Good News for Mother Earth …and Us!

The word “Ecosystem” is derived from the Greek word oikos or “house.”  The house we share with nature has become over-crowded with fewer resources. This has resulted in destructive practices globally.  Thankfully, the corporations and governments that have shifted away from destructive behaviours to more sustainable life practices are seeing results.

Mountain gorilla population rebounds in central and east Africa

November 16, 2012 — Africa’s mountain gorilla has experienced a growth in numbers following intense conservation efforts, the WWF has announced.

Rare whale population rebounds in the Bay of Fundy in Canada

The rare whales are rebounding at a rate of 2 percent per year in the Bay of Fundy
The North Atlantic right whale population is rebounding in the Bay of Fundy following a joint initiative between Irving Oil and the New England Aquarium. The North Atlantic right whale was once considered near-extinct, but now, the species is said to be rebounding at an average rate of two percent per year in the Bay of Fundy, following a decision to re-direct Irving Oil’s shipping lanes ten years ago.

The current population now sits at a healthy 450 — up substantially from the 350 whales that were inhabiting the area prior to the initiative.

“We have much work ahead, to stand still.” Musa

Logging puts spotted owl at risk

Experts estimate there are about a dozen spotted owls living in the wild in BC (Courtesy: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service )

“For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope,
for a living dog is better than a dead lion.”  Ecclesiastes


More on Rare Whale Populations:

Vessel strikes were once listed as a leading cause of death for the whales.  That prompted Irving Oil and New England Aquarium to make a joint decision to move the oil company’s shipping lanes away from the whales’ feeding grounds.

By all accounts, the initiative appears to be working: According to Irving Oil, there have been no documented collisions with whales in the area since 2003.

“Our world is changing so rapidly… we need to carefully balance the impact we have on our environment, particularly species which are endangered,” said John Logan, Manager of Project Management and Controls for Irving Oil, in a press release. “That’s why a model such as this, where all parties are at the table working toward sustainable solutions, works so well.”

More on Mountain Gorilla Population Rebounding

Just like people have individual finger prints, mountain gorillas have individual “nose prints” © / Christophe Corteau / WWF-Canon

A recent census by the Uganda Wildlife Authority has recognized 880 mountain gorillas living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Rwanda, up from the 786 identified in 2010.

Alona Rivard, a spokesperson for the World Wildlife Fund, says the rebound is the result of conservation efforts headed by local government agencies.

“Human activities such as logging, hunting and agriculture are strictly controlled, making the forests safe and secure for the animals,” she explains.

“Many mountain gorilla populations are monitored on a daily basis by researchers and rangers. Having people around can deter poachers, [and] the patrols remove hunting snares, which are a huge threat to the animals. Vets keep an eye on the health of habituated gorillas and will intervene if medical care is necessary.”

Tourism has also helped.

According to the WWF, gorilla-watching brings an estimated $1 million to Uganda each year, providing local communities with a vested interest in conservation.

But Rivard is quick to point out that more work needs to be done.

“Other great ape species are not as well protected as mountain gorillas, so they are experiencing habitat loss and high levels of poaching or capture for the pet trade,” she says.

“In many places wildlife crimes are not treated seriously by law enforcement or the judiciary, so there is no deterrent to poachers. Also, it is more difficult to habituate other types of gorillas so ecotourism isn’t as viable.”

Still, conservation experts say the findings are cause for cautious optimism.

“Although they face many threats … this subspecies of the eastern gorilla can have a future on this planet,” said Matt Lewis, WWF’s African species expert, in a statement.

“And by protecting mountain gorillas, we ensure the survival of vital gorilla habitat and the other species that live there too.”
Staff, theweathernetwork

More on The Spotted Owl

British Columbia’s spotted owl population has been dwindling steadily for more than a decade, but recent logging in the Fraser Valley has exacerbated the problem.
The cleared-out forests have drastically reduced the prey and habitat space available to the owls – and many have starved as a result.
Spotted owls breed slowly, producing an average of two chicks each year. Experts estimate that there are about a dozen spotted owls left in British Columbia’s forests.

Activists claim the logging is taking place in a designated wildlife habitat and have assembled near the site in protest. 
Canadian Press