Non-Antarctic penguins

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1997:

Yellow-eyed penguins, native to New Zealand
and the rarest penguin species, had increased from 230
breeding pairs to nearly 600 at the start of 1997, and were
believed to be making a comeback––but then at least 43 of
the penguins died in their primary habitat along the Otago
peninsula during January and February, along with four
albatrosses, apparently poisoned by a naturally occurring
biotoxin that afflicted squid, contaminating their food.
South African Foundation for the
Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) observers in
January reported identifications of two penguins who were
cleaned of oil and banded as fledglings in 1972, now living
on Dassen Island, and one, cleaned and ringed in 1973, at
St. Croix, Port Elizabeth. “When SANCCOB was launched
in 1968,” honorary vice president Althea Westphal said,
“scientists claimed that penguins lived for 16 years, but
these three were released 24 years ago,” at about age two.

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The end of the world at the ends of the earth

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1997:

WASHINGTON D.C.– –
NASA and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration in late
March and early April recorded “the lowest
ozone values ever measured” by satellite
monitoring over the Arctic, according
to Goddard Space Flight Center
weather scientist Pawan K. Bhartia.
Bhartia reported that ozone levels
over the North Pole in March were
40% lower than the 1979-1982 average,
coming a year after levels that were 24%
lower than the 1979-1982 average.
Bhartia cautioned that, “These low
ozone amounts are still nearly a factor of
two greater than the lowest values” discovered
in the Antarctic, but ozone layer
depletion at either pole is already associated
with increased ultraviolet radiation
and global warming, leading toward
potential ecological catastrophe.

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DOLPHIN DEATH BILL

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1997:

A bill to repeal the “dolphin-safe” tuna import standard
cleared the House Resources Committee, 28-13, on April
16. A full House vote is expected in May, with the best chance
of stopping the bill a threat of fillibuster by Senator Barbara
Boxer (D-California), who co-sponsored the 1990 standard as a
then-House member.
The “dolphin death bill” is favored by both the Clinton
administration and leading Republicans, who are concerned that
the “dolphin-safe” law may violate the General Agreement on
Trade and Tariffs and the North American Free Trade
Agreement, as preliminary rulings have held, thereby opening
the U.S. to World Trade Organization penalties. Under GATT
and NAFTA, nations may regulate the substance of imports,
but not the means by which they are made.

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Quit lynching lynx, judge orders

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1997:

WASHINGTON D.C.––U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler on March 27 ordered
the Fish and Widlife Service to reconsider a 1994 decision against listing the Canadian lynx
as an endangered species.
“The Fish and Wildlife Service has consistently ignored the analysis of its expert
biologists,” Kessler wrote. The decision against listing, she continued, depended upon
“glaringly faulty premises,” including the contention that the lynx still occupies much of its
historical range, despite “overwhlming evidence that the lynx has been entirely eliminated
from 17 states,” leaving some only in Maine, Montana, Idaho, and Washington.
Sought by the Biodiversity Legal Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, and 11
other groups, the proposed listing of the lynx was opposed by hunters and trappers––in part
because a listing would refute their longtime assertion that no species has become endangered.

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Britain protects 33

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1997:

LONDON––British environment
secretary John Gummer on February 1 proposed
the addition of 33 species to the
Wildlife and Countryside Act, the British
equivalent to the ESA, including the basking
shark, stag beetle, water vole, pool
frog, clearwing moth, and pearl mussel,
and recommended delisting only one, the
vipers bugloss moth, which he said is now
out of danger. The basking shark, endangered
by the Asiatic shark fin soup trade,
would become the first shark protected by
British law. The water vole, having a leading
part in the classic British children’s story
The Wind In The Willows, is the “warm
fuzzy” creature on the list, expected to lead
public opinion toward protection of all.
The stag beetle, according to the
Joint Nature Committee, advising Gummer,
is jeopardized by “the increasing trade in
this species, especially on mainland Europe
but also in Britain.” The source of the
demand is that, “Occasionally it is used for
dissection to demonstrate the insect structure
in educational establishments.”

Canada close to getting own ESA

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1997:

OTTAWA––Overshadowed by the
CITES and ESA struggles, Canada staggers
toward adopting its first federal Endangered
Species Act, encumbered by resource industries
even stronger than their U.S. counterparts
and provincial governments with far more
autonomy than U.S. states. Canada has placed
276 species to date on an endangered species
list, but legally protecting those species has
been left to the often recalcitrant provinces.
As introduced last December 18,
the Canadian ESA would apply only to
species on federal land, or about 4% of the
Canadian land mass; includes only those
birds who are already covered by the
Migratory Birds Convention with the U.S.;

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COURT CALENDAR

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1997:

Michigan activists Patricia Marie Dodson, 48, of
Royal Oak, Hilma Marie Ruby, 59, of Rochester, Robyn
Rachel Weiner, 25, of Farmington Hills, Gary Howard
Yourofsky, 26, of West Bloomfield Township, and Alan
Anthony Hoffman, 47, of Roseville all were charged with
breaking and entering and mischief on April 2, two days after
the Ontario Provincial Police arrested them during their alleged
second attempt to release mink from the Ebert Fur Farm in
Blenheim, Ontario. About 300 of 2,400 resident mink were let
out of their cages the first time, and 1,500 the second, of whom
1,100 were recaptured, 300 died of exposure or were roadkilled,
and 100 were unaccounted for. Yourofsky and Dodson were
reportedly regional PETA contacts. The five are represented by
civil rights and animal rights lawyer Clayton Ruby, one of the
most prominent and popular figures in Canadian law, not related
to Hilma Ruby.

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BUDGET AX HITS B.C. WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT HOOK-AND-BULLET CULTURE

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1997:

VICTORIA, B.C.––Possibly adding by subtraction,
British Columbian prime minister Glen Clark of the left-leaning
New Democratic Party has axed eight senior fish and wildlife
managers since November 1996––and has put the provincial
wildlife department under five-year director of law enforcement
Nancy Bircher, apparently the first woman to head any
Canadian wildlife department.
Clark touts the exodus as downsizing to reduce the
provincial debt. Opponents term it “proof the government is
pursuing a brown agenda,” as Mark Hume of the Vancouver
Sun put it. Altogether, about 1,500 employees of environmental
departments have been laid off or ushered into early retirement,
even as the Clark regime has allowed logging in the
Stoltman Wilderness, near Squamish, and has resisted federal
pressure to reduce the B.C. commercial salmon fleet.

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NORWAY SEEKS WATSON EXTRADITION

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1997:

AMSTERDAM––Held in a Dutch maximum security
prison since April 2 on an Interpol warrant from Norway,
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson will
go to court May 26 in hopes of avoiding extradition on threeyear-old
charges of allegedly ramming the Norwegian coast
guard vessel Andennes, sending a false distress signal, and
trespassing in Norwegian waters, in addition to the charge of
being an accessory to the dockside scuttling of the whaling ship
Nybraena in 1992 for which he was first detained.
The additional charges were laid on April 18. The
District of Haarlem Court had on April 3 ordered that Watson
be kept on the Interpol warrant for 20 days to allow Norway
time to prepare an extradition case. That warrant, however,
asked only that Watson be sent to Norway to serve a 120-day
jail sentence he and colleague Lisa Distefano received in absen –
tia in May 1994 for their purported roles in the Nybraena sink –
ing. The vessel was later refloated and is still killing whales.
“Norway now claims we personally sank the vessel,”
Distefano told ANIMAL PEOPLE from the Sea Shepherd
offices in Venice, California, “but the Lofoten court record
notes, ‘The two were not in the country and could not take
direct part.’” Watson and Distefano had offered to go to
Norway for the trial if Norway would guarantee their safety and
agree to a change of venue from the Lofoten Islands, the hub of
the Norwegian whaling industry, which Distefano described as
“the source of numerous death threats against us.”

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