Friday, February 22, 2013

Paul McCartney and the Cayman Turtle Controversy

Photo by Rich007 via Wikimedia Commons
Sir Paul McCartney, former member of the The Beatles, has expressed public support for the Campaign to Stop the Cayman Turtle Farm and urged the farm to pursue a "more humane, sustainable, and profitable alternative". 

McCartney says he does not believe that there is any humane way to farm turtles.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Will the Sequester Stifle the Smithsonian National Zoo?

As March looms nearer, staff at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. are nervous about the effect the upcoming federal sequester could have on their facilities--and the animals that inhabit them.

“Our collection is a living collection,” Craig Saffoe , curator of the zoo’s big cats, told the Washington Post. “They need to be cared for every day, no matter what is happening above our heads.”

The Smithsonian plans to weather a potential five percent budget cut mainly by freezing hiring, reducing training, and delaying new construction. Some zoo projects, such as the planned acquisition of cheetahs for their research facility in Front Royal, Virginia, may have to be reconsidered.

Photo by the USFWS

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Rare Find

A few years ago, I had the good fortune to communicate with Eric Dinerstein, Chief Scientist of the World Wildlife Fund. He contributed a story called "Tigerland" to my 2005 anthology, The Back Road to Crazy. Needless to say, I've been a longtime admirer of Eric's work, both in print and in the field. 

So, I was thrilled to find that Eric has just published a new book called The Kingdom of Rarities

In this global romp through mythic lands, readers get up-close-and-personal with many of the planet's rarest creatures and come away with a new understanding of why they're rare and how conservation might be able to save them from extinction.