Tiger Population Recovering in India

The Indian tiger population suffered great losses in the last 100 years. Tigers were killed for the bizarre perception that their body parts could help people have sex. This caused a major population collapse for tigers.

Now it looks like the tigers are making a come back!

The number of tigers in India has seen a sharp rise to 2,226 tigers from 1,411 seven years ago, the environment ministry has said.

“India is now home to 70 per cent of the world’s tigers,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday.

Karnataka has the most number of tigers at 406. Uttarakhand has 340 tigers, Tamil Nadu has 229, Madhya Pradesh has 208, Maharashtra has 190 and the Sundarbans in Bengal has 76 tigers.

Read more.

Sport Hunting Banned in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has become the first Latin American country to ban hunting for sport. The country has seen a lot of ecotourism and will continue to be a destination for people who watching shooting wildlife with a camera instead of bullets.

The central American country is already known for its environmental mindset, with 25% of its land protected as national parks or reserves.

Under the new law, those caught hunting can face up to four months in prison or fines of up to $3,000.

Smaller penalties for people who steal wild animals or keep them as pets were also included in the reform. Jaguars, pumas and sea turtles are among Costa Rica’s most treasured species.

Read more at the Guardian.

LA Bans Puppy Mills; Pet Stores to Sell Only Rescued Animals

LA joins quite a few other cities in North America to ban the sale of animals from puppy mills. Puppy mills are horrible breeding facilities focused on profit at the expense of animal welfare and many people buying a pet don’t realize that pet stores get their puppies from such morally bankrupt places. Bans on puppy mills help cities deal with the vast quantity of rejected animals from people’s homes that need to be taken care of in city shelters.

The city council voted 12-2 in favor of a law that would require pet stores to sell only rescued animals. In addition to reducing euthanizations, the law seeks to put an end to puppy and kitten mills that keep animals in poor conditions and then ship them to pet stores.

The law would still allow individuals to buy directly from breeders.

If you’re going to take care of another being please think about all the ramifications it could have on your life.

Read more at the Huffington Post.

Stripespotter: A New Tool for Wild Animal Tracking

Tracking wild animals can be a difficult task be it tagging or just eyeballing the count. Researchers have adapted barcode reading to non-other than zebras. Now they can easily track zebras based on their individual stripe pattern. Neat!

A team of computer scientists and biologists have developed a barcode-like scanning system called Stripespotter that automatically identifies individual zebras from a single photograph. The system is more accurate than other image-recognition programs and could be used on additional animals with stripes, such as tigers and giraffes.

On top of that, it’s simple to use. Ecologists in the field take pictures of the animals using an everyday digital camera. That image is uploaded to a Stripespotter database. The scientist highlights a portion of the photographed animal, such as its hindquarters, and the program analyzes the pixels in that portion and then assigns a “stripecode” to the animal. When additional images of zebras are uploaded to the database and the hindquarters highlighted, the Stripespotter program compares the stripecode with others in the system. If it finds a match, it provides feedback about why two images of an animal are similar.

Read the rest of the article.

Here’s the project’s page: Stripespotter

Why People Go Vegetarian

There are plenty of reasons to change your diet to a vegetarian one and blogger Brain Gordon has concluded that there are four primary reasons why people go veggie.

Many millions of people have considered going vegetarian at some point in their life, and millions have. (Hundreds of millions including those who do so as part of their religion.) As climate change, fisheries collapse, desertification, and other crises become less ignorable, many of us will have to consider eating less meat, if not forgoing many animal products entirely.
In my experience, there are four reasons that people go veg:

Personal Health
Weight Loss
Planetary Health
Compassion for Animals
There is a fifth reason that may remove the choice for many: Economic. Meat and animal products may simply become too costly.

Keep reading Brain’s reasons for going vegetarian.

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