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Blood on the pavement

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By Warren Cornwall
ANTHROPOCENEMAGAZINE.ORG

November 10, 2021
DAILY SCIENCE

Bear cub risking life and limb on the road.

 

For the leopards of north India, the road to extinction is paved.

Deadly encounters with cars pose a serious threat to the continued survival of the regal cat in that region, as well as dozens of other animals across the globe, according to a new study of how the world’s fast-growing web of roads affects thousands of species.

The research sheds light on the magnitude of the roadside carnage and how an individual species’ biology can intersect with traffic deaths to endanger its future survival. Scientists hope it could also help alert road builders and government agencies to potential problem spots amid a construction spree that could add millions more kilometers of pavementby 2050.

In some cases, including the leopard in India, animals “are at risk of local extinction in the near future if observed levels of roadkill persist,” said Manuela González-Suárez, an ecologist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, who took part in the research.

The lethality of cars is readily apparent to anyone who has dodged dead squirrels, opossums, cats and other critters that litter roadsides—commonly known as roadkill. Less obvious is the scale of the damage to the world’s wildlife and the threat such deaths pose to entire species. For example, wild guinea pigs that reproduce quickly might make for a lot of roadkill. But that could pose less risk than for bears that have fewer individuals and offspring. Scientists from six continents set out to produce a more detailed global picture of the dangers roadkill pose to biodiversity.

Rather than sift through rotting carcasses, this team left the dirty work to others. They compiled previous studies measuring local or regional roadkill between 1995 and 2015 – more than 1,300 reports covering 392 different kinds of mammals. The results showed that among large animals, moose were at most risk of being killed—as many as 1.17 per kilometer per year. For smaller animals, guinea pigs earned the unfortunate honor at more than a dozen per kilometer per year in some places.

But understanding the danger to an overall species, and to the thousands of mammals not directly counted, required more sophisticated computer work. To estimate how roadkill levels would influence the fate of a local population, the researchers factored in the overall density of a particular species in a region and key biological traits that can affect population growth, such as the lifespan and number of offspring. To expand the analysis to more than 4,600 different mammal species, they identified which traits most affected the roadkill risk for different types of animals, and then calculated the risks posed to animals that shared those traits, even if they weren’t directly counted in roadkill studies.

The results showed that roadkill posed a problem for populations of 83 species considered at risk by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, according to the study published in September in Global Ecology and Biogeography.  

Deaths from traffic collisions are severe enough that they could endanger the survival of four different regional populations of animals over the next 50 years, the scientists warned. That includes the leopard in north India, the brown hyena in southern Africa, and the maned wolf and little spotted cat in South America. Other vulnerable animals highlighted by the research include Spain’s Iberian lynx, black and brown bears, jaguars and lion tailed macaques.

The findings show the importance of considering the potential effect of roadkill when governments plan to build new roads, said Clara Grilo, a conservation biology researcher at the University of Lisbon in Portugal, and the study’s lead author. In some places, agencies have begun adapting roadways to make them more wildlife friendly, for example by building bridges or tunnels that animals can use to avoid traffic. The new approach to calculating the danger posed by roadkills can be used to find “where roadkill monitoring programs are most needed to evaluate risk and trigger the most appropriate measures to avoid local extinctions,” said Grilo.

The need for such measures could only increase as road construction surges. When the scientists mapped the locations of species most at risk from roadkill, sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia stand out as global hotspots where biodiversity and traffic already collide. Those same regions are also where a road boom is forecasted in the coming years as economies grow. “Emerging market countries will need to develop their connecting infrastructure,” acknowledged González-Suárez. But “it is essential that ecologists and conservation scientists are consulted.”


[su_panel background="#e8eaed" border="1px solid #4c3a3a" shadow="3px 1px 2px #eeeeee" radius="3"]Warren Cornwall is an environmental, science and outdoor recreation journalist whose stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times, Science, Slate, the Boston Globe Magazine, Outside online, National Geographic News, and The Seattle Times. He is a contributing correspondent for the journal Science. He is also the faculty advisor for Western Washington University's The Planet magazine, a student-run publication based at the Huxley College of the Environment.[/su_panel]


Photo: Brown Bear cub (Ursus arctos) crossing a road in Canada ©Jillian Cooper


Thank you for visiting our animal defence section. Before leaving, please take a moment to reflect on these mind-numbing institutionalized cruelties.
The wheels of business and human food compulsions—often exacerbated by reactionary creeds— are implacable and totally lacking in compassion. This is a downed cow, badly hurt, but still being dragged to slaughter. Click on this image to fully appreciate this horror repeated millions of times every day around the world. With plentiful non-animal meat substitutes that fool the palate, there is no longer reason for this senseless suffering. And meat consumption is a serious ecoanimal crime. The tyranny of the palate must be broken. Please consider changing your habits and those around you in this regard.


Up to You.

^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.





Maximilian Werner: The senseless treatment of predators in the West

Another important dispatch from The Greanville Post. Be sure to share it widely.

This post is part of a series on humans' destruction of the natural world.


[dropcap]G[/dropcap]iven the many challenges we face as humans, it’s easy to ignore the non-human world and the plight of other animals besides ourselves. I wonder how many Utahans know about the American West’s vicious and unrelenting extermination campaign against predators.

My guess is not many. Because if people knew that thousands of these beautiful and important animals — including cougars, black bears, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, and wolves — are shot, trapped and poisoned every year for people’s amusement or at the behest of livestock producers and hunters, I suspect that this disgusting, irrational and senseless treatment of predators would have ended long ago.

One would hope that we would have learned from the extermination campaigns of the past, when many species were extirpated from the landscape to the detriment of entire ecosystems. Unfortunately, when it comes to advocating for the interests of others, humans are notoriously slow learners.

I have long known about Utah’s shameful treatment of predators (for example, our misguided coyote bounty program), but not until I began studying wolf and grizzly bear management in southwest Montana, and saw how easily it was for state and federal agencies to destroy these animals for reasons that were arguable at best, that I realized the extent and pervasiveness of this problem.


The self-serving and often toxic influence of ranching, hunting and gun lobbies have long deformed the policies of Federal and state organs charged with the management and care of our wildlife.


Now it seems that a day does not go by when I don’t hear of some half-baked plan to make it even easier to kill predators.

Just last week a senator from Idaho introduced “emergency legislation” that would allow Idahoans with a hunting license and a wolf tag to shoot wolves year-round in what the bill describes as “wolf free zones.” These zones, which will be south of I-84 and the Snake River, sound a lot like Wyoming’s “predator zone,” which, because it includes 85% of the state, may as well just be called “Wyoming.” Any wolf unlucky enough to wander into that zone can, in the words of one wolf advocacy website, “be killed by almost any method, at any time, in any number and without a license.”

Similarly, in late December of 2019 Utah’s own Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney joined Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Wisc., to introduce S. 3140, the American Wild Game and Livestock Protection Act. If approved, this bill (whose title conflates wild game with livestock) will delist gray wolves nationwide (currently only Montana, Idaho and Wyoming have this distinction) and prohibit judicial review.

If this happens, and delisting becomes the law of the land, we can expect other states to adopt equally barbaric, unscientific and indiscriminate management policies of their own and wolves will again be pushed to the brink of extinction.

More recently, “Rural Person of the Year” Rep. Carl Albrecht, also from Utah, just introduced HB 125, the purpose of which is to boost deer and elk populations by ramping up both the Division of Wildlife Resources’ predator control program and trophy hunting quotas of mountain lions, black bears, bobcats and coyotes.

If the reader is wondering if deer and elk populations in are in trouble, the short answer is no. So why HB 125? So that there are more deer and elk for hunters to kill, of course. I don’t know about the reader, but I am not persuaded by this reasoning for killing our wildlife.

The news isn’t all bad, however. In 2016, California recorded its first wolf pack since the 1920’s, as has Colorado just within the last week. A handful of packs have also found their way to Washington and Oregon. A small pack of Mexican gray wolves is trying to survive along the New Mexico and Arizona border. Wolves are all around us. One day very soon they will find their way to Utah. I hope that we do not fail them.


About the Author
Maximilian Werner is an Associate Professor (Lecturer) of Rhetoric and Writing Studies at the University of Utah.  His most recent book Wolves, Grizzlies, and Greenhorns--Death and Coexistence in the American West will be published this fall. He can be reached at: mswerner@gmail.com and @ProfMWerner. 



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The Russian Peace Threat examines Russophobia, American Exceptionalism and other urgent topics




What happens when two monkeys are paid unequally?

Please make sure these dispatches reach as many readers as possible. Share with kin, friends and workmates and ask them to do likewise.


Frans de Waal
An absorbing and enlightening talk by a man who studies animals without too much human prejudice


What happens when two monkeys are paid unequally? Fairness, reciprocity, empathy, cooperation -- caring about the well-being of others seems like a very human trait. But Frans de Waal shares some surprising videos of behavioral tests, on primates and other mammals, that show how many of these moral traits all of us share.

This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxPeachtree, an independent event. TED's editors chose to feature it for you.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Frans de Waal · Primatologist
Frans de Waal studies primate social behavior -- how they fight and reconcile, share and cooperate.


Puke if you must





Up to You.

^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL QUOTES BY THE EDITORS NOT THE AUTHORS


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Factory farming guarantees huge animal holocausts every day—and now it’s all unnecessary

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[su_testimonial]For moral and ecological reasons, the latter now rendered urgent and acute by the rapid destruction of the world's environment by meat producers in all latitudes, this publication stands against the practice of meat-eating as a collective and individual evil, aggravated by the fact even its justification in the name of "palate delights" is no longer entirely valid as meat substitutes, from plant-based homologues mirroring the original have advanced to an astonishing degree, and even true meats produced in the lab soon to become widely available in many commercial outlets. The deliberate spawning and raising of billions of animals for the sole purpose of "food" —and their lifetime slavery and incalculable suffering—has been rendered null and void by the march of history. This story —presented here in its shocking ugliness—is one of many demonstrating the still prevalent indifference of human cultures to animal suffering.[/su_testimonial]

13 Nov, 2019 14:05 / Updated 2 days ago

 
This river in South Korea ran red with blood.
 

A river of blood, quite literally.


  

Heavy rainfall has been blamed for the spread of vast amounts of pig’s blood into rivers along the Korean border this week, following a cull of some 47,000 hogs amid an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF).

“It made many people living in the area anxious and worried,” said Lee Seok-woo, who heads the NGO Yeoncheon Imjin River Civic Network.

A local NGO claims that blood from a nearby burial site, where some 47,000 pig carcasses had been disposed of, had seeped into the Imjin River due to heavy rainfall. South Korean authorities claim that the pigs had already been disinfected before being slaughtered and that there was a delay in the production of plastic containers for the carcasses.

What was also hard to endure was the odor. I heard many farmers couldn’t work because of the unbearable smell. This should not have happened.

Mass slaughtered and disposed of like garbage. Is this the value we want to assign intelligent living creatures?

South Korea has culled around 380,000 pigs since the recent outbreak of ASF began. There is currently no antidote or vaccine for the complex disease, which has ravaged swine herds across Asia and upended markets as a result. 

African swine fever is not harmful to humans but highly infectious and almost 100 percent fatal in pigs.

© Yeoncheon Imjin River Civic Network / AFP

For its part, Seoul claims that the blood flowing into the streams had been “dealt with properly” through the use of suction pumps and various other devices. Authorities claim the local water table and potable supply has not been tainted. “We have built banks and other facilities so that the polluted water does not flow into the downstream region,” the ministry said, adding: “As of now, there is no blood in the stream.” Also on rt.com Quarter of world pig population could be wiped out this year alone, animal health expert warns

Also on rt.com Quarter of world pig population could be wiped out this year alone, animal health expert warns



Up to You.

^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.


Thank you for visiting our animal defence section. Before leaving, please take a moment to reflect on these mind-numbing institutionalized cruelties.  The wheels of business and human food compulsions are implacable and totally lacking in compassion. This is a downed cow, badly hurt, but still being dragged to slaughter. Click on this image to fully appreciate this horror repeated millions of times every day around the world. With plentiful non-animal meat substitutes that fool the palate, there is no longer reason for this senseless suffering. And meat consumption is a serious ecoanimal crime. The tyranny of the palate must be broken. Please consider changing your habits and those around you in this regard. 







Trump’s War on Children now extends to defenseless animals

Please make sure these dispatches reach as many readers as possible. Share with kin, friends and workmates and ask them to do likewise.

Wayne Madsen


[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Trump administration is currently lifting restrictions on the importing of parts of African lions and elephants killed by "trophy hunters." Not only are restrictions being lifted on such trophies but the Interior Department is hampering public access to the records of permits being granted to hunters to import carcass parts of endangered species.

::::::::


Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are avid trophy hunters as are a number of Trump's wealthier supporters and campaign donors A 2010 photo shows the two proudly posing with a leopard they killed in Zimbabwe.
(Public Radio International)

Further pushing his cruelty from caged migrant children separated from their families at the southern border to yet other children coming home from school in Mississippi to find their parents having been hauled off by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detention centers, Donald Trump has now turned his attention to needlessly harming animals. Trump is a well-known critic of pet owners, including his own vice president, referring to them as "low class."

In May of this year, a United Nations report concluded that 1 million animals and plants face imminent extinction due to climate change and overdevelopment. The UN also stated that the rate of extinctions is increasing at a record percentage.

In sweeping action meant to gut America's commitment to protecting endangered species at home and abroad, Trump is scaling back two important statutes that protect animals: the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the U.S. adherence to the 1975 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The Trump administration is currently lifting restrictions on the importing of parts of African lions and elephants killed by "trophy hunters." Not only are restrictions being lifted on such trophies, but the Interior Department is hampering public access to the records of permits being granted to hunters to import carcass parts of endangered species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists lions and elephants as among many endangered species. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are avid trophy hunters, as are a number of Trump's wealthier supporters and campaign donors. A 2010 photo shows the two proudly posing with a leopard they killed in Zimbabw.

The Trump administration is planning to end blanket protections for animals recently declared endangered. It will also require a cost-benefit analysis to be completed prior to a determination being made to protect a particular species of animal or plant.  The changes in the Endangered Species Act may affect 1,600 protected species in the United States and its territories. In May of this year, a United Nations report concluded that 1 million animals and plants face imminent extinction due to climate change and overdevelopment. The UN also stated that the rate of extinctions is increasing at a record percentage.

There are currently moves by conservation groups and at least 10 state attorneys general to launch lawsuits to block Trump's war on endangered animals and plants.

Trump's blood lust for animals does not end with scaling back domestic and international protections for endangered species. The Trump administration is also giving authorization to the Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Service to use M-44 spring-loaded traps filled with sodium cyanide to kill bears, foxes, wolves, coyotes, birds, mountain lions and other animals that ranchers and farmers consider to be pests. Grizzly bears have recently been re-added to the federal endangered species list.

Environmental scientists warn that "cyanide bombs" can kill non-targeted species, including pet dogs and cats, as well as harm humans. In 2017, the USDA imposed a moratorium on the use of M-44s in Idaho after a Pocatello boy walking with his dog triggered one of the devices, causing the family dog "Casey" to die a very violent death [left]. The boy suffered from nausea, vomiting, and coughing with doctors unsure about the long-term effect of the sodium cyanide. The Trump administration's order removes all moratoriums on the use of M-44s, including in Idaho.

Submitters Website: http://www.waynemadsenreport.com


ABOUT WAYNE MADSEN
Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL QUOTES BY THE EDITORS NOT THE AUTHORS

Read it in your language • Lealo en su idioma • Lisez-le dans votre langue • Lies es in Deiner Sprache • Прочитайте это на вашем языке • 用你的语言阅读

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