Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Fishing Cats bred outside womb

ASIAN FIRST :Asia's first fishing cats bred outside a womb are expected in late July, Sumate Kamolnorranath, a zoologist coordinating the fishing cat breeding programme, said yesterday.

 

Mr Sumate said the female cats have received transferred embryos. He expected to see evidence of conception within 45 days. The first kittens would be delivered two weeks later, or about late July.

 

"We plan to do this with other rare species of wild cats if it is successful. It is our highest dream to release artificially bred animals into the wild," he said.

 

Mr Sumate and his colleagues have spent the past three years developing the technique of in-vitro fertilisation of fishing cats. Nine embryos were placed in three cats at Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chon Buri province.

 

http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/31May2006_news07.php

 

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Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

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Gir Lion King may soon get another home: Hipawadi

Lion King may soon get another home: Hipawadi

 

Express News Service

 

Vadodara, May 30: CRAMPED habitant, a shrinking prey base and a steadily rising population of Asiatic lions in the Gir sanctuary has been worrying foresters since long. Friday’s “one-off” incident of a lion preying upon a Lati village woman has only underlined the need to expand the majestic animal’s abode or give it a new protected area.

 

And many in the State Forest Department agree that the incident has forced them to take a serious look at the problem and expedite plans stretch the sanctuary’s boundaries to newer areas in the Kathiawar peninsula.

 

The Forest Department is working on a proposal to declare 300 sqkm in Hipavadi region of Bhavnagar and Amreli districts as another lion sanctuary. The region, already home to about 30 lions, can accommodate around 70, say senior foresters.

 

“Providing the lions with one more planned, protected area will help dispersing the population. The first proposal was sent to the State Government sometime ago, and is now being amended after some discussions,” said Gir Conservator Bharat Pathak.

 

With a Savannah-type vegetation best suited for the lions, Hipavadi was home to a large number of big cats up to 1950s. The new proposal to declare it a sanctuary will mean bringing more lions to the region, taking off the pressure from Sasan and its protected satellite areas.

 

Officials say the expansion is part of a strategy to increase protected areas in the Kathiawar peninsula to accommodate the rising number of lions. Mitiyala was declared a sanctuary in 2003 as part of this plan.

 

“We are working on the proposal. Changes are being worked out. Hipavadi can become a sanctuary in a year or so,” said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Pradeep Khanna. After Hipavadi, the Forest Department will focus on Jamnagar’s Barda region that has favourable habitat conditions in an area of about 400 sqkm. Over 150km from Gir, Barda could also be termed as an alternate home for Asiatic lions in the State, when it is developed in next five years, said a senior forest official.

 

On the lion’s trail

 

MORE than 50 foresters from all ranks are on the trail of the lion which killed a woman in the Lati village on Friday night. The lion needs to be trapped before it attacks and preys on other human beings, say officials adding, the animal is either old having lost its tearing teeth or is injured. Officials do not rule out the case of mistaken identity as well where the woman was taken for a buffalo.

 

http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=185388

 

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Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

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Animal activists up in arms after shooting of leopard

Animal activists up in arms after shooting of leopard

 

By Dineo Matomela

 

YET another leopard was shot dead in Baviaanskloof last week.

 

The female leopard was shot after it had been caught in a gin trap and suffered injuries to its toes.

 

The shooting has angered Landmark Foundation director Bool Smuts who said the leopard could easily have been saved. Smuts said the leopard was the 18th killed in the last three-and-a-half years in the region between Tsitsikamma and Addo.

 

He said a rescue service was available which could have been used to save the animal. Included in the programme, run by the foundation, are helicopter flights, veterinarians and care facilities.

 

Smuts said consumers had to join forces to bring an end to the production of gin traps, which also ensnared sheep and kudu.

 

Environmental officer for the western region Gerrie Ferreira said an investigation into the accident would continue.

 

Ferreira said there had been numerous complaints about predators on the farm where the leopard was killed and the shooter was an animal control hunter on the farm.

 

However, a permit was required to shoot the leopard. Transgression could lead to a fine and even imprisonment.

 

“We will ascertain what happened and decide whether to prosecute,” he said.

 

http://www.theherald.co.za/herald/news/n11_31052006.htm

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

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Experts remain skeptical of big cat sightings

Experts remain skeptical of big cat sightings

 

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. State biologists say they have yet to find anything to support several reported sightings over the past year of cougars or other big cats in southern Indiana.

 

The sightings have come from several spots in Monroe County, with other reports from neighboring Owen and Greene counties.

 

One woman believes she saw a black panther mauling seven of her pigs in their fenced enclosure at her home outside Ellettsville.

 

State wildlife experts say there hasn't been a confirmed report of a big cat in Indiana since 1851, but cougars have been spotted in western and southern Illinois in recent years.

 

Officials say they need conclusive evidence -- such as a photo or tracks -- to confirm a sighting as real.

 

http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=4968309&nav=0Ra7

 

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

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12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Asian Authorities Try to Curb Wild Animal Trafficking

Asian Authorities Try to Curb Wild Animal Trafficking  

 

By Ron Corben

Bangkok

30 May 2006

 

Seizure of 279 trafficked tiger skins in Nepal in 2005 (Photo courtesy of Wildlife Conservation, Nepal)

Asia's regional police forces and customs officials are joining together in the fight against the illegal trafficking of wildlife in Southeast Asia.

 

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is creating a police and customs task force to end illegal wildlife trafficking.

 

The decision came at a meeting in Bangkok this month of officials from ASEAN customs and police, Interpol, the U.S. Justice Department and the U.N.'s endangered species agency (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or CITES).

 

They will join environment officials in the so-called ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN), created in December.

 

The task force will address the close links between wildlife smuggling, drug trafficking and other forms of organized crime. 

 

U.S. government data estimate the illicit wild animal trade generates more than $10 billion a year in profits and constitutes the third largest global black market after drugs and weapons.

 

Officials say there is much to be done to curb wildlife trafficking, which threatens biodiversity and pushes species to the brink of extinction.

 

But John Sellar, a senior U.N. anti-smuggling officer, says ASEAN's task force is a good step forward in the fight against the wildlife black market.

 

"I think there's great potential here," he said.  "There's great promise, but I've been a cop too long to know that this is not going to happen overnight, but a very important start has been made here."

 

Sellar says that collaboration between government agencies will provide more information on transnational wildlife traffickers.

 

Representatives from China, a major destination in Asia for trafficked wildlife, attended the Bangkok meeting as observers. Sellar says this is a welcome development.

 

"China is very interested in this process, because clearly China is probably one of the world's greatest consumers of wildlife... undoubtedly takes a lot of the wildlife from this country and the sub-region," he added.

 

Training and investigative programs are now being put in place that will heighten public awareness, which is a key step in stopping the illegal wildlife trade.

 

http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-05-30-voa26.cfm

 

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

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Monday, May 29, 2006

13th lion found dead in Gir

13th lion found dead in Gir

 

Haresh Pandya

 

Rajkot, May 28, 2006

 

A two-month-old lion cub died after falling into a well in the Dedakadi range of the Gir forest in Gujarat on Friday.

 

“It was an accident. A lioness and her cubs were feasting on a kill near the well. One cub climbed on to the parapet covering the well and fell. It was dead when the rescue team got there,” deputy conservator of forest Ram Kumar said on Saturday.

 

This is the 13th official lion death, natural or otherwise, in Saurashtra for 2006. Most of the 12 deaths in the region this year were due to natural causes. In some cases, the lions died of pneumonia while a few of them died of old age. Some of them fell into open wells.

 

However, missing claws on some carcasses look like the handiwork of poachers. Following the death of a cub after falling into an open well in February, a case was registered against some tribals under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 for illegally digging up the well in a prohibited area of the sanctuary.

 

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1707738,0035.htm

 

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Gir Lion attacks girl in Junagadh

Gir Lion attacks girl in Junagadh

 

Rajkot, May 27 (UNI) A lion attacked a teenaged girl when she was sleeping at her home in Vadodar-zala village of Sutrapada taluka, Junagadh district yesterday.

 

A report from Junagadh said, Didiben Jusabbhai (17) was sleeping in an open place at her house last night when the lion strayed away from the nearby Gir forest and pounced her and dragged her outside.

 

The girl immediately shouted for help, following which her family members and neighbours woke up and rescued her.

 

The severely injured girl has been admitted to Junagadh civil hospital, the report added.

 

http://www.deepikaglobal.com/ENG3_sub.asp?newscode=140367&catcode=ENG3&subcatcode=

 

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Kenya's famed lions under threat

Kenya's famed lions under threat

 

Bogonko Bosire

Tue, 23 May 2006

Kenya's famed lion prides could be driven to extinction because ritual killings by tribal warriors are decimating their ranks in and around the country's protected game reserves, wildlife experts warned on Tuesday.

 

The findings were immediately dismissed by members of the Maasai tribe, which is blamed for most of the deaths among the country's dwindling lion population.

 

"It appears as if the Maasailand lions are in such serious decline that the entire population may disappear within very few years," the experts warned in a new study.

 

The study, by the Kilimanjaro Lion Conservation Project and experts from the University of California, squarely accused the Maasai for the loss of the big cats.

 

"Although the (lion) population seem to be in rapid decline, the number of killings has been increasing annually," it said. "It would appear that people are putting greater effort into lion killing."

 

Since 1998, at least 195 lions had been killed in and near southern Kenya's Amboseli and Tsavo preserves and the Nairobi National Park, reducing the confirmed number of lions to 2010, the experts said. Of those, 20 had been killed this year alone and the trend appeared to growing.

 

The study, entitled "Lion Killing in the Amboseli-Tsavo Ecosystem 2001-2006 and its Implications for Kenyas Lion Population", paints a bleak picture of the animals' future.

 

There were around 7000 lions in Kenya in the early 1990s. Now there are just 2010, it said.

 

"Nonsense," says Maasai chief

 

"The lions do not have time for Maasai traditions to change," it said.

 

In addition to traditional warrior rituals, the tribe was also slaying the lions with snares and poison in retaliation for deaths among their livestock, it noted.

 

But Daniel Ole Osoi, a senior Maasai leader, rejected the study's assertions, saying that ritual killings of lions were a thing of the past.

 

"Nonsense," he told AFP when asked about the study. "Ritual killing of lions no longer exists. We have realised that lions are part of our heritage and they also bring in tourists and money."

 

But he stressed that the Maasai would react if lions took their cattle.

 

"We shall continue killing the lions when they attack our livestock and until the government pays us enough compansation (for) every animal mauled by these beasts," Osoi said.

 

"These problems have to solved," said Elizabeth Wamba, the east African spokesperson for International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), noting that human-wildlife conflicts were seriously undermining conservation efforts.

 

"It's becoming more apparent that many people have become less tolerant to the predators," she told AFP. "The problem of (the) dwindling lion population is just symptomatic of what is happening to other species in this country."

 

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) spokesperson Gichuhi Kabukuru dismissed the study as "clearly biased and ill-informed". He said lions were not an endangered species and "the issue of extinction is mistaken and irrelevant".

 

Recent surge in lion killings

 

But other KWS officials said they had witnessed a recent surge in lion killings, with nine confirmed fatalities linked to retaliatory attacks for the deaths of livestock around Amboseli in the past two months.

 

"To stop or deter such killings ... we have had meetings with the local communities and their leaders have resolved that the killing will no longer be entertained," said Wilson Korir, the assistant KWS director for southern Kenya.

 

There were an estimated half a million lions in Africa in 1950s, according to past surveys. Their numbers declined to 200 000 in the 1970s and to below 100 000 in the 1990s. There are now estimated to be just 28,000 of these majestic beasts across the vast continent.

 

AFP

 

 

 

Wandering lion spotted in Free State

 

Fri, 26 May 2006

Another lion is apparently wandering freely in the Free State, this time near Harrismith, police confirmed on Friday.

 

Spokesperson Superintendent Motarafi Ntepe said the first reports of a lion being spotted at Harrismith arrived about 2pm on Wednesday.

 

Ntepe said three people of extension B, Tshiame township, said they saw a lion.

 

She said police approached a local hunter to help them look for the animal.

 

"He followed some tracks but lost the trail later near Makholokweng village outside Harrismith.

 

"They are still looking for it."

 

The past two months two young wandering lions were also reported in the Winburg district. One was captured by a local lion breeder while the other one was shot on a local farm.

 

Sapa

 

http://iafrica.com/news/sa/429339.htm

 

 

 

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Minister wants to save endangered snow leopard

Minister wants to save endangered snow leopard

 

 ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Environment Malik Amin Aslam Khan said on Thursday that the endangered snow leopard was considered a national treasure and that efforts should be made to save the species from extinction. He was addressing a steering committee meeting of the Snow Leopard Network (SLN), a non-governmental organization.

 

The minister said that the government was making an all out effort to evolve a concrete mechanism to save endangered species of rare birds and animals. He said the SLN had initiated several plans to address the threat to snow leopards all over the world.

 

Dr Rodney Jackson, director of the Snow Leopard Conservation, said that it was quite difficult to properly implement a complete ban on hunting the snow leopard in remote areas. He said that poorly constructed livestock pens and ineffective compensation programmes had created a severe dent in the effort to save the species.

 

Dr Jackson said that religious leaders could influence the local people to avoid hunting snow leopards for financial gain. He said that the effort to save wildlife was based on a 4-D principle; discover, dream, design and deliver. Dr Javed Khan, member of the SLN steering committee, said that the SLN had initiated several steps to stop killing and poaching of snow leopards in the remote areas of the country. He said that fresh initiatives had yielded encouraging results and that efforts included improving animal husbandry programmes, information management system and an eco-system awareness plan.

 

Dr Javed said that an area measuring 81,000 sq kilometres had been selected as potential habitat for snow leopards in the country. He said that funding for the protection of snow leopards was much lower when compared to the magnitude of the problem. Dr Thomas McCarthy, a researcher, said that the snow leopard survival strategy was now yielding a positive outcome as many protected areas had been established to save the specie in several countries. He said the SLN was actively recruiting new members all over the world to promote conservation of the snow leopard. APP

 

 

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

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Manchurian tigers to receive DNA testing in NE China breeding center

Manchurian tigers to receive DNA testing in NE China breeding center

 

www.chinaview.cn 2006-05-24 14:18:19

 

    HARBIN, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The Manchurian Tiger Park, the world's biggest artificial breeding center of tigers, will conduct DNA testing on 200 tigers this year to identify their pedigrees and prevent inbreeding.

 

    The park has already done DNA testing on more than 360 tigers and identified their pedigrees, said Wang Ligang, general manger of the park in Harbin, capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

 

    The park began the practice in 2001 and in 2003 it cooperated with the wild animal testing center of the State Forestry Administration in doing so. It planned to identify every tiger above the age of one with DNA testing, according to Wang.

 

    Wang expects 100 more cubs this year, which will bring the number of tigers in the park to more than 700 by the end of the year.

 

    The park has more than 200 female tigers at the reproductive age, of which at least 50 will give births this year.

 

    The park was established in 1986 with only eight Manchurian tigers and the population is now 620, accounting for nearly half of the total in China.

 

    A survey by Chinese, American and Russian experts, organized by the United Nations Development Program, found in 1999 that only five to seven wild Manchurian tigers were known to exist in Heilongjiang Province which is their original habitat.

 

    Scientists who have been monitoring the population of wild Manchurian tigers said last year their number in Heilongjiang had nearly doubled since the implementation of comprehensive conservation measures.

 

    Forest protection zones and nature reserves have been set up in mountainous Northeast China where no tourists nor industry is allowed. All construction projects in the experimental zones require environmental appraisal and legal approval. Enditem

 

 Editor: 

 

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-05/24/content_4593670.htm

 

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

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