Federal Judge in San Diego to Hear Border Wall Challenge

Federal Judge in San Diego to Hear Border Wall Challenge

Feb 8, 2018

SAN DIEGO, CA — The Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity will present arguments on Friday February 9, in its lawsuit against the Trump administration’s border wall and prototype projects near San Diego. A rally against the wall will precede the hearing. U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel is presiding over the case, which has been consolidated with similar challenges from the state of California and other conservation groups. Curiel will hear arguments from both sides during the proceeding and could issue his ruling at any time following the hearing. “The border wall is absolutely against the core Constitutional values of the United States,” said Jill Holslin, a volunteer from Sierra Club’s San Diego Chapter. “Our country was built on immigration and our laws on protecting people, our environment, and safeguarding our freedoms.”   What: Federal court hearing challenging Trump’s border wall Where: U.S. District Courthouse, 333 W. Broadway, San Diego, CA When: Friday, Feb. 9; gathering in front of the courthouse starts at noon; hearing begins at 1:30 p.m. Media Availability: Attorneys and organizers will be available for media interviews outside the courthouse, before and after the hearing. Background The Department of Homeland Security exempted itself from more than 30 laws to rush construction of border-wall replacement projects and prototypes south of San Diego. But the waiver authority, granted by Congress more than 10 years ago, no longer applies. The Club and the Center expanded its lawsuit in September to include this issue. The border-wall replacement project would include 14 miles of new primary and secondary border fencing from the Pacific Ocean to Otay Mesa. This region of coastal San Diego County contains wetlands, streams and other rare wildlife habitats, as well as critical habitat for numerous endangered species. Beyond jeopardizing wildlife, endangered species and public lands, the U.S.-Mexico border wall is part of a larger strategy of ongoing border militarization that damages human rights, civil liberties, native lands, local businesses and international relations. The border wall impedes the natural migrations of people and wildlife that are essential to healthy diversity....

Tlaxcala is home to first white lion to be born on Mexican territory

Tlaxcala is home to first white lion to be born on Mexican territory

Feb 5, 2018

The Altiplano Zoo in Tlaxcala, (Central Mexico) recently introduced their newest addition – an almost four-month-old white lion cub – to the press. White lions are unusual yet beautiful creatures that have been revered in folklore for centuries. The cub was born at the zoo on October 28, 2017, weighing 1.5 pounds and measuring 25 centimeters in length. Though in good health, the baby lion was rejected by its mother at birth, making his chances of survival minimal. By not getting the care and natural food that the white lioness should have given her newborn, the mission of increasing life expectancy now belonged to the caretakers of the Zoo, who’ve been caring for the little one and will continue to do so until he can fend for himself. Originally from southern Africa, white lions are not albinos. Like blue eyes in humans, the animals’ white color is caused by a recessive gene shared by both parents. Since their light color makes them less effective hunters and more vulnerable to poachers, white lions are rarely found within their natural endemic range. With only 13 white lions in the wild (2015) and only about 300 in captivity, they are considered an endangered species. The Altiplano Zoo, run by the Government of the State of Tlaxcala, has three other white lions, including the cub’s parents, Metztli(Moon) and Tonatiuh (Sun), who arrived at the zoo in 2015 from an Animal Management Unit (UMA) at the age of six. The zoo also has a two-year-old white lioness, who is unrelated to the cub. The first white lion to be born in captivity in Mexico, the Cachorro Milagro, (“Miracle Cub”) as his care givers like to call him, is growing stronger every day. He currently weighs 9 kilos, and his weight increases by between 90 to 100 grams every day, but this little lion needs a name. Children visiting the zoo were invited to suggest a name the cub. Many entries were received and the winner will be announced on February 4. The cub is expected to be the zoo’s star attraction. Source: El...

World’s greatest animal visits Loreto Baja California Sur

World’s greatest animal visits Loreto Baja California Sur

Feb 4, 2018

The Loreto Bay National Marine Park is a natural protected area in Mexico. It is the second marine park in the State of Baja California Sur, created upon citizen petition to federal authorities in 1996. The park is regulated and guarded by governmental agencies CONANP, PROFEPA and SEMARNAT who are charged with protection  of the environment and natural resources. The Gulf of California waters provide the 5 islands and coastal zones encompassed by the park with an unparalleled abundance of marine life. Protection ensures the survival of thousands of resident and migratory species of international importance; including the largest animal found on Earth, the Blue Whale.   Whale watching from Loreto is a world class experience.  Calm (hopefully) seas, small intimate boats, and all around the sound of these giants breathing. Every Spring the Loreto National Marine Park is host to Blue Whales, the  largest creatures on earth.  We also see Fin Whales, Humpbacks, dolphins, mantas and other wildlife on this tour. Tours are provided on small Mexican pangas with new motors, radios, shade and dry storage.  Boats hold anywhere from 6 to 10 folks.  Be sure to bring: hat, sunglasses, camera, batteries, sunscreen and layers.  Mornings start cool, but afternoons warm...

Porfirio & Olivia, two confiscated tigers sharing habitat in Mexicali

Porfirio & Olivia, two confiscated tigers sharing habitat in Mexicali

Feb 1, 2018

Porfirio, the tiger confiscated in San Luis Río Colorado, who arrived at the Bosque y Zoológico de Mexicali, already lives with Olivia, a female of the same species that also resides in this place. “The tiger arrived with problems of malnutrition and a wounded tail, but Porfirio will recover with medical attention and good food,” said director José Luis García Chavira. “Although the transfer is still in the legal process, it is up to the Attorney General’s Office to determine where to take the feline, this procedure could take months or even years. But for right now, Porfirio is sharing habitat with Olivia, a tigress who was confiscated in Tijuana; and at any moment “they might give surprise us” by mating and reproducing themselves”, the official mentioned. For now the female is still young and the male has not been hostile to her, but by the end of the year, Olivia could be in heat, and ready to mate, situation that thrills José Luis García Chavira, director of the Bosque y Zoológico de Mexicali. Source:...

Sanctuary for the protection of bats to be created in Mexico

Sanctuary for the protection of bats to be created in Mexico

Jan 27, 2018

In Mexico, there are 138 different species of bats, 38 of them are categorized “at risk” by the Mexican norm. Bats are efficient to combat large amounts of harmful insects considered as agricultural pests, so the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), seeks to create a sanctuary for the species. The National Commissioner of Protected Natural Areas, Alejandro del Mazo Maza, recognized the importance of the ecosystem services that bats provide to our nation and, and the great importance of the preservation of the caves where this species inhabit, since these caves are vital in their life cycle. The Commissioner assured that the protection of these animals must be a priority for Mexico. The Conanp, in collaboration with experts of the Institute of Ecology of UNAM and of civil associations like Bioconciencia A.C. and Pronatura A. C., identified 7 caves throughout the country, which protection is essential for the survival of this species and to guarantee the benefits that are received from these animals. One of these sites is the Cueva de la Boca, located in the municipality of Santiago, Nuevo León, 36 km south of the City of Monterrey, Nuevo León. During the summer it hosts a maternity colony of 5 million bats of the species Tadarida brasiliensis; a species of approximately 9 cm long and weighing 15 grams that is of vital importance in the control of pests, since it feeds on several kinds of harmful moths and other insects. This place is essential for the ecological health of the region, it is estimated that 1 million bats of this species get to ingest up to 1 ton of insects per night. In addition, this bat is a significant source of food for other relevant species such as the peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus). It is the southernmost maternity colony known for this species. Other maternity colonies of Tadarida brasiliensis are found in Texas, in the far north of Coahuila, Chihuahua and even Sonora. The Cave of the Mouth once housed one of the largest colonies of this species in Mexico, but due to vandalism and the lack of protection measures, the population has decreased significantly. In the 1990s, binational efforts between Bat Conservation International (BCI)...

Giant Leatherback sea turtle found dead on Yucatan beach

Giant Leatherback sea turtle found dead on Yucatan beach

Jan 24, 2018

“On Tuesday January 9, a giant leatherback sea turtle found dead on a beach at Chicxulub Puerto had suffocated after she got entangled in lobster traps and swallowed nylon wiring”, authorities said. A marine biologist, Juan Lara Rodríguez, said the age of the turtle could not be determined. She weighed 250 kilos (over 500 pounds) and measured 2.2 meters (7.3 feet) from head to tail. The last time a large sea turtle washed ashore in the area was when a smaller hawksbill turtle was found in 2016. Named for their soft shells, the leatherback is the largest of all sea turtles. Leatherbacks are also one of the most migratory of sea turtles, crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Their numbers have seriously declined during the last century as a result of intense egg collection and harm from fisheries. Globally, leatherbacks a vulnerable species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is listed as vulnerable. Many subpopulations are critically endangered. Source: Comuniqué...