Animals
Court Issues Leviathan Ruling In Favor of Right Whales

Court Issues Leviathan Ruling In Favor of Right Whales

A federal court in Washington, D.C. handed the highly endangered North Atlantic Right Whale a leviathan victory ruling that the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision to open up two areas amounting to 3,000 square miles off the New England coast to gillnet fishing violated the Endangered Species Act.  The Court restored the previous prohibition on the use of gillnets by fishermen in the whales’ critical habitat.

Why This Matters:  There are only 400 North Atlantic Right Whales remaining and 30 have died as a result of ship strikes and gear entanglements since 2017.  In recent years, the areas that the government re-opened to fishing have become increasingly important as gathering and feeding spots for right whales, with up to a quarter of the population spotted in these areas during some seasons of the year. 

Continue Reading 466 words
House Passes Bill Making Animal Cruelty a Felony but Agencies Still Doing Testing on Animals

House Passes Bill Making Animal Cruelty a Felony but Agencies Still Doing Testing on Animals

The Hill reports that lawmakers on Capitol Hill have expressed concern regarding medical training exercises by certain law enforcement and homeland security agencies that involve “stabbing, burning and shooting animals” — a practice known as “live tissue training” or “LTT.”  Last week the House of Representatives also passed a bill that would make it a felony to engage in animal cruelty.

Why This Matters: Most taxpayers would be horrified to know that their tax dollars are paying for cruel, expensive and unnecessary experiments being conducted on animals.  Many agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard no longer conduct LTT experiments, but other agencies are still engaging in these types of experiments.  With the technology that is available today, simulations should be the rule for training purposes.

Continue Reading 406 words
One Cool Thing: Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s Ditch Fur

One Cool Thing: Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s Ditch Fur

In a landmark announcement, Macy’s Inc. — the parent company of the iconic American department stores Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s — says it will go fur-free by the end of 2020.

Continue Reading 78 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Stay in the know, empower yourself to be a #FriendOfThePlanet, sign up to receive ODP in your inbox each morning!

One Cool Thing: Penguin Protecting Sheepdog Retires With Bash

One Cool Thing: Penguin Protecting Sheepdog Retires With Bash

  As ABC reported, after almost a decade spent protecting a famed little penguin colony in south-west Victoria from fox predation, Tula the maremma sheepdog is hanging up her lead. Along with her sister Eudy, 11-year-old Tula has been guarding breeding penguins on Middle Island, near Warrnambool, Australia, since she was just two years old. […]

Continue Reading 95 words
One Wild Dog Thing:  A Trio of Dholes Debuts at the Bronx Zoo

One Wild Dog Thing: A Trio of Dholes Debuts at the Bronx Zoo

Watch out Jonas Brothers!  NYC debuted its newest boy band on Tuesday — a trio of dholes (fox-like dogs) that were born at the San Diego Zoo but are native to southern and central Asia. The Bronx Zoo, which is part of the Wildlife Conservation Society,  plans to bring in female dholes for a captive […]

Continue Reading 172 words
One Cool Thing: A Real Eagle-Eye Surveys Alpine Glaciers

One Cool Thing: A Real Eagle-Eye Surveys Alpine Glaciers

Last week with a camera mounted on his back, a white-tailed eagle named Victor began a flight over the Alps to capture images of glaciers and spread awareness about their plight.

Continue Reading 85 words
The IMF Says All Whales Together Are Worth More than $1 Trillion

The IMF Says All Whales Together Are Worth More than $1 Trillion

A new report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) quantifies the significant benefits of whale conservation and the results are surprising — they estimate that, if whales were allowed to return to their pre-whaling numbers it would result in the capture of  1.7 billion tons of CO2 annually. 

Why This MattersThe Bottom Line: “Enhancing protection of whales from human-made dangers would deliver benefits to ourselves, the planet, and of course, the whales themselves.” 

 

Continue Reading 345 words

Gray Whales Need a Hand to #StopTheNets

At least 121 gray whales died off the West Coast this past summer and that was the second-worst year on record for gray whale deaths.

Why This Matters:  The gillnets that entangle whales, turtles and dolphins were set to be outlawed but in June of 2017 but the Trump Administration abruptly pulled the proposed rule banning them because NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) determined the cost to the commercial fishing industry outweighed conservation benefits.  The State of California will phase out those gillnets if $1 million of nonstate funds are raised to match the $1 million allocated by the state legislature, but those funds are not raised yet.

Continue Reading 322 words
Climate Change Causing a “Bird Emergency” According to National Audubon Society

Climate Change Causing a “Bird Emergency” According to National Audubon Society

The National Audubon Society issued an alarming entitled, Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink with the group’s CEO and President, David Yarnold, saying, “[t]wo-thirds of America’s birds are threatened with extinction from climate change, but keeping global temperatures down will help up to 76 percent of them.

Why This Matters: You can see what birds in your neighborhood are threatened by using this zip-code based tool (click and scroll down) that Audubon developed.  This type of information should help people to see the importance of changing our current trajectory of climate change.

Continue Reading 481 words
California’s Dairy Farmers Moo-ve to Reduce Methane Emissions

California’s Dairy Farmers Moo-ve to Reduce Methane Emissions

Dairies in the state of California contribute to about 3% of the state’s annual greenhouse gas emissions–this is mostly due to cow burps and the fermentation of their manure. It’s because of this that the state has set strict targets for dairy farms to reduce their GHG emissions 40% below 2013 levels by 2030.

The good news? Dairy farmers are already more than 60% of the way to meeting their targets.

Continue Reading 354 words
Maine Lobster Industry Backs Away From Agreement To Save Right Whales

Maine Lobster Industry Backs Away From Agreement To Save Right Whales

The Maine lobster industry had agreed to reduce trap lines to save the highly endangered North Atlantic Right Whale, but the agreement fell apart when lobster fishers balked at the government’s proposal to require them to remove half of their 800,000 lines.

Why This Matters:  There are fewer than 100 breeding age female North Atlantic Right Whales and there have been many whale deaths in the last two years due to entanglements in fishing lines and ship strikes.

Continue Reading 488 words
One Cool Thing: Dolphins Are Back in the Potomac

One Cool Thing: Dolphins Are Back in the Potomac

The Potomac River has had an unfortunate history of pollution but conservation efforts have certainly paid off. For the first time since sightings were recorded in the late 1800s, bottlenose dolphins have been spotted swimming in the Potomac! As the Washington Post reported, in 2015, scientists identified about 200 individuals in one section of river […]

Continue Reading 113 words