INDIA: A few weeks ago, jallikattu was banned and a long battle won

Echoes in the Mist

This bull, and those below are not jallikattu bulls; they were rescued by Blue Cross of India from illegal transport. This bull, and those below, are not jallikattu bulls; they were rescued by Blue Cross of India from illegal transport.

In a milestone victory in the fight for animal protection, jallikattu is now permanently banned.

Jallikattu, or the “sport” of bull-baiting, took place mostly in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The events were cruel and subjected the bulls to being tormented by crowds of young men attempting to tackle them. Behind the scenes, bulls were tortured in order to get them to run, since bulls do not naturally run the way horses do. Many Indian animal groups worked hard against jallikattu, notably Blue Cross of India, which fought an uphill battle for more than five decades to have jallikattu banned.

On May 7, 2014, jallikattu, was banned by the Supreme Court of India.

A May 13, 2014, editorial in The Hindu states that the Supreme Court ban of jallikattu…

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China’s Threat To Wild Tigers

Great Cats of the "World"

Because the scope of China’s trade in tiger products remains so murky, other nations must demand answers and accountability from China at the convention’s meeting next month.

We need to know, for instance, whether and how deeply government officials are involved in the black market and whether China is tacitly allowing the domestic sale of tiger products. It’s an embarrassing list of questions for President Xi Jinping, who has made rooting out corruption a top priority.

Wild tigers are on life support. The world must persuade China to phase out its tiger farms, end all commerce in tigers and commit to cooperative international conservation and enforcement efforts. If not, the largest of the world’s cats will not survive.

A luxury market in skins, meat and wine endangers the rare cat.|By Sharon Guynup

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Great spotted woodpecker, video

Costa Rican mountain hummingbirds

Dear Kitty. Some blog

Green violet-ear, 28 March 2014

Still 28 March 2014 in San Gerardo de Dota in Costa Rica. After the earlier birds of that day, hummingbirds: like this green violetear.

Green violet-ear flying, 28 March 2014

Nectar feeders and flowers attract hummingbirds; and a slaty flowerpiercer as well.

Volcano hummingbird female flying, 28 March 2014

The hummingbird species include volcano hummingbird.

Volcano hummingbird female on branch, 28 March 2014

Sometimes, a female volcano hummingbird rested on a branch.

Volcano hummingbird female on leaf, 28 March 2014

Or on a leaf.

White-throated mountaingems were present as well.

And a relatively big species: magnificent hummingbird.

Yellowish flycatcher, 28 March 2014

Another Central American cool mountain forest species: yellowish flycatcher.

At 10:20, a swallow-tailed kite flies overhead.

We have to leave, to the Central Valley of Costa Rica.

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EGYPT: Animal welfare leaders call on government for change



Thanks to Ahmed El Sherbiny for his report on the May 15, 2014 workshop held to propose changes to Egypt’s animal welfare law.


On Thursday, May 15, 2014, EFAW, the Egyptian Federation for Animal Welfare, in association with GOVS, the Egyptian Organization of Veterinary Services, held a workshop on proposed animal welfare legislation, based on Article 45 of the new Egyptian Constitution.


The workshop, held at the Environment Culture Centre at the Giza Zoo was attended by many with an interest in Egyptian animals, including Dr. Nadia Zakhari, the ex-Minister of Academic Research, and representatives from GOVS, the Water and Environment Police, the Giza Zoo, The Egyptian Bar Association, and EFAW, as well as judges, law professors, other university professors, and individual animal advocates.


A lively discussion took place related to the existing legislation, and ministerial decrees related to animals.


Agreement was reached to call on the Prime Minister to


One) Immediately stop the use of the poison strychnine as a form of animal control and to implement TNR programs instead.


Two) To organize a dialogue among animal groups and animal advocates with regard to proposed veterinary legislation.


Three) Establish a specific District Attorney Department to handle any cruelty cases related to animal welfare.


Four) Enact specified animal welfare legislation, based on article 45 of the Egyptian Constitution.


Five) Amend article 357 of the Penal Law in include jail time only, and delete the option of a fine.


Six) Apply the existing agriculture law No 53/1966 to include pet shops.


The workshop participants expressed their thanks to the Water and Environment Police and the Giza Zoo for their prompt response in wildlife cruelty issues.


A committee was formed to follow up the resolutions with government officials, consisting of

Judge Hany A Halim, Cairo Criminal Court

Professor Samir Shehata, Faculty of Law Ain Shams University

Mr. Tharwat Atallah, board member of the Egyptian Bar Association

Mr. Ahmed El Sherbiny ESAF and EFAW chairperson.


Photo: Courtesy of EFAW



Welsh birds news

The Treetalker – environmental news

news from (and about) the trees

 Social entrepreneur Sanga Moses founded Eco-Fuel Africa, a company that sells kilns and machines that turn food waste into briquettes of clean, inexpensive cooking fuel.


and:  Wind propulsion such as kites and Flettner rotors could offer a viable way to help cut CO2 emissions and fuel use by as much as 50% on smaller cargo vessels in the shipping sector.

Leafing-Out and Climate Change – the timing of leaf out in many species is related to the length of days, rather than temperature. Some species, particularly from the southern hemisphere, have this evolutionary adaptation, as they migrate north, they may replace trees that cannot tolerate increasing heat.

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Colorado: Pristine Waters In Roadless National Forests Protected



By Bryan Bird,

WildEarth Guardians,

Cross posted from the WildEarth Guardians website


Outstanding. More than 200 miles of it!

Last week WildEarth Guardians secured the very best protection possible under the Clean Water Act for more than 200 miles of headwater streams of the Colorado, White and Yampa Rivers.

The victory means that these newly designated “outstanding waters” will remain pristine—now and forever.

It also means that Colorado’s cutthroat trout will have a better chance to survive rapidly changing climate conditions because of the added degree of security. And it means that these waters can’t be polluted by activities like fracking, mining, logging and cattle grazing.

The Colorado Water Quality Control Commission approved the “outstanding waters” designation for critical cutthroat trout streams in roadless national forests on the White River National Forest. The downstream communities of Carbondale, Meeker and Craig will also benefit by having source water for drinking water supplies protected by the designation.

The commission supported our proposal for outstanding waters by a vote of 8 to 1, and so too did thousands of our members in Colorado and across the nation—we thank you too!

Outstanding. It’s what we won and it’s how we feel.

And we’re going to keep fighting to secure similar victories for wild forests, pristine waters and native trout all across the American West.


For the Wild,

WildEarth Guardians, portraits, jpeg org

Bryan Bird

Wild Places Program Director

WildEarth Guardians


To visit the WildEarth Guardians website, click here.


Top photo: “As a work of the United States Government, the image is in the public domain.” /The White River flows through Colorado and Utah.


Second photo: Courtesy of WildEarth Guardians / Bryan Bird





How Earth Avoided Global Warming Last Time

Rashid's Blog: An Educational Portal

Geochemists have opined that  a huge rise in atmospheric CO2 was only avoided by the formation of a vast mountain range in the middle of the ancient supercontinent, Pangea.

300 million years ago, plate tectonics  aggregated land masses into a giant supercontinent, known as “Pangea.” The sheer size of the continent meant that much of the land surface was far from the sea, and so the continent became increasingly arid due to lack of humidity. This aridity meant that rock weathering was reduced; normally, a reduction in rock weathering means that CO2 levels rise, yet in spite of this CO2 levels — which had been falling prior to the mountain formation- continued to drop, eventually undergoing the most significant drop in atmospheric CO2 of the last 500 million years. …

A group of French scientists have now produced a model which seems to explain this contradiction.

According to the research…

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Costa Rica: Dona Sandra, community hero for animals


By Davide Ulivieri, Cycle 4 Strays

On September 15th, 1821 Costa Rica proclaimed its independence from Spain. This is a date that Ticos (as Costa Ricans like to refer to themselves) celebrate with passion every year. September 15 is also the name of a small housing project in the south side of the capital city of San Josè. This is where Doña Sandra Rojas resides and this is her story.

Doña Sandra always had a soft spot for animals. As a child, she noticed the strays in her community, scruffy dogs huddling under an overhanging roof to stay dry during rainy season or skinny ones roaming in constant search for food. She remembers befriending many, checking on them and offering a kind word and a little comfort.

Over the years, as the problem of homeless animals in her neighborhood became more severe, Sandra started to take a more proactive approach to trying to at least manage the situation. She started a sort of homemade triage system, quickly assessing the conditions of the strays she encountered and helping first the ones who needed help the most. Soon, the neighbors noticed her efforts and started to call on her whenever a sad case needed immediate attention.

“At first I was trying to save them all, but the magnitude of the problem was such that I was exhausting what little resources I had without even putting a dent in the problem,” tells Sandra while gently petting her latest rescued best friend. “Eventually, I learned to prioritize things and started working towards addressing the long term solution of the issue. This was hard because my instinct was to run out and rescue, but I had to steel myself and will myself to plan and stay the course…” she adds with a sad smile.

Today Sandra is a recognized community leader in Barrio 15 de Setiembre, spearheading the effort to organize and promote the low-cost spay & neuter clinics that are held there on a regular basis, distributing flyers and educational material about responsible pet ownership, looking for places suitable for hosting the clinics and, generally, counseling her fellow citizens on building a community free of animal suffering.

Thanks to a small grant from the SNIP Foundation (Spay Neuter International Project) Sandra was able to snip, vaccinate and de-worm 5 recently rescued dogs who are now being put up for adoption. As soon as a few go to good homes, a few more come in from the street and are brought back to health by her loving efforts.

Together with the volunteers of ANPA (Asociación Nacional Protectora de los Animales) and the dedicated veterinarians who believe in offering low-cost community clinics, Sandra is turning the tide on animal welfare in her neck of the woods.

It is community heroes like Sandra that make the SNIP/ANPA model so successful. The recipe is simple: take a few dedicated animal lovers, add a sprinkle of committed veterinarians, mix in a municipality that understand the importance of humanely controlling pet population and very quickly you notice less strays roaming the streets and more well taken care pets being walked by their owners.

To learn more about the work of SNIP Foundation in Costa Rica and other Central American countries, click here.

Photo: Courtesy of SNIP Foundation