Thursday, May 22, 2014

The ecological web of relationships includes us


Jane Davenport of Defenders of Wildlife is speaking out on behalf of yet another endangered species; we must never forget that what harms any species on this planet has a negative effect on humanity, as we are all part of the ecological web of relationships.

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Take Action for Endangered Right Whales! 
Right Whale
Right whales got their name from whalers, who dubbed them the “right whale” to hunt. 
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Dear Virginia,
North Atlantic right whales are among the world’s most endangered whales – yet the federal agency responsible for the species’ recovery is dragging its feet.
Only around 450 of these docile marine mammals survive in the western North Atlantic, along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. They are protected under the Endangered Species Act, but unless we act soon to expand legal protections for their habitat, these animals could disappear in our lifetime.
Right whales spend much of their time feeding on or near the sea’s surface, which make them especially vulnerable to ship strikes and entanglement in commercial fishing gear. One recent study found that 75 percent or more of surviving right whales bear scars from past encounters with commercial fishing lines.
Even worse, new threats to whales and their habitat are emerging, like the use of powerful sonic blasters for offshore energy exploration and military research.
NMFS has publicly acknowledged that new habitat protections are urgently needed. The agency agreed in 2010 to act, but so far has done nothing.
Right whales got their name from American whalers, who appreciated the fact that right whales swim close to shore and tended to float on the surface after being killed. That made them the “right whale” to hunt.
Commercial whaling killed hundreds of thousands of right whales, nearly wiping out the species before the U.S. banned right whale hunting in 1935. Yet despite nearly 80 years of protection from hunting, right whales face so many threats that they are making little progress towards recovery.
There is no time to waste to give right whales a fighting chance at survival. 
Jane Davenport, Senior Staff Attorney, Conservation Law
Jane Davenport
Senior Staff Attorney, Conservation Law
Defenders of Wildlife

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