Various News And Action Issues.

We have decided to group a selection of different issues together here rather than make individual posts of them – SAV.

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Win for Canada Lynx: Idaho Must Take Action on Trapping

In a decision that will save lynx from cruel trapping deaths, a federal district court found on Monday that the great snow cats living in the Panhandle and Clearwater regions of Idaho are in danger of incidental trapping — so restrictions on trapping in those areas are needed. Lynx are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and the court found that trapping in northern Idaho is likely to illegally harm them. In 2014 the Center for Biological Diversity and allies sued Idaho for allowing trapping in lynx habitat. This week the court directed Idaho to alter its regulations to prevent future lynx deaths. It ordered the state to submit a plan to the court within 90 days, with terms that will truly protect lynx in the northern part of the state. “We’re relieved that the court has ordered Idaho to do more to protect lynx,” said the Center’s Andrea Santarsiere. “Four lynx have been incidentally trapped in Idaho in the past four years, and the court agreed with us today that the state cannot stand idly by and watch while indiscriminate traps harm these rare and federally protected cats.” Read more in The Spokesman-Review.

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Good News! African Lions Gain Protection Under the Endangered Species Act

Thank you for urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect lions under the Endangered Species Act and to prohibit the importation of lion trophies. Good news: As a result of global outrage following Cecil the lion’s death, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it will strengthen conservation efforts and crack down on trophy hunting by protecting two subspecies of African lions under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will list one lion subspecies native to India and Central and Western Africa as endangered and another native to Eastern and Southern Africa as threatened. USFWS Director Dan Ashe also issued an order that would make it more difficult for those accused of violating wildlife laws to acquire permits and licensing for importing sport-hunted trophies. All these decisions are huge steps forward in protecting African lions for generations to come. Inspired to do more to protect endangered species? Stand with the Endangered Species Coalition, and take the pledge to defend the Endangered Species Act from congressional attacks.

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Elephants Win: Hong Kong Moves to Crush Ivory Trade

Taylor Hill is an associate editor at TakePart covering environment and wildlife.

Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying announced Wednesday that his government will end its legal ivory trade.

That market is considered a facilitator of illegal ivory transport into mainland China, the world’s largest consumer of smuggled ivory.

“The government is very concerned about the illegal poaching of elephants in Africa,” Leung told Hong Kong’s legislative council on Wednesday. “It will kick-start legislative procedures as soon as possible to ban the import and export of elephant hunting trophies.” He added that the government will “explore other appropriate measures,” including a phaseout of the local ivory trade and stiffer penalties for smuggling and trading endangered species.

Wildlife conservation groups are hailing the announcement as a milestone in the movement to ban all ivory trade—a position the Chinese and U.S. presidents took in 2015.

 “We expect action will be taken this year, but what we don’t know is what the timeline will look like,” said WildAid chief executive Peter Knights. “He announced a phaseout, so obviously the quicker the better. The most important thing is that they reveal a timeline this year.”

RELATED:  World’s Biggest Ivory Market Throws Elephants a Bone

WildAid has been working in China and Hong Kong since 2011 to educate the public on how the country’s legal ivory trade fuels illegal poaching of Africa’s elephants.

“We’re losing 30,000 elephants a year in Africa, and we believe most of that ivory is being traded through legal channels,” Knights said.

In a report released last year, World Wildlife Fund Hong Kong showed the loopholes in the legal ivory trade that allow illegal tusks to infiltrate the market. Ivory from the city’s stockpile obtained prior to 1990 can be legally sold. But lax enforcement has allowed the 400 or so licensed traders to use legal ivory permits as a front to sell contraband tusks.

The practice has helped lead to the rapid decline of African elephants, whose population has fallen from between 3 million and 5 million in the early 1900s to around 470,000 today. If poaching keeps its current pace, scientists say the species could be extinct within two decades.

Hong Kong’s move comes as the price of elephant ivory plummets. In a report by conservation group Save the Elephants, the cost of raw ivory on the black market has fallen by almost half over the past 18 months. Ivory tripled in value in the four years leading up to 2014 but dropped from a high of $2,100 per kilogram to $1,100 per kilogram by November 2015.

Researchers Lucy Vigne and Esmond Martin of Save the Elephants said the price drop is a result of China’s growing public awareness about illegal ivory and the government’s intent to shut down the domestic ivory trade.

“Everybody in the ivory business in China is waiting and wondering what will happen next, and are gloomy that their centuries-long tradition of ivory carving may be coming to an end, hoping at least that it can be phased out gradually,” Vigne and Martin said in a statement.

“If the trade closes, the value of ivory as an investment depreciates,” Knights said. “We see Hong Kong prices going down because of the public backlash against ivory, and that should have an impact on poaching. Couple that with stepped-up efforts in Africa to deter poachers, and the ivory trade ends up getting squeezed at both ends.”

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Deer Tortured In Texas – Take Action.

Deer slaughtered?

Not if we can help it.

Here’s the scoop:

The Sun City Texas Community Association is AGAIN reportedly planning to trap deer and ship them to slaughterhouses to try to reduce their local populations.

Think of how completely terrifying it would be to get caught in a net, not knowing what would happen next. These traumatized deer try in vain to escape and can badly injure themselves in the process. Bucks are then held down while their antlers are sawed off with loud power tools. Bleeding and scared, the highly sensitive animals are then transported in noisy trucks to the slaughterhouse, where they’re unloaded and finally killed.

These cruel methods tear wild families apart, often leaving young and weak animals to starve. And for what? These methods don’t even work! Populations have been known to SPIKE because there’s more food to go around after these mass killings.

Please urge the Sun City Texas Community Association to commit to humane control methods that work, then forward this e-mail to everyone you can.

Please send POLITE comments to:

Steve Ashlock, President, Sun City Texas Homeowners Association Board stephen.ashlock@pultegroup.com

Please also e-mail the Sun City Texas Homeowners Association Board and Wildlife Management Committee by sending your message to the following list of addresses:

info@sctexas.org; cawildlife@sctexas.org; glynn.hatley@sctexas.org; gary.preston@sctexas.org; gary.sandercock@sctexas.org; bob.glandt@sctexas.org; sandy.goodman@sctexas.org

Please act NOW before it’s too late!

For all animals,

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