Some Things I Learned This Week


A lovely autumn day with a few flowers still in full bloom.  Snow starts at ten tonight they predict.

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In spite of this loveliness, I keep thinking about a few sad facts I learned this past week.

On June 2, 1924, Congress granted citizenship to Native Americans born in the US and finally, the original inhabitants of the USA could actually vote.  Well, some of them.  Certain states still barred them from voting until 1957.

More tigers live in captivity in the United States than in the wild worldwide.  95% of wild tigers gone in just one century.

More people have died from opioid addiction in the US in the last few years than from Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars combined.

 

 

 

 

 

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Top predators like wolves, bears, lions and tigers have declined dramatically around the world over the past century


Some parts of Eastern Europe have worked at figuring out how to balance saving predators and protecting farmers and herders. Spain has programs to reimburse herders.

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Films

Conservationists widen toolkit for predator management

Source:Berkeley News
By Brett Israel, 12/13/16

Top predators like wolves, bears, lions and tigers have declined dramatically around the world over the past century. One major driver of these declines is retaliatory killing by people following predator attacks on domestic livestock. This lethal approach to predator management is increasingly controversial not only because of ethical concerns, but also the role predators can play in healthy ecosystems. A new UC Berkeley study shows that many non-lethal methods of predator control can be highly effective in protecting livestock from predators and in turn, saving predators from people.
A tiger drags a cow at Jennie Miller’s study site in India

The Berkeley study examined 66 published, peer-reviewed research papers that measured how four categories of lethal and non-lethal mitigation techniques — preventive livestock husbandry, predator deterrents, predator removal, and indirect management of land or wild prey…

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8 Creative Ways to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict


For those of you who want all our wonderful wildlife to survive…

Conserve

By Orion McCarthy 

THE TIGER is an iconic endangered species, with as few as 3,200 leftin the forests of India and Southeast Asia. Conservationists have invested millions of dollars into saving the species, and recent population surveys have showed a promising uptick in the number of tigers in the wild.

A new population survey in India shows tigers making a modest comeback. Photo credit: WWF. A new population survey in India shows tigers making a modest comeback. Photo credit: WWF.

This is good news for tigers. But is it good news for people living with tigers?

The answer is a mixed bag. Tigers keep forest ecosystems across Asia in balanceas the dominant top predator, and sustain ecotourism and conservation funding as a flagship species.

But living in close proximity to tigers can be dangerous.

The historic range of tigers is shown in beige, while the current range is Orange.  The region is now home to 3 billion people, with tigers occupying the few forests and national parks between the growing sprawl.  Photo credit: WWF. The historic range of tigers is shown in beige, while the current range is orange. The region is now home to 3 billion people, with tigers occupying…

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Myanmar Then and Now-Part Two


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Something happened to my camera while in Burma when it was Burma years ago.  For this essay, I tried downloading current photos and found the panoramic view of the Shwedagon Pagoda above and the close up below.

 

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I looked at current photos of the Inya Lake Hotel and stared in astonishment.  The current luxurious resort bears no resemblance to the hotel I stayed in all those years ago.  Only the garden photos seem familiar.

As Myanmar attempts modernization, downsides exist.  One concern is deforestation and the consequences for the abundant rare and endangered wildlife there.  Much of Myanmar is rainforest and remains one of the most biodiverse areas in the world.  Fifty years of isolation and limited development have protected wildlife.  Foreign development and investment endanger wildlife.  New laws and polices are created daily.  The Irrawaddy dolphin, a close relative to the killer whales, live in both the Mekong and Irrawaddy Rivers.  Rare Indochinese tigers, Asian elephants, gibbons, and langurs thrive in the remote forests.  Between 1990 and 2011 the amount of forests dropped from 60 per cent to 48 per cent.  So much of the country is relatively unexplored that it is difficult for scientists to even know exactly what species live there.  Many questions arise:  how can Myanmar successfully development economically and simultaneously save their rich wild heritage, how can they merge the old and new, how can they build the proposed new highway between Bankok, Thailand and Dawei, Myanmar without destroying precious natural resources.  Hopefully, they will find a way to prosper and save their natural heritage at the same time.