Spring 2014

Spring 2014 AWI Quarterly - Cover Photo by Richard Du Toit/Minden Pictures
Volume
63
Number
2
About the Cover

A female white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), with calf, grazes on the rich grasslands of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. Perched between the calf’s ears is an oxpecker, a bird that feeds off ticks and insects on the backs of rhinos and other large African mammals. Despite her leanness, this mother rhino appears healthy and in possession of an impressive horn that helps her forage in thickets and defend herself and her offspring. Others of her kind are not so fortunate. Poachers target rhinos for their horns, which, despite being made of keratin—the same protein that forms hooves, hair and fingernails—is coveted for its alleged (but unsubstantiated) healing properties. In the article on page 14, we discuss the heavy toll that the illegal (as well as legal) wildlife trade is taking on animals around the globe. We also examine what various nations, including the United States, are doing to address the crisis.

Photo by Richard Du Toit/Minden Pictures

Table of Contents

Wildlife

It may be hard for modern suburbanites to believe, but deer became so scarce in the early 1900s due to intense hunting that the species would have been considered endangered. That, of course, is no...
In December 2013, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) released a Draft Management Plan for Mute Swans that called for complete eradication of all 2,200 birds from the state of New York by...
Endangered California condors in Arizona and Utah are showing a substantial decrease in toxic blood-lead levels—possibly the result of a drop in lead-based ammunition by hunters.
The film “Noah” is a Hollywood epic that recounts the biblical story of Noah’s struggle to save his family and a menagerie of animals from a flood that threatens to wipe out all other life...
A full 17 years after being listed as endangered across its entire range, critical habitat was finally designated for the jaguar ( Panthera onca ) this spring. A total of 764,207 acres in the three...
An independent scientific peer review panel has unanimously concluded that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) did not use the best available science to support its proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections for...
Virginia passed a law in April banning new coyote/fox penning operations in the state. The law makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor (punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up...
Just days before an annual killing contest in which some 40 coyotes were gunned down around the town of Adin, the California Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously to consider a statewide ban on wildlife...

Animals in Laboratories

On April 4, 2014, in a Notice of Agency Decision, NIH announced its new requirement regarding the minimum floor space required for each of the remaining chimpanzees in NIH-supported research (see Summer 2013 AWI Quarterly)....
Moving animals in research around within an institution is a very common practice. Animals are moved from their housing rooms to laboratories or other locations, such as imaging or surgical facilities. Transportation is inherently stressful...
In November 2012, the industry journal Lab Animal published an extraordinary profile of licensed veterinary technologist Santina Caruso, entitled “Working with animals is ‘in her blood.’” Why was this feature extraordinary?

Marine Life

California stands poised to be the first state to end captivity of orcas for entertainment purposes. In early March, AWI’s Dr. Naomi Rose joined Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Blackfish director Gabriella Cowperthwaite, and two...
Bocas del Toro is a cluster of small islands on the Atlantic side of Panama, with a rich and diverse marine ecosystem. Until recently, the human presence in Bocas del Toro consisted of indigenous communities...
Americans consume more than 5 billion pounds of seafood each year, 85 percent of which is imported. Although, historically, little information has been provided about the origin of this fish, American consumers are beginning to...
After a four-year wait, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued its ruling on Australia’s challenge to Japan’s scientific whaling program in the Antarctic (known as JARPA II). The ruling, issued March 31 in The...
Sadly, there has been another mass stranding of Cuvier’s beaked whales ( Ziphius cavirostris ) that coincides with naval activities involving sonar blasts. This one occurred over several days in early April in waters south...
Lolita, now almost 50 years old, was a member of the Southern Resident distinct population segment (SR DPS) of orcas when she was captured in 1970 off Whidbey Island, Washington. She has been held and...

Companion Animals

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” must have been the mantra for legislators in two states that recently made gains for animal and human victims of abuse. South Dakota finally shed its...

Farm Animals

The use of animal welfare and sustainability claims has increased dramatically over the past decade, as consumers have become more aware of and concerned about the well-being of animals raised for food and about the...
The Canadian National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), a collaboration between the agriculture industry, animal welfare groups, government, and other interested parties, recently released its Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs.
Tyson and Smithfield announced changes to their respective animal care programs for pigs and the operations they are raised within. Both companies are asking/instructing producers to improve their production practices by implementing basic animal welfare...

Reviews

Life seems to fly past, ever more fast-paced and electronic-obsessed, with parents and their kids increasingly sitting indoors communicating via electronic tools. We all but ignore the natural world that is just outside our doors....
This story and others related to the impacts of military sonar on marine mammals are recounted in engaging detail by Joshua Horwitz in his upcoming book, War of the Whales , to be published by...

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