BBC News July 7, 2006

Hundreds of amphibian species will become extinct unless a global action plan is put into practice very soon, conservationists warn.

Campaigners are forming an Amphibian Survival Alliance, to raise $400m and carry through a rescue strategy.

More than a third of all amphibian species are said to be in peril.

In a policy statement issued in the journal Science, researchers blame a number of factors including habitat loss, climate change and disease.

"We have a huge crisis but I'm confident we can produce some real results," said Simon Stuart, from Conservation International (CI).

"The questions is: how many species will we lose? Are we going to lose hundreds before we can stabilise the situation or are we going to lose just tens," he told the BBC News website.

"Time is absolutely crucial, and to beat time we need human recourses and expertise, and finance."

Policy pressure

Dr Stuart led the Global Amphibian Assessment which reported in 2004. It confirmed the scale of the long-suspected collapse in many populations.

There are almost 6,000 known amphibians, a category which includes frogs, toads, salamanders and caecilians (legless amphibians).

Of these, nearly 2,000 are now judged to be at risk of extinction. Between nine and 122 species have slipped over the edge to oblivion since 1980, when the assessment said the most dramatic declines began.

The losses are caused by land-use change; commercial overexploitation; invasive species pushing out native amphibians; and a wave of disease.

The situation led to a summit last year being called in Washington DC, where a global action plan was agreed.

In this week's edition of the journal Science, leading conservationists announce the creation of an Amphibian Survival Alliance which will co-ordinate the initiative -- pushing forward research, field programmes, captive breeding and making sure the "global crisis" remains at the forefront of policy-making.

Amphibian 'ark'

The biggest single threat to amphibians at the moment appears to be a fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; first identified 1998, it is firmly established in parts of the Americas, Australia and Europe.

The disease which it causes, chytridiomycosis, kills the animals by damaging their sensitive skins, blocking the passage of air and moisture.

In some instances where the spread of this disease was rampant, conservationists would have little choice but to take an "ark" approach", said Dr Stuart.

"The only option we have is to take the most vulnerable species out of the wild and put them in captive holding stations and breed them. It's being done in Panama and Colombia. Some of the rarest species are being plucked out before they go," he explained.

The new alliance will be led by an international secretariat of the Amphibian Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission of the World Conservation Union, also known as the IUCN.

An initial five-year budget of $400m (£220m) is needed. Longer term, much more will be required.

"It is achievable; it can be done," said Dr Stuart, the senior director of CI's biodiversity assessment unit.

"Some of the money, of course, overlaps with action that needs to take place anyway for biodiversity more broadly, with the focus on conserving key habitats in the wild. Not all of the funds have to be raised under the amphibian name."

Informant: NHNE


The incidence of electromagnetic pollution on the amphibien decline




Help protect endangered whales from new sonar assault

There is an emerging threat to whales that demands your immediate action.

The U.S. Navy wants to put a testing ground for lethal mid-frequency sonar along the migratory path of highly endangered northern right whales, off the coast of North Carolina.

Please act today to protect the whales and other marine life of this offshore refuge from a year-round barrage of deadly, ear-splitting noise.

Go to
and urge the Navy to consider less sensitive locations for its sonar training range.

As the site of more than 160 exercises annually, the Navy's proposed testing range would create a 500-square-mile hub of year-round sonar activity and other intense underwater noise. The range would lie along the migratory route of endangered right whales, fewer than 400 of which are believed to exist today.

Just one year ago, 37 whales of three different species beached themselves on the shores of the Outer Banks, near the proposed testing range, following Navy sonar exercises in the area. Scientists have linked the use of high-intensity sonar to numerous other mass strandings of whales around the globe, from the Bahamas to the Canary Islands to Japan. Yet, incredibly, the Navy's analysis of its proposed testing range does not even mention, much less thoroughly examine, this stranding.

Beached whales have been found bleeding around their brains and ears after encounters with this lethal technology.

Military sonar may also be interfering with the ability of these majestic creatures to locate food, avoid predators and mate.

Please go to
and tell the Navy to carefully consider all the alternatives before proceeding with sonar exercises in this spectacular whale habitat.

Or, to make an even bigger impact, compose your own letter -- using the points in our standard letter -- and mail or fax it no later than January 30 to:

Keith Jenkins
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic Mail Code EV21KJ
6506 Hampton Boulevard Norfolk, VA 23508
Fax: 757-322-4894

Thank you for helping to protect endangered whales from the lethal effects of military sonar.


Frances Beinecke
President Natural Resources Defense Council


Polar Bears Face New Toxic Threat: Flame Retardants

Already imperiled by melting ice and a brew of toxic chemicals, polar bears throughout the Arctic, particularly in remote dens near the North Pole, face an additional threat as flame retardants originating largely in the United States are building up in their bodies.

Sea Shepherd Being Monitored by the Office of U.S. Naval Intelligence

This site was initially blocked. The Block has been lifted. Due to the nature of the Release the someone, who was blocking the site, did not want you to see the Naval Posting.



Sea Shepherd Being Monitored by the Office of U.S. Naval Intelligence It appears that saving whales is a threat to national security.

The following is a posting from the United States Office of Naval Intelligence:

04 Jan 06



1. GREENPEACE - SEA SHEPHERD CONSERVATION SOCIETY - INSTITUTE OF CETACEAN RESEARCH - ANTARCTIC WHALING: According to the Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research, the Greenpeace vessels (ESPERANZA)and (ARCTIC SUNRISE) and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel (FARLEY MOWAT) follow and attempt to impede Japan’s whale research efforts in the Antarctic as of 21 Dec. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s web site describes a near collision between the (FARLEY MOWAT) and Japanese Research vessel (NISSHIN MARU) on 24 Dec in the vicinity of 62:55S 136:38E. Greenpeace rejects the claims made by Japan that its members are disregarding the laws of the sea as they trail the Japanese whalers, and denies claims they are working in conjunction with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The Institute of Cetacean Research claims the fleet of six Japanese research vessels are operating under special permit in the Antarctic.

ONI NOTE: Supporters of the Japanese projects are implying that Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd Organization are acting in concert. ONI sees no evidence for this despite the fact that the current high-profile Japanese expedition has drawn the attention of both groups (GP, Institute of Cetacean Research, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, ONI). It is interesting that the United States government does not officially recognize the whaling operations of Japan as legal yet the memo describes the Nisshin Maru as a research ship. Greenpeace may not be working with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society but the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is working with Greenpeace.

“They are down here opposing illegal whaling,” said Captain Paul Watson. “And we are down here opposing illegal whaling. We are down here together, working towards the same objective. I would say we are working together.”

The question must be asked. Why is the U.S. Naval Intelligence office concerned with an issue that does not involve a U.S. ship in an area about as far from the United States as one can possibly get?

The Japanese whalers have attempted to ram both Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd ships yet that is not considered to be of any concern. The Japanese whalers have attacked Greenpeace crew with water cannons and struck Greenpeace crew with poles yet that does not seem to be a concern. The Japanese whalers have warned that if the whalers injure any protestors, it will be the fault of the protestors. This implies a threat yet there does not seem to be any concern.

Not one politician representing a government from the U.S., Australia, Canada, or New Zealand has condemned Japan’s threats or Japan’s actions.

What is going on here? These nations have policies that oppose what Japan is doing. Why are they defending illegal Japanese whaling?

In Australia the Green Party has demanded that the government of John Howard intervenes to inquire against a claim by Japanese whalers that protestors are being monitored by the Office of Naval Intelligence.

As incredible as it seems, the Japanese whalers that are down in Antarctic waters conducting a blatantly illegal slaughter of whales are complaining to governments like Australia and the United States and accusing the people trying to stop their illegal activities of piracy. And Australia and the United States are both giving credence to the complaints of this criminal nation.

Is there no limit to the hypocrisy of these politicians and bureaucrats? Sea Shepherd Conservation Society welcomes your support. To learn how to support our conservation work, please visit our donation page.

P.O. Box 2616, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 (USA) Tel: 360-370-5650 Fax: 360-370-5651

Copyright © 2005 Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. All rights reserved.

Informant: OLYecology

Whales: In Deep Trouble



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