Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘wildlife’

The First Treehugger

A tall tale from Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.

The redwoods in Asia, being especially tall, were a favorite of Abbott Tova. She loved to climb as high as she could and observe life from above. She saw wildlife, people in the village, travelers on the road, and her sisters in the community below. Seeing that her excursions climbing the ancient ones were made in secret, she often witnessed events and scenes that others were not aware of.

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One day, she saw a herd of rampaging river otters approaching the village and was able to scamper down the tree and go warn people of their approach just in time. Many lives were saved. Some thought the Abbott must be clairvoyant for knowing of the approaching otters, not knowing of her climbing feats.

On another day, the Abbott watched a bandit attack a lone farmer on the road and steal his money. She knew who the bandit was and was later able to assist in his capture and testify at his trail, as to what he was wearing that day and at what time it had taken place.

There was the time Abbott Tova saw Sister Kiva sneaking off with Sister Bhakti to make love in the meadow. In that case there was no need to do anything, other than turn her attention elsewhere.

As was the case with Abbott Tova’s ability to remain still and blend in with her surroundings in the garden for hour upon hour, so it was in the trees where she often lost track of time and became so engrossed and selfless that she could feel the sap flowing through her veins and her limbs transferring the sun’s light into energy through her skin.

Without it being called so at the time, Abbott Tova was the first known tree hugger. Her actions gave rise to a long line of environmentalists and forest advocates, including, Pocahontas, Johnny Appleseed, John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Chico Mendes, Wangari Maathai, and Julia “Butterfly” Hill. It also gave her a great advantage in “seeing” the future, making predictions, and others believing she was omnipotent, which she would never deny, nor confirm.

More vast and small stories at: Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.

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Indiscriminate Killing

dolphin_FOIA_bycatchOff the coast of California, giant mile-long fishing nets are left to “soak” overnight. In the morning, fisherman pull up their catch – and that catch often includes dead dolphins, with water in their lungs and netting dug into their skin.

These dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles and whales struggle to escape, but the nets are so massive and strong that it’s nearly impossible. Trapped, they struggle until they run out of air.

For the fishing industry using these walls of death, dead dolphins are just another part of doing business.

Enough is enough. Oceana’s new report has identified these drift gillnets as among the top offenders in the nation – and now it’s time to hold them accountable and change these devastating practices.

Our new report on the needless waste and death of marine wildlife revealed some truly horrifying numbers. Nine U.S. fisheries fish so indiscriminately that they have to throw out almost as much as they bring to shore, and much of this wasted catch dies before or after being tossed overboard.

These fishing practices irreversibly harm our precious ocean ecosystems, indiscriminately killing animals big and small, and leaving millions of edible fish like cod and halibut sinking dead to the bottom of the sea.

Simple changes—like switching from giant nets to selective harpoons—would make a huge difference, and we need the help of ocean-lovers like you to make them a reality. Your gift today will help Oceana push for stronger enforcement and better regulations to minimize wasted catch, put pressure on these fisheries to do the right thing, and protect the amazing animals who call our oceans home.

But stopping them won’t be easy. We will need to influence legislation, put people on the ground, and keep the story in the press to get these fisheries to clean up their act. Put simply, we won’t be able to do it without people like you standing behind us.

Please, help make the difference for dolphins and sea turtles. Chip in by midnight on Friday to join Oceana in the fight to protect ocean wildlife in the U.S. and around the world. »

These fisheries are driven by profits – not what’s right. Changing their ways is going to take time and money. Your help is critical to keep up the fight so that we can continue to put pressure on the worst offenders and the federal government to enforce stronger common-sense regulations.

I’m so glad we have you with us for these critical fights.

For the oceans,
Susan Murray
Deputy Vice President, Pacific
Oceana

Red-tailed Hawk of Central Park

Dear Gabriel,

Pale Male, the red-tailed hawk of Central Park, was the first hawk known to build its nest on a building rather than in a tree. He’s lived in the city for more than two decades now and produced many offspring — many of which have survived thanks to the work of Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation (WINNOR).

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But this crucial group could be shut down by the town of Oyster Bay, Long Island. Care2 member Robin Lynn started a petition to save WINNOR and is delivering the signatures on Tuesday. Sign now to help her convince Oyster Bay to back down.

WINNOR has worked for more than a decade to help wildlife in need in the the New York City area. They have federal and state licenses for wildlife rehabilitation and help animals from ducks to foxes thrive in this developed area.

But after Oyster Bay residents allegedly complained, the town has decided ducks, turkeys, hawks and baby foxes are “dangerous animals,” thus making it illegal to keep them in a residential area under a town ordinance. If the suit goes forward, it could wreck the whole organization.

There are just a few days left to make our voices heard. Tell Oyster Bay you want WINNOR to keep protecting New York’s wildlife!

Thank you for taking action,

Emily V.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Elephant Families In Mourning

Dear Gabriel,

elephants-with-babyI’ve just learned that 86 elephants — 33 of them pregnant females — have been gunned down by poachers in the Central African country of Chad.

The image above is from a similar slaughter last year. The ivory tusks have been hacked out and stolen. The ivory will be sold on the black market, and then eventually carved into products nobody needs.

Entire elephant families – even the pregnant mothers – brutally killed…to make ivory trinkets?

It’s heartbreaking and senseless…and it HAS TO STOP.

You can help protect elephants and all animals by making an emergency anti-cruelty donation today.

I know you believe as I do – that an elephant’s life is worth more than a silly trinket.

Elephants are incredibly social – they gather in extended families, the moms and aunts and cousins all live together. And they’re so much like us in other ways. They’re known to play and cry and even mourn their own dead.

They don’t deserve to die for the sake of an ivory ornament. Please help us stop this cruelty today.

The poaching of elephants for ivory is a global problem. And with offices, partner organizations, and supporters in so many countries, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is working around the world to save elephants.

Here’s how you can help too:

IFAW has trained hundreds of rangers and more than 1,600 wildlife law enforcement officials around the world to protect elephants and all animals. You can provide the rangers with anti-poaching training as well as essential equipment like radios, backpacks, boots and uniforms.

Significant quantities of smuggled ivory tusks have been intercepted by borders and customs officials trained by IFAW. The ivory trade is a chain of cruelty leading from a dead elephant all the way to a shelf in a gift shop. You can help us stop ivory smugglers and break that chain of cruelty.

China is the eventual destination for much of the poached ivory. Many consumers don’t realize that the vast majority of ivory products come from murdered elephants. You can help educate consumers in China and other countries and help shut down the markets for ivory.

The cruel ivory trade threatens to wipe out many populations of elephants – and this massacre of pregnant mothers shows that poachers will stop at nothing to get their hands on ivory.

Although today is a terribly sad day for elephants, I hope you’ll join me in using this day’s tragic news as motivation to fight even harder to protect elephants.

We CAN win this fight. But we need you.

Please make an emergency anti-cruelty donation today to help IFAW protect elephants and all animals.

Thanks for your help,

Jason Bell
IFAW Programme Director, Elephants

P.S. Some regions of Africa face total annihilation of their elephants. If we don’t stop the poachers, who will? Please make an emergency anti-cruelty donation today.

Nature Spring & Climate

Dear Gabriel,

Check out our We Love Nature page to learn about animals at risk from climate change. It’s March and spring is in the air. Days are longer. Birds are migrating north to fill our yard with their cheerful trills. And out of our windows, we watch nature come back to life.

Here at EDF, we’ve decided to spend March celebrating all that nature gives us — and all that we’re fighting to protect. Will you join us?

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Kick off our “We Love Nature” month with us! Start by checking out our Warming and Wildlife slideshow. We all know climate change has put polar bears at risk — but it’s also threatening the rest of these beautiful, unique creatures.

As I read about the struggles of the Arctic fox, the sea turtle, and even the flamingo, I was reminded why I come to work at EDF every day — and why incredible supporters like you stand with us.

I hope you’ll click through to view our Warming and Wildlife slideshow. If you enjoy the show, please share it with your friends as well, and stay tuned for more nature love throughout the month!

Thank you for your activism and support,

Heather Shelby
Action Network Coordinator
Environmental Defense Fund

The Lion Lady

Gabriel –

I think I’m starting to be known as “that Lion Lady”. First, I started a petition to get a restaurant in Kansas to stop serving lion meat (we won!), and then I started another to get the FDA to ban lion meat throughout the country. But I can’t help it — I do this all because lions’ very existence is at risk.

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Now, I’m ecstatic: we have an unprecedented chance to save African lions by getting them on the Endangered Species List. Listing them would not only keep lion meat off American plates but would save thousands of lions by addressing one of the biggest threats to the African lion population — trophy hunting.

But just like restaurateurs opposed my petition to get lion meat out of a Kansas restaurant, wealthy American hunters are fighting to keep African lions off the Endangered Species List so they can continue to bring their bodies home as trophies. Our time is short — the government body in charge of the list is factoring public opinion into its decision and the public comment period ends on Monday.

That’s why I started a new petition on Change.org calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service not to bow to pressure from hunters and to place the African lion on the Endangered Species List. Click here to sign my petition now.

In the past fifty years, the African lion population declined by as much as 90%. Many of the lion prides that do exist today are so genetically weak from being small and isolated by international borders that they can’t promise a future for African lions.

Legal trophy hunting is a major cause of African lions’ decline — and two thirds of the African lions killed by trophy hunters end up in the U.S. That’s thousands of lions!

Americans hold the key to saving the African lion. An Endangered Species listing would ban any lion parts or bodies from being imported into the U.S. — a huge deterrent to hunters who want to go on safari and bring back a trophy — as well as stop the sale of lion meat nationwide.

Click here to sign my petition, calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate the African lion as an endangered species now before its public comment period ends on Monday.

Thank you.

Cheryl Semcer (aka “The Lion Lady”!)
Hoboken, New Jersey
Change.org

For the Greater Good

Happy New Year!

G4_Thankyou2012_220x375There is perhaps nothing more satisfying — nor more motivating — than a celebration of good deeds accomplished in the name of charity. As we look back on 2012, we’re proud and grateful for all that we’ve accomplished together with you, our tireless supporters.

This past year, the largest hunger relief grants went to Feeding America to help hungry Americans in need of food bank assistance in all 50 states. Grants also went to Mercy Corps’ many hunger relief programs worldwide and Millennium Promise for their groundbreaking work in Africa.

In the spring and early fall, in response to tornadoes in the Midwest and hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, GreaterGood.org contributed to numerous local charities in the United States. And when Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast, GreaterGood.org grants supported the emergency assistance and clean up efforts provided by Team Rubicon and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

Your commitment to children’s health and education was reflected in GreaterGood.org grants to Partners in Health, which focused on fighting cholera in Haiti, as well as providing vitamin A supplements and oral rehydration. Funding also supported pre-natal programs and midwifery services in Africa, Nepal, and Tibet, reducing infant mortality rates. Additional grants helped Splash’s (formerly A Child’s Right) efforts to provide clean water to schools and hospitals, HALO Trust’s work to assist in landmine removal, and Prosthetics Outreach Foundation’s surgical aid to children born with clubfoot.

Our longstanding support of vital literacy programs worldwide continued through our charity partners First Book and Room to Read. Contributions to the Nepal Youth Foundation, Community Partners International, Razia’s Ray of Hope, and Zabuli Education Center for girls in Deh’Sub helped provide girls with a valuable education. In many cases, contributions also saved children from a life of indentured servitude. Further grants also provided secondary education for young women in Africa, India, and Central Asia through nonprofits, such as Eliminate Poverty Now, CAMFED, Darfur Peace and Development Organization, and others.

Efforts to preserve or improve the health of our planet were strong in 2012. We are pleased to report that last year several of our charitable partners successfully completed projects to save endangered wildlife habitat.

With final land acquisition by the World Land Trust-US, the 6,000-acre Sierra Caral Amphibian Reserve will protect some of Guatemala’s most endangered wildlife. In Africa, the new Laikipia National Park, created by the African Wildlife Foundation and Nature Conservancy, will give wide ranging animals like elephants, lions, and zebras the ability to move safely through open habitat that is not bisected by roads, fences, or other forms of development. More than 17,100 acres of previously privately held land were protected.

Also in 2012, additional grants funded wildlife rescue and preservation programs for big cats and marine mammals, as well as sanctuaries for threatened species like the Sumatran orangutan. Along with World Land Trust-US, GreaterGood.org ended the year with a concerted effort to save an additional 332 acres in the Serra Bonita rainforest of Brazil.

Support of these programs and other humanitarian efforts at The Hunger Site, The Child Health Site, The Literacy Site and The Rainforest Site totaled over $640,000 in 2012! These funds were raised thanks to the direct actions of supporters like you via our click-to-give websites, purchases and promotions at GreaterGood Network stores, and donations through the Gifts That Give More™ program or directly to GreaterGood.org.

When you add in all the good that was achieved in 2012, GreaterGood Network and GreaterGood.org has given nearly $30 million to charity since 1999 — proof that your efforts do make a difference. Let’s use these donation figures as inspiration and motivation to make 2013 our best year ever!

Best Wishes & Continued Gratitude,

Tim Kunin
CEO, GreaterGood Network
Greg Hesterberg,
President, GreaterGood Network
Liz Baker
Director, GreaterGood.org

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