Monday, 25 May 2015

Many Americans Support Equal Rights for Animals

by Tanya Lewis, Staff Writer | May 22, 2015 07:58am ET

Nearly one-third of Americans believe animals should have the same rights as people, a recent poll finds.

Thirty-two percent of the people surveyed believe animals and humans should have equal rights, up from 25 percent in 2008. Another 62 percent believe animals deserve some protection from harm and exploitation, but it is "still appropriate to use them for the benefit of humans." Only 3 percent believe animals don't require protection from harm and exploitation "since they are just animals," according to the poll.

Gallup interviewed a random sample of more than 1,000 people across the United States on May 6 to 10, 2015. About half of those surveyed were asked about the protection of animals, while the other half were surveyed about the treatment of animals in various settings. The poll's margin of sampling error was 5 percentage points.

Lowly 'new girl' chimps form stronger female bonds

May 21, 2015
Duke University
Low-ranking 'new girl' chimpanzees seek out other gal pals with similar status, finds a new study. The results are based on 38 years' worth of daily records for 53 adult females in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, where Jane Goodall first started studying chimpanzees in the 1960s. The researchers are still working out whether the low-ranking pairs are true buddies, friends of convenience, or merely acquaintances.
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Enable Big Cats to Thrive, End Extinction Fears

By The New Indian Express

Published: 13th May 2015 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 13th May 2015 12:51 AM

The latest census of India’s population of the endangered Asiatic Lion shows that their numbers are up 27 per cent from those thrown up by the previous census conducted five years back. In 2000, the Asiatic Lion was declared the most endangered large cat species in the world by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The latest census shows that India has managed to bring back the Asiatic lion from the brink of extinction through a single protected reserve. While the rise in their population is welcome, it also poses fresh challenges for managing their habitat and conflict with humans. The slow and promising growth in their numbers is satisfactory, but 50 lions still die annually due to a variety of threats. Experts suggest the big cats need to be relocated to another habitat to ensure their safety because a single sanctuary is detrimental to their safety.

However, despite the Supreme Court ruling in 2013 that some of them should be shifted to another sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh, the Gujarat government has repeatedly tried to appeal the decision and refused to transfer the lions. The rise in their population in Gir sanctuary should not be treated as an excuse to cling to its fauna, which they regard as the “pride of the state”. In the larger interest of preserving Asiatic lions, the Gujarat government must start cooperating and put everything else aside to save the lion via the translocation programme of the magnificent animal.

UK among worst in wildlife league

By Roger Harrabin BBC environment analyst

20 May 2015 
From the section Science & Environment

The UK is among the worst countries in the EU for protecting its wildlife habitats, says an official report.

Britain, Belgium and Denmark report around 70% of habitats are in unfavourable or bad condition.

Holland registered just 4% of its habitats in good condition; environmentalists say the figures are unacceptable.

The report by the European Environment Agency and the European Commission is based on data from member states.

It says EU laws designed to protect wildlife and habitats appear to be working - but only in a patchy way.

The document, State of Nature 2015, comes after the European President Jean-Claude Juncker has launched a review into the fitness of the wildlife and birds directives.

Agreements working to stop beef ranches destroying Brazil rainforest says study

The destruction of large areas of rainforest in Brazil to provide pasture for beef herds has been positively affected by “zero deforestation agreements” between the Brazilian government and ranchers.

A recent study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and published in the journal Conservation Letters, assesses the impact of these agreements on the country's rainforests. 

The team found that these zero deforestation agreements prompted ranchers to swiftly register their properties in an environmental registry, led slaughterhouses to actively block purchases from ranches with recent deforestation, and saw lower deforestation rates among supplying ranches.

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