Posts Tagged ‘Hunting’

Caribbean Monk Seal Gone Extinct From Human Causes, NOAA Confirms

June 9, 2008

After a five year review, NOAA’s Fisheries Service has determined that the Caribbean monk seal, which has not been seen for more than 50 years, has gone extinct—the first type of seal to go extinct from human causes.

Monk seals became easy targets for hunters while resting, birthing, or nursing their pups on the beach. Overhunting by humans led to these seals’ demise, according to NOAA biologists.

The last confirmed sighting of the seal was in 1952 in the Caribbean Sea at Seranilla Bank, between Jamaica and the Yucatán Peninsula. This was the only subtropical seal native to the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

Click here for the full article.

Eat more squirrel?

May 27, 2008

The latest “ethical” food in England is squirrel. That’s right, those fuzzy-tailed little rodents that scurry about your yard. Of course, Southerners have always eaten squirrels. It was a part of our food pyramid, and we didn’t give it up until we could afford hamburger.

Rural Southern families always have depended on the family sharpshooter to furnish a little alternative meat for the family table: squirrels, rabbits, possums, quail and other wild game. When the South finally caught up financially with the rest of the nation, we turned to beef, lamb, etc. If wild game is involved in Southern meals today, it is likely duck or deer meat. But there are those who still enjoy an occasional squirrel or rabbit, and certainly quail is always a treat.

On my visits to the backcountry of England, I have observed rabbit hutches in most backyards, but it seems that squirrel meat has caught the English fancy, and the rodent meat is in much demand, according to recent articles in British newspapers.

One newspaper account reports that squirrels are “low in fat, low in food miles and completely free range.” In other words, “environmentally friendly.” Some Brits claim that, “The grey squirrel is about as ethical a dish as it is possible to serve.” Hunters provide the meat to butcher shops, and the shop owners say they can’t get enough to satiate the hunger for the meat. British women even exchange squirrel recipes.

Click here for the full article.

Success By Learning: Smallest Predator Recognizes Prey By Its Shape

May 22, 2008

The Etruscan shrew (Suncus etruscus) is one of the world’s smallest mammals. It is about four centimetres long and weighs merely two grams. Being a nocturnal animal, it hunts predominantly with its sense of touch. Professor Michael Brecht (Bernstein Center for Computional Neuroscience, Berlin) now reported on the particularities of its hunting behaviour at the international conference “Development and function of somatosensation and pain” at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany. “As quick as a flash, the Etruscan shrew scans its prey and adapts, when necessary, its hunting strategy,” explained Brecht in his talk. “Thus, no prey escapes.”

The smaller an animal is, the greater is its loss of warmth over its surface. To avoid starvation, the Etruscan shrew has to constantly compensate for this life-threatening energy loss. Thus, it consumes twice its weight every day and feeds on crickets, cockroaches, and spiders. Since the prey are nearly as big as their predator, the shrew has to attack fast and well directed.

Click here for the full article.

Federal Polar Bear Research Critically Flawed, Forecasting Expert Asserts

May 12, 2008

Research done by the U.S. Department of the Interior to determine if global warming threatens the polar bear population is so flawed that it cannot be used to justify listing the polar bear as an endangered species, according to a study being published later this year in Interfaces, a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

On April 30, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ordered the Interior Department to decide by May 15 whether polar bears should be listed under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act.

Professor J. Scott Armstrong of the Wharton School says, “To list a species that is currently in good health as an endangered species requires valid forecasts that its population would decline to levels that threaten its viability. In fact, the polar bear populations have been increasing rapidly in recent decades due to hunting restrictions. Assuming these restrictions remain, the most appropriate forecast is to assume that the upward trend would continue for a few years, then level off.

Click here for the full article.

Captured on camera: The moment a baby antelope should have run… as hungry cheetah cubs learn to kill

May 2, 2008

This is the moment two cheetah cubs finally catch and kill an impala fawn as it desperately tried to run for its life.

These amazing photographs, taken in the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya, show the female cheetah demonstrating to her young the vital skill of how to hunt and kill.

Click here for the full article.

N.J. Senator’s Bill Would Eliminate “Canned Hunting” of Exotic Animals

April 24, 2008

Today, U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced legislation that would prevent importing and confining exotic animals for the purpose of hunting.  This type of hunting, commonly known as “canned hunting,” is a brutal practice of placing an animal in an enclosure that severely limits its ability to escape.

“There is nothing sportsmanlike or skillful about shooting an animal that cannot escape.  The idea of a defenseless animal meeting a violent end as the target of a canned hunt is, at the very least, distasteful to many Americans,” said Lautenberg.  “Canned hunting is a form of brutality that has no place in our society.”

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that more than 1,000 canned hunting ranches offer non-native animals as targets in at least 28 states.  And prices for these animals depend on their rarity, ranging from $800 for a gazelle to up to $8,000 for an antelope.  Many states have made canned hunting illegal.

Click here for the full article.

Lizard Hunting Styles Impact Ability To Walk, Run

April 22, 2008

The technique lizards use to grab their grub influences how they move, according to researchers at Ohio University.

A research team led by doctoral student Eric McElroy tracked 18 different species of lizards as they walked or ran in order to understand how their foraging styles impact their biomechanics.

Lizards use two basic foraging techniques. In the first approach, aptly dubbed sit-and-wait, lizards spend most of their time perched in one location waiting for their prey to pass. Then, with a quick burst of speed, they run after their prey, snatching it up with their tongues.

In the other form of foraging, known as wide or active foraging, lizards move constantly but very slowly in their environment, using their chemosensory system to stalk their prey, according to the research team, which included McElroy’s adviser Stephen Reilly, professor of biological sciences, and undergraduate honors thesis student Kristin Hickey.

Click here for the full article.

Novel Living System Recreates Predator-prey Interaction

April 14, 2008

The hunter-versus-hunted phenomenon exemplified by a pack of lionesses chasing down a lonely gazelle has been recreated in a Petri dish with lowly bacteria.

Working with colleagues at Caltech, Stanford and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a Duke University bioengineer has developed a living system using genetically altered bacteria that he believes can provide new insights into how the population levels of prey influence the levels of predators, and vice-versa.

The Duke experiment is an example of a synthetic gene circuit, where researchers load new “programming” into bacteria to make them perform new functions. Such re-programmed bacteria could see a wide variety of applications in medicine, environmental cleanup and biocomputing. In this particular Duke study, researchers rewrote the software of the common bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli.) to form a mutually dependent living circuit of predator and prey.

Click here for the full article.

Mule slaughters cougar, hunting party looks on? Maybe?

April 11, 2008

I first read this story in an email from my dad, who received it from a high school classmate, who received it from someone else, etc. This mule v. cougar story is one of the craziest I’ve heard in a while, so I decided that it deserved some investigation.

After researching on the web, we found out that the first version is slightly inaccurate, and dug up what is supposed to be the true details about mule and cougar battle. You’ll find both versions below.

In the first story, the cougar is portrayed as the “bad guy,” stalking a hunting party. From my understanding of the original story, “that [is] not the case.” According to the first-person account, the mule is highly aggressive toward cougars, and when the hunting party found the cougar, the mule attacked it of its own accord.

Edit: Wait, maybe I read it wrong.  Maybe the cougar was already shot, then mauled by the sadistic mule?  I’m not sure.  The author of the “official account” isn’t very clear.

-Kitty Mowmow

Version 1:

These pics came from a guy in AZ. Yes, the mule killed the mountain lion.

The lion had been stalking them for the better part of the morning, on the way out to a hunt. They were pretty sure it was after one of the dogs.

The cat ambushed them, and the mule pictured tossed its rider and went into attack (defense) mode, the horses scattered and shots were fired but no one was sure if they hit the cat or not. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until it was almost over that one of the guys started snapping pics.

The mule finally stomped the cougar to death after biting and throwing it around like a rag doll. The dogs wouldn’t even come close until the mule settled down.

The cat was still alive here and trying to fight back.


Wolf’s death stirs fears for species’ fate

April 8, 2008

He might have led the famous Druid Peak wolf pack had he stuck around.

Instead, the wolf known as 253M left the safety of Yellowstone National Park and lit out for Utah, on the way becoming a darling of wolf-watchers around the world.

Nicknamed “Limpy” because his back legs were crippled in a fight when he was young, 253M was just shy of 8 years old – a wolf Methuselah – when he died March 28, shot in Wyoming on the first day wolves lost their protected status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Bad move, say wolf advocates

“He’s got to be the most famous wolf in the lower 48 states,” said Alan Sachanowski, a photographer who lives just north of Yellowstone in Pray, Mont. “If they wanted to make a martyr on the first weekend of delisting, I’d say they succeeded. Never before has any animal come off the endangered species list to face this kind of persecution.”

Click here for the full article.

Fur flying over wolf control tactics

March 23, 2008


In case you missed it, some university biologists are doing a study around Rocky Mountain House that involves reducing wolf packs from around 19 animals to two or three.

This is to be done by sterilizing the alpha wolf couple and killing pups and other wolves in the pack.

This has the blessing and support of the department of Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (headed by super-hunting fan Ted Morton) and is being partially funded by various hunting groups.

These facts, combined with some remarkably bad public relations, led the public to believe little wolf babies are going to get killed so that plaid-clad guys with rifles can have less competition on their weekend elk-killing sprees.

In fact, improving hunting is only a minor byproduct of keeping wolf numbers down.

Sure, some hunters will have more elk to shoot, but this is only of benefit to a small number of people and, as such, was only a minor objective of this study.

A grander goal – often overlooked – is to find a kinder way of keeping the wolves in this province from driving woodland caribou to extinction.

Click here for the full article.

Enter Nigel Barker’s challenge to save seals

March 10, 2008
Here I am on March 3 with HSUS President Wayne Pacelle at the amazing seal nursery.
Photo credit: The HSUS

Dear Kitty Mowmow Reader,

Like you, I care deeply about animals and don’t ever want to see them suffer.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw the shocking images: conscious seal pups being clubbed over the head and dragged across the ice … with some baby seals even skinned alive. I vowed right then to do everything I could to help stop this senseless cruelty.

One important way that you can help is by signing the pledge to boycott Canadian seafood until the seal hunt is stopped.

Why boycott Canadian seafood? Seal hunting is an off-season activity for Canada’s commercial fishermen, who earn a small fraction of their incomes from killing baby seals for their fur. That’s why a financial blow to the commercial fishing industry’s seafood exports is key to bringing about an end to this vicious slaughter.

After you’ve signed, please take my Pledge Challenge and ask all of your friends and family to sign, too.

The person who recruits the most new pledge signers will win a fabulous seal-themed prize pack from me. This prize pack includes a signed photo, my new T-shirt (see photo to the right), a campaign hoodie, and cute seal mug and baby seal plush toy. Ten runners-up will receive a signed photo and the baby seal plush toy. The more people you get to sign the pledge between now and midnight March 24, the greater the chance you’ll have to win! You can send up to 10 emails per message and up to 20 messages per day. Read all of the contest rules.

After what I have witnessed these past several days, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to help prevent these defenseless baby seals from being brutally slaughtered for their fur — most of which is exported to Europe. You see, I’ve just returned from the ice floes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where I joined my friends at The Humane Society of the United States in viewing an extraordinary sight — the birth of thousands of harp seal pups across a pristine and peaceful winter landscape. View my photos of this amazing place here. It’s so painful to think that in only a few weeks’ time, this beautiful seal nursery will be transformed into a scene of bloody carnage.

Please take a moment to sign the pledge to boycott Canadian seafood and help end this hunt forever.

Your involvement during these next few weeks is critical — because our campaign is starting to achieve real results. Since the ProtectSeals boycott began, the value of Canadian snow crab exports to the United States has plummeted $465 million (in Canadian dollars). Help us keep the pressure on Canada’s fishing industry by joining more than 545,000 people who have already signed the pledge!

It only takes a few minutes to speak up for baby seals. If we all act now, this may be the last commercial seal hunt any of us ever has to witness.


Nigel Barker

Copyright © 2008 The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) | All Rights Reserved.
The Humane Society of the United States | 2100 L Street, NW | Washington, DC 20037 | 202-452-1100 |

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Conservation Congress: Should we hunt wolves?

January 15, 2008


Wisconsin’s Conservation Congress plans to ask sportsmen this spring whether they want to hunt timber wolves, a year after the federal government removed the animals from the endangered species list.

The question isn’t binding on the state Department of Natural Resources or the Legislature, but it illustrates what some say is growing frustration with wolves in northern Wisconsin as their numbers rise.

Ron Waller, an Eagle River grouse hunter, said wolves are all over his part of the state. One of his hunts was ruined last fall when he and his dog, Zeke, came face-to-face with a wolf and had to hightail it back to the car, he said.

“If they don’t do something appropriate soon, it’s going to migrate to the three ‘S’ method – shoot, shovel and shut up,” Waller said. “People are just going to start taking things in their own hands.”

But others say the state’s current management methods are working.

“You send people out there hunting wolves, it’s going to screw everything up. It’s just not a good idea,” said Jim Olson of Eau Claire, who represents the Wisconsin Sierra Club chapter on a group of wolf stakeholders that works with the DNR.

Click here to read the full article

UK: Anger as Royal Society for the Protection of Birds allows bird shoots on its land

January 13, 2008


Britain’s foremost bird charity has been branded “disgusting” – for allowing ducks and geese to be shot on one of its nature reserves.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) hands out shooting licences on its land at Langstone Harbour, near Portsmouth, Hampshire – where wildfowlers kill up to ten birds a day for sport.

The shooting has been allowed since 1979 but was revealed publicly only when a pellet-riddled duck carcass was found by a walker.

Click here to read the full article.