1. awkwardsituationist:

    for over a thousand years, the indigenous nenets people have moved seasonally with their reindeer along ancient migration routes in the yamal peninsula. but this remote region of northwest siberia, a vast tundra wilderness that stretches deep into the arctic ocean, is now under heavy threat from global warming.

    traditionally, the nenets cross the frozen ob river in november and set up camp in the southern forests around nadym, where their reindeer graze on moss and lichen pastures. in recent years, however, this annual winter pilgrimage has been delayed until late december when the river is thick enough to traverse.

    “our reindeer were hungry. there wasn’t enough pasture,” jakov japtik, a nenets reindeer herder, said. “the snow is melting sooner, quicker and faster than before. in spring it’s difficult for the reindeer to pull the sledges. they get tired.” added sergie hudi, “the reindeer for us are everything — our home, our food, our warmth and our transportation.”

    last year the nenets arrived at a regular summer camping spot only to discover that half of the lake had drained away after a landslide. while landslides do occur naturally, scientists say there is unmistakable evidence that yamal’s ancient permafrost is melting. winter temperatures, for example, have gone up ten degrees celsius in the last hundred years.

    ”it’s an indication of the global warming process,” says vladimir tchouprov for greenpeace russia. “the melting of russia’s permafrost could have catastrophic results for the world by releasing billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and methane that was previously trapped in the frozen soil.” he adds that if temperatures continue to climb, much of russia’s northern region will be turned into impenetrable swamp.

    the yamal peninsula also contains the biggest gas reserves on the planet, and gazprom, russia’s state energy giant, is building several ambitious infrastructure projects across the tundra which threaten the peninsula’s delicate arctic ecology and disrupt the nenets’ migration routes.

    photos by bryan and cherry alexander (previously featured). story adapted from luke harding for the guardian and joanna eede for survival international. (previous climate change and arctic posts)

    (via climate-changing)

  4. skepticalavenger:

    We’re all made of the same stuff, just arranged a little differently.

    via We Are Wildness

    Tagged #trees #ecology

  5. To the President of the French Republic, François Hollande

    "We, the citizens of France and the world, urge you to support the European proposal to ban deep-sea bottom trawling, which is recognized as one of the most destructive fishing methods in history. This underperforming, subsidy dependent, unprofitable activity concerns less than a dozen vessels in France, whereas its environmental impact is highly disproportionate: huge weighted nets rake and destroy the most vulnerable ocean ecosystems, catching more than 100 species, which are discarded but count endangered animals. These industrial fisheries devastate our natural heritage by scraping the longest-lived animals on the planet: corals that are thousands of years old, and that should be preserved like Egyptian mummies are.
    Mr. Hollande, we ask you to honor the promise of “Environmental Excellence” that you gave to the French and to put an end to the deforestation of the deep oceans which brings disgrace on France. We ask you to fully support the proposal to ban deep-sea bottom trawling.”

  7. anthrocentric:

    Orphaned Elephants Lack Social Knowledge Key for Survival
    Psychological impact from loss of family structure parallels PTSD in people.

    Highly intelligent and social animals, African elephants depend on their sophisticated communication skills for survival in the wild. A recent study investigated the effects of culling and relocation on elephant decision-making and cognition decades later.

    Behavioral ecologists from the University of Sussex in England led an international team to study two different elephant populations: one relatively undisturbed group living in Amboseli National Park in Kenya and another translocated population in Pilanesberg Park in South Africa. The Pilanesberg elephants were moved there as calves following managed culling of adults and older juveniles in Kruger National Park in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Survivors from the translocated elephant group showed signs of negative long-term psychological impact that affected their decision-making process, paralleling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in humans, according to the study, which was published in Frontiers in Zoology on October 23, 2013.

    Complex Society

    Elephants develop complex social relationships over long life spans. Long-term learning and knowledge transfer in the Pilanesberg population was deeply affected by the culling, the study found.

    (Read “Elephants Communicate in Sophisticated Sign Language, Researchers Say.”)

    "Human-generated social disruption has profound effects on important decision-making abilities in wild African elephants that are likely to impact key aspects of their social behavior," said Graeme Shannon, a University of Sussex psychologist who, along with colleague Karen McComb, led the study.

    Call of the Wild

    Through a series of acoustic playback experiments, the scientists found that human activities, including culling and relocation, have a profound impact on the communication skills, social understanding, and overall cognition of wild African elephants.

    While other studies have looked at physiological and behavioral impacts on elephants from extreme human disturbance, such as poaching, this study was the first to assess their fundamental communication skills and cognitive abilities in the wild, Shannon said.

    [read more]

  8. anthrocentric:

    Madagascar’s real-life lemurs face extinction within 20 years

    Immortalised in the hit cartoon “Madagascar”, real-life lemurs face extinction within 20 years short of drastic action to tackle the poverty driving islanders to poach the primates and destroy their habitat.

    Each year that passes hastens the decline of the saucer-eyed primates, as the Indian Ocean island’s people struggle for survival amid a drawn-out political crisis.

    “As long as there is poverty, we can’t expect to prevent the lemurs’ extinction,” said primatologist Jonah Ratsimbazafy from the University of Antananarivo.

    Cast as a lovable bunch in the “Madagascar” movies, lemurs occur in the wild only on the island, having evolved separately from their cousins the African ape over millions of years.

    Madagascar is home to 105 different species of lemur, accounting for 20 percent of the world’s species of primate, in an area spanning less than one percent of the global habitat of all primates.

    But crop burnings and wild fires destroy 200,000 hectares of Madagascar’s forest a year. And the 13 percent of its natural forest that remains may disappear within a generation, according to Ratsimbazafy.

    “If this rate of deforestation continues you could say that within 20 to 25 years there won’t be any forest left, so no lemurs either,” he said.

    Ninety-three of the 105 known lemur species are on the endangered list.

    An estimated 92 percent of Madagascar’s people live on less than a $2 a day, and social conditions have worsened on the island since its leader Andry Rajoelina seized power in 2009 with the help of the army.

    Most foreign aid was suspended, bringing the economy to its knees and putting the country at risk of a food crisis — a situation exacerbated by a locust plague this year.

    The broke state has scheduled a presidential election for later this month aimed at ending the four-year political crisis.

    The island’s blossoming tourist industry also suffered a blow this month following the mob lynching of two Europeans and a local man accused of killing a boy on the Madagascan tourist island of Nosy Be.

    The deadly riots sparked travel warnings from several countries including France and the United States.

    Meanwhile locals eke out a living where they can — including by looting precious woods, minerals and lemurs from the forest around them.

    Small-scale woodcutters also hunt the animals for food while searching for rosewood, according to Tovonanahary Rasolofoharivelo, another primate expert.

    “Often they don’t bring enough to eat and woodcutting is hard work, so they eat lemur meat because the animals are easier to catch than birds.”

    [read more]

    This makes me so sad.

  9. sabelmouse:

    everyone will starve. vegans need to learn geography!

    & ecology, & stuff like predator-prey relationships, evolutionary niches, that kinda thing.

    (Source: choosehopefortheanimals)

  10. sabelmouse:

    there’s a difference between a rug and food as well as a difference between decorative rugs/clothes and those needed for warmth/protection from the elements. 

    and animals being free from harm if they’re not eaten! as if! ask any animal living , or not living in a crop producing area. 

    This shouldn’t need explaining, but:

    A tiger is an endangered wild species at risk of extinction in the near future, yet is an important part of the wild ecosystem it inhabits. Protecting tigers also extends to protecting their habitats and all the other organisms that live within them.

    Domesticated chickens on the other hand, are so far from being endangered that without a predator (i.e. Humans) they would swiftly overpopulate - unless you intend to sterilise them? Similarly, being domesticated, not wild, species, they are not integral to any natural ecosystem, indeed if they were let go into the wild (& didn’t immediately succumb to disease) they would displace wild animals, & disrupt those wild ecosystems.

    Drop the emotional blackmail & ludicrous comparisons and try for a little ecology.

    (Source: purely-vegan)