Daily Archives: October 11, 2012

Invasive Species at Our Doors: "All Tricks, No Treats"

by U.S Fish and Wildlife Service

Things that go bump in the night aren’t any scarier than things that bump native fish, wildlife, and plant species out of Northwest forests, fields, and streams.

That’s the premise of a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-sponsored social media campaign launching Monday, October 1, 2012. The agency’s Pacific Region will use its Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube sites during the month of October to demonstrate how creeping, crawling invasive animals and plants can make local habitats resemble haunted ecological houses.

“Invasive plants and animals are one of the biggest challenges we face while protecting, enhancing, or restoring native fish, wildlife, and plant populations and their habitats” said Robyn Thorson, Director of the Service’s Pacific Region. “Preventing the introduction of new invasive species is the preferred method of avoiding these challenges but we need extensive outreach and education to be successful. We hope this campaign, which will be educational and entertaining, will do that.”

Dubbed “All Tricks, No Treats,” the campaign will highlight four invasive species challenges—one a week– that have plagued conservation efforts like a zombie invasion. For instance, one will address the species and habitat impacts of releasing popular aquarium or ornamental species like red swamp crayfish, red-eared sliders (a turtle), and hydrilla (an invasive aquatic weed).

Release of non-native aquarium species often occurs by educators and students at the conclusion of science projects or when classes end for the summer. Most people have no idea they are creating a potential nightmare scenario in local waterways for native species and habitats; one-third of the world’s worst aquatic invasive animals and plants are aquarium or ornamental species.

The campaign intends to raise awareness of such ‘pathways for introduction’ and offer audiences easy prevention measures they can take at home and in the classroom. It will use humor and horror-themed punch lines like “Invasion of the Waterbody Snatchers,” video clips, cartoons, even recipes in which invasive species are the main ingredient to make youth and adult audiences aware of existing initiatives and educational campaigns such as “Don’t Let it Loose,” “Squeal on Pigs,” and “Clean, Drain, Dry.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners anticipate that by connecting popular scary Halloween themes with information about a serious ecological challenge, the social media campaign will parlay an invasive species fear factor into action.

In the Pacific Northwest and Hawaiian Islands at least 5,000 introduced species have been documented outside their native range. While many assimilate into ecological communities with little to no environmental or socio-economic impacts, other introduced species, such as quagga and zebra mussels, can cause millions of dollars in damage to local infrastructure, require expensive annual maintenance, alter habitats, and imperil native species.

Follow “All Tricks, No Treats” on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/USFWSPacific

Our website: http://goo.gl/J0zOh or on Twitter: http://twitter.com/USFWSPacific

Facebook Founder’s Year of Eating Only Self-harvested Meat

by Agnieszka Spieszny

Outdoor Hub Reporter
Mark Zuckerberg, best known as the founder and CEO of the social networking site Facebook, is perhaps one of the most overlooked “celebrity” hunters…until now.

In May of 2011, he set out on a personal, one-year challenge to eat only meat that he kills. To get away from all things Facebook, Zuckerberg is known to set yearly challenges for himself such as wearing neck-ties every day for a year, or much more “academic” challenges such as learning Chinese by setting aside an hour a day to study.

His latest challenge came from one night when he hosted a pig roast at his house. In an email to Fortune, he explains,

A bunch of people told me that even though they loved eating pork, they really didn’t want to think about the fact that the pig used to be alive. That just seemed irresponsible to me. I don’t have an issue with anything people choose to eat, but I do think they should take responsibility and be thankful for what they eat rather than trying to ignore where it came from.

Zuckerberg started small. At first, he boiled a live lobster, then harvested and consumed a chicken and a goat. The New York Times stated that he purchased a hunting license and shot a bison as well. Although after he ended his year-long pledge that extended into August of 2012, he was quoted as saying that he spent most of the year as a vegetarian.

Huffington Post writer Laurel Miller raised the question of how much Zuckerberg was actually involved in dressing and preparing the animals he killed himself.

I respected Zuckerberg for his willingness to get closer to his food supply — until I read that his “killing” has been limited to just that. CNNMoney…and other online news source[s]…reports, ‘the dead creatures go to a butcher in Santa Cruz, who cuts them into parts.’

Excuse me, but slashing an animal’s neck doesn’t make you a hero. Nor does it make you a poster child for ‘knowing thy food source.’ …the real emotional and physical work of slaughtering an animal comes from the skinning, evisceration, and breaking down of a still-warm carcass into recognizable cuts, and removing the organs for later use.

So while Zuckerberg perhaps exuded what some consider a correct moral mentality in hopes of getting more people to admit to the source of their food, he should have talked to Ted Nugent or Hank Williams Jr. to take it all the way.