Standing Up

Standup paddling has been a blessing for everyone who has experienced it…
Just the word(s) StandUp denotes action…and/or a call to action…
Who hasn’t moved or been moved by Bob Marley’s anthem “Get Up Stand Up”?

Without getting too preachy preachy here are a few things to think about…

As of November 14, 2009, the world’s population is estimated by the US Census Bureau to be ~6.8 billion…

The world’s population is projected to be over 9 billion by the year 2050…40 years from now…that 2.5 billion people differential is equal to the number of people that existed on this planet in 1950…

Obviously, this is gonna continue to put tremendous stress on the entire ecosystem…

Let’s put the global warming debate aside for the moment…and, just L(©¿©)K at an issue that seems a little more straightforward…and one that perhaps we can act immediately to do something about…the epidemic of animal extinctions and the decimation of animal life on earth…

Animal species are dying out at a rate not seen since dinosaur extinction…

Check out this article…

An epidemic of extinctions: Decimation of life on earth

“The world’s species are declining at a rate “unprecedented since the extinction of the dinosaurs”, a census of the animal kingdom has revealed. The Living Planet Index out today shows the devastating impact of humanity as biodiversity has plummeted by almost a third in the 35 years to 2005.”

“Ben Collen, extinctions researcher at ZSL, said: “Between 1960 and 2000, the human population of the world has doubled. Yet during the same period, the animal populations have declined by 30 per cent. It’s beyond doubt that this decline has been caused by humans.”

Alrighty then…it prolly doesn’t take a rocket scientist…or any scientist…to figure out that we humans are to blame…more precisely, it’s human ignorance…

Here are a few examples…

For the life of me, I cannot conceive how anyone could murder 7 of the last 700 remaining mountain gorillas on the planet…this photograph of Senkwekwe a 530-pound silverback, from Virunga Park, stirred worldwide outrage…click on pic below to read article…

Who murdered the Virunga Gorillas?

Photographer Brent Stirton and writer Mark Jenkins STAND UP to unravel the mystery of the Virunga gorilla murders in this movie…

We just can’t seem to play nicely in the sand box with other animals…

Closer to home…last month a 400 lb black bear that was frightened and climbed up a tree in nearby Ojai…was killed by Fish and Game…there was a public outcry and a new group was formed to assist in future large animal encounters.

Why the bear couldn’t have just been taken up to the nearby Sespe Wilderness area and released is baffling…maybe things haven’t changed much since 1922, when the last California grizzly bear was shot. It survives today only on our state flag.

Polar bears , the world’s largest carnivores are under tremendous stress…diminishing habitat due to climate change…and, the past unrestricted hunting…

A couple of weeks ago, this picture and story of a wolf hunted down just outside the border of Yellowstone Park appeared in the L.A. Times…

Montana wolf hunt is stalked by controversy

By Kim Murphy
October 25, 2009

Alpha female Wolf 527 killed on Buffalo Plateau on Oct. 3.

Credit: Dan Stahler / National Parks Service

Wolf 527 and her pack, the Druids, are the most celebrated wolf pack in North America…she appeared in the PBS documentary In the Valley of the Wolves in 1995…

Here is a petition to Secretary Salazar to stop this senseless killing of wildlife…

The blue whale is the largest animal that has ever lived on Earth. They are one of the rarest of the whales, and most biologists consider them to be among the most endangered of the great whales. It is estimated that there are only about 8000-14000 blue whales world-wide, (some say less than 5000) which makes them an endangered species. We humans need to do anything we can to help them survive.

It is not that common that the blue whale shows it’s tail flukes before diving…
on a recent trip to the Channel Islands, I captured this sequence…

The ~ 2000 blue whales that feed along the California coast make up the largest concentration of blue whales in the world. During the Fall of 2007, four blue whale mortalities were confirmed to be caused by ship strikes in the Santa Barbara Channel off Southern California.

Blue whale factoids:
* Blue whales grow to be about 80′ – 88′ long on average, weighing up to 150 tons…

* The heart of a blue whale is about the size of a VW beetle and weighs 1,000 pounds or more.

* Blue whales can dive for up to an hour, going to a depth of 350 feet.

* Blue whales are very fast swimmers; they normally swim 3-20 mph, but can go up to 24-30 mph bursts when in danger.

Hopefully enough caring humans will continue to STAND UP for these marvelous animals on the planet that are rapidly disappearing…

WARDOGStanding Up

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