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Central African gorillas may go extinct

Wildlife News
A gorilla looks on while relaxing in a clearing on the slopes of
Mount Mikeno in the Virunga National Park on November 28, 2008.
A gorilla looks on while relaxing in a clearing on the slopes of Mount Mikeno in the Virunga National Park on November 28, 2008.

(CNN) -- Gorillas may go extinct in much of central Africa by the mid-2020s -- victims of a meat trade, of logging and mining, and even the Ebola virus, a new report says.

Unless action is taken to guard the gorillas' habitat and counter poaching, the dire prediction will come to pass, said the joint report from the United Nations and Interpol released Wednesday.

Until now, the Congo Basin in Central Africa had been a rainforest refuge for gorillas and other apes.

But the threats to the gorillas' survival are so acute that a similar study that predicted only 10 percent of the gorilla population will remain by 2030 is now considered too optimistic.

That study -- conducted in 2002 -- did not take into account the rise in the demand for timber and metals destined for Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

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Orphaned cougars arrive at the zoo

Wildlife News

Male orphaned cougar

The male orphaned cougar is believed to be 14-months-old.

Updated: Wed Mar. 24 2010 11:15:23

Two orphaned cougars are now calling the Calgary Zoo home.

The male and female siblings arrived from the Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter in Smithers, B.C.

The 14-month-old cubs had been living there for the past nine months.

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An oil spill could be ‘catastrophic’ for British Columbia killer whales

Planet Earth

Source: Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Orca population would not survive an ecological incident, researchers say


The AT1 population of Alaskan transient killer whales were in Prince William Sound at the time of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. 13 members of the 22 member pod died after the spill and more in the following years. Photo: K.Heise


By Nicholas Read, Special To The Sun

March 22, 2010

British Columbia killer whales could become extinct in the long term if an oil spill similar in scope to that from the Exxon Valdez occurred off the coast of B.C., says a conservation biologist with the Universities of Calgary and Manitoba.Paul Paquet, one of the lead scientists on a five-year, 14,000-kilometre survey of marine mammals and sea birds along the coast between 2004 and 2009, says the health of B.C. killer whales is already so fragile thanks to pollution and over-fishing that a major oil spill could devastate them.

The consequences for the population as a whole could be catastrophic, meaning that that population could be pushed over the edge and into a long-term slide to extinction,” Paquet said in an interview. “Given the small population of killer whales and as a population biologist, I don’t think that’s an over-statement. And it is something we should be prepared for.”

Paquet made his remarks to coincide with the release today of a report called What’s at Stake: The Cost of Oil on British Columbia’s Priceless Coast, published by the Raincoast Conservation Society to mark the 21st anniversary of the Exxon Valdez disaster in Prince William Sound, Alaska. ...

To read the rest of this story please visit:

The Raincoast Conservation Foundation


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World Water Day sees focus on threatened B.C. lake

Planet Earth

Source: The Vancouver Sun


Vancouver Sun

March 22, 2010

Meera Karunananthan, a spokeswoman for the Council of Canadians, standing in front of Fish Lake southwest of Williams Lake. The group is fighting to save the lake from being destroyed by a mining company.

Meera Karunananthan, a spokeswoman for the Council of Canadians, standing in front of Fish Lake

southwest of Williams Lake.The group is fighting to save the lake from being destroyed by a mining company.

Photograph by: Brent Patterson, Handout


As countries observed World Water Day on Monday, a Canadian group focused on saving a British Columbia fish-bearing lake and nearby creek from destruction.

At a public hearing in Williams Lake, the Ottawa-based Council of Canadians urged a federal review panel to reject a proposed mining project about 200 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake. The hearing was packed by about 300 people.

The proposal is by Vancouver-based Taseko Mines, which says it must destroy a lake and a creek in order to mine a copper-gold deposit.

Taseko says the lake is right beside the deposit and it is not realistic to have the mine and preserve the lake.

Taseko has offered to compensate for the loss of the lake by building an artificial one elsewhere.

But the CAC argues that destroying Fish Lake through the dumping of toxic waste will kill about 85,000 trout, causing a food shortage for first nations.

The group fears the tainted water will also affect salmon because the toxins will contaminate the Taseko River, which connects through a tributary to the Fraser River. ...


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Mining company wants film sympathetic to Tsilhqot'in barred from public hearing

Planet Earth

Source: The Hook

By Andrew MacLeod March 17, 2010 04:53 pm

Taseko Mines Ltd. is seeking to prevent a federal panel reviewing its proposal for a gold and copper mine in northern British Columbia from showing a public hearing a documentary it says is biased in favour of the Tsilhqot'in First Nation, who are opposed to the project.

The Tsilhqot'in National Government had requested the film, Blue Gold: The Tsilhqot'in Fight for Teztan Biny (Fish Lake), be shown during a public hearing on Taseko's proposal, according to a message sent today to review panel participants by the panel's chair Robert Connelly.

A lawyer acting for Taseko, Keith Clark with the Vancouver firm Lang Michener, outlined the company's concerns in an e-mail to the review panel yesterday. “It is not evidence,” he wrote. “It is a propaganda film, produced to influence the opinions or behaviour of people, by providing deliberately biased content in an emotional context. By its nature, there is no opportunity for Taseko or anyone else to challenge it. When it is finished it is done. There is no one to answer questions or clarify any of the assertions.”

An e-mail distributed through the Friends of the Nemaiah Valley, one of the groups that funded the documentary directed by Susan Smitten, says Blue Gold is an important film. “It documents the voices of the Tsilhqot'in people themselves,” it said. “These voices are not filtered . . . They are the honest and deeply sincere voices of people who are defending their traditional territory.

“Taseko continues to trivialize these voices by labeling the film 'propaganda.'”

The panel intends to consider Taseko's objection during its first day of hearings in Williams Lake on March 22, Connelly wrote.


Please watch the video, Blue Gold: The Tsilhqot'in Fight for Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) from Susan Smitten on Vimeo.


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