Rockefeller Fund divorces itself from fossil fuels

The Secular Jurist

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund pledged Monday to divest itself of investments in coal and tar sands, promising to reduce that exposure to less than 1% of the total portfolio by year’s end.


The fund is worth $860 million.

The fund was created by the children of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., a philanthropist whose father founded Standard Oil and was the richest American of all time.

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37 little grebes, one great crested grebe, wheatears

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This is a little grebe video from Belarus.

On 21 September 2014, to Voorne island.

Between The Hague and Rotterdam, a grey heron on a lamppost. Not so unusual. However, on lampposts next to it: two white storks, more unusual.

A few kilometer more south: again, three white storks on lampposts.

Near Rotterdam, again a stork on a lamppost. As it is still rather early in the morning, are they waiting for higher temperatures, with better conditions for soaring, continuing their autumn migration to Africa?

On Voorne island, first to Strypsche wetering nature reserve.

This is a video about ruff mating season at Strypsche wetering on 2 May 2014.

We saw ruffs on 21 September there too. Not in mating season mood and plumage, but in autumn migration mood and plumage.

Other Strypsche wetering birds: redshanks, ruff relatives. Northern lapwings, more distant relatives. A big golden plover flock landed. Egyptian…

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This week from The Treetalker

news from (and about) the trees

This week, I have posted another excerpt from Volume Two: The Midcontinent of Secret Voices from the Forest.

The pages are from Chapter Four: Lower Midwest—Pecan.  Each tree’s information contains a section on its “Companions,” which is how I refer to a few selected plants and animals within the trees ecosystem The section begins with a listing of what is pictured on the page on the right side. The list reads clockwise, starting from the top left image. Inside the page is a poem from or about the tree itself, written by my friend Brian Mitchell. The four pages following the listing and poem contain interesting and/or fun facts about some of these companions.Pecan-pg-1C

Purchase your copy at


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Wildlife Flocks To Diary Farm Habitats

Ann Novek( Luure)--With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors

2,500 hectares of farmland dedicated to wildlife habitat
September 2011. Celebrating a scheme that’s seen land totalling the equivalent of 4,000 football pitches being dedicated to wildlife friendly habitats, the Waitrose WildCare scheme marks its fifth anniversary this month.
“We are talking a large area,” comments Tim Oliver who heads up the scheme. “Dairy farmers who supply milk and cream to Waitrose are on average dedicating 25% of their overall farmland to wildlife habitats – amounting to 2,500 hectares of land. It’s above and beyond what we ever thought could be achieved when the scheme was launched five years ago.”

First rolled out in 2006, Waitrose WildCare was designed to be a flexible and pragmatic scheme with the primary objective of improving plant and wildlife habitats across the farms, a focus which, as the scheme reaches its fifth year milestone, is still held today. “Our strategy to target habitat…

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Sharks & Manta Rays Gain Protections

Natural History Wanderings

Press Release Defenders of Wildlife

Sharks and Mantas Gain Needed Protections Under CITES

New International Trade Regulations In Effect

WASHINGTON – Five species of sharks and two manta ray species will officially be listed today, as a result of the 2013 Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora CITES. During the last 18 months, countries from all regions have been preparing diligently to enforce the listings.

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Borneo orangutans saved by wildlife corridors?

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video is called 16×9 – Jungle Survivors: Saving Orangutans in Borneo.

From Wildlife Extra:

Wildlife corridors could offer new hope for orangutans

Researchers from Cardiff University, University of Adelaide, NGO HUTAN, and Sabah Wildlife Department have been looking at ways to improve wildlife corridors in Borneo as a new method of protecting the endangered orangutan.

According to the researchers, more than 80 per cent of the primate’s habitat has been destroyed in the past 20 years due to demand for agricultural land, leaving the remaining forest fragmented, isolating orangutans from one another and resulting in a major threat to their survival.

The study highlights that establishing wildlife corridors that connect fragmented protected areas will allow animals to move freely from one territory to another. This will be beneficial to gene diversity, as it will minimise the negative impact of inbreeding caused by animals being…

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Oregon Supreme Court recognizes animals as “individual victims”



An August 28 article on Care2 by Susan Bird, entitiled, “Yes, Animals Can Be Individual Victims of Crime, Says Oregon Supreme Court” reports on two Oregon Supreme Court Decisions:


In the case State v. Nix, a defendant charged with starving 20 goats and horses was found guilty in the trial court of only one count of second degree animal neglect, based on the theory that individual animals cannot be victims of a crime, and that the only victim was the state.


This ruling was overturned on appeal, with the appeals court finding, on August 7, that animals can indeed be individual victims of a crime. The defendant was guilty of 20 criminal counts, not just one.


In 2013, the Animal Legal Defense Fund had helped to draft Oregon legislation stating that “animals are sentient beings capable of experiencing pain, stress and fear.” This was referred to in the Oregon Supreme Court’s decision which upheld the ruling of the Appeals Court. This Oregon Supreme Court finding is being seen as a sign of the evolving legal status of animals, away from being perceived solely as property, towards legal recognition of animals as individual, sentient beings.


In a second court case, Fessenden/Dicke, a police officer, with experience in animal cruelty cases, was found to have acted within the law, while seizing a dying horse believed to be the victim of cruelty, without a warrant. The Court applied the ruling specifically to this case, but left open the door to similar findings in the future.


These court cases are significant because they lead to a time when animals will be protected by law as individual legal persons, with rights, rather than solely as the property of human beings.


To read the original article in Care 2, click here.


To read the article on the same topics on the Animal Legal Defense Fund website, click here.


Photo: © Darius Strazdas |






Egypt: Carrots and extra care for camels and horses





On Sunday, August 3, ESAF, the Egyptian Society of Animal Friends resumed their feeding program for the Pyramids animals, which they’ve been conducting for several years now.


The animals fed and given vet care during the month of August numbered around 1,600 horses. They went five times a week in August.


Since the program for this year started in February, they’ve fed and cared for 1,943 animals in February; 3,157 in March, 3,211 in April, in May and June, a total of 4,800 animals, in July 110 animals. The total so far in 2014 is 13,381 animals. These are horses, donkeys and camels, normally used to give rides to tourists visiting the Pyramids.


Because of civil unrest in Egypt over the past few years, there’s been a sharp decline in tourism, and, due to lack of revenue, the animals owners haven’t been able to adequately care for them, so ESAF has stepped in to help.


Ahmed El Sherbiny, Chairperson of ESAF, writes that the animals seem tired during August, having had to work longer hours during Ramadan. Despite this, they have generally observed an improvement in the animals’ condition over the course of the year.


They also handed out nose bands, fly masks, and educational brochures, as well as treating the animals’ hooves and teeth.


On May first, they added carrots to their diet, which provides more nutrition and is also a much-appreciated treat.


Tourism is still down, but there are signs of a possible turn for the better.


Soon, they’ll be altering the schedule to do twice weekly feeding for the Pyramids animals, and will be operating clinics two to three times a week to care for animals in the neighborhood near the ESAF shelter, where they have been much missed over the past couple of years during the time that ESAF has focused on the Pyramids area.


ESAF expresses their heartfelt thanks to SPANA, Animal Aid Abroad, Sue Evans and her UK group, and Mr. Richard Gabriel for their generous support of this project.


To visit ESAF’s Facebook page, click here.


 Photo: Courtesy of ESAF