Meet Green, an orangutan and victim of human impact.


Meet Green, an orangutan and victim of human impact. Follow the devastating journey as her home is destroyed by logging, clearing for palm oil plantations, and the choking haze of rainforest fires. Hauntingly poetic and without narration, the film creatively depicts the effects of consumerism on tropical rainforests as we are faced with our personal accountability in the loss of the world’s treasures.

“Green” is about the rainforest of Indonesia.  The film has no narration, it is thus accessible to all nationalities. It was produced  independently by Patrick Rouxel and is free of all commercial or political attachment.

The producers are happy for “Green” to be shared as widely as possibly. If you can – please do so.  It is very important.

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The Chilling Destruction That Affects Us All!


Chilling Destruction

“Take sides! Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
Elie Wiesel

It is truly shocking the way man has bludgeoned his way into forests, woodlands and plains, and burned,  pushed or starved the indigenous species out and taken what is rightfully theirs.

Those they have not deprived of food and habitat, they have slaughtered in their multitudes, and used every part of their bodies for supposed medicinal human benefit or food.  Some they have kept for amusement.  Many babies have been stolen from their mothers for the pleasure of heartless, self-serving pet owners and profit-making establishments.

Were these creatures themselves human, these deplorable acts would have been construed as crimes against humanity.  There is something monstrously obscene about trapping an animal in the wild and taking it away from its home.  Rather like kidnapping innocent and defenceless children.  A dreadful crime!

There is something equally repugnant about killing an animal for its offspring, fashion, medicine or the consumption of supposed food delicacies.  An unforgivable transgression!

The rainforests (the homes of innumerable  species) are being destroyed at a truly alarming rate.  The importance of these areas does not need underlining, but the devastation is now so great, the future of this planet looks far from promising.

There has never been a more appropriate time to end this chilling destruction and step up the tracking down and punishing of these irresponsible, ignoble, cold-blooded beings, and the heads of corporations so heavily involved in all of this, before it is all too late. And, with many species, we are already dangerously close to that point. 

We don’t all have to get on a plane and fight these atrocious people and organisations first hand.  We can help by spreading awareness, signing petitions as they arise, and writing to governments and other appropriate authorities.

The animals and their rainforests are going fast.  When they are gone, WE won’t be far behind!

Some articles of interest
Brazil says Amazon deforestation rose 28% in a year

Brazil blames organised crime for rise in deforestation
Forest change mapped by Google Earth

Amazon Destruction: Why is the rainforest being destroyed in Brazil?
TROPICAL RAINFORESTS OF THE WORLD
Deforestation Figures for Selected Countries

13th November 2013 – A Fateful Day for the Rainforests


Up to 90 per cent Of Global Deforestation is Due to Organized Crime

URGENT

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 13th of November 2013, is of utmost importance for the tropical rainforests. On this day, the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the EU will meet in Brussels to discuss Europe’s future biofuel policy. European laws stipulate that biofuels made from plant oil are blended with fossil fuels. At present, 1.9 million tons of palm oil are mixed with diesel in the EU every year. 7,000 square kilometers of tropical rainforest have been converted into huge industrial monoculture plantations to produce the palm oil.

Please participate in the campaign by sending a protest email to the UK representation to the EU, Mrs. Shan Morgan:

Dear Minister,
Please abolish the blending of palm oil with diesel in the EU. The plantations needed to produce the palm oil threaten rainforests and the habitat of endangered orangutans.
Palm oil does not belong in fuel tanks!

To: Shan Morgan, UK Representation to the EU
Email: ukrep@fco.gov.uk
Telephone: +32 (0)2 287 8211

Via Rainforest Rescue 12th November, 2013

Fast Fact Attack: Endangered Species No. 54 – The Grey-shanked Douc Langur


Grey-shanked douc langur

Image: Art G via Creative Commons

Description
Mankind has done irreparable damage to these poor langurs.  Their numbers were reduced dramatically during the Vietnam War when the their habitat was heavily bombed and sprayed with defoliants like Agent Orange.  On top of that, soldiers used these harmless creatures for target practice (they sit still in the branches – they do not run away – they think they are hiding). Today, they are hunted for the pet trade, food and medicine. And, as if that were not enough, their habitat has been horribly decimated over recent years.

Even more recently, in 2012, two grey-shanked douc langurs were brutally tortured and killed, for fun, and a series of images of these disturbing and horrific actions were posted on the Facebook page of Vietnamese soldier, Nguyen Van Quang.  One was a pregnant female.  [1]  This is humanity at its absolute lowest.  And, the deed has gone virtually unpunished.  Vietnam should hold its head in shame.

These acts of killing are not isolated.  Shortly afterwards, a man identified as Bui Van Ngay was arrested for killing eighteen langurs in Vietnam’s Bu Gia Map National Park.

Only man is responsible for the decline of this species.  Their numbers have now plunged to less than seven hundred individuals.

Grey-shanked douc langurs have light grey coats with pale undersides.  They have black hands and black feet, and the lower legs are dark grey.  They have a rusty-red  ‘bib’ around the neck and a white throat with long white whiskers on the chin.  Their faces are pale orange. They weigh between eighteen and twenty-four pounds  (male to female) and their bodies and tails grow to roughly the same length of twenty-nine inches.

They are diurnal and arboreal.  They move by leaping and brachiating through the trees. They live in groups of four to fifteen individuals (these numbers were once much higher) where the males are the dominant members.  They communicate by touch, sound and visual signs.

The breeding season runs from August to December.  There is a gestation period of up to one hundred and ninety days, and births will occur between January and August.  One baby will be born weighing, at most, a mere seven hundred and twenty grammes.

Habitat
Evergreen and semi-evergreen primary rainforests.
Where
Central Highlands of Vietnam
What they eat
Primarily folivorous, although plant buds, fruits that haven’t ripened, seeds and flowers are also eaten.  They don’t drink water unless they are on the ground, otherwise they get all the water they need from the food that is consumed.
Threats
Man is the greatest predator of the species. Through logging and agricultural conversion man has all but destroyed the habitat of the grey-shanked douc langur.   He has callously and unremittingly hunted this little monkey for food and traditional medicine.   Upon seeing humans,  grey-shanked douc langurs are known to hide unmoving in the trees instead of  beating a hasty retreat.   This has made them an easy target for cold-blooded, grasping hunters.
Status:  Critically Endangered
The grey-shanked douc langur is listed on the  IUCN Red List of Threatened Species  as critically endangered.  It is one of “The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates.”   This species is listed in CITES Appendix I, and listed on Appendix 1B of Decree 32 (2006) in Viet Nam.  The grey-shanked douc langurs live primarily in protected areas, but the law enforcers are neglectful, leaving the species vulnerable.  Currently, the population is estimated to be less than seven hundred individuals.   Global response to the douc’s dilemma has been overwhelming. From the World Wild Life Fund to the Frankfurt Zoological Society and over to Vietnam itself, much is now being done to save this species. Tragic as the event may have been, not only did the torture and killings of the grey-shanked douc langurs in Vietnam spark universal outrage, it also drew the everyday world’s attention to the plight of this endearing little primate. So now, there is much support all round.

“Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it”
Mark Twain

Fast Fact Attack: Endangered Species No. 31 – The Indri


Indri in Madagascar

Photo: Erik Patel

Description
Also known as the Babakoto, meaning ‘ancestor of man’, the indri are surrounded by taboo. Many Malagasy believe the indri resemble their sacred ancestors, therefore traditionally they refrain from eating them.  This affords these lemurs a certain degree of protection.

Like other lemurs, they evolved from smaller species which came to Madagascar from  mainland Africa 50 million years ago. Diurnal tree-dwellers, related to the sifakas, indri are the largest lemurs in existence.  Able to run up at speeds of up to twenty miles per hour, they also sing to communicate with others of the species.  Colours range from black to shades of brown with white patches. They move across the canopy by taking huge, graceful bounds of up to thirty feet.

They live in small groups and bonds between the individuals run deep.  In-fighting is rarely known.  Indri lemurs pair for life.  After mating,  the gestation period lasts sixty days.  The babies depend on their mother for the first two years and are cared for by both parents. Females reproduce once every two to three years and there is a high infant mortality rate, which exacerbates the population problem; they simply cannot keep up with their declining numbers.

Habitat
Mainly montane forests and tropical moist lowland
Where
Madagascar
What they eat

Mostly young, tender leaves; and flowers, seeds and bark.
Threats

Habitat loss due to extensive rainforest clearance, selective logging, fuel wood and slash-and-burn agriculture.  Although the indri are protected by taboo in many areas, in some parts they are still hunted for their meat and skins.  And, then there is the fossa. The fossa was just made to prey upon lemurs and the indri are no exception.  Snakes and hawks also share a taste for all lemur.
Status: Endangered
The indri (indri indri) is listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature on the  IUCN Red List  as Endangered.  The habitat of the indri has been totally ravaged by deforestation therefore endangering the indri itself.  Thanks to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) this is all about to change.

The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Government of Madagascar announced a landmark agreement, where the government will offer for sale more than nine million tons of carbon offsets to help safeguard this African nation’s most pristine forest. Proceeds from sales will protect the wildlife-rich Makira Forest, contribute to the economic well-being of people living around the forest, and help fight global climate change. [1]

“It is our task in our time and in our generation, to hand down undiminished to those who come after us…the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.”
John F. Kennedy

Fast Fact Attack: Endangered Species No. 30 – The Flat-headed Cat


Flat-headed cat

Image via iltaw.com

Description
With partially webbed feet, eyes that act as underwater binoculars and a flattened skull, this adorable little felid is perfectly adapted to its environment.  Its streamlined, elongated and flat head houses small rounded ears and huge close-set eyes.  Its snout is long and sloping.

It has backward facing teeth, just to stop the slippery ones from getting away, and claws which are not completely retractile.  And, it can immerse its head fully in water.  Narrow pads occur beneath the partially webbed feet.  Together, these inherent characteristics make the flat-headed cat a very efficient ‘fishercat’.  Perhaps even more so that its cousin the fishing cat.

Its coat is reddish-brown with traces of grey.  The top of its head is of a deeper rust colour.  Its reddish-brown tail, with its yellow underside, is short, thick and furry.  Overall, it is small, about the size of a domestic cat, growing to only 20 inches in length and weighing 6 pounds at most.

Little is known of the reproductive behaviour of these seldom-encountered cats.  Few have been seen in the wild and only three litters have ever been born in captivity.  A kitten was once found in the wild, alongside its dead mother who had been killed, but its fate seems unknown.  In fact, very little at all is documented about this enigmatic species.

Following limited observations, it is thought gestation lasts about 56 days.  Thereafter, one to four kittens may be born.  Lifespan in the wild is not known.  Although, one flat-headed cat kept in captivity did live up to age of 14 years.

Habitat
Lakes, streams and swamped lowlands.  Secondary forest, riverine forests and peat-swamp forests.
Where
Sumatra, the Malayan peninsular, Borneo and southern Thailand.
What they eat
Fish, crustaceans, birds, small rodents and frogs.
Threats
Habitat destruction and degradation, pollution leading to poisoning, human settlement, drainage for agriculture and hunting.
Status:  Endangered
It is thought there may be less than 2,500 mature flat-headed cats (Prionailurus planiceps) left in existence. They are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature on the IUCN Red List,  as Endangered.   Hunting and trading are prohibited in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Habitat protection in the lowland and wetland forests is being addressed.

“Wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will”
Theodore Roosevelt

Fast Fact Attack: Endangered Species No. 29 – Brown Spider Monkey


Spider monkey by Diane Duque

Photo: Diane Duque

Description
Gangling limbs,  which drag along the ground,  a prehensile tail,  hook-like hands and no thumbs  –  these are just a few of the bizarre characteristics of the brown spider monkey. Oh!… and it just happens to be one the rarest monkeys on the planet.  Spider monkeys are also the largest amongst the New World monkeys  –  the name  ‘spider’ being inspired by their extraordinarily ill-proportioned,  elongated limbs.

Their tails  (sometimes longer than their bodies),  which allow them to move gracefully through the branches with consummate ease,  have hairless,  tensile tips with fine grooves to aid gripping.  The tail could almost be a fifth limb.  They are extremely agile, very quick and capable of moving across the trees 40 feet at a time.  Rarely touching the forest floor,  they swing down by their tails and gather food  –  hands free!

They have small domed heads with hairless faces,  topped with a patch of white fur. Their bodies are covered in brown to black fur on top, with a paler underside.  Although,  most have brown eyes,  some have been spotted with piercing pale-blue eyes.

Brown spider monkeys have a whole cornucopia of sounds at their disposal.  They screech,  roar,  squeal and grunt,  whinny,  whoop and wail.  These noises serve to communicate on a daily basis.  Some sounds are specific warnings of predators nearing. They live in groups of anything between 6 and 40.  There tend to be more females than males in these groups.  Infants,  when born  (gestation period 7 to 8 months)  cling to the mother’s underside until they are able to hold on atop.

Habitat
They live in the upper levels of the rainforest,  spending most,  but not all,  of their time in the canopy. They do use the middle and lower strata,  but rarely alight to the understorey.
Where
North-western South America,  between Venezuela and Colombia.
What they eat
A wide variety of fruits.  When less fruits are available they eat young leaves,  seeds, flowers,  bark and decaying wood,  and even honey.  The occasional insect is also enjoyed.
Threats
Habitat loss as a result of human incursion and land conversion.  Due to their large size,  it is thought puma and jaguar are their only significant natural predators.  However,  babies and juveniles are occasionally snatched by eagles and smaller carnivores.
Notwithstanding,  poaching is their biggest threat.  They are hunted for both food and the commercial market.  They are large and visible making them easy targets.  In the illegal pet trade,  mothers are killed and babies taken to be sold to the highest bidder.

Status: Critically Endangered
In 2006 brown spider monkeys  (Ateles hybridus)  were placed on the world’s Twenty Five Most Endangered Primates list.  Their numbers are still continuing to decrease. Unfortunately,  their reproductive cycle is slow,  making it  difficult for them to re-populate efficiently.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature has placed them on the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered.  Guerilla activity,  in some parts,  is hampering the progress of conservation efforts.

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals”
Immanuel Kant