INDIA – I want to warn the people of India, about something that is disrespecting the memory of Billy Argan Singh. For those of you who dont know the work I do, I was an undercover investigator who gathered the evidence of abuse and wildlife trading of tigers inside the Tiger Temple in 2007 and have continued investigating this place for 6 years. I am also the director of NGO Cee4life (Australia). While inside the Temple in October 2012, I found out that the temple is now considering conducting one of the most unethical projects being touted under the banner of tiger conservation. They plan to release captive inbred, cross bred tigers into the wild. This will fail. However, they used Billy Singh’s name, and his work with Tara. The Tigers of the infamous Tiger Temple in Thailand are horrendously inbred and cross bred. The idea they have is to use current Tigers, (whom they breed rampantly for tourism) and instead of taking the cubs away from the mother at 7 days old or less as they do now, they are going to let the mothers have the cubs, with no human contact and then release them into the wild of Thailand. They say that this will be successful. I told them that no Tiger has survived a long time in the wild, they then quoted Billy Singh and Tara. That was one of the biggest pathetic insults that could be thrown to Billy Singh. Not only is the Tiger Temple responsible for some of the worst abuse and deaths of Tigers in present days, but also, to use India, and the revered conservationist Billy Singh to promote their highly unethical, and completely non-conservation project using his name is a disgrace.
India, the Tigers inside the Tiger Temple are Bengals, not Indochinese. They are Bengals, inbred and cross bred, and bought via the wildife trade, and used and exploited in a hell that no Tiger should be in.
I asked them what will happen when the Tigers they release cannot hunt, they told me that those Tigers will then be kept in captivity.
I can tell you now, that this project will fail. (If you want me to go into the details of why it will fail please ask me) And in all likelihood, they are lying about release into the wild, and in reality they purely want more Tigers, for a 2nd or 3rd Tiger Temple.
Recently 20 members of the Tiger Temple came to India.
I am highly concerned that they are trying to get their hooks into India, the very country which the Tigers of the Temple were stolen from.
Please be aware and alert to anything regarding the Tiger Temple in India.
It is a disgrace that the memory of Billy Singhs work has now been linked with this evil abusive wildlife trading Temple.
Please be on guard.
I will update you on any future information. Please share this far and wide with all your Indian colleagues.
For more information on the plight of these Tigers, please go to http://www.facebook.com/BehindtheCloakBuddha?fref=ts
The Apex predators are an extremely vital link in our ecosystem. Without them, imbalance is caused to such a degree, that it eventually negatively effects the human population.
This project focus’s on the Tigers, Lions and the species which they umbrella (meaning without the Apex predators their existence would be seriously jeopardized if not ended), and the environment in which they live.
The Bengal Tigers of India face massive threats including, poaching, habitat loss, human encroachment, loss of prey species, and due to the habitat loss and human encroachment they face human/animal conflict.
This human/animal conflict has increased immensely in recent times.
In the first stage of the Guardian Project, Cee4life is going to try and ease this situation of human/animal conflict.
In order to help protect the animals, we must help the people. That is fact.
Villagers occupy immense areas of habitat, in and around the forests. They need the forests for fuel for their cooking, food, building items, water sources etc.
To ease this constant intrusion into the forests/animals habitat, Cee4life is striving to offer aid, incentives and education to the villagers.
Including the following:
* Solar Stoves –
Due to the burden of costs of cooking food, many villagers resort to gathering firewood inside the forests or paying for it. Through easily obtained Solar Stoves, fuel is cut by 70%, resulting in less forest intrusion, meaning less threat to the animals and the habitat.
Solar Stoves cost range between approximately $30 AU to $280 AU and we are aiming at raising at least $7500 AU, with the potential for that figure to change. We are aiming at introducing them to 2 entire villages in India, and we will monitor the changing impact into the forests.
* Protective Devices –
Cee4life is testing a device that may offer a form of protection to the villagers who go into the forests, whether they are alone or with a group of villagers, and who may come in contact with a Apex predator, specifically Tigers and Leopards. (Asiatic Lions included).
This device is currently at testing stage. However, it works on the effect of . Sound is a deterrent to many creatures. After ground observations, it is evident that many Tigers in India, particularly those around tourist areas, are not afraid of people, noise, cars or really anything. Animal sound sensitivity and hearing is something which we have been studying and researching and feel that we have discovered a device that would offer protection to the villagers, and therefore the animals. This testing will be conducted in situ and recorded for response while we are in India. If this is successful, then we may have found a way to help protect the human population and therefore these wonderful creatures.
Each protective device costs approx small non battery operated $13 AU and long life batter operated $30 AU
Many of the villagers of India are not able to acquire education, even in the basic form. Education is vital in order for people to understand the situations of wildlife, and many other basic’s, including human population. The education which Cee4life will attempt to cover the subject of wildlife and living in close proximity to wildlife, human behaviors which may entice a negative animal response, sustainable living including farming techniques, economical avenues for the village communities (this will depend on what the village itself offers or items that can be brought into the village). Additionally, Cee4life will attempt to include education on human population and impact on wildlife education and information.
To say that this will be a hard job, is an understatement. But it must be at least attempted.
Education costs will be approximately – $4500 AU for implementation of program and travel costs included.
* Incentives for Villagers to Protect Wildlife – Cee4life will endeavor to offer the villagers an incentive for the reporting of any wild live creature that is deemed as “dangerous”. Only when the animal is safely rescued alive will the incentive be given. These incentives can come in many forms, not just money.
Incentives cost – unlimited and incentives will vary eg: food, materials for housing, financial rewards sometimes etc.
Stage 2 – late 2013 early 2014.
*Training – The training side of the Guardian Project will be the next stage after permissions from the Government can be obtained. This training includes, wildlife protection techniques (to be elaborated upon in the future), domestic animal care both in the wild and in suburbia, safety, hygiene, computer skills, wildlife monitoring techniques etc.
Training will also “hopefully” include the development of community centers to aid in all aspects of training and to be utilized by villagers for educational, research, and village economic reasons.
Training will be elaborated upon in the near future.
Costs for training with vary, however approxiately $55000+ including community centre infrastructure and equipment. Funding for this will be ongoing.
Stage 3 – Implementation ongoing
Rescue and Rehabilitation Center for human/animal conflict animals.
In what could be the most challenging of all aspects of the Guardian Project, is the hope for development of quick response specialized teams which would be on call 24/7 to deploy into areas where a Tiger, Leopard, Lion, Bear etc is deemed as either 1. Dangerous to humans, 2. In danger of injury, 3.Injured, 4. Trapped, 5. Territorial conflicts animals, 6. Sick, 7. Or any animal, which poses a threat to the human population or the human population poses a threat to it.
This part of the Guardian Project aims to implement a rescue and rehabilitation center to hold any of the above mentioned animals in a ethical facility for the sole purpose of rehab and release back into the wild. Prior to any release, specialised teams consisting of experienced locals and members of Cee4life and any other NGO’s and professionals, will thoroughly research a safe release area. This part of the Guardian Project will be ongoing as there is alot to this, and it is urgently needed.
Costs for training and equipment – approximately $100000+ – funding raising willl be ongoing
As with all of this, it sounds wonderful, however nothing is possible without the finances to do this.
Within Thailand, there are a great deal of animals that are used for tourism. Many of these creatures endure very unethical care.
Thailand is also a country where the wildlife trade of animals occurs frequently.
Over the last 6 years, Cee4life has been trying to educate tourists to Thailand who intend on visiting captive animals, to choose and support the ethical places to visit and not to visit places of obvious exploitation.
Here is a recent documentary filmed with SBS Dateline and Cee4life director Sybelle Foxcroft – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGD_p8HX2Vo
We have been able to liaise with Thai Animal Rights Group, A Call to Animal Rights and intend on building our connections with them to help spread the education further into the Thai community.
Animals are heavily relied upon by some people for their income, so extreme sensitivity and good communication skills are vital for this. Cee4life is going to attempt to do this with the help of our Thai friends and liaison with the Thai Government.
Within Thailand, there is an estimated 200 Indochinese Tigers left in the wild. The main cause of their disappearance is the wildlife trade.
The sad fact of the matter is that there are many people who do not understand the importance the Apex predators role is in regard to ecological balance. We will attempt to address this issue on an educational basis also.
We are also hoping to attend the CITES convention in March 2013 where the issues mentioned above and more will be discussed, and with hope, we can find a way to ease the pressure off the Tigers.
With all of this work, we are aiming for the Thai and Indian people to join in and carrying the employee load. It is very important to have the support from in country people in order for the education and the work to spread.
We are seeking funding on a variety of levels including, sponsorship, Government grants, and donations.
If you can donate, please go to the registered Charity “Wildlife Calling” http://www.wildlifecalling.org.uk/index.php where you can donate via bank account or via paypal. On your donation, please stimpulate Cee4life Guardian. All donations within UK and tax agreement countries are tax deductable.
For any sponsorship offers please contact either – email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a massive undertaking and very ambitious. However, these things are vitally needed and if we dont try to make a start to remedy or even stem some of these situations occurring with our wildlife, then we will loose many species.
Cee4life is dedicated to do this for the endurance or until we can save lives, both human and animals.
I hope you will support our efforts, and I look forward to some of you joining us.
and all of the Cee4life team.
Please sign and share. I wrote this letter called “Dear China” in late 2011. The attachment is the original letter I wrote, please read the original letter. Occupy for Animals has created a petition for this letter found at http://www.change.org/petitions/letter-to-china-dear-china?utm_campaign=friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=permissions_dialog_false Please sign and share, far and wide, if you agree. Thankyou ~ Sybelle
Dear China – by Sybelle Foxcroft (Cee4life)
January 3, 2012 at 6:47 am (World)
Ive been wanting to write to you for a long long time, but always thought that my letters would not reach you or get to the right people. But there is some things that have been on my mind for a while and I decided to give it another go and write to you.
I have great concern and a number of questions about animals, not only the animals in your country, but the animals in other countries. The concerns I have is about your menu in resturants, the selection of meat that you feel the need to consume, the treatment of animals, and animals in general.
You may not wish to answer me, but you should. The reason why you should answer is because these are questions and facts that possibly over half of the world would like to know the answers to.
Before I ask you these questions, I would like to outline a few chinese historical and cultural subjects ie: your beliefs, your culture, and your moral ground.
But of course with all civilisations and generations of human beings, time moves forward and we learn and grow. Sometimes we learn that things we did years ago were wrong or outdated. For instance I am pretty sure that you know that your inventions such as the shaddow clocks and the abacas used for mathematical and astronomical observations are obviously outdated in this modern age. The shaddow clock has become a decorative item used in gardens and a watch worn to tell the time on our wrist, an abacus is now a calculator, and astronomical observations is done via powerful computer technology and instruments such as the Hubble Telescope.
So things change, and although these above mentioned items were great accomplishments at the time and part of your cultural evolution, they are outdated and are part of history. And lets face it, in this day and age they are items which you wouldnt choose to use unless you had to.
I would just like you to clarify a few things for me.
Its come to the worlds attention, that China, in particular, seems to have an appetite for any creature on the planet. This includes your procurement of critically endangered species from other countries, usually through the wildlife trade, or some other type of black market operation.
The reason I know these facts are true is because of education.
Education is a wonderful thing. Not only does it teach us maths and languages, it also teaches us about our earth and environment.
I had a look at the Chinese education system and ciriculum and became aware that you do actually teach about plant and animal species and conservation. But there must be some sort of breakdown in communication because China is now at the forefront of open animal abuse and the extinction of species via the black market for things like status, eliteness, and Traditional Chinese Medicines.
Going back to your historical and cultural background, Traditional Chinese Medicine theory is based on ancient Daoist philosophical and religious conceptions of balance and opposites, ie:yin and yang, and other metaphysical belief systems. TCM includes herbs,minerals, acupuncture, tuina massage therapy, dietary therapy and animal & human body part use.
Which brings me to my first question.
As with all other Chinese historical and cultural science & technology, you moved forward once you found better ways to do things, once a newer technique was found. The older designs were disguarded and classed as outdated science and technology, no longer relevant in an evolving society.
Please tell me,(and the world), why have you chosen to stagnate with Chinese Traditional Medicines (TCM)?
It is a known fact that TCM animal body part use was based not on the anatomical study of the human body, but was based on the astrological calculations and complex associations with gods.
Historically and culturally TCM animal body part remedies came from the identification of an animal behaviour or body part which was then applied to the corresponding human part and/or behavior. These theorised remedies were then sold to people to help or cure by applying the animal predispositions corresponding to human dispositions. Basically it was all made up via myths and legends.
As civilisation moved forward, so did the advanced knowledge of scientific medicines. For many years, it has been known, world wide, that TCM animal body part use is soley based on theory with very few, if any, of the medical claims curing or helping any ailment. Over the years scientific medicines have been created to treat diseases and ailments which are by far more advanced than what TCM animal body part use theoretically offered.
The Rhinoceros Horn – TCM states that Rhino horn is used as an ‘anti-fever’ remedy, and some use it as beauty tonic. Science has proven the Rhino horn is only keratin, just like our hair and finger nails. And science has proven keratin has no anti fever or beauty tonic qualities. So why havent you advanced in this outdated theorised medicinal use of the Rhino? It doesnt do anything for a human being. Is it pride? arrogance? Whatever your theoretical or more mythical reasons are China, your continued use of the Rhino horn, and these ancient outdated beliefs are driving the Rhino to extinction. Arent you embarrassed? Ashamed? If you want keratin, I am sure the people who actually live in the countries where the Rhino is would gladly begin giving you their fingernail and toenail cuttings if you would only get out of their backyard and leave their Rhino alone. Actually, I think people all over the world would give you their hair and nail clippings. Problem solved!
Not only is it foolish to continue to state inaccurate medicinal uses of the Rhino horn, but it is also a vile act where you are allowing the black market corruption to flourish in your own country, while other countries are suffering the infiltration of warlord type personalities, desicrating their beloved species.
Your continued cultural medicinal theorised significance of the Tiger in TCM, is not only false and based on nothing but heresay, (sorry, outdated cultural & historical & mythical medicine) but you have successfully hunted your own tiger sub-species (Sth Chinese Tiger) to extinction and you now procure off other countries species again, in this case the Tiger. Knowing that you think of the tiger as a walking drug store, I would love to sit down and discuss/disprove all of these theorised things. So I will address one of the nastier TCM claims – Tiger penis soup – used for increasing virility. This came about because someone in history saw the tiger mating numerous times per day and thought that by cutting the tigers penis off, making it into a soup and drinking it, it would correspond to a human penis and make them virile. What you didnt know, but do now, is that the tiger mates rarely, maybe once or twice per year, depending on a few factors. But at the time, mating occurs repeatedly. But the tiger penis is nothing but another organ of meat. So basically your TCM tiger penis soup is a meat soup which may contain a bit of iron. I am sure male TCM penis soup users will be horrified to know not only does it do nothing for them, but even if the benefits were true, and staying true to your anatomical mythical beliefs, it would only be for men who want to mate once or twice a year….
Modern medical science has produced medicines which aid impotence in men. In addition your own TCM herbal remedies such as Ginseng, Horny Goat Weed actually do more for virility than a meat soup. And of course viagra has hit the market.
China there is not 100 000 tigers running around in the wild, there is only a possible estimated 3000 tigers in the wild, from Russia to Sumatra. Your belief in your cultural rights and your stubborn inability to act and stop the slaughter of this species is the reason the tiger is spiralling to extinction in the wild.
Anyway, lets put logic aside.
Can you explain to me why China needs to procure off other countries species?
Its pretty rude, and its not like it is going un noticed…. What would you do if the Panda suddenly became a source of food for another country other than China & war lords were killing the last remaining Panda’s? Just something for you to think about.
What about Bear Bile? What are you thinking? Moon bears and Asiatic Black Bears seem to be your bear of choice. Yes the bear has higher ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), however your herbal plants coptis and rubarb are great alternatives, and even many of your own Chinese doctors refuse to use bear bile.
Snake Oil – this is puzzling. Snake Oil is used for maladies, however no replicated studies has proven any benefits of it for joint pain. Why arent you phasing out snake oil and promoting your very own balms made of plants that actually are proven to work?
Culture, history? or is it something else?.
Look, I could go on forever about the vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered species that you want to use in theoretical, outdated, disproven medicines but I want to ask you about your menu.
Shark fin soup – this has got to one of the biggest scams yet. China you have promoted shark soup as an ‘elite’ soup, as soup of ‘status’ and because you did that, the massive indiscrimanent slaughter of millions of sharks have brought some species to the brink of extinction. Its not elite or carries status. Try some mushroom soup or asparagus, very elite and served for Kings and Queens, and if Im not mistaken Emperors too. The truth is, shark fins are only used for the texture of the soup, not the taste. The texture can be replicated with cornstarch, and the taste comes from other ingredients. Please stop this.
I am wondering why you put the Masked Palm Civet on the menu? I would just like to inform you that the palm civet is a known carrier of SARS virus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) which the WHO (World Health Organisation) informed you of prior to you placing it on menu’s. Do the Chinese people even know about this? I have a piece of useful information for you, your chinese citizens would know alot more if you would stop firewalling and blocking this sort of information.
Hippopotamus – what was Beijing Zoo thinking by putting the webbed toes of the Hippoptamus on the menu, along with most of the other zoo animals there. Its not really a tourist draw card.
And up in Wenzhou, the serving of rare Pangolins, Black Swans, & Bharal in resturants. Another example of false TCM and your seemingly strange obsession with keratin. The Pangolin is considered a delicacy and TCM use of their scales said to reduce swelling and help breast feeding etc. Pangolin scales are keratin. You know this, stop it!
Flying squirrel faeces – I havent got much to say about this but I just want to let you know that it is scientifically proven that Flying squirrel faeces is directly linked to Typhus fever. A horrible disease.
Also, you might want to rethink your Chinese astrological charts and the reasons why these animals were chosen. Let me explain this. Eg: The tiger is linked in your historical and cultural past as likening emperors and great people to it. Words like valiant, respected, mighty, and strong are used, but you are destroying and extinguishing your own legend with your insatiable appetite. You might want to choose some additional species for your zodiac pretty soon because you are annilhilating a number of them off the face of the earth.
I just want to remind you that you are a signatory of the CITES agreement since 08/01/1981. Does that hold any type of significance to you? Because it doesnt look like it does. Your words indicated to the world that you would abide by the protection of species, however your actions speak the opposite. I apologise now if I am wrong but your track record is shameful.
For a country which has made major advances, you are failing and betraying the very planet that you need, to survive. Your Panda breeding program is brilliant, however do not think for one moment that this allows or entitles you to mindless annilhilation of any other species, in the name of cultural historical rights.
What will you do when the last Tiger or Rhino or Pangolin etc is gone? Well, when it comes to the Tiger, the horrible thing is that I can actually answer that already. The Lion has begun to replace the Tiger in TCM, particularly wines. And you have begun to do this because of what? The tigers are still here, for now. Do you see the end in sight for the tigers? Do you already know that you wont stop the killing? Will you not stop the false Great Cat TCM use?
China, you have alienated yourself across the world and youre seen by many as a giant vaccum sucking up the worlds natural resources, inflicting brutalities upon our earths creatures and a destructor of species.
But, you can stop this growing perception of China, you only have to say the magic word, Stop, and then do the most vitally important thing in your nations history, to truely act on it and Stop. I can guarantee that if you did it would show a little long sort after leadership.
I do look forward to a response from you and any clarification of my thought, questions, etc, and I would be more than happy to sit down and discuss these issues with you.
I know that you feel you are a mighty country and that you do not feel that you need to answer to anyone, and I am just one, possibly meaningless, person to you. But your countries integrity is crumbling to dust because you have disrespected species from virtually every country in the world and whether you like it or not, you are the cause of the extinction of numerous revered creatures.
You do not have the right to this systematic genocide of species, you never did.
Conservation and Environmental Education 4 Life (Australia)
Occupy for Animals has created a petition for this letter found at http://www.change.org/petitions/letter-to-china-dear-china?utm_campaign=friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=permissions_dialog_false
These, er, lions-of-sight showed that males and females hunt in different types of terrain. On average, the females dispatch their prey at places where they can see for 8.6 metres around them. Males, however, kill at sites with thicker cover, where they can only see for 3.4 metres around. So while females cooperate to chase prey across open terrain, males are more likely to be ambush-hunters, launching attacks from long grass or dense shrubs.
These results help to explain why male and female lions are equally matched killers. Males were traditionally thought to be less successful than females, but recent studies put both sexes on a par with each other. But why? How do males succeed as solo operators when the females can rely on teamwork?
WCS has been working in Bhadra Tiger Reserve since the late 1980’s. WCS’s partners led by DV Girish and other local conservationists have strongly pushed for increased protection in the reserve, and fought against forest exploitation, illegal settlements, and development projects that would have damaged the area. Scientific data collected by WCS show that on account of conservation measures, prey numbers have doubled and tiger numbers are on the rise. Bhadra stands out as a model of tiger conservation success that affirms the value of the ‘source site’ strategy advocated by WCS for recovering wild tigers.
By Siba Mohanty| ENS – BHUBANESWAR
26th March 2013 01:09 PM
Shocking as it may sound, Satkosia Tiger Reserve seems headed the Sariska way. Dwindling tiger signs and absence of breeding since two years in the habitat have rung alarm bells for Odisha’s second tiger reserve (TR).
In the 2010 enumeration by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the tiger population was estimated at eight. A host of factors now indicates that the number may have declined drastically. Although the management of the tiger reserve is collecting tiger signs from the prime habitats, they have been declining and are discouraging to say the least.
According to sources, camera traps installed in the tiger reserve have shown signs of existence of large cats, but the population is reported to have hit the nadir. Already designated a low tiger density reserve, the drop in population may push the large cats into extinction in Satkosia soon. The number at present could well be just one or two and unless urgent measures are taken, there would be none left in near future.
‘’Tiger population does not seem to be thriving since there are no signs of cubs with mothers or even juveniles to suggest that breeding is taking place and the cycle is going on. This could be fatal to the population,’’ said a source in Satkosia. Interestingly, prey base in the tiger habitat, which is connected to the tiger habitats of Central and Southern Odisha and onwards to the Central India tiger landscape, has improved over the last few years. The population of wild boar, spotted deer and sambhar has jumped significantly, but there has been no sign of an improvement in tiger population.
The Satkosia TR management too is aware of the impending crisis. “Prey base has improved and so has the habitat and there is no incident of poaching and no sign of repopulation. It may have to do with the sex ratio of the existing population,” Field Director Pandav Behera told “Express” on Monday.
Sources said skewed the sex ratio could be a major reason behind the crash in the tiger population in Satkosia. “Camera traps had captured an adult male in Labangi about three months back and it suggested existence of the last few. But absence of growth in population indicates that there is either no female and even if there is, it is not in the breeding age anymore,” sources added. Worryingly, all the photographs captured in the reserve area are of the same male tiger.
The tiger that is currently roaming the forests of Chandaka Wildlife Division is believed to have strayed from Satkosia and may have been a key indicator of what is wrong with the latter. Wildlife Wing insiders say the male may have been out on the lookout for a female for mating. Satkosia was declared a TR in 2007 with 524 sq km as core area out of the 963 sq km reserve area. The NTCA in its Management Effectiveness Evaluation Report 2010-11 had categorically pointed out Satkosia had “poor protection, little wildlife orientation and no monitoring,” asking for urgent redressal. But the State has not made any effort yet.
* The number at present could well be just one or two and unless urgent measures are taken, there would be none left in near future
* The population of wild boar, spotted deer and sambhar has jumped significantly but there has been no sign of an improvement in tiger population.
A newly proposed Illinois bill could make the land of Lincoln the first U.S. state to make the sale of lion meat illegal.
The proposal, HB 2991, was filed late last month by state Rep. Luis Arroyo, a Chicago Democrat, and was assigned Thursday to the state’s Agriculture & Conservation Committee.
The bill would make it illegal for anyone in Illinois “to slaughter a lion or for any person to possess, breed, import or export from this State, buy, or sell lions for the purpose of slaughter.” Any violation of a provision of the proposed law would be a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. To our knowledge, no other state has a law on the books specifically banning the sale of lion meat.
The sale of lion meat is controversial — but legal, currently — in the United States and has had ties to the Chicago area: Czimer’s Game & Sea Foods, an exotic meat supplier based in Homer Glen, previously supplied the meat of an endangered species that was being passed off as “lion” meat to a restauranteur and its owner received a six-month prison sentence.
When HuffPost Chicago reached out to the office of the bill’s chief sponsor for comment, Rep. Arroyo’s staff was unaware of the legislation but promised to follow up.
According to a previous GOOD story, much of the lion meat being sold in the United States can be traced to Czimer’s — but how the suburban Chicago shop procures its inventory has remained a mystery.
While the African lion is currently not listed as an endangered species that is federally protected, that could change before too long: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last fall that the lions may soon receive the protection as their populations have declined by about 50 percent over the last three decades.
Animal-rights groups are currently pushing the USDA to ban the sale of lion meat nationally. As of Friday morning, over 158,000 people have signed onto a Change.org petition with that aim.
Meanwhile, restaurants’ publicity-grabbing exotic game dinners featuring lion burgers at various restaurants throughout the country have often been canceled in recent months amid a vocal backlash from animal-rights activists.
We work with a million+ children across India to save tigers. Spread the word. Be a part of Sanctuary wherever you are. On March 21, International Day of Forests, Sanctuary will mobilise thousands of children to rally publicly behind the tiger. Visit www.sanctuaryasia.com and register. Don’t get angry… get involved.
The cheetah is the world’s fastest land mammal. It can run at speeds of up to 70 miles an hour (113 kilometers an hour).
An adult lion‘s roar can be heard up to five miles (eight kilometers) away.
Long, muscular hind legs enable snow leopards to leap seven times their own body length in a single bound.
A tiger’s stripes are like fingerprints—no two animals have the same pattern.
The strongest climber among the big cats, a leopard can carry prey twice its weight up a tree.
The Amur leopard is one of the most endangered animals in the world.
In one stride, a cheetah can cover 23 to 26 feet (7 to 8 meters).
The name “jaguar” comes from a Native American word meaning “he who kills with one leap.”
In the wild, lions live for an average of 12 years and up to 16 years. They live up to 25 years in captivity.
The mountain lion and the cheetah share an ancestor.
Cheetahs do not roar, as the other big cats do. Instead, they purr.
Tigers are excellent swimmers and do not avoid water.
A female Amur leopard gives birth to one to four cubs in each litter.
Fossil records from two million years ago show evidence of jaguars.
Lions are the only cats that live in groups, called prides. Every female within the pride is usually related.
The leopard is the most widespread of all big cats.
Mountain lions are strong jumpers, thanks to muscular hind legs that are longer than their front legs.
Tigers have been hunted for their skin, bones, and other body parts, used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Unlike other cats, lions have a tuft of hair at the end of their tails.
After humans, mountain lions have the largest range of any mammal in the Western Hemisphere.
A female leopard photographed during an Eyes on Africa photosafari that I led in Botswana. Taken with a Canon 1Dmk4, Canon EF 300 f2.8 IS. Shutter speed 1/640sec at f/4, Iso 800. The cat moved through this tract of riverine forest, and at one stage turned to look back, making it possible for me to capture this image 🙂
“Calcutta spans the edge of the Sunderbans. Skins and whole carcasses are the most commonly seized items, although seizures at this hotspot have reduced during the most recent period (2010-12),” said the study conducted by three non-profit agencies, including the WWF.
The study, titled “Reduced to Skin and Bones Revisited”, is based on seizures of live tigers and body parts between 2000 and 2012 in 13 south Asian nations. These include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
The study mentions 1,425 seizures in all. India, which has the largest tiger population among the nations, had the most cases at 336. Cambodia reported none.
According to the report, “an average of 110 tigers were killed for trade per year or over two per week” from 2010 to 2012, the last few years of the over decade-long study.
“Since only a fraction of tigers in illegal trade is intercepted by law-enforcement (agencies), the scale of the criminal activity represents a serious threat to the survival of wild tigers, generally considered to number as low as 3,200 (worldwide),” said the report.
Most of the “hotspots” are close to reserves. Calcutta is near the Sunderbans and Ramnagar near the Corbett National Park. The central region covers the Kanha and the Pench parks. The Western Ghats are home to the Sathyamangalam reserve in Tamil Nadu.
The exception is Delhi, which isn’t near a reserve and where seizures have been attributed to security as it is the national capital.
“The report has correctly homed in on the hotbeds but nothing can be done to stop this illegal trade unless the spokes of the trade, spread all over the wilderness, are cut off,” wildlife expert Bittu Sahgal said. He suggested the comparatively lower seizures —and possibly less poaching — in the Sunderbans in recent years could be linked to the tough terrain of the marshy delta.
But seizures in the central region —towns like Jabalpur and Balaghat — and the Western Ghats region “persisted throughout” the past decade, the study said.
“The analysis provides clear evidence that illegal trade in tigers, their parts and products persists as a major conservation concern,” says the report whose co-authors are TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The study offers India a consolation, though: no live tigers were seized despite a sharp increase elsewhere that the report flagged as “the most significant finding”. Of the 123 such cases since 2000, almost half, or 61, were reported in the past three years (2010-12). Thailand topped the list.
NTCA move to counter poaching
A high alert has been declared in the tiger-bearing forest areas of the State as part of a countrywide exercise. Chief Wildlife Warden V. Gopinathan told The Hindu that the alert had been declared following an advice from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to step up vigil in such areas.
The NTCA advice to the Chief Wildlife Wardens and other authorities of tiger range States came in the wake of an incident last week in which a tiger was poached at the Melghat Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. Authorities of the reserve arrested four persons in this connection on Monday.
Rajesh Goyal, Additional Director General of Forests (Project Tiger) and Member Secretary of NTCA, who issued the advice, said that the body parts of the poached tiger could not be recovered and that those arrested had links to an alleged Delhi-based poacher, Ranjit Singh Bhawaria alias Khawalya.
In the wake of the development “it goes without saying that there is a strong possibility of wandering gangs of professional poachers targeting our tiger-bearing forests which in turn calls for due vigil and caution,” Mr. Goyal said in his advice issued on Tuesday.
Mr. Gopinathan said that apart from the two tiger reserves of the State, tigers had been sighted at most of the forests in the State. It meant that a good portion of the State’s forest areas were tiger ranges too. This called for high alert and extra vigil in all forest areas of the State in the wake of the NTCA sounding the alert.
Though the forest areas of Kollam district were not popular as tiger range areas, images of tigers were taken by a camera trap in the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary of the district. Earlier only circumstantial evidence such as tiger kills and pug marks were cited to show the presence of the big cat in the district. Mr. Gopinathan said that the tiger population of the State was estimated in vicinity of 70 to 100.
There are 57 dogs per sq km in Aarey; report prepared by a biologist and forest department states that leopards enter human settlements to prey upon the canines
The report prepared by Biologist and Principal Researcher Vidya Athreya, along with Forest department officials, as a part of the ‘Mumbaikars for SGNP’ was finally made public on Thursday. The report has brought some shocking facts to the fore, one of which was the main reason behind increasing number of leopard attacks in Aarey Colony could be attributed to the presence of 700 stray dogs on its premises. In addition, big cat images captured by setting camera traps revealed there were 21 leopards in Borivli national park and Aarey Colony.
Experts say most of the attacks that took place in Aarey were because of human error, and if people minimise dumping of garbage, then it would be possible to avert such incidents. File pic
The report also provided answers to the questions raised by a few experts about leopards leaving forests and entering human settlement in search of prey due to shortage in the forest. A study of herbivores suggested that overall population of chital and sambar, natural prey of leopard, was abundant in the central, southern and western part of the park. The report also stated low density of wild pig and four-horned antelope in the park.
Athreya said, “A minimum of 21 adult leopards were identified using camera trap images in SGNP and the surrounding areas of Aarey Colony. We also did a study on the dog population, which provides easy prey base to leopards, and was estimated in and around Aarey Colony through direct visual count. The area has high density of approximate 57 dogs per sq km. Occurrence of fire, followed by local collection of wood, grass and fruits among others, seemed to be the most common forms of human disturbance and therefore the park management may need to address these threats first. It is recommended that positive human presence (forest department and wildlife viewers) be increased in the northern and eastern parts of the park.”
Later, mediapersons were briefed on the biodiversity of the national park and were taken for a visit to Tulsi lake and sites of leopard attack in Aarey Colony. After visiting the sites, experts pointed out that leopard attacks in Aarey could be reduced if the area is kept clean, and people avoid going in to bushes after dark to answer nature’s call. Wildlife Expert Krishna Tiwari, “Most of the attacks that took place in Aarey were because of human mistake, as people who were attacked by leopards were usual in a crouching position. If dumping of garbage and cattle carcasses is stopped, then we can avert leopard attacks.”
The issue of trapping leopards was also mulled and experts said forest department trapping big cats was not a good idea, as it would only worsen the human-leopard conflict. Athreya said, “Whenever an animal from one area is captured, another animal comes and occupies it space. Research done in the past has shown that translocation of animal or releasing the trapped animal at another location only worsens the issue in the area where the animal is released.”
Mumbaikars for SGNP Project
This yearlong project was initiated primarily to address the human-leopard conflict in SGNP. It was a collaborative effort between the Forest Department, Centre for Wildlife Studies (Bangalore) and members of civil society to try and understand more about the conflict and plan for future mitigatory actions to ease the problem in terms of management/research action and policy. The project had set tasks like obtaining baseline data on number of leopards in SGNP, assessing prey population, both wild and domestic, identifying patterns of conflict to derive logical explanations, assessing stakeholders’ perception and dissemination of the research findings among stakeholders.
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The name “lynx” originated in Middle English via Latin from the Greek word “λύγξ”, derived from the Indo-European
root “*leuk-“, meaning “light, brightness”, in reference to
the luminescence of its reflective eyes is considerable confusion about the best way to classify felids at present, and some authorities classify them as part of the genus Felis.
Radio collaring tigers in a mixed use landscape
Most information about Sumatran tigers comes from conflict tigers that have been rescued, radio-collared and released. These tigers have been successfully relocated and settled down. Long term data on how tigers use their habitats, however, cannot be derived from these tigers as the collars often fail within a year. This new initiative aims to use newer GPS collars that have a longer life and the ability for the tiger to ‘send an email’ to the researcher every 24 hours detailing its movements. The behaviour of conflict tigers is, by definition, not necessarily the same as non-conflict or “normal” tigers
First the tigers have to be caught…
Study area is South Sumatra, a mixed landscape of a large National Park and several small protected areas. Forested areas in between are made up of concessions for palm oil, forestry, oil and gas. Through camera trapping it is known that tigers and other wildlife are using these areas.
WVI big cat specialist, John Lewis has worked with the Indonesian Department of Forestry (PHKA) and ZSL over the years to assist with training vets and field staff in safe immobilisation of conflict tigers, sample taking and storage protocols and disease management.
This new and exciting phase of tiger conservation in Sumatra is wholly inclusive of all stakeholders in the area and will add an important piece to the jigsaw of tiger ecology.
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Picture of the Day!
Brother’s Pancho and Temuco taking a power nap.
MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (03/07/2013) —African lions and villagers would benefit from fences to protect them from each other, according to a new study by University of Minnesota researcher Craig Packer published online by Ecology Letters on Tuesday, March 5.
Fencing has long been anathema to most conservationists, but Packer said it offers the best hope for saving iconic African wildlife, an undertaking that will require sweeping measures rather than piecemeal efforts. In an interview, he called for an international “Marshall Plan” to erect fences where possible to protect people, lions, elephants and other threatened wildlife species.
Most African governments don’t have the resources to protect people and wildlife from each other, but without a massive increase in conservation funding nearly half of unfenced lion populations could decline to near extinction over the next 20-40 years. And in the long run, it would be more cost-effective to maintain lion populations in fenced reserves.
For the study, Packer and 57 colleagues compared population densities and management practices across 42 sites in 11 countries. Fenced reserves maintained lions at 80 percent of their potential population capacity on annual management budgets of about $500 per square kilometer, while unfenced populations required an average of $2,000 per square kilometer each year to remain at just 50 percent of their capacity.
“Even though lion habitat has been reduced by at least 75 percent over the last century, more still remains than can possibly be conserved,” said Packer, a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. “Several of Africa’s most famous wildlife areas involve large-scale migrations of wildebeest and zebra that could never be enclosed within a fenced reserve, so the lions’ last stand should be thought out carefully in terms of those places that can safely be fenced and those that will be worth the enormous monetary investments because they can’t be fenced.”
As encroaching civilization has brought people and lions into much closer proximity the incidence of lion attacks on humans and livestock has increased substantially. Not surprisingly, villagers retaliate by killing lions to protect their families and their livestock.
“We must never lose sight of the fact that the costs of lion conservation ultimately derive from the need to protect people from these animals,” said Packer. And lions are not alone in causing widespread human misery. “Elephants are in crisis, too, and although they are largely being decimated by ivory poachers, there’s little support for elephant conservation in rural villages because of the enormous damage they cause to crops. A fence that is lion-proof is also elephant-proof, so a well-designed policy of fencing would protect more than just lions.”
Because the findings from the Ecology Letters paper present such an enormous challenge for African governments and conservationists, the best hope may be to advocate for a “Marshall Plan” for African wildlife conservation, Packer said.
“If we’re serious about this, it means establishing fences around very large areas, such as the Selous Game Reserve, which is home to the largest remaining lion population in the world. Fencing the Selous, which covers an area of about 17,000 square miles, would cost something like $30 million. None of the world’s conservation agencies could afford that, but perhaps a global funding agency for developing countries would do it because fencing would protect humans as well as lions.”
Packer’s own research has focused on lions in Serengeti National Park for the past 35 years. The world’s most distinguished lion researcher, his studies are reported widely by national and international media.
College of Biological Sciences faculty conduct research in all areas of biology, from molecules to ecosystems, and apply findings create new strategies for feeding the world’s growing population while restoring its ecosystems, developing renewable energy, and improving human health.
Forest guards came across the dead tiger cub in Bechauri range during routine patrolling, forest officials said.
The cub is less than a year old, they said, adding a post mortem is being conducted to ascertain the cause of its death.
Dehradun, Mar 8 (PTI) Two persons were arrested for allegedly poisoning a tiger at Gohri range of Rajaji National Park on February 7, a senior park official today said. Ghani and Saddam Hussain, who belong to the forest dwelling Gujjar community, were arrested from Gohri range of the park last evening by a combined team of SOG and wildlife personnel, Rajaji National Park Deputy Director H K Singh said. Preliminary investigations have revealed that they had poisoned the tiger after two buffaloes belonging to the community were killed by the big cat, he said. The carcass of a four-year-old tiger and a pig had been recovered by a patrol team of wildlife personnel at the Rajaji National Park on February 7. As the limbs of the tiger including its nails and teeth were intact, park authorities had suspected that it had been poisoned to death as the mutilated body of a pig was also found lying about 600 metres away from where the carcass of the tiger had been found. It was suspected that the tiger died after preying on the pig which was poisoned. Indian Veterinary Research Institute Bareilly later confirmed that traces of a poison named Organo Chlorine were found in the viscera of the tiger as well as the pig it had partially eaten, Singh said. Ghani and Husaain had allegedly sprayed the poison on the body of the pig, the tiger’s prey causing its death, he said. Out of the nine tigers at the park, it was the only one with reproductive powers with the rest of them being either too young or too old to procreate, park authorities said.PTI Corr ALM DV
Could the death toll of tigers seized during raids in January rise to 35?
Claims are being made by wildlife activists in India that the two raids in Nepal conducted in January could be much worse than first appears. In the raids Nepalese police seized 7 tigers skins and 53kg of tiger bones. Activists are saying they have been informed that 140 canine teeth were included in the haul meaning at least 35 tigers were killed.
The claims are being made by former vice-chairman of Uttarakhand’s Forest and Environment Advisory Committee Anil Baluni. He says he has been told that the haul of tiger parts included 140 canine teeth and with each tiger having 4 canine then at least 35 tigers must have been killed.
Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Administration and Intelligence, and chief of the Anti-Poaching Cell, SK Dutt said he was not aware of the claims of the canines being part of the haul but that telephone communications between Uttarakhand and Nepal is not ideal.
The authorities in India don’t seem to be aware of this information. The Uttarakhand Forest department, too, has done nothing since the details of this seizure were revealed.
Dutt explained that while a team has been set up to visit Nepal as part of the investigations into the tiger poaching so far they have not been dispatched.
Baluni said, “The authorities in India don’t seem to be aware of this information. The Uttarakhand Forest department, too, has done nothing since the details of this seizure were revealed”.
Many of the tigers that pass through Nepal on the way to the markets in China are thought to originate in Uttarakhand and its tiger reserves. If the number of tigers in the 2 seizures do numbers at least 35 then this would be a devastating blow to the tiger population in the state. The last tiger census in 2012 put the number of tigers at over 235 – up from 178 in 2008.
If the claims of the canines are true and the tigers originate from Uttarakhand then almost 15% of the states tiger population could have been wiped out.