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Aug 7, 2007

Brighter Future for Sunshine State?


Left unchecked, global warming could take its toll on Florida panthers, sea turtles and other wildlife in the Sunshine State. With more than 1,200 miles of coastline and millions of acres of low-lying lands, wildlife in Florida -- already facing shrinking habitat due to development -- may soon be left with fewer places to go as sea levels rise and storms become more intense.

But last month, Governor Charlie Crist brought Florida to the forefront in the fight against global warming. The Governor hosted the Summit on Climate Change, bringing state, national and international leaders, scientists and business and environmental groups together to discuss one of the most important issues facing Florida. The Governor took immediate action, signing three executive orders requiring utilities to lower carbon dioxide emissions and mandating state agencies to conserve energy. He also signed two international agreements with Germany and Britain to tackle the global problem. These important first steps will help the state begin to address global climate change -- and help ensure a brighter future for Florida's wildlife.
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Posted: Aug 7, 2007 8:10am
Jul 7, 2007

FWC Bans Entombment of Gopher Tortoises Gopher Tortoise, NRCS

Wildlife commission voted Wednesday to end policy that allowed developers to bulldoze the reptile’s burrows as long as they obtained a permit

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

— The days of paying to pave over gopher tortoises in Florida are over — almost.

The state wildlife commission voted Wednesday to end a 16-year-old policy that allowed developers to bulldoze the reptile’s burrows as long as they obtained a permit. The move is effective July 30, but those who submit applications for “incidental take” permits by that date may still get staff approval afterward.

Entombment, as the practice is known, has led to the burial of more than 94,000 tortoises since 1991, according to state estimates. That number may be as high as 900,000, a university biologist suggested Wednesday, citing evidence that developers’ representatives often undercount the tortoises on their property. And it could surge far higher. Another 100,000 or so tortoises reside on lands for which an incidental take permit has been issued but not executed, the Humane Society estimates.

“These permits currently bear no expiration date,” said Jennifer Hobgood, the Humane Society’s Tallahassee-based Southeast regional coordinator.

She urged the state to stop honoring existing permits. “When the house is already flooded, turning off the faucet is only one step to recovery.”

In general, though, environmentalists cheered the decision.

“It really is horrific and barbaric by any normal person’s standards,” Maureen Rupe, president of the Partnership for a Sustainable Future, said of entombment.

The end of entombment won’t have any impact in Lee County, where the practice has long been banned. Collier County, though, has kept its policies in line with the state.

Developers and property rights advocates pushed the commission to delay the action and to consider a more expansive definition of those who could continue get burial permits past the deadline.

Attorney Doug Rillstone said he represented the Association of Florida Community Developers, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Farm Bureau and the Florida Home Builders Association. The governor-appointed commission rejected his call to allow those who have already submitted wetlands-destruction or development of regional impact applications to continue to bury tortoises.

The members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they would consider such a provision at a later date, though.

“There are a number of people who have gone a long way into this process ... (for whom) it would be extremely destructive to start this process over,” said Dan Stengle, a former general counsel for the commission who now works for the prominent law firm of Hopping Green & Sams.

The commission also debated whether enough land would be available to host the initial crush of relocated tortoises. They briefly considered increasing the concentration of tortoises that a landowner could place on a relocation site from three per acre to four, but opted in the end for three. A property rights advocacy group urged the commission to push back the July 30 deadline to give more notice to landowners.

“I’m not arguing from a human standpoint. I’m arguing from a due-process standpoint,” said Carol Saviak, executive director of the Coalition for Property Rights.

Commission Chairman Rodney Barreto responded directly to Saviak, saying: “This is long overdue, this rule. What’s been going on is wrong and we’re going to make it right.”

Changing tack, Saviak questioned how well wildlife officials are protecting the ailing species.

Of the $56 million that the state has collected from “incidental take” permits, a mere $13 million has been spent on buying land to house gopher tortoises displaced by development, she said, citing information she obtained through a public records request at the agency. Another $8 million was spent on administrative costs.

So far, the state has bought 26,000 acres through the program. At least $41 million sits in a trust fund for that purpose.

State wildlife officials acknowledged that the incidental take permit was a fatal mistake. For years, state biologists feared that relocating gopher tortoises would spread a flu-like disease to healthy populations, but new research suggests that the disease isn’t as serious as originally thought.

The Conservation Commission is poised to enact a gopher tortoise protection plan in September that upgrades the reptile’s status from a species of special concern to threatened. The 15-year plan directs state officials to take aggressive action to further protect the species, such as:

• Expanding the state-owned cache of gopher tortoise habitat by 615,000 acres through land purchases and conservation easements on private properties.

• Relocating about 180,000 tortoises away from areas slated for development.

• Improving habitat conditions on protected lands so they can support more relocated tortoises.

As July 30 approaches, state officials expect to receive a wave of incidental permit applications. They will toss the ones that appear to involve property speculating, said Greg Holder, a Lakeland-based regional director for the commission.

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Posted: Jul 7, 2007 10:29am
Jun 27, 2007

The Japan Times Online Articles  
             
                
INDIAN HERITAGE ON THE ROPES


Lions and Tigers and the Foibles of Men


By B. GAUTAM

Special to The Japan Times

MADRAS, India — The Chinese now appear to be turning to Indian lions since a terrifying number of tigers have been killed for their body parts, which are sold to make medicines and even aphrodisiacs.  In India's Gir Forest, the last of some 350 Asiatic lions survive. These are a subspecies that once roamed from Greece to eastern India.
We are told that the lions in Daniel's Biblical den were of this kind, smaller than their African brothers. Curiously, these Indian Asiatic lions live alongside 20,000 descendants of African slaves once shipped into the country.
Although wanton shikar (hunting for sport) by British officers and Indian maharajahs around 1900 depleted the lion population to no more than 24, post-independence conservation efforts by Indian administrations resulted in a phenomenal comeback.
However, in the past four months, eight lions in the Gir Forest of northwestern India have been killed by poachers, who have now turned their attention to these animals after having decimated tigers at an alarming level. Since the medicinal qualities of lion parts are not as readily accepted by consumers as those of tiger parts, lion bones and organs are being passed off as tiger parts!
Although the government of Gujarat, where Gir is located, has swung into action trying to save the lion, animal lovers and experts worry that steps will be as futile as those taken to protect the tiger whose numbers are now estimated at 1,800 — half the world's tiger population. These majestic cats have been butchered in India's forests and tiger reserves to feed a largely Chinese demand for bones and penises, which are used literally to fool a gullible set of men.
In India — where corrupt government officials have also hoodwinked the media as well as men by conjuring tigers out of thin air with the highly unreliable pug-mark method to count the animals — the fate of lions will be as hopeless unless the top echelons of political power make up their minds to fight poachers.
Poachers are backed by powerful lawyers who ensure that the guilty are seldom punished. Just compare the number of tigers killed in the past decade (one a day for many years, according to one reliable estimate) with the number of arrests and convictions. The gap is appalling.
Wildlife experts in India agree that "our protection system is in tatters. Thousands of forest guard posts remain vacant in all states, leaving our treasure troves of biodiversity open round the clock to looters." Most guards are old and the officers who lead them have little idea of how to tackle poaching.
By contrast, poachers are in the big leagues with the latest weapons, night glasses, sophisticated cars, state-of-the art mobile phones and a battery of top lawyers to defend them.  Caught in this pathetic mismatch is the lion whose numbers are so small that the animal could vanish from Gir in a matter of weeks. And unlike the tiger — which can start breeding at the age of 3 and produce several litters of three or four cubs in a lifetime — the lion is not a prolific breeder. That makes its survival even more precarious.  Obviously, urgent measures must be taken to save the tiger and the lion. Among the first should be to revamp the entire system of forest protection by filling vacant guard positions and hiring professionals dedicated to animal welfare. Greater funds must be allocated for this.
We must not forget that the tiger and the lion are part of India's great wildlife heritage. If we allow them to become extinct, it may well spell doom for not only a healthy ecological balance but also for water and food.
                 
B. Gautam writes for a leading Indian newspaper. 
The Japan Times: Tuesday, June 26, 2007
(C) All rights reserved

Imported from external blog

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Posted: Jun 27, 2007 10:15am
May 31, 2007
Name: Xiang Xiang
Type: Memorial (for the deceased)
To Honor: Other
Location: , China
http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=49750&cl=2882168&ch=68276&src=news

BEIJING - The first panda to be released into bamboo forests after being bred in captivity has died, and a Chinese nature preserve official said Thursday it may have fallen from trees while being chased by wild pandas.

The body of Xiang Xiang was found Feb. 19 on snow-covered ground in the forests of Sichuan province in China's southwest, the Xinhua News Agency said. He survived less than a year in the wild after nearly three years of training in survival techniques and defense tactics.

"Xiang Xiang died of serious internal injuries in the left side of his chest and stomach by falling from a high place," Heng Yi, an official from the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center in Sichuan, said in a telephone interview.

"The scratches and other minor injuries caused by other wild pandas were found on his body," he said. "So Xiang Xiang may have fallen from trees when being chased by those pandas."

Heng said the long delay in announcing Xiang Xiang's death was attributed to the need for a full investigation.

"We are all sad about Xiang Xiang, but it doesn't mean the project has failed," Zhang Hemin, the center's head, was quoted as saying by Xinhua. "The lessons we have learnt from what happened to Xiang Xiang will help us adapt and improve the project."

The 176-pound male panda was released from Wolong in April 2006 and had been trained for almost three years on how to survive in the wild. Xiang Xiang, whose name means auspicious, learned how to build a den, forage for food and mark his territory, experts at Wolong have said. He also developed defensive skills such as howling and biting.

According to Li Desheng, deputy director of the Wolong center, Xiang Xiang's case shows that proves that wild panda communities are reluctant to accept male outsiders.

"We chose Xiang Xiang because we thought that a strong male panda would have a better chance of surviving in the harsh natural environment," Li was quoted as saying. "But the other male pandas clearly saw Xiang Xiang as a threat. Next time we will choose a female panda."

State media last year said that Xiang Xiang hesitated for a second when the door of his cage was opened, then scampered off into a nearby bamboo forest where he was tracked by a global positioning device attached to his collar.

He has been buried at the foot of a mountain, about eight miles from the Wolong center, Li said.

There are only about 1,600 wild pandas in the mountain forests of central China — the only place in the world they are found — and more than 180 live in captivity.

Pandas are threatened by loss of habitat, poaching and a low reproduction rate. Females in the wild typically have a cub once every two to three years.

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Posted: May 31, 2007 9:11am
May 31, 2007


PALANGKARAYA, Central Kalimantan (Reuters) - (Photo Above) Bound hand and foot, disheveled orangutans caught raiding Borneo's oil palm crops silently await their fate as a small crowd of plantation workers gather to watch.

Lacking only hand-cuffs and finger-printing to complete the atmosphere of a criminal bust, such "ape evictions" have become part of life for Asia's endangered red apes.

Thousands have strayed into the path of international commerce as Indonesia and Malaysia, their last remaining habitats, race to convert their forests to profitable palm crops.

Branded pests for venturing out from their diminishing forest habitats into plantations where they eat young palm shoots, orangutans could be extinct in the wild in ten years time, the United Nations said in March.

Fighting against this grim prediction is the Nyaru Menteng Borneo Orangutan Survival (BO centre in Central Kalimantan, which rescues orangutans and returns them to the wild at the cost of US$3,000 per ape.

"They will kill the animals if we don't go ... It's cheaper to kill the orangutan than put up a fence or snares," said Lone Droscher-Nielsen, the Danish-born founder of the centre.

While harming the apes is illegal, her centre has amassed a slew of photographs of the grisly fates of some plantation trespassers: Apes with their hands cut off and slashed to death with machetes, and others with bullets through their foreheads.

With dozens captured this year, cages are full, and finding secure land for releases is a constant challenge for the centre.

"It's not just orangutans -- bears, gibbons -- everybody is losing their home," said Droscher-Nielsen.

"If it was only the orangutan, people just say: 'Well it's only one species that's going to go extinct'. But it's not just one species. Those forests have millions of animals in them that are all going to go extinct if we continue."

SQUEEZED OUT

Indonesia and Malaysia together produce 83 percent of the world's palm oil. Made by crushing fresh fruit, the reddish-brown oil is riding high in the commodities charts, with crude prices up over 15 percent this year after rising 40 percent in 2006.

Used in cookies, toothpaste, ice cream and breads it is the world's second most popular edible oil after soy.

Demand is also soaring for palm oil-derived biofuel, despite objections from critics who slam the "green" alternative to pricey crude oil as "deforestation diesel" because of the destruction wreaked on forests to make way for palm plantations.

Of 6.5 million hectares cultivated in Malaysia and Indonesia in 2004, almost four million hectares was previously forest, environment group Friends of the Earth calculated.

For orangutan, the clearances are a matter of life and death.

"You can see how desperate the situation is," said forestry department official Sugianto, 43, as he gestured at row after row of palms in the ape's last stronghold, Central Kalimantan.

"The company knows the orangutan has a protected status ... if they have a permit to clear 60,000 hectares they clear 60,000 hectares, orangutan or not. They only care about their profit."

Caught and reported to the Borneo Orangutan Survival centre by plantations who say they are trying to be responsible stakeholders, healthy animals are re-released deep in the forest. Those too injured or too young to survive alone join 600 others at the rehabilitation centre.

Forty local Dayak women look after the current crop of 18 palm oil "orphans," whose mothers have been killed; bottle-feeding them milk, administering medicine and supervising their climbing and nest-building.

"Some people still think it is a strange job, but others think it is normal now," said 31-year old Sukawati.

After "forest school," the apes graduate to eventual release.

"They are cute and funny," said Sukawati. "They make me laugh."

BALANCING ACT

Orangutans once ranged across Southeast Asia. Now an estimated 7,300 remain on Indonesia's Sumatra island and 50,000 on Borneo island. An estimated 5,000 disappear every year.

Decades of habitat loss through rampant illegal logging, lethal annual forest fires, and poachers who earn hundreds of dollars for capturing orangutans for the illegal pet trade have all taken their toll.

But this latest threat is the worst, experts said.

"The orangutans can withstand a certain degree of logging, as most loggers don't take the orangutan food trees," said Bhayu Pamungkas of the World Wide Fund for Nature.

"But they have no chance with oil palm -& there's no chance for the orangutan if they clear-cut all the forest."

To rescue the industry's green credentials, several Indonesian and Malaysian palm oil companies have joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), whose voluntary criteria include a ban on clearing primary forests and areas of high conservation value, such as forests containing orangutan.

Its more than 150 members also include major European end-users like Cadbury-Schweppes, Unilever and the Body Shop, that together take 40 percent of Asian exports, and who want to buy non-destructive palm oil.

But securing private sector support is a balancing act, said Fitrian Ardiansyah, 32, an RSPO board member.

"There is some genuine intention from progressive companies to distinguish between them and the bad guys," he said.

"But if the push is too hard for them it's not going to be too difficult to switch the market to China and India, and emerging markets like the Middle East and Africa."

TREES AND PRIORITIES

Like whales, pandas, polar bears, and tigers, shaggy orange orangutan are classed "charismatic megafauna" by academics - endangered animals whose plight provokes compassion and concern.

Cute as they may be, their supporters need to keep perspective, said Derom Bangun, executive chairman of Gapki, the Indonesian Palm Oil Association, and an RSPO member.

"We should see the whole picture, not only the orangutan. They try to manipulate emotional side of orangutans so that housewives in Europe find it very pitiful," he said.

The country's clearance of almost 1.9 million hectares of forest a year between 2000 and 2005, Asia's worst deforestation rate, also needs to be seen in its economic context, Bangun said.

While the government does need to better define which forest areas are to be preserved, not all will be kept, he said.

"Other countries chopped down their forests when they were developing their countries. If they would like us to preserve more than we can, they should do something to help us."

But while plantation workers have some choice whether they want to buy into the motorbikes and mobile phones offered by palm's economic opportunities, orangutans have no such choice, those on the front-line point out.

"I'm not against palm oil," said Droscher-Nielsen. "(But) if there's not proper protection of the forest the orangutans are not going to make it."


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Posted: May 31, 2007 9:00am
Feb 19, 2007
In just a few short weeks, a very important event is taking place to SAVE THE FLORIDA PANTHER! 

Please take a moment to read and try to attend if you can.

http://www.floridapanther.org/cause-paws.html

Thanks you.

Imported from external blog

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Posted: Feb 19, 2007 6:57pm
Jan 22, 2007

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY'S  NEW PROGRAM PLEDGES 50% INCREASE IN TIGER POPULATION IN KEY AREAS OVER NEXT DECADE!

Due to the ongoing ‘tiger crisis’ across Asia, WCS has created an action plan, Tigers Forever to ensure that tigers remain in the wild forever. This program is founded on an ambitious plan to increase tiger numbers across key WCS sites by 50% over the next 10 years.  It is not often in wildlife conservation that specific numbers are put behind goals.  Tigers Forever will utilize an adaptive project management framework incorporating rigorous monitoring protocols to determine whether we are on track in achieving our goals. Tigers Forever will work in close partnership with local Governments and NGO’s committed to tiger conservation in implementing this science-based strategy. The focus will be on WCS priority sites across India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos PDR, Indonesia, Russia and China where the potential to increase the  numbers of tigers is greatest.


The Human Aspect

In historical times, hundreds of thousands of tigers roamed across Asia; however since the beginning of the 20th century tiger populations have plummeted. Today, tigers occupy only 7% of their historical range and are found in 13 countries in Asia, some of which are the most densely human populated countries in the world.


Threats

Tigers are faced with a myriad of threats. Habitat is being converted for both agricultural and commercial needs and rural people hunt the tigers prey (deer, pigs, wild cattle) to survive or to sell the meat, driving down prey numbers. Without sufficient prey, tigers are unable to survive or breed, causing their numbers to plummet. Tigers are also directly hunted to supply the increasing demand for the illegal wildlife trade market, and are often killed in retaliation due to human-wildlife conflict involving depredation of livestock or from fear for simply being so close to human settlements.


WCS Activities

The work of WCS scientists and conservationists over the past three decades has covered the entire range of activities necessary to address both long- and short-term threats to tigers: monitoring tiger and prey population dynamics, enhancing local capacity for protection of tigers, prey and habitats; consolidation of tiger habitats through promotion of voluntary resettlement and land acquisitions; national capacity building in research, outreach, community education, technical training and formal education; catalyzing the creation of protected areas; and national and global policy interventions. Most importantly, all of these interventions have been carried out in on the ground association with local governmental and non-governmental partners who are equally dedicated to saving tigers. WCS and partners have generated most of the key scientific data necessary to provide a basis for action.  We are using lessons learned from India and the Russian Far East, where WCS has had great success in securing and increasing tiger numbers.  These models will be adapted and applied to core tiger sites across the species’ range where WCS works. An adaptive project management framework, incorporating regular review cycles, allows for shifts and modifications along the way to make sure we reach our goals.  


Important Next Steps

  • By October 2006, every Tigers Forever site will have developed standardized monitoring protocols based on specific action plans and indicators and targets set for that site.
  • Tigers Forever will continue to hold annual meetings, following in line with the launch meeting in Nagarahole, India February 2006, with attendance by key WCS tiger staff from across the sites. Meetings will be used as venues to share ‘best practices’, and successes and challenges experienced along the way.  Periodic reviews of progress are necessary to ensure we are on track to meet our goals and allow for modifications if needed.
  • Continue fundraising to support this ground-breaking initiative.  WCS has raised an initial $10 million in seed money from the Panthera Foundation, at $1 million per year for 10 years.  In order to reach our goal of a 50% increase in tiger numbers across these sites, we estimate we will need an additional $3 million per year.

Tigers Forever is a joint initiative between the Asia Program and Science and Exploration Program. To learn more about Science and Exploration, please visit: www.savingwildplaces.org

HIGHLIGHTS

Main Threats

  • Loss of tiger habitat due to development
  • Unsustainable hunting of tiger prey species
  • Hunting of tigers for tiger skins and parts to meet the demand of the illegal wildlife trade

Habitat types

  • Tropical moist and dry broadleaf forest
  • Boreal forest and temperate mixed forest
  • Mangroves
  • Tropical & subtropical grasslands, savannas, & shrublands

WCS Involvement

  • 1963 George Schaller  studies tigers and prey in Kanha, India
  • 1986 Ullas Karanth begins long-term tiger research in Nagarahole, India
  • 1987 Alan Rabinowitz begins research on felids in Huai Kha Khaeng, Thailand
  • 1992 Long-term Amur tiger research begins in Russian Far East
  • 1999 WCS begins systematic tiger surveys in Myanmar
  • Today, WCS works with partners to  save tigers in 9 countries

Contacts

Andrea Heydlauff
Tiger Program Coordinator
aheydlauff@wcs.org

Wildlife Conservation Society
International Conservation
Great Cats Program
2300 Southern Blvd.
Bronx, NY  10460 USA
www.wcs.org

For more information, see www.wcs.org/Asia and www.savingwildplaces.org

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Posted: Jan 22, 2007 7:47pm
Nov 22, 2006

Attention Big Cat Lovers and Friends!  You will not believe this story posted on CNN's webpage.  The link is listed below.  It is copywritten material, so I couldn't post it on my page.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/africa/11/22/ethiopia.lions.ap/index.html

It sickens me to know how many creatures suffer at the hand of mankind (kind?) for a profit of any size.  Money is at the root of all evil.  


Something that's upset me this week is that it's just began to get cold in Florida - not cold like the northern part of the country, obviously, but cold enough to need a coat.  I can't get over how many fur-trimmed coats I've already seen and it's not even a truly cold state.  It's just insane.  One lady I saw today was in Petsmart (pet supply store) buying for her dog in a fully fur-lined and fur-trimmed coat.  It was upsetting and I couldn't help but wonder what animal -more and likely, animals- suffered for that garment.  I couldn't distinguish what type fur it was.  She probably has no idea what she is truly supporting by buying and owning that coat.  WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO WAKE THEM UP?

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Posted: Nov 22, 2006 7:57pm
Nov 22, 2006

A Story of Interest
Lions Rescue Kidnapped Girl in Ethiopia

Lions Rescue, Guard Beaten Ethiopian Girl By ANTHONY MITCHELL, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jun 21,2005 1:13 PM ET
 
 

A 12-year-old girl who was abducted and beaten by men trying to force her into a marriage was found being guarded by three lions who apparently had chased off her captors, a policeman said Tuesday.

The girl, missing for a week, had been taken by seven men who wanted to force her to marry one of them, said Sgt. Wondimu Wedajo, speaking by telephone from the provincial capital of Bita Genet, about 350 miles southwest of Addis Ababa.

She was beaten repeatedly before she was found June 9 by police and relatives on the outskirts of Bita Genet, Wondimu said. She had been guarded by the lions for about half a day, he said.

"They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest," Wondimu said.

"If the lions had not come to her rescue, then it could have been much worse. Often these young girls are raped and severely beaten to force them to accept the marriage," he said.

Tilahun Kassa, a local government official who corroborated Wondimu's version of the events, said one of the men had wanted to marry the girl against her wishes.

"Everyone thinks this is some kind of miracle, because normally the lions would attack people," Wondimu said.

Stuart Williams, a wildlife expert with the rural development ministry, said the girl may have survived because she was crying from the trauma of her attack.

"A young girl whimpering could be mistaken for the mewing sound from a lion cub, which in turn could explain why they didn't eat her," Williams said.

Ethiopia's lions, famous for their large black manes, are the country's national symbol and adorn statues and the local currency. Despite a recent crackdown, Hunters also kill the animals for their skins, which can fetch $1,000. Williams estimates that only 1,000 Ethiopian lions remain in the wild.

The girl, the youngest of four siblings, was "shocked and terrified" after her abduction and had to be treated for the cuts from her beatings, Wondimu said.

He said police had caught four of the abductors and three were still at large.

Kidnapping young girls has long been part of the marriage custom in Ethiopia. The United Nations estimates that more than 70 percent of marriages in Ethiopia are by abduction, practiced in rural areas where most of the country's 71 million people live.

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Posted: Nov 22, 2006 7:43pm
Nov 10, 2006

Stop Wal-Mart Sweatshops Globally


Don't Support Wal-Mart!

 

Wal-Mart sweatshop worker speaking tour heads to North Carolina, Florida and Texas in October. [learn more]

Wal-Mart Gets Sued Again...

Only this time by Sweatshop Workers on Four Continents in California Court [learn more]

Workers abroad who labor in Wal-Mart’s suppliers’ factories routinely experience…

Forced Labor
• In violation of law, workers are routinely forced to work overtime, often 16-18 hours a day.
Minimum Wage Violations
• Many workers are paid up to 30% below their country’s legal minimum wage.
Maternity Leave Violations
• Most female workers are denied their legal maternity leave and their benefits.
Overtime Pay Violations
• Workers are rarely, if ever, paid overtime. Although they often work more than twice the legal number of hours in a week, they are not paid more than their regular wages.
Health Care Violations
• The health clinics that many countries require their factories to have often do not exist and workers are NOT provided with basic safety equipment, such as dust masks.
Right to Form Independent Unions Denied
• More than 80% of Wal-Mart’s merchandise suppliers are in China, where workers do not have the right of freedom of association.
Bathroom Breaks Violations
• In many of the factories, workers need a ticket and permission to use the bathroom. Their breaks are timed.


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Posted: Nov 10, 2006 8:58pm

 

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by gaea r.
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go here http://www.avaaz.org/en/t he_world_vs_wall_st/?cl=1 327683612&v=10656 \\r\\nto sign the petition and watch a live stream of the wonderful and exciting brave new \\r\\nworld we are creating by standing up on Wall St USA ! \\r\\n\\r\\nthanks !
Oct
28
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Chamberlin needs your help … His abusers are going to court this Friday, 10/29/10.\\r \\nOctober 26, 2010\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\nby ourcompassadmin\\r\\n\\r\ \nClick on each picture to enlarge.\\r\\n \\r\\nBy Angela Adams (can only be accessed with valid Faceb...
Apr
27
by Ceci M.
(0 comments  |  discussions )
On March 31, 2010 the Obama Administration announced it would open up large portions of the East Coast and Eastern Gulf Coasts to offshore oil drilling and exploration.   The Minerals Management Service (MMS ) has called for seismic surveyin...
Mar
17
by Ceci M.
(12 comments  |  0 discussions )
Addendum:\\r\\nA Gentle Reminder: If you are having problems accessing the new FL Panther petition, try this link; http://animals.change.org /actions/view/stop_the_ki lling_of_the_florida_pant her IF it takes you to the main page just put in \\\"STOP THE KIL...