Time to get Wild in Scotland

Forest

We keep kicking wildlife out of their homes, and it’s time to reverse that process. We need to invite wild animals back into the places they used o live, this is known as rewilding. The most celebrated rewilding effort was done in Yellowstone when wolves were reintroduced into the park, which led to a much healthier ecosystem. Now, there are places all around the world trying to return their parks and natural areas back to their pre-industrial prime. In Scotland they are looking to make rewilding a national effort.

He explains that they are urging all political parties to commit to five different measures to protect nature and boost the economy:

  • Commit to rewilding 30 per cent of public land.
  • Establish a community fund to support rewilding in towns and cities.
  • Backing the reintegration of keystone species such as rehoming beavers and reintroducing the Eurasian Lynx where there is local support.
  • Create a coastal zone where dredging and trawling are not permitted
  • Introduce a plan to control deer populations, allowing land to recover from overgrazing.

The Scottish public is behind the idea too. Last year the SWA commissioned a poll across Scotland which found widespread support for the principle of rewilding. More than three-quarters of people who expressed an opinion backed the concept, ten times as many as those who objected to it.

Read more.
Thanks to Craig!

You Can Protect Birds by Keeping Your Cat Inside

birds

We all love cats, they’re curious and fluffy and provide mixed feedback on whether they like you or not. We all love birds too, that’s why we shouldn’t let them meet. If you are a cat owner please please please keep your cat inside. Cat’s account for millions of bird deaths every year and are a major influence on the decline of bird populations.

Domestic cats are a threat to birds because they don’t eat what they kill, and keep on killing for fun. There is an easy solution to save wonderful birds: keep your cat inside.

Marra tells the story of Tibbles the cat, who traveled with her owner to an untouched island south of New Zealand in 1894. There, she single-pawedly caused the extinction of the Stephens Island wren, a small, flightless bird found only in that part of the world. Most cats aren’t as deadly as Tibbles, but your average outdoor pet cat still kills around two animals per week, according to the Wildlife Society and the American Bird Conservancy. The solution for these cats is simple, says Marra: Bring them indoors. The Humane Society of the United States agrees.

Read more.

Collision: How we can Better Protect Endangered Species

Collision at home

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Achim Steiner spoke today at Collision at Home about The Lion’s Share organization. The organization looks to protect endangered species by channeling some funding that large companies put into advertising into spending on protecting our environment. It’s basically putting in a voluntary tax earmarked for a specific cause. This is great to see and a model that other causes and organizations can follow. It’s so successful that the UN is joining forces with some of the biggest brands in the world to make sure humankind pays its debts.

The Lion’s Share Fund is a pioneering initiative that supports wildlife while elevating brands to resonate with audiences in a more meaningful way – thereby positively impacting the brand’s growth, trust, and profitability.

Advertisers win
They become more profitable and are perceived positively.

Humans win
We feel good by supporting a business for doing the right thing.

Animals win
Their lives and habitats are preserved, enabling them to thrive.

Check out The Lion’s Share.

lion share fund
I’m attending Collision at Home this week.

Be Conscious of Wild Animal Pictures with Tourists

Elephants

It’s a sad truth that animals are caught in the wild and are then subsequently forced to entertain tourists against their will. Too often “influencers” and regular tourists take pictures alongside these animals to show how pleasant their travel experience has been, but this ignores the plight of the animals. This practice of exploiting animals needs to stop. Last year, National Geographic released a great expose on how animals are being treated in many tourist-friendly places (primarily in South East Asia) and how tourists themselves contribute to the animal abuse.

People have become aware of this horrible practice and are instead going to sanctuaries instead. Still, not every ethical place operates, errr ethically. At the very least they are an improvement to the current popular practices seen around the world. I took the picture above at the Elephant Conservation Centre in Laos.

What you can do to help stop animal abuse in the tourism industry:
-Stop liking pictures with animals in it
-Comment on the posts saying you hope the person went to an ethical place
-Donate to an animal sanctuary

Meena’s life is set to follow the same trajectory as many of the roughly 3,800 captive elephants in Thailand and thousands more throughout Southeast Asia. She’ll perform in shows until she’s about 10. After that, she’ll become a riding elephant. Tourists will sit on a bench strapped to her back, and she’ll give several rides a day. When Meena is too old or sick to give rides—maybe at 55, maybe at 75—she’ll die. If she’s lucky, she’ll get a few years of retirement. She’ll spend most of her life on a chain in a stall.

Read more.

One way you can help the solve problem right now:

Wild Animals Keep our Cities Clean

CBC’s ecological science show is taking an unorthodox look at the vermin and critters in our cities by showing how they help us. On Jan. 31 The Nature of Things will air the episode, trailer above, all about how animals have adapted to urban environments and how those animals end up helping humans. It’s a neat approach to animals that otherwise get a bad reputation.

In Toronto, we join urban wildlife behaviour expert Suzanne MacDonald and Toronto Wildlife Centre Team Leader Andrew Wight on their hunt for the elusive opossum. Opossums are native to the southern United States, but in recent years, climate change has extended their habitat north to Canada. They look fierce and foreboding but they are one of the shyest scavengers of all. We discover how they help make our cities healthier by eating our refuse – they can even digest bone. They also eat and eliminate disease-laden ticks.

In Manhattan, we meet a team of young entomologists and learn the importance of ants in keeping city streets clean. There are over 2,000 ants for every human. The pavement ant, a rarely studied species, picks up and eliminates the food that people drop. These foraging ants can lift over ten times their weight and eat as much or more than rats in the city. Unlike rats, they do not transmit human diseases.

Check it out.

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