Tag: Endangered Species

Café Discovery: Levels of Threat

Did you ever check out what measures are used to define how much species are threatened?  Since I have been using the terms repeatedly in my photo essays, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to summarize them.

Café Discovery has been, after all, mostly about words and phrases and meaning.  Or at least, it has tried to be.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature maintains a Red List. of threatened species.  The categorization they used ranks species as, from worst on down, extinct, extinct in the wild, critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, conservation dependent, near threatened, or least concern.  Of course, there are also situations in which there is not enough data and also cases where species have just not been evaluated.

Conservation dependent (CD) is a category no longer used except for species who were previously in that category and have yet to be re-evaluated.  A taxon was considered CD if it was “dependent on conservation efforts to prevent the taxon becoming threatened with extinction.” (Wikipedia entry)  So one will still encounter the label, as with giraffes, for instance.


San Diego Zoo: tortoises and sea lions

African Spurred Tortoise

(aka the Sulcata Tortoise)

Sulcata tortoises inhabit the southern edge of the Sahara.  They are the architects of their habitat:  their burrows provide housing for a plethora of other animals.  Unlike most other tortoises, they do not hibernate.  They are the largest mainland tortoise, weighing between 70 and 100 pounds as adults, and can live up to 80 years.  The species is considered vulnerable.

Both Laurie and Jim have been raising one of this kind of tortoise.

San Diego Zoo: bears, primates and flashes of color

Allen’s Swamp Monkey

and Child

This is your basic swimming primate.  As the name suggests, they live in swamps.  They have developed a bit of webbing between their fingers and toes, but I’m sure that would in no way have anything to do with evil-ution.  They are related to guenons, but are not in the same genus.

Swamp monkeys, who live in social groups with as many as 40 members, live in the countries of the former Belgian Congo.  They eat fruits, leaves, beetles and worms.  The genus is classified as near-threatened.

The San Diego Zoo: ungulates and their friends

We paid for priority parking at the zoo, not wanting to repeat any mistake from the previous day.  Priority parking turned out to be not too far from the front gate, which we saved a lot of time passing through since we had already purchased our tickets.

We immediately got in the queue for the guided tour.  The zoo’s set up is quite a bit better.  The guided tour lets you know what’s where and your ticket will allow you to take express buses the rest of the day to whatever part you desire to see.

And we managed to see quite a lot of it, from the entrance to the top of the polar bear “plunge” (which, being up, not down, is in my opinion vastly misnamed).  I’m afraid I almost gave up a couple of times on the climbing parts.  I was saved by an escalator system and a special bus that runs up the hill.  From there you can take a sky tram back to the exit.  Or you could catch the tortoises and the sea lion show close by it.  Your choice.

I had a limit to the number of photos I could take.  The camera allowed between 50 and 55.  That’s not as many as I would have liked to have.  I got no photo of the massive takin, the “goat-antelope” of the Himalayas, the national animal of Bhutan, in the very last exhibit at the top (that’s a hotlink from wikipedia to the left).  Neither did I get a shot of the tiny dik dik from Southeast Asia, smallest of the antelopes, right across from it.  Now that I am writing this piece, I regret that.

I’ve broken my set of photos, supplemented by some taken by Debbie’s cousin Laurie, into four groups, trying to make the essays more accessible to folks using dial-up.  Ungulates and their Friends will be followed by Lions, Tigers Cats and Panda Bears on Saturday, Primates, Bears and Flashes of Color on Saturday and finally Tortoises and Trained Sea Lions on Sunday.  The schedule is extremely tentative.

So on with the show, good health to you…

Feel Like Telling Bush Where To Go? ESA Comment Period Now Open

Bushie’s new rules will hasten the extinction of many species by redefining when and how protection is provided to endangered and threatened species covered by our Endangered Species Act.  Bush is changing the law by rules because he failed to obtain these changes by legislation.  Bush is using administrative rule changes even though one court rejected a similar rules maneuver by Bush.

If you are already convinced that Bushie is up to his evil-doer ways, then please skip to bottom of diary to the links provided to post a comment to oppose these rules or to send an email to Kempthorne.  Thanks.

Bush Knows New Endangered Species Rule Illegal

Bush is killing Endangered Species law (ESA) by a proposed administrative rule because he does not want ESA to be “used as a back door” to regulate GHG.  Thus, Bush is using a back-door administrative process to change the law because similar attempts to obtain legislation from Congress failed. Bush’s new rule would hasten the extinction of many species by wiping out the independent scientific review currently used to determine harmful impacts on species and replacing it with a unilateral government review devoid of scientific data.  It’s an approach of ignorance is blissful for profits. After all, it was the scientific data which compelled the conclusion for the first time that climate change impacts may trigger listing a species as threatened, which recently happened with the polar bear. Moreover, Bush knows his proposed rule is illegal because a court rejected a similar rule a few years ago.

Lawsuit filed to stop wolf killings


30 days after the Bush Administration removed Yellowstone’s Gray Wolves from the endangered list, a lawsuit has been filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council to stop the toll on the small population, which is now at 37 dead wolves and counting.

On the very day that these wolves lost their Endangered Species protection, a crippled wolf named “Limpy,” one of the most photographed wolves in Yellowstone’s famous Druid Peak pack, was shot to death when he ventured outside the park.

Another wolf was stalked for over 35 miles by snowmobile before being overtaken and shot. Another was found dead on the side of the highway, his still-warm body torn apart by bullets. And, tragically, at least four female wolves have been killed just prior to the denning season, which could doom some of the region’s wolf pups.

The Gray Wolf was taken off the endangered list earlier this year, after repeated attempts by the Bush Administration to remove them from the list, despite their marginal population.

More below the jump…

Gray Wolves Coming Off Endangered List


The U.S. Department of the Interior took the Northern Rockies’ Gray Wolf off the endangered list today, opening them up for hunting as described in this earlier post from The Environmentalist’s managing editor.

CNN/AP reports that the “removal from the endangered list was announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Interior. The loss of federal protection allows states to move forward with public hunts for the animals, possibly as soon as this fall.”

Environmental groups have promised to sue to keep the wolves on the list.

More below the jump…

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