December 10, 2012

    Photo: Creative Commons

Wolf Shootings May Lead to Hunting Restrictions

7 Yellowstone wolves already killed

The recent shooting of collared gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park has Montana wildlife officials reconsidering hunting regulations in the area. While the wolf trapping season, the first since the animals came off the endangered species list a year ago, doesn’t begin until December 15, hunting is already underway in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Seven of Yellowstone’s estimated 88 wolves have already been shot while wandering outside the park.

Wildlife advocacy groups have been vocal about the need for a protective buffer zone around the park, saying that while hunting and trapping are prohibited inside the park, the wolves frequently travel outside that boundary. The shooting of collared wolves is particularly problematic, since officials cannot collect the data necessary for managing the population and protecting their territory.

Montana wildlife commissioner Shane Colton has told reporters that closing some areas to trapping or setting strict quotas will be discussed at a commission meeting on Monday. "We don't want to close any area off if we don't have to. But if we keep losing collared wolves ... management becomes difficult," Colton said. "We want to do this first trapping season right."

Via Huffington Post

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    Photo: Courtesy of the University of Texas at Austin

Researcher Resigns Over Fracking Conflict

Failed to disclose financial ties

The lead author of a controversial study on fracking has resigned from the University of Texas after a review panel determined that he failed to disclose his close financial ties to a natural gas producer. The panel, headed by fomer Lockheed Martin chair Norman R. Augustine, found that Charles Groat, 72, is on the board of Plains Exploration and Production Company and receives 10,000 shares of stock and $58,500 from them each year.

"It is essential that the university’s policies, leadership culture and compliance systems work more diligently to confirm and reinforce the public’s trust in the integrity of its research," the University said in a statement, while calling industry-sponsored research "highly regarded and essential to our nation's competitiveness and safety."

The report in question, "Separating Fact From Fiction in Shale Gas Development," examined a number of papers on hydraulic fracturing and found no evidence that the practice contaminates groundwater.

Via Bloomberg

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    Photo: cosygreeneyes/Flickr

American Horse Meat Too Toxic for Europe

Contaminated by doping

The days of Europeans eating American racehorses could be coming to an end. Retired and damaged American racehorses are routinely shipped to Canada and Mexico, where horse slaughter is legal, to be sold for consumption in Europe and elsewhere. (Horsemeat remains a delicacy in Europe, particularly in Paris, among older generations.) But European officials have notified Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses that the meat may be too toxic for human consumption—and some slaughterhouses have already started turning away American racehorse meat.

The move highlights a growing illegal drug-use problem in horseracing, a byproduct of which is tainted and toxic meat. While horses sent to Canada or Mexico are required by law to be kept free of certain drugs for six months before slaughter, European Commission officials maintain that that information can easily be falsified. Around 10 to 15 percent of the 138,000 horses sent for slaughter in 2010 were estimated to be racehorses.

Via New York Times

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