Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Can Breathe!

Well, I never thought I would see the day, but my grad course work is done for the year! Woo hoo! I'm still student teaching full time in the 5th grade class I've been with all semester, but my graduate courses are finito. I can breathe again. And update my blog!

I wanted to share with you something very cool--the CEO, Jill Robinson, of Animals Asia saw my Moon Bear Fundraising Movie and liked it, and today I was contacted by the US Outreach Coordinator who requested permission to post it on the website! Woo hoo! I'm so excited that it will soon be seen by more than just my immediate circle of friends and family. The whole point of that movie was to inspire others to find ways in which to organize and assist conservation organizations. This might be a way to get the word out and make that happen. So exciting!

Here is the final version:

Last awesome point of interest: If you go to Jill's Blog and scroll down a bit, you will see that the Opening of the Double Bear House and Enclosures was attended by two of my favorite women--Dr. Dame Jane Goodall and Maggie Q! I've met Jane Goodall, drove her around last year when she visited the zoo, love and look up to her, have read her books, and I look forward to seeing her this year at WCN. And...but...oh my gosh, Maggie Q! I've been watching her movies since 2004! She rocks! She kicks butt, is beautiful, and puts out consistently good, responsible, messages and energy to the public. Awesome! That must have been an amazing event.

OK, off to bed. Field trip tomorrow to Aquarium of the Bay with my students!

Protect Wildlife!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Moon Bear Video

This here is a video that I've been working on for the past 6 months or so (it would have taken me a much shorter time if I hadn't had school in the way). Thanks to everyone that contibuted and helped me shoot the thing (I would just ask whoever was around wherever I was at the time to man the camera), and thanks to Eligh and Slug for the star power! :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wolves to be Delisted

Wolves no longer protected in Northern Rockies

By MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press Writer – Sun May 3, 2:49 pm ET

BILLINGS, Mont. – Wolves in parts of the Northern Rockies and the Great Lakes region come off the endangered species list on Monday, opening them to public hunts in some states for the first time in decades.

Federal officials say the population of gray wolves in those areas has recovered and is large enough to survive on its own. The animals were listed as endangered in 1974, after they had been wiped out across the lower 48 states by hunting and government-sponsored poisoning.

"We've exceeded our recovery goals for nine consecutive years, and we fully expect those trends will continue," said Seth Willey, regional recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Denver.

With the delisting, state wildlife agencies will have full control over the animals. States such as Idaho and Montana plan to resume hunting the animals this fall, but no hunting has been proposed in the Great Lakes region.

Ranchers and livestock groups, particularly in the Rockies, have pushed to strip the endangered status in hopes that hunting will keep the population in check.

About 300 wolves in Wyoming will remain on the list because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rejected the state's plan for a "predator zone" where wolves could be shot on sight. Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal and a coalition of livestock and hunting groups have announced a lawsuit against the federal government over the decision.

Freudenthal, a Democrat, claimed "political expediency" was behind the rejection of his state's wolf plan.
Wolves were taken off the endangered list in the Northern Rockies — including Wyoming — for about five months last year. After environmentalists sued, a federal judge in Montana restored the protections and cited Wyoming's predator zone as a main reason. In the Great Lakes, the animal was off the list beginning in 2007 until a judge in Washington last September ordered them protected again.

Environmental and animal rights groups have also said they planned to sue over the delisting, claiming that there are still not enough wolves to guarantee their survival. The groups point to Idaho's plan to kill up to 100 wolves believed to have killed elk.
"We understand that hunting is part of wildlife policy in the West," said Anne Carlson with the Western Wolf Coalition. "(But) wolves should be managed like native wildlife and not as pests to be exterminated."

The delisting review began under the administration of President George W. Bush and the proposal was upheld by President Barack Obama's administration after an internal review. In a recent letter to several members of Congress, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar wrote that he was "confident that science justifies the delisting of the gray wolf."

Willey said his agency projected there would be between 973 and 1302 wolves in the Northern Rockies under state management, a number well above the 300 wolves set as the original benchmark for the animal's recovery.
More than 1,300 wolves roam the mountains of Montana and Idaho and an estimated 4,000 live in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.