Tag: Habitat

Peace 4 Animals, SCIL, NRDC & FOE Introduce California Anti-Deforestation Bill To Protect Critical Rainforest Habitat & Endangered Species

Following a year of devastating fires throughout the Amazon rainforest and the forests throughout Indonesia, as well as continued degradation of boreal forests throughout North America, Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) and bill co-sponsors, Peace 4 Animals, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Counciland Social Compassion in Legislation, announced the introduction of Bill AB 416, The California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act.

“By introducing this bill, we’re giving California the opportunity to take real leadership in the fight against tropical and boreal deforestation and primary forest degradation by making our purchases – and our global impact – more transparent, more sustainable, and more ethical,” Assemblymember Kalra, said in a statement sent to WAN. “AB 416 asserts our California values and extends environmental leadership to the protection of tropical and boreal forests, sending a powerful signal to global markets that illegal and destructive commodity-driven deforestation will no longer be tolerated.”

If passed, all California state contracts involving commodities that put tropical and primary boreal forests at risk, such as palm oil, soy, cattle, rubber, paper/pulp and timber, would require contractors to maintain a No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policy, and provide evidence that their operations in sensitive tropical and boreal regions are not linked to forest destruction and degradation or abuses of indigenous peoples’ rights.

Environmental advocates and industry leaders alike agree that such policies are the best way to prevent ongoing forest destruction. A version of the bill introduced in 2019 achieved strong bi-partisan support but failed to pass the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The world’s forests are in crisis. Tropical forests cover roughly 7% of the Earth’s surface but harbor close to half of all species on Earth. An estimated 18 million acres of forestan area one-fifth the size of California—is lost every year, largely due to the expansion of agribusiness plantations. Tropical deforestation and related land-use changes are responsible for nearly a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions, and are a major contributor to the global biodiversity crisis.

Boreal forests account for one-third of the world’s forested areas and, after mangroves, are the most carbon-dense forests on earth. The Canadian boreal forest alone stores twice as much carbon as the world’s oil reserves and is the nesting ground for billions of migratory birds. Logging in primary forests is one of the major contributors to carbon emissions and the decline of critical species. In North America, only 15 of 51 boreal caribou herds have sufficient habitat to survive long-term, primarily due to industrial logging, while 33% of boreal birds have declined in the last 50 years.

“I have seen first-hand the heartbreaking effects of tropical deforestation while traveling and filming throughout Indonesia,” stated Katie Cleary, Founder and President of Peace 4 Animals. “We will lose vital species such as endangered orangutans, tigers, and rhinos if we do not take meaningful action to end the destruction of our rainforests. The Deforestation-Free Procurement Act will help to aid in the protection of critical habitat thus preserving species and forests for future generations.”

“The loss of our forests is not just damaging for us, it’s also a loss of habitat for countless species of animals,” stated Judie Mancuso, CEO and Founder of Social Compassion in Legislation. “We caused the devastation, which means we need to do everything in our power to protect all the vulnerable and endangered species. The Deforestation-Free Procurement Act is a powerful step forward to begin the healing and end the destruction.”

“California’s Deforestation-Free Procurement Act is a visionary but extremely pragmatic and direct contribution to halting the global deforestation crisis,” said Jeff Conant, Senior International Forests Program Manager at Friends of the Earth. “This bill is not merely timely, it’s long overdue.”

“The actions of the marketplace in California and across the U.S. will critically define the fate of forests around the world, from the lush tropical rainforests to the majestic boreal,” explained Jennifer Skene, an Attorney with the Canada Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “This Act recognizes that interconnectedness and moves toward ending the wasteful destruction of the forests that are the ancestral homelands of many Indigenous Peoples and play such a vital role in protecting our climate and the world’s biodiversity for future generations.”

The principal co-authors of AB 416 are Assemblymembers Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), and Alex Lee (D-San Jose), and Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), and Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles). The bill is also co-authored by Assemblymembers Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), and Luz Rivas (D-Arleta), and Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz).

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Peace 4 Animals, SCIL, NRDC & FOE Introduce California Anti-Deforestation Bill To Protect Critical Rainforest Habitat & Endangered Species appeared first on World Animal News.

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Orangutan Named ‘Boncel’ Is Rescued & Translocated For A Second Time Due To Loss Of Habitat In Indonesia

An adult male orangutan, that was given the name Boncel, was recently rescued for a second time in West Kalimantan Province (Indonesian, Borneo).

The Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Kalbar) and International Animal Rescue (IAR) teamed up to help capture Boncel after he wandered into a village. He was then taken by the rescue team to a more remote part of the forest to ensure that he doesn’t return to the village.

The threat to the survival of orangutan species has increased due to the widespread fires that destroyed vast swathes of their rainforest habitat in the Ketapang area in 2019.

The devastation and deforestation of the land led to many orangutans being left without food and shelter. Orangutans were driven out of their natural habitat after the forest was destroyed and strayed into local villages in search of food, bringing them into contact with local people which resulted in conflict that risked harming both the orangutans and the villagers.

The Head of BKSDA Kalbar, Sadtata Noor Adirahmanta, expressed his appreciation for the quick response to this situation. “The repeated translocation of this orangutan shows that efforts to preserve wild endangered species require the cooperation of all parties. The community can support these efforts by themselves by working to repair wildlife habitats and prevent further damage to them.”

Boncel had been translocated from land belonging to residents in the village of Sungai Besar, to the surrounding forest, in mid-August of last year. The translocation was done in order to mitigate conflict with local villagers and take the orangutan back safely to the forest.

Although these translocations save the lives of individual orangutans, these actions are only a temporary solution.

This was proved in early November 2020, when IAR’s Orangutan Protection Unit (OPU) patrol team received information regarding Boncel entering Sungai Pelang Village.

The team immediately set off to verify the report and on November 11, 2020, they discovered one individual male orangutan eating the villagers’ pineapple plants. After observation and identification, they were able to confirm that this was in fact Boncel, who had previously been rescued from the village of Sungai Besar, and translocated by a team from the WRU of BKSDA Kalbar and IAR Indonesia on August 18th.

Consequently, the BKSDA’s WRU team and IAR Indonesia translocated Boncel for a second time. The operation, which took more than seven hours, went smoothly. IAR’s veterinarian examined Boncel’s condition and stated that the orangutan, who is estimated to be around 30-40 years old, is in good health and was fit to be translocated immediately.

You can help to save the last orangutans in Indonesia by looking on the back of products and packaged foods at the grocery store and commit to not purchasing anything containing Palm Oil or non-recycled paper products. #PalmsOffPalmOil 

The post Orangutan Named ‘Boncel’ Is Rescued & Translocated For A Second Time Due To Loss Of Habitat In Indonesia appeared first on World Animal News.

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Breaking! Qatar Airways Cargo Saves Wildlife With ‘WeQare’ Initiative By Flying Endangered Species Back To Their Natural Habitat

As an inaugural signatory to the Buckingham Palace Declaration in March 2016, and a founding member of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, Qatar Airways has a zero tolerance policy towards the illegal trade of endangered species. The cargo carrier’s initiative to bring wildlife back to their natural habitat is consistent with the airline’s commitment to fight wildlife trafficking and the illegal trade of wild animals.

Wildlife trafficking is the world’s fourth-largest illegal trade, estimated to be worth $19 billion per year. The trade in endangered species and plants, fueled by demand for jewelry, ornaments, and unproven medical treatments, is needless and has disastrous consequences for global conservation efforts.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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The Orangutan Project Commits To Raising $600,000 By The End Of 2020 To Secure The Survival Of Rehabilitated Bornean Orangutans In Newly Protected Habitat

The Orangutan Project, an organization focused on securing the survival of orangutans and other Critically Endangered species, along with key Indonesian partners, have been working for more than three years to secure a vitally important rainforest area within a 712,000 acre ecosystem in Borneo.

The rainforest is lowland and riverine, making it prime habitat for Critically Endangered Bornean orangutans.

The proposed newly protected concession will be an important part of The Orangutan Project’s goal to help secure the survival of Bornean orangutans.

It will enable them to support the safe release of rescued and rehabilitated orangutans, all victims of Borneo’s mass deforestation issue, as well as help to establish an “insurance population” for the now Critically Endangered species.

“Even before the COVID-19 crisis led to a spike in deforestation, Bornean orangutans were facing disaster,” said Leif Cocks, Founder and President of The Orangutan Project in a statement. “Since 2002, more than 150,000 orangutans have been displaced, hunted or killed as agricultural ‘pests’ which is more than half of their population.

“We’re witnessing the population collapse of one of our closest cousins. Orangutans will be doomed to extinction in our lifetime unless urgent interventions are made.”

These interventions include rapid-response rescues for orangutans displaced through deforestation or stolen by the illegal wildlife trade, long-term rehabilitation for rescued orangutans, and urgent moves to legally secure and protect remaining lowland ecosystems so that orangutans can thrive in secure populations.

The Orangutan Project and partners have been working with authorities for more than three years to legally protect a rainforest ecosystem that had previously been earmarked for conversion into palm oil plantations. Once complete, together with their partner’s concessions, they’ll be helping to protect more than 700,000 acres of prime, lowland, richly biodiverse rainforest.

The Orangutan Project is now urgently seeking donations to secure this game-changing process. The plans have been developed, the application for permits submitted, and they’ve raised the funds required to initially secure the protected area.

“Securing intact areas of remaining lowland habitat and placing viable populations of orangutans under permanent protection is now critical to securing their survival,” said Cocks. “This is a complex undertaking, but if we can secure this habitat whilst maintaining our vital rescue and rehabilitation programs – we will change the game for Critically Endangered Bornean orangutans.”

They now need to raise over $600,000 by December 31st to establish the orangutan release program and to resource and train the critical team of community wildlife protection officers urgently required to keep the ecosystem safe from poaching and illegal encroachment.

Funds to this appeal will also resource the rapid-response rescues and long-term rehabilitation that every displaced, captive, and orphaned orangutan requires, before they can safely be released into this protected habitat.

This year, The Orangutan Project, along with their partner, the Centre for Orangutan Protection, created the Bornean Orangutan Rescue Alliance (BORA) to provide urgent assistance to highly vulnerable, displaced orangutans, and to confiscate illegally held orangutans.

 

Mary was rescued by The Orangutan Project and the Bornean Orangutan Rescue Alliance (BORA). After many years of rehabilitation, Mary will hopefully be released into the newly protected ecosystem.

Please donate today to help save the last of Borneo’s orangutans HERE!

Gifts will be directed to: resourcing rapid response orangutan rescues, providing rehabilitation and jungle school, and safeguarding and patrolling this newly protected rainforest ecosystem.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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WAN Exclusive: Urgent Help Needed To Stop The Destruction By Martabe Goldmine Of The Rainforest Habitat Of The Last 800 Critically Endangered Tapanuli Orangutans In Sumatra

Photo of rare Tapanuli Orangutan by: Maxime Aliaga 

Tapanuli orangutans were classified as a new great ape species found in Sumatra, Indonesia, in 2017, there are now sadly fewer than 800 individuals remaining in the wild.

Forest protection is vital for the survival of this rare and critically-endangered species as they live in smaller sub-populations in an already fragmented forest landscape. Tragically, their habitat is under multiple threats including the active Martabe Goldmine, in the Batang Toru region of North Sumatra.

Martabe Goldmine and forested region in February 2020

That is why Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) is calling on British Company Jardine Matheson to URGENTLY STOP destroying Tapanuli orangutan habitat and immediately restore the forest they have already cleared.

Jardine Matheson owns the Martabe Goldmine through its subsidiary Astra International, which is Indonesia’s largest company. In 2018, after acquiring the goldmine, they made a firm commitment not to expand the mine into the Tapanuli orangutan habitat. They reportedly also told environmental organizations that they were concerned about the species and would not alter the surrounding landscape.

However, satellite imagery has now revealed the clearing of orangutan habitat adjacent to the active mine. The extent of the clearing is nearly 21.5 acres of forest. The mine already occupies an area of 67.6 acres which was formerly orangutan habitat before being cleared to allow for the extraction and processing of gold ore.

Martabe Mine with cleared forested area on June 25, 2020

“Destroying the habitat of this rare great ape cousin after claiming they would help in its conservation brings such claims into question, and makes a mockery out of the company and its subsidiaries’ commitment to sustainability in the real world,” Dr. Gary Shapiro, President of Orang Utan Republik Foundation and The Orangutan Project-USA told WAN exclusively. “Jardine Matheson needs to rectify this situation promptly. “

Jardine Matheson also owns the Mandarin Oriental Hotel chain which prides itself on environmentally sustainable practices within its hotels. Guests of the hotel would most-likely be shocked to know that its parent company owns an extractive operation that is destroying the habitat of our planet’s most critically endangered great ape, and of critically endangered Sumatran tigers and pangolins.

“Authentic Corporate Social Responsibility means acting in ways that are consistent with pledges to protect people, wildlife, and the environment. Would their clients think favorably if they knew the company was threatening the survival of our most critically endangered great ape cousin?” questioned Shapiro. “It would be hypocritical for a company to be posturing itself as an environmentally conscious business while operating contrary to those claims in remote areas of the world.”

Please join Orang Utan Republik Foundation and sign this petition urging Jardine Matheson to immediately halt any further destruction of forest adjacent to their active mine and to restore the cleared forest to its former status, HERE!

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Breaking! Thirty Retired Circus Elephants To Be Released In White Oak Conservation’s New 2,500-Acre Habitat In Florida

All photos of these Asian elephants were taken at the Center for Elephant Conservation in Polk City, Florida, by Stephanie Rutan of White Oak Conservation.

White Oak Conservation has started construction on a new 2,500-acre home for Asian elephants. Most of these elephants previously traveled throughout the United States with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, until they were retired in 2016.

Thirty elephants will be released in the northeastern Florida refuge, owned by philanthropists Mark and Kimbra Walter, as soon as it is ready. The first arrivals are expected in 2021.

Nineteen of the elephants were born in the United States.

“Elephants are majestic and intelligent animals, and they are in dire need,” Kimbra said in a statement sent to WAN. “For so long, humans have decimated the native habitats, poached, and removed these animals from their natural home.”

“Our family is committed to improving the lives of individual elephants and ensuring the survival of elephants in the wild,” stated Mark.

Within White Oak Conservation’s 17,000 acres, nine interlinked areas will be opened for the elephants. The area will include a variety of vegetation and habitat types for the elephants to choose from, including wetlands, meadows, and woods.

The spacious habitats will give the elephants room to wander, exercise, and forage. White Oak’s philosophy is to accommodate natural behavior and social bonds as closely as possible. Family groups will be together, with calves and their mothers and siblings in the same areas as grandmothers wherever possible.

Eleven waterholes will be built, each wide and deep enough for the elephants to splash and frolic in. Three barns will be built within the complex specifically to suit the elephants’ needs. These facilities will be easily accessible to the elephants and equipped with high-tech veterinary equipment.

“Asian elephants are endangered in the wild,” explained Michelle Gadd, Ph.D., who leads the Walters’ global conservation efforts. “Only 30,000 to 50,000 elephants remain in the wild in less than 15% of their historic range. Where they do survive, they continue to be threatened by habitat degradation and fragmentation, conflict with humans, and poaching.”

Walter Conservation is committed to bringing elephant education and awareness to the next generation of conservationists through its world-class educational and training programs, in person and remotely. In 2019, more than 1,600 students visited White Oak and participated in education programming.

White Oak, which is a part of Walter Conservation, is a one-of-a-kind center for the conservation and care of endangered and threatened species.

Through Walter Conservation, the Walter family conserves rare species and wild places around the world. Efforts include improving the quality of life of individual animals, recovering rare species, restoring ecosystems and protecting wilderness areas.

Thus far, their philanthropy supports several areas in North America and Africa, protecting important wild populations of African elephants, rhinos, lions and many other species. The Walter Conservation approach is to protect and preserve large wild areas, provide wildlife security and management, to collaborate with local residents and host-country governments, and to invest in sustainable enterprises.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Breaking! Thirty Retired Circus Elephants To Be Released In White Oak Conservation’s New 2,500-Acre Habitat In Florida appeared first on World Animal News.

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