/arctic-researcher-donald-trump-deleting-my-citations

I’m stunned by this article. First of all, I had no idea the previous Canadian government destroyed 100 years of Arctic climate data. Secondly, we joke about Trump’s corruption, greedy business mind and being bought off by the Russians and huge corporations (does he think money is all that there is?), and his utter stupidity when tweeting about climate (“It’s freezing where I am so there cannot be global warming”), but this is real. This is systematic, deliberate climate change denial on behalf of big oil and other huge corporations because…money. 

How are we allowing this? How are people becoming so blindly led, so brainwashed, so indignant and angry at the wrong people, at each other, instead of at those who have the power to destroy anything they want and are doing so. These very people are our downfall – of everyone, planet-wide. They deny science and deny fact to protect profit and greed, at all of our expense and at the expense of our precious living planet. 

Ocean acidification is deadly threat to marine life, finds eight-year study

I briefly researched acidification in a corals essays I wrote last year (for which I got a first class mark); this study looks in-depth at the impacts of acidification on marine life.

Ocean acidification is deadly threat to marine life, finds eight-year study

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/23/ocean-acidification-deadly-threat-to-marine-life-finds-eight-year-study

Black-Light Detects White-Nose Syndrome in Bats

https://www2.usgs.gov/envirohealth/cbp/headlines/2014-09-11-uv_tool.html

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists and collaborators discovered that long-wave ultraviolet (UV) light directed at the wings of bats with white-nose syndrome (WNS) produced points of distinctive orange-yellow fluorescence. The orange-yellow glow corresponds directly with microscopic skin lesions that define the current “gold standard” for diagnosing WNS.”

Hybridization patterns in two contact zones of grass snakes reveal a new Central European snake species | Scientific Reports

This is amazing news. Natrix natrix -previously thought to be the only grass snake in the UK – has been found to be genetically distinct from what was previously thought to be a variation rather than separate species, the newly named Natrix venaticus. Studies sampled mtDNA from existing skins and specimens and found clear genetic differences between the two, confirming Natrix venaticus as a separate and distinct species. No living snakes were harmed for the study either, which is always good news.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-07847-9