Friday, September 9, 2016

Successes This Week!

Duck Strangling Festival Canceled
Duck Brandon Weeks
Target: Rolando Zapata Bello, Governor of Yucatan

Goal: Thank government officials for putting an end to a violent event in which ducks are strangled.

For years, a small city in Mexico held the Kots Kaal Pato festival, which roughly translates into “strangle the duck.” During this festival, a duck would be tied up to a wooden frame and at the whistle blow, festival-goers would trample over each other to try to be the one to rip off the duck’s head.

The event was truly barbaric and savage. It showed some of the worst aspects of humans. Thankfully, due to numerous online petitions including one at ForceChange, government officials have decided to ban the violent festival. Sign this petition and thank officials for banning this barbaric event. Numerous lives are now spared unnecessary pain and death.
Giant Panda No Longer Endangered
Target: Chen Jining, Minister of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China

Goal: Applaud removal of the giant panda’s “endangered” status.

The giant panda has recovered from the verge of extinction and is on its way to a more sustainable population. The International Union for Conservation of Nature, the organization responsible for monitoring threatened species, has announced that these precious creatures will be reclassified as “vulnerable.”

Saving the panda has been a pressing matter for conservationists for a long time, as evidenced by the ForceChange petitions found here and here. In their report, the IUCN concluded that panda populations are growing thanks to protection from the Chinese government’s efforts to re-grow forests and preserve their habitat.

The report added that wild panda numbers have increased by almost 17 percent and there are now approximately 2,000 animals living in the wild. In addition to their overall population, pandas have also increased their geographic range by 12 percent in the past decade.

This encouraging report proves that conservation efforts are working. Sign the petition below to applaud the Chinese government for its dedication to saving these animals.

Plan Overturned to Open 1 Million Acres to Drilling, Fracking

A big win in California: A federal judge on Tuesday overturned a federal plan to open more than 1 million acres of public land and mineral estate in central California to drilling and fracking. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies.

Citing threats to water supplies and endangered species, the court ruled that the Bureau of Land Management had failed to analyze the risks of fracking and other fossil fuel extraction techniques when preparing a plan that would have allowed drilling on vast stretches of land.

"This is a huge victory in the fight to protect our water and wildlife from fracking pollution and dangerous drilling," said the Center's Brendan Cummings. "Rather than try to correct their legal mistakes, the Obama administration now needs to do what climate science and common sense dictate: Put a permanent end to leasing oil, gas and coal from our public lands." Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Court Slaps Down Highway-widening Project in California
Red-legged frog
A federal judge has put the brakes on a highway-widening project in California that threatens wildlife like San Francisco garter snakes and California red-legged frogs.

The decision follows a legal challenge by the Center and allies who are fighting plans to widen Highway 1 in Pacifica, Calif. The judge said California's transportation department violated the Endangered Species Act in approving the controversial project.

"We're hoping the agency gets the message that the community doesn't want or need this wasteful and damaging highway-widening project," said the Center's Jeff Miller.

Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.