Some Rhinos are Making a Comeback

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 Even though two species of Rhino are doing quite well, there species aren't. They still need your help. Their habitats also needs protection too.
Even though two species of Rhino are doing much better, the other three species of Rhino need immediate help.  They need your help. Habitat protection also very important.  Read the following and discover the world of Rhino Ranches–those farm designed to negatively exploit these and other animals must be made illegal. Greed.

Now for a bit of good news.  The White Rhinoceros is making a  comeback on the African Savanas, and Black Rhinos are over populating their preserves.  Fortunately the World Wildlife Fund’s Black Rhino Range Expansion Project is relocating these wonderful animals to many other areas in Africa. By the way the White Rhino isn’t white.  They have a very wide mouth that looks much like a vacuum cleaner, and someone in the past confused wide for white–that’s one theory anyway.

This is great news when one considers that in the last forty years the decline in their population was 80%.  Black Rhinos population once numbered 500,000 thousand.  Today there are 29,000.  In 1885, the White Rhino was thought to be extinct until fifty of them were discovered in Umfolozi.  There are now 12,000.  Very cool.  

The extinction rate of these magnificent animals is the result on one thing, their horns–composed of they same stuff as our fingernails.  In Yeman, Rhino horns were favored as the most beautiful handles for a knife called jambiya.  Fortunately, education initiatives and a fatwa (laws) against rhino horns has reduced this practice. 

However, the medicinal use of Rhino horns in China to cure or help people with a variety of ailments is the primary reason for why Rhinos are still being poached all over Africa today– this practice started thousands of years ago.  If you have the stomach for it, you can see how horrible this is, just search for pictures of Rhinos and you’ll run into some very ugly and sad pictures of mutilated Rhinos, some still alive and scared for life.  Many scientists have looked into the fingernail properties of Rhino horns and find nothing medicinal about them, and yet this hasn’t stopped people from selling these product, and why wouldn’t they.  On the black market, Rhino horn clippings are worth three times the value of gold.

What’s great is that the Rhinoceros is one of the big five most popular tourist attractions in Africa and has become a 10 billion dollar industry–the other four are lions, leopards, elephants and buffalo.  Cheetahs are sixth.

Now for the good and bad news. For $15,000, you can get a Rhino for your privately owned preserve.  In some cases, they are protected as best as possible by well trained teams of armed men who search the savanas everyday for signs of poachers. Obviously this is good.

However, there are many privately owned reserves that have commodified rhinos. In fact, name an animal and you’ll will find similar reserves popping up everywhere.  Many of the owners of these reserves boast that they are saving these animals from extinction.  What’s really going on is summed below. For more detail, read about it in the October 2016 National Geographic, article entitled Deadly Trade.  Bryan Christy and Investigative Journalist gave up his law practice to help those unable to defend themselves–animals. Here’s what is really going on with Rhinos and other animals at some privately owned reserves.  

In short, many of these reserves exist to attract American hunters interested in killing game that are not suppose to be hunted.  There are also Rhino Ranches where large population of these magnificent animals live in crowded fenced in spaces for the sole purpose of ‘farming’ their horns to be exported to China. The horns grow back.  As Bryan Christy says, these animals are “biologically dead” as they serve no purpose for their existence in the natural world. I would add that these beautiful beings have been sole murdered.  He met one rancher that simply killed them for their horns.  When asked about this the rancher said, they’re my property and I can do anything I want to to them.  His karmic journey is not going to be a pretty one.  What’s even more tragic is that South Africa is considering opening up the Rhino Horn Trade to the world.  Do pick up a copy of the October 2016 National Geographic to read more. 

Many people are working to change this and they need plenty of help.

Endanger Rhinos

The World Wildlife Fund is a great organization and is responsible for the protection of Rhinos.  Do consider visiting their website and donate to your favorite endangered animals. As well as the Black and White Rhinos, consider the Indian Rhino (Great One Horned Rhino) who looks like an armored tank, the Sumatran Rhino, seriously endangered, and the Javan Rhino — only 50 of this Asian species are left.  Three of the five rhino species all have a 5O% change of becoming extinct within 3 generations.

And check out saveanimalsfacingextinction.org and contribute to help these and many other animals facing extinction.  Thank you.

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Beautiful Lizards

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Appreciate Lizards
                                                 Appreciate Lizards

Most people don’t necessarily hear or possibly care about lizards.  All animals are precious and all animals are important to their biotas (the animal and plant life of a particular region, habitat, or geological period).  Any animal’s disappearance can dramatically affect  their specific ecosystem.  Imagine an increasing insect population as lizards and frogs disappear.  I suspect that some people my think that lizards are immune to a changing climate, they been around for a very long time.

Well, there is evidence that lizards are being affected by climate change.  With the exception of humans, animals cannot put on a jacket or light up the furnace to get warm.  And since lizards need to warm themselves to be active, one might think that global warming isn’t going to have an effect on these wonderful creatures.  Every animal has adapted to their biotas including a range of temperatures, their diets (broad or very specific), each have their predators and have various means to save themselves from predation and so on.  Animals cannot quickly adapt though, unfortunately, many viruses and some insects can.  Animals cannot simply pick up and move somewhere else.  If the animal that goes extinct is a keystone species,  the entire habitat may collapse without them, think of the beaver.  Any change in an environment has an affect, and all life is impacted by global warming.  Let’s not forget that entire islands will go under water as the seas rise in which case many unique habitats and animals will simply disappear forever.  We will not be able to save everything.

Now for the Lizard.  There is little data on the wellbeing of reptiles, though there is some.   The American Association for the Advancement of Science reports the following.  Having “compared recent and historical surveys for 48 Mexican lizard species at 200 sites,” they discovered that “Since 1975 12% of the local populations have gone extinct.”  Using this data, they “verified physiological models of extinction risk with observed local extinctions and extended projections worldwide.”  They estimate that since 1975, “4% of local populations have gone extinct worldwide.  By “2080 local extinctions are projected to reach 39%”– 20% species extinctions worldwide.  These “global projections were validated with local extinctions observed from 1975-2009 for regional biotas on four other continents.”  This suggests that “lizards have already crossed a threshold for extinctions caused by climate change.”

As global warming is accelerating more quickly than predicted just a few years ago, I would argue that the rates of local and worldwide extinctions for lizard populations have increased.  Lizard lovers, buy a t-shirt, and march. Get Washington acting now.  Make the 21st Century the Environmental Revolution, and do what you can to help change the path we are on.  I’m talking to millennial too, it’s your future.  Blessings to all.  With deep respect and love as always.

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Elephants and Lions too.

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

Thirty thousand (30,000) elephants are KILLED each year.  In the last twenty (20) years, many African countries have lost ALL of their rhino population, and the worldwide population of lions have been cut in half.

Stop the Ivory Trade
Save these magnificent creatures. Stop the capture of live animals and     the Ivory Trade.  Check out  www.saveanimalsfromextinction.org 

Hi everyone,  Today I’m including African Elephants to my cache of endangered species.  They are quickly disappearing due to ivory poachers and habitat loss.  Some illegal Ivory has been traced to terrorist activities.  It is estimated that elephants, rhinos and lion populations will be extinct in the wild in fifty years or our lifetime depending on the species one is talking about.  Do not let this happen.  

Poaching Ivory as been taken over by organized crime syndicates using sophisticated tracking technology and high-powered weaponry.  Large numbers of elephants are killed at once, and these monsters cannot be tracked, so no one has been able to stop them.

The other day I received the following from Save Animals Facing Extinction.  “Domestic Ivory markets will be closed to prevent further laundering of illegal Ivory through legal systems.”  Good news except there are several countries refusing to acknowledge this vote–Japan, having large domestic ivory trade, being one of them.  

Then they sent this news, Oct 5, 2016. “…world leaders rejected a complete ban on the trade of elephant and lion parts”, making these magnificent animals ever closer to extinction in the wild.

Furthermore, “Zimbabwe is reportedly using bull hooks to coax baby elephants and lions in and out of containers”: destination China.  One young lion “allegedly captured” is said to be a male pride member of Cecil, the venerated lion killed by the American dentist Walter Palmer.  According to Save Animals Facing Extinction,  Zimbabwean Water and Climate Minister plans to expand the capture of live baby elephants to more countries.  These babies are stuffed into pens and forever separated from their families.  They are in great distress, abused and injured. 

Though laws exist to stop poaching elephants, lions and rhinos, so much more needs to be done.  In the wild, “an elephant is killed every 15 minutes.  A rhino is shot in Africa every 9.5 hours (just for their horns, and about five wild lions are killed everyday.  Go to Save Animals Facing Extinction and contribute to these or other animals in peril. Thank you.

There are thousands of government representatives and conservations meeting at this very moment in South Africa discussing how to save animals. Poachers must he held accountable.

Stop the Cruelty
                                        Stop the Cruelty

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Endangered Species Buttons

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As you can see, I have been working hard on my Save Our Home Buttons, Magnets and a Variety of other items including Ts. I will be adding more soon as there are an infinite number of issues that need to be addressed.

 

As a Nichiren Buddhist, I know we can all learn to work together in harmony with each other and all sentient beings.  Whether you focus on Carbon emissions, on revitalizing our soil, cleaning our oceans, rehabilitating habitats or protecting and saving animals, all is important.  Stay open to new ideas and beware of conspiracy theories.  We are all capable of treating all with dignity and respect as we must learn to treat our planet the same. We are here as stewards, let us act as such. Let’s get started.  Each day we waste is one day closer to crossing over the line of nothing we can do now.  It is up to all of us.  My designs are available for sale and there are many other vendors and organizations that sale or supply t-shirts for their specific causes.  Dress to save, to inform, to become a mass of individuals who are passionate and care.  Be peaceful in your efforts.  These and other items related to our environmental movement are available at Cafe Press Earth and World Peace

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The Amazing Story of Yacouba Sawadogo

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If you have not heard of this wonderful man, you are in for a treat. I’m only going to give you a brief synopsis of his story.  Links to learn more, to buy or rent his video will be given at the end.

Yacouba Sawadogo comes from a semi-arid region between the Sahara Desert and the savannahs.  For many years the Sahara Desert was creeping ever closer to the town that he lived.  Farm lands were disappearing and people were in a desperate way.  Droughts and famine were frequent and widespread. One day, Yacouba began digging hole as one would to plant an orchard.  Since he was doing this during the dry season, off season for planting, the other farmers and towns people ridiculed him: considering him insane.  Despite this, he continued day after day, using this ancient African farming practice called Zai, pronounced Zaaaa I which he had heard about from family members.  He filled each Zai hole with manure and other biodegradable material to provide nutrients and to attract termites.  Tunneling termites help to break up the soil and retain water.  Seeds of trees, millet and sorghum were planted. Yacouba also  built a small wall, called cordons pierreux, made of fist-sized stones to keep the rainy season’s water from running off.  

          Reforestation 1975 -2005

Unknown-10As a result of his twenty year efforts, a 30 acre forest with over 30 species of trees was established and effectively stopped the desert.  Since then he has shared this technique with thousands of farmers whom are using this technique to stop desertification, and to provide food for their villages and towns.  A man who was ridiculed became revered and today is considered a genius.  He has spoken to many dignitaries including President Obama.  Sadly, his forest is being sold off to developers and Yocouba wishes to buy his forest to preserve it but doesn’t have the funds.  To read more about this, go to http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/09/soil/mann-text/6

There are many videos of Yocouba Sawadogo on youtube.  Watch the trailer for the film The Man Who Stopped the Desert  Yacouba Sawadogo

The Man Who Stopped the Desert is available for rent or to purchase at Amazon.com

When making recommendations of any kind, I receive no funds for doing so.  Yocouba Sawadogo rocks.

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The Cat Family

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Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

More to come about Cats

Lioness
Lioness and Lions   Five wild lions are killed everyday.  It is estimated that if nothing is done about this, they will be extinct in the wild in our lifetime.  In the last 20 years, the worldwide lion population has been cut in half.     Dec. 1915  

As of December 2015, The good news is that several species of lion are now formally protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act including the critically endangered Asiatic lions of India and a subspecies now called P.l. leo found scatter throughout western and central Africa.  Other subspecies are listed as threatened: many living in protected restricted areas.

Throughout the various pages in this blog, habitat loss is one of the main causes of endangerment: in Africa, habitat loss is cause by human population growth and cattle farmers. Here’s a statistic that profoundly exemplifies what habitat lose looks like: less than   In West Africa, lions roam in less than 1 percent of their original space: throughout Africa, roaming territory has been reduced to less than one-quarter their original range (Scientific America).  Poaching and smaller populations of prey animals are also responsible for both lion and cheetah population decline.  In order to continue managing these populations of lions and the management of protected reserves requires a great deal of money.  If you love lions, there are plenty of donation and information sites online.

Chettah
                                            Cheetah

Having evolve in the Northern American Continent and traveling over the land bridge created by the last ice age, the Cheetah spread throughout Asia and into Africa.  They are now found only on the savannahs and grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa.  These beautiful animals numbers are dwindling in protective wildlife preserves in part due to increased competition from lions and hyenas.  On top of that, cheetahs tend to wander off the reserves placing them in danger of human conflict.  The smaller the population, the less diverse the gene pool, and the more fragile they become to diseases.  Attempts at breeding Cheetahs in captivity are very dodgy, and scientist are very concerned for their future (Scientific America).

Cheetah Conservation Fund

Check out The Smithsonian Institute for more information.

Cheetah Science Q  The Smithsonian

 

Snow Leopard
                                    Snow Leopard

Living on rugged, mountainous terrain in the Himalayas and Central Asia, snow leopards are able to leap up to 50 feet in the air.  They eat mostly wild sheep, goats, and smaller mammals such as pikas, zokors and marmots.  Other than habitat loss, diminishing food supply and the illegal wildlife trade, many herders also do revenge killings as they prey on livestock to survive.

WWF considers climate change as perhaps “the greatest long term threat to snow leopards” resulting in “the loss of up to 30 percent of the snow leopard habitat in the Himalayas alone.”

Contact the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) if you’d like to help.  They work on conservation projects to protect these animals with the local people, and supports research.  

Read more about Snow Leopards and a list of other animals at WWF 

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