The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella
Want to see more? Be sure to visit The Philippine Tarsier Conservatory location page on Instagram!
The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella, Bohol, is owned by the non-profit Philippine Tarsier Foundation, whose mission is to save the tarsiers. The Sanctuary gives visitors the opportunity to see these tiny tarsiers up close, learn more about the species and take photographs of them as they live freely inside a protected forest. All fees collected from visitors support conservation efforts.
Tarsiers, one of the smallest primates, have thrived in rainforests around the world for the past 45 million years; however, the tarsier population has drastically dwindled since the 1960s as a result of habitat loss, hunting, pesticides and human disturbance. Today, the Philippine tarsier exists only on a few islands in the Philippines, Indonesia and Borneo. Once a common sight on the Philippine island of Bohol, the tarsier is now on the endangered species list.
I love a creepy-cute primate, don’t you?
Elle Macpherson ingests rhino horns, sucks »
Elle Macpherson is attractive, sure, but she looks a lot less beautiful to me after reading about this Twitter interview she recently did with The Times Online, where she discussed her use of rhino horn, saying “it works for me.”
That’s just delightful that it works for her—it probably doesn’t!—but unfortunately it definitely does not work for rhinos.
There are five species and 11 subspecies of rhinos; three of the five species are critically endangered, while white rhinos are “near threatened” and Indian rhinos are “vulnerable.” There are thought to be only about 60 Javan rhinos left in the entire world. Despite their endangered status, poaching of rhinos continues and is growing — fueled by the high prices that can be fetched for their horns, which are used in Chinese medicine. Rhino horn is worth about 50 percent more, per kilogram, than gold, which only contributes further poaching. When you get celebrities like Elle Macpherson talking about how awesome rhino horn powder is — even if it’s also illegal for her to use it — the appeal of the product is only heightened.
IFAW quickly denounced Macpherson’s statements, but you can help as well: Talk to people about rhinos and why their poaching for horns is such a problem, donate to a group working towards their conservation, and maybe consider sending a reasonable and informed tweet to Ms. Macpherson to let her know that what she’s supporting is dangerous and wrong, and why.
This week in the magazine, William Finnegan travels to Madagascar with Eric Goode [sub. req.], a Manhattan night-life baron “who tramps through mountains looking for turtles, tortoises, snakes, lizards, frogs, crocodilians,” Finnegan writes.
In this video, Goode seeks out the world’s rarest turtle, the plowshare tortoise. While trying to help save it from extinction, he travels to a wildlife conservatory and finds himself in a high-risk negotiation with local smugglers.
Learn all about the plowshare tortoise with the New Yorker!
Naturally, the babies are super cute.
Click through to watch the video, where these screencaps come from.
Slow loris: so cute, so sad. »
Poor slow loris. Somehow I missed this slow loris YouTube craze but according to conservationists, these videos are encouraging the cruel and illegal trade of the cute but endangered animal. You can read all about it on Mongabay and the Independent. It’s a DOWNER: “The only reason the loris isn’t biting the person holding it in the video is because it has had its teeth ripped out with pliers.”
Just because something is cute, people don’t have to OWN them as pets! And people have this idea that we have some sort of right to have every kind of animal in the world in a zoo or on display for our own curiosity—maybe you just don’t get to see a real live slow loris. You won’t die. Meanwhile, the slow loris probably will. I hate everybody.
Wikipedia has a wealth of information on slow loris conservation but I’m having trouble finding ways we could help. Traffic does have information on the situation and I suppose you could donate to them. International Animal Rescue does slow loris conservation so that may be a good place to donate.
Lastly, here’s a different sort of slow loris video. Two slow lorises being treated for injuries by a rescue doctor; not nearly as many video views, eh?
[can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
Mountain gorilla population increases! Maybe we aren’t going to hell! »
Dead animals got you down? How about some good news! The population of mountain gorillas in eastern Africa has increased by 26 percent since 2003! Damn, gorillas! Get your freak on!
A census conducted by the International Gorilla Conservation Programme in collaboration with several other organizations reports that there are now 480 mountain gorillas in the Virunga Massif region of eastern Africa. That means there are 100 more gorillas alive today than in 2003, for a total of 786 mountain gorillas in the world!
All right, I’m depressed again. I didn’t realize that “critically endangered species” meant there were so few mountain gorillas! Less than 1,000? Jeez. And critically endangered is some serious shit. But let’s not get too depressed! They still managed to hugely increase their population in a remarkably short time. Threats to the mountain gorilla include poaching, habitat loss and even war. Head over to the World Wildlife Fund gorilla help page to see what you can do.
You know guys, mountain gorillas are herbivores, save for a bug here and there. And mountain gorillas are stronger than any old meat-eating human! If our close genetic relatives the gorillas can subsist on a plant-based diet, maybe it’s not so “natural” that people eat meat? I know bonobos are our closest relatives and they eat some animals but a mountain gorilla could totally destroy a bonobo! Why? Because vegans dominate!
[photo by mrflip]
The wolf slaughter and how you can help! »
When I wrote about the situation of wolves in the Rockies yesterday, commenter Vi Z. asked, “Is any organization stepping forward to counteract this? Can we do anything?” Being such a pro journalist, I probably should have included this information in the initial post, but! I didn’t. So I’ve looked up a few now and I’d like to share them with you.
Defenders of Wildlife is a pretty dope-seeming organization that I hadn’t heard of because I’m so busy watching NCIS that these things fall through the cracks. They are working crazy-hard to help the wolves! They have a number of petitions you can sign:
- Ask Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to help the wolves in Yellowstone and the Rockies.
- Urge Cabela’s and Sportman’s Warehouse to withdraw their support for wolf-killing derbies. (I don’t want to know what the hell wolf-killing derbies are)
- Help End Aerial Wolf Killing: Urge your representative and senators to co-sponsor the PAW Act.
You can donate to Defenders of Wildlife’s wolf efforts here and you can also adopt a wolf if you like—I’m always encouraging the adoption route if you know any kiddies you can get involved. They also have these “wolf-saving gifts” you can donate that include various ways to protect “livestock” from the wolves like radios and other devices that deter them (but don’t blow their heads off).
Another organization helping to protect wolves is Earthjustice. Earthjustice appears to be a bunch of super-hero lawyers! You can contribute to them and aid in the legal fight for wolves’ lives. Save Biogems, part of the Natural Resources Defense Council, is collecting donations as well. As always, you can also check out the Humane Society’s efforts and donate to them.
Finally, you can contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and tell them to step up their mother-clucking game when it comes to our wolves.
In my search for wolf-support organizations, I came across this awesome video by youtube user PhotoAnimationGuy. A rapping pug gives Sarah Palin what-for over her support for aerial wolf-hunting in Alaska. It’s my new jam!
[can’t see the video? watch it at vegansaurus.com]
Cute picture of the day! I saw this picture on Telegraph.co.uk and thought I’d share because it’s totally adorbs. According to WWF, the giant panda is one of the world’s most threatened animals. This panda is at The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. I can’t tell how legit this place is. They’re not a zoo and they are focused on giant panda conservation. Back in the day, they “rescued” 6 pandas from the wild but they say they are proud to have not taken a panda from the wild in 20 years. That’s pretty good. Ultimately they want to introduce more giant pandas into the wild so that’s pretty good. They also seem to be very considerate about the size of panda enclosures—they look totally huge.
They have one line I kind of like: “Humans, as the most intelligent species on the planet, have the duty to protect the giant panda, the environment, and ultimately ourselves.” I don’t know if we’re really the most intelligent species* but I do think we’re the biggest threat to animals and this idea that we have a duty to protect them is right up my alley. This is how I feel when people accuse me of caring more about animals than people. It’s not that I care more about animals, it’s that I think we have an obligation to protect animals since we are the main threat to them. Kids and animals, we have to protect them from us since they can’t do it themselves. At least that’s my opinion on the matter!
Back to pandas! Why are they so cute? Is it because they wear so much makeup? Genius idea!: we should all dress like pandas! Like, everyday! You go first.
*”species” is a total joke, btw! It barely means anything. That’s my word.