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The Future of Animals

Sixth Mass Extinction animals environment green

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#1
Wolfbane

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Why, on this forum, animals are so seldom discussed? I am not well versed in the ways of Man so please, explain this thing to me...

 

They are dying. The butterflies. The bees. The tigers, the wolves... The whole world itself is choking on the fumes of human failure. Nature has shouldered your burden for a great long time, but her patience has limits, and your behaviour only worsens by the day. How long, how long until the satirical behaviour of the Donald wakes you to the nightmare of your reality? How can you hope for the future, when it is being poisoned under your very feet? I wish you to ask yourselves if you will enter a New World without your companions, who have been with you from the start. How lonely will you feel when you have truly conquered Nature, in the way that Man conquers things: by crushing and destroying them?

 

The new Extinction is well underway. This tragedy cannot be denied. How is it that you be living in the brightest time in human history, when it is also the time of the greatest death? Truly Man is deluded to think this way. Do you worship death and chaos? Please explain to me these things for I do not follow...


What is it to fear? If death is an end, then so be it. For there is no pain in that, except the pain that is left to the living. And if death is not an end, then what more than a wonderful journey...


#2
Mike the average

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I think this millenia we give the planet back to the rest of the animals. Either by completely minimising our footprint or leaving it altogether.
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'Force always attracts men of low morality' - Einstein
'Great spirits always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds' - Einstein

#3
rennerpetey

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most futurists believe on this forum that "the world will get worse before it gets better."  this means that the world will continue to be in decline for the next few decades, but once we figure out how to do energy without hurting the atmosphere, we can begin reversing the process and even bringing back the animals we caused to be extinct.  with our tech, we figure that humans(or AI[or both]) can and will reverse the world to its pre-industrial state. 


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John Lennon dares you to make sense of this

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#4
TheComrade

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As for the future of animals, that's what i think:

 

1) Evolution operates with millions of years, not millenias.

 

2) In scale of evolution, the Age Of Humanity will be very brief. And then, during just a few million years, Mother-Nature will recover any harm we caused. Don't forget: any great extinction leaves a lot of free niches that always leads to new speciation explosion.

 

3) In larger scale (tens and hundreds of millions of years) i can only guess that animals (in average) will become significantly smarter than they currently are. This trend existed in past and will continue in the future. Who knows, perhaps in 100 or 200 millions years from our time, even the dumbest of mammals will be as smart as modern dogs while average mammals will easily create and operate with tools?


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#5
caltrek

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Why, on this forum, animals are so seldom discussed? 

 

 

Well first, being future oriented, this site tends to track a lot of people who are interested in issues relating to advanced technology as opposed to environmental issues.

 

Second, the Energy and Environment thread in the news and discussion forum often does have issues related to the future of animals.  Here is a recent example provided by Sciencerocks:

 

"Steelhead struggling home in record low numbers"

Quote

Salmon and steelhead are in hot water — a problem scientists warn is going to get worse because of climate change.

Steelhead returning this year to the Columbia and Snake rivers migrated out of the river during horrendous conditions in 2015, which included record low flows and high water temperatures.

Those steelhead also were at sea during the so-called “blob” — a mass of warm water that began forming off the West Coast in 2013 and wreaked havoc in the ocean, including depressed food supplies for marine animals of all sorts.

Now those steelhead are migrating back through reservoirs where water temperatures at some Columbia and Lower Snake River dams, thanks to a record Northwest heat wave, have been stuck this summer above 70 degrees for days on end — potentially lethal for salmon and steelhead.

 

 " http://www.seattleti...mbers/#comments "

 

As far as philosophical observations on my part, I can add that I applaud your sentiments.  I also cannot understand the mania for leaving everything to free market principles even at the expense of the survival of our fellow creatures.  These creatures should be valued for their intrinsic worth.  Beyond that, our failure to provide for their well-being is a definite signal that we might not be able to avoid our own short-term extinction.  Efforts to save our fellow creatures also teach us valuable lessons that can help us to save ourselves.  Unfortunately, many free market fanatics simply do not see things this way.  Usually without anything resembling a coherent explanation or defense of their position.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#6
Ewolf20

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I do hope people find a way to easily being back animals. Insects are a bit eaiser as they are mostly instinct and as such don't need to learn from any other animal.

#7
caltrek

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I originally posted this in the Mexico News and Discussion thread.  It occurred to me that a lot of people interested in the future of animals such as horses might not be interested in Mexico, so it is also worth while to post this article in this thread as well.

 

Time to Ban Horsemeat Trade in All of North America, as Investigation in Mexico Uncovers Horse Sold as Beef

 
 

https://www.alternet...vers-horse-sold

 

Introduction:

Quote

 

(Alternet) Mexico is forging ahead on animal protection. Earlier this year, its Congress made dogfighting a felony throughout the nation. Mexico City adopted an extraordinary charter on animal protection. A number of major food retailers in Mexico have said they will change their purchasing practices to stop buying eggs and pork from operations that confine hens and pigs in small confinement cages and crates. Our Humane Society International/Mexico office and partner organizations are working hard to keep this important and strategic country trending in the right direction and to also crack down on other abuses of animals.

 

One of those abuses involves the slaughter of horses for human consumption. A new study in six Mexican cities has found horsemeat in nearly 10 percent of meat products that are being sold as beef or that are not clearly labeled. The samples of meat were collected from common vending points, including butcher shops, supermarkets, street markets, and street stalls.

 

The study, commissioned by HSI and conducted by researchers at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, also found high levels of a veterinary drug commonly prescribed for horses, clenbuterol, in some raw meat samples. Clenbuterol is not approved for food-producing animals, and can be harmful to humans.

 

The researchers collected 433 samples of cooked and uncooked meat from an assortment of vendors across Mexico, of which nearly 10 percent tested positive for horsemeat. Samples were collected in six cities: Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Chihuahua, Mexico City, Pachuca, and San Vicente Chicoloapan. The samples included four types of meat samples (ground meat, regular tacos, crispy tacos, and thin steaks [bistec]) and were either unlabeled or labeled as beef. The samples that tested positive for horsemeat were obtained at informal selling points such as street stalls and markets, and most vendors appeared to be unaware that there was horsemeat in the products they were selling.

 

Mexico is the second largest horsemeat producer in the world, after China. According to the Mexican Ministry of Trade, between January and August 2017, Mexico exported almost 1,500 tons of horsemeat, worth more than $4 million, to Japan, Russia, and Vietnam. 

may_27_2012_235_165765-1220x817.jpg?itok

Rescued horses at the Duchess Sanctuary.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Kunz/The HSUS

 

 

So all this raises the question: what will be the future of horses?

 

Ownership and maintenance seem to be an increasingly middle class function.  It is alarming that the price of horses is such that some see a higher profit to be made in using them as a meat source.  There is also the question of how much grazing land will be allowed for horses in the future.  Will land become such an expensive commodity that allowing it for just grazing will not be an economically efficient enough use?  


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#8
caltrek

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Trump puts decision to allow elephant hunting trophy imports 'on hold'

 

https://www.yahoo.co...-022152590.html

 

Introduction:


 

(Yahoo!) WASHINGTON — President Trump, overruling a rule change by his Interior Department, said on Friday that he would keep in place for the time being a ban on importing elephant hunting trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Trump announced the move on Twitter Friday evening after a day of uncertainty and protests over the decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service that the ban, intended to conserve shrinking African elephant populations, would be lifted. The president said delaying a decision would allow him to “review” the situation with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

 

“Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!” Trump wrote.

The prohibition on elephant trophies from the two African nations dates from 2014. African elephants are classified as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, which is a designation for animal species “considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.” A spokesperson for the Fish and Wildlife Service told Yahoo News that regulations regarding hunting trophies from endangered species are reviewed on an ongoing basis and the agency decided to lift the ban in recognition of  improvements in the elephant management programs in the two countries.

 

Conservationists denounced the proposal when the plan for Zimbabwe was posted for public comment in the Federal Register, but hunting advocates argue revenue from well-managed big game programs can support the conservation of endangered species.

 

 

Trump has previously expressed opposition to big game hunting. In March 2012, after photos of his eldest sons, Don Jr. and Eric, posing with trophies provoked criticism, Trump sent a tweet saying, “[I am] not a hunter and don’t approve of killing animals.”  


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#9
Jakob

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So all this raises the question: what will be the future of horses?

A surprisingly deep question and one worthy of a thread.

 

There's not just the matter of horses on Earth, but horses elsewhere. We've brought horses nearly everywhere we've gone as humans. But will we bring them to the stars? And to what end? Horses are far from useless even in the modern age--the US military used them as recently as 2001 due to a lack of roads in rural Afghanistan.

 

And what about uplifting? Horses are intelligent, large mammals, which suggests that it might be a good idea. In my universe, it's one of the many technological innovations during the Lost Era, which is not such a time of stagnation as it's portrayed in popular culture (like the Middle Ages IRL).


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#10
caltrek

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Two Million Beautiful Images of Biodiversity Are Now Available for Free

 

http://www.slate.com...for_public.html

 

 

here are thought to be about 10 million distinct species of plants and animals on Earth. That number is incomprehensibly large, not least because most species are still undiscovered.

 

But now the Biodiversity Heritage Library, an open-access repository for some of the most stunning images collected of life on Earth, is helping to make these ecological wonders all the more real: It’s made more than 2 million images of our planet’s biodiversity available online for free. Anyone can explore the expansive collections, study the digitized materials, and even download the images for whatever scientific—or artistic—project you have in mind.

 

Many of the figures in the library’s collection inspire delight...

171120_SCI_Open-Culture-Biodiversity.jpg

Photo illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker. Illustrations via Biodiversity Heritage Library.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#11
caltrek

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Three Years Probation for Interstate Turtle Traffic

 

https://www.courthou...turtle-traffic/

 

Introduction:

 

(Courthouse News) – A 34-year-old Louisiana man was sentenced to three years probation and a $2,500 fine after pleading guilty Tuesday to illegally trafficking wild box turtles to Texas in violation of federal wildlife laws.

 

Byron Paul Pitre admitted he sold three wild Louisiana box turtles (Terrapene carolina) to an undercover agent in February and shipped them to Corpus Christi, Texas, in violation of the Lacey Act. Sale and transportation of wild box turtles from Louisiana to Texas is also illegal under Louisiana state law.

 

“Our wildlife and environment are a precious natural resource that we need to protect,” U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey said at the sentencing.

 

Agents executing a search warrant at Pitre’s residence in Louisiana in May seized more than 230 box turtles, 119 map turtles, 45 leopard tortoises, 20 Sulcata tortoises and 88 tortoise eggs.

Box-turtle.jpg?resize=300%2C200


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#12
Ewolf20

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https://www.sciencen...sect-extinction

(I can't seem to quote anymore)

 

It’s a rare triumph when a species comes back from the dead. A new genetic analysis has officially established what many entomologists and conservation biologists hoped was true: The Lord Howe stick insect (Dryococelus australis) lives.

Nicknamed “tree lobsters,” the dark-brown crawlers are nocturnal, flightless creatures that can grow up to 15 centimeters long. They feed on tea trees, which are dense shrubs found on Lord Howe Island in New South Wales, Australia. Black rats, introduced to the island in the 1920s, wiped out the walking sticks. Or so researchers thought.

In 2001, scientists climbing Ball’s Pyramid, a treacherous rocky outcrop southeast of Lord Howe Island, discovered three stick insects feeding on a lone bush. The following year, researchers spotted 24 more. The insects looked eerily similar to the Lord Howe insects, but some physical differences between the new finds and museum specimens called for genetic testing to see if the two were the same.


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#13
caltrek

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https://www.sciencen...sect-extinction

(I can't seem to quote anymore)

 

 

1) Hit Quote box in lower right hand corner of screen.

2) On tool bar, find and hit yellow bubble with " inside of it. This will give you:

 

 

 

 

 

3) Highlight text that you want to copy.  This should be less than 350 words. 

 

4) Right click "copy"

 

5) Highlight text. Use "Remove Format" icon (top row second second from the extreme left).

 

 

 

It’s a rare triumph when a species comes back from the dead. A new genetic analysis has officially established what many entomologists and conservation biologists hoped was true: The Lord Howe stick insect (Dryococelus australis) lives.

 

 

 

You should be ready to post.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#14
caltrek

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Mining and Hunting Raise Concerns for Arctic Caribou

 

https://www.courthou...arctic-caribou/

 

Introduction:

 

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Courthouse News) – The potential development of a road and the issuing of hunting permits in western Alaskan caribou country sparked heated discussion at the Western Arctic Caribou Herd Working Group annual meeting held Wednesday and Thursday in Anchorage.

 

The meeting brought together representatives from six geographic areas within western Alaska that encompass 24 Native villages, subsistence and sport hunters, hunting guides, reindeer herders, state and federal biologists, and land managers.

 

Representatives of Trilogy Metals Inc., based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Alaska legislators also made presentations.

 

The purpose of the working group is to ensure the long-term conservation of the Western Arctic caribou herd and the ecosystem on which it depends, combining indigenous knowledge and Western science to guide regulations and permitted activities that could impact the health of the herd.

Barrenground_caribou.jpg?resize=494%2C33

Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#15
caltrek

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Conservationists Lobby to Join Fray Over Frog Habitat

 

https://www.courthou...r-frog-habitat/

 

Introduction:

 

(Courthouse News) – Conservation groups on Friday lobbied a federal judge for permission to join a fight between the federal government and a ranching association over a trio of California amphibian species.

 

The Center for Biological Diversity wants the judge to uphold a 2016 Endangered Species Act designation of critical habitat for the amphibians that covers 1.8 million acres in California across the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

 

The amphibians include the Yosemite toad, Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, and mountain yellow-legged frog, which live in the high elevations of the Sierra.

 

This past July, the California Cattlemen’s Association sued the federal government claiming the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act when it designated the large swath of land, and did not consider the impact on farmers and their livelihood.

 

...“These frogs and the Yosemite toad have disappeared from most of the Sierra lakes and streams where they once lived. Protecting some of their most important habitat gives them a fighting chance at recovery,” said Jenny Loda, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Frog.jpeg?resize=300%2C212


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#16
caltrek

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Fungal Disease May Threaten Snakes Worldwide

 

http://advances.scie...2/e1701387.full

 

 

 

 

Abstract

(Science) Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) reduce host population sizes, cause extinction, disassemble communities, and have indirect negative effects on human well-being. Fungal EIDs have reduced population abundances in amphibians and bats across many species over large areas. The recent emergence of snake fungal disease (SFD) may have caused declines in some snake populations in the Eastern United States (EUS), which is home to a phylogenetically and ecologically diverse assembly of 98 taxa. SFD has been documented in only 23 naturally occuring species, although this is likely an underestimate of the number of susceptible taxa. Using several novel methods, including artificial neural networks, we combine phylogenetic and trait-based community estimates from all taxa in this region to show that SFD hosts are both phylogenetically and ecologically randomly dispersed. This might indicate that other species of snakes in the EUS could be currently infected or susceptible to SFD. Our models also indicate that information about key traits that enhance susceptiblity is lacking. Surveillance should consider that all snake species and habitats likely harbor this pathogen.

Snake-w-Fungus.jpg?resize=300%2C170

This is a northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon) with crusty and thickened scales overlaying raised blisters as a result of a fungal skin infection.

(USGS National Wildlife Health Center/D.E. Green)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#17
caltrek

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As Year End Nears, Agency Acts on Multiple Species

 

https://www.courthou...ltiple-species/

 

Introduction:

 

WASHINGTON (Courthouse News) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Tuesday announced a draft plan to protect prairie dogs, corrected an action on leopards, and found that five petitions merit more study.

 

After recently determining that white-tailed prairie dogs found in Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Colorado did not merit further study in the Endangered Species Act listing process, the agency has now announced a draft plan to protect Utah prairie dogs.

 

The move is indicative of the agency’s recent efforts to rely on voluntary conservation agreements in an effort to avoid listing species under the ESA. According to the agency, this draft plan is to “create efficiency and certainty for developers.”

 

“Once again, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has bent over backwards to ensure Utah prairie dogs aren’t in the way of development, yet extreme private property rights groups are asking the Supreme Court to nullify protections,” Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said. “We hope this ridiculous ploy will be rejected by the court. The Endangered Species Act has worked to boost Utah prairie dog numbers without excessive burdens on landowners.”

 

Prairie dogs are the main prey of black-footed ferrets, an endangered species. The prairie dogs are threatened by eradication programs and diseases such as plague, in addition to habitat loss due to development.

 

I was about to grudgingly give some credit to the current administration for this news when I read:

 

 

 

“This is the first step in what is supposed to be a two year process in protecting imperiled species, but the FWS has a backlog of hundreds of species waiting for protection, meaning these species will likely not see protection for years,” Greenwald said. “The main obstacles are lack of funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make protection decisions and now political interference by the Trump administration.”

 

So, I think a lot of credit goes to the bureaucrats that continue to work toward fulfilling the legally established mission of their agencies (in this case the Fish and Wildlife Service) and environmental groups who support such valiant efforts.

 

utah-prairie-dog.jpg?resize=300%2C200

A Utah prairie dog in the grass at Bryce Canyon, Utah.

(Kevin Doxstater/National Park Service)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#18
caltrek

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Indigenous Arctic Herder Loses Much-Publicized Appeal

 

https://www.courthou...licized-appeal/

 

Introduction:

 

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A small reindeer herder from the indigenous Sami community in the Norwegian Arctic on Thursday lost a much-publicized appeal with Norway’s top court over a ruling that he must cull 41 of his 116-strong herd.

 

Jovsset Ante Sara, who has twice successfully challenged an order to reduce the size of his herd, claimed he can’t make a living with that scale of slaughter.

 

The government appealed because its policy aims to prevent overgrazing on the tundra where Norway’s estimated reindeer population of 220,000 live.

 

Norway’s Supreme Court said Thursday that the cull order did not violate Sara’ rights.

 

“As I read it, the ruling doesn’t take into account the rights of the Sami people,” defense lawyer Trond Pedersen Biti told The Associated Press, adding they would appeal to the Human Rights Council, the U.N. body in Geneva, Switzerland, charged with promoting and protecting human rights.

 

 

REINDEER.jpg?resize=300%2C238


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#19
Jakob

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If I may say so, there seems to be a lot of content in this thread that is more current events than anything related to the future.



#20
caltrek

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^^^Animals don't change much. As with humans, there my be some potential for augmentation.  Most of what will affect animals for the future are things like habitat preservation and restoration, disease, etc.  While news about these things may not fit certain views of what futurology should be about, it nevertheless has important implications for the future of animals.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






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