WellBeing News:

By Paul Gray | April 19, 2019

WellBeing News is a monthly newsletter providing updates, research and analysis on our focus areas,
 

Tales of WellBeing:

By Paul Gray | April 19, 2019

 Tales of WellBeing is a monthly publication which includes stories of well-being from around the world.
 

Kwatile’s Story

By Andrew Rowan | April 18, 2019


Thirty years ago, the Kruger National Park in South Africa was managing its elephant population at a population around 7,500 elephants via an annual culling program. This stopped in the mid-1990s and Kruger then began to translocate elephants to private conservancies and other provincial and national parks. Initially, the translocations were rather haphazard but then they began to translocate whole “family” groups. In 1996, Kwatile (Xitsonga or Shangaan for “the angry one”) was an older elephant matriarch who was translocated with her group of 8 elephants to the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve (GMPGR) to join three other family groups. Kwatile was well-named in that the Makalali rangers and personnel always had to be careful around her as they never knew when she might take offense and, when an elephant matriarch takes offense, any people nearby have to watch out!

Book Reviews:

By Paul Gray | April 15, 2019

The Last Elephants(2019) :

The Last Elephants

The Last Elephants (2019) by Don Pinnock & Colin Bell, Penguin Random House South Africa; Cape Town.
Reviewed by Andrew Rowan

The human population of Africa is projected to climb from a little more than 1.29 billion in 2018 to over 2.5 billion in 2050. Unlike the rest of the world, where the population has levelled off or is even decreasing, Africa’s population is projected to continue climbing throughout the 21st century. This is the (briefly mentioned) and depressing backdrop to a beautiful volume on elephants organized by authors Don Pinnock (who has written extensively in the general media on wildlife issues) and Colin Bell (the owner of a wildlife tour company that was established, in part, to return value to the communities where the company operated among some of the most stunning wild places in Africa).
 
Read More

 

Edith Hall Book Review :

A bust of Aristotle

Review of Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life

Edith Hall, Penguin Press, 2019

by Bernard E. Rollin, University Distinguished Professor, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

It is easy to believe that what we imprecisely call “human nature” has not greatly changed since the time of Aristotle. When we combine this fact with his commonsense approach, it is easy to see how and why Dr. Hall chose this project. The most impressive part of her book is the degree to which she makes Aristotelian ideas come alive for today’s citizens.

 

Book Review by Debra Firmani | Love Can Be: A Literary Collection About Our Animals :

January 24, 2019

If you share your life with a companion animal, or ever have – or if you simply love animals – Love Can Be: A Literary Collection About Our Animals will resonate with you. Thirty gifted and award-winning authors share stirring and memorable proof of what love can be through essays and poems about experiences or insights their companion animals or encounters with wild animals have given them.

Urban Wildlife

By Dr. John Hadidian | March 31, 2019

Dr. John Hadidian, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability, 900 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22208.  jhadidi@vt.edu;

By any account these are not good times for wild animals.  Global climate change threatens many species (such as polar bears) with rapid habitat changes to which they might not be able to adapt.  Poaching threatens many others, including the culturally significant rhinoceros and elephant and the less iconic but even more imperiled pangolin.  World fisheries are near a point of collapse from overharvest and unnecessary death awaits many animals as bycatch entrapped in nets or hooked on long-line rigs.  Although we have had little information to date on direct human-caused mortality, recent research summarizing more than a thousand studies of 305 radio-collared species finds 28% of all deaths can be directly attributed to human action, 17% of these from hunting.[i]  Less measurable, but undoubtedly far more numerous are deaths from vehicle collisions, impacts with glass on buildings, entombment and other deaths from land clearing for development, and poisoning by pesticides and other toxicants that humans repeatedly introduce into the environment.

[i] This study is recently published:  Hill, J.E., T.E. DeVault & J. L. Belant. (2019).  Cause‐specific mortality of the world’s terrestrial vertebrates. Global Ecology & Biogeography (2019), https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12881

Roads, Transport Corridors, Infrastructure and Wildlife

By Paul Gray | March 31, 2019

Map of proposed transport corridors across Africa based on analysis of their Economic Advisability – from Laurance 2019 (https://www.ecologicalcitizen.net/pdfs/thin-green-line.pdf)


From 19-22 March of this year, several hundred conservation biologists, activists, economists, lawyers and political scientists convened in the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre in Worcester College, Oxford to discuss global-scale challenges to wildlife and how the assembled cornucopia of disciplines could help to address and mitigate those challenges. There were many interesting and provocative presentations but the one that stood out for me was a presentation by William Laurance on the impact that infrastructure development is going to have on wildlife and wild places.

International Day of Happiness

By Paul Gray | March 19, 2019


Wednesday March 20, 2019 features the sixth annual celebration of the United Nation’s International Day of Happiness. The 2019 World Happiness Report will be published on that day. In the 2018 report, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland topped the rankings and all scored well on the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. The report is produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network which is also involved in producing the Global Happiness and Well-being Policy Report (the second edition of which was issued last month).

References by Focus Areas

By Paul Gray | February 26, 2019

Well-Being

Environmental Sustainability & Humane Education

  • World Animal NetThe site has much useful information however, the Humane Education resource is specifically recommended.
  • The Link Coalition – Contains an extensive set of materials on the links between human and animal abuse.
  • Animal Sentience – New journal (launched in 2016) featuring academic articles and open peer commentary on the topics of animal sentience and well-being.

Plastics & Oceans

  • Our World in Data – is a program based at Oxford University in the United Kingdom that presents data and charts on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) program. There are 17 such goals and Our World in Data presents the latest available data on 232 SDG indicators. Many of these charts will be of interest to followers of WellBeing International but we would draw specific attention to the article on plastics and plastic pollution in the ocean.

Human-Wildlife Conflict

Land Protection

Forthcoming Events

By Paul Gray | February 26, 2019
May 23-June 3, 2019
September 18-20, 2019
October 14-16, 2019
October 20-23, 2019
  • Animal Grantmakers Annual Conference, Minneapolis. Participation in this conference is limited to invited speakers, members of Animal Grantmakers and those grantmakers interested in becoming members. Please contact Animal Grantmakers Communications communications@animalgrantmakers.org for more information.

Human-Baboon Conflict Mitigation

By Paul Gray | February 25, 2019

Baboons in pecan tree-Greyton, SA


The chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) is one of the largest of all monkeys and is a relatively common sight in the Cape Province in South Africa.  In fact, the 500 or so baboons living on the mountain slopes of the Cape Peninsula (Cape Town, South Africa) are now the focus of serious human-wildlife conflict concerns.  The baboons have learned that food and people are closely linked.  Individual baboons have learned to open car doors parked in the Cape Point Nature Reserve and baboon troops now get into houses and raid refrigerators in Cape Town and its suburbs.  However, the human-baboon conflict is widespread in South Africa and the following is a description of how the Greyton community is resolving this conflict.

News

Roads, Transport Corridors, Infrastructure and Wildlife

March 31, 2019

Map of proposed transport corridors across Africa based on analysis of their Economic Advisability – from Laurance 2019 (https://www.ecologicalcitizen.net/pdfs/thin-green-line.pdf)


From 19-22 March of this year, several hundred conservation biologists, activists, economists, lawyers and political scientists convened in the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre in Worcester College, Oxford to discuss global-scale challenges to wildlife and how the assembled cornucopia of disciplines could help to address and mitigate those challenges. There were many interesting and provocative presentations but the one that stood out for me was a presentation by William Laurance on the impact that infrastructure development is going to have on wildlife and wild places.

International Day of Happiness

March 19, 2019


Wednesday March 20, 2019 features the sixth annual celebration of the United Nation’s International Day of Happiness. The 2019 World Happiness Report will be published on that day. In the 2018 report, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland topped the rankings and all scored well on the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. The report is produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network which is also involved in producing the Global Happiness and Well-being Policy Report (the second edition of which was issued last month).

Human-Baboon Conflict Mitigation

February 25, 2019

Baboons in pecan tree-Greyton, SA


The chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) is one of the largest of all monkeys and is a relatively common sight in the Cape Province in South Africa.  In fact, the 500 or so baboons living on the mountain slopes of the Cape Peninsula (Cape Town, South Africa) are now the focus of serious human-wildlife conflict concerns.  The baboons have learned that food and people are closely linked.  Individual baboons have learned to open car doors parked in the Cape Point Nature Reserve and baboon troops now get into houses and raid refrigerators in Cape Town and its suburbs.  However, the human-baboon conflict is widespread in South Africa and the following is a description of how the Greyton community is resolving this conflict.

Plastics in the Ocean

February 25, 2019

As the global production of plastic items explodes, plastic debris and waste is accumulating across the planet’s oceans. A 20-fold increase in plastic production occurred between 1964 and 2014, and the rate of production continues to increase (see figure:  407 million tonnes in 2015, 302 million tonnes of which ended up in the waste stream in 2015). Between them, China (60mt), the USA (38mt), Germany (14.5 mt), and Brazil (12 mt) account for 40% of this waste.  An excellent update on this topic is provided by a new website – Our World in Data – produced by academics at Oxford University.

Data from publications by R Geyer, JR Jambeck & KL Law, 2017, in Science Advances 3(7).

Costa Rica

October 26, 2018

–WBI’s first blog details the impressive,positive changes in the human-dog relationship in Costa Rica over the past twenty to thirty years.  These developments are occurring in countries around the globe but on different timescales in each country.

Dog Management in the USA

October 26, 2018

– A recent analysis of trends in US dog populations and dog management has been published in the Open Access journal, Animals by Andrew Rowan and Tamara Kartal .  The article was published on April 28, 2018 and has received 1,779 views since then. 

Resources

WellBeing News:

April 19, 2019

WellBeing News is a monthly newsletter providing updates, research and analysis on our focus areas,
 

Tales of WellBeing:

April 19, 2019

 Tales of WellBeing is a monthly publication which includes stories of well-being from around the world.
 

Resources On Dog Management

October 26, 2018

Animal Studies Repository includes a section on Companion Animals that includes numerous reports and papers on companion animal management.

Resources On Environmental Sustainability & Humane Education

October 26, 2018

World Animal Net – has a lengthy section on humane education on its website that is well worth reading.

The Link Coalition – includes an extensive set of materials on the links between human and animal abuse.

Reviews & Reports

Book Reviews:

April 15, 2019

The Last Elephants(2019) :

The Last Elephants

The Last Elephants (2019) by Don Pinnock & Colin Bell, Penguin Random House South Africa; Cape Town.
Reviewed by Andrew Rowan

The human population of Africa is projected to climb from a little more than 1.29 billion in 2018 to over 2.5 billion in 2050. Unlike the rest of the world, where the population has levelled off or is even decreasing, Africa’s population is projected to continue climbing throughout the 21st century. This is the (briefly mentioned) and depressing backdrop to a beautiful volume on elephants organized by authors Don Pinnock (who has written extensively in the general media on wildlife issues) and Colin Bell (the owner of a wildlife tour company that was established, in part, to return value to the communities where the company operated among some of the most stunning wild places in Africa).
 
Read More

 

Edith Hall Book Review :

A bust of Aristotle

Review of Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life

Edith Hall, Penguin Press, 2019

by Bernard E. Rollin, University Distinguished Professor, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

It is easy to believe that what we imprecisely call “human nature” has not greatly changed since the time of Aristotle. When we combine this fact with his commonsense approach, it is easy to see how and why Dr. Hall chose this project. The most impressive part of her book is the degree to which she makes Aristotelian ideas come alive for today’s citizens.

 

Book Review by Debra Firmani | Love Can Be: A Literary Collection About Our Animals :

January 24, 2019

If you share your life with a companion animal, or ever have – or if you simply love animals – Love Can Be: A Literary Collection About Our Animals will resonate with you. Thirty gifted and award-winning authors share stirring and memorable proof of what love can be through essays and poems about experiences or insights their companion animals or encounters with wild animals have given them.

Forthcoming Meetings/Events

May 23-June 3, 2019

September 18-20, 2019

October 14-16, 2019

October 20-23, 2019

  • Animal Grantmakers Annual Conference, Minneapolis.  Participation in this conference is limited to invited speakers, members of Animal Grantmakers and those grantmakers interested in becoming members.  Please contact Animal Grantmakers Communications communications@animalgrantmakers.org for more information.

 

September 2019

3rd International Dog Population Management Conference, Kenya: International Coalition for Companion Animal Management (final dates to be announced – check the ICAM website).

 

October 14-16, 2019

University of Sydney, One Welfare Conference II – A follow-up to the first International One Welfare Conference, held in Winnipeg Manitoba in 2016.