July 16, 2007

Wildlife Tourism Can Be Detrimental to Monkeys
15 July 2007
Area: China

Tourism is causing changes in primate behavior and may be increasing infant mortality and the transmission of disease, reports a study published in the October edition of the International Journal of Primatology. The 19-year study, "Primate Tourism, Range Restriction and Infant Risk Among Macaca thibetana at Mt. Huangshan, China", adds to a growing body of work that suggests some forms of wildlife tourism are detrimentato primate populations, facilitating disease transmission, disrupting social behavior, and causing habitat destruction. Studying Tibetan macaques in the Mt. Huangshan Scenic Area in China's Anhui province, researchers led by University at Buffalo anthropologist Carol Berman documented changes in infant mortality due to adult aggression in the presence of tourists. Tourists sometimes feed monkeys, triggered shifts in social structure and relationships between monkeys competing for handouts.

..."Overhabituation and hyperaggression often result in changes in the primates' habitat activity patterns and communicative behavior. This in turn can affect predator-prey relationships, intergroup relationships, diet or social development," she continued. "The strongest reason for caution involves disease transmission because close contact has been blamed for outbreaks of disease among monkeys, great apes and humans." "In addition to infant death, disease transmission and the disruptive consequences on their activity, relationships and social development, primate tourism also may contribute to habitat destruction, particularly when tourism demands result in the housing and feeding of tourists within the normal primate habitat."

Seneca Lake Fish Kill Investigated
Zanesville Times Recorder - zanesvilletimesrecorder.com
15 Jul 2007
Area: Ohio USA

While laboratory results are pending to determine the cause of dead fish found recently in Seneca Lake, officials from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District are stressing that the lake is not considered dangerous for visitors. Scott Tritt, MWCD safety coordinator, said the swimming beach at Seneca Lake Park remains open and that boating and other activities at the lake are available. The MWCD periodically tests water for the presence of E. coli bacteria at the swimming beach at Seneca Lake Park and all of the recent results have been well within safety guidelines established by the Ohio Department of Health for swimming by the general population. “Even when the water is considered safe for swimming, we issue the same caution to swimmers and boaters all year long: if you are elderly, have an illness or an open wound, we advise you to exercise caution when it comes to swimming in Seneca or any lake,” Tritt said.

The MWCD, which manages Seneca Lake as part of a flood-reduction system in the Muskingum River Watershed, is working with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife to determine the reasons why some fish are dying in the lake. A large number of fish, mostly carp, were found dead around the lake over the last couple of weeks. Fish samples were sent for testing by the Division of Wildlife to the Biological Monitoring and Database Team of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Wisconsin. The Division of Wildlife manages all wildlife activities, including stocking of fish, at the MWCD reservoirs.

Activist Wants to Help Ducks: Marcy Britton Also Worries Humans Are Being Harmed
The Observer - observer-online.com
16 Jul 2007
G Herron
Area: Rio Rancho, New Mexico USA

Marcy Britton didn't want to be compared to Erin Brockovich a few months ago. That's changed now. Britton, who lives in Albuquerque, is an activist and one of her latest causes has been addressing dying ducks at Chamisa Hills Country Club ponds. The CHCC management has been mandated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to "implement a management plan to prevent these botulism outbreaks" because the agency determined "the lack of maintenance of the waste water involved and the ponds is exacerbating the situation, causing an environment conducive to botulism."

And although she's basically an animal activist, "Justice for Animals, Inc." is her organization, she's more concerned about the possibility of humans being harmed. And because, she said, the state Environment Department hasn't tested the water at the ponds, what, exactly is in that water and what could its effects be when it hits the water table. Regardless of what killed the ducks; "What's in the water?" she asked. Maybe it's only botulism.

Bushmeat Bust Draws New Attention to Illegal Game Trade in Kenya
Voice of America News - voanews.com
13 Jul 2007
N Wadhams
Area: Nairobi, Kenya Africa

The confiscation of more than 400 pounds of zebra meat destined for Nairobi markets is drawing new attention to the trade in illegal game meat in Kenya. As Nick Wadhams reports from our East Africa bureau in Nairobi, wildlife officials have found it nearly impossible to control the bushmeat trade, which can pose serious health risks. Three people were arrested after Kenyan police inspected a car bound for Nairobi early Saturday morning and found plastic bags full of the zebra and wildebeest meat. The meat was unrefrigerated and had not been inspected, but would almost certainly have gone on sale in Nairobi.

Officials with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) say the seizure is part of a wider effort to crack down on the hunt and sale of game such as zebra, giraffe and buffalo in Kenya. Later Saturday, thirteen people were arrested in the Tsavo West National Park on poaching allegations. KWS spokesman Gichuki Kabukuru says the meat is illegal and can pose serious health risks because it has not been properly prepared or handled. People may also not know what they are buying because the meat is sometimes passed off as beef from cattle or goats.

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