Another Exposé of USDA Wildlife Services

I received an email recently, asking if I'd heard any updates on the Jamie Olson situation, the one I posted about in November. As you may recall, Jamie Olson is the USDA Wildlife Services trapper who posted about his wildlife "work" -- with graphic images depicting his treatment of wolves and other predators, including pictures of his dogs mauling trapped animals. The petition to fire Jamie Olson, started by Project Coyote, is still [...]

2013-03-17T14:05:45+00:00March 17th, 2013|Ecology, Hunting, Issues, Uncategorized|29 Comments

Support a New Wildlife Conservation Stamp is a collaborative effort to promote a new wildlife stamp and funding stream for our National Wildlife Refuges. We are birders, photographers, conservationists, wildlife rehabilitators, scientists, teachers and artists ... joined by a common passion and concern for our nation’s wildlife and wild habitats. We propose the Wildlife Conservation Stamp to provide a consistent source of income for our Refuges, separate but parallel to the current Federal Duck Stamp program. The Wildlife Conservation Stamp would raise fees [...]

2013-02-13T19:19:33+00:00February 13th, 2013|Ecology, Issues, Parks, Uncategorized, Wildlife Solutions|4 Comments

Wet Eagles and Power Gulls

This is who we came to see in Beautiful British Columbia: And this is what drew our eyes upward ... to the gossamer-draped mountains: All morning, the gulls traversed the valley in regiments. First one troop would cross, then another, then a third, their numbers interspersed with sudden flushes of Starlings from the trees (the black dots you see in this frame). In the distance, we watched the gulls drop down [...]

2013-01-10T12:25:18+00:00January 10th, 2013|Ecology, Issues, Uncategorized|6 Comments

Our Thanksgiving Tradition: Turkey Adoption

There are a few posts I recycle annually, this Thanksgiving piece being one of them. Farm Sanctuary, where we've "adopted" our turkeys in previous years by making a donation, was the first farm sanctuary I learned about years ago when I was looking for a more animal-friendly way to celebrate the holiday with friends and family. Hugh and I are the only ones in our families who celebrate Thanksgiving this way, but we're used to [...]

2012-11-12T18:31:04+00:00November 12th, 2012|Issues, Uncategorized|9 Comments

Livestock Production, Wildlife & Food Choices

Edited 11/9/12: I received some additional links which expand the discussion here, concerning the findings of the FAO report I link to below. I've noted a few corrections in the actual text. But, you can read a good summary of the points in this New York Times piece, Measuring Livestock's Long Shadow. In this article Robert Goodland, a retired environmental advisor with the World Bank, talks about how livestock's contribution to greenhouse gases is [...]

2018-04-25T18:15:25+00:00November 4th, 2012|Domestic Animals, Ecology, Issues|4 Comments

The Deafening Sound of Man

My title here derives from a quote in this article about Dr. Bernie Krause: "A great silence is spreading over the natural world even as the sound of man is becoming deafening. Little by little the vast orchestra of life, the chorus of the natural world, is in the process of being quietened. There has been a massive decrease in the density and diversity of key vocal creatures, both large and small. The sense of [...]

2012-09-10T11:19:20+00:00September 10th, 2012|Ecology, Issues, Pollution, Uncategorized|2 Comments

The Sac Bee on USDA Wildlife Services

I knew about some of the lethal practices used by Wildlife Services, but I had no idea about the extent of usage and implementation. This three-part series from the Sacramento Bee is a really tough read (as in painful), but I think it's information worth knowing: The Killing Agency (Part 1) and Part Two by Tom Knudsen. (Thanks to Dawn Watch for the link.)

2012-04-30T14:20:58+00:00April 30th, 2012|Ecology, Hunting, Issues, Uncategorized|3 Comments

A Closer Look … for Birds in Trouble

This post contains one image of a long-deceased gull, just FYI. You'd think I would have learned my lesson last year, with the dead gull I found wrapped around a deterrent wire on a nearby warehouse ... or the gulls we untangled last fall from a fish-pen net. But, in fairness, this location was difficult to see from any common vantage point in the neighborhood. It wasn't until I was out the other day, photographing [...]

How Do You Feel About Wing Tags?

Edited 4/4/12 to add: I got a note from the biologist associated with this study, who gave me some background on the hawk pictured here. It's a juvenile female who was tagged last August 2011 at SeaTac Airport. She -- along with the other hawks who are trapped and tagged -- was taken up to Skagit County where the habitat can support many Red-tailed Hawks and other raptors (lots of voles and other food sources, [...]

2012-03-25T19:47:34+00:00March 25th, 2012|Issues, Uncategorized|7 Comments

Having a Heart for Horses

In commemoration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday: "Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way. " ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. I've posted only once about horse issues in this blog -- citing an article in the New York Times [...]

2012-01-16T14:53:00+00:00January 16th, 2012|Ecology, Issues, Mammals, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Part 3: Our Economic Potential As Birders & Wildlife Watchers

This is Part 3 (of 3) in a series on non-hunting revenue streams for our National Wildlife Refuge system. In Part 1 I talk about the issues surrounding the current funding system. In Part 2, I interview Marlin Greene who’s been producing an alternative refuge stamp since 2006, to draw attention to this subject. Edited to add: The idea of a national Wildlife Conservation Stamp is gaining traction and support. It would be an alternative [...]

2011-11-14T12:35:29+00:00November 14th, 2011|Ecology, Hunting, Issues, Uncategorized|3 Comments

Part 2: The Non Hunters’ Stamp

In the first part of this three-part series, I posted about the funding issues that shape land-use decisions on National Wildlife Refuges.You can read that post here: Part 1: Non-Hunters and National Wildlife Refuges.In Part 3 I discuss how birders, photographers and wildlife watchers can capitalize on their economic power. Here, I interview photographer Marlin Greene on his concept of the refuge stamp and what "refuge" means to him. Part 2: The No [...]

2011-11-06T22:35:19+00:00November 6th, 2011|Ecology, Hunting, Issues, Uncategorized|10 Comments

Part 1: Wildlife Watchers and National Wildlife Refuges

This is a three part series about National Wildlife Refuge funding and how the current system affects land-use privileges for non-hunters and non-consumptive users. In Part 2 I interview photographer Marlin Greene who has created a No Hunting Stamp to promote awareness about hunting on National Wildlife Refuges. And in Part 3 I discuss how birders, photographers and wildlife watchers can capitalize on their economic power. ------------------------------------- Here's the issue. This blurb is taken from [...]

2011-11-04T02:09:35+00:00November 4th, 2011|Ecology, Hunting, Issues, Uncategorized|32 Comments

Local Salmon & the Salmon ISA Virus

I came upon Alexandra Morton through a link on a Facebook page -- the Orca Network's page. Morton is a biologist who, according to her brief bio statement, is "a registered professional biologist who was living in a remote archipelago studying whales when the fish farmers came to my town." Today, she posted a revealing and disheartening piece on the spread of the ISA virus found in local salmon populations. The ISA or [...]

2011-10-29T13:23:32+00:00October 29th, 2011|Ecology, Issues, Uncategorized|4 Comments

Derelict Nets & Entangled Birds

Note: All gulls pictured in this post, and other trapped birds were freed from the netting. Follow Up on 10/21/11: I phoned today and learned that an official went out to this net, confirmed what we saw in terms of bird entanglement, and holes in the net have apparently been fixed as a temporary measure, although I'm anxious to check up on the gulls myself. I was told the Westport seafood company responsible for these [...]

2011-10-19T13:48:29+00:00October 19th, 2011|Ecology, Hunting, Issues, Pollution, Uncategorized, Wildlife Rescue|7 Comments

Fly Away Home (and Safe) …. 2011

I'm re-posting my comments from October 2010, on this the opening day of waterfowl hunting season in Washington State, and a week before California's opener. I've said it before so rather than saying it again, I've opted to reprint my thoughts from last year, with a few tweaks. See also a discussion of non-hunters and wildlife refuges ... and an alternative perspective from a photographer who's come up with an idea for an alternative revenue [...]

2011-10-15T11:17:38+00:00October 15th, 2011|Hunting, Issues, Uncategorized|5 Comments

A Train of Thought on Orcas and Captivity

In preparation for a short trip where we may or may not encounter Orcas (again), I'm immersed in literature about the Southern and Northern resident pods and about significant issues affecting whales and other wild marine mammals -- like sonar, salmon stocks and Puget Sound pollution. We'll be out just one of those days in an inflatable, with a captain who's part of the Pacific Whale Watch Association and who abides by the most strict [...]

2011-08-29T11:56:12+00:00August 29th, 2011|Issues, Marine Mammals, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Low Tide Driving

I was surprised to see this Mercedes SUV navigating over sensitive tidelands habitat in the Des Moines area of Washington. I looked it up and found that it is, in fact, legal for residents of this area. As a transplanted Californian, I was told a few times to stay off the tidelands, low or high tide, didn't matter. I was new to tidal law in Puget Sound, and I didn't realize that property to the low [...]

2011-02-26T21:25:23+00:00February 26th, 2011|Ecology, Issues, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Plenty to Squawk About

Pictured: Captive Macaw - ©ingridtaylar I was just turned on to this article through our local dove-and-pigeon rescue group, Mickacoo. Mickacoo's dedicated and superhuman founder, Elizabeth, helped mentor me in the ways of understanding domestic birds. Although I've worked with animals most of my life, I'd never been involved with domestically-bred birds: parrots, doves, racing pigeons, game birds. The plight of these animals is now a cause dear to my heart as a result of [...]

2010-06-24T16:08:00+00:00June 24th, 2010|Domestic Animals, Issues, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Graphic Video: Heavily Oiled Birds

I truncated this post to give you the option to view or not view the graphic images in this video. Although I hope everyone sees and is moved to action by these nightmarish depictions of oiled birds, I understand how a sensitive soul might be affected by the suffering here. There’s a reason I’m up at 2am, unable to sleep, posting words that can’t possibly encompass the grief I feel. […]

2010-06-04T02:31:40+00:00June 4th, 2010|Ecology, Issues, Pollution, Uncategorized|1 Comment