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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.

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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.

Maned wolf | Smithsonian’s National Zoo

More on the maned wolf, my new favourite animal. Genus Chrysostom.

https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/maned-wolf

10 Leggy Facts About the Maned Wolf

I may have found my spirit animal. Chrysocyon brachyurus, Maned Wolf. Magnificent Canidae, prehistoric carnivora lineage. I love them! Can I study them? 
http://m.mentalfloss.com/article.php?id=87334

Wolf trapping – A diary of moving from East London to Montana

A fascinating read. I will never, ever understand hunters of any kind. Their logic and ethics are utterly skewed. 

But I learn that Jim Posewitz is that uniquely Western American who has made it his life’s work to improve ‘the image of hunting with an emphasis on fair chase ethics’ and has focused ‘on putting hunters at the forefront of our nation’s conservation ethic.’ He’s exactly the sort of person I find impossible to understand. Is it just semantics? When he talks of conservation, does he mean the conservation of a way of life based on when the trapper ruled and the West was won by guys who slept under the stars dreaming of the dead wolves at their feet the next morning? As Rick Bass says about hunters in his book The Ninemile Wolves, ‘there’s nothing harder to stereotype than a “hunter”.’ I would add that this is also true of trappers: they claim to love the wilderness, they call themselves sportsmen, outdoorsmen, and yet they are happy inflicting pain on animals in return for the price of their fur. Most hunters eat their prey, whereas trappers do it for money.”

https://missoulabound.wordpress.com/tag/wolf-trapping/

Goblin sharks: Mystery behind bizarre protruding jaws solved after over 100 years

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mystery-behind-goblin-sharks-weird-protruding-jaws-solved-after-over-century-1575531

One of the most unusual features is the jaw mechanism. When it closes its mouth, two ligaments are stretched so when it opens, tension is released and the jaw is thrusted forwards.”

Animal Defenders International : Publications : Political Animals 2015: Badger cull in England

http://www.ad-international.org/publications/go.php?id=4033

Anti-cull campaigners have been saying for years that it is poor animal husbandry and poor hygiene on farms, not to mention extended overwintering of cattle in sheds, that has brought about increased bTB in cattle; but why listen to logic when spending millions of tax payer money on culling our native wildlife appeases farmers of their own guilt?

Now the science is out! It has now been demonstrated that it is infected pasture and faeces that is perpetuating bTB in cattle.