Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Taiwan bans eating dogs and cats

Yahoo – AFP, April 12, 2017

The tradition of eating dog meat dates back hundreds of years in many
Asian countriesView photos (AFP Photo/Hoang Dinh Nam)

Taiwan has banned the eating of dogs and cats, lawmakers said Wednesday, as pressure grows to improve animal welfare after a spate of cruelty cases that stirred public outrage.

Parliament passed legislation to outlaw the consumption, purchase or possession of dog and cat meat, with offenders facing a fine of up to Tw$250,000 ($8,170).

Authorities can also name and shame those who break the law.

"This shows that Taiwan is a society with advanced animal welfare," said lawmaker Wang Yu-min who proposed the new rules.

The bill also hiked the penalty for killing or abusing animals to a maximum two-year jail term and a stiff fine of Tw$2 million.

Dog consumption -- believed by some in Taiwan to help boost male potency -- was common on the island decades ago but has become less popular amid growing calls to protect animal rights.

In 2001, Taiwan amended its animal protection law to ban the slaughter of pets -- which included dogs and cats -- for food, although there was no penalty on eating or buying the meat.

More than 10,000 canines are killed every year at China's notorious dog meat
festival in Yulin (AFP Photo/JOHANNES EISELE)

Sales of pet meat were banned at the end of 2003.

But a string of much-publicised animal abuse cases have continued to triggered deep public concern and demands for tougher protection laws.

Last year, the military was forced to apologise after a video surfaced of three soldiers torturing and strangling a stray dog to death with an iron chain, prompting several street protests.

And in 2014, a male hippo famous for regularly performing at a private zoo in central Taiwan died after breaking a leg and sustaining other injuries during transportation, sparking a public outcry.

Reactions to the new law were mixed, with some deeming it unfair to only single out cats and dogs for better protection.

"This is the cute animal protection law? only cute animals are protected while the rest deserve to die?" read one message posted on Apple Daily's website.

Dog meat consumption is also common in countries such as China, Indonesia,
Vietnam and South Korea (AFP Photo/SONNY TUMBELAKA)

"Why doesn't the parliament amend laws to toughen punishment on drunk driving, fraud and homicide? what a lousy job it is doing," said another post.

Dog meat consumption is also common in countries such as China, Vietnam and South Korea.

Last year, China's most notorious dog meat festival drew crowds despite international outrage, as more than 10,000 dogs were killed at the event in conditions activists described as brutal.

South Koreans are believed to consume somewhere between 1.5 million - 2.5 million dogs every year, but the meat farming industry is in decline, with little demand among the younger generation.

In Vietnam, cat meat -- known locally as "little tiger" -- is also a delicacy and although officially banned it is widely available in specialist restaurants.

Giant pandas head for the Netherlands, and the bamboo is on order

DutchNews, April 12, 2017

Workers carry the female giant panda Wu Wen to a transport cage.
Photo: Chinatopix Via AP

Two giant pandas destined for a 15-year stay in a Dutch zoo, left China for the Netherlands on Wednesday. 

The plane carrying the pandas, as well as 200 regular passengers, is due to land at Schiphol airport on Wednesday evening, and the giant mammals, behind sheets of plexiglass, will then be introduced to the Dutch public for the first time. 


However, Wu Wen (Beautiful Powerful Cloud) and Xing Ya (Elegant Star) will not be seen by the zoo public for some time because they will first be held in quarantine for up to six weeks. 


The pandas are heading for the Ouwehands Dierenpark zoo in Rhenen which has spent 16 year campaigning to bring pandas to the Netherlands. The zoo invested €7m on a special compound which was given official Chinese approval earlier this year. 


The cost of the new compound plus the €900,000 a year fee means that entrance tickets will be more expensive: visitors will be paying a so-called ‘panda tax’. 


Bamboo


The pandas are expected to go through 500 kilos of bamboo a week, which will be sourced from a bamboo grower in Asten and delivered weekly. The company Bamboo Giant, also supplies the food from a selection of different types of bamboo, for pandas in Vienna and Edinburgh. ‘The pandas are choosy,’ director Bennie Nielen told the NRC. ‘Every week the keepers in Vienna and Edinburg send us an overview of what they have eaten and what they have not touched so the menu can be adapted.’ 


The pandas are accompanied by a keeper and a vet from China who will stay with them for at least three months. And in case the pandas do decide to procreate, the female Wu Wen has a bigger enclosure with room for a baby.



Friday, April 7, 2017

First world survey finds 9,600 tree species risk extinction

Yahoo – AFP, April 5, 2017

Brazil is the country with the most diverse tree population, with 8,715 species,
according to the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) group

The first ever global database of trees on Wednesday revealed that 9,600 tree species are threatened with extinction and identified a total of 60,065 in existence.

Brazil is the country with the most diverse tree population, with 8,715 species, according to the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) group.

It also has the largest number of tree species -- 4,333 -- that only exist there.

In total 58 percent of trees are so-called single country endemics, with 2,991 species only found in Madagascar and 2,584 only found in Australia.

After Brazil, Colombia is the second most diverse country, with 5,776 different tree species, followed by Indonesia, with 5,142.

The London-based BGCI, which represents an estimated 2,500 botanic gardens around the world, used data from more than 500 published sources to create the list.

Of the 60,065 tree species, only around 20,000 have been assessed for their conservation status -- of which 9,600 are threatened with extinction.

"BGCI's main reason for publishing the list is to provide a tool for people trying to conserve rare and threatened tree species," the organisation said in a statement.

"Currently, around 10,000 tree species are known to be threatened with extinction, largely by deforestation and over-exploitation.

"This number includes over 300 species that are critically endangered with fewer than 50 individuals remaining in the wild."

Aside from the Arctic and the Antarctic where there are no trees, the Nearctic region -- comprising most of North America -- has the lowest diversity, with less than 1,400 tree species.

The database will be continually updated, as around 2,000 new plants are discovered and described each year.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Hunters have shot 1,440 dune deer as cull continues

DutchNews, April 3, 2017

Deer in a Zandvoort residential area earlier in January. Photo: DutchNews.nl

Hunters have so far shot 1,440 of the fallow deer living in the dune area west of Amsterdam, alderman Udo Kock has told the city’s finance committee. 

The city and province of Noord-Holland want to slash the deer population from 3,800 to 1,000 in order to reduce damage to plants and trees and reduce the risk of road accidents. 

Officials hope to have reduced the deer population to 1,000 by 2020. Female deer are being targeted to keep the population down. 

Efforts to keep the deer in the reserve with high fences and cattle grids have failed to contain all the animals and there were 61 traffic accidents involving deer in 2015. 

Animal rights groups have tried to have the mass cull stopped but the courts ruled in favour of the cull.