Bronx Zoo VIDEO RELEASE: Responsibly Managed Forest Concessions Can Protect Jaguars and Other Mammals

Responsibly Managed Forest Concessions Can Protect Jaguars and Other Mammals

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WCS Guatemala, in partnership with Wildlife Messengers, produced a video on a study showing how reduced-impact logging, which includes minimizing roads, avoiding sensitive areas and strictly regulating hunting, can have minimal impact on jaguars and other wildlife.

The study, originally published in 2018 by San Diego Zoo Global and WCS, indicates that well-managed forest concessions can maintain important populations of large and medium-sized mammals including large herbivores and large carnivores as long as hunting is controlled, outside access to roads is prohibited, and the volume of timber allowed to be extracted remains low.

The authors of the study say that responsible forest management would therefore be an ideal activity in the buffer zones and multiple use zones of protected areas creating much less impact and conflict than alternatives such as agriculture or cattle ranching while still providing economic opportunities. Forest concessions can also play an important role in maintaining landscape connectivity between protected areas, according to the study’s authors.

The results and video come now an October 22nd event when the President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, will extend the contract of three community forest concessions and approve two new community forest concessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve – a significant conservation milestone for Guatemalan government, the National Council for Protected Areas (CONAP) and the Association of Forest Communities of Petén (ACOFOP).

WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission.

The Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots Program Awards Bears for Cares Children’s Books and Toys as July’s ‘Project of the Month’

books for kids

A youth service program for young people of all ages, Roots & Shoots, an initiative of the non-profit Jane Goodall Institute, awarded their Project of the Month for July to Bears for Cares children’s books and plush toys, designed for little readers to learn about the beauty of nature, the endangered state of wildlife,  treating animals kindly and creating a more compassionate world.

In making the announcement, Adrienne Bermingham, Roots & Shoots USA National Program Director said, “This award goes to Bears for Cares for making a difference for people, other animals and the environment we share with your world-changing project!”

Authored by youth writer Lotus Kay, who is passionate about animals, the environment, and endangered species, and illustrated by Chey Diehl, the four books in the Bears for Cares series are “More Beautiful than Heaven,” “Billie the Octopus,” “A Thanksgiving for the Turkeys,” and “Jenny the Chimpanzee.” The books are told in rhyme and inspire children to care for and protect the earth, our environment, and our fellow wildlife inhabitants. Companion plush toys are available for each book.

Bears for Cares  and the books will be featured in The Jane Goodall Institute’s “Good for All News” blog on the  Roots & Shoots website, along with being promoted through the non-profit’s social media outlets, with a particular focus on “Jenny the Chimpanzee” in conjunction with World Chimpanzee Day, July 14, 2021.

A bonus to “Jenny the Chimpanzee” are inspirational quotes from world-renowned ethologist and environmentalist Dr. Jane Goodall, considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees and founder of the The Jane Goodall Institute.

Upon receiving the books and toys, Dr. Goodall sent the following note to Lotus: “Dear Lotus, It is fantastic that you are writing these books – thank you so much for sending me some copies, including, of course, Jenny. And it is such a good idea to have soft toys with them. Children’s books are really important – and even more so because of the pandemic. Congratulations.”

Books are 26 pages, printed on recycled acid-free paper and are available as hardback ($14.95) and paperback ($9.95). Published by Eifrig PublishingBears for Cares books are recommended for ages 4-9. The books are also available with a companion plush toy from each story and retail for $49.95 each. To order the sets, visit Hugg-A-Planet.

The Bears for Cares campaign was founded by Lotus and her sister Jazmin Kay on Endangered Species Day A portion of the proceeds from the sale of all books and toys will be donated to the Roots & Shoots program.

How to Travel with a Bird

One of the most difficult tasks one has to do as a bird owner is taking his/her pet on a family outing or a trip. To avoid causing any discomfort to the bird, you must prepare ahead of time. So, there is a list of steps you should take.


Get your pet used to traveling by car

The first thing you have to do to ensure that your pet is ready for traveling is to get it used to the car. Fellow bird owners recommend that you gradually introduce the pet to the actual vehicle that you are using. The best place that you can put its cage is the backseat. This is a safe space, as the pet will be protected in case of an accident

Once you get your pet in the car, you have to remember to secure the cage with a seatbelt. This step is essential as it will help keep your beloved bird safe in transit. Plus, if the cage is stable, your feathered companion will feel more comfortable. If you want to invest in new large cages, there are many online models you can check out.


Control the irritating factors

If you are traveling during the summer, make sure that the air conditioning is not blowing directly into the cage, as this might cause discomfort to the pet. Also, during the colder seasons, you should control the heat inside the car so that the bird is not too cold, nor too hot.

There are also a couple of extra factors you should take into account. For instance, the bird might feel a certain level of discomfort if the music is too loud or if the air fresheners that you are using are too powerful.


Flying with a pet bird

As expected, not all pet birds are allowed on flights. The good thing is that each airline has a list of internal rules that you can read to see what types of pets they allow onboard. In general, airlines allow owners to travel with pet birds that are odorless and harmless. Wild birds are often not permitted on flights.

Some of these airlines also allow birds to fly in the cabin, provided that their cages fit in the space in front of the owner’s seat. However, keep in mind that most companies only accept these pets as checked baggage. 

Also, you might not be able to travel with your pet bird when temperatures are above 85 and below 45 degrees. Because of overcrowding, many airlines do not allow pets to be transported during the holidays. 



Before you leave the house, you have to pack all the supplies that you might need on the trip, such as bird food, water, and toys. To avoid making a mess in the backseat of your car, you should provide the bird with a sufficient amount of food and water. 

Packing its favorite toy or your pet’s favorite treats might also help make the trip more bearable for the bird as it will make it feel more secure.



Not all hotels allow pets on their premises. So, a smart thing that you can do before you leave for your trip is checking to make sure that the accommodation that you have selected allows for pet birds. 


Traveling to another country

If you plan on going on a trip outside of the US, you have to take the time to do some research on whether or not you can bring your pet bird with you on your trip.

Once again, if you travel by plane, you have to go on the web page of the air company that you are using and search for additional information on the topic. To be allowed to enter a country with a bird, you have to be able to provide a list of documents

Five Reasons to Not Buy Turtles or Tortoises As Gifts

American Tortoise Rescue, the international nonprofit for turtle and tortoise protection, is asking consumers to not buy live animals, especially turtles and tortoises as gifts this holiday season. Adopt don’t shop.

According to Susan Tellem, co-founder of the sanctuary, while these wonderful reptiles have outlived the dinosaurs, wide spread illegal smuggling and the commercial pet trade in turtles and tortoises has devastated wild populations worldwide. Many once thriving species are now threatened or endangered. Worse, some are now extinct.

“The pet industry thrives on small, adorable exotic animals with a big price tag,” Tellem says. “What we are recommending is to avoid impulse buys. We understand the appeal of an adorable two inch baby turtle!” Tellem adds, “But most animal rescues have many turtles and tortoises ready for adoption to good homes.”

Tellem gives five reasons why people shouldn’t buy a turtle or tortoise.

  1. Reptiles are boring. Parents shouldn’t expect their kids to find everlasting enjoyment in an animal that basically sits still most of the day sunning itself. Many kids tire of a turtle in a tank and don’t want to clean the habitat and change the water daily. Turtles and tortoises poop, Tellem reminds everyone.
  2. Most turtles and many tortoises hibernate during fall and winter. It’s unnatural for them to be awake and available for sale when they should be sleeping from about October through April. It’s cruel to sell wild animals that need to hibernate to stay healthy.
  3. Turtles and tortoises confined in tanks are miserable. It’s like a human spending their entire life in a bathtub Tellem says. The only proper habitat for these reptiles is outside. Natural sun exposure helps maintain a healthy shell and is necessary for the animal to grow and thrive. During hibernation, most reptiles can stay outside in shelters that are dry and predator proof.
  4. Adoption is the ideal option, Tellem says. During the spring and summer, when the animals are awake, rescues help place them in good “forever homes” with proper habitats. In many cases, there is no charge to adopt, only the promise that the animal will be given exceptional care for the rest of its life.
  5. Turtles can easily live 25 years or more and tortoises can top 100 years. An impulse buy without a thought to the future is not in the best interest of the animal, Tellem says. Plans need to be made in wills and with family members since the animals can outlive their owners. Most people don’t think about that when they buy an animal.

Tellem, who founded the nonprofit 27 years ago with her husband, Marshall Thompson, says, “Many owners assume that when the tortoise becomes a problem, zoos will take them. This is simply not true. Zoos are not interested in cast-off pets.”

She adds that a domesticated pet cannot be put back into the wild. It will die or introduce disease into an already precarious wild ecosystem. In many states, it is also illegal.

Tellem says that the option of placing the animal with a rescue is not always the answer, as her rescue is full as are most others. The best solution is to find a compassionate adopter who is willing to give a proper “forever home” to the pet. There are many national rescue organizations listed on which can facilitate adoptions if people are interested in getting an animal.

One way to enjoy a turtle or tortoise without harming them is to make a donation to a nonprofit like American Tortoise Rescue. “This allows us to educate people and care for the ones that are ill in our sanctuary. If a donor makes a $100 donation or more, we send them an adoption certificate featuring one of our permanent residents, and it’s good for one year. People enjoy that because they can care for the animal vicariously,” Tellem says.

American Tortoise Rescue, Malibu, Calif., is a nonprofit founded in 1990 to provide for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle.  For more information, contact:  American Tortoise Rescue at ; or email . Follow on Twitter @tortoiserescue and on Facebook. Tellem started World Turtle Day® 17 years ago which is now celebrated globally (and is trademarked). Find out more at and on Facebook and twitter. Here’s a list of rescues in the U.S and elsewhere

Animal Cruelty Month: 6 Things You Can Do to Prevent Animal Cruelty

In recognition of Animal Cruelty Month this April, canine authority Jeffrey Scott Franklin, owner and operator of Cobra Canine, is sharing six ways to prevent animal cruelty. Please consider quoting his tips in any upcoming stories. Franklin is also available for interviews and bylines for any dog behavior or health/wellness related topic, including ways to prevent animal cruelty.
6 Things You Can Do to Prevent Animal Cruelty
1. Don’t get a pet as a toy or an impulse decision. The people who aren’t up for the 8 to 15-year commitment of responsibility (financially, physically and emotionally) are often times the ones who end up sending their pet to a shelter or simply not caring for the pet as is required. Pets need food, shelter, regular baths and nail clippings, vet checks, vaccines and in their lifetimes some sort of vet care or geriatric care may become necessary. Be prepared for these and this will make sure animals aren’t neglected.
2. If you don’t know much about dogs (or any specific animal in question), don’t breed them.  Let experts do the breeding work. Enjoy your pet to his or her fullest- without adding more animals that may or may not end up in great homes. While we aren’t advocates of spaying or neutering until at least two years of age, we do believe in being responsible if your pet is around other animals.
3. Volunteer at an animal shelter. If you feel the need to have a fuzzy pet friend, but not a lot of time- donate your time and energy to a local shelter. Go walk a few dogs and pet some animals that need some love and attention. There are never enough volunteers at these places.
4. Keep them warm and cozy. Donate extra blankets and care items you may already have in your home to local shelters.
5. Report suspicious activity. If you see animals that are maltreated, mistreated or neglected- report it.  You won’t get backlash for this from the authorities- but you very well may save an animal’s life in the process.  If we keep our eyes and ears open, animals have a much better chance at having a good life or potentially, a great life and a second chance.
6. Adopt or donate money to shelters. We have found many strays over the years, and helped them medically, given them training, and found them loving homes.  If you see an animal that needs some TLC, or a home- help as you are able.

Make Sure Your Home Is Healthy for Your Dog

Having a dog at home is an incredible way to ensure companionship and make great memories. However, it can also be challenging. After all, your furry friend will probably be curious and adventurous, and you want to ensure that your dog is not in any danger when he is simply roaming or exploring around.

If you have a pet dog, check out the following tips for ensuring that your house is safe. By taking some steps to make sure your home is good for your dog, you can create a space where you, your family and your dog can have great experiences for years to come.

Make Sure Cabinets Are Latched or Locked

When you have a dog at home, it’s important to make sure reachable cabinets latch or lock. That way, a dog cannot get into the cabinet and eat or tear up whatever is in it. (This includes food, medicine, chemicals and more.) By keeping your dog out of the cabinets, you can ensure that he doesn’t ingest something that will hurt or kill him.

Only Have Non-Toxic Plants

Do you have house plants around your home? If so, make sure they are non-toxic. That way, if your dog takes a bite, he won’t be poisoned. If you’re not sure if your plant is poisonous and you think that your pup may have eaten some of it, call your vet. You may have to bring your dog and the plant into the vet but he or she will be able to tell you if your dog is safe, and if not, treat him for any potential health effects.

Give Your Dog a Comfortable Space

Your dog should have a comfortable space to retreat to especially if he gets stressed or anxious. This means that your dog may want a crate of his own, or he may want a bed in a spot where he can hide away if something scary happens. If your dog’s special place is upstairs and he has aches and pains, a medication like Carprofen may help for inflammation in dogs. It takes away pain from arthritis and hip dysplasia (as well as other joint diseases) and can help make it easier for an older dog to do things like climb stairs or ease into small nooks and crannies.

Keep the Toilet Lid Closed

Your dog may love to drink from the toilet. In reality, though, that’s a bad idea. If you use cleaning products in the toilet, your dog can be poisoned. Or, if your dog is small enough, it’s possible he can crawl into the toilet and drown. Make sure that your toilet lid is closed, and that way you can use the bathroom when you need to and ensure that your dog doesn’t encounter anything hazardous there.

Be Careful With Wires

So many things in your house have wires: your television, your computer and your alarm clocks (etc., etc.). Make sure that you tie up loose or dangling wires and keep them out of the way of the dog. That way, your dog won’t be tempted to chew on them (which can cause shock and damage your electronics) or he won’t trip on them when he is running around.

Having a furry friend at home is a great way to warm up a space and make it feel loving. However, you can’t just bring a dog into your space without first ensuring that you’ve done the proper prep work. If you do the work to make sure that your space is safe and healthy for your dog, your family and your pets can enjoy a fun, stress-free life together.


5 Easy Steps to Potty Training Your Puppy

Are you one of the many people who perceive puppy potty training difficult—or even impossible? It’s actually easier than you think.

Today we’re going to give you advice straight from a professional puppy trainer on how to potty train a puppy from as young as 6 weeks old. So whether you’re a breeder who wants to sell ready-trained puppies, or a new dog owner; these tips will help you and your puppy succeed.

Develop a Routine

Routine is by far the most important factor in getting your puppy trained fast. There are three routine steps to take into consideration:

  • A feeding routine
  • A potty routine
  • A sleeping routine

Let’s look at each one more closely.

A Feeding Routine

Ensure that you feed your puppy at the same time every day. Your puppy will start expecting to be fed at that time each day, which will automatically prompt a potty routine.

Avoid leaving food out for your puppy for it to eat whenever it feels like it. If it isn’t hungry, take the food up and feed it again at the next interval. A great way to create a feeding routine is to feed your puppy once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Take your puppy outside about 15 – 20 minutes after its meals to do its business outside. With repetition your puppy will be potty trained within a matter of days.

A Potty Routine

Apart from its normal feeding & sleeping routine, take your puppy outside at the same time each day. You’ll soon start learning how often your puppy needs to go outside to potty, so set designated times for it to do so. three or four times in the middle of each day should be sufficient—depending on how much it eats and drinks.

A Sleeping Routine

Your puppy’s sleep routine ties into its potty routine too. It’s important to let your puppy go outside just before it’s being put to sleep. Your puppy will quickly learn that potty before bedtime is the norm, and this will reinforce the habit of doing its business outside.

Read the Signals

There will be times outside of feeding and bedtime when your puppy will need to potty. It will give you signals that it is about to go by one or more of the following:

  • Circling around
  • Sniffing the ground
  • Folding its body

Dedicate yourself to watching your puppy. If it shows these signs or any other characteristic sighs of wanting to potty, pick it up and take it outside quickly. It will quickly learn that doing its business inside is unacceptable.

Establish a Designated Potty Area

Throughout your puppy potty training, always direct your puppy to generally the same outside area every time. The smells of previous potty sessions will trigger its memory, and with repetition it will learn where it needs to go for a comfortable wee or pool.

Deal with Accidents Effectively

When accidents happen, see this as a training opportunity rather than a failure. Punishing your puppy won’t do much good in the long run. A stern “No!” is all your puppy needs to know that what it has done is not acceptable.

If it’s a poo take it outside to its designated area and show your puppy that next time this is where you want it to do its business. If it’s a wee, pick your puppy up and put it outside for a few minutes.

Also be sure to clean up the mess with something that takes away the smell completely.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Be patient and calm while training your puppy and you’ll be amazed at how quickly it responds to your training efforts. Before you know it your puppy will be potty trained and automatically go outside when it needs to.

Sick Pup? Here Are 4 Common Canine Health Conditions

As a dog owner, there’s nothing more concerning than a sickly pup. Typical symptoms are made even scarier because your pet can’t tell you what’s wrong or how they’re feeling. If you’re wondering whether all is well for man’s best friend, here are some common canine health conditions and ways to spot them.

1. Ear Infection

An ear infection is one of the most common health problems for dogs, and it can easily be caused by several different factors. Ear mites, allergies, viral infections, bacterial infections, ingrown hairs and yeast can all cause an ear infection to pop up unexpectedly.

The symptoms of an ear infection may be subtle or severe. Here’s what to look for:

  • Redness or odor coming from the ear canal 
  • Head shaking or tilting to one side 
  • Excessive scratching 
  • Balance or coordination problems 
  • Ear swelling 
  • Ear discharge 

If you notice any of these symptoms, please see a veterinarian immediately. Ear infections are usually relatively easy to treat, but you’ll need a vet’s diagnosis and a prescription medication.

2. Worms

Puppies are especially susceptible to worms, but dogs can have worms at any age. Common worms include tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. While most worms are simply uncomfortable, some can actually be fatal, so it’s important that you treat these parasites quickly. Signs include:

  • Actually seeing worms (usually in feces) 
  • Diarrhea (especially bloody diarrhea) 
  • Weight loss 
  • Lack of appetite or excessive appetite 
  • Vomiting 
  • Lethargy 
  • A lackluster coat of fur 
  • A dog who scoots across the floor on his bottom 

You should also see your vet for this condition because it’s difficult to tell which worms your dog has. Each worm requires a different type of treatment, so your vet will need to make the call and issue the appropriate medication.

3. Vomiting

Vomiting may be more of a symptom than an actual health condition, but it’s worth noting here because dogs tend to vomit more than other animals. A dog may vomit for any number of reasons, including:

  • Parasites (like worms) 
  • Heatstroke 
  • Food poisoning 
  • Dehydration 
  • Kidney failure 
  • Pancreatitis 
  • Bacterial or viral infection (stomach “bug”) 

In most cases, one vomiting incidence likely isn’t anything serious, but you should always have your pet checked by a veterinarian, just in case. If your dog is dehydrated they can give fluids and let you know if something more severe is going on.

4. Fleas

Every responsible pet owner knows that flea prevention is extremely important for dogs and cats. (If you haven’t found a good treatment yet, Bravecto offers a chewable tablet that’s super convenient and easy.) Still, dogs sometimes catch fleas anyway. While pet owners are often first alerted when they actually see fleas in the home, sometimes the signs are more subtle. Dogs may:

  • Scratch, lick, or bite themselves excessively 
  • Cause hair loss by excessively scratching flea-infested areas 
  • Develop allergic dermatitis, a skin condition caused by a flea allergy 
  • Catch tapeworms, which are transported by fleas 
  • Have tiny black dots on the skin (that look similar to pepper), also known as flea dirt 

Once your vet diagnoses your pup with fleas, you’ll need to do all you can to remove and prevent the infestation. This may include home treatments, topical treatments, pills or any other flea medication your veterinarian recommends.

For most pet owners, sickness will be temporary and short-lived. If you stay on top of your dog’s medications and vaccines, seek proper medical treatment when necessary and maintain a healthy diet, your pup will likely lead a long, healthy life.