Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for December, 2009

Project Coyote: Working to protect America’s “Song Dog”

Coyote by Camilla Fox, Larkspur, CA

Do you like coyotes? If so, you’ll really like Project Coyote. Below is a year-end letter I just received from them. Check it out, and if you feel as I do, please donate what you can to help them do their important work for coyotes — America’s song dog. Thanks, and have a Happy New Year! /Gary

Greetings from Project Coyote:
We have ambitious plans for 2010 to protect coyotes from wanton abuse and cruelty, to promote educated coexistence between people and coyotes, and to foster respect for and appreciation of coyotes and other native carnivores throughout North America.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, December 31st, 2009
Under: coyotes, Project Coyote | 1 Comment »

Lindsay Wildlife Museum: help them name their ground squirrel

Lindsay Wildlife Museum ground squirrel. Lindsay photo.

The California ground squirrel is oft-maligned for its propensity to dig holes where we don’t want them and to occasionally dine on gardeners’ tasty plants.

Many other California natives, however, depend on ground squirrels. They are an important food source for golden eagles and rattlesnakes and are also eaten by coyotes, foxes, large hawks, and gopher snakes.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
Under: Ground squirrels, Lindsay Wildlife Museum | 3 Comments »

Santa’s endangered reindeer need you this holiday season

Reindeer. USFWS photo

Sad news this Christmas from the Dec. 24 issue of the weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity:

On Christmas Eve, as countless kids across the world dreamed of Santa and his flying reindeer clattering across their rooftops, the real wild reindeer of the world faced a more dismal reality: population decline.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2009 “Arctic Report Card,” 18 of the Arctic’s 23 largest migrating reindeer herds are dwindling, and another study found that global populations have shrunk by 57 percent in 20 years.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
Under: Caribou, Endangered species, Reindeer | No Comments »

Christmas Geese: Flying into the New Year!

Flight Pattern: Flying geese by Bob Brittain, Walnut Creek, CA
Flight Pattern bob brittain wc

I’m back from my little Christmas vacation and just wanted to start off the week with this BEAUTIFUL flying geese photo, “Flight Pattern,” taken at the Sacramento National Wildlife refuge by Bob Brittain of Walnut Creek, CA.

And what better time to wish you all a VERY Happy New Year! /Gary

Posted on Monday, December 28th, 2009
Under: Geese | No Comments »

“Smart Tricks for Smart Dogs”: Book makes great stocking-stuffer

smart tricks dogs

(Gary’s on vacation until Dec. 28)

I get a lot of interesting new books in the mail from publishers, but I found the little collection of new  dog books below from TFH Publications to be of particular interest … especially this one:

“Smart Tricks for Smart Dogs: A Fun and East Step-by-Step Program for Every Dog.” (September, 2009; $17.95; ISBN: 978-0-7938-0629-4)
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2009
Under: Book Review, dogs | No Comments »

Copenhagen Climate Conference: “Please Help the World” – COP15 opening film

“Please Help the World,” film from the opening ceremony of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 (COP15) in Copenhagen from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. Shown on Dec. 7.

Posted on Thursday, December 17th, 2009
Under: Climate, Copenhagen | No Comments »

Christmas & New Year: Keep your pets safe during the holidays

Photo by Flickr user Lee Coursey used under a Creative Commons License
catdog Lee Coursey

Helpful hints from The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States is reminding people that as they celebrate the season, many of the things that make the holidays special — the hustle and bustle of travel and large gatherings, festive food and beverage, and holiday decorations and plants- may also pose hazards for our canine and feline friends.

With a few simple precautions, our pets can share this special time with us safely. The Humane Society of the United States offers the following tips to keep our four legged family members healthy and happy:
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
Under: Chocolate & Pets, Pets, Poisonous plants | 2 Comments »

Copenhagen: Animals in trouble, the 12 Species of Christmas

Caribou crossing. Photo by Flickr user Phillie Casablanca used under a Creative Commons License
Caribou Crossing

As world leaders convene during the 12 Days of Copenhagen, many animals are already in trouble due to climate change. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has identified 12 species looking for hope from the 12 Days of Copenhagen:

1 — Caribou. With rapid climate change impacting their circumpolar habitat, some types of reindeer, or caribou, have been pushed to the brink of extinction. Of 43 major herds that have been monitored during the past decade, 34 are declining; none so dramatically as the Peary caribou of the High Arctic, whose numbers have declined from some 50,000 in the 1960s to only 7,800 today.
IFAW recently petitioned the U.S. Government to list Peary and Dolphin-Union caribou under the Endangered Species Act.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
Under: Caribou, Cats, dogs, Elephants, Grizzly bear, Lions, Penguins, Polar bears, Sea turtle, Seals, Walrus, Whales | 1 Comment »

Kiss a frog? Veterinarians say “No”

How about a little kiss? (Bullfrog photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA)

In the movies, kissing a frog can result in a prince. But, as the disclaimer often says, “Do not try this at home.”

Frogs, like all amphibians and reptiles, can be a source of Salmonella infections in people. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV) are reminding the public that instead of a prince, improper handling of amphibians and reptiles — and that includes kissing a frog — can result in a nasty illness.

Frogs passing on Salmonella to people recently made headlines when the CDC reported on Dec. 7 that water frogs were the source of 48 cases of human Salmonella infections in 25 states in 2009.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, December 14th, 2009
Under: Frogs | 1 Comment »

Endangered species: 129 scientists ask Feds to shape up on species protection

129 prominent scientists from around the country sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Thursday, asking him to trash a Bush-era policy that limits the scope of the Endangered Species Act.

The policy lets the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ignore historic range when deciding whether species require protection — thus, if a plant or animal is completely extinct in many areas but doing OK in one, it doesn’t have to be deemed endangered at all. Actually, it seems to me like it should be the reverse — if a plant or animal goes extinct in any area, it should be deemed endangered. It’s like the canary in the coal mine. We need to rescue it while we can still do something about it.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, December 11th, 2009
Under: Endangered species | No Comments »