Lobos need your help! Anti wolf bills moving forward


noneAt last count, only 83 Mexican gray wolves persisted in the wild. The wild population is at tremendous risk due to its small size and genetics.  

In spite of all your phone calls and emails, on Feb. 3, the Arizona Legislature’s Committee on Government and Environment passed legislation and a resolution to push this tiny, critically endangered population of wolves even closer to extinction.

Legislation by AZ State Senator Gail Griffin (SB 1211) will encourage Arizona residents to trap and kill Mexican gray wolves in violation of federal law.  A second bill (SB 1212) appropriates $250,000 for state litigation to impede federal efforts to recover Mexican wolves.  And as if that weren’t enough, Griffin and her colleagues are also pushing for a concurrent resolution against Mexican wolf recovery (SCR 1006).

We can still stop these bills.  Please contact AZ State Legislators and urge them to oppose these bills!

Critically endangered Mexican gray wolves are native to Arizona and are an important part of our natural heritage.  By restoring these beautiful, intelligent animals, we can eventually restore the balance to our state’s wild lands and achieve economic benefits from wolf focused eco-tourism

We can still stop these outrageous bills from becoming state law. Please contact your legislators today!

Tell them politely that you expect them to oppose these bills that embarrass Arizona, waste taxpayer money and fly in the face of overwhelming majority public support for wolf recovery.

Additional talking points include:

  • Polling showed 77% of Arizona voters and 69% of New Mexico voters support the Mexican wolf reintroduction.
  • The livestock industry has a responsibility to share public lands with wolves and other wildlife.  There are many tried and true methods to avoid conflicts between livestock and wolves.  Funds are available to help livestock growers implement nonlethal deterrents, better animal husbandry practices, and other innovative tools that minimize conflict.
  • If state legislators really want to help, they should redirect the $250,000 slated for lawyers toward implementation of the new Coexistence Plan — a performance-based program co-developed by ranchers, conservationists and wildlife agencies, which provides funds to help implement conflict-avoidance measures and “rewards” ranchers for helping to successfully raise the wolf population.
  • Wildlife biologists believe that Mexican wolves will improve the overall health of the Southwest and its rivers and streams – just as the return of gray wolves to Yellowstone has helped restore balance to its lands and waters..

Wolves generate economic benefits – a University of Montana study found that visitors who come to see wolves in Yellowstone contribute roughly $35.5 million annually to the regional economy. You can find contact information for AZ Legislators  here.

Want to learn more about how to influence your Legislators?

Attend the Citizen Lobby Workshop in Flagstaff, AZ on Feb. 11. Details here

To read the legislation (SB1211) that encourages more killing of endangered wolves, click here

The bill to appropriate $250,000 for Arizona to litigate against Mexican wolf recovery (SB1212) is here.

You can read the inflammatory, misleading resolution against wolves (SCR 1006) here.

Please act today to stop these outrageous bills from moving forward!

Thank you for standing for Mexican wolf recovery.

Posted on behalf of Lobos of the Southwest

Reprieve for Wolves in Idaho


Wolf with pup

On Monday, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) announced an abrupt end to their wolf extermination program in the Frank Church Wilderness Area after Defenders and other conservation groups took the issue to federal court earlier this month. As of January 15, the trapper had killed nine wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness; he will pack out of the area after all traps and snares have been removed. IDFG says they believe the trapper killed all of the wolves in the Golden and Monumental wolf packs, but the truth is that no one – not event IDFG – knows how many wolves remain in these two packs.Though we are saddened about the nine wolves killed needlessly, any remaining wolves that could have been killed are safe, as are any other animals that could have fallen victim had the effort continued. We are hopeful that our litigation will cause IDFG to think twice about future efforts to eradicate wolves in wilderness areas, and cause U.S. Forest Service officials to deny access to IDFG for such activities.
Read the rest of the article here at Defenders of Wildlife Blog

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Delisting the Wolf – Your Help is Needed!


Grey wolf howling

Image: Lynn M. Stone / Nature Picture Library

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is in its comment period on their proposal to remove the wolf from the Endangered Species Act in the lower 48.  Hearings are being held throughout the country.  If you can go, please do.  If that’s not possible, please write or call.  They need to hear from people who want the wolf protected, not only from those who don’t.

AMENDMENT
Many thanks to my good friend, Carmen Mandel, for providing a DIRECT LINK to add your comments. Please add yours. There are almost 32,000 signatures, as I write this, but this figure falls a long way short of previous opportunities.
This is so important
Please add your comment now
Your Voice in Federal Decision-Making

ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO COMMENT
Please click here for details

Click here for more details:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Related links:
Defenders of Wildlife
Grey Wolves Left Out in the Cold
Wild Wolf Encounters – Monica Glickman
Gray Wolves May Lose Endangered Status, But Not Without a Fight
How Will Delisting Affect California’s Part-Time Wolf Population?

NOTE: The two proposed rules published in the Federal Register on June 13, 2013.  The public comment periods that were due to close on September 11 have now been extended through 11:59 pm December 17, 2013.

Children’s Book of the Week and Other Book Reviews


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Welcome to another week of children’s book reviews.  As ever, I hope you will enjoy my varied choice of books and the reviews of them. Please don’t forget to scroll down the page and read them all!

Children’s Book of the Week: No Boys Allowed by Marilyn Levinson
Available on Amazon: eBook $4.08 and in Paperback

I am very pleased to introduce this week’s Children’s Book of the Week, which addresses the subject of divorce and children, from a child’s point of view. A very enjoyable read for both child and adult alike!  Please read my review below.

No boys Allowed by Marilyn Levinson featured on mungaiandthegoaconstrictor.meMy Review

Eleven year old Cassie finds herself loathing all men following her father’s departure from home. He has left her mother for a younger woman and has moved to another state. In Cassie’s young mind he has abandoned them all without further thought.  She is both hurt and angry. Her first response is to clear out anything he has left behind.  This she does with the exception of one item, a stamp album her father was given as a boy. Her second is to try and ban all boys and men from the house.

After suffering such an enormous loss and then being left in a state of bewilderment as her mother starts to see other men, Cassie finds herself experiencing all sorts of emotions – few of which she understands. But all of which have impacted on her progress at school and her fledgling social life. Her cosy world, torn apart by her parent’s separation, has become unfamiliar to her. She needs to apportion the blame, and who better for the role than her father. Nothing is right in Cassie’s world anymore – and she firmly believes it is entirely his fault. To add to her distress, and intrude upon her new policy of ‘No Boys Allowed’, her Great Uncle Harry, recovering from a heart attack, moves in with them, taking over her bedroom and forcing her to share with her sister, thus depriving her of her highly treasured privacy.

It goes without saying, knowing of Marilyn Levinson’s reputation as a writer, that the book is well-written, but it is worth noting how truly well she portrays the judgement of an eleven year old child. There are lots of different ways of dealing with and sharing uncertainties, and the introduction of Great Uncle Harry, who quietly puts everything into perspective, presents Cassie with all the right opportunities. She is able to move away from her anger and frustration to a place where life becomes more bearable and enjoyable. Cassie is not the only one coping with the effects of her father’s parting, and each character is shown to be dealing with their feelings in their own individual way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story – it is a good story with a worthy true-to-life plot. It is sympathetic, poignant and convincing. The writing flows beautifully and I personally felt compelled to keep reading on regardless of other commitments.  The subject of divorce and children is treated in a subtle and sensitive way here and will no doubt strike a chord with young readers in the same, not uncommon, situation. Perhaps they will be able to draw something beneficial from Cassie’s feelings and experiences. All-in-all, an excellent read! (5 stars)

(No Boys Allowed would be best suited to 9 years and upwards)

Other Books I Have Reviewed

The Exciting Adventures of Percy the Pig by Tori Gilbert
Available on Amazon Kindle only: eBook $3.03

Percy the Pig lives at Fiddlewood Farm with his friends, the other animals. Their lives are nigh on perfect, until one of them, Lotti the lamb, goes missing. They search the farm thoroughly, and when Lotti isn’t found, they decide he must have been taken by someone.  Percy promises the distraught Matilda, Lotti’s mother, that he will go in search of him. His friends rally round and two of them offer to go with him on his mission. They hitch a lift into the nearby market town of Butterfly Creek by sneaking on to the back of Farmer Jones’ truck and hiding between the bales of hay.  In the town they meet a cat, Alley, whom Percy takes an instant dislike to. Here begins their adventure.
I liked this book. It starts with the names and types of the animals written in bold letters, instantly allowing children to identify them throughout the story. It is well-written, fun and has a few good lessons – none of which are laboured, but instead just quietly slipped into the text. It is a book about loyalty, team work, keeping promises, friendship and not judging others too quickly. Some lovely colourful illustrations too! There is also the opportunity for some interaction at the end. All in all, a great little book! (4 stars)
(The Exciting Adventures of Percy would be best suited to 4 – 9 years)

Wolf Facts and Pictures by P.K.Miller
Available on Amazon Kindle only: eBook $1.19

The book was offered free, and being an avid supporter of the wolf population, I took advantage of the offer. I am so pleased I did. It is absolutely filled with interesting information about the species, such as how they care for their cubs, how they stay warm in such cold conditions and what is behind that beautifully haunting sound.
In today’s current climate, wolves and their welfare are often at the forefront of the news. This book is very timely in that respect.
It is not a long dreary textbook; it is more entertaining than that. It is fun and easy to read and has some wonderful images of these beautiful, majestic creatures at home in the wild. Both factual and enjoyable, it seeks to dispel the myth surrounding wolves; they do not prey upon man, often they are the prey. If you too are a wolf-lover – this is for you. A neat little reference book right there on your Kindle (4 stars)
(Wolf Facts and Pictures would be best suited to 7 years to adult)

The Adventures of Frosty (The Strange Thing) by Waide Marshall
Available on Amazon Kindle only: eBook $3.33

This is a very appealing and funny little book involving an endearing little penguin, Frosty, who finds a strange object which arouses his curiosity. He uses all his senses to find out what it is.
The story is made up of simple words, sweet and easy to understand.  The illustrations, which are executed using arcs, circles and other basic shapes, are perfect. The eyes depicted in the story are terrific – at one point, as the pages are turned, they get bigger and bigger! I had to go through this book 5 times in a row for the youngest member of the family.  She so delighted in those eyes.
This book is adorable, well worth the price and it is bound to appeal to small children!  (4 stars)
(The Adventures of Frosty (The Strange Thing) would be best suited to 2 – 5 years) 

***

All my reviews can be found on Amazon and, where possible, Goodreads.

Please note: Authors frequently offer their books at lower prices and often they are free.  These prices were correct at the time of publishing, but it is worth checking for price changes.

Children’s Book of the Week and Other Book Reviews


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Welcome to another  week of children’s book reviews.  I hope you enjoy my choice of books and the reviews of them. Please don’t forget to scroll down the page and read all of them!

Book of the Week: A Blue Poetry Paintbox  – Chosen by John Foster  
Oxford University Press
Available from Book 2 Basics

I have had this book on my shelves for a very long time and have read it many times to my own children. Until recently it had sat there unnoticed until the smallest member of the family made a grab for it. Time to read it again!  I had forgotten just how good it was and felt it was time to publish my thoughts on it.

A Blue Poetry Paintbox Book Cover featured on mungaiandthegoaconstrictor.meMy Review of A Blue Poetry Paintbox

A Blue Poetry Paintbox is an anthology of 93 children’s poems from a whole array of poets and illustrators. If you don’t already have a copy, do try and get one. It is part of a series of four books all defined by their Paintbox colour. Inside the blue one there are dragons and lions, castles and sea-monsters, pirates and zebras and dinosaurs. It is filled with whimsical poems such as ‘Monkey Babies’
Don’t leave your monkey baby
sitting by the swamp;
a crocodile might eat him.
Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!       Etc, etc,

and ‘The Sea-monster’s Snack’
Deep down upon his sandy bed
the monster turned his slimy head,
grinned and licked his salty lips
and ate another bag of ships.

The price is variable (but £2 -3 seems the norm) and unfortunately now it seems to be only available as used.  It was also quite hard to track down. And even then, apart from my own copy, I have only managed to find further copies in the UK. Do not let this put you off, though.  If you can obtain a good second hand copy you won’t regret it. This really is a marvellous book to own and will be enjoyed for years to come, as it has been by past generations. Great for the transition from simple rhyming books to poetry books! That is not to say children won’t want to continue to enjoy rhyming books – they will, but here they can move comfortably up to the next stage. It’s lively, it’s fun, it nurtures the imagination of young children, and it has a wonderful assortment of different verses accompanied by  delightful illustrations. The publishers recommend this for 5/6 years plus, but the youngest member of the family is far younger and enjoyed listening to the poems immensely. Definitely 5 stars!

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher    
Available on Amazon Kindle $7.38 Hardback $12.84

Ten year old Jamie, the narrator of this book, takes us through his day to day life in a simplistic and sometimes heart-breaking manner. Following the tragic death of his sister Rose, killed by a terrorist bomb in London, Jamie’s life, and that of his older sister, Jas – twin of the dead Rose- takes a very sad road. Rose’s death has a tremendous effect on all the family, and both parents deal with their anguish in their own way.  Jamie’s father turns to drink, whilst his mother turns to another man, and abandons both her surviving children. Alone with the children, and in the hope of starting a new life, Jamie’s father moves them all away from London, but is unable to let go of Rose. Five years have passed since her death and she still remains on the mantelpiece, even after the move. Though neither Jas nor Jamie judge their father for his drinking habits and lack of parental care, both are deeply affected by it. As the story unfolds Jamie does not grieve the way his parents and sister do – after all, he barely remembers his dead sister.   He only remembers her permanently placed on the mantelpiece.  And all Jamie longs for, so desperately, is a return to normality, with his father and mother reunited and some care and attention doled out to himself and his living sister.
This very sensitive story is told beautifully and in a most original way. The writing is flawless and the characters, right down to Jamie’s cat, leap off the page. There are various issues which arise, such as racism, death, friendship, school bullying, family values and separation – all of which author Annabel Pitcher has dealt with in a refreshingly honest manner. I have to admit it does play havoc with one’s emotions towards the end though, and I had a real problem continuing because of the exceptionally large lump in my throat. When I did reach the end, I sat back quietly and thought what a wonderful book.
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece appears to be aimed at children of 12 years and up, but I have absolutely no doubt many adults will enjoy this too. I certainly did, and would have no hesitation in recommending it to all ages.  5 stars!

A Wolf Pup’s Tale by Rachel Yu     
Available on Amazon Kindle $1.24  Paperback $7.99

This is a story about an inquisitive little wolf cub called Rugmo, who is eager to know just what lies on the other side of the fence surrounding the reservation he and his family live on. “Nothing a wolf needs” his mother had said. Inevitably, the occasion arises when Rugmo spots a hole in the same fence. Despite his mother’s previous warning, Rugmo, unable to resist the challenge of the unknown, courageously squeezes through the gap and his adventure begins. In a very short space of time he experiences hunger, friendship and danger, and realises that, although he is having a very exciting time, home may well be the better place to be.
This is a nice little story and very well-written, and the illustrations are endearing. There is an illustration on every page enabling very young children to follow the story quite easily. Once hooked, the story’s message is not hard to understand either; listen to your parents – they know the dangers out there in the ‘real’ world! The message also fosters daring and inquisitiveness – which is also a good thing. The ending was a surprise; I didn’t expect that, it was really sweet.
Nice story-telling and great pictures along with a clear message make this a solid 4 star read.

The Rat Who Didn’t Like Rats by Blythe Ayne 
Available on Amazon Kindle $3.13  Paperback $9.99

Reginald, the sharply dressed rat of the title, snobbishly eschews all other rats, safe in the misguided belief that he is not one of them. How he has come this far without knowing his own origins is not clear, nor is what he does think he is. Somehow this doesn’t really seem to matter though once you get into the story, which is really rather sweet. Reginald is invited to a farewell party. The room is filled with animals, all there to celebrate the migration of the geese for winter.  Reginald spends most of his time telling all he encounters that he hates rats, and won’t hear anything in their defence.  Something his friends seem very tolerant of. Then a girl rat, Raquel, arrives at the party and catches Reginald’s eye. He has a bit of a problem believing she is a rat. Finally his friends manage to convince him that not only is she a rat, but so is he. He then surmises that rats cannot be so bad after all.
Much can be read into this, as one other reviewer seems to have done, but for me this a book about acceptance of others, and even when one’s perception of another is that of difference, a closer look will often reveal we are very much the same.
The illustrations are wonderful and quirky and the writing is sharp and funny.  I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it for ages 8 and over. I gave The Rat Who Didn’t Like Rats 4 stars.

All reviews can be found on Amazon and, where possible, Goodreads.

Children’s Book of the Week: A Father’s Wish – the Tale of King Big Bear the Fat by Christine Corretti


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I am extremely honoured to be able to share the work of fellow children’s author, Christine Corretti, here on my website. Christine is exceptionally talented. As well as authoring the delightful  A Father’s Wish – the Tale of King Big Bear the Fat, the first book in the King Big Bear the Fat series, she has also created all the illustrations for the same, by hand.

‘About’ – Courtesy of Christine Corretti

King Big Bear's Castle - sample image: Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa ConstrictorDiscover a unique world of fantasy, enchantment, beauty and learning for all ages in The Chronicles of King Big Bear.  Here, you will meet a royal figure who is hundreds of years old, but who never grows old!  The king will take you on a journey throughout history and even show you what his present day life is like.  As you shall see, his realm is filled with riches, and he is blessed with many animal friends and family.  It is no wonder that King Big Bear is called the Father of Nature, for he is deeply inspired by all things living and believes his duty is to protect and nurture life.  He wishes you will do the same.  Come in and explore the world of King Big Bear the Fat!

My Review of A Father’s Wish – the Tale of King Big Bear the Fat

A Father’s Wish is an enchanting tale about conservation and the protection of wolves. It is filled with adorable animal characters, save one, and beautiful illustrations. King Big Bear the Fat, our hero, starts to feel something is missing in his otherwise perfect life. With a little inadvertent help from his sister, he soon realises just what this is, and goes on to adopt a very lovable wolf cub. Unfortunately things don’t quite turn out the way he hopes. I found myself needing to read on in the hope of a happy ending here.

I would recommend this book for children of all ages. Parents are sure to enjoy reading this to smaller children and those old enough to read it themselves will, no doubt, take great delight in it. Definitely a 5 star read!

Read more reviews on Amazon                      Buy on Amazon                     Website

The King reading in his castle - An illustration by Christine Corretti

A Father's Wish - the Tale of King Big Bear the Fat - Book Cover - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor