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NFC: Fw: DENLINES Issue #5

Defenders Electronic Network (DEN)
Friday, December 17, 1999

1.      ACTION: Defenders Launches New DEN Action Center
2.      BISON: Yellowstone Bison Vulnerable to Slaughter As Winter Nears	
3.      WILD CATS: Endangered Border Cats Struggle To Survive in SW
4       WOLVES: Save The Yellowstone Wolves Fund
5.      DID YOU KNOW?: Brown Pelican
6.      FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Peter Matthiessen

1.      ACTION: Defenders Launches New DEN Action Center

Using new internet based technology, Defenders Electronic Network 
(DEN) has established a new web-based Action Center designed to make 
weighing in with your members of Congress and other government 
officials on critical conservation issues as easy as just a few 
clicks of your mouse. Many of you have already used the new DEN 
Action Center to respond to our recent alert on protecting forest 
roadless areas.

Simply go to the site and login using your e-mail address. Inside 
the DEN Action site, you'll find action alerts on important issues
complete with pictures, background information and a sample letter 
which can be edited or sent as is. New technology allows us to make 
sure your message is correctly sent to the targeted recipient almost 
instantaneously whether by e-mail or fax. We plan to add letter and 
phone capacity in the coming months. Past alerts that are no longer 
active can also be viewed and status information is available 
explaining what happened on each issue. Another feature allows you 
to send an introductory e-mail message about DEN in a matter of 
seconds to as many as five of your online friends who care about 
conservation. Take a look for yourself by visiting the site at

For our JUNO e-mail susbscribers, Defenders is currently working 
with JUNO Online Services to allow special web access to the DEN 
Action Center site even if you do not currently have general web 
access. Stay tuned for more on this exciting development which 
should be available in the new year.

2.      BISON: Yellowstone Bison Vulnerable to Slaughter As Winter Nears

Each winter, bison leave Yellowstone National Park in search of food 
on lower elevation lands. Inside the park bison are protected by 
federal law but when they exit the park, management authority is 
transferred to the states. In Montana, the State's Department of 
Livestock (DOL) rather than its wildlife agency currently is 
responsible for managing bison because of ranchers' concerns that 
bison could transmit the disease brucellosis to their cattle.  
Brucellosis can cause pregnant cows to abort their calves. Such 
fear has led to the killing of approximately 3,100 bison since 1985, 
with nearly 1,100 killed during the winter of 1996/97, even though 
there has never been a documented case of transmission of 
brucellosis from wild bison to cattle.  The park's herd has dwindled 
to about 2,500 bison. 

Last year more than 67,000 people submitted comments on a long-term 
Yellowstone bison management plan. The vast majority wanted stronger 
protections for the nation's last free-ranging bison herd. This week,
after many months of negotiations between the federal agencies and 
the State of Montana to work out a final plan, the federal government 
notified Montana Governor Marc Racicot that an impasse had been 
reached because Montana continued to present unreasonable objections 
to the modified federal proposal. While not a perfect plan, this 
modified proposal would protect Montana's cattle industry and 
maintain a wild, free-roaming bison herd. According to the federal 
agencies, Montana's plan would result in "unnecessary killing" and 
was therefore unacceptable. The failure to agree on a unified plan 
will likely result in more needless killing of bison in winter as 
they leave the park and venture onto state lands and surrounding 
federal forests. 

Click for more: http://www.defenders.org/den/dl00005.html#bison

3.      WILD CATS: Endangered Border Cats Struggle To Survive in SW

The U.S. Border Patrol is currently moving forward with a controversial 
proposal to resurface roads, clear vegetation, construct fences and 
install high-powered lights along roughly 50 miles of the Rio Grande 
River in south Texas. Conservation groups, including Defenders, have 
filed a law suit claiming that these activities will ruin some of 
the last remaining habitat for ocelots and jaguarundis and violate 
the federal Endangered Species Act.

The ocelot and jaguarundi are two of America's most critically 
endangered species. A third is the extremely rare jaguar. All three 
of the species' populations are estimated at less than a hundred 
individuals in the U.S. while a larger population exist in Mexico. 
Driven to the brink of extinction, primarily due to habitat loss, 
these rarely-seen border cats struggle to survive in isolated pockets 
of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and areas across the Mexican border.

In the fall of 1998, Defenders of Wildlife established the Bordercats 
Working Group (BWG), a committee of scientists charged with 
coordinating recovery efforts for the three endangered cat species.
To date, the BWG has organized state recovery meetings, conducted 
field studies to determine the location and size of remaining 
populations, and begun work using state-of-the-art satellite mapping 
data to determine where suitable habitat exists for a potential 
future. Because much of the cat's remaining habitat lies in private 
hands, the group plans to work with private landowners to develop 
conservation incentives for each species.

4.      WOLVES: Save The Yellowstone Wolves Fund

Because many of you have asked if contributions can help save the 
lives of the Yellowstone wolves here are some specifics. As you may 
know, because of a lawsuit filed by the wealthy American Farm Bureau 
Federation, a death sentence hangs over the hundreds of wolves in 
Yellowstone national Park. Defenders of Wildlife has launched an 
all-out legal and educational campaign to save these wolves. If you 
wish to include this in your year-end contributions, you can make 
an online contribution to the Yellowstone fund by going to 
http://www.defenders.org/portal.html or send a check to our address 
below. Your donation is tax deductible.

5.      DID YOU KNOW? Brown Pelican

While pelicans are among the largest of all living birds, the brown 
pelican is the smallest of the seven pelican species. It measures 
about three feet and boasts a seven foot wingspan. The brown pelican 
feeds almost exclusively on fish, which it catches by diving head 
first into the water from as high as 65 feet. The sound of a pelican 
hitting the water can be heard a half mile away. A series of air 
pockets in its chest cushions the impact and protects it from injury. 
Once in the water the pelican scoops up fish in its elastic throat 
pouch, which can hold up to two gallons of water. Before swallowing 
the fish, the pelican must drain the water from its bill, which 
often allows a daring gull, hovering above or even perched on its 
bill, to steal a fish or two. In 1970, brown pelicans were listed as 
an endangered species due to the deadly effects of pesticides like 
DDT. Today, the magnificent bird is making a comeback along the 
Atlantic coast, including all of Florida and Alabama where it is no 
longer listed. However the Pacific, Gulf coast and South American 
populations are still listed as endangered.

6.      FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Peter Matthiessen

"The variety of life in nature can be compared to a vast library of 
unread books, and the plundering of nature is comparable to the 
random discarding of whole volumes without having opened them, and 
learned from them. Our critical dependence on the great variety of 
nature for the progress we have already made has been amply 
documented. Indifference to the loss of species is, in effect, 
indifference to the future, and therefore a shameful carelessness 
about our future, and therefore a shameful carelessness about our 

                          Peter Matthiessen, 1986, from his book 
                           "The Spirit of Crazy Horse"


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DENLINES is a bi-weekly publication of Defenders of Wildlife, a 
leading national conservation organization recognized as one of the 
nation's most progressive advocates for wildlife and its habitat. 
Known for its effective leadership on endangered species issues, 
particularly predators like brown bears and gray wolves, Defenders 
also advocates new approaches to wildlife conservation that protect 
species before they become endangered. Founded in 1947, 
Defenders is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with more than 
380,000 members and supporters.

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	         (c) Defenders of Wildlife, 1999.