Religious Leaders Called to Protect Elephants

The diameter of the awareness of the illegal trade in wildlife is increasing steadily beyond conservation circles.  I see hope in how the general public knows more thoroughly the costs of human desire on individuals, species, and habitats. For instance I reported in November about wildlife trafficking, highlighting the uptick of massacred elephants killed for […]

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Python Challenges Us All

Python Challenges Us All

A few days ago, nearly 800 people from 30 states signed up for permits to kill the invasive Burmese python in the Florida Everglades during the “Python Challenge.”  That’s a lot of people out there in the bush on a killing spree with guns, clubs, and machetes. PETA jumped up to protest, not as one […]

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Ivory and Irony

Ivory and Irony

As illegal wildlife trade increases around the world, governance and international organizations are directing more of their energy to this situation.  They are doing this not just for the benefit of biodiversity and to decrease extinction rates, but because what is good for the environment and other species is also good for humans.  Protecting natural […]

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Releasing Wildlife as a Spiritual Practice

Many people are involved in rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, such as after the Gulf Oil Spill a few years ago, and the current wave of shearwater rescues on Florida beaches.  This work can feel good for there is nothing like seeing a bird take wing after you have spent hours of your time offering […]

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Heart Bottom Monkey

Heart Bottom Monkey

There is an endangered monkey in Indonesia that calls out to our hearts. It is the Sulawesi crested black macaque.  Threats to this monkey include habitat loss and hunting for the prized “monkey meat” which as a form of bush meat that is sold throughout the region.  Local people get enough food and do not […]

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Indian Religions Support Avian Conservation and Compassion

Indian Religions Support Avian Conservation and Compassion

  As both a minister and a wildlife veterinarian, I am always interested in the intersection between religion and conservation. Sometimes the connection is causal, in that religion can support conservation efforts, or hurt it. One of the greatest examples I know of this is the Jain Bird Hospitalin Delhi, India. The devotees of Jainism, […]

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Real Hope for the Snow Leopard

Real Hope for the Snow Leopard

In December 2010 I wrote about the efforts of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Afghanistan where they work to preserve not just the birds there, but also the Ibex, the Marco Polo Sheep, and the Snow Leopard.  They are having success with the Snow Leopard, much more than my spouse who updated his Mac […]

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Tree Planting Record

This is a week of good conservation news. Today we celebrate with others around the world a record planting of trees. In the Philippines, 64,000 trees were planted in 15 minutes by 7000 people!  This is part of an effort to plant a total of 12 million trees because  logging and grazing causes Philippine forests […]

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A Whale of a Success

A Whale of a Success

In the last few days, news broke that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was able to end the Japanese whaling season early, saving some 800 minke whales. They use special conservation strategies, described by director Captain Paul Watson, “Our approach is unique. Aggressive but without causing bodily harm to our opponents. Effective, without breaking the […]

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Princesses Parrots and People

Princesses, Parrots, and People

Last month an article by an Australian ethnoornithologist Bob Gosford caught my eye. He wrote about the sighting of a large number of Princess Parrots (Polyetis alexandrae) at Mount Winter, which is well outside their usual range. “This news started a frenzied panic among the birding community – princess parrots are both exceedingly rare and […]

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War on Birds in Afghanistan – Part Two

In early December I wrote a piece on the situation of birds in Afghanistan. Since that time I have been in contact with the in-country staff and they graciously agreed to be interviewed.  Here are their comments below: 1. Which species in particular are you concerned with? We are concerned with the entire suite of […]

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War on Birds

War on Birds

News hit the wires this past week with reports on how the birds are disappearing from Afghanistan. Decades of armed conflict along with environmental devastation, human security issues, poverty, and removal of birds for pets threatens bird life in this unfortunate area. Writes Sadiq Behnam (The Institute for War & Peace Reporting), “Birds are disappearing […]

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Peace Park

“Back in the day” of early conservation, or at least early in my life time, conservationists didn’t seem to think much about the concerns of people. People were tools to conserve nonhuman animals – they were the means to an end. This thinking has not entirely left the scene, however, more and more we see […]

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