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Elephant Protection

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Elephant Ivory Conservation

Wild populations of both Asian and African elephants are slowly becoming endangered. With local residents engaging in the destruction of herds that unintentionally invade their settlements and the consumer market demanding more ivory products, the turnout of events isn’t really that shocking.

Humans have been said to be the only significant threat to the existence of adult elephants. As such, efforts have been directed to elephant conservation. These efforts include research to determine elephant behaviour in specific areas, census counts to monitor the surviving wild elephants, and pushing through of movements that will encourage locals to protect the wild elephants instead of destroy them.

ivorypoachingOverhunting and Ivory Trading

Two human activities threatening the existence of wild elephants are overhunting and ivory trading, although these two may actually be relative. Poaching or illegal hunting have been increasing due to the favorable feedback of ivory sales, which also is due to the increasing consumer demand for ivory.

Uses of Ivory

Ivory is a hard, white-colored material derived from the teeth and tusks of animals. It is mainly used either in manufacturing or art.

In the ancient times, ivory use was limited only to the creation of ivory carvings, false teeth, dominoes and fans. As time progressed, its use became more ornamental and even practical. Before plastic was introduced, piano keys, billiard balls, buttons, Scottish bagpipes and many other ornamental items were created from ivory.

Nowadays though, the material is being used to produce large quantities of high quality artworks, religious objects, even decorative containers for expensive materials. It is also being carved into seals or stamps government officials can use to sign important documents or decrees. In countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, ivory is being used to make dagger handles.

Generally, ivory usage has moved towards the mass production of jewellery and souvenirs, causing elephant populations to rapidly decline.

The Main Issue

At the beginning of the 21st century, what immediately became the main issue in wildlife conservation was the limited land available for the natural roaming behaviour of elephants. Because elephants take in massive amounts of food daily, they require a large range habitat. But with natural predators, lions and tigers preying on the young, and humans after the fully grown adults, not only is their roaming capacity reduced but more importantly, their population results to be greatly cut off.

The Significance of Conservation Efforts

Elephant ivory conservation is important to all environmental groups mainly because elephants are also very important for maintaining the biodiversity in the ecosystem. They create gaps within canopies of forests, resulting to the regeneration of tree species, and they also play an important role in the germination of certain plant species that have developed an elephant-dependent seed system. As estimated, about one-third of the total number of trees growing in African forests is depending on elephants in terms of seed distribution.

elephantAbout Elephants

Asian elephants (scientific name: Elephas Maximus) can live to a maximum of 65 years when left in the wild. They are mainly preyed on by tigers and lions. Although they are smaller in size, they can live much longer than African elephants (scientific name: Loxodonta Africana) which only get to live approximately 50 years.

Elephants are generally social animals. They survive in social communities, which mostly are based around females. Matriarchs guide families of around 9 to 11 related elephants. This shall include females and only immature males. After males reach full maturity, they leave their herd and start to roam on their own.

Because they are social creatures, elephants display gestures, the most common of which is the intertwining of their trunks. They show concern if they see any clan member weakened or injured. Elephants have also been seen to demonstrate grief behaviours every time a member of their clan dies.

Wild Salmon Preservation

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Why is salmon conservation important?

To understand the significance of protecting this species of fish, let us take a look at the following insights:

They Are Indicators of a Coastal Ecosystem’s Health
Salmon are virtually inseparable from estuarine and freshwater ecosystems. While this holds true for a lot of other species, this is more so for the salmon. You see, juvenile salmon utilize whole river ecosystems, starting from headwaters leading up to the ocean.

SCIENCE Salmon 115106In fact, they are incredibly sensitive to any changes on river flow perturbations upstream, as well as water temperature, turbidity, and quality. Not to mention salmonids rely on freshwater invertebrates for their food – creatures that also indicate water quality.

So if there’s noticeable decline in a water source’s capacity to host salmons, this may be a sign of that particular ecosystem’s declining health. This is why a lot of governments work hard for salmon protection causes.

They Are a Keystone Species of Human Economies and Coastal Ecosystems

Whenever there are salmon runs, their actions facilitate the pushing of marine nutrients upstream in vast amounts. These ‘pushes’ can actually help rivers with low productivity. In addition, the carcasses of salmon are the primary food source for other fishes and aquatic invertebrates, as well as terrestrial wildlife such as ducks, songbirds, eagles, and even mammals like bears. Unless there is salmon conservation, it’s highly likely that these other species will fall at risk.

In terms of human economy, salmon is not only a source of food but also a source of income. In 1992, for example, Pacific salmon had supported recreational and commercial fishing industries, which produced over 60,000 jobs and more than $1 billion in income.

Then there’s the export of Alaskan salmon, which has generated more than $700 million at one point. Approximately 80% of Kamchatka, Russia’s economy is also largely dependent on seafood, salmon being one of these.

Final Word

There are other reasons why salmon protection should be given substantial importance, but the above mentioned ones alone should be a wake-up call to take action; otherwise, we’ll soon lose a vital resource that will significantly damage many ecosystems and economies.

Learn more about the wild Salmon Projects and what we can do to help http://www.wildsalmon.org/projects/one-of-a-kind/

Conservation Films and Efforts

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We have been following EP for a while now and they focus on conservation of many areas. Here are a couple of the great moves they have.

We are getting some crowd funding to get some professional video camera’s,I would like to hear some advice from people on what they would recommend. I would like to hear from people who have experience at wildlife filming who wish to turn their hand to conservation film production. When it comes to filming wildlife its important to use the right kit. At the moment I have a sony xc1 but I think that I could take much better videos with a decent camcorder.

We are considering the Hm650 from JVC

Video Camera Reviews

Things to consider when doing any wildlife filming is the environment. You need to be care for your own safety and the safety of the wildlife you are choosing to video. We are of course trying to conserve things not destroy them.

Some of the 4k cameras maybe considered and I think certain circumstances such as extreme close ups will show immense detail. I think it may be a bit too early to adopt this technology but we will be keeping a close eye on this. The canon Xa20 is one of the favorites at the moment and it seems to be taking a lead now in the top 10 Pro Video Cameras

I think a ENG camera will be more suited to being out in the field and capturing nature. The shoulder mount cameras seem to be superior for certain things but if you are constantly on the move then an ENG camera seems to be a better bet. I am hoping to create some masterpieces such as the one below from EPfilms.

Here is another excellent documentary from them

Have a good look at some of the digital camera’s on there too, there are a lot to choose from and I think they have done a good job at laying out the best of them. People have a tuff time getting the right information about things and finding true reviews of video camera’s is even harder to find now a days. Make sure you have a good look at as many reviews as possible so you can make a decision. With video camera’s and camcorders its usually the more you spend the better camera you get but with the new XA20 just coming out there is a real chance for more peope to make great movies.

Please lets work together making some quality conservation films that we can spread over the internet and bring more awareness to the masses. Many people have no idea about how quickly the planet is being destroyed by corporations and how they have no regard for wildlife or our planet. They just take the planets resources to drive the financial greed and people dont even have a say in it. It really is a sad picture when you look deeply into this and its up to us to do everything we can to preserve this planet and the first step is to get the films out into the public domain.