Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wolves get their groove on


It's some kind of iPhone app that creates music out of audio input. We don't pretend to understand how this actually works, but it sounds pretty amazing.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Macho B: McCain pleads guilty, gets slap on the wrist

It's astounding that Emil McCain got just five years probation and $1000 fine for his role in the intentional snaring of Macho B, the last known jaguar in the U.S.
Emil McCain pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor crime: illegal take of an endangered species. To "take" means to knowingly harass, harm, pursue, trap or kill, in violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act, court records show....

In the plea agreement, McCain admitted an allegation that he had previously denied - that on Feb. 4, 2009, he told a female co-worker to place jaguar scat at snare sites in an effort to lure and capture the rare jaguar.
Via.

So, McCain intentionally snares an endangered species without permission, spends a year lying like an effing rug and throwing his friends under the bus, and in general, acting like he's going to get away with his bullshit- and then- five years probation and a $1000 fine. Unbelievable.

The bummer is that his probation is only effective in the U.S. We hear he's off to Spain to "study" lynx. All we can say is, this guy has got a black thumb when it comes to big cats. Etc. We wish he weren't going to be allowed anywhere near a wild animal for at least five years, or until his ego shrinks back down to a healthy size.

Sigh.
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UPDATE MAY 17: It looks like Janay Brun might bear the brunt on this one. Sucks. Hopefully she can either plea bargain like McCain did or the Judge will let her off easy for her role in exposing the crime.

McCain flies off to Spain, leaves another dead cat and two shattered careers (Brun and Smith's) in his wake. When karma catches up to that guy, it's really going to suck for him. Hopefully he'll know better than to come back to southern Arizona looking for sympathy.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hunt wolves to save them? Sounds pretty stupid.

Gee whiz. High Country News has a doozy in its pages today, an article by Hal Herring suggesting that hunting the wolves is a way to save them. We have never been big fans of that kind of reasoning.

Mr. Herring's point is largely socio-political, discussing management, tolerance and opinions in the human community. Unfortunately, he disregards the science like a recent article by Adrian Treves in the Journal of Applied Ecology. Treves argues against many of Herring's conclusions, with more thoughful analyses like:
Sustainable hunting to maintain stable populations is well understood in theory but complex life histories of carnivores, and behavioral changes of hunters and the carnivores they stalk may result in unsustainable mortality for carnivores.
Instead of just wishing it were so, Treves is circumspect about public attitudes changing just because hunting is allowed- the evidence just isn't there to support Herring's optimism.

It seems sort of straightforward to us too- why would we assume that people would have greater respect for an animal they are encouraged to kill?

Thanks again, Cowboy Ken!

Seems like exempting his old friends in the oil industry from any NEPA review is biting Ken's ass a little bit. We hope it hurts. A lot.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Macho B: The low-hanging fruit

It looks like Janay Brun may be in a wee bit of trouble for her role in the intentional and illegal capture that ultimately led to the human-caused death of Macho B. She was told to be prepared for charges of violating the Endangered Species Act, likely under the "harm and harass" prohibition. But Ms. Brun had this to say:
Brun said Thursday that if she's prosecuted, she still won't regret coming forward with her allegations last year. But there have been times she wonders whether it was worth it to have said anything, particularly if people beyond her aren't held accountable, she said.
Yeah, like if Emil McCain- who, by her account, told her to put the scat near the snare, and by Thorry Smith's account, manipulated the crime scene- gets out of jail free on this one, we'll know that Justice is truly blind... to the facts.

However, we're still waiting for the higher-ups at the Arizona Game and Fish Department to get their due. We've got a strong hunch that someone there either looked the other way or tacitly endorsed these trapping tactics.

BTW, we haven't always been down on McCain. In fact, we used to rather like him. But this mess- and the way he's handled it- has made him pretty unappealing.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Offshore oil comes home to the roosts


Via HuffPo; link to more like it.

If you're like us, the news reports of fishermen in the Gulf Coast losing their livelihoods is a nauseating afterthought to the untold creatures losing their lives because of the BP oil disaster. It isn't that we don't care about people- we do- but we care more about the plants and animals who have no choice but to live in the toxic environment we've created.

Oh, sure, we understand... the economy... seafood industry... business... loss of income... blah, blah, fucking blah. We deserve nothing less than complete desperate economic collapse- BECAUSE WE'RE IDIOTS. Why do we think that access to cheap oil to go to the drive-thru and eat cheap beef wrapped in cheap plastic is a God-given right? Why don't we extend any rights to the critters who ask only to lay their eggs in unspoiled rooks, who ask only to swim and surface and breathe?

If you believe that we couldn't have foreseen this type of disaster, you're a fool. And if you think that the environment is somehow an post-script to your right to make a living, you're missing the point. Those of us lucky enough to not be covered in oil right now are nonetheless bathed in the oil-polluted air under the carbon-overloaded atmosphere. We're in a slow-motion oil spill here on planet earth.

And who will be left to wash our feathers, feed us, and do everything in their power to keep us alive? If we don't start collectively resisting and dismantling the system that is killing our planet- our one and only home- we shouldn't expect salvation. We need to save ourselves and our non-human neighbors.

Starting yesterday.