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Paris's 222-year-old zoo calls for help to restore historic building

Paris' 222-year-old "Menagerie", one of the world's oldest zoos, is calling for help to restore one of its historic buildings, home to endangered Przewalski's horses. Several of its buildings were classified as historic monuments in 1993, including the thatched building that is home to the Przewalski's horses.

Spike in Yellowstone grizzly deaths tied to conflicts with humans

A grizzly bear and her two cubs approach the carcass of a bison in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming By Laura Zuckerman SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - U.S. wildlife managers at Yellowstone National Park are reporting an unusually high number of grizzly bear deaths, 55, linked to humans this year in a trend believed tied to a growing number of the bruins harming livestock or challenging hunters over freshly killed game. The uptick in bear deaths comes as the Obama administration says the population of roughly 690 bears in and around Yellowstone has come back from the brink of extinction and should be stripped of U.S. Endangered Species Act protections.   The plan, proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service earlier this year, opens the way for hunting in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, the Northern Rocky Mountain states that border the park.


Cossack songs and Ugandan dance on UNESCO's heritage list

An elderly Ukrainian Cossack sings and plays the bandura, an ancient national stringed instrument, in the centre of Kiev Ugandan traditional music, which is dying out partly because it requires materials from endangered species, has been placed on UNESCO's protected "Intangible Cultural Heritage" list, along with Portuguese pottery and Ukrainian Cossack songs. A UNESCO world heritage committee, meeting in Addis Ababa Tuesday, decided to include Uganda's Ma'di Bowl Lyre music and dance, one of the oldest cultural practices of the Madi people of Uganda. A black pottery manufacturing process from the Portuguese village of Bisalhaes was also added to the UNESCO list of "Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding".


Hair Ball! How Cats' Tongues Get Them So Clean

Hair Ball! How Cats' Tongues Get Them So Clean Alexis Noel, a mechanical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, began investigating the spines on cat tonguesafter she watched a cat lick a thick blanket and it immediately got its tongue stuck. "I was home for the holidays and watching TV with the family cats," Noel said. "When I was done laughing at this curious cat, the scientist in me began to question how a soft, wet tissue could stick to something so easily," Noel told Live Science.


Extinct Mammals Are Real-Life 'Fantastic Beasts'

Extinct Mammals Are Real-Life 'Fantastic Beasts' If you think dinosaurs are amazing and unusual, you may want to take a closer look at your own mammalian family tree — it's brimming with extinct animals that are just as bizarre and fascinating as a duck-billed and crested hadrosaur, or a frilled and horned Triceratops. A new, illustrated "field guide" to extinct prehistoric mammals describes the range of warm-blooded creatures of all sizes that roamed the Earth millions of years ago, and they're stranger and more spectacular than you might imagine. In "The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals" (Princeton University Press, 2016), author Donald Prothero, a research associate in vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, introduces readers to an array of real-life, but seemingly fantastic, beasts — extinct mammals.


Miniature monkeys reunited after Australia zoo theft

The marmosets, also known as thumb monkeys, are in demand on the black market as pets Two men were charged Monday with stealing rare pygmy marmosets from an Australian wildlife park as a baby was reunited with her mum and the hunt continued to find dad. Three of the monkeys, the world's smallest, were snatched from their enclosure at the Symbio Wildlife Park south of Sydney on Saturday, with police and zookeepers launching a desperate bid to locate the suckling infant. It was not clear why the monkeys, which are native to South America and usually about 20 centimetres (eight inches) tall, were taken, but Symbio park manager Matthew Radnidge said there would have been a financial motivation.


Airports ease Thanksgiving rush with friendly dogs

Vehicles transporting Thanksgiving holiday travelers are seen at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles By David Ingram NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. airports trotted out friendly companion dogs to calm jittery travelers and offered perks including free parking on Wednesday as throngs of people rushed toward their Thanksgiving holiday celebrations. Some travelers early on Wednesday reported smooth experiences. "I got there at 7:10 and there was no line to get past security," said Grant Grindler, 24, of his arrival at Washington Dulles International Airport for his flight to Chicago, where he planned to drive to Wisconsin.


Puggles snuggle down in Sydney after rare echidna zoo births

Echidnas, or spiny anteaters, are notoriously difficult to breed in human care Sydney's Taronga Zoo is celebrating its first successful echidna births in 30 years with three healthy babies, known as puggles, from three different mums hatching within days of each other. Echidnas, or spiny anteaters, are notoriously difficult to breed in human care, but keepers at the zoo are pleased with the progress of the tiny trio and first-time mothers Ganyi, Spike and Pitpa. "All three mothers are doing an amazing job and tending to their puggles as needed," said Suzie Lemon, one of the keepers.


Vienna Zoo twin panda cubs named Fu Feng and Fu Ban at ceremony

Giant panda twin cubs Fu Feng and Fu Ban are seen at Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna Twin panda cubs born at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo last summer were officially named Fu Feng and Fu Ban at a ceremony on Wednesday - although they were still too small to be there themselves. The cubs were born on Aug. 7 to giant panda Yang Yang. Zoo and other officials gathered for the naming ceremony, where billboards displaying the cubs' pictures and their names were unveiled.


Sri Lanka bans use of young elephants for work

A buddhist monk feeds fruits to an elephant at a Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka Sri Lanka unveiled tougher laws Wednesday, including a ban on using young elephants for logging and other physical work, as part of a crackdown on cruelty to domesticated wild animals. Wildlife Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said the cabinet approved new regulations imposing tough conditions on owners of elephants, which are considered sacred by Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Under the new regulations seen by AFP, owners are banned from using working elephants below the age of 10 years while those under five years cannot be used in parades, even at religious festivals.


Kenya uses new technology to nab poachers at night: WWF

Twenty-six poachers have been caught at night by a new thermal and infrared camera in Kenya's Maasai Mara and its other national parks Twenty-six poachers have been caught at night after a new thermal and infrared camera and software system was introduced in Kenya's famed Maasai Mara and its other national parks, WWF said on Monday. The technology combines the imaging with human detection software and was developed by the World Wildlife Fund. "Nine months after the tech’s installation, more than two dozen poachers have been arrested in the Maasai Mara and two poachers have been apprehended at another undisclosed national park in Kenya," a statement said.


Giant rats could help fight wildlife smuggling in Africa

Giant rats could help fight wildlife smuggling in Africa Smugglers of pangolins, elephant tusks and rhino horn, meet your match: the sniffing rats. Conservationists in Tanzania are training the rodents to smell trafficked animal parts and illegal timber in shipments from Africa to Asia. The fledgling program aims to harness rats' keen sense of smell to combat the rampant global trade in illegal goods. Scaly pangolins, elephants and rhinos are facing extinction as poachers hunt more of them down for parts and meat. SEE ALSO: Pangolins, the world's most trafficked mammals, get major boost in battle against extinction APOPO, a Belgian non-profit group involved in the project, has worked for years with African giant pouched rats. Their rodents learn to sniff out mines on old battlefields in Angola, Mozambique and Cambodia, or to detect tuberculosis in phlegm samples from patients in Tanzania and Mozambique. We do not have opposable thumbs. But, who needs ‘em when you can detect #endTB and #landmines with your nose … #rattingitout #ratties pic.twitter.com/4eyCt9XKlz — APOPO's HeroRATs (@HeroRATs) November 1, 2016 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded $100,000 to the new anti-poaching effort as part of the Obama administration's broader $1.2 million initiative to combat illegal wildlife trafficking.  The grants "support projects on the ground where wildlife trafficking is decimating some of the Earth's most cherished and most unusual species," Dan Ashe, the agency's director, said in an October statement.  Endangered Wildlife Trust, a South African organization, is spearheading the latest rat-sniffing initiative with APOPO. The pilot project will begin by rearing 10 to 15 rodents in Tanzania. An APOPO-trained rat sniffs for explosives while being watched by its handler in Maputo, Mozambique,  Oct. 7, 2015. Image: AP Photo/Ilec VilanculO The rats, only a few weeks old right now, will begin with "socialization training," which includes riding on people's shoulders and sitting in their pockets to get used to sights and sounds, James Pursey, APOPO's spokesman, told the Associated Press. Next up: "click and reward" training. The trainers feed rats a treat whenever the rodents hear a clicking sound, so that rats will eventually associate the scent of pangolins and other animals with edible rewards. Finally, trainers will reduce the intensity of animal scents and mix in other smells to confuse the rats, leading them to scratch or linger over a certain site. In the real world, this behavior would tip off handlers to a possible find. A pangolin carries its baby at a Bali zoo in Bali, Indonesia. Image: AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati The pilot project will initially focus on illegal hardwood timber and pangolins, which are believed to be the most trafficked animals in the world. Pangolin scales are a common ingredient in traditional Asian medicines, and their meat is considered a delicacy in parts of Vietnam and China. Organizers said they next hope to train the rats to find smuggled elephant ivory and rhino horn. If all goes according to plan, the pangolin-sniffing rats could finally get to work in about a year or so. APOPO's Pursey told the AP that the rodents will stick to perusing cargo rather than people's personal luggage.  Travelers wouldn't be "particularly enamored" to have rats crawling all over their belongings, he said. Associated Press contributed reporting. BONUS: Manatees are being sent to the Caribbean so they can mate


California zoo's lion cub romps, naps and needs a name

This Nov. 17, 2016 photo shows a 5-week-old lion plays with his leg in the hay of his enclosure at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, in Fresno, Calif. The zoo is showing off a new lion cub and asking zoo-goers to choose his name. (John Walker/The Fresno Bee via AP) FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A zoo in central California is showing off a new lion cub and asking visitors to choose his name.


78,000 Origami Elephants Invade the Bronx Zoo

78,000 Origami Elephants Invade the Bronx Zoo The Bronx Zoo has been taken over by a horde of adorable animals of an entirely new species — call it Elephas origami. The zoo, run by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), has officially amassed the largest display collection of origami elephants in the world, earning it a spot in the Guinness World Records. The official tally of 78,564 more than doubles the last record holder, the Zoological Society of London/Whipsnade Zoo in Great Britain, which displayed a paltry 33,764 origami elephants in 2014.


Pets are people, too. Remember that come gift time

In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo Chloe Kardoggian, a 12-year old rescue chihuahua, models a guinea pig elf costume during the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) NEW YORK (AP) — Pets are people, too — at least when it comes to holiday gifts.


Review: Hackers fight the power in 'Watch Dogs 2'

This image released by Ubisoft shows a scene from the video game, "Watch Dogs 2." (Ubisoft via AP) The last person you want on your bad side is a hacker. Just ask Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman. Or any celebrity who's had nude photos stolen. Or anyone who's had a credit card number swiped.


Vietnam, neighbors told to close illegal wildlife markets

Britain's Prince William walks on stage before giving his speech at the Conference on illegal wildlife trade in Hanoi, Vietnam By Nguyen Ha Minh and Ho Binh Minh HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam and neighboring countries should shut down illegal wildlife markets and step up their fight against the trafficking of rhino horn, ivory and tiger parts, international conservationists said on Thursday. The call was made during a conference on illegal wildlife trade hosted by Hanoi, with Britain's Prince William, President of United for Wildlife, and representatives from over 50 countries among the attendants. Last Saturday Vietnam destroyed nearly 2.2 tonnes of seized elephant ivory and 70 kg of rhino horns from 23 rhinos and about 330 African elephants, in one of its strongest moves yet to stop illegal wildlife trafficking.


Prince William: We're still step behind wildlife traffickers

Vietnam's Minister of Agriculture Nguyen Xuan Cuong, left, and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, right, listen to a speech at an international conference on illegal wildlife trade in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. The two-day conference will discuss ways to eradicate illegal wildlife trade (AP Photo/Tran Van Minh) HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Britain's Prince William praised Vietnam, China and other Asian countries for taking unprecedented steps to battle wildlife trafficking but said Thursday the truth is that rhinos, elephants, pangolins and lions are still being killed in horrifying numbers.


Kathryn Bigelow to Premiere Virtual Reality Doc on Ivory Poachers at 2017 Tribeca Film Festival

Barbra Streisand and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu also will participate in talks during the April fest.

Over 100 tigers killed and trafficked each year: report

A Siberian tiger carries its cub at the Besancon zoo on November 14, 2016 With fewer than 4,000 left in the wild, tigers are on a precipice -- yet more than 100 of the big cats are still killed and illegally trafficked each year, according to fresh analysis published Wednesday. The latest estimate comes as experts and dignitaries, including Britain's Prince William, gather in Vietnam's capital for an international wildlife conference which kicks off on Thursday. The two-day meet joins governments, NGOs and activists to combat illegal wildlife trade and is being hosted in a country that has become a nexus for smuggling and consumption.


Vietnam 'supermarket' for illegal wildlife trade, hearing told

Elephant ivory recovered during investigations in Nhi Khe, Vietnam A Vietnamese village has become "a supermarket for illegal wildlife trafficking" raking in millions of dollars, a special hearing was told Monday. The two-day public hearing in The Hague is laying out the findings of a year-long undercover investigation by the new Wildlife Justice Commission. The probe has provided "clear and irrefutable evidence of an industrial-scale crime hub in the village of Nhi Khe in Vietnam," said the commission's executive director Olivia Swaak-Goldman.


New show 'Circus 1903' brings back live elephants, sort of

This image released by DKC shows two life size elephants created by puppeteers and model makers for the new touring show “Circus 1903.” The pachyderms will be part of a show that attempts to capture the magic of circuses at the dawn of the last century, with strong men, foot jugglers, contortionists, acrobats, knife throwers and high-wire performers. (Naomi Goggin/DKC via AP) NEW YORK (AP) — Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus may have retired their iconic elephants but there's still a way to see the huge beasts onstage.


Rights groups urge permanent move from China mall for 'saddest' polar bear

A polar bear is seen in an aquarium at the Grandview mall in Guangzhou Animal rights groups have called for the permanent return home of "the saddest polar bear in the world" on display in a shopping mall in southern China after the mall aquarium announced the bear would temporarily be moved during an upgrade. The three-year-old female polar bear, named Pizza, has become a focus of global media attention since Hong Kong-based Animal Asia posted in July an online video of the bear lying on her side in a glass-walled enclosure in the city of Guangzhou. "Pizza the polar bear will temporarily leave Guangzhou and return to her birthplace," the Grandview Mall Aquarium said on its official account on WeChat, a popular mobile-based Chinese social media platform.


Seabirds may eat so much marine plastic because of its scent

Seabirds may eat so much marine plastic because of its scent Our rising plastic consumption and growing appetite for beef are endangering bird species around the world, scientists said this week. Two separate studies found that our consumer habits are affecting birds more profoundly than we previously thought. Researchers said their work could help inform conservation efforts to protect birds on both land and at sea.  SEE ALSO: Hawaii's bees are now protected under U.S. Endangered Species Act The papers were both published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances. The first study explores why seabirds are so inclined to gobble up marine plastic pollution.   A plastic bottle lies among other plastic debris washed ashore on the Indian Ocean beach in Uswetakeiyawa, Sri Lanka. Image: AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe Plastic bait-and-switch With trillions of pieces of plastic floating in the oceans, about 99 percent of the world's seabird species are expected to suffer from plastic ingestion by 2050, a 2015 study found. Birds often mistake bags, bottle caps, plastic fibers and other materials for food and swallow the plastic, damaging their insides and potentially killing them. Yet little research exists into why plastic confuses birds in the first place, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis. Some species of seabirds, including blue petrels, are particularly vulnerable to eating plastic debris at sea. Image: J.J. Harrison Gabrielle Nevitt, an ecologist at UC Davis, and her former graduate student Matthew Savoca found that the smell of algae on marine plastic debris may be what attracts seabirds. Algae leaks a sulfurous compound when it's dying or in distress. When tiny crustaceans feast on algae, the sulfurous scent sends a chemical message to seabirds: "Here is food." In Nevitt's earlier research, she found that petrels, an abundant species of tube-nose seabird, have used this olfactory cue to forage for thousands of years. But that skill turns against petrels when the algae forms on plastic.  "The birds don't want to eat the algae. They want to eat what's eating the algae," Savoca, the lead author of Wednesday's paper, told Mashable. "Now [the compound] is telling them where to find the plastic." Plastic bottles, balls and floating trash pollutes Manchester Ship Canal in England. Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Savoca and Nevitt made this finding by tying plastic beads wrapped in mesh bags to ocean buoys. The team collected the beads three weeks later, then took the haul to UC Davis' Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. Researchers confirmed that the marine plastic reeked of the same sulfur compound released by algae. Savoca noted the study is just the "first early evidence" that scent is a key reason why birds eat plastic and said further field research is still needed to validate the findings.  Mapping habitat loss Birds are a critical part of any ecosystem: They disperse seeds, pollinate plants and recycle nutrients back into the ground. Because the welfare of birds often points to the overall health of their environments, the new research has consequences far beyond the bird nest. "If there are problems with birds, then there are almost certainly problems with mammals and amphibians," said Stuart Pimm, a professor of conservation ecology at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment. Pimm co-authored a Wednesday paper that used satellite imaging, remote-sensing data and field work to measure the habitats of bird species worldwide. They found that hundreds of species are at risk due to land-use changes such as deforestation and industrial agriculture. A map of the Velvet-purple Coronet's habitat. Image: NATALIA OCAMPO-PEÑUELA The study fills a critical knowledge gap in conservation research, the authors said.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is responsible for monitoring and listing threatened species around the world, but its methods don't always incorporate modern data tools. The Duke study found that more than 200 bird species at risk of extinction are not included on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. Those birds are found in six rapidly developing regions: Brazil's Atlantic forest, Central America, Colombia's western Andes, Sumatra, Madagascar and Southeast Asia. "We were surprised by how extensive the problems are," Pimm told Mashable.  The Munchique Wood-Wren. Image: Natalia Ocampo-Peñuela The widely respected Red List helps governments and conservation groups set legal protections and create restricted areas for threatened species. By adding satellite and mapping tools, conservationists would have a much deeper understanding of where birds are in trouble and need extra protection, Pimm said. The study also found that more than 600 species in those six developing areas are seeing their habitats shrink from land-use changes. Of that group, only 108 species are classified by IUCN as at risk of extinction. "Preventing these extinctions requires knowing what species are at risk and where they live," Natalia Ocampo-Peñuela, the study's lead author, said in a statement. Stuart Butchart, who is responsible for the Red List's assessment of birds, said Pimm and his co-authors misunderstood the list's criteria and, as a result, incorrectly identified many species as not appropriately marked as threatened. He said IUCN developed guidelines and material precisely to prevent the researchers' errors. "All Red List assessments are carefully reviewed before they are published to ensure that the criteria are applied correctly and consistently," Butchart told Mashable by email.


Watch Dogs 2 launch trailer lands on the web

A still from forthcoming game Watch Dogs 2 As part of the build up to the official launch of one of the year's most highly anticipated games, Ubisoft on Wednesday posted the final trailer to the latest instalment of its open world action adventure game


Twins among 4 rescued manatees from Florida now at Ohio zoo

POWELL, Ohio (AP) — Four manatees rescued near Florida have arrived at an Ohio zoo.

'Suicide Squad,' 'Secret Life of Pets' Drive Cineplex to Record Third-Quarter Box-Office Revenue

The exhibitor saw box-office revenue jump from Hollywood movies showing on 3D and other premium large-format screens despite a slight drop in attendance.

Most illegal ivory from recently killed elephants: study

Researchers at Columbia University said their study shows that ivory is moving through black market systems quickly, with more than 90 percent of illegal ivory coming from recently killed elephants--many of them just in the past several months More than 90 percent of illegal ivory comes from elephants slaughtered for their tusks in the last three years, not from old government stockpiles, according to a new study released Monday. The finding by Columbia University researchers, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is based on an analysis of 231 tusks seized in nine different countries from 2002 to 2014. "It shows that ivory is moving through the system fast," said study co-author Kevin Uno, a geochemist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.


Review: Ex-journalist explores nation's Secret Service dogs

"Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States" (Dutton), by Maria Goodavage

Adorable but shy, pygmy anteaters are VIPs at Peru zoo

Adorable but shy, pygmy anteaters are VIPs at Peru zoo Despite the threat, it's hard not to want to cuddle the pint-sized furball and her mate Freddy, the only pygmy anteaters in the world to be kept in a zoo. Also called silky anteaters, or Cyclopes didactylus, they are known as creatures of the night, wrapping their little golden-brown bodies around tropical tree branches to feed on ants. The pair are believed to be the longest-lived pygmy anteaters in captivity.


Vienna Zoo says names for twin panda cubs chosen

Giant Panda twin cubs are seen at Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna Twin panda cubs born at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo this summer will be officially named at a ceremony this month after animal lovers in an online poll picked a name for the male cub, the park said on Thursday. The Austrian zoo said in October it had chosen the name for the female cub but then appealed to animal lovers to help find a name for her brother. The zoo also revealed for the first time on Thursday the name it had picked for the female cub - Fu Feng.


Samsung appeals to gamers with 'Watch Dogs 2' tie-in

"Watch Dogs 2" swaps the previous game's gruff Chicago vigilante for a dynamic San Francisco activist Hardware manufacturer Samsung is bundling copies of high-profile November release "Watch Dogs 2" with a selection of its solid state drives and curved monitors.


Hawaii's bees are now protected under U.S. Endangered Species Act

Hawaii's bees are now protected under U.S. Endangered Species Act The race is on to keep Hawaii's native bees from vanishing. Seven of Hawaii's yellow-faced bee species are now officially protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, a step that will allow authorities to carry out recovery programs and limit harm from outside sources. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the listing in October, but the rule formally took effect on Monday. SEE ALSO: This is why millions of bees have died in South Carolina "These are the first bees to be federally protected under the [act], so in a way this is a threshold moment," said Xerces Society's Matthew Shepherd. The conservation group first petitioned the federal government to protect yellow-faced bees in 2009.  "Finally, people are taking notice of these insects that generally have been overlooked," Shepherd told Mashable. The seven bee species are among the 60 types of bees in the genus Hylaeus. The bees are named "yellow-faced" for the golden mark between the males' eyes. As pollinators, the native bees play a vital role in keeping Hawaii's native plant species alive and thriving. Those plants in turn sustain food chains and nesting habitats throughout the archipelago. Yet in recent years, Hawaii's expanding urban footprint and the spread of invasive plants and animals have decimated bee colonies. Yellow-faced bees were once the state's most abundant insects. Now they are one of the least observed pollinators on the islands. If the bee populations don't recover, the insects will have a harder time adapting to effects of climate change like harsher droughts, stronger storms, more frequent wildfires and rising sea levels, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. Hylaeus longiceps, a yellow-faced bee species, on Myoporum. Image: State of Hawaii, Division of Forestry and Wildlife And if the bees go, the native plant species and the ecosystems they sustain could also perish. Pollinators are under similar threat on the U.S. mainland.   Bumblebees and honeybees, for instance, have suffered staggering losses in the last decade due to the abundant use of pesticides, the spread of parasites and habitat loss from industrial agriculture and suburban development. For Hawaii's bees, the endangerment listing is the first of many steps needed to protect the native species, said Shepherd.  The Fish and Wildlife Service's ruling does not designate any "critical habitats," a move that requires federal agencies to protect important characteristics of the designated areas. The government also has not yet developed a "recovery plan" for how the agency will manage and protect the bees. Hylaeus longiceps, a yellow-faced bee species, on Sesbania. Image: State of Hawaii, Division of Forestry and Wildlife Shepherd said Xerces Society, which has studied Hawaii's bees for years, would work to push Fish and Wildlife Service to take these two key measures. "It's wonderful that [the bees] have this listing, but that doesn't mean that miraculously now they will survive," he said. "We now need to actually protect the bees so that the 'protection' isn't just on a piece of paper." The yellow-faced bees' track record suggests they still have a fighting chance. Despite the mounting threats, 11 new native species have been found in Hawaii in the last 15 years. Six of those spcies were from Oahu, the island most heavily impacted by development, Karl Magnacca, a senior researcher at the University of Hawaii, said in a fact sheet. "The future is uncertain for our native pollinators," Magnacca wrote, "but they have already surprised us with their adaptability and perseverance."


Man wrestles giant panda in China zoo

Video footage of a man who wrestled with a giant panda bear after breaking into a zoo enclosure in southern China went viral over the weekend. The giant panda is prized in China and seen as a conservation success story, whose cause has been championed right up to the highest levels in Beijing.

Celeb-packed 'Years of Living Dangerously' wants to make climate change a voting issue

Celeb-packed 'Years of Living Dangerously' wants to make climate change a voting issue The 2016 U.S. presidential election has been memorable for many reasons, but a nuanced discussion about climate change isn't one of them. With just weeks to go before election day, the producers of the documentary series Years of Living Dangerously said they are hoping to break the climate silence with the premiere of the show's second season on Sunday. SEE ALSO: Leonardo DiCaprio's new film 'Before the Flood' says we can fix global warming The first season, which won a 2014 Emmy Award, was the highest profile program on climate change since Al Gore's groundbreaking 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth .  The Showtime series paired celebrity correspondents with climate scientists and grassroots activists to highlight the threats that a warming planet poses to families and ecosystems worldwide. Season 2 of Years will air on a new outlet, the National Geographic Channel, and will have a stronger focus on renewable energy solutions. David Gelber, who created the show with Joel Bach, said he hoped Season 2 would influence U.S. voters before they hit the polls on Nov. 8.  "We want to put this issue where it belongs. It's the single biggest issue facing the planet right now," Gelber told Mashable at the Sept. 21 season premiere party in New York. "Our hope is to develop a political consensus that this is an urgent matter," he said, adding that if countries don't address climate change, "We're screwed. I got an 11-year-old and a 7-year-old, and their world is going to be turned upside down." Season 2 will revive the successful mix of Hollywood stars, high-profile scientists and environmentalists. The show's executive producers include Gelber, Bach, James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Celebrity correspondents attend the premiere of National Geographic Channel’s "Years of Living Dangerously'"at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Sept. 21, 2016. Image: Anthony Behar/National Geographic/PictureGroup Mashable spoke with a few of this season's correspondents on the sidelines of the September launch party at the American Museum of Natural History. Here's what they had to say about their upcoming episodes: Arnold Schwarzenegger. The former California governor and actor visited with U.S. soldiers in Kuwait. He traveled in a fuel convoy — one of the military's most dangerous missions — and learned how the military is working to reduce its own carbon footprint. "I wanted to travel to the Middle East and be part of the big fuel convoy, because so many of our men and women get killed delivering fuel to the military installations," Schwarzenegger said. "Now, by the military going green and powering their installations with solar and wind, rather than with fuel, they save a lot of lives." "The military is very efficient and they think ahead, years ahead," he added, "unlike some of our politicians that don't think way ahead." America Ferrera. The actress traveled to Waukegan, Illinois, where Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign is working to clean up a retired coal-fired power plant. Environmentalists say the hulking facility continues to taint the air and water and harm the health of nearby residents. Ferrera said she was attracted to Waukegan's story in part because it addresses the environmental injustices that many minority communities face around the country. "A large percentage of the population is Latino and low-income, and they're living around this coal plant that is essentially non-functioning but still continuing to pollute and toxify the air," Ferrera said. "They continue to endanger not only the environment but the lives of people who live around them." I'm excited to be joining season two of @YearsofLiving Dangerously as a correspondent, exploring deforestation and climate change in my beautiful home country of Brazil. The new season will air globally later this year on @NatGeoChannel #Yearsproject #Amazonforest  Muito empolgada em participar da segunda temporada do @YearsofLiving Dangerously como correspondente, investigando o desmatamento e as mudanças climáticas no meu lindo país. A nova temporada irá ao ar mundialmente no final do ano no @NatGeoChannel #Florestaamazonica A photo posted by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on Jun 2, 2016 at 7:19am PDT Aasif Mandvi. The comedian and former Daily Show correspondent visited Kenya's wildlife preserves to understand how the effects of climate change, including increased drought and irregular rainfall, are affecting endangered species that are already vulnerable to poaching and habitat loss. "There's only 500,000 elephants on the continent of Africa today, and we're losing 30,000 a year," Mandvi said. "I don't think people realize how close we are to that kind of complete devastation of a species." The actor said the experience had a profound impact on his personal life. He met with members of the Maasai ethnic group in southern Kenya, who are now seeing elephants stampede their farmland as the animals escape their own withering habitats.  "Our ecosystem is interdependent and interconnected, and we forget that in our First World lives," Mandvi said. "The water just comes out of the faucet. We don't worry about things like that."


Tanzanian president tells security forces to pursue wildlife poachers

Tanzania's President-elect Magufuli is escorted after inspecting a Tanzanian military guard of honour during his inauguration ceremony at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam Tanzania's president on Saturday ordered the security forces to go after top criminals financing organised networks behind elephant poaching, saying no one was "untouchable".     The East African nation, home to the famous Serengeti which is packed with wildlife and Africa's highest mountain Kilimanjaro, relies on revenues from tourism and safaris but has been blighted by poachers chasing ivory to sell mostly in Asia. Since coming to power in 2015, President John Magufuli has promised root out corruption and mismanagement. "I am behind you ... arrest all those involved in this illicit trade, no one should be spared regardless of his position, age, religion ... or popularity," Magufuli said in a statement.


Pets dress up for Halloween at Florida festival

KEY WEST, Fla. (Reuters) - Festively dressed pets, including one dog styled to look like U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, took center stage at the "Fantasy Fest Pet Masquerade" in Florida this week. The golden Labrador wore a large blonde wig and an American flag wrapped around his neck, complete with two accompanying canines in dark sunglasses as his security detail. Other colorfully dressed cats and dogs sported a range of Halloween costumes, including a dog painted as a white tiger and a puppy wearing a tiny sombrero complete with toy pistols. ...

Oregon militants acquitted of conspiracy in wildlife refuge seizure

A U.S. flag covers a sign at the entrance of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon A federal court jury delivered a surprise verdict on Thursday acquitting anti-government militant leader Ammon Bundy and six followers of conspiracy charges stemming from their role in the armed takeover of a wildlife center in Oregon earlier this year. The outcome marked a stinging defeat for federal prosecutors and law enforcement in a trial the defendants sought to turn into a pulpit for airing their opposition to U.S. government control over millions of acres of public lands in the West. Bundy and others, including his brother and co-defendant Ryan Bundy, cast the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as a patriotic act of civil disobedience.


Humanity killing off Earth's wildlife: study

The five main drivers of wildlife decline -- in order of importance -- are habitat loss, overconsumption, pollution, invasive species and disease On current trends, that plunge in stocks of global wildlife could extend to two-thirds by 2020, an annual decline of two percent, conservation group WWF and the Zoological Society of London warned in their joint biennial Living Planet report. "This should be a wake-up call to marshal efforts to promote the recovery of these populations," said Ken Norris, director of science at the Zoological Society of London.


Sri Lanka to sell white elephants to cut $1 bn in debt

Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse Sri Lanka said Thursday it will reduce its foreign debt by $1 billion by selling off former strongman president Mahinda Rajapakse's vanity projects. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament he wanted to privatise a $1.3 billion port and a $210 million airport in Rajapakse's home constituency which have become huge white elephants. "By turning the debt into equity and forming a public-private partnership to run the airport and the harbour, we will reduce our foreign debt by a billion dollars," Wickremesinghe said.


Sea Dogs Beat Rock Cats To End Skid

Portland, Maine — William Cuevas, making his Double A debut, allowed one run and four hits in five innings as the Portland Sea Dogs beat the New Britain Rock Cats 4-1 Tuesday night at Hadlock Field.

County says there are 5,000 cats living on the streets

Tuesday afternoon, the director of Clay County Animal Care and Control went before the Clay County Commission to ask for financial help to combat the county’s large feral cat problem.

Purrfect friend for homeless cats

MOVE over Catwoman, there’s a new group of modern day superheroes in town. Barbara Jackson and her team have rescued more than 700 cats since creating Wild Cats in 2010.

Rock Cats Home Opener on Thursday Night at NB Stadium

New Britain, CT- The New Britain Rock Cats Baseball Club, the Double-A Eastern League Affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, will host OPENING NIGHT 2015 this Thursday, April 16 at 6:35 PM against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays affiliate).

Dogs reunited with owners far more than cats

Sometimes people maybe assume something bad has happened to their cat. Maybe they don’t look quite as hard. I do think cats aren’t maybe regarded as much as dogs. — Andrea McDonald, Coquitlam City Hall

More concerns about Raleigh neighborhood dogs: woman’s dog killed

Police were called again about a group of vicious dogs in one local neighborhood.

Releasing feral cats raises concerns

The Orange County animal shelter starts to get busy around this time of the year as people bring in newborn kittens and pregnant mother cats.Celesta Peterson, who has volunteered at the shelter for eight years, said she used to walk past feral cat...

Sick coyotes' habits boost encounters with humans

Certain coyotes are known to have frequent unnerving encounters with humans and their pets in residential neighbourhoods, and scientists now have an explanation. It turns out that coyotes infected with a common skin parasite tend to develop habits that make them problem animals. "These coyotes that were losing their hair and were sick were more likely to run into people in residential areas ...

Yates, Sea Dogs agree to split in surprising move

Sea Dogs couldn't replicate the magic behind their hot start, and it leads to a mutual parting-of-ways for coach and team.

QC’s ‘4 pets per house’ ordinance repealed

First, the good news: The controversial animal regulation ordinance limiting the number of cats and dogs Quezon City residents can keep has become null and void following the approval of another one which does not contain the provision.   The bad news, however, is that the "four domesticated animals per household" policy may still be incorporated into the implementing rules and regulations (IRR ...