"Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it”

Archive for June, 2013

Rhinoceros horn is not up for sale

say-no-to-rhino-horn-trade-IARF-Africa Rhinoceros poaching is officially out of control, as if we didn’t know this already. The press are only reporting on poaching and what if’s, along with the pro trade lobbyists idea’s of how they truly believe the Rhinoceros is going to survive with it’s horn removed just above the growing point.

The Rt Honourable Edna Molewa has simply bypassed all talks from others and technologies that have been presented to her in blue print and other formalities that are still awaiting patent pending. Both from ourselves International Animal Rescue Foundation© along with two proven security technologies that we are ready to put to use within the fields of Africa and upon ranches and farms.

Proven at a cost over e17,000 from our own pockets. The press though seem to only want to drivel on about the dehorning of our 50 million year old prehistoric realm with very few mentions locally and internationally of the Rhinoceros treatment programme that has been proven to work time again and not one single Rhinoceros has been poached to date with this security implementation in place.

The Trans-frontier fence that was protecting around 89% all species of Rhinoceros and other fauna still hasn’t been erected from which International Animal Rescue Foundation© are now pushing for the dividing fence to be re-erected and electrified within the next two to three months before we completely lose all the Kruger Rhinoceros. Deputy Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Honourable Rejoice Mabudafhasi and Vietnam’s Deputy Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Honourable Ha Cong Tuan, on Monday May 6th 2013 signed an agreement to now take furthering action to curb the epidemic of Rhinoceros poaching thus preserving our African and international heritage protecting both ours and our children’s future. However we have yet to see these actions implemented to even put into practice. The date for these 26 proposals have been stated to be released within a year.

Early last week June 2013 Minister Molewa and Minister Carvalho Muaria met to speak on working together on tackling the cross border insurgencies of mainly Mozambique’s crossing into South Africa illegally with talks also focusing on the (MOU) Memorandum of Understanding, and the village that we call (Little Mayfair) that once hosted around 1,200 underprivileged individuals.

The village is now soon to be moved (apparently). The village no longer hosts 1,200 poor and non-working individuals, it holds millionaires that have pocketed from poaching the Rhinoceros thus selling the horn on for around $65,000 to $75,000 a kilogram. Both ministers have still done nothing to take action, with no dates, other than a (2016) promise deadline. 2016 will see most of the 15,000 (estimated) rhinoceros pushed into nearing extinction.

Please note that the 15,000 is not an accurate number as we simply do not know how many Rhinoceros there are within Southern Africa. Observing poaching rates though and mathematically calculating gestation rates, the number of Rhinoceros poached a day and populations of the last census (2010) we have come to the conclusion that this is all we have in the way of Rhinoceros left within Southern Africa that hosts the world’s largest populations with ¼ owned to private owners. No census has still be undertaken so that it can be assessed if the Rhinoceros needs to be moved up from vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species to endangered.

The (IUCN) have quoted that the White Rhinoceros was listed from 1994 as vulnerable to then hitting (NT) from 2002-2011 as near threatened. So how can these numbers be increasing if there hasn’t been a census undertaken? As of 31ST December 2010, there were an estimated 20,170 White Rhinoceros in the wild. As of December 2008 there were an estimated 750 in captivity worldwide. The majority (98.8%) of White Rhinoceros occur in just four countries (South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya).

This doesn’t make sense though as the Department of Environmental Affairs stated to us (2012 Jan) that the populations of White Rhinoceros for 2010 was in fact 22,800. Hence why we need a census sooner rather than later. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) and the Department of Environmental Affairs both confirmed that when the Vietnamese hunting permits were banned (2012), there was a 100% increase in hunting permits from continents within Europe.

Them continents were in fact Poland, the old Yugoslav Republic, Russia, Estonia, Serbia, and the Ukraine. Both parties agreed that pseudo hunting was still ongoing yet not one department has actually acknowledged this professionally nor have they still implemented a temporary Rhinoceros hunting moratorium that would then prove we did have pseudo hunters deriving from non-European states. By placing a temporary ban on Rhinoceros hunting too this would make evident if their would be any change on the market.

In March 2013 the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna confirmed that Europe was the key supplier of “resins” to Asia that was in fact flooding the Asian black market with a colossal 90% fake Rhinoceros horn material. INTERPOL and Cites have still yet to locate the suppliers of these resins that would if they were banned cut demand and reduce poaching of our majestic species the Rhinoceros identified by Dr Burchell in 1817. Companies and organisations are moving as fast as they can to preserve the Rhinoceros both on ranches and within the wild exhausting every type of security method that can be used.

However no sooner after the Conference of Parties meetings took place Minister Molewa then decided that the “taboo” subject of legalising the Rhinoceros horn trade had to be on the agenda for CoP 17 that coincidentally is to be held within South Africa.

Coincidentally poachers are back to using hunting rifles and old school techniques which we knew would happen when the Department of Environmental Affairs in (2012) banned farmer’s and any other individuals unless they were a veterinary officer from using (Entorphine) more commonly known as M99. This fact doesn’t seem to have been raised though as to why poachers are back to using guns and not tranquilising darts.

Without accusing a single individual here it’s blatantly obvious that the farming community was heavily involved within the 2011 horrific murders of almost 500 Rhinoceros.

So lets take a recap of the Rhinoceros poaching numbers from 2010 to 2013 to date for June 24th;

2010 – 330 Rhinoceros poached 1 poached a day

2011 – 448 Rhinoceros poached 1-2 poached a day

2012 – 668 Rhinoceros poached 2-3 poached a day

2013 June 24th 436 Rhinoceros poached – 3 poached a day

2013 – Saw all the Limpopo Rhinoceros pushed to extinction 2013 – In one week alone we lost twenty four Rhinoceros

The poaching statistics stand at – 11.5 hours a Rhinoceros is poached, however this is no longer factual and we are losing Rhinoceros faster than we are losing water from leaking manholes.

The pro trade lobbyists argue that a dehorning the Rhinoceros will cease the poaching. We and others have known this to be non-factual as even if there is a stub at around six inches from the base to the growing point this will still place the Rhinoceros in more danger.

Please view the May 2013 link http://showme.co.za/nelspruit/news/poachers-strike-pro-trade-advocate/

The pro trade lobbyists may argue that whilst the Rhinoceros is de-horned then this will most certainly preserve their life. We disagree.

The Rhinoceros is also placed in more danger of extinction. Whilst there is a stub of horn and there is also a farm containing Rhinoceros then the poacher will have to kill more Rhinoceros to gain the “full horn”. So one 6 inch stub simply is not enough. 3-4 Rhinoceros would have to be poached and that is exactly what happened in May on Mr and Mrs Hume’s farm of de-horned Rhinoceros.

This is not the only case of Rhinoceros that have been poached with horns partially removed too.

6th March 2012 – Two de-horned Rhinoceros were poached http://m.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/lowveld/lowveld-mobile-news?oid=5070537&sn=Mobile-Detail&pid=4732825&Dehorned-rhino-poached-in-Onderberg

Then another hit dating 2012 – http://safaritalk.net/topic/9394-dehorned-pregnant-rhinos-killed-zululand/

ZWF HOTLINE – Dehorned, pregnant rhinos killed – Zululand Observer 08/10/12 Story Dave Savides Plus two more in Sabi Game Reserve adjoining Kruger Despite strict security and the fact that they had already been dehorned last year, two pregnant white rhinos were found dead at Bonamanzi Game Reserve on Friday.

The poachers got away with barely a few centimetres of newly-grown horn after shooting the animals. Well aware of the poaching threat, the private reserve outside Hluhluwe employs round-the clock security, all their rhino are equipped with GPS tracking devices and all but one had been dehorned last November. ‘The last of the Bonamanzi rhinos to be dehorned, will undergo the painless procedure on Tuesday and is currently under the protection of eight armed guards,’ said a spokesperson.

It is unfortunate that this was set to be done two weeks ago but was postponed. The practice is conducted under the supervision of an experienced and qualified wildlife veterinarian, the district conservation officer and attending wildlife practitioners. ‘Horns are stored off the property in a secure vault.’ Bonamanzi said all horns are micro-chipped, enabling tracing. ‘Aeroplanes all over the country are tracking the culprits as we speak. ‘Owners and management of the reserve will spare no expense to create an idyllic, safe sanctuary for a healthy breeding population of rhino on the reserve.’ End of news update 2012 ——

De-horning does not work and one can do their own investigations into this should they wish too and then view more Rhinoceros that have been dehorned only to be poached for a mere few centimetres.

What do we do then? Well we have the many technologies that are currently being developed, two of which International Animal Rescue Foundation© have already developed one of them we are awaiting patent pending. The security is vast, affordable, and only requires a small team to secure 100 hectares of land or more.

There is though of which we will speak more on at a later date the Rhinoceros Horn Treatment Programme an excellent and proven technology that has now many new introductions.

This we recommend 100% and NO Rhinoceros have been slaughtered by poachers since being treated. You can read more about the Rhinoceros treatment programme within the link below; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2335274/Rhino-horns-poisoned-painted-PINK-poachers-away-revolutionary-scheme-South-Africa.html

Please note the Rhinoceros horn is not actually painted pink as the headlines in the Daily Mail have stated, they do though have a pink dye injected that will show up on Airport Scanners. Most if not all customs officers have been briefed on this and what to spot.

For now we leave you and will be bringing you some excellent updates on the new updates that we are working on and others have already placed with the field.

Say no to Rhinoceros horn trade and please vote below on whether you want Rhinoceros horn legalised or not legalised until all other options are exhausted.

Please sign our petition to which we require only 1,500 signatures to now enforce the trans-frontier fence to be erected within the next 2-4 months or at least a response to state that this will be undertaken and not just empty promises.

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/rt-hon-edna-molewa-rt-hon-carvalho-muaria-erection-of-the-transfrontier-border-fence#share

Failure is not within our vocabulary and we will break the back of poaching. Please watch out for our upcoming documents on Poaching and Terrorism. Director International Animal Rescue Foundation

If not you then WHO? – If not now then WHEN?

Advertisements

Thermal Conservation – Possible future of our large mammals

THERMALSCIENCESTUDYIARF

 

Getting an Elephant to swallow a large metal pill is no easy task, they are very intelligent animals and will check the food you prepare for them.

Even hiding a 3 centimetre long capsule in bananas an Elephants favourite food doesn’t work. If they bite on them they will spit them back out. Instead it was discovered to wait until their mouths are open then throw the pills down their throats along with some tasty treats.

The metal pills that are harmless contain not medicine but temperature sensors and radio transmitters. For big animals, staying cool is a challenge and yet Elephants, the largest land mammals in the world, live in some of the worlds hottest countries. So how do they survive the heat? Well this is where environmental research comes into practice from which it was decided to find out just how Elephants’ keep cool.

It was discovered Elephants have evolved some surprisingly sophisticated tricks. Large warm blooded animals not only generate a lot of internal heat, they have a smaller surface area to their volume. To maintain their body temperature when it’s hot, then an Elephant has to lose far more heat per unit of surface area than an average human.

The bigger the Elephant the bigger the problem. What’s more Elephants “don’t sweat” they don’t pant either, probably because it doesn’t work well for such a vast sized mammal from which panting could cause them to hyperventilate to even collapse and die. So panting is just out of the question for these large mammals.

Instead of course Elephants have their huge ears, which act as radiators. They’re pretty effective; A 1992 study calculated that at a temperature of 20oc, a 2000 KG African Elephant could shed all it’s excess heat through it’s ears alone.

But an African Elephant’s can weigh up to 7000kgs and have to survive temperatures that can soar above 40oc. The ears of the Asian Elephant’s meanwhile, are just a third of the size of the African Elephants, so they can only lose a third as much heat through them. Clearly ears are not enough.

We’ve known about some of their other strategies for a while. One is to flap their ears, to increase heat loss. Another is to travel to the nearest pool. Not only does water provide immediate cooling, but the Elephants wrinkled skin traps a lot of moisture and mud, providing a lasting cooling effect as it slowly evaporates.

Thermal Windows;

Thermal images of six African Elephants at Vienna Zoological Gardens where taken, it was then discovered Elephants had another trick. It was first expected to see the ears show up as hot patches as the Elephants shed heat however other hot patches emerged on the animals bodies, including on the legs and on their flanks. Only Elephants ears where thought to have this dense network of blood vessels required to heat up the skin to this extent.

But it now appears many other areas are just as well equipped (Journal of Thermal Biology vol;35 p 182).

What’s more Elephants seem to have an astonishing degree of thermal control. As it got warmer, it was expected to see the whole of each ear to heat up. Instead only small patches warmed at first, the temperature difference between the hot and cold patches was vast – as high as 20oc as the temperature rose higher still the hot areas expanded and eventually merged.

All mammals have skin patches that can act as thermal windows through which heat can escape. But Elephants are the [first] animals known to open, close and merge their windows in this way.

It is thought this ability allows the Elephants to fine tune their body temperature in moderate weather, these thermal windows are only used when the Elephant is comfortable, they are not freezing and don’t feel to hot.

However other researchers have stated that Elephants can even cool specific organs depending on which skin patches heat up. Heat flow through these patches is increased in another, unexpected way; by hair. While Elephants [appear] to be bald, they are in fact covered in sparse hairs. They’re bristly, and wiry, and very thick.

Thick hair keeps mammals warm by trapping a layer of insulating air next to the skin thus reducing heat loss. But Elephant hair is to sparse for that, instead it was wondered if the hairs could act as tiny heat fins.

Investigations then began to delve deeper into this mystery, researchers began investigating this effect by tweaking a computer model normally used to calculate the effectiveness of heat exchangers used for cooling electrical component‘s.

The altered model suggests that Elephants hairs can boost heat loss from the skin by up to 20% (Plos One, Vol 7 Pe47018). Many fascinating things are being found out about these great mammals of which one researcher suggested that hair is not just a relic of their past, but may have evolved to help keep Elephants cool. In fact perhaps hair originally evolved for cooling rather than warming (although this is still a speculation).

However this host of tricks for shedding heat is not enough in extreme conditions. Then, Elephants’ resort to a radical strategy.

This is where the pill like temperature sensors come in. Teams managed to get seventeen Asian Elephants from Zoological Gardens in Germany and Thailand to swallow the capsules. it’s the only way to monitor the Elephants core temperature. You cannot use rectal measures inside the Elephant to obtain the core body temperature.

In Germany where the ambient temperature was around 21oc the Elephants core temperature varied by around half a degree over the course of the day.

But in the Thailand, where the temperature was around 30oc they varied by more than 1 degree from a minimum of 35.5oc at night, the Elephants core temperature rose as high as 38oc during the day (Journal of Comparative Physiology B, vol 182; p 311).

So the Elephants in Thailand are turning size to their advantage. Large bodies are not are not only hard to cool, they also take time to warm up. By letting their body temperature drop abnormally low during the night, the Elephants can endure higher temperatures during the day without getting dangerously hot.

A few other animals do this too – a camels temperature can range from 34oc to over 41oc – but the strategy was thought to be the preserve of desert mammals.

It is thought that African Elephants must adopt this trick to stay cool, but no one has monitored core temperatures in African Elephants exposed to extreme heat. Other large mammals, such as Rhinoceros and Giraffes may well all do the same.

What is clear is that as the planet warms, staying cool is going to become even a bigger challenge for larger animals. With night time temperatures rising even faster than daytime ones in many regions, even the strategy of chilling down at a night to survive hot days might not be enough.

Some parts of Elephants current ranges cold become too hot for them to survive. Its pretty obvious that Elephants are going to change their behaviour. They may change physically too. Perhaps Elephants will be forced to resort to the most radical strategy of all for a large animal – and that is regrettably – shrinking.

Thank you for reading

Director

International Animal Rescue Foundation – Africa

https://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Animal-Rescue-Foundation-World-Action-South-Africa/199685603444685

 


Climate change – A threat to half of all bird species

IARFZAJUNE

Bird species under threat from – Global climate change

Read more below – A direct warning to now reduce all greenhouse emissions to sustain our bird, amphibians and coral species.

June 2013 24th

Between a quarter and a half of all bird species, along with around a third of amphibians and a quarter of corals are highly vulnerable to climate change.

That’s according to the most comprehensive assessment to date of the impact on global warming on life. Its results have led ourselves and other researchers to warn that unprecedented conservation efforts will be needed if we do not cut emissions soon.

Ignoring this, will see a very bleak future for mainly our birds the most vulnerable species to suffer from greenhouse gas emissions, not forgetting habitat fragmentation.

The new assessment was carried out by scientists from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) from which ourselves are also undertaking climate change research with regards to avian species internationally, mostly within Africa, India and Malaysia.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature is the organisation that compiles the red list of threatened species. The red list was invented way before anyone worried about climate change.

Red list assessments of extinction risk do consider climate change stated the (IUCN) in Cambridge, United Kingdom. The assessment maps out climate conditions where a species lives now, then estimates how that liveable area will alter as climate changes.

But that’s not enough to asses the risk. Some species may be able to cope if their environment changes, others may be especially suited to evolving adaptations that will let them acclimatise, and yet more species may simply move to new areas.

This is what International Animal Rescue Foundations © Aves Bird Watch within India, Africa, England and Malaysia have been watching and documenting on for the past year now. We have viewed more or less the exact same results with regards to bird and mammal movements and evolutionary behaviour changes from which we have reported on the International Animal Rescue Foundation © African (NGO) for the past three months. We have also noted the IUCN have been increasing their documentations with regards to climate change and species evolution behaviour.

Researchers from the (IUCN) tried to take this all into account. They considered how quickly species could relocate and whether barriers like mountain ranges would stop species migrating/moving. They also examined how rapidly species could evolve.

For instance species that could reproduce quickly have a better chance of evolving new adaptations than those that do not. If you’re a narwhal and only breed once every two years, then it’s not going to happen. So far the (IUCN) have applied their criteria to all Aves (bird) species, amphibians, and corals.

Species were classed as highly [vulnerable] if their climate is changing rapidly, they are sensitive to these changes and have little ability to adapt or relocate.

The results were not positive and make for (very grim reading) which is what we – International Animal Rescue Foundation © had expected based on our own studies and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature now released studies.

The evidence has been here for some time now, it was just proving it then documenting that was the issue. We ourselves have known for some time dating back to 2004 – 2009 that these changes were moving faster than expected from which we have already viewed many species of birds that are native to India now residing within Africa.

The Hawk Eagle being one of many, plus the Fregata minor that normally resides within coastal regions of Southern Africa now spotted within the Kruger and more inland reserves. The Fregata minor is extremely sensitive to climate change.

Data from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature I have listed below for your information; June 2013.

Among birds a staggering 24 to 50% of species are highly vulnerable, according to the teams most optimistic and pessimistic forecasts, as are 22 to 44% of amphibians and a very concerning 15 to 32% of corals. Please view PLOS doi.org/mtx.

The figures are similar to those in a 2004 study by Dr Chris Thomas of the University of York, United Kingdom – Please view here doi.org/c34wgp. Dr Thomas stated “These are high percentages, what’s more, many of these species are not currently threatened”.

The (IUCN) stated 17 to 41% of bird species are highly vulnerable to climate change but are considered safe by the Red list.

The moment you start thinking about the magnitude of the conservation programme we might need to put in place, it’s mind boggling. Dr Thomas stated “protected areas would need to be much bigger than are present to safeguard relocating species and we would have to intervene to move species”.

The best thing that we can all do is now cut greenhouse gas emissions sooner rather than later as well as reducing land for agriculture, and taking more precautions with how we use energy, recycling, reducing waste and reusing. Fossil fuels MUST be CUT.

The more land used for agriculture the less chance we have of sustaining any other form of species that is under direct threat from climate change. Farmers of both arable and cattle farms now need to take heed of this imminent warning especially within Asia, Africa and America.

Minimising the rate and extent of climate change will reduce the amount of action required to sustain overall species life. Should we fail then we will lose many species by the year 2050 – 2100 through negligent actions and global climate abuse.

Dr J Dimetri Ba BVetMed, Ma Director and Founder
International Animal Rescue Foundation ©
info@international-animalrescue-foundation.org.uk

Climate change effects on birds and botanicals

Please stay tuned for our upcoming investigations and awareness campaign that is focusing on the Rhinoceros, is Rhinoceros dehorning really going to stop poaching, and Zoo World (undercover the real truth) as well as Cop on Dog part II – The remaining investigations and eco awareness into Project HAARP will be released soon