Illegal sales of endangered species

A friend of mine, fellow animal lover, recently sent me a message about this story and said she thought I might want to spread the word about it. Sure enough, I read it and thought, well if I didn’t know that there is still such a large illegal sales of animals online, then I can’t be the only one.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare conducted a 6 week study across 100 online marketplaces in the UK, France, Germany and Russia. They found more than 5,000 adverts adding to over £3 million for over 12,000 items. ALL of these items were banned or restricted by the global convention International Trade in Endangered Species. This figure, although massive, is less than in previous years, however, there is still much more work to be done to eradicate this issue.

Many of these adverts were for live animals like leopards, cheetahs, orangutans and many more. Among these were also adverts for big cat and bear skins.

Why is this bad?
Because these animals have been illegally taken from their homes, their families, not cared for and sold for who knows what purpose. The skins have been illegally made from again, poor defenseless animals, all to be sold for profit. The people selling them don’t care about the animals’ welfare or rights. These animals deserve to live in the wild, with their families and live for as long as they can.

Here’s a few things we can all do to help try and rid the world of illegal animal/ wildlife trade:

  1. Check certifications. If you see any endangered species being sold or advertised, report it! Spread the word! Get it shut down. I’ve heard that WildLeaks allows you to anonymously report wildlife crimes and make concrete actions out of your reports.
  2. Buy products that are certified as sustainable. The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) provides a logo to products based on its global forest certification system. Items with the logo or FSC approved show that they are:
    – Produced from recycled materials or from areas that are well managed
    – Trees that are cut are replanted
    – Workers are paid fairly
    – Any indigenous people in the area are regarded and not disturbed
    Find out more about the FSC here.
  3. Buy fish from sustainable sources. As mentioned in a previous post of mine, “Earth Day” (Click here to read) I mentioned that over-fishing is a problem for our oceans and is responsible for the depletion of fish species. If we buy fish from sustainable sources (for example, fish products bearing the MSC – Marine Stewardship Council – Logo) the fish stocks and their habitats are maintained and looked after, and the logo ensures the livelihoods of fishing communities are secure. Find out more about the MSC here.
  4. Sign petitions for you local government to stop illegal wildlife/ ivory trade. The UK have recently announced that they will have one of the strictest ivory restrictions in the world. A great win, which we must keep trying to achieve globally. Each person can make a difference.

I believe humans need to do all that we can to help animals. They can’t speak for themselves so we need to speak for them. I hoped this post has taught you something new and has hopefully inspired you!

Thanks for reading,

Maria

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Earth Day

Hello everyone!
You may know that certain days in the year are dedicated to certain things. We all know the classic Mother’s and Father’s days but there’s also an Earth day.

What is “Earth Day”?
It is a day to celebrate the place that we all live in (even though we should totally celebrate it everyday).

What happens on Earth day?
Individuals and companies take action and try to help the Earth in various ways. This year our “Earth Day” was on April 22nd. This year the focus was on plastic pollution. As you may know, plastic pollution is a major threat to our oceans and its animal population.

Why is plastic pollution a problem?
Plastic (as well as other waste) can end up in our oceans when not disposed of correctly and recycled. This seriously threatens and damages the oceans because it can suffocate and be ingested by fish, whales and other marine life causing damage to their bodies and killing them. Although, for some it may seem like it doesn’t affect them, these deaths are extremely important to human life. With the depletion of marine life, food chains break down which has a knock-on effect to many other food chains and ultimately, without life in our oceans, we will lose at least 50% of our oxygen. As well as oxygen, something we need to live, oceans and its inhabitants provide food, medicines and support livelihoods of humans, for example, through tourism and recreational activities.
Plastic pollution is not the only thing that harms our oceans and it’s wildlife. Oil spills, global warming/ climate change and over-fishing for food are all serious problems that damage them. We all need to help as much as we can to stop harming the animals and ultimately keep the Earth healthy so we can all keep living in it. These changes cannot happen overnight though. And I think if everyone makes an active effort to do what they can, every little action helps. Recycle, reuse things (not just carrier bags but definitely those too), be more efficient with what you buy and use (waste less) and educate yourself and your family/ friends on the consequences and what they can do to help. It’s a team effort!

I think more people need to know about the Earth, it’s problems and Earth Day so that they can make more educated decisions in their everyday lives, and perhaps do more, with the more they learn.

Did you know about Earth Day? Did you do anything for it?

If you would like to learn more about what you can do to help the environment and the Earth, head on over to the official Earth Day website here. And of course, research! Even if it’s for 3 minutes of your day to see what you can do, it will all help!

Thanks for reading,

Maria

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Lacoste helps threatened species

Many of you may have heard of a French clothing brand called “Lacoste”. It’s been around since 1933 and is well known for its famous crocodile logo which has been in place on their polos since the brand’s creation. However, in March, 2018, they did something pretty special and the croc’s position was taken by a few different animals.

In order to support IUCN’s “Save Our Species” program, Lacoste created 10 different polo shirts to support and spread awareness of 10 different threatened species. 1775 polo t-shirts were made in total. These animals were reptiles, mammals and birds that are threatened by things such as poaching, deforestation and climate change.

The number of polos produced corresponded to the amount of these animals left in the wild. Here’s a list of those included on the polos:

Dolphin- The Vaquita- 30 specimens
The Burmese Roofed Turtle- 40 specimens
The Northen Sportive Lemur- 90 specimens
The Javan Rhino- 67 specimens
The Kakapo (bird)- 157 Specimens
The Cao-vit Gibbon- 150 specimens
The California Condor (bird)- 231 specimens
The Saola- 250 specimens
The Sumatran Tiger- 350 specimens
Ground Iguana- 450 specimens

The hashtag #LacosteSaveOurSpecies was created and the use was encouraged for this cause. I have searched for these polos and from what I could see, they are all sold out. I think this was a very good idea used by Lacoste to spread awareness and the money from each product was donated by Lacoste to the Save Our Species organisation. More companies and individuals need to be more aware of what we can all do to help the environment and the animals that live in it. Find out more about this cause here. 

Let’s keep spreading the word on how to help the environment and let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to share!

Thanks for reading,

Maria

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Spread the word

When originally thinking about starting this blog I thought about the things I wanted to talk about and share with others. As yoga was the main reason I wanted to start it up, I naturally thought, it can be a place to document my learning process, progress and other yoga related things. However, I sat there and thought, well it’s my journey which not only includes yoga. It’s about other things that affect me, help me grow and learn, too.

I love animals. I love wildlife and I am concerned with the fact that the Earth needs saving. One thing I thought might be another way in which to use my blog is to research any stories, news or information that might be interesting or amazing or heartwarming or maybe just something that needs more attention and share it via the blog. There are perhaps many occasions where love, kindness or maybe hurtfulness happens yet the message isn’t spread. As I’m sure many of you know, global warming is increasingly becoming a higher issue for the world and its inhabitants, but do we all know how it directly affects things? Many photographers are able to catch images of starving polar bears, marine biologists tell us about how sharks and other fish are endangered and how this can and will massively affect us and the people of the future. But, what can we do? How can we help? Many people recycle, many people make good choices on where they buy their food from and what they eat but I think sometimes just being more aware can help.
This is also a way for me to share my passions and if it helps spread awareness even to one person then to me, that’s great.

So, just in summary, I plan to post about something different, interesting or amazing every once in a while and see how that goes. If there are any topics you would like to see more light given to then please, let me know!

Thanks for Reading, stay tuned for the first “Spread the Word” post!

Maria

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