Thursday, April 26, 2007

Super Big Birthday Update!

Is it a coincidence that my birthday is in the same month as Defender's of Wildlife's anniversary? Perhaps, perhaps not. The card I received from my Grandmother today said "To a very special granddaughter who blends in with nature." Thats a great compliment, in my opinion!
In honour of Defender's anniversary I'm posting this list of some of their greatest accomplishment's over their 60 years of service to nature, along with updates on the subject and links you can click if you'd like to help in their continuing efforts in these areas.

Wolves: Defenders led a decades-long battle against wolf opposition to return these iconic predators to the wolf paradise which is Yellowstone National Park. Wolves were finally reintroduced in 1995, and have made an amazing come back! Their numbers are finally high enough that they can reclaim their place in the Yellowstone ecosystem, hunting Bison as they are meant to do. Not only is this great for the wolves, but it helps keep Yellowstone's Bison and Elk populations healthy. North American Grey Wolves still have a long road to travel though: we're still fighting to keep their protections and keep anti-wolf officials in New Mexico, Alaska, Wyoming and Idaho from trying to exterminate them! Take Action to help Wolves.

Bald Eagles and California Condors: The Bald Eagle is the internationally recognized icon of of the United States of America and our national symbol, but 50 years ago there were fewer than 500 nesting pairs in our country! Since then the banning of various pesticides (DDT, Carbofuran), efforts to protect habitat and crack down on illegal shooting of the birds has brought their numbers back up to somewhere around 70,000. But Bald Eagles and California Condors still share one common enemy: Lead shotgun pellets. Studies in California suggest that the most common threat to the endangered Condor is lead poisoning from ingesting shotgun pellets found in carrion. Recently legislation passed a key committee in California to reduce the use of lead shotgun pellets. Learn more about endangered avians!

Dolphins and Sea Turtles: You know that 'Dolphin Safe' lable you now see on your tuna can? That's because of a ban on large-scale drift nets that Defenders helped put in place in the 80's and 90's. Countless dolphins, whales, sea turtles and 'junk fish' have been unintentionally maimed and killed by drift nets, so continue to make sure you only buy dolphin safe tuna! Defenders thoughtfully supplies us with a list of which retailers sell dolphin safe, or non-dolphin safe tuna here.

Here are some of Defenders' most recent successes!
Defenders' supporters helped defeat a proposal to expand hunting near Alaska's McNeil River State Game Sanctuary and Refuge, potentially saving the lives of Brown Bears and other species.
Cook Inlet's Beluga whales have all but vanished, but pressure from Defenders' supporters convinced the National Marine Fisheries to reverse its earlier decision about the whales and propose listing them as an Endangered Species.
Finally, THANK YOU GOV. O'MALLEY! Just yesterday Mr. O'Malley signed a ban on commercial harvesting of Maryland's beloved Diamond Back Terrapins, which over harvesting had reduced to a quarter of their population two decades ago. GO TERPS!
I'd have more pictures for you, but blogger is having mental problems. Another update tomorrow because it's my birthday and I can do whatever I want to, nyah! Tomorrow a highly belated feature on the newly classified Bornean Clouded Leopard.

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