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Today is St Jerome Feast Day

Tuesday 30th September 2014

janet doolaege   What a fitting day to add a charming new book about St Jerome into our webshop.


This new children’s book recounts the story of Saint Jerome and the Lion is told by the lion himself. It is a tale of tenderness and adventure,St Jerome with some humour, but what makes it perhaps different from other children's books is its emphasis on communication between animals  and humans, and the general importance of translation between languages if there is to be any understanding. (Saint Jerome is, after all the patron saint of translators.)


Why is Leo the lion sitting on a roof under the stars feeling sad?
It all began in the desert when he got a thorn stuck in his paw. An amazing flying lion appeared and sent Leo to Father Jerome, a kindly monk. Father Jerome healed Leo's paw and then gave him the job of looking after Rebecca the donkey.
Now Rebecca has disappeared! Could it be Leo's fault?


Click here to order your copy of this wonderful book for children 7 years and up!

 

Picture credits: http://on.fb.me/1uyIHqR  http://bit.ly/1yxV9tG  

 

If you have not already signed up to our mailing list, you can add your name here and keep up to date with our ongoing work and, most importantly, DONATE to support our work to conserve the remaining fragile lion populations. Thank you. 

Tags: Lion, St Jerome,

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 15:18

A win for lions!!!!

Wednesday 17th September 2014

A win for lions 

Soon no longer importable

 

Today we received an e-mail from Gael de Rotalier of the European Commission. He mentioned that the Commission had now proposed the requirement of an import permit for all lion trophies. He felt that there should be no opposition for adoption by the EU Parliament or Council, and that import permits will be adopted by the end of this year or early in 2015.

Why is this important?

The EU Wildlife Trade Regulation (WTR) usually follows CITES, but can impose stricter regulations. The EU WTR is regularly monitored by the Scientific Review Group to determine whether trade in such species is sustainable and conducive to conservation aims.

The Scientific Review Group has already passed “negative opinions” on lion imports from Benin, Burkina Faso and Cameroon, and has placed “suspensions” on Ethiopia .

“Negative opinions” mean that the Scientific Review Group is not satisfied that continued utilization of lions in those countries is favourable to their conservation. But even with these “negative opinions”, lion trophies are still allowed into the EU.

Why? Because hunting trophies are currently exempted from trade regulations as they are considered “household and personal effects” and therefore receive what is called a “derogation”.

When the import permits for lions come into effect, these “negative opinions” will automatically extend to hunting trophies as well, so that no further imports of trophies from Benin, Burkina Faso and Cameroon will be allowed into the EU.

LionAid has been working tirelessly for several years to get this derogation removed, and it seems it will now become a reality. We have had meetings with the Commission as well as Members of European Parliament to communicate the urgent conservation needs of wild lions in Africa (of which there are likely not more than 15,000 on the entire continent, down from about 200,000 fifty years ago) and that trophy hunting is a needless source of further mortality.

We will also now work with the European Commission to take a very close look at those countries that now enjoy a “positive opinion” in terms of lion trophy imports – Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa.

With the requirement of an import permit, the EU can require a much better evaluation of how well those populations are faring while being subjected to trophy hunting offtakes.

We need not remind you that we are entirely dependent on donations to continue this important work to achieve these results.


Picture credit: www.chasse-cameroon.com

 

If you have not already signed up to our mailing list, you can add your name here and keep up to date with our ongoing work and, most importantly, DONATE to support our work to conserve the remaining fragile lion populations. Thank you. 

1 Comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 17:25

YWP fundraiser

 

 

 

 

Please click here to purchase tickets for this amazing event.

 

For those of you coming a considerable distance, we have organised a choice of hotels to stay overnight (at discounted rates) and will organise a mini bus from London to Doncaster if enough people are interested. Click here for details.

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 14:01

Nov Fundraiser 

Back in July we told you about this exciting new fundraiser at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster.
Interest is high in this event and tickets are selling fast!!


For those of you who, like us, are coming a considerable distance, we are planning to make a mini bus available for the return trip from London to Doncaster and a choice of hotels to stay overnight.


Both hotels listed below have offered us competitive rates and we have a holding reservation as detailed below at the beautiful Mount Pleasant (which also has wonderful dining facilities!). If people are happy to share a twin bedded room, the rates at both hotels are very reasonable indeed!


We are now looking to gauge interest in staying overnight and it would help our planning if you could email us on info@lionaid.org with your hotel choice. Rooms at the Mount Pleasant will be released for general sale again at the end of September.


Ramada Encore, Doncaster: £41.30 room only. £52.00 B&B. Single or double occupancy.


Best Western Mount Pleasant Hotel, Doncaster:
Standard Double for Sole Occupancy - £75 B&B
Standard Double for Double Occupancy - £95 B&B
Executive Double for Sole Occupancy - £95 B&B
Executive Double for Double Occupancy - £115 B&B
Junior Suite for Sole Occupancy - £115 B&B
Junior Suite for Double Occupancy - £135 B&B

This fundraiser is a chance for many of us to meet up again (or for the first time) and spend quality time with John Rendall on a great two day trip! And all this whilst raising much needed funds for our work to save lions. Can’t be bad!!

 

If you have not already signed up to our mailing list, you can add your name here and keep up to date with our ongoing work and, most importantly, DONATE to support our work to conserve the remaining fragile lion populations. Thank you. 

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 15:41

Clothes for Charity

Thursday 11th September 2014

Clothes for charity

Did you know that you could help us by raise funds by donating good quality. reusable and clean clothing!

When you are ready, Clothes for Charity will collect from your home or workplace.

Once you have registered and picked LionAid as your chosen charity, just request a bag and fill it up with clothes you want to donate. They will send out a bag and a barcode and instructions on what to do next. Nothing could be simpler. it costs you nothing!!

A BIG thank you to the 19 donors who have already donated 320kg of clothes! Your support is earning valuable donations to help us in  our work! 

So time for a clear out? Does your wardrobe need revamping ready for the autumn? If so, then please click on this link and get your first bag requested!!

The lions are roaring their thanks!!!

 

 

If you have not already signed up to our mailing list, you can add your name here and keep up to date with our ongoing work and, most importantly, DONATE to support our work to conserve the remaining fragile lion populations. Thank you. 

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 20:36

Flying the flag for LionAid

Thursday 4th September 2014

Hannah Cockroft Thank you Hannah Cockroft MBE- Paralympic World, European and Olympic Champion!

 

One of our Trustees, Peter Cross, has kindly provided the charity with some promotional LIONAID t-shirts. Thank you Peter! That’s awesome!


Hannah Cockroft, signatureAnd how delighted are we to see who has already turned up proudly wearing one! Hannah Cockroft MBE, the British wheelchair athlete, holds the Paralympic and world records for both the 100 metres T34 and 200 metres T34. Competing for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, she won two gold medals. What a fantastic achievement!!!!

Not only has Hannah shown off her support for our lion conservation work by wearing the t-shirt but she has also signed it and given it back for us to auction off, to raise much needed funds for the charity. Thank you Hannah – you’re a gem!

 

Peter, Marie and Jack

And here is Jack Parkinson-Blackburn, nominated as one of LionAid’s first Young Ambassadors, with our Trustee Peter Cross (middle) and his wife, Marie.

Jack is a 14 Year old "Young Gun" speedway rider, proudly rides with the LionAid logo on his bike! Go Jack! The lions are roaring their support!!

 

 

 

If you have not already signed up to our mailing list, you can add your name here and keep up to date with our ongoing work and, most importantly, DONATE to support our work to conserve the remaining fragile lion populations. Thank you. 

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 14:37

Koala bears 

After careful consideration we vote for a ban on importation of lion trophies

 

It seems that Australia might become the world leader in placing extremely strict measures on further imports of lion “products” including hunting trophies


Let me back up a little bit and explain the difference between national and international wildlife trade regulations. Any sovereign nation can decide for itself on whether to allow trade to take place in all manner of wildlife products. In Australia, this is a decision to be made by the Department of Environment. That department is now holding a number of consultations, including input from the public and stakeholders. Once the information has been assembled, the department will make a decision based on (one would sincerely hope) scientific data to assess the need to revise import legislation.

The international trade in wildlife is determined by CITES, and their decisions are equally binding on member states. CITES consists of over 170 member states, and often their decisions are delayed for a number of non-scientific reasons and/or influenced by vested interests.

And then of course there are the nations involved in the export trade – they can also independently decide to list a number of nationally protected species no matter whether CITES allows trade.

As a final bit of information, some sovereign nations have decided to cede their national priorities to a bloc vote. This happens in the European Union, where all member states agree to abide by the overall consensus among the 27 member states.

So – this is why a great diversity of different rules and regulations exist about imports and exports of all manner of wildlife products. Some nations have decided that such imports and exports are fine and dandy and rely on CITES to inform them while others exercise their sovereign right to make independent decisions.

Let me give you an example. The USA will not allow imports of trophies of polar bears and cheetahs as their USFWS has decided that such trophy hunting is not conducive to the conservation of those species. Similarly, the USFWS has placed a (temporary) ban on imports of elephant hunting trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe. But the EU seems to have a different take for some reason and polar bear, cheetah, and elephant trophies from all over are not restricted in any way as the EU follows CITES rulings. However, the EU does not allow imports of seal skins from Canada and Namibia while the USA has no such restrictions.

Are you confused? I certainly am. If there is good scientific evidence that guides the USFWS to disallow imports of cheetah and polar bear trophies into the USA, why does the EU not make a parallel assessment?

But let’s come back to Australia. There is a clear need for a nation to take an independent stance on imports of lion trophies. Australia is not a major player in the lion trophy hunting game – over the five years 2008-2012 Australia “only” imported 44 trophies and 14 skins, virtually all from captive bred lions in South Africa. Nevertheless, one would hope that if Australia takes a strong stand against these imports, other nations might just follow. Or at least pay better attention.

The USFWS completed all preliminary requirements for an assessment of lion product imports late last year and was due to announce their decision in January this year. That decision has been repeatedly delayed and we are still waiting. Similarly the EU was to announce stricter import regulations on lion products this year as well. Again, we are still waiting.

So well done Australia as a sovereign nation for taking a very close look at the conservation status of lions versus continued trade.

Picture credit: http://bit.ly/Wbv5mm 

 

 

If you have not already signed up to our mailing list, you can add your name here and keep up to date with our ongoing work and, most importantly, DONATE to support our work to conserve the remaining fragile lion populations. Thank you. 

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 15:23

United for Wildlife Song

Wednesday 3rd September 2014

Peace in Nature 

 

We have been contacted by an organisation in Tanzania called Peace In Nature and Ecotourism. Their primary focus is to involve children in wildlife conservation; an area that they and we feel has been sadly neglected. As they point out, children and young people are the adults of tomorrow and they are more likely to become good conservationists in their adult life if they become wildlife champions whilst they are young.
This is not dissimilar to the LionAid “Kids for Lions” initiative which we are developing and we will be delighted to give the children in Tanzania the chance to be part of the LionAid Young Ambassadors scheme.
They have sent us a song called “United for Wildlife” created by their children’s forum for wildlife.

Have a listen here!!


Wouldn’t it be great if we could get children from all over the world to create their songs for wildlife?

Watch this space!


Contact us if a school near you would like to be involved in this exciting new project…..

 

 

If you have not already signed up to our mailing list, you can add your name here and keep up to date with our ongoing work and, most importantly, DONATE to support our work to conserve the remaining fragile lion populations. Thank you.

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 13:49

News out of Zambia...

Thursday 21st August 2014

David Scholey

UK banker David Scholey welcome again, but not for big cats

 

BAN ON HUNTING IN 19 HUNTING BLOCKS LIFTED

“Minister Of Tourism and Arts Jean Kapata has lifted the ban on hunting in the 19 hunting blocks with immediate effect.
Ms Kapata made the announcement at a press briefing held at the Ministry of Tourism head office in Lusaka this morning.
She however said that the hunting will be conducted under laid down conditions and strict supervision from ZAWA. But that the ban on big Cats still stands.”

This was always going to happen. When LionAid met with the previous Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Board recently we were told in no uncertain terms that trophy hunting would be quickly reinstated. After all, the finance to operate ZAWA is still largely locked into trophy hunting.

LionAid is disappointed that during the ban on trophy hunting, the Zambian government did not seek alternate and ultimately more sustainable means of conserving Zambia’s wildlife heritage by supporting and promoting the photographic tourism industry.

When we met with the Zambia High Commissioner in London, he expressed concern that not one member of his staff was assigned to promote photographic tourism to Zambia from the UK - that could well be the biggest source of tourists.

Zambia is an incredibly beautiful country. From the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the north to Victoria Falls in the south, from amazing wildlife areas like Luangwa and Zambezi. And LionAid has rarely met more kind and welcoming people in Africa than in Zambia.

Zambia has much to be proud of. LionAid would appeal to President Sata and his government not to sell Zambia’s wildlife heritage to trophy hunters. Please consider diversifying the wildlife industry to reap much greater profits and employment from photographic tourism – it is after all a much more sustainable use of wildlife resources.

Meanwhile, LionAid would like to thank Minister Kapata for keeping big cats off the hunting menu. We do hope that this is not just another domino that will fall with pressure from the trophy hunting lobby in Zambia.

 

Picture credit:  http://read.bi/1sXHFnx 

 

If you have not already signed up to our mailing list, you can add your name here and keep up to date with our ongoing work and, most importantly, DONATE to support our work to conserve the remaining fragile lion populations. Thank you. 

 

 

2 Comments | Posted by Chris Macsween at 19:19

100,000 elephants killed in three years...

Wednesday 20th August 2014

Ivory stockpiles 

No living elephant carries these kinds of tusks in Tanzania

 

Those are the numbers published in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The article states:

“Poachers killed an estimated 100,000 elephants across Africa between 2010 and 2012, a huge spike in the continent's death rate of the world's largest land mammals because of an increased demand for ivory in China and other Asian nations, a new study published Monday found.
Warnings about massive elephant slaughters have been ringing for years, but Monday's study is the first to scientifically quantify the number of deaths across the continent by measuring deaths in one closely monitored park in Kenya and using other published data to extrapolate fatality tolls across the continent.
The study — which was carried out by the world's leading elephant experts — found that the proportion of illegally killed elephants has climbed from 25 per cent of all elephant deaths a decade ago to roughly 65 per cent of all elephant deaths today, a percentage that, if continued, will lead to the extinction of the species.
China's rising middle class and the demand for ivory in that country of 1.3 billion people is driving the black market price of ivory up, leading to more impoverished people in Africa "willing to take the criminal risk on and kill elephants. The causation in my mind is clear," said the study's lead author, George Wittemyer of Colorado State University.”

So where do we stand?

Let’s begin with some facts.

  • Nobody knows how many elephants remain in Africa. We hear numbers ranging between 400,000 to 600,000. Such numbers seem to give comfort to organizations like CITES and the IUCN because there are still plenty of elephants to be “sustainably utilized”. 
  • Some countries, like Zimbabwe and Tanzania, still insist that elephants should be trophy hunted despite the huge declines in populations. Never mind that the average elephant only carries tusks weighing about 11kg these days. Never mind that the Selous elephant population has been hammered by poaching and that there are only 13,000 left now compared to 70,000 five years ago. The Selous is 80% occupied by hunting concessions.
  • There are two elephant species in Africa. Everyone except geneticists seem to ignore this fact. There are forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) and savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana). Ignoring that fact ignores the real plight of African elephants.
  • Elephant mortalities are not fully reported. A recent aerial survey of elephants in the Mara/Serengeti ecosystem in Kenya/Tanzania found 117 carcasses in the Mara. Many of those had not been entered into the official Kenya Wildlife Service statistics. The article says 100,000 elephants poached, but the number is likely to be much higher as elephants poached are not fully reported in well-monitored areas like the Mara and not at all reported in more remote areas.
  • Demand reduction might be working to some degree, but it is clearly not the fast answer required. China and Thailand and Angola and Zimbabwe and DRC must stop selling ivory locally. There should be a complete ban on ivory sales everywhere to stop the slaughter. Corrupt officials in source and consumer countries are not going to be defeated except by a complete ban. More rangers and better law enforcement are also not going to work fast enough.
  • And let’s not fuel the fires by countries that have ivory stockpiles demanding of CITES that they should be granted rights to sell.

The 1989 ivory ban worked well. Elephant populations recovered as ivory could not be sold legally anywhere. But a slow creep came back, including legal sales approved by CITES, internet sales, “antique” sales.

Let’s all go back to 1989. Sorry China and Thailand, you can live without ivory chopsticks.


Picture credit: Tom Pilston

 

 

If you have not already signed up to our mailing list, you can add your name here and keep up to date with our ongoing work and, most importantly, DONATE to support our work to conserve the remaining fragile lion populations. Thank you.

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 14:07