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Public Board / Environmental Issues / This is an ATV ACTION ALERT!
on: August 05, 2007, 02:59:38 PM
This is an ATV ACTION ALERT!
An ATV bill is in front of the NJ Assembly! This terrific news is the result of combined efforts by the Trail Conference, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Great Egg Harbor Watershed Association and others, including many mayors across the state.
Bill A 4172, sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora will be discussed this Thursday, June 14th, at 10am, during the Assembly Transportation and Public Works Committee meeting.
Assembly Transportation and Public Works
Thursday, June 14, 2007 - 10:00 AM
Meeting - Committee Room 11, 4th Floor, State House Annex, Trenton, New Jersey
PLEASE COME TO SUPPORT THE BILL, AND IF POSSIBLE, PROVIDE TESTIMONY-both oral and written. Link to bill: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/Bills/A4500/4172_I1.HTM
The Trail Conference priorities for this bill are: licensing (including easily visible tags), a continued prohibition of ATVs on public lands, and money for enforcing the requirements.
IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND THE COMMITTEE MEETING: Please try to arrive by 9:30 (30 minutes prior to scheduled start of meeting) so you can sign in and register to speak. If you arrive after the committee meeting starts, you probably will not be able to speak. Additionally, it's a good idea to call Maureen McMahon, the Office of Legislative Services Aide to the Committee, at 609-984-7381 and indicate your desire to speak.
Directions to the State House: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/directions.asp
. PLEASE NOTE: a picture ID will be required for admission to the State House.
If you cannot attend the meeting but would like to help, please contact the committee members below. You can obtain their phone numbers and email addresses via this link: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/committees/assembly.asp
Wisniewski, John S. - Chair
Stender, Linda - Vice-Chair
Giblin, Thomas P.
Johnson, Gordon M.
Kean, Sean T.
Mayer, David R.
O'Toole, Kevin J. (key contact! He represents the 40th District, which includes northern Passaic and parts of Bergen and Essex)
Panter, Michael J.
Rumpf, Brian E.
Stack, Brian P.
Please let me know via phone (201-512-9348 x25) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org
) if you plan to attend the meeting, if you contact any of the committee members or if you have any questions. Thanks in advance for your help!
Brenda E. Holzinger
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
156 Ramapo Valley Road, Mahwah, NJ 07430
Submitted by J Pylka.
Public Board / Avian & Other Flying Animals / Egyptian geese in Highland Park
on: August 05, 2007, 02:58:40 PM
In an e-mail sent to WCAS, we were informed of the following:
Yesterday afternoon (Saturday June 9) I went for a walk in Donaldson Park in Highland Park. There were several large flocks of Canada Geese, as usual. But there was also an unusual looking pair of geese with four small goslings at the edge of the retention pond. I'm not a professional bird watcher, but my neighbor is (she is an Audubon Society member). So when I saw her again, I told her about the geese and asked her if she had any idea what they were. Based on my description, she said they were Egyptian geese. She said she has seen Egyptian geese on occasion in the area around Highland Park - although never with goslings.
After speaking with her, I looked up Egyptian geese on the internet and sure enough, that's what I saw in Donaldson Park yesterday. I was surprised to learn that these geese are native to Africa and appear to only be found in zoos in North America. So I thought the local Audubon society might be interested to hear about this - especially if the geese fall under any sort of special conservation laws in New Jersey.
Public Board / Avian & Other Flying Animals / New York City Audubon has launched the HeronCam!
on: August 05, 2007, 02:56:08 PM
New York, NY, June 7, 2007 - New York City Audubon has launched the HeronCam!
The HeronCam is situated on an uninhabited island in New York City where herons and egrets, commonly known as the Harbor Herons, nest every summer. The HeronCam is a collaboration between New York City Audubon and NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, and it educates and informs large, new audiences about these magnificent birds by transmitting a live feed of nesting Harbor Herons, captured by a webcam, to a state-of-the-art website. The HeronCam also serves as a conservation tool, allowing researchers to study bird behavior and reproductive success in our urban environment.
To view the HeronCam, visit http://www.nycaudubon.org
. Note that you need to QuickTime to view the HeronCam.
Public Board / Environmental Issues / Coyotes in New Jersey
on: August 05, 2007, 02:55:24 PM
The coyote is a wild member of the dog family. This resourceful mammal has expanded its range significantly in the recent past, colonizing the entire Northeast and is now found throughout the Garden State. The coyote was never introduced or stocked in New Jersey, but has firmly established itself in our area through its extremely adaptable nature.
The coyote closely resembles a small German shepherd with the exception of a long snout and bushy, black-tipped tail. There are various color variations including black and red. Coyotes adjust well to their surroundings and can survive on whatever food is available. They are tolerant of human activities and rapidly acclimate to changes in their environment. They prey on rabbits, mice, birds and other small animals, as well as young and weakened deer. They also consume carrion (decaying tissue). In suburban and urban areas, coyotes have occasionally attacked small pets. Although attacks on humans are extremely rare in eastern states, as with any predatory animal they can occur.
Past interbreeding between gray wolves and coyotes may be responsible for the larger size and color variations in our eastern coyote. Eastern coyotes differ from their western counterparts with a larger average size and various color phases, including blonde and black.
Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem helping to keep rodent populations under control. They are by nature fearful of humans. However, coyote behavior changes if given access to human food and garbage. They lose caution and fear. They may cause property damage, and threaten human safety, requiring euthanasia. Relocating a problem coyote is not an option because it only moves the problem to someone else's neighborhood.
Coyotes bear litters during April and May with females delivering between three and nine pups. Many conflicts with coyotes develop as adults forage for food for the pups in the spring and summer.
Allowing coyotes access to human food and garbage is irresponsible. Coyotes primarily hunt rodents and rabbits for food, but will take advantage of whatever is available, including garbage, pet food and domestic animals that are left unattended.
The following guidelines can help reduce the likelihood of conflicts with coyotes:
* Never feed a coyote. Deliberately feeding coyotes puts pets and other residents in the neighborhood at risk.
* Feeding pet cats and/or feral (wild) cats outdoors can attract coyotes. The coyotes feed on the pet food and also prey upon the cats.
* Put garbage in tightly closed containers that cannot be tipped over.
* Remove sources of water, especially in dry climates.
* Bring pets in at night.
* Put away bird feeders at night to avoid attracting rodents and other coyote prey.
* Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, poultry, and other farm animals.
* Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles.
* Although extremely rare, coyotes have been known to attack humans. Parents should monitor their children, even in familiar surroundings, such as backyards.
* Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
* Clear brush and dense weeds from around dwellings - this reduces protective cover for coyotes and makes the area less attractive to rodents and rabbits. Coyotes, as well as other predators, are attracted to areas where rodents are concentrated like woodpiles.
* If coyotes are present, make sure they know they're not welcome. Make loud noises, blast a canned air siren, throw rocks, or spray them with a garden hose.
If a coyote attacks a person, immediately contact your local police and the Division of Fish and Wildlife at 908-735-8793; outside of normal business hours call the DEP Hotline at 877-WARN-DEP.
Public Board / Avian & Other Flying Animals / Scientists scramble to save U.S. shorebird
on: August 05, 2007, 02:53:49 PM
Scientists scramble to save U.S. shorebird
By Jon Hurdle
A tiny shorebird is edging closer to extinction, threatened by fishermen who destroy its food staple for bait and loved by ornithologists who are drawn from around the world to count it.
The red knot, once a numerous springtime visitor to the beaches of the Delaware Bay on the U.S. Atlantic Coast, has declined to an all-time low of 12,300 birds, down from some 15,000 last year and around 100,000 in the mid-1980s.
Biologists led by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection have been monitoring the bird for the last 23 years amid signs that it may soon join the dodo on the list of birds never to be seen again.
After a monthlong ground and air search of the beaches of Delaware Bay in New Jersey and Delaware, scientists this week concluded that the red knot's population is now even closer to the level where it may not survive. They consider the population would be sustainable at about 100,000.
The 10-inch-long bird with a rusty red breast and mottled gray back could be extinct by 2010 or shortly thereafter if its Arctic breeding is disrupted by bad weather or by attacks from predators, undermining the ability of the perilously small population to regenerate, said Larry Niles, former head of New Jersey's endangered species program and the leader of the annual red knot count.
"Because the population is so low, it's vulnerable to a lot of other things," Niles said.
The red knot's numbers have been decimated by overharvesting of horseshoe crabs, whose eggs are its staple diet. With enough food, the 4.7-ounce (135-gram) bird can put on sufficient weight to complete its 9,000-mile (14,500-km) migration from southern Argentina to Arctic Canada each spring, and will hopefully breed successfully when it gets there.
The crabs, used mostly as bait by conch fishermen, have been removed by the thousands from the bay beaches that are a crucial refueling stop on its epic migration. Despite a two-year moratorium on harvesting them on the New Jersey side of the bay, the number of crab eggs is down by a third from last year, Niles said.
Even if the crab harvest is banned indefinitely throughout Delaware Bay, it will take a decade or more for its population to recover to the point where it can feed increasing numbers of knot because the crabs take nine years to reach sexual maturity.
ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST?
The bright spot in this year's count was that captured birds were found to be of a healthy weight, suggesting that for now there are enough crab eggs to feed a dwindling population.
Niles urged New Jersey to extend the moratorium when it expires later this year and called on the federal government to add the bird to its endangered species list. In Delaware, officials have proposed banning the crab harvest but that is being challenged in court by fishing interests.
Concern over the bird's fate draws ornithologists to the annual count. This year they came from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Britain and Mexico.
Clive Minton, a shorebird specialist from Melbourne, Australia, has been coming to the New Jersey beaches each year since 1996 to contribute his expertise.
"The red knot decline is steeper, longer and greater than any other shorebird decline around the world," he said.
Copied from http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0133037520070603
under Fair Use laws.
Public Board / Environmental Issues / Any ecotips for painting a house?
on: August 05, 2007, 02:51:32 PM
Any ecotips for painting a house? -- Submitted by Terry S, Anaheim, CA
Spring is a great time to freshen up your home with a new coat of paint. The warmer weather makes it easier to keep the windows open while working, which minimizes noxious paint smells. These odors are often caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be dangerous to your health. Even outside the house, these VOCs are a danger as they contribute to ground level ozone. To protect yourself, observe one of the cardinal rules of the eco-conscious consumer - read the label.
Paint ingredients to avoid include benzene, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene, which are known carcinogens or neurotoxins. Some assume that water based paints are less toxic than oil-based paints, but these, too, can contain VOCs. Water-based paints can contain the suspected carcinogen acrylonitrile as well as ethylene glycol ethers, associated with lowering sperm count. Paints to look for are those labeled as no-VOC or low-VOC in compliance with limits set by California's South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). A list of manufacturers that comply with these standards can be found at http://www.aqmd.gov/prdas/brochures/Super-Compliant_AIM.pdf
Home decorators no longer have to worry about lead in paint - that ingredient has been excluded for more than 25 years. It is a concern if you are remodeling a home built before 1978, as older layers of paint can contain lead. If this old paint chips or flakes, you and your family can be exposed to a health hazard. It is recommended that older homes be tested for lead paint and, if any is discovered, contract a professional to properly remove and dispose of it. For more information see http://www.epa.gov/lead/
Left over paint needs to be disposed of properly, not poured down the drain, where it can enter the groundwater system. The site http://www.earth911.org
helps you locate disposal facilities in your area. Another option is to share or donate excess supplies to neighbors or non-profits that might make use of them. The site http://www.freecycle.org
lets you post information about items you want to give away (not just paint), so that your leftover materials can help others.
Submit your questions about consumer choices and how they affect the environment to Cynthia Blayer at email@example.com
Reproduced from Audubon Newswire - "News on Audubon Happenings",
Volume 5, Number 11, Thursday, May 24, 2007
Public Board / Environmental Issues / Preventing Wildlife from Becoming Endangered
on: August 05, 2007, 02:50:18 PM
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is pleased to announce the launch of two new websites. The www.wildlifeactionplans.org
website provides detailed information on the state wildlife action plans and partnerships forming to ensure their implementation, and the revamped www.teaming.com
will be the online home for the Teaming with Wildlife coalition and provide information on the need for new and greater funding to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered. We hope you will find these websites a useful resource!www.wildlifeactionplans.org
The state wildlife action plans were completed in 2006 by each state
Public Board / Field Trip and Other Reports / Bull's Island State Park - 05/26/07
on: August 05, 2007, 02:48:57 PM
Taxonomic Listing of birds identified
at Bull's Island State Park - 05/26/07
1 Cormorant, Double-crested
2 Vulture, Black
3 Vulture, Turkey
4 Goose, Canada
6 Merganser, Common
8 Eagle, Bald
10 Sandpiper, Spotted
11 Sandpiper, Least
12 Dove, Mourning
13 Cuckoo, Yellow-billed
14 Swift, Chimney
15 Hummingbird, Ruby-throated
16 Kingfisher, Belted
17 Woodpecker, Red-bellied
18 Woodpecker, Downy
19 Flicker, Northern
20 Pewee, Eastern Wood-
21 Flycatcher, Acadian
22 Flycatcher, Great Crested
23 Vireo, White-eyed
24 Vireo, Yellow-throated
25 Vireo, Warbling
26 Vireo, Red-eyed
27 Jay, Blue
28 Crow, Fish
29 Swallow, Northern Rough-winged
30 Swallow, Cliff
31 Chickadee, Carolina
32 Chickadee, Black-capped
33 Titmouse, Tufted
34 Nuthatch, White-breasted
35 Wren, Carolina
36 Wren, House
37 Gnatcatcher, Blue-gray
38 Bluebird, Eastern
40 Thrush, Wood
41 Robin, American
42 Catbird, Gray
43 Starling, European
44 Waxwing, Cedar
45 Parula, Northern
46 Warbler, Yellow
47 Warbler, Yellow-throated
48 Redstart, American
50 Waterthrush, Northern
51 Yellowthroat, Common
52 Sparrow, Chipping
53 Sparrow, Song
54 Cardinal, Northern
55 Bunting, Indigo
56 Blackbird, Red-winged
57 Grackle, Common
58 Cowbird, Brown-headed
59 Oriole, Baltimore
60 Goldfinch, American
Updated 06/03/07, based on data provided by Richard J Van Kirk.
Public Board / Field Trip and Other Reports / Princeton Institute Woods - May 19/20, 2007
on: August 05, 2007, 02:48:16 PM
List of Bird Species Identified During WCAS
Field Trip(s) to the Princeton Institute Woods
Date(S): May 19 & 20, 2007
Taxonomic Listing Order
Common Name (Last, First)
1 Egret, Great
2 Vulture, Turkey
3 Goose, Canada
5 Hawk, Red-tailed
6 Gull, Ring-billed
7 Dove, Rock
8 Dove, Mourning
9 Cuckoo, Yellow-billed
10 Swift, Chimney
11 Woodpecker, Red-bellied
12 Woodpecker, Downy
13 Flicker, Northern
14 Woodpecker, Pileated
15 Pewee, Eastern Wood-
16 Flycatcher, Least
17 Phoebe, Eastern
18 Flycatcher, Great Crested
19 Kingbird, Eastern
20 Vireo, White-eyed
21 Vireo, Warbling
22 Vireo, Red-eyed
23 Jay, Blue
24 Crow sp.
25 Swallow, Tree
26 Swallow, Northern Rough-winged
27 Swallow, Barn
28 Chickadee, Carolina
29 Titmouse, Tufted
30 Nuthatch, White-breasted
31 Wren, Carolina
32 Wren, House
33 Gnatcatcher, Blue-gray
34 Bluebird, Eastern
36 Thrush, Gray-cheeked
37 Thrush, Wood
38 Robin, American
39 Catbird, Gray
40 Starling, European
41 Waxwing, Cedar
42 Warbler, Blue-winged
43 Parula, Northern
44 Warbler, Yellow
45 Warbler, Magnolia
46 Warbler, Black-throated Blue
47 Warbler, Black-throated Green
48 Warbler, Prairie
49 Warbler, Blackpoll
50 Warbler, Black-and-white
51 Redstart, American
53 Waterthrush, Northern
54 Yellowthroat, Common
55 Warbler, Hooded
56 Warbler, Canada
57 Tanager, Scarlet
58 Towhee, Eastern
59 Sparrow, Chipping
60 Sparrow, Song
61 Cardinal, Northern
62 Grosbeak, Rose-breasted
63 Bunting, Indigo
64 Blackbird, Red-winged
65 Grackle, Common
66 Cowbird, Brown-headed
67 Oriole, Baltimore
68 Finch, House
69 Goldfinch, American
70 Sparrow, House
Updated list based on additional data thanks to Rick Van Kirk!
Public Board / Public Meetings / H/T/B Marsh Education and Nature Center Master Plan
on: August 05, 2007, 02:47:02 PM
The County of Mercer Division of Planning has sent out the following message:
You are invited to attend a public outreach meeting on the Marsh Education and Nature Center Master Plan.
On June 5, 2007 at a meeting of the Mercer County Open Space Preservation Board, the first public outreach session on the Marsh Education and Nature Center Master Plan will be held.
The Plan is to guide the County of Mercer, D&R Greenway Land Trust, and Friends for the Marsh to design and develop educational and public programs for this facility. The programs and the center are to be in concert with the environmental, historical and educational resources of Mercer County's Roebling Park and the greater Hamilton - Trenton - Bordentown Marsh.
SSP Architectural Group, consultants for Mercer County, and its partners, have gathered preliminary information on education programs and nature centers, and completed assessments of the building and the site. You or your organization has been identified as an important stakeholder for this planning process, and prior to beginning the preliminary design phase for the Center, it is important to have your input and ideas.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday June 5, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. at the Marsh Educational Center 157 Wescott Ave, Hamilton, NJ.
Please enter through the Roebling Park entrance and park behind the house. If you have questions contact Lisa Fritzinger, Supervising Planner, at 609-989-6545.
Public Board / Field Trip and Other Reports / Roebling Park - Trenton/Hamilton Marsh - 05/13/07
on: August 05, 2007, 02:44:34 PM
The following birds were identified duing the Washington Crossing Audubon Field Trip to Roebling Park - Trenton/Hamilton Marsh - 05/13/07
1. American Crow
2. American Goldfinch
3. American Redstart
4. American Robin
5. Baltimore Oriole
6. Black-throated Blue Warbler
7. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
8. Brown-headed Cowbird
9. Canada Goose
10. Canada Warbler
11. Carolina Wren
12. Chimney Swift
13. Common Grackle
14. Cooper's Hawk
15. Double-crested Cormorant
16. Downy Woodpecker
17. Eastern Kingbird
18. Eastern Wood-Pewee
19. European Starling
20. Gray Catbird
21. Great Crested Flycatcher
22. Great Egret
23. House Sparrow
25. Mourning Dove
26. Mute Swan
27. Northern Flicker
28. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
29. Northern Waterthrush
30. Orchard Oriole
32. Red-eyed Vireo
33. Red-tailed Hawk
34. Red-winged Blackbird
35. Song Sparrow
36. Tree Swallow
37. Tufted Titmouse
38. Turkey Vulture
40. Warbling Vireo
41. Yellow Warbler
42. Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Compiled by T Cosmas
Public Board / Field Trip and Other Reports / Baldpate Mountain - May 6, 2007
on: August 05, 2007, 02:43:47 PM
NOTE: Although the following list was not for a WCAS fieldtrip, it is presented so that the readers of this forum can know what birds have been observed in a location we will visit later this month (May 27).
The following birds were seen or heard on May 6th at Baldpate Mountain, NJ
Time 12:15am - 4:00, Sunny and very windy, chilly
from temp parking off Fiddlers Creek Rd. hiked trail up mountain,
walked dirt road back down.
1. Black vulture
2. Turkey vulture
3. Red-tailed hawk
4. Mourning dove
5. Ruby-throated hummingbird
6. Red-bellied Woodpecker
7. Downy woodpecker
8. Northern flicker
9. Red-eyed vireo
10. Blue jay
11. American crow
12. Tree swallow
13. Carolina wren
14. Tufted titmouse
15. White-breasted nuthatch
16. Carolina wren
17. House wren
18. Ruby-crowned kinglet
19. Blue-gray gnatcatcher
22. Gray catbird
23. E. starling
24. Blue-winged warbler - 3
25. Yellow warbler
26. Black-throated blue warbler
27. Black-throated green warbler
28. Prairie warbler
29. Black & white warbler
31. Common yellowthroat warbler
32. Eastern towhee
33. Chipping sparrow
34. Song sparrow
35. White-throated sparrow
36. Northern cardinal
37. Red-winged blackbird
38. Common grackle
39. Brown-headed cowbird
40. Orchard oriole
41. Baltimore oriole
42. American goldfinch
43. House sparrow
44. Great blue heron - fly over
Rick Van Kirk
Public Board / Field Trip and Other Reports / Washington Crossing State Park - May 6, 2007
on: August 05, 2007, 02:43:06 PM
The following birds were seen or heard on May 6th at Washington Crossings State Park - NJ
Time 8:00am - 12:00, Sunny and very windy, chilly
1. Turkey vulture
2. Canada goose
3. Red-tailed hawk - nest
4. Rock dove
5. Mourning dove
6. Yellow-billed cuckoo - H
7. Ruby-throated hummingbird - 2
8. Red-bellied woodpecker
9. Downy woodpecker
10. Northern flicker
11. Red-eyed vireo
12. Blue jay
13. American crow
14. Tree swallow
15. Carolina chickadee
16. Tufted titmouse
17. White-breasted nuthatch
18. Carolina wren
19. House wren
20. Blue-gray gnatcatcher
21. Eastern bluebird - nest
22. American robin
23. Gray catbird
24. Northern mockingbird
25. E. starling
26. Cedar waxwings
27. Blue-winged warbler
28. Northern parula
29. Yellow warbler
30. Yellow-rumped warbler
31. Black-throated blue warbler
32. Black-throated green warbler
33. Prairie warbler
34. Black & white warbler
35. Common yellowthroat warbler
37. Eastern towhee
38. Chipping sparrow
39. Field sparrow
40. Savannah sparrow - 2
41. Song sparrow
42. White-throated sparrow
43. Northern cardinal
44. Red-winged blackbird
45. Common grackle
46. Brown-headed cowbird
47. Baltimore oriole
48. House finch
49. American goldfinch
50. House sparrow
Rick Van Kirk
Public Board / Environmental Issues / Tribute to Ted Stiles by Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12)
on: August 05, 2007, 02:41:17 PM
Tribute to Ted Stiles
Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12)
March 9, 2007
Mr. HOLT. Madam Speaker, I rise to mark the passing this week of one of the most effective environmentalists in the State of New Jersey, indeed in the country, Dr. Ted Stiles. Perhaps not the most celebrated, he should be celebrated. He preserved thousands of acres, advanced the understanding of ecology, and improved the environment for millions of people for generations to come. To some of my colleagues from the western States, thousands of acres may not sound like much, but the significance of that preservation and the difficulty of doing it in the densely populated Northeast are great.
Dr. Stiles chaired and led boards of the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association, the Mercer County Open Space Preservation Board, the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, the Municipal Land Use Center, the New Jersey Academy of Science, and the Hutchinson Memorial Forest. He served for many years on boards, including the Crossroads of the American Revolution Association; The Nature Conservancy, New Jersey chapter; and others. He continued all of this work through his illness and up to his death.
He showed creative approaches to locally based environmental decision-making, such as his creation of the Municipal Land Use Center; and he received awards from academia and regional and community organizations and the highest environmental award from the Governor of New Jersey.
What distinguished Dr. Stiles especially was his unparalleled, unmatched ability to make people want to do those things that contribute to the general good. He made landowners want to offer their land to preservation organizations, and he made people want to spend their money to purchase and preserve that land. He made volunteer board members want to give of their time and effort to build communities and to improve the environment.
He made grad students want to go to remote places around the world to do such things as measuring the size of fruits relative to the sizes of birds' beaks so we could better understand the relationship between communities of plants and communities of animals.
He made hundreds of local citizens want to spend a day twice a year cleaning up their town. And he made a politically interested scientist want to leave a research career to run for Congress. Yes, I am that scientist. Dr. Stiles' research students continue to make contributions to research, teaching, and public policy around the country.
Throughout his life, it is not an empty cliche to say, Dr. Stiles, through goodwill and good ideas and leadership, made this country a better place.
Public Board / Environmental Issues / Wildlife conference agrees to ivory sale
on: August 05, 2007, 02:38:16 PM
Wildlife conference agrees to ivory sale
By Arthur Max, Associated Press Writer
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The agency that oversees international trade involving rare animals approved on Saturday the sale of 60 tons of ivory to Japan despite fears it could lead to increased poaching of endangered elephants.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, said its officials would closely monitor the sale see whether it affects the black market.
South Africa, Botswana and Namibia are selling the ivory from stocks gathered from elephants that have died naturally. All three countries pledged to deposit the revenue in trust funds for further conservation.
The decision preceded the formal opening on Sunday of a 12-day conference by the 171-nation CITES, which meets every two to three years to consider amending its lists of trade restrictions.
The sale was adopted by CITES' 18-country standing committee, which meets annually. John Sellar of the CITES secretariat said it was completely separate from the black market.
"There's no way that a poacher can get into the system," he said.
Still, the exception to the ban on ivory trade -- the second since the ban was imposed in 1989 -- was opposed by several African countries, which feared it would spur poaching. It also revealed a split among nongovernment agencies dedicated to defending the diversity of plants and animals.
The World Wild Fund for Nature, or WWF, said it was satisfied with the controls surrounding the sale, but a broad range of other groups denounced the decision.
"It's very frustrating that the facts about the scale of the illegal trade were completely ignored," said Peter Pueschel, of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. He said the level of intercepted illegal ivory had reached record levels in the past two years.
Sellar, the secretariat's expert on illegal trading, said he did not believe allowing the one-off sale would influence a debate later during the conference on whether to relax or tighten the 1989 ban.
CITES lists more than 7,000 animals and 32,000 plants whose trade is regulated. About 800 highly threatened species are banned from commercial trade, with few exceptions.
The sale was conditionally approved in 2002 but was held up until an adequate monitoring system against poaching could be put in place, and until Japan -- the only designated buyer -- provided assurances it could control its use and preventing its re-export.
At the last moment, China asked to take part in the ivory auction, but failed to win a majority on the committee. The voting countries split 6-6.
Over the next two weeks, the conference will vote on other proposals to grant export quotas to Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, where elephant populations have rebounded, and to let them conduct limited trade in elephant hides, leather goods and live animals.
A competing proposal from Kenya and Mali would tighten the ivory ban, eliminating some exceptions and imposing a moratorium for 20 years on exceptional sales.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Used by WCAS Forum under Fair Use laws.