“A coalition of environmentalists have filed a groundbreaking lawsuit in Ecuador against the oil giant BP for violating Ecuador’s constitution which recognizes “the rights of Nature” across the globe. Plaintiffs include Nnimmo Bassey, the president of Friends of the Earth International and the Indian scientist Vandana Shiva.”—BP Sued in Ecuadorian Court For Violating Rights of Nature
On the 7th of September 1936 the last known Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) died in captivity at the Hobart Zoo, Tasmania. Sixty-two years later in September of 1998 Murray McAllister, a physical education teacher at Pembroke Secondary College in Melbourne Victoria, conducted the first of many expeditions, searching for the Tasmanian Tiger.
“While it’s not surprising that pets should be getting fatter along with their owners, or even that rats might be getting bigger by eating calorie-rich human garbage, Kuk said, the increase in body weight in controlled lab animals is unexpected.”—Obesity On the Rise in Animals
“But there is one arena where Canada disappoints: fixing the global fisheries crisis. This particular Canadian shortcoming has come into view this week in Paris as delegates to the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas debate how to save the giant Atlantic bluefin tuna, one of the most valuable and charismatic fish in the sea.”—The myth of bluefin abundance
“Northland’s marine mammal expert Ingrid Visser said surfers were safe around orcas as the mammals were there for the same thing - to go surfing and have a good time. She could tell they had been getting as much of a buzz out of it as the humans because adult males, usually stoic members of the group, would “cavort” like youngsters, racing around at full speed.”—Orcas on the hunt … for the perfect wave - Local News - Northland Northern Advocate
It’s impossible to know, and impossible not to wonder, whether and what the bats in this cave think of what’s happened.
Of course, this isn’t a question that scientists ask, at least not formally. Biology still hasn’t recovered from a half-century of behaviorist supremacy. Chimpanzees and whales may be exempted from B.F. Skinner’s brutal and dogmatic insistence that animals are mechanical, incapable of meaningful consciousness — but not yet bats.
Dogma aside, though, bats live for decades and use complex verbal communications. One researcher told me he feels that bats have language. And when you see a pair that will spend the next several months sleeping side by side, awaking briefly every few weeks, partners in hibernation and warmth … what’s more “logical”? To assume the absence of feeling, or the possibility of something like companionship and memory?
“Humans adopt offspring we’re not related to because… we’re so super-duper special and caring, right? Animals only do it when their instincts have been fouled by abandonment, isolation in a zoo, or some other trauma. Right…? Either that, or California sea lions are actually people.”—HUMAN. NATURE. » Blog Archive » SEA LIONS ARE PEOPLE, TOO!
“As journalists work to unravel the story of the latest dead ducks incident in the oilsands, one thing becomes increasingly clear: the risks posed by 170 square kilometres of toxic lakes are unmanageable.”—The real deal on the dead ducks
The cocky little house sparrow, the little feisty one that sat in your gutters all the while you were growing up, chirping at you in the morning as you got ready for school. And inundating the bird table at all hours of…
“Using data for 25,780 species categorized on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, we present an assessment of the status of the world’s vertebrates. One-fifth of species are classified as Threatened, and we show that this figure is increasing: On average, 52 species of mammals, birds and amphibians move one category closer to extinction each year. However, this overall pattern conceals the impact of conservation successes, and we show that the rate of deterioration would have been at least one-fifth as much again in the absence of these. Nonetheless, current conservation efforts remain insufficient to offset the main drivers of biodiversity loss in these groups: agricultural expansion, logging, overexploitation, and invasive alien species.”—The Impact of Conservation on the Status of the World’s Vertebrates — Hoffmann et al., 10.1126/science.1194442 — Science (via kpmcfarland)