Wisconsin to Kill One-quarter of its Wolves

Wisconsin’s government just gave hunters the go-ahead to kill 201 of the state’s 800 remaining wolves. Until January these wolves were protected under the endangered species act. If this keeps up, they’ll be endangered – if not extinct – again in no time.

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From: http://en.avaaz.org/977/wisconsin-to-kill-one-quarter-of-its-wolves



The Loris – Illegal Animal Trade

A very cute – and very threatened- pygmy slow loris (Getty)

It’s hard not to chuckle about the guys arrested at the airport in Delhi after a customs officer noticed unnatural bulges in their pants. Turns out they had hidden small primates known as lorises in pockets sewn into their clothes.

These failed smugglers are just a small part of a worldwide illegal trade in lorises and many other exotic animals and animal parts. And the suffering these beautiful creatures are subjected to – not to mention the threat of extinction that trafficking often poses – is nothing to laugh about.

Cruelty goes viral

Lorises live in India, Sri Lanka and south-east Asia, and are cute and cuddly creatures with huge brown eyes. They can fit in the palm of your hand. YouTube videos that show lorises clutching tiny umbrellas or being tickled have gone big-time viral. But like a lot of wildlife in their region, they’re threatened by habitat destruction, hunting and the use of various body parts in native medicine.

That popularity has helped fuel an exploding demand for the animals as exotic pets, and smuggling the creatures is a growing business. Thousands are cruelly captured and kept in small, cramped cages. To prevent them from biting, their sharp teeth are cut or pulled out – a process which can lead to nasty infections and painful death.

Sources: BBC, YouTube, Telegraph, Avaaz, New York Times

From: http://en.avaaz.org/756/underpants-smugglers-and-other-nasty-tales-from-the-illegal-animal-trade

Rhinos face EXTINCTION!!!

Will this baby rhino survive? (Getty)

Things are getting worse for rhinos. Much worse. In the past year 455 rhinos were killed in South Africa, more than at any other time in history. And as South Africa is home to 90% of the continent’s rhino population, this is a very bad sign. Quite simply, rhinos will go extinct if something doesn’t change.

As recently as 2000, only seven rhinos were killed in South Africa. So why are things so much dramatically worse? The short answer: demand. Right now a kilo of rhino horn sells for $65,000 on the streets of Beijing (a higher price than for gold or cocaine), and it seems that China’s elite can’t get enough.

Traditional oriental medicine has long been a driver of demand, but it’s only a part of the equation now. Highly organised criminal syndicates have taken over the rhino horn business, spreading false medical claims and employing mercenaries in South Africa to use high-powered weapons, night vision goggles and helicopters in their hunt for rhino horn.

But it’s not all bad news. Already, more than 800,000 people have joined the call on all countries to suspend all trade in all rhino products. Yao Ming, one of China’s biggest stars, recently traveled to Africa with WildAid to help shine a light on these needless killings. (Check out his blog for some encouraging thoughts and insights on how to save these creatures.)

What’s needed now is for China to enforce its existing ban from 1993, and to make rhino protection a priority in its next five year plan. As the biggest player in this illicit market, China holds the fate of the world’s rhinos in its hands.

Sources: BBC, TIME, Avaaz, EIA International, Guardian, New York Times, Yao Ming

From: http://en.avaaz.org/976/rhinos-face-extinction