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In Review: “Protecting the Wild” – July 17, 2015

Essay collection by leading conservationists makes the case for why parks and preserves remain important today

In recent years, a group of “environmental contrarians” have put out essays and books criticizing the environmental movement’s traditional advocacy for parks and wilderness. They claim the fight to protect these areas is futile as there is no true wilderness anymore, and that some of the species within them are doomed to extinction anyway. The contrarians go further to recommend that humans should manage the global landscape with the goal of fostering human needs, assuming natural cycles should work for our benefit.

Published earlier this year, Protecting the Wild (edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler; 362 pages; Island Press) is a series of essays aimed at… more

by: Mark J. Palmer

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Former Orca Trainer John Hargrove on the SeaWorld ‘Facade’ – April 23, 2015

Blackfish star slams the marine entertainment giant for ‘disgusting’ treatment of whales

During his 12 years as an orca trainer at SeaWorld, John Hargrove became increasingly concerned about the impacts of captivity on the whales he cared for. After leaving his job at SeaWorld, Hargrove became a powerful force in the campaign against whale captivity with his appearing in the documentary Blackfish and the recent release of his book Beneath the Surface, which chronicles the dangers of captivity to orcas and trainers alike. Hargrove recently sat down with Mark Palmer, David Phillips, and Mary Jo Rice at Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project for an interview. Here is the transcript, which originally appeared on the Dolphin Project website.

SeaWorldPhoto by… more

by: Mark J. Palmer

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Is the Taiji Slaughter Wiping Out Japan’s Bottlenose Dolphins? – March 19, 2015

Prized dolphin catch at the notorious "Cove" declined by 80% this hunting season

Another season of dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan, reached its end in February, although some dolphins, notably the pilot whales, will continue to be harpooned offshore through March at least. The gory hunt season, made notoriously famous by the award-winning documentary The Cove, lasts for six months, during which dolphin hunters cruise out of Taiji harbor in boats to herd pods of dolphins into the Cove, where the dolphins are netted off from the ocean and slaughtered in the most inhumane way imaginable.

TaijiInfograpic

What should be setting off the loudest alarm bells is the decline in catch of the bottlenose dolphin in Taiji. The bottlenose… more

by: Mark J. Palmer

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Major Disease Outbreaks are Inevitable in Our Increasingly Connected World – January 16, 2015

In Review: Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

The next big human epidemic may not come from your neighbor’s sniffles – it may come from a cave, a tree in a tropical forest, or a duck pond. Spillover poses this unique quandary: Diseases in wildlife are now able to spread across the whole human race, and if you catch one of these bugs, you are likely to die from it.

I burial boys, gli operatori incaricati di sepellire i morti di Ebola nel cimitero allestito a Kenema - foto di Luigi Baldelliphoto by more

by: Mark J. Palmer

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Blue Whale Recovery Report Leaves Room for Caution – September 12, 2014

New study only relevant to the Eastern Pacific Ocean; other blue whale populations around the world remain severely depressed

A recent report that the blue whales along the California coast in the Eastern Pacific Ocean have recovered from the severe damage done to the population by commercial whaling, which continued up until the mid-1960s on these giants, has gone viral on the Internet. While the story is a positive one, there is room for some caution.

Blue Whale off Redondo BeachPhoto by millerm217/FlickrBlue Whale spotted near Redondo Beach, CA. Of continuing concern is the fact that the seas the blue whales are swimming in are still in peril.

The headlines imply more scientific certainty about the findings than may be warranted, and… more

by: Mark J. Palmer

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