AWI Quarterly » 2016 Spring

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross and the oldest wild bird known to science, has just become a mom again. In February, Wisdom and her mate, Gooo (so named because he was banded with the identification number 6,000), hatched what could be Wisdom’s 40th chick at their nest within the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, part of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
The 66th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), held in Geneva, Switzerland, in mid-January, covered a wide range of important wildlife trade issues. Of particular note was a meeting involving representatives of the CITES secretariat and a number of animal protection organizations—catalyzed by Secretary-General John Scanlon’s call to increase consideration of animal welfare issues in international wildlife trade. AWI co-hosted this meeting and its wildlife biologist, DJ Schubert, spoke at the event.
The horrible poaching of tens of thousands of elephants in Africa each year has motivated people around the world to demand greater efforts to protect the great pachyderms from criminal exploitation. Ultimately, this can be accomplished only by dismantling the primarily Asian markets that provide the enormous financial incentives for ivory poaching. But for the moment, efforts to close those markets have been largely ineffective, and the principal burden for protecting surviving elephants falls heavily on African shoulders.
In 1987, eight years before gray wolves were released into Yellowstone National Park, the US Fish and Wildlife Service performed their first successful attempt at reintroducing a top carnivore into the wild. This took place not in the remote backcountry of the Rocky Mountains, but in the flat and swampy terrain of eastern North Carolina, where the Service decided to release red wolves into the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.
Apply now for research grants to support humane wildlife management
AWI and the Humane Education Network are pleased to announce the 26th annual “A Voice for Animals” contest. The contest affords youth (ages 14-18) an opportunity to investigate the causes of animal suffering and explore potential solutions.
The second session of the 114th Congress opened in January. On the 20th of the month, despite strong minority opposition and contentious debate, the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works approved the “Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act” (S 659).
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) filed anti-wildlife amendments to the energy bill that reached the Senate floor in early February. He, too, proposed removing gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes states from ESA protection, and prohibiting the US Fish and Wildlife Service from listing the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the ESA.
As the first session of the 114th Congress wound down at the end of 2015, a massive $1.1 trillion bill funding government operations through September 30, 2016, passed and was signed by the president.
With the death of Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, we lost one of the leading advocates for humane wildlife population control. His research, development, production, and long-term use of immunocontraceptives in the field and in zoos to control reproduction benefited a wide range of animals, from horses on Assateague Island to elephants in South Africa.
AWI presented the Schweitzer Medal to Scott McVay in 1973 to honor his work on behalf of the endangered great whales. McVay has long been in the thick of the battles to save whales and dolphins, as well as countless other conservation efforts worldwide.
This riveting documentary tells the tragic story of Tyke, a wild elephant forced to live within the confines of circus life and perform tricks. In 1973, a very young Tyke was wrested from her family in Mozambique and brought to the United States, where she was subjected to training by the Hawthorn Corporation and rented out to circuses.
Dogs are afflicted with many of the same cancers as people. As with people, the causes are little understood and therapy can be frustratingly ineffective. Yet, there is hope. Lessons learned from veterinarians treating dogs with cancer are giving physicians new insights into treating cancer in people, and vice versa.