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A proposal to strip gray wolves of their remaining federal protections could curtail their rapid expansion across vast swaths of the U.S. West and Great Lakes, yet the predators already are proving to be resilient in states where hunting and trapping occur.
Thursday’s Interior Department proposal to remove threatened and endangered species protections for wolves would end a decades-long restoration effort that saw a remarkable turnaround for an animal once nearly exterminated across the Lower 48 states. Now more than 6,000 gray wolves live in portions of nine states.
Authority over wolves would revert to state wildlife agencies with no obligation to maintain current numbers. Critics say that amounts to a death sentence for thousands of the animals, shrinking well-established populations and preventing wanderers from carving out new territory.
The track record suggests otherwise in parts of the Northern Rockies, where wolf numbers have not noticeably flagged in the face of aggressive hunting and trapping.
When legal wolf harvests began in Montana and Idaho in 2009, wildlife advocates and some scientists argued their numbers would plummet.
Hunters and trappers have since killed almost 4,400 wolves in the two states, according to data from state wildlife agencies obtained by The Associated Press. About 1,500 more were killed by government wildlife agents and property owners following attacks on livestock and similar conflicts.
But wolves are such prolific breeders that after each hunting season, their numbers bounced back the next spring. That continued even as wildlife regulators loosened trapping restrictions and allowed individual hunters and trappers to harvest multiple animals.
The wolf populations for the two states hovered at around 1,700 animals combined from 2009 through the beginning of 2016, the most recent year with figures from both states.
“We’re almost a decade into hunting and trapping and we still have a population that is robust and well-distributed. It can be done well,” said Bob Inman, a biologist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Wildlife researcher Scott Creel at Montana State University said his examination of population data suggests sustained high harvest rates are pushing wolves near a “tipping point” that would drive the species into decline. State officials said they see no cause for concern and expect the population size to fluctuate.
Montana’s wolf numbers dipped from their 2013 peak over the last several years before increasing in 2017, the data show.
Meanwhile, packs from the Northern Rockies have spread into neighboring Oregon and Washington, where they had been absent for decades. A small number have also taken up residence in California.
Collette Adkins, a Minnesota-based senior attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, acknowledged dropping federal protections would not drive wolves to extinction, despite earlier saying the proposal “was a death sentence for gray wolves across the country.”
Threat to recovery seen
But she said their recovery would “come to a screeching halt” as hunting and trapping are allowed in more states. That would put the species in a tenuous position in the Pacific Northwest and likely rule out its return to historic ranges, such as Colorado’s southern Rockies and the Adirondacks in the Northeast, she said.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials say their goal was to prevent extinction, not restore wolves everywhere they once roamed. State officials say even without federal protection, wolves won’t return to their imperiled status of the early 20th century because modern hunting regulations focus on managing animals, not exterminating them.
“The only way wolves were removed from the Lower 48 was using techniques we don’t use anymore — poisons,” said Toby Boudreau, wildlife bureau chief for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
Endangered Species Act protections were given to the animals in the 1970s except in Alaska, where the population was never considered in danger. States that designate the wolf as threatened or endangered under their own laws and regulations include California, Colorado, Illinois, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
David Mech, a U.S. Geological Survey wolf expert, said the species likely would continue to grow and expand in the contiguous U.S. after losing its endangered and protected status, albeit more slowly.
Wolves can and will live any place people tolerate them, Mech said. He pointed to studies that suggest the southern Rockies could host up to 1,000 wolves, with vast areas of additional habitat in the heartland region from Texas to North Dakota.
The Interior Department will make a final decision on its proposal after a public comment period that runs through May 14.
The most immediate changes could come for more than 4,000 wolves in the Western Great Lakes. Wisconsin law requires its wolf hunts to resume if the state regains authority. Wildlife officials would make the call in Michigan and Minnesota.
Hunting, trapping or both were allowed in the region at various times between 2012 and 2014 before a federal judge shut them down by returning wolves to the endangered species list. State survey data for the Western Great Lakes showed at least modest wolf declines during the period.
Wolf advocates attributed the drop in Minnesota to hunting and trapping. Dan Stark of the state Department of Natural Resources said a more likely explanation was a 30 percent decline in deer, the wolf’s primary prey. Either way, wildlife managers say the populations in all three states remained strong.
If hunting is allowed, debate is likely over whether to maintain wolf numbers or seek cutbacks. Some farmers hope for a smaller population, which they believe would reduce attacks that have killed hundreds of cows and sheep.
Montana wildlife officials credit a more aggressive effort to kill problem wolves with a sharp decline in livestock attacks since 2009. However, some scientists say hunting and trapping makes livestock a more tempting target for wolves because it disrupts the pack cohesion needed to bring down swift or bulky prey like deer, elk and moose.
Some Wisconsin groups are pushing to reduce their wolf population to 350 from about 900.
“If we’d kept them at that number, I think almost all livestock conflicts would have been gone,” said Mark Liebaert, a sixth-generation beef producer who said he’s considered quitting because of wolf kills and harassment.
But Ethan Lane of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said his organization’s priority is enabling farmers and ranchers to protect their herds. Making deep cuts in wolf numbers, he said, is “just not realistic.” (VOA)
On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020.
Apart from senior RSS leader Suresh Soni, representatives of various organisations associated with the Sangh Parivar -- working in the field of education -- were present in the meeting in New Delhi.
According to sources, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who attended the meeting on behalf of the government, shared information related to the National Education Policy-2020 and the government's policy on important issues related to the education sector. Pradhan also shared details of the efforts being made by the government in the field of education.
Discussions were also held regarding the impact of the situation arising out of Corona and how much it has affected the education sector.
In the meeting, the RSS leaders asked several questions and provided suggestions to the Union Minister regarding the education policy of the government.
According to the sources, RSS wants the policy to be implemented expeditiously. All aspects related to the policy were discussed in Tuesday's meeting.
On the second and the last day of the meeting on Wednesday, special issues related to education will be discussed in which representatives of various organisations of the Sangh, Union Ministers and several BJP leaders will be take part.
Meanwhile, in order to convey its point of view to the government on various issues, the Sangh keeps on calling such coordination meetings related to specific issues, in which RSS representatives -- working in that particular area -- provide feedback to the government. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: BJP, RSS, New Education Policy, Education, India
An old saying, "prevention is better than cure" should be the first scoop in the cup of excitement if you are out to explore the world. To make traveling safe, make sure you check some practical safety tips before and while on the journey.
Here are some tips that can keep you safe, ignoring the hurdles and risks during traveling.
Health issues are of major concern while traveling. These risks are common especially when you are traveling to a place where the diet is different from what you are used to. Health conditions like stomach infections, climatic diseases like flu, cold, etc can knock at your door.
Before traveling, make sure you did complete research about the weather conditions of those destinations where you planned to stay. Keep all the stuff with you, like basic medications, and clothes that will be helpful to keep you safe from the weather and ensure safe travelling.
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Travelers sometimes encounter the risk of being scammed at the departures or during the flights. This risk becomes more obvious when you don't speak the familiar language or don't have complete knowledge about the complex procedures.
Any stranger can come to you regarding the procedure completion and take advantage of your ignorance and fool you. Stay alert for these scams and keep these things in mind.
●Always use the ATMs that are linked to the banks.
●Know the basic procedure of checking
●Do not wear expensive jewelry to show off
●Keep the emergency services phone numbers
●Put the locks on the suitcases
To avoid transportation mishaps, you should search for all forms of transportation before leaving the place that can take you to the planned destination Photo by Guilherme Stecanella
The transportation you choose for your trip can be a blessing or sometimes a tricky tournament. To avoid transportation mishaps, you should search for all forms of transportation before leaving the place that can take you to the planned destination. And especially when traveling to faraway places.
Choose the one that is comfortable and free of hassles. For example, while choosing to travel by air, make sure you know the flight schedules. Make sure you book your flights with trusted airlines. International flights from Australia, Cathay Pacific, is the one of the best in this regard.
Apart from checking the flight's schedule, try to book your ticket in advance so you don't end up stranded on the ticket booth asking for tickets and no time slot is spared for a specific time.
Whether you are traveling domestically or internationally, you need identification. When traveling outside the country, your passport is the most important thing to carry and keep a check on. The most valuable traveling documents you should check on are:
Keep copies of these documents in case they get lost by mistake. In the case of stolen documents, the copies of these will help to make the process of getting them back a bit easier.
To avoid trouble, check out the guidelines such as rules and regulations. Follow the policies that are required. Before zipping your bags, check the customer's reviews to see what they faced worse while traveling through certain transportation if you chose the same one and what advice they shared. This will help you avoid those things that can put you in the same situation.
Before traveling, know the surroundings. Be aware of how the locals of that area talk and dress. Usually, tourists or travelers carry lots of cash and other valuables with them. That brings them under the spotlight. Those people who show off their appearances as a traveler from a different place and culture are more at risk of being scammed.
You can avoid those scams by:
●Dressing yourself like a local
●Don't show off yourself by standing in the middle of a crowd and take pictures
●Don't make it apparent if you get lost in the streets
Before traveling to some new place, especially when you are traveling outside the country, make research about the language spoken there. It helps you a lot, especially when you get lost or injured. Try to learn the basic phrases in the language being spoken in that particular area you are traveling to. Phrases like:
●I need help
●Where is the hospital
●Please guide me on the way to my hotel, etc.
If you are traveling outside the country, getting traveling insurance is recommended Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash
Experiences matter. It is a bit hard to know the place you planned to visit if you have not visited it before. Make sure you find the experienced travelers who already have visited. Take advice from them. Ask them about their experience and what things you should do and what not. Do's and don'ts of that particular area. You can watch youtube videos that tell the lifestyle of a specific place.
Also read: 5 Must-Haves to Travel Light
If you are traveling outside the country, getting traveling insurance is recommended. It covers all unexpected injuries. Unfortunately, if you get a trip to the hospital or in case you lose your belongings, traveling insurance covers everything for you.
ATMs are the common places for thieves to steal the information of travelers. No doubt, they are the most convenient spot to take the money in the right currency. But it is recommended to stay cautious while using ATMs.
Check your back if anyone is stalking you or the person standing behind the mirrors waiting for his move, is not too close to finding out all the figures and info you entered.
You might not be familiar with the new place you are traveling to. To avoid uncertain situations like moving in the wrong direction, make sure you set the GPS in your phone so you reach your destination safely and on time without going through any hassle.
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and contains some commercial links)
Keywords: Travel, Tips, Apps, Language, Guidelines,
As a company, Facebook doesn't need much of an introduction. If you're not a member of the network, chances are you've seen or at the very least heard of it. Facebook is generally recognized as the most utilized social networking site. Facebook is used regularly by more than 2 billion people; it is probably an essential component of several people's online presence and daily routine.
The software for a website called "Facemash" was written by Zuckerberg, then a second-year Harvard student, in the year 2003. He put his talent to improper use by hacking into the security network of Harvard. To fill his new website, he duplicated the student ID pictures used by the dorms and uploaded them there. Anyone who visited the site could see photos of two students side-by-side and choose who among the two was "hot" or "not." Facemash opened on October 28, 2003, but a few days later, it was closed. Zuckerberg faced significant allegations of breach of security, infringement of intellectual property rights, invasion of personal privacy, and even expulsion from Harvard.
"The Facebook," now known as "Facebook," was founded in a Harvard dorm room on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. | Photo by Souvik Banerjee on Unsplash
Facebook, which has now grown to become the world's most popular social networking site, was sparked by a failed attempt to encourage internet users to evaluate each other's pictures. "The Facebook," now known as "Facebook," was founded in a Harvard dorm room on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. The site was named after the directories sent to university students to assist them in getting to know one another better. His troubles began again six days later when Harvard seniors Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra charged them with stealing their ideas for the HarvardConnection social networking website, which they were developing at the time. Later, a lawsuit was filed against Zuckerberg, but the case was finally resolved without going to court. At first, only Harvard students were allowed to register on the website. However, over time, Zuckerberg sought the assistance of a handful of his classmates to assist in expanding the website.
ALSO READ: The Other Side Of Social Media
Sean Parker was appointed as the company's president in 2004. An investment of $12.7 million in the company from Accel Partners in the following year allowed for developing a high school student-focused version of the network. Facebook stated in September 2006 that anybody who was at least 13 years old and had a valid email address could become a member of the social networking site.
According to a study by the analytics website Compete.com, Facebook was declared the most widely used social networking service globally by 2009. | Wikimedia Commons
According to a study by the analytics website Compete.com, Facebook was declared the most widely used social networking service globally by 2009. The site's revenues ultimately propelled Zuckerberg to the status of the world's youngest multi-billionaire; he has done his bit to help others benefit from their success. In 2010, he and other wealthy businessmen committed to giving at least half of their fortune to charitable causes. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have contributed a total of $25 million to the Ebola virus's battle. Additionally, they stated that they would donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving lives via education, health, scientific research, and energy.
Keywords: harvard, Harvard connection, facemash, social networking, zuckerberg, facebook