crispysnakes:


Read this Lacey Act article by Kassandra Royer of Royer Reptiles. You’ll learn something. Then, comment against the Constrictor Rule if you haven’t at www.usark.org/2014-blog/constrictor-rule-1/. And share!

"There is an ever-expanding piece of law called ‘the Lacey Act’ that has been around since 1900. It was created to help stop the massive slaughter of native game animals for export by commercial hunters. Today, it does a lot more than that, as government likes to keep adding to their lists of things to do.

Perhaps one of the most useless pieces of the Lacey Act is the “Injurious Wildlife List.” Injurious means “causing or likely to cause harm.” The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which is responsible for enforcing this monster, defines Injurious Species as: ” Injurious wildlife are mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, crustaceans, mollusks and their offspring or gametes that are injurious to the interests of human beings, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, wildlife or wildlife resources of the United States. Plants and organisms other than those listed above cannot be listed as injurious wildlife.”

When a species is added to the Injurious Wildlife list, it makes it a federal crime to transport that species across state lines. You can keep them, breed them and sell them- within your own state- but you can’t take them if you need to move across the country, and you can’t sell them to someone outside your state.

Take a look at the mammals that are currently classified as “Injurious Wildlife”

Flying Fox (Fruit Bat)
Mongoose
European Rabbits 
Raccoon dog
Brushtail possum
Indian Wild Dog aka Dhole
Multimammat mouse aka Soft-furred rat

How many do you recognize? How many have you heard about on the news? Any hint that fruit bats or Indian wild dogs are invading the United States and wreaking havoc? Lots of brushtailed possums damaging agriculture? Seen a mongoose lately? Nope. The only animal you’re probably familiar with on that list is the European Rabbit. They are literally everywhere in the United States. They’re all over, fully established feral populations- but if you transport one across state lines- that would be a federal offense. Nevermind that all the domestic rabbits came from the European rabbit…

The flying fox is invasive in Australia. Brushtailed possums have colonized New Zealand, and the mongoose is invasive on several tropical islands. The Raccoon Dog is invasive in North Europe.
The Indian Wild Dog is not only NOT invasive, it’s now classified as Endangered in what is left of it’s native territory. It is classified as injurious because it kills livestock in it’s home country… A similar situation exists for the multimammate mouse- they cause damage in their native African habitats, but they have not invaded any other countries.

Remember the definition which clearly stated the species had to be detriment to the United States? Only the mongoose qualifies, since they are in Hawaii…though the mongoose was listed 59 years before Hawaii became a state. Legislators heard some scary news from other countries and dropped the ban hammer, with little to no consideration of whether or not those animals actually pose a risk to the U.S.

Now- let’s take note of which mammals are missing from this list:
The wild boar is conspicuously absent. These invasive mammals cause damage to the United States agricultural sector and environment estimated at 1.5 BILLION dollars *per year*. NOT LISTED AS INJURIOUS.

The common house mouse as well as the black and brown rats are NOT native species- we brought them over from Europe! They are responsible for crop and property damage to the tune of over $19 billion dollars a year in the United States. NOT LISTED AS INJURIOUS

Nutria (a beaver sized water rat) are yet another introduced species which can now be found in 40 states. Each year- in the United States, mind you, not some distant country- they are responsible for a minimum of one million dollars worth of damage by wrecking levees, banks and roadbeds with their burrowing activities. NOT LISTED AS INJURIOUS.

You might say, “Well, the rats and nutria have been here forever!” Okay, I see where you are coming from, but remember the Fish & Wildlife Service still thinks the European Rabbit needs to be on the list, and they’ve been around “forever” as well.

Two of the first animals added to the Injurious list were the European Starling and the House Sparrow . Yep- those are also not native to North America! They have displaced native species and have been causing crop damage valued at as much as 800 million per year.- They were removed from the Injurious List in 1960 because regulators realized having them listed ***DID NOTHING*** to prevent them from spreading. You don’t say?

In the 113+ years that the Lacey Act has been around, dozens of species have been added, most of them very damaging aquatic species (fish, mollusks & crustaceans) Since those species can spread themselves without any help just by traveling through waterways, having them listed is virtually useless as well.

It wasn’t until 1990 that a reptile was added to the Injurious Species List- the Brown Tree Snake. You won’t find any in the United States, either. They became invasive in Guam, which, if we are nitpicking- is a US “territory”.

In 2012, more species were added- big, “scary” snakes- the Burmese python, yellow anaconda and two subspecies of African Rock Python. Anacondas have never colonized outside of their native south american habitat, anywhere in the whole world. There are no invasive colonies in the United States today. The same is true of the Rock Pythons.

The Burmese python- due to the destruction of import facilities by Hurricane Andrew in 1992- were able to establish a small colony in the Everglades. It has been 22 years and they have failed to expand outside of southern Florida. Cold spells in the winters of 2008 and 2010 demonstrated that the Everglades Burmese pythons cannot tolerate temperatures near freezing.

Are the Burmese invasive in the Everglades? Absolutely. What is not being said is that a full 25% of the animal life and nearly half of the plant species found in South Florida are NON NATIVE!

Now the Fish & Wildlife Service wants to add even more species to the list! They want to go ahead and throw in the other three species of anaconda- even though they are rare in captivity, and have never, ever established an invasive population- not even in the Everglades! 

They’re also after the famous boa constrictors- which are also not invasive or damaging to anyone, anywhere in the United States. As a matter of fact, there are boas that are native to northern Mexico- if the boa could expand further north, nature would have run that course all by herself! Also on the list- the Reticulated python- which has the impressive record of never having established a colony outside of it’s native range, EVER- and there are no wild colonies in the United States.

These species clearly do not fit the definition of Injurious wildlife given by USF&W- but they do represent people’s pets and a niche industry that focuses on the *captive* breeding of fantastically colored versions of these snakes that sell for thousands of dollars both domestically and overseas.

With over a century of history under it’s belt, it’s glaringly obvious that the Lacey Act is 100% ineffective at preventing the spread of invasive animals in the U.S. Moreover, the law doesn’t even attempt to curb the activity of the absolute worst of the worst injurious wildlife species- instead focusing on those animals with sensational taglines that “might” possibly be injurious. If it were not so injurious to the US Citizen, the Injurious Wildlife list would quite the joke.

Only two things will be accomplished by the addition of these species to the Lacey Act- the destruction of dreams, and the bankrupting of small businesses.

http://www.fws.gov/le/pdf/CurrentListInjuriousWildlife.pdf/" - Kassandra Royer

Thanks, Kassandra! The reptile community is stronger with people such as yourself working on our behalf.

Photo: Boa constrictor longicauda © USARK - United States Association of Reptile Keepers
07.24.14 ♥ 134

cynological:

Jess and Brett over at Desertwindhounds have been having an extremely rough year with their dogs. I can’t even imagine losing so many dogs and having so many things happen in such a short amount of time.

"If love would die along with death, this life wouldn’t be so hard." -Andrew Vachss 

These are amazing people with amazing dogs and in reading their blog throughout the years , I’ve been challenged, educated, and have shifted my opinions many, many times (for the better, without a doubt). If you don’t currently read their blog, you should.  

huffingtonpost:

People have offered many potential explanations for this discrepancy, but this ad highlights the importance of the social cues that push girls away from math and science in their earliest childhood years.

Watch the powerful Verizon advertisement to really understand what a little girl hears when you tell her she’s pretty.

07.23.14 ♥ 391170

Tawney owl at London Zoo

Name that parrot :P

07.23.14 ♥ 13

mydeadthingsdiary:

King vulture at London zoo

Wrong blog hahaha

07.23.14 ♥ 27

emptythetanks:

nubbsgalore:

photos by chris mclennan in french polynesia, where water visibility can stretch for almost two hundred feet (see also: previous fish posts and shark posts)

Yes please

07.23.14 ♥ 2951

tulipnight:

Beauty and the Beast by Tambako the Jaguar on Flickr.

transperceneige:

Tuscon LA, pure spanish horse stallion, by Cheri Prill.

libutron:

Painted Hills | ©Stephen McGill  (Oregon, US)

The Painted Hills are one of the three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. The unique colors that streak the clay rich hills and mounds were formed over 35 million years ago by different volcanic eruptions and changing climate patterns. Layers of ash and different types of soil mixed with minerals and plant material and eroded causing the unique coloring of the Painted Hills landscape we see today.

The yellows, golds, blacks, and reds of the Painted Hills are beautiful at all seasons and times of the day. Changing light and moisture levels can drastically affect the tones and hues visible in the hills.

Reference: [1]

07.23.14 ♥ 360

inthecreek:

biologizeable:

ktsaurusr3x:

gardenawayideas:

Help save the honey bees! Please reblog and share :)

I’m very skeptical about this. Last I’ve heard, CCD is caused by a combination of factors, and to blindly point a finger at one source without references just ticks my bullshit meter. Anyone got science to back this up?

I checked out this page on the Ontario Beekeeper’s Association website, and found a couple of recent papers on the subject (though, granted, they are against the use of neonicotinoid, so it might be a one-sided story). The general consensus seems to be (bee?) that sublethal doses of neonicotinoids cause changes in behavior and physiology which leads to colony collapse - immune suppression to make them more susceptible to disease, negative change in foraging behavior, abandonment of poisoned hives, etc - so, yes, it seems that it is a combination of factors, which are aggravated by pesticide poisoning.

Richard J Gill, Nigel E. Raine. Chronic impairment of bumblebee natural foraging behavious induced by sublethal pesticide exposure. Functional Ecology, British Ecological Society July 7, 2014 

Chensheng Lu, Kenneth M. Warchol, Richard A. Callahan Sublethal exposure to neonicotinoids impaired honey bees winterization before proceeding to colony collapse disorder. Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health. Bulletin of Insectology 2014

Dave Goulson An overview of the environmental risks posed by neonicotinoid pesticides. Journal of Applied Ecology 2013

Jeroen P VanderSluijs, Noa Simon-Delso, Dave Goulson, Laura Maxim, Jean-MarcBonmatin, Luc P. Belzunes Neonicotinoids, bee disorders and the sustainability of pollinator services Current Opinion Environmental Sustainability 2013

Rosemary Mason, Henk Tennekes, Francisco Sanchez-Bayo Immune Suppression by Neonicotinoid Insecticides at the Root of Global Wildlife Declines. Journal of Environmental Immunology. 2013

Important topic. Nice background research. Excellent punmanship.

07.22.14 ♥ 4710

scarlettjane22:

HonkyTonk Wrangler

Avalon Appaloosas

God damn that is a fine white ass

07.22.14 ♥ 2006

rhamphotheca:

Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars

Study shows red meat dwarfs others for environmental impact, using 28 times more land and 11 times water for pork or chicken

by Damian Carrington

Beef’s environmental impact dwarfs that of other meat including chicken and pork, new research reveals, with one expert saying that eating less red meat would be a better way for people to cut carbon emissions than giving up their cars.

The heavy impact on the environment of meat production was known but the research shows a new scale and scope of damage, particularly for beef. The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie is even more extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases…

(read more: The Guardian UK)

photos: Shutterstock and Alamy

07.22.14 ♥ 1331