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.
Deforestation is killing the planet and has been linked to the current ebola outbreak. Still, many places (Canada included) cut down hectares of land as if it’s nothing. Norway is apparently sick of tho attitude and has made a deal with Liberia to protect their woodlands.
“We have funded efforts in Indonesia and Brazil, but I think this is the first time we have entered a deal on a country level.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Norway will help Liberia to initially build up the capacity to monitor and police the forests.
Liberia will refrain from issuing any new logging concessions until all existing ones have been reviewed by an independent body.
The country agrees to place 30% or more of its forest estate under protected area status by 2020. It will also pilot direct payments to communities for protecting the forest.
Organizations that care about protecting the environment are always looking for ways to get more people helping them out and in some cases consumer technologies are the solution. Save the Redwoods is an organization in California that is asking people to use their iPhones to identify where every redwood tree is in the state. The information will then be mapped out on Google Earth – a great way of showing people the current state of the redwood forests.
Find a redwood tree in a park, in your own backyard, or in a botanical garden anywhere in the world. Then use the free Redwood Watch iPhone application powered by iNaturalist or your own camera to take a photo of the tree and submit it online.
“Citizen-science efforts like iNaturalist are rapidly emerging as rich sources of biogeographic information for alerting scientists where plants and animals are disappearing and where they persist,” said Scott R. Loarie, co-director of iNaturalist.org and a postdoctoral fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science. “These technologies are a real win-win for conservation because, in addition to generating urgently needed data, they get people outdoors and help them become more aware of the natural world.”
In collaboration with Google Earth Outreach, Redwood Watch also will include a tour and new 3D online model of the ancient forest to help people better understand, appreciate and connect with the wonder of the redwoods. A 2½-minute video, Finding the Redwood Forests of Tomorrow, tells the story of an ancient forest. The video was narrated by Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall. Save the Redwoods League partnered with Google Earth Outreach to produce the new 3D Trees model ofJedediah Smith Redwoods State Park on Google Earth. Jedediah Smith Redwoods was selected for this project because it is one of the most pristine old-growth coast redwood forests in California. The 3D model allows Google Earth users to virtually walk and fly through an ancient redwood forest anytime anywhere.
Japan’s notorious killing spree of whales has been challenged by Sea Shepherd for years and this past year Sea Shepherd literally saved whales.
Japan’s whaling ships have returned from the Southern Ocean with their smallest catch in years, prompting the fleet’s leader to blame harassment by the Sea Shepherd marine conservation group for the shortfall.
The Nisshin Maru, the fleet’s mother ship, returned to Tokyo harbour yesterday with just 507 whales, a little over half the target catch of 935, according to the fisheries agency. The haul of minke whales and a single finback was well down on last year’s catch of 680.
The fleet said Sea Shepherd’s attempts to sabotage the hunt had deprived it of 31 days’ whaling.
The annual confrontation between the two groups reached its height in January with the sinking of Sea Shepherd’s high-tech powerboat, the Ady Gil, after a collision with the Shonan Maru 2 harpoon boat.