Animals

Unsustainable Animal Agriculture: Can Bugs Save Us?

According to a recent report by the WWF, feeding the ever-growing population of Earth is putting an immense strain on natural resources and biodiversity, primarily in already vulnerable landscapes around the world. Currently, the global population is over 7 billion people and rising quickly, our numbers are expected to reach 10 billion by 2060 (UN 2017). This increase in population coupled with an increase in demand for meat and animal by-products is quickly making animal agriculture one of the most unsustainable efforts on the planet.

Denmark’s embassy asks China for help to solve oyster invasion – a paradise for seafood foodies?

Non-native oysters have invaded Denmark’s shores. It is a disaster to native species because these oysters have over-populated and covered Scandinavian Coast. Under such a critical situation, Denmark’s embassy in China posted a commentary article this April on a Chinese social networking named Weibo. It described how these tiny guys “travel” from Asia to Europe and have reproduced in a dramatic speed. This article received more than 15000 responses in about ten days. One famous comment was “what extent do you want us to eat?

STOP Killing Our Wildlife

The purpose of this article was to highlight the problem, we as humans have created through our overproduction and land degrading ways. This problem has resulted in a drastic decline in wildlife (especially those who live in lakes/rivers) since 1970 due to the destruction and degradation of their homes as a result of over production and over consumption in of our culture.

The Slimy Sculpin- An Important Environmental Indicator

In this article by Gail Harding on the CBC News website, researchers at the University of New Brunswick are using a certain species of fish- the slimy sculpin- in order to monitor the health of ecosystems in New Brunswick’s waterways. Michelle Gray- the professor in charge of the project- says that the slimy sculpin is an excellent organism to use for monitoring the environment, as it is fairly stationary and therefore will provide an appropriate temporal scale to the data collected in the study.

Niue and Chile: Protectors of the Pacific

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Recently, Chile and the small island nation of Niue (containing only about 1600 people) have set aside some of their waters for conservation purposes. Niue devoted 40% of its economic zone while Chile created two new parks. Collectively, the two nations’ efforts have set aside an ocean area twice the size of Germany – specifically 290,000 square feet – for conservation purposes. The areas, which are listed as marine protected areas, strictly prohibit extractive activities such as fishing (Greshko, 2017).

Swipe Right for Sudan: The Last Northern White Rhino on the Planet

While many millennials use the dating app Tinder to meet new people, conservationists are using Tinder to help Sudan – the world’s last male Northern White rhino – make a “last chance breeding effort” to save his species. An article in the Toronto Star by Tom Udula discusses the aims and reasoning behind the social media campaign to address the potential extinction of the northern white rhino.

What is Happening to Canada's Wildlife?

CBC news posted an article on Sept 13, 2017 about the decline of Canada's Wildlife. A report by the World Wildlife Fund showed that over half of Canada's vertebrate species populations are in decline. The declines are due to habitat loss, climate change, invasive species, pollution, over-harvesting, etc. Many species have been listed under Canada's Species at Risk Act however, these species populations are still declining despite the federal legislation protecting them.

The Decline of Canadian Wildlife

The state of Canadian wildlife is called into question after an extensive study of species population was released, revealing unfortunate trends in our current biophysical environment. In the news article, “Half of Canada’s monitored wildlife is in decline, major study finds” (link below), released on September 15, 2017, author Ashifu Kassam discusses recent data findings of a 44 year study on 903 Canadian wildlife species.

The Deathtraps of Unmonitored Oil sand Tailing Ponds to Wildlife

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Often, there are many processes that go into things like oil extraction and refining in order to keep it as sustainable as possible and to minimize its impact on other components around it. However, equally as often those efforts fall short as managers don’t take into account big picture interactions and effects. In the case of Syncrude, a massive producer of Canada’s oil from the Alberta oil sands, it has been found that 31 blue herons have died as a result of unmonitored runoff “tailing” ponds.