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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union and United States delivered a strongly worded complaint to Iceland on Monday condemning an increase in whaling and urging it to observe an international ban on the commercial hunting of whales. In a joint move with other nations, including Brazil, Mexico and Australia, the European Commission said its ambassador in Reykjavik delivered a note - a diplomatic "demarche" - saying Iceland was harming efforts to save endangered species and urged it to stop trading whale meat, oil and other material. "We ... ...
By Kizito Makoye DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After decades of struggling to help the wildlife of Serengeti National Park cope with Tanzania's increasingly intense droughts, the government is implementing a controversial plan to use Lake Victoria as an alternative water source for animals. The project aims to ensure the survival of millions of animals, including the wildebeests and zebras that take part in the Great Migration every year, and involves reviving a 36 sq km (14 sq mile) wildlife corridor by extending the border of the park to Lake Victoria's Gulf of Speke.
Some 140 tiger experts and government officials from 20 countries met in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Sunday to review progress towards an ambitious goal of doubling their number in the wild by 2022. "We need accurate figures so that we know where we stand," said Kushlin, who also works for the World Bank.
One of the handful of brown bears living in the Italian Alps has died after being tranquilised for capture in an operation ordered after she mauled a mushroom hunter. In an incident that enfuriated animal rights groups, the 19-year-old female, Daniza, was knocked out so that she could be transferred to a more remote part of the Trento region of northern Italy, a spokesman for the provincial government said. Carla Rocchi, the chair of the Italian Association for the Protection of Animals (ENPA), added: "This didn't happen by chance or by accident. Local officials had been trying to capture Daniza since August 15, when she injured Daniele Maturi, a local man who chanced upon her and her two cubs in woods near the small village of Pinzolo, sparking a national debate over the wisdom of efforts to conserve a colony of bears in the Alps.
The 178 members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) agreed in March 2013 to tighten regulations on the trade of the three types of hammerhead shark, the porbeagle and oceanic whitetip shark, and two types of manta ray. "The listing was a victory for science over politics," Andy Cornish, who heads a shark preservation initiative backed by WWF and wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic, said in a statement. More than 70 million sharks are killed worldwide every year, according to WWF, with high demand for shark fins in Asia the biggest driver of the overfishing. Traffic has estimated the total value of the shark fin trade at more than $480 million per year, with the fish hunted for their meat, leather, liver oil and cartilage.
Kept under lock and key, the Devils Hole pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis) has teetered on the brink of extinction since it made the federal list of endangered species in 1967. In April, biologists announced that Ash Meadows pupfish had laid eggs in captivity for the first time. Even with the initial success at Ash Meadows, wildlife officials continue to collect fish eggs from the original dwellers in Devils Hole cavern. This poses a risk to the shrinking pupfish population, however.
By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - Florida wildlife regulators on Wednesday banned lionfish breeding as part of a struggle to control the invasive species that devours other fish and threatens coastal ecosystems. The state prohibited the possession of lionfish eggs and larvae as well, after Florida last month became the first state in United States to outlaw importation of the barbed fish. Bringing lionfish into Florida is now punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. "Every change that encourages removal is a step toward successfully limiting the negative impacts lionfish have on native fish and wildlife," said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Executive Director Nick Wiley in a statement.
From super-long tongues to leaping cats, a host of weird and wacky landmarks have made the cut for the 60th anniversary edition of the Guinness World Records book launched on Wednesday. They include Californian Nick Stoeberl, possessor of the world's longest tongue at 10.1 centimetres (four inches). British film buff Nick Bennett earned a place in the compendium for having the largest collection of James Bond memorabilia, with 12,463 items from model cars to posters displayed in a shrine in his house. In Japan, Akiko Obata has the largest collection of plastic food, with more than 8,000 items including giant plastic burgers, donuts and dishes of everything from soup to desserts filling her apartment.
Ubisoft will release the Wii U version of its open-world stealth hacking game, Watch Dogs, Nov. 18 in North America, the company announced today. The Wii U version will feature new functions specific to the console. The Wii U version also includes Off-TV play, which allows users to play the game on the GamePad and away from the Wii U.
By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California blue whales, the largest animals on Earth once driven to near extinction by whaling, have made a remarkable comeback to near historic, 19th-century levels, according to a University of Washington study released on Friday. The recovery makes California blue whales - which study authors say now number about 2,200, or 97 percent of historical levels - the only population of blue whales known to have recovered from whaling. "The recovery of California blue whales from whaling demonstrates the ability of blue whale populations to rebuild under careful management and conservation measures," said Cole Monnahan, a University of Washington doctoral student and lead author of the study. Despite the comeback, the whales - which as adults can reach nearly 100 feet (30 meters) in length and weigh 190 tons (172 tonnes), twice as much as the largest known dinosaur - are still being struck by ships off the California coast at numbers above allowable U.S.