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Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate change

This is where you can talk about every subject (previously it was called shout room)

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:44 am

Congress Made It Legal
To Kill Hibernating Bears


Hunters in Alaska can now track and kill hibernating bears thanks to a U.S. House and Senate resolution rolling back Obama-era regulations against the practice

President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on Monday, which rolled back Alaska’s ban on killing the vulnerable bears, along with wolf cubs in dens. It also allows for hunters to target the animals from helicopters.

The Republican-sponsored legislation impacts 76.8 million acres of federally protected national preserves across Alaska.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) took to the Senate floor last month to denounce the previous rule that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued in August.

Murkowski called it “bad for Alaska, bad for hunters, bad for our native peoples, bad for America,” and a “direct attack on states’ rights.”

In Sullivan’s argument, the lawmaker said the change was for Alaskans “who value hunting as a deep part of their culture.”

The Humane Society of the United States condemned the rollback

“What the House did today should shock the conscience of every animal lover in America,” said Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle in a statement. “If the Senate and president concur, we’ll see wolf families killed in their dens [and] bears chased down by planes.”

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who introduced the measure, argued that states’ rights were being infringed upon by the rule.

“We have to recognize this is not about the little polar bears, the little grizzly bears or wolves on television, this is about the state’s right to manage — not allowing the federal government to do so,” Young said in testimony in February. “We want to be able to take and manage our fish and game for the sustainable yield — so that our fish and game will be there forever.”

Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said killing predators in such a “cruel, unsportsmanlike fashion is outrageous.”

“Senate Republicans have shown just how mean-spirited and petty they are with today’s vote,” he said in a statement following the passed measure in March.

Young said that if Alaskans weren’t happy with the bill, they should stop re-electing him.

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/ ... 2CWkc0u5iM
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:52 am

Labour pledges £4.5m
to tackle wildlife crime


Labour have promised to do more to combat fox hunting, hare coursing and other wildlife crimes, if they win the general election

The party says it will spend £4.5m on 82 new officers as part of its pledge to increase overall policing numbers.

Not a lot of money when one considers how much Labour council leaders pay themselves

Shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman said the policy would "help protect both wild animals and property in rural communities".

The Badger Trust said the move was "of significant importance".

Labour quoted a National Police Chiefs' Council report that suggested there were currently only 88 police staff dedicated to wildlife crime.

But the figure includes civilian managers and community support officers.

Ms Hayman said: "We are calling time on those who have been allowed to get away with illegally hunting, maiming and killing wild animals such as deer, hen harriers, foxes and hares.

"By increasing the number of wildlife and rural police officers across the country we will help protect both wild animals and property in rural communities, and ensure a crackdown on the types of crimes against animals that this Tory government has turned a blind eye to."

A spokesman from the Badger Trust said it would help to focus attention on the "growing threat" to badgers, foxes, birds of prey and other species in the wild.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-201 ... 2NqtmgiBck
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:47 pm

EU Declare Climate Emergency

Campaigners Say Only '[b]Emergency Action' Will Prove They Mean It[/b]

After members of the European Parliament on Thursday voted 429 to 225—with 19 abstentions—to declare a climate emergency both on the continent and globally, activists called on the European Union to match those lofty words with deeds and take immediate action to combat the increasingly urgent crisis.

"Our house is on fire. The European Parliament has seen the blaze, but it's not enough to stand by and watch," said Greenpeace E.U. climate policy adviser Sebastian Mang. "To put out the flames, we have to take immediate measures in line with the science, drastically reduce emissions, protect and restore the natural environment."

Highlighting key demands from climate campaigners, Mang added that "holding fossil fuel companies responsible, investing in rail and public transport, supporting communities investing in renewable energy, banning pesticides, and ending subsidies for factory farms are just some of the bold ways to take action now."

Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, concurred that "declaring an emergency is important, but any such statement needs to be followed by emergency action."

"To act at the scale of the climate emergency, the Parliament needs to push for real, immediate action," Trio said. "The E.U. needs to increase the climate target to at least 65% emission cuts, and adopt policies and measures that can reduce emissions immediately. People will continue to strike and go to the courts until the climate crisis is taken with more urgency and seriousness."

    "If the E.U. Parliament's declaration creates the spark which finally pushes the European Union's decision makers to adopt these measures, then we'll know that their declaration of a 'climate emergency' isn't just more hot air."https://t.co/rR6PQtmZJ0

    ]— 350.org Europe (@350Europe) November 28, 2019
    The symbolic declaration from E.U. lawmakers preceded a pair of youth-led climate strikes, planned for the next two Fridays, as well as the the United Nations COP 25 climate summit, which begins Monday in Madrid.
Incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen—a German politician who starts her new five-year position Dec. 1—put the planetary emergency at the top of her agenda Wednesday, pledging €3 trillion ($3.3 trillion) to tackle the climate crisis and migration, according to EuroNews.

"If there's one area the world needs our leadership, it is on protecting our climate," von der Leyen said. "This is an existential issue for Europe and for the world. How can it not be existential when 85% of people in extreme poverty live in the 20 countries most vulnerable to climate change?"

"And we have to make sure that those needs are fulfilled in a sustainable way. It is a generational transition towards climate neutrality by mid-century. But this transition must be just and inclusive or it will not happen at all," she continued. "It will need massive investment in innovation, research, infrastructure, housing, and the training of people. It will require public and private investments—at the European and at national levels."

The majority of pro-E.U. parties voted on Wednesday to approve von der Leyen's new Commission team—with the exception of the Greens, the fourth-largest bloc in the European Parliament.

Politico reported on why the "vast majority" of Green MEPs abstained in the vote:

    Empowered by strong electoral showings and mass demonstrations by young climate activists across Europe and around the world, the Greens say they feel powerful enough to make an impact on the European stage without having to commit their votes as a part of a pro-E.U. majority coalition.

    "We have sent a yellow card to the Commission, which aims to say, 'It's not fine, things are starting badly,'" said Yannick Jadot, a senior French Green MEP. "We can't give a green light to this Commission, which has refused all the help the Greens offered" on agriculture, climate, trade and the rule of law after May's European election, he said.
For her first official work day Monday, von der Leyen will head to COP 25.

Looking forward to the summit, May Boeve, executive director of the international advocacy group 350.org, said in a statement Thursday that "this is the COP for countries to get serious about ending the production of fossil fuels."

"This is a pivotal moment for global efforts to combat climate change," Boeve added. "We expect governments to come to these climate talks to live up to the moral urgency at hand with clear plans to: cut all public and private funding to fossil fuels, ban new fossil fuel exploration, and enable a just transition for communities currently dependent on fossil fuels for work or energy."

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/ ... ction-will
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:56 am

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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:58 am

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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:00 am

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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:11 am

Cows sexually abused

Cows were violently kicked, punched and sexually abused at a farm linked to the NFU’s deputy president, investigators have found

Footage from hidden cameras revealed a string of cases in which the animals were attacked.

Researchers visiting the site also photographed dead calves left to rot outside.

Workers at the Essex farm, owned by a company of which Guy Smith is director, are seen in the video kicking, punching and hitting dairy cows with sticks.

One worker also appears to touch the animals in an “intimate area” on two different occasions, the witness claimed.

“Some of the most disturbing footage shows one worker touching two cows in intimate areas on two different occasions,” the investigator said. “The worker appears to be moving his hand up and down in a way that would suggest masturbation.”

At other times, employees carried out “excessive tail twisting” – causing pain – shouted and swore at the animals.

Mr Smith, whose farm is arable, said he had no input into the running of the dairy side of the business and derived no financial benefit from it.

The dairy division said disciplinary action had been taken against the workers.

The investigation was triggered when a member of the public spotted the decomposing body of a calf and raised the alarm.

Without knowing the link to Mr Smith, investigators say, they placed hidden cameras throughout the farm at St Osyth, near Clacton, and visited several times over two months earlier this year. They sent their findings to the Surge animal protection group, which campaigns against the dairy industry.

Ed Winters, co-director of Surge, said members were shocked by the brutality documented on the farm.

“Guy Smith travels and gives talks about animal welfare, whilst on his farm animals are being touched in intimate areas in a non-legal manner, punched, trapped in solitary confinement pens and verbally abused," he said.

“This farm was just one of eight UK dairy farms featured in our larger Dismantle Dairy campaign, and on all eight dairy farms we found suffering and abuse that is hidden from the public.”

Surge, which reported the findings to the Animal and Plant Health Authority and the RSPCA, said there were numerous instances of violence or abuse.

Companies House documents identify Mr Smith as a director and one of five main shareholders of of Smith Farms (Clacton) Ltd, with 100 out of 500 shares. He describes himself on LinkedIn as owner.

In 2017, when asked by The Yorkshire Post about Brexit, he said: “As the secretary of state has said, we have the third-highest animal welfare standards in the world. British farmers are proud of their high standards and don’t want to see them watered down.”

The farm, which has hutches to separate young calves from one another, had an average of 25 employees in the year to January, filings show.

A signed affidavit shown to The Independent states the investigators entered the site “entirely lawfully”, that there was nothing to prevent entry, and that “nothing was damaged, forced, broken or interfered with”.

Mr Smith told The Independent: “I am aware there are allegations, relating to the treatment of dairy cows, made against employees of a company of which I am one of six directors.

“The allegations stem from illegally obtained video footage.

“I wish to make clear that I am not responsible in any way for the dairy side of the business and derive no financial benefit from it. In particular, I have no responsibility for the recruitment or training of staff and nor do I have any input into the manner in which that side of the business is run.”

Mr Smith, who has served for eight years on the NFU Council, added: “Animal welfare should be regarded as a priority and I have no doubt that those responsible for the dairy side of the business will immediately take all necessary steps so as to ensure the highest animal welfare standards are maintained going forwards.”

A spokesperson for the dairy division said: “The welfare of our dairy herd is our number one priority. We aim to uphold the highest standards of animal welfare and care and insist on the same high standards from everyone who works with us.

“We have taken immediate action in relation to the incidents shown (including disciplinary action) and have implemented a comprehensive retraining programme in our determination to ensure that any shortcomings in our systems and practices are addressed.

“Trespassers entered our farm unlawfully and secretly filmed many hours of footage over a period of 18 months. We regard this as a gross breach of privacy – of family members, children and staff members – and absolutely condemn it.”

The RSPCA said: “We were concerned to see this footage and we are looking into it further.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/h ... 15306.html
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:50 pm

Iranian environmentalists to
plant 1 billion trees in 5 years


As long as deforestation is haunting the country, environmentalists have decided to join hands and plant one billion trees during the next five years, IRNA news agency reported on Saturday

An environmentalist, Hossein Abiri-Golpaygani, told IRNA on Sunday that it is scheduled to plant 200 million trees each year in cooperation with NGOs and relevant state-run organizations which can reach up to one billion in 5 years.

Trees are among the most important species on the planet due to offering over 30 useful services to the ecosystem, such as oxygen production, wildlife species protection, soil and ground water resources preservation, most importantly reducing air pollution by absorbing the particulate matters.

Each tree produces 2 kilogram of oxygen annually, so one hectare of trees can produce 2,500 to 3,000 oxygen which help 10 people to breathe oxygen, while they can reduce the area’s temperature by 11 degrees.

As forests play a significant role in the carbon cycle, when are cut down, not only does carbon absorption cease, but also the carbon stored in the trees is released into the atmosphere as CO2 if the wood is burned or even if it is left to rot after the deforestation process.

According to climateandweather.net, forests store up to 100 times more carbon than agricultural fields of the same area, it is estimated that more than 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide are released to the atmosphere due to deforestation, mainly the cutting and burning of forests, every year.

Over 30 million acres of forests and woodlands are lost every year due to deforestation.

Despite all these advantages the trees can bring us, they are taken for granted even in Iran as 2 million hectares of northern forests have been depleted since past 30 years.

In Zagros Mountains forest steppe (located in the country's western border), 30 percent of its 6 million hectares (3.5 percent of Iran) is wiped out, and 18 million oak trees died of pest and diseases.

During the past five years, 4 to 5 million trees in northern forest have died.

Each 50-year old tree is worth $200,000 for its ecological value, while we easily cut down trees aging 100 over above due to road construction or mining activities.

Iran is ranked 17th among countries around the world regarding its wide land area, which constitutes 1.2 percent of the whole world’s land area, Abiri-Golpaygani said, adding, Iran is a unique country for its weather condition being four-seasoned.

He went on to lament that over the few past decades, some issues like climate change and excessive wood extraction have caused the forests to bear dire consequences and in some cases to disappear.

To overcome the issue, some countries have thought of a solution such as Ethiopia which have announced to plant 200 million trees in a day but people had planted over 350 million trees by the end of the day, he explained, adding, we can use the same experience to help preserve the country’s forests.

Abiri-Golpaygani went on to say that since the past 30 years NGOs have been officially started working to lead the public contributions to social issues, and now we should use this capacity to conserve natural resources.

If some 500 trees are planted per hectare of land, about two million hectares of land are needed, so 20,000 square kilometers across Iran will be covered with trees, which accounts for one percent of the country’s land area, he also added.

To plant one billion seedlings throughout the country, we can use students’ capacity which accounts for about 15 percent of the population, even teachers can take an effective step by making pots from recycled waste, he said.

Provincial natural resource departments also can come efficient and provide the students with the needed seed and fertilizer, while determining the appropriate tree type, he noted.

Moreover, governmental organizations, universities, hospitals, stadiums, offices, parks, urban green spaces can all join planting seedlings and save our country, Abiri-Golpaygani concluded.

https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/442083 ... in-5-years
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:54 pm

Tehran hosting climate
change conference


The sixth international, regional conference on climate change opened in Tehran on Monday with the participation of representatives from World Meteorological Organization and several countries

Training courses and workshops on relevant issues will be held on the sidelines of the 2-day event

Drought highly threatens food security

Sahar Taj Bakhsh, head of Iran’s Meteorological Organization (IMO), said that drought threatens food security in countries around the world.

Today, climate change is one of the important issues in our country that needs serious attention; climate change has increased the incidence of extreme events, she said.

However, air transportation is one of the issues that play a very significant role in the generation of greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions, she lamented.

She went on to say that climate change and the occurrence of extreme weather events are among the most dangerous economic issues in the world, as 4.5 billion people in the world are affected by natural hazards, 96 percent of whom are affected by atmospheric hazards.

Casualties of weather events have been on the rise since 1980 to 2018; which is basically the result of global warming that caused December, January, and February to be the hottest months ever, causing a change in precipitation throughout the world, she explained.

Parts of the Middle East and North Africa are affected by droughts severely, which has a significant impact on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), she regretted, adding, if rising temperature continues, it will lead to food insecurity in countries that are among the most affected by drought.

Warnings of a three-degree rise in global temperatures mean that most of the countries will suffer from food insecurity, Taj Bakhsh lamented.

If we experience a two degrees raise in temperature, tropical storms will increase around the world, she noted, adding, sea level rises as well and causes disasters in coastal countries.

Since 1970 to 2018, carbon dioxide emissions have increased sharply, and climate risks will continue to increase, also heat waves have also increased sharply over the past 18 years, with transport sector contribution of 14 percent, she also explained.

In recent years, 30,000 kilometers of new air routes have been set up in Iran, and the length of our air routes has increased from 60,000 kilometers to 94,000 kilometers, resulting in shorter routes, which reduces fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, she stated.

By transforming the country’s space into an airway within the framework of economic, environmental and sustainable development can take steps towards green transportation, Taj Bakhsh concluded.

Natural resources not managed properly

Mohammad Eslami, Minister of Transport and Urban Development, for his part said: “We did not treat our natural resources properly so that environmental hazards increased.”

“During the past centuries, people have always chose a region for living based on the climate characteristic of the area, which reflects the wisdom and maturity of the people, however, in recent decades, we have gone further to copy foreign urban development patterns which ended up in increased environmental problems,” he explained.

“We must definitely move towards sustainable development and avoid indefinite development that results in climate change intensification.”

“One of our priorities was the creation of new air routes to reduce fuel consumption, as well as changing energy consumption patterns in households.

“We have also put in place the use of low sulfur fuel in the fleet so that we can comply with the required percentages.

And we have increased the railways from 4,700 km to 14,400 km, also it is scheduled to build some 15,000 railways throughout the country, to get the most out of the minimum energy efficiency and direct our transportation to green standards,” Eslami highlighted.

Another aspect is urban planning which requires particular attention to maximize the resilience capacity of the cities and settlements while focusing on environmental issues and smart urbanization, he said.

“We can minimize traffic jam, relocate industrial units and businesses, minimize inner-city travel, and expand parks and green spaces,” he concluded.

Climate change needs strict laws and regulations

Asadollah Abbasi, a member of the Majlis (Iranian Parliament), for his part, said: “Like many countries that have a single climate change law, we can combine scattered laws to have an effective law.”

Since industrialization began in the world, industrial pollutants have increased greenhouse gas emissions, he stated.

He went on to say that glaciers are melting, which affected the Caspian Sea and rivers across the country; floods and droughts are caused by human-caused climate change, which is threatening the lives of millions of people.

“When it comes to sustainable development, it will be backed by all the principles we need to consider, including public education, participation, and research, he highlighted, emphasizing, we cannot wait to see what happens, we must take action to adapt to climate change.”

Today, the country is facing a lack of water resources that resulted in excessive withdrawal of groundwater, which have dire consequences in addition to rising migration to urban areas, he lamented.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Abbasi said that once agricultural development around Lake Urmia was suggested and began that affected the whole climate of the region, and posed threats to people’s lives, so plans without environmental assessment should not be implemented.

“We are deeply concerned about the issue of the Caspian Sea water transfer,” he regretted, adding, Hyrcanian Forests also play an important role in the climate change of the region and must be protected.

The sixth development plan insisted on saving water and preventing over-harvesting, but no measures have been done due to lack of coordination of related bodies, he added.

It seems that legislating a single climate change law that urges all the related organizations and people to employ it, can come highly efficient, he concluded.

https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/442113 ... on-climate

I have to say that Iran seems far more concerned about climate change and pollution than Trump does
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:31 pm

Iranian national parks
incredible biodiversity


The precious national parks of northwestern Iran are the most diverse of any in the country, differing from rainforest to wide shrub lands which share a great biological diversity, this time we will take a quick look at three incredible national parks located in East Azarbaijan province

To preserve the existing biodiversity over the wide geographic expanse of Iran, four types of areas have been designated for preservation and protection, including, national parks, wildlife refuges, protected areas and natural national monuments. In 1997, the Department of the Environment (DOE) held supervision over 7,563,983 hectares of such areas. By the year 2003, the size of the DOE supervised areas reached 11,791,788.225 hectares.

National park is a designated part of Iran’s environment - including forests, rangelands, woodlands, prairies, water or mountains - that is an outstanding representation of Iranian nature. As such, it is brought under protection in order to permanently preserve its natural ecology and to create a suitable environment for the flourishing of wildlife and the growth of flora under natural conditions.

The national parks currently cover 1,649,771 hectares of the country’s area

Protected areas also are significantly important natural resources due to its impact on wildlife breeding, preservation of plant life or its natural state. The total area of regions protected is 6,600,601 hectares.

Wildlife refuges also are natural habitats with special climate qualifications, which brought under protection in order to revive wild animals and is stretching to 3,524,181 hectares.

Arasbaran National Park

Arasbaran is a large mountainous area stretching from the Qusha Dagh massif, south of Ahar, to the Aras River in East Azarbaijan province. The region is confined to Aras River in the north, Meshgin Shahr county and Moghan in the east, Sarab county in the south, and Tabriz and Marand counties in the west.

Arasbaran protected area measures 78,560 hectares with a circumference of 134 kilometers. The altitude varies from 256 meters in the northern part to 2,896 meters which is the highest elevation in southern part of the area, according to the UNESCO website.

In-between the Caspian, Caucasus and Mediterranean region, the area covers mountains up to 2,200 meters, high alpine meadows, semi-arid steppes, rangelands and forests, rivers and springs.

Arasbaran was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere reserve in 1976.

It is home to 215 species of birds, namely the Caucasian black grouse, grey partridge, black francolin, and common pheasant, 29 species of reptiles, 48 species of mammals, notably wild goat, wild boar, brown bear, wolf, lynx, and leopard, and 17 species of fish.

It was once home to extinct sub-species of Caspian red deer local to the area.

Tulips in Arasbaran National Park

Designed with a wide range of flora and wild trees, Arasbaran forests is the ubiquity of edible wild trees, which grow wild alongside streams, also exotic plant species, such as redcurrant, truffle and herbs with application in traditional medicine significantly add to the ecological importance of Arasbaran region.

National Park of Lake Urmia

The National Park of Lake Urmia, shared between West Azarbaijan and East Azarbaijan provinces, is home to several precious species and amongst 9 biosphere reserves of Iran in 2013 periodic review by UNESCO.

Thus, with regard to its ecological significance, unique biodiversity and the presence of indigenous communities, Lake Urmia has been recognized as a protected area since 1967 and was designated as a National Park in 1976.

Flocks of flamingos in National Park of Lake Urmia, northwestern Iran

Stretching to 464,056 hectares, the National Park of Lake Urmia consists of approximately 102 islands; Shahi island was historically the lake's largest. However, it became a peninsula connected to the eastern shore when the lake level dropped. Some of the islands have a rich ecosystem due to being out of reach.

The 3,200-hectare national park of Kabudan Island, is a habitat for wild mammals such as rats, urials, and leopards.

Armenian mouflon, Persian fallow deer are among the most common species in the area, while it holds a great share of vegetation and herbs and hosts flocks of migratory birds like pelicans, flamingos, large white-headed gulls and common shelduck.

Lake Urmia, was once the largest salt-water lake in the Middle East. It was home to many migratory and indigenous animals including flamingos, pelicans, egrets and ducks and attracted hundreds of tourists every year who had bathed in the water to take advantage of the therapeutic properties of the lake.

However, decades of long-standing drought spells and elevated hot summer temperatures that speed up evaporation as well as increased water demands in agriculture sector shrank the lake drastically. In 1999 the volume of water which was at 30 billion cubic meters drastically decreased to half a billion cubic meters in 2013. Moreover, the lake surface area of 5,000 square kilometers in 1997 shrunk to one tenth of that to 500 square kilometers in 2013.

The lake also hosted diverse bacterial communities, hyperhalophilous phytoplanktons, and notably the macrozooplankton crustacean, the brine shrimp Artemia urmiana.

Kantal National Park

Kantal National Park is located in the northern part of East Azarbaijan province and the international border with the Republic of Armenia, with an area of 7,000 hectares.

The northeastern part of Kantal National Park is recognized as part of the Kiamaki Wildlife Refuge, which has been promoted to National Park in 2011.

There are more than 450 plant species in the region including Juniper, desert poplar, Maple, Celtis australis, wild pistachio tree, European pear, Russian olive, barberry and dog rose.

The Kantal National Park is hosting over 350 animal species namely, wild goat, urial, wild boar, brown bear, Lynx, wild cat, jungle cat, fox, jackal and wolves, while being one of the most important habitats of Persian leopards in the country.

In early spring, colorful tulips grow on the slopes of Kantal farms extending their range to amaze the visitors.

And Maharan Waterfall is also one of the unique beauties of the Kiamaki Wildlife Refuge.

Link to Article - Beautiful Photos:

https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/442189 ... odiversity
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:20 am

Major supermarket
sells deformed Turkeys


“Horrifically deformed” turkeys have been discovered at a factory farm named as a supplier to some of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains

Secretly taken video footage shows crippled birds unable to walk, with missing feathers and exposed skin, and appearing unhealthy or suffering. Sick birds were also recorded being attacked by others.

The turkeys would have lived in the shed for between eight and 26 weeks before being slaughtered.

The centre, at Sudbrooke, Lincolnshire, is run by the Faccenda Group, which is owned by Avara Foods, one of Britain’s largest food manufacturers, which produces more than 100 million turkeys and chickens each year.

The company says it supplies some of the UK’s largest retailers, including Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, as well as restaurant chains.

Morrisons said it was unable to confirm whether Faccenda supplied it with turkeys this year, having sourced them elsewhere last year. Faccenda has previously said it worked with Sainsbury’s.

Undercover investigators from animal-rights group Surge filmed the clip in January but have released it as shoppers were planning their Christmas dinners to expose what they describe as the “shocking toll of suffering” behind the turkey products in supermarkets, eateries and takeaways.

The poultry company says it has addressed the problems and audits showed no problems, but Surge says their findings highlight how “woefully inadequate” animal welfare regulations are.

When a bird collapses it can be vulnerable to being picked on (Surge)

The witnesses said they saw many of the birds had lost feathers, which they believed was due to stress and health problems or injuries inflicted by other birds because of their confined, unnatural housing.

Others were filmed struggling to stand or walk, or collapsing under their own weight as, like most turkeys in Britain, they had been bred to grow more quickly than their legs can take.

Ed Winters, co-director of Surge and known as “Earthling Ed”, said the birds were “horrifically deformed”.

“Undercover investigators working for Surge have discovered turkeys suffering horrifically in a standard UK turkey farm,” he said.

“These animals, treated as nothing but commodities, were shown to be severely lame and in terrible pain – a consequence of consumer demand for their flesh.”

Experts say most turkeys sold as carcasses or used in products such as burgers, slices and en croutes are bred to put on weight so quickly that their limbs cannot support their bodies.

The birds either become lame or their legs can break, leaving them in intense pain and unable to walk or even stand, which in turn means they cannot reach food or water supplies.

According to Compassion in World Farming, lame birds are susceptible to aggression from others.

Wet litter underfoot and ammonia-filled air cause “painful skin and foot sores and eye and respiratory problems”, it says.

With a turnover of more than £500m, Faccenda is one of Britain’s largest privately owned businesses, and also supplies chicken to Nando’s. Avara also says it sells chicken, turkey and duck to the nation’s most popular supermarkets and restaurants.

The facility was typical of most non-organic UK farms providing birds for meat, according to Surge.

“This is the bleak reality of what life is like for farmed animals in the UK, a country that preaches to have the highest welfare standards in the world,” said Mr Winters. “What this shows is that welfare regulations will never be able to safeguard these animals.”

Surge said that all security and biosecurity measures needed were taken by the investigators and that no laws had been broken.

Asda and Sainsbury’s both referred to a statement by the British Retail Consortium but declined to comment further on this issue. The statement said: “Our members take their responsibilities to animal welfare very seriously and work closely with trusted suppliers so that high welfare standards are upheld. They have strict processes in place and will thoroughly investigate any evidence of non-conformity to ensure that any problems are immediately addressed.”

Jim Roberts, of Avara Foods, a joint venture owned by Faccenda, said the undercover footage had been edited “to focus on a small number of turkeys that were suffering with health issues, which should have been addressed sooner”. The problems had been addressed with the farm, he said.

“As soon as we saw this film, in March, we immediately took action. We identified the farm involved and requested three independent audits, as well as increasing the number of visits by our own team,” he said.

“None of these audits reported concerns about the health of the birds on site or the environment. However, we are not complacent and remain vigilant. We will continue to monitor and always encourage anyone with concerns to contact us so that we continue to meet the highest standards.” The company also released its own video of its turkeys.

Sudbrooke farm responds to allegations of animal abuse with footage from their turkey shed

“As you can see from our unedited video of 16 April, our turkeys are typically healthy, active and display the natural, inquisitive behaviour you would expect,” he said.

“We accept that the undercover footage shows turkeys that are having difficulty walking and that we should have identified and removed these birds sooner. We remain concerned about the practice of breaking into farms and disturbing birds with bright lights while they are sleeping.”

Aldi said it had not been supplied by the site for at least the past 12 months, and Tesco said it would not be buying turkeys from Sudbrooke this Christmas.

Lidl said: “None of our turkey products currently in store have been sourced from this farm​.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/h ... ZhyH_MeLNc
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:24 am

New Mexico votes to
end trapping of cougars


Cougars, who once ranged from coast to coast, are now found in only 16 states and are considered endangered in Florida. Their numbers have been decimated by trapping, trophy hunting and habitat loss

Image

New Mexico will no longer allow trophy hunters to prey upon its cougars with cruel snares and leghold traps. The State Game Commission just now voted to pass a proposal that would end all recreational trapping of these majestic animals, as well as limit trophy hunters to no more than two cougars each hunting season, instead of the previous limit of four cats.

This decision follows four years of a legal and grassroots battle that the Humane Society of the United States and our allies have waged in New Mexico to end the persecution of cougars. In 2015, after the state decided to open its cougars to recreational trapping, we promptly filed suit in both state and federal courts, arguing that the hunting and trapping quotas were unsustainably high. We also argued that the indiscriminate damage wrought by leghold traps threatened legally protected species, including Mexican gray wolves who are critically endangered with just 150 individuals in the wild, cougar kittens and their mothers.

While we are disappointed that New Mexico has only limited, not ended, the trophy hunting of cougars – in the 2020 season hunters will be permitted to kill 580 cougars and more than 800 black bears, despite no clear population estimates for either species — we applaud the State Game Commission and the Department of Game and Fish for taking the important step today of ending the cruel practice of trapping these cats.

Cougars, also known as mountain lions, are rare and require large territories with abundant prey to survive. These iconic carnivores, who once ranged from coast to coast, are now found in only 16 states and are considered endangered in Florida. Their numbers have been decimated by trapping, trophy hunting and habitat loss, and they need help to survive, not more killing.

At present, Florida and California are the only two states that prohibit the trophy hunting of these iconic, native carnivores. And Texas is the only state that still allows the trapping of cougars, with no regulation on the trophy hunting of cougars whatsoever. Texas also places no limits on the number of cougars that can be killed by trophy hunters and even newborn kittens can be killed.

Cougars still need our help, and we will continue to fight for the day when America’s lions are not killed to adorn someone’s living room. But today we are grateful for the progress made: our court battle stretched on for years, but the pressure it generated and public awareness it raised helped create this outcome in New Mexico. We are also grateful to the advocates who reached out to the State Game Commission in support of this proposal. Your support helped us win this fight, and we’ll count on you to stand by us — and the animals — in years to come.

https://blog.humanesociety.org/2019/11/ ... FDMYRonwXI
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:01 am

COP25: The climate talks
trying to change the world


Image

We all know the warnings by now

2019 is on course to be in the top three warmest years on record.

The UK government has declared a national climate emergency.

And now, UN Secretary General António Guterres says the "point of no return is no longer over the horizon".

That came ahead of the UN's two-week gathering of countries to discuss climate change and set targets - the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25).

So what really gets done at these conferences - and do they actually work?

Image
Climate activist Greta Thunberg was at last year's COP event in Poland

Many countries have individual targets related to climate change.

For example, the UK government has committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions right down to net-zero by 2050.

But there are also worldwide targets for countries which take part in the UN climate change summits.

The Montreal Protocol, adopted in 1987, was an international agreement to try to heal the ozone layer, which protects Earth from ultraviolet rays but was being destroyed by man-made chemicals.

By last year it was found to be successfully healing - the Northern Hemisphere could be fully fixed by the 2030s and Antarctica by the 2060s, according to a UN report.

The COP meetings - which focus on greenhouse gases - started in 1995. But it was 1997 when the first significant targets were set.

The Kyoto Protocol

Image
The Kyoto Protocol is named after the Japanese city where it was agreed

The Kyoto Protocol, agreed in Japan in 1997, set targets for 37 countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The targets were different for each country, depending on how developed they were.

But the US pulled out in 2001 - because they were unhappy that developed countries had legally binding targets, while less developed nations didn't have binding targets.

Canada pulled out in 2011 and a lot of other countries missed their targets.

Image
Doha in Qatar was where the Kyoto Protocol was amended

In 2012, the Kyoto Protocol was updated in Doha, Qatar.

But the deal only covered Europe and Australia, whose share of world greenhouse gas emissions was less than 15%.

However, it paved the way for the Paris Agreement in 2015 - also known as COP21 - which was another significant step in climate change talks.

The Paris Agreement

Image
The Paris Agreement went further than any other international climate change deal

It was agreed by 195 countries in 2015 and came into force in November 2016.

Some of the main pledges were:

    To keep global temperatures "well below" 2C above pre-industrial times and "endeavour to limit" them even more, to 1.5C.

    To limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100.

    To review each country's contribution to cutting emissions every five years so they scale up to the challenge.

    For rich countries to help poorer nations by providing "climate finance" to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy.
Trump says the Paris climate accord "disadvantages" US

One of the main differences to the Paris deal was that it allowed countries to submit their own targets - rather than tell countries what their targets were.

This got the US and Canada back on board.

But since then, the US has started to withdraw from the agreement, as President Trump says it's unfair on the US economy.

He has said he wants to make it easier for fossil fuel producers in the US.

But there's an election in the US in November 2020, and a different president could cancel the withdrawal.

Do the talks actually work?

Image
COP25 has started in Madrid and runs until 13 December

Although the Paris Agreement was generally well-received, the UN itself has said it doesn't go far enough.

A report from the UN Environment Programme in 2017 says the Paris Agreement only covers a third of the emission reductions needed.

It says that the world is still on course to warm by more than 2C.

The report recommends putting more ambitious targets in place in 2020.

Next year's targets are what's expected to be discussed at this year's COP25 in Madrid.

The 2020 summit will be held in Glasgow and countries have committed to submit new and updated national climate action plans.

The UN Secretary General António Guterres will tell the meeting that the world is now facing a full-blown climate emergency.

He said before the conference: "In the crucial 12 months ahead, it is essential that we secure more ambitious national commitments - particularly from the main emitters - to immediately start reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a pace consistent to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050."

It could be seen as an acknowledgement that while the climate change summits can be a step towards a better future, more needs to be done - and time is running out.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-50629410
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:11 am

There's A Rise In
Polar Bear Hunts


Animal experts are saying there has been a rise in trophy hunters seeking out polar bears in the Canadian area of the Arctic Circle through organised trips

In fact, the surge has been so extreme that more than 5,000 polar bears have been killed for sport in the area in recent years, according to The Mirror.

A haul of 17 polar bear trophies have also been legally imported into the UK alone since 1995, as specialist hunting companies target Brits, Americans and the Chinese.

Eduardo Gonçalves, of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, told the newspaper: "It is well known polar bears are in serious danger of becoming extinct because of climate change.

"If we want to see them survive, we need to stop the senseless slaughter.

"The ­Government should ban im­­­ports of all hunting trophies right away."

The Mirror reports that some companies may charge £36,000 for a 12-day hunt, with tourists also able to enlist the services of a taxidermist to turn the animals into decorative rugs.

A company called Quality Hunts - which advertises such £36,000 trips - says on its website: "Your hide, skull and baculum bone will be shipped frozen by a ­recommended Canadian taxidermist.

"There it will be fleshed, cleaned, properly salted and tanned. Once properly prepared, your hide can be stored for many years."

Nebraska-based Worldwide Trophy Adventures also gives its customers an offer to 'return for another 10 days if a polar bear is not taken'.

"Hunting is carried out on the sea ice in prime areas," its website explains.

"Services of an Inuit polar bear guide with a team is provided through the duration of the hunt.

"The hunt ends when a bear is harvested."

The Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting's Gonçalves continued: "How can anyone justify having a polar bear body in their home as a trophy or for so-called 'personal use'?

"Sixty-seven different polar bear body parts came into Britain in 2017, so far 61 have been logged for 2018.

"The IUCN Red List assessment in 2015 showed polar bears are facing multiple threats.

"As well as dwindling food resources because of shrinking sea ice, they face threats from oil and gas drilling, toxic waste pollution, new diseases as a result of global warming, and busier shipping lanes.

"The last thing they need is for trophy hunters to go around shooting them for fun just so they can pose for a selfie and have a bear's head over their fireplace.

"There are 25,000 polar bears left. Yet CITES [the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention]... allows trophy hunters to shoot some of the world's most endangered animals. This is scandalous.

"Government officials are meeting in Geneva next month to discuss the future of CITES. They should close this crazy loophole immediately."

Dr Teresa Telecky, of the Humane Society International, added: "Polar bears are being pushed to the brink of extinction by climate change.

"Without ice, they are forced onto land where they are easy targets for trophy hunters.

"Canada is cashing in on this crisis. If it won't act to save this species, other countries must."

There are now estimated to be as few as 20,000 polar bears remaining in the wild, according to a petition from the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting - which now has more than 6,000 signatures of the 12,800 goal.

"As many as 5,000 polar bears have been killed by hunters in recent years for trophies, skins, bones, and gall bladders," it says.

"It is time to act to save our polar bears - before it is too late."

https://www.ladbible.com/news/animals-e ... xVl0t6PA0Y
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:55 am

Greta Thunberg:
People underestimate 'angry kids'

Image

Climate activist Greta Thunberg said that adults should stop making young people "angry" over global warming

Ms Thunberg was speaking after her arrival in Lisbon, Portugal, after a two-weeks-plus journey across the Atlantic from her starting point in Virginia, US.

"People are underestimating the force of angry kids," she told reporters.

The 16-year-old is on her way to the COP25 climate summit in Madrid.

She is taking a stand on more polluting forms of transport by sailing, rather than flying or travelling in cars.

Responding to a question from a journalist who said some adults viewed her as "angry", Ms Thunberg said: "We are angry, we are frustrated and it's because of good reasons.

Climate summit told of nation's 'fight to death'

What is climate change?

"If they want us to stop being angry, maybe they should stop making us angry."

She had originally planned to travel from the US to a UN climate summit in Chile.

But the South American nation had to give up the event due to civil unrest.

The venue changed to Spain, and so Ms Thunberg hitched a ride on a 48ft sailing catamaran called La Vagabonde.

She travelled with Australian YouTubers Riley Whitlum and Elayna Carausu, as well as Briton Nikki Henderson - who is a professional yachtswoman.

Their boat uses solar panels and hydro-generators for power. However the emissions impact of the voyage has been called into question by reports that suggested Ms Henderson flew to the US from Britain to undertake the trip.

Meanwhile, in a report released on Tuesday during COP25, the World Health Organization (WHO) called on countries to prioritise funding to deal with the effects of climate change on human health. In coming decades, global warming is expected to cause thousands of additional deaths each year from malnutrition, insect-borne disease and heat stress.

WHO researchers surveyed 101 nations to find out which had already developed health and climate change strategies, and whether these plans had sufficient financial backing.

It found about half of the surveyed countries had drawn up a national strategy. But of 45 countries subjected to more detailed analysis, less than 40% said their current health budget fully or partially covered the estimated costs of implementing their national plans. Only 9% had allocated enough resources to carry out their strategies in full.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-50644395
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