EFA: Etsy For Animals Etsy For Animals: April 2014

Etsy for Animals (EFA) aka Artists Helping Animals,

is a team of independent artists, craftspeople,

vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com

who are dedicated to providing charitable relief to animals

by donating a portion of the profits from their shops

to an animal charity of their choosing,

and/or to EFA's featured Charity of the Month.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

ANiMAL MUNDi: The Arctic Ground Squirrel by Corinna of TheFrogBag

 by Corinna of TheFrogBag

Arctic Ground Squirrel

Imagine sleeping for seven months out of twelve. Sounds like a pretty laid back lifestyle until you remember that you’d have to fit a year’s worth of living into the other five. And that’s just what the arctic ground squirrel (Spermophilus parryii) does. Restricted to the Arctic, its range still encompasses a huge area including parts of Russia, Alaska, and British Columbia. This is a land of extremes though, where any life at all is difficult.

Spermophilus is the largest type of ground squirrel in the world, needing the extra bulk to survive in such a cold environment. Large can be a relative term though. A really big male squirrel may weigh a bit more than 700 grams, or about a pound and a half. Hardly mammoth, but then again they do need to fit into the burrows that they dig above the permafrost line. 

Also called “sik-siks” by the Inuit people because of the calls they make, these squirrels have complex social lives during the warmer months. Males will ferociously defend their territories from other males. Dominate squirrels control intricate tunnel systems beneath the tundra where they live with a harem of females and their offspring. But all is not harmonious among the lady squirrels either. In an area of scarce resources, even nursery space is in short supply and lactating mothers will defend their nests and the surrounding area from all interlopers. 

Given that they have to pack all the important events of their lives into just a few months, perhaps it isn’t surprising that female Arctic ground squirrels have a gestation period that may be as short as three weeks after breeding occurs in the very early spring. Litters usually have about seven pups in them, but sometimes as many as 14 can be born to one mother. That’s a lot of mouths for one harried squirrel to feed, especially since the males don’t participate in parental care at all. 

The young become independent after only a month, but must use the rest of the warm season to gain enough weight to survive the long, cold months ahead. These squirrels are among only a handful of mammals to enter a true hibernation state, allowing their body temperature to drop to as low as 27 degrees Fahrenheit and their heart rate to slow to just one beat per minute. That’s still a lot warmer than the air above their burrows though, thanks to special hibernation chambers they insulate with grass, fur, and moss.

Laid back? Not quite. But their lifestyle does seem to pay off. Unlike most species that have appeared in this column, these guys are listed as a “species of least concern” by the IUCN Red List, meaning that their conservation status is currently seen as “secure.” Way to go, Arctic ground squirrels! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

ANiMAL PETiTiONS CORNER by Alicia of WoodsEdge

by Alicia of WoodsEdge

1. End Animal Testing for Cosmetics in the U.S.

The U.S. is lagging behind other countries that have already banned animal testing for cosmetics, or are taking steps to do so. The recently introduced Humane Cosmetics Act could change that and end the suffering of animals who are needlessly used to test new products. 

Please sign the petition urging Congress to take stand on this issue by supporting this landmark legislation. 


2. Tell Air France to Stop Shipping Primates for Research

Air France recently became the last commercial airline to continue shipping primates intended for research after China Southern took a compassionate stance and changed its policies. Now animal advocates are urging Air France to to do the same. 

Please sign the petition urging Air France to stop shipping primates for research. 


3. Tell BP To Clean Up Its Mess

It's been four years since BP's oil spill in the Gulf and people and wildlife are still suffering the effects as the company continues to claim its cleanup job is done. Environmentalists believe BPs work is far from over in the Gulf and that it has more to clean up in other areas where oil has been spilled. 

Please send a message to BP asking it to make good on its promise to "make things right."




Thursday, April 17, 2014

ANiMAL PETiTiONS CORNER by Alicia of WoodsEdge

by Alicia of WoodsEdge

1. Protect Horses From Cruel Training Practice

Congress is being applauded for moving forward with legislation that would protect gaited horses from the cruel practice of soring that's used to get them to produce an unnaturally high step known as the "Big Lick." 

Unfortunately, the current law to end soring and penalties to stop abusers haven't been tough enough and supporters of the industry are fighting to keep laws weak. 

Please sign and share the petition urging your representative to support the PAST Act, which will help end this practice for good. 


2. Help Save Kenai Brown Bears Before It's Too Late

Conservationists are worried that excessive hunting could push a rare and isolated population of bears on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula to the brink if it continues. The forecast for this season doesn't bode well with 1,600 permits out, and 700 still available, for an estimated 600 bears. Now bear advocates are urging the state to close Kenai National Wildlife Refuge for hunting before this population is irreparably harmed. 

Please send a letter to the manager of the wildlife refuge asking that hunting be stopped to protect bears. 


3. Help Protect Pets and Children From Abuse

Lawmakers in illinois are considering legislation that will increase penalties for abusing animals in front of a child. Not only is animal abuse of any kind unacceptable, but hurting innocent creatures in front of children can cause serious trauma and emotional issues for them. 

Please send a letter to Illinois lawmakers asking them to increase penalties for those whose abuse harms animals and children.  




Thursday, April 10, 2014

ANiMAL PETiTiONS CORNER by Alicia of WoodsEdge

by Alicia of WoodsEdge

1. Help Stop the War on Idaho's Wolves

Idaho has continued to prove that it can't be trusted to manage wolves. A mere five years after they lost federal protection, the state has waged war on these iconic predators and has really cross the line with the recent passage of a bill that will allocate $400,000 taxpayer dollars for the sole purpose of killing as many wolves as possible. 

Please send a letter to the Fish and Wildlife Service urging the agency to immediately review the status of wolves and the state's failed management plan. 


2. Help Stop the Trade in Endangered Whales

Animal advocates were recently horrified to learn that meat from endangered whales on its way to Japan was being shipped through Canada, which was being used as an unwitting accomplice in the slaughter of endangered fin whales. 

Please sign the petition urging Canadian officials to stop whale meat from coming through its ports.


3. Thank a Judge Who Sent a Puppy Abuser to Jail

All too often cases of animal cruelty result in a slap on the wrist for offenders. This time around, a judge sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for stealing and brutally beating a pit bull puppy named Halo, who survived and is working towards becoming a therapy dog and community educator. 

Please sign this letter thanking Louisiana Judge Clayton Davis for taking this case seriously and handing out a sentence. 





Wednesday, April 09, 2014

ANiMAL MUNDi: Ohlone Tiger Beetle by Corinna of The FrogBag

 by Corinna of TheFrogBag

Ohlone Tiger Beetle

The Endangered Species Act became law in the United States back in 1973, more than 40 years ago. With so many animals and plants in trouble, sometimes it’s hard to remember that things would be much worse without it. But just ask the Ohlone tiger beetle (Cicindela ohlone), a beautiful, ferocious (albeit tiny) predator that only became known to science in 1987. 

Because of the Ohlone’s very specific habitat requirements it was already in trouble by the time anyone noticed it. 

Emerging from the ground for only about two months each year in the early spring, these bright green insects are found in just five spots in Santa Cruz County, California and nowhere else. Open grasslands with clay soils on the coast are becoming a thing of the past in the west, and as they disappear they take their flora and fauna with them. 

These particular ground beetles prefer quiet dirt tracks for hunting, breeding, and building their burrows, but such trails are overused in densely populated California. Small animals like tiger beetles are easily trampled underfoot by unwary mountain bikers and hikers, not to mention horses and dogs. Invasive non-native plants complicate things further, as does the overuse of pesticides and urban run-off. 

Despite the odds against them Ohlone tiger beetles hung on, continuing to produce their odd, big-headed grub offspring. These larvae are hunters like their parents, but with their own special methods of capturing prey. While the adults wait in ambush or take flight to catch their meals, the larvae do a backflip instead. It might not be pretty, but it works. 

Unfortunately, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service neglected to provide protection for the beetles even after two listing petitions filed on their behalf outlining their tiny range and specialized habitat requirements. It seems that humans want ocean views too, and don’t mind killing a few beetles to get them. Fortunately, the Center for Biological Diversity filed suit against the Service, and the beetles finally got protection in 2001, 14 years after their discovery. And since the best way to help the Ohlone tiger beetle thrive is to preserve its habitat, many other creatures who also make their living on coastal terrace prairies were also protected by proxy. 

And that’s the true beauty of the Endangered Species Act. No single species exists in a vacuum. Each is a part of a complicated ecosystem. Predators are often especially important. Even predators that happen to be boneless, tiny, and green. 

Thursday, April 03, 2014

ANiMAL PETiTiONS CORNER by Alicia of WoodsEdge

by Alicia of WoodsEdge

1. Protect Orcas From Deadly Sonar

Off the coast of Washington, Oregon and California the Navy has continued to drop high-intensity bombs that threaten the health and lives of orcas, dolphins and other marine mammals. Thankfully, a few months ago a court ruled that the Navy hadn't considered how harmful its actions were and called on the Navy to do an environmental review... however they have proceeded. 

Please send a letter asking the U.S. Navy to adopt training methods that don't harm wildlife.  


2. Tell Kentucky Not to Protect Animal Abusers

A bill was recently introduced to improve animal welfare in Kentucky by banning gas chambers and setting euthanasia standards in shelters. Unfortunately, lawmakers stealthily added a provision that would make it illegal to expose animal cruelty on farms in an attempt to fast track it without public opposition. 

Please sign the petition asking Kentucky's lawmakers not to pass this bill as it is written. 


3. Stop the Seal Hunt: Support a Federal Buyout

Despite the cruelty inherent in sealing, the dwindling interest in seal products and the looming impact of climate change, Canada continues to issue death sentences for seals. Animal advocates have continued to support a federal buyout that would end sealing and help fishermen by compensating them and helping them move into other industries. 

Please sign the petition asking Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper to end the cruelty once and for all and buyout the industry.   




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...