Summer 2012

    Issue: Summer 2012

    Table of Contents

    • In a city of eight million people, a shelter is required to take in all animals that come. No wonder it has the most animals in need. It’s likely the first place to which a found, lost, stray or abandoned animal is brought, and it’s the place many people come to relinquish their pets.

      New York City ’s shelter operation, Animal Care & Control, accepts nearly 40,000 animals each year. Since 1995 it has functioned as a non-profit organization, yet it bears responsibility for the municipal shelter system by rescuing and finding homes for the abandoned and homeless animals in all five New York City boroughs. It runs three full-service adoption sites, seven days a week, in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

      Community initiatives such as adoption events and a liaison with outreach groups have increased the survival rate for the animals. Yet AC&C acknowledges that there is much work to be done to reach the highest possible adoption success rate.

      The task is prodigious. At any given time, there are 1,000 cats, dogs, and rabbits in the AC&C system. Most of them will be adopted. Not all are available for adoption at once, but many are ready to be taken home right now.

       

       

      Why AC&C Matters to Friends of Animals

      Our pioneering low-cost spay-neuter project began when Friends of Animals did, in 1957. It’s always been a central feature of our work. We’re committed to ending the epidemic of homeless cats and dogs that dooms millions. We work at the root of the problem: enabling sterilizations.

      And even as we explain to our members why it’s not a good idea to support breeders and pet shops, businesses continue to churn out dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals. Their activities place a heavy burden on the people who work in municipal pounds and rescue groups.

      We hope to support the goal of increasing adoptions and ensuring the word “shelter” is meaningful. An important part of that is advising the public about the situation at Animal Care & Control of New York City.

      Positive Changes

      If you live in New York, you might have noticed the exciting new AC&C website. It’s designed to make crucial information easy to find, and to facilitate searches of the animals available for adoption. It has information on volunteering. Friends of Animals’ nationwide low-cost spay-neuter network is linked there too.

      Many new AC&C positions are opening — new staff will be hired within the year, and 60 openings are planned for next year. Adoption counsel will comprise nine posts; an adoption supervisor will be hired to increase both on-site and off-site adoptions.

      Perhaps some of our readers will apply for the new posts; we encourage your interest and look forward to supporting you. But everyone, whether we live in New York or not, can change the world for homeless pets. I met with AC&C Executive Director Julie Bank to learn how. What I have found so far through our discussions is good advice for an entire society to follow.

       How Everyone Can Help Animals in Need

      1. Take personal responsibility. Understand, and encourage others to understand, that adopting an animal is a lifetime commitment. Sterilize your animal (and work with a trap-neuter-return group to do the same for any feral cats around your property). Take the time and maintain the patience to actively care for animals, so the burden is not shifted to others.

      2. Support the shelter. Improve the lives of the shelter animals and help them to get adopted. Becoming a dog-walker; volunteer for lifesaving adoption counsel work. Foster homes are needed now. To apply to be a volunteer in these or many other ways, visit www.nycacc.org

      3. Adopt an animal into your home. About the animals in search of homes through the AC&C sites of Manhattan, Brooklyn or Staten Island. Julie says, “Some people think these animals are broken, but it’s the situation that brought them here that is broken. It’s a human problem that brought them here, and by adopting an animal, you are saving a life.”

      I can vouch for Julie’s statement, having toured the Manhattan shelter extensively as I wrote this article. I wanted to spend time with each cat, dog and rabbit. From babies to mature cats and dogs, from purebreds to mutts, there’s an incredible array of gorgeous animals waiting to be adopted!

       Benefits of Adopting From AC&C

      Each adopted pet at AC&C goes to their new home having been spayed or neutered, and provided with initial vaccines, including a rabies vaccine, licensing and microchips for cats and dogs. Cat have had their virus tests and are microchipped. Cats are place in a case and dogs on a lead, to facilitate the journey home.

      All adopted animals get one free month of pet health insurance. Each animal gets a free wellness exam by a community veterinarian; this is valid for 10 days after adoption.

       Adoptable Pets Flyer—Weekly Action You Can Take

      Encouraging friends and family, co-workers and acquaintances to adopt from AC&C can help to change the inaccurate negative perceptions that keep adopters and volunteers from helping the animals there. A wonderful grassroots initiative that’s had great success in increasing adoptions and public awareness is the Adoptable Pets Flyer that AC&C issues. Visit www.nycacc.org and sign up for this weekly flyer; each features three animals available for adoption, with adorable photos of each animal, along with the name and adoption number for each.

      Julie Bank says promoting the weekly adoption flyer to family and friends is a simple thing every New Yorker can do. “Blast it out to everyone in the universe,” Bank urges.

      You can print out the flyer from your computer and post it up anywhere and everywhere: your laundry room, on a school, salon or supermarket bulletin board, at work, at a health club…anywhere it will be seen.

      You can also post and send out the weekly adoption flyer though online social media and show people pictures of the beautiful animals ready to be adopted right now. Julie ponders the amazing possible results in regards to increasing adoptions in NYC if “eight million people sent that flyer around.” So sign up today!

      Let’s help make New York City’s shelter work for animals who need it. Let’s spread the good word about the efforts being made by AC&C to reach their goal of finding loving homes for each and every animal they accept. And if you’re looking for the dog, cat or rabbit of your dreams, you can be sure that special someone is waiting for you in New York City. Visit the AC&C website right now and see: www.nycacc.org.

      AC&C is open seven days a week, from 12pm-7pm.

      AC&C — Manhattan Animal Care Center
      326 East 110 th Street
      New York , NY 10029
      (between 1 st and 2 nd Avenues)

      AC&C      Brooklyn Animal Care Center 
      2336 Linden Boulevard
      Brooklyn, NY 11208  

      AC&C — Staten Island Animal Care Center 
      3139 Veterans Road West
      Staten Island , NY 10309

       Go to the AC&C’s website at www.nycacc.org to view adoptable animals, apply to be a volunteer or job position, and for other important information.

    • In the summer of 2012 our campaign to save Canada geese makes history again — by expanding GooseWatch to all five boroughs in New York City — and amping up our defense of Canada geese across our city’s parks. As you read this, GooseWatch volunteers are spreading out across 15 at-risk parks in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. The parks are home to geese and goslings who, without our intervention, would be doomed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s trap-and-kill operation from early June through July 15. We’re taking back our parks and demanding that they remain sanctuaries for all wildlife, a place where New Yorkers and visitors can go to connect and observe nature as it should be — in peace. 

      We need help from our readers in the New York City area to join the GooseWatch team in a target park and to help spread the word. If you live near a park we’ve identified as a USDA target, you can join a GooseWatch team from the first day of June through the 15 th of July by standing watch over the park’s geese or signing up to receive an emergency text alert and committing to show up at a moment’s notice when the USDA shows up a park in the early morning hours between 5am-10am.

      Rally at Prospect Park Lake: Saturday June 30th at 1pm

      Join Friends of Animals at a Brooklyn community gathering at Prospect Park Lake to celebrate the geese who, thanks to a protective community of kind human beings, survived last summer’s city-wide goose killings. We hope to stave off any roundups at Prospect Park again this summer. Our members’ help is critical. Enter at Vanderbilt Street and Prospect Park (southwest park entrance) and meet us at the lake.

      Last summer, GooseWatch made history with the first community-based citizen patrol and stakeout operation to protect birds slated for slaughter. A bevy of binocular-wielding New Yorkers risked arrest and prevented the government agents from rounding up, crating and killing the Canada geese and goslings.

      Though Prospect Park’s geese were saved, 575 geese in 13 other parks were killed. Thousands more were killed in the previous two years. The Brooklyn community pushed back after witnessing a pre-dawn storming of Prospect Park by USDA agents who stuffed birds into crates and then gassed them all — nearly 400.

      Friends of Animals sent our Canada Goose Habitat Modification Manual to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, requesting a meeting to discuss long-term solutions to perceived human-geese conflicts, but we were rebuffed at every turn by a mayor who seemed hell-bent on gassing every goose who dared step foot in a city park. We organized rallies at the door of the mayor’s mansion, demanding an end to the gassings, yet the killing continued.

      So Friends of Animals joined with GooseWatch organizer David Karopkin and a network of upset people and we confronted the war on these birds — a war led by Mayor Bloomberg and funded by tax dollars. Our successful effort on the scene at Prospect Park garnered local and national media attention in both television and print outlets. Both NBC and TheNew York Times produced positive coverage of GooseWatch’s efforts.

      “The slaughter of New York City’s Canada geese is a scientifically unsound, wasteful investment, resulting in a significant blight on the city’s record and reputation, adding to an already poor history regarding animal affairs. Geese are part of New York. They belong here. This is their home too.” – David Karopkin

      How You Can Help

      Everyone – residents, tourists, potential tourists – can demand that New York City’s geese will live in peace. To urge Mayor Bloomberg not to renew or sign any future killing contracts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture or any entity targeting Canada geese or any other free-living animals, please take the time to contact:

      Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg 
      City Hall
      New York , NY 10007 
      Phone:  212-788-3000    Fax: 212-312-0700

      If you live in New York City, you can join the GooseWatch stakeout team, and occupy a park — standing guard, watching and waiting for the USDA with a camera and cell phone.

      To join GooseWatch call Edita at  212-247-8120 or email: edita@friendsofanimals.org

      The emergency response team has a phone call and text-message system to alert us to any roundups that might occur. Text: NYGOOSE to 556-78 to receive these alerts. And don’t forget: Residents of areas near targeted city parks can join a team from the first day of June through July 15 th by standing watch over the park’s geese or making a commitment to arrive on the scene with us at a moment’s notice.

    • The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals sounded the alarm in mid-March, with their e-mailed alert titled “Priests Starve Cats at St. James Church; Church Groundskeeper Threatens Poisoning as Next Step.”

       A group of eight spayed, neutered and vaccinated feral cats, beloved by their caregivers, had been fed since 2009 on the St. James grounds in lower Manhattan. Would this little group now be starved out?And by priests?

      Father Lino Gonsalves, pastor of St. James, had barred the caregivers from the inner sanctum of the property’s courtyard. Gonsalves declined to meet with the Mayor’s Alliance or its Feral Cat Initiative to discuss plans for the cats’ care. “If they want, they can take the cats,” Gonsalves told a Daily News reporter, adding: “These people are destroying our property by putting food all around.”1

      D esperate to get some food to the cats, the caregivers were leaving some outside the locked gate. If it were true that the church groundskeeper was contemplating poisoning, an immediate resolution was vital.

      Father Lino’s assumption that the cats could simply be taken from the property was wrong. Elizabeth Eller, a trap-neuter-return volunteer who had managed the St. James feral cat colony since 2009, explained that there just a ren’t sanctuaries around the city for feral cats. The church, in the most real sense, had been their refuge.

      It goes without saying, but let’s say it. Feral cats aren’t the problem. It’s the two-legged individuals who dump cats into the streets.

      And if this colony were banished, the priests would deem shunning cats a “solution.” Surely the priests knew better. St. James Church itself had requested the TNR project when several kittens were first noticed in the courtyard. The St. James cats comprised a model of the success of caregiving, for these eight cats had kept their population to that level over three years, since the time kittens were first trapped and adopted at the beginning of the project.

      So once again, the community of advocates sprang into action. E-mail alerts went out;

      people communicated in droves with St. James officials and the Archdiocese of New York, asking them to agree to a meeting with the Mayor’s Alliance. Friends of

      Animals spoke with Joseph Zwilling, communications director for the Archdiocese, and confirmed his support for a meeting, yet other church officials resisted.

      The Feral Cat Initiative’s Mike Phillips wrote to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, asking for support. Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance, said: “As a Roman Catholic, I am saddened and appalled by this attack on eight of God’s little creatures.”

      And we at Friends of Animals sent out e-mail alerts through social media, asking our members and supporters to persist. And they did.

      Success: Meeting With Church Officials

      The Archdiocese of New York figured the lockout of the St. James caregivers was a single-parish issue and they were not going to step in. A thousand calls and e-mails later, M onsignor Kevin Nelan of the Archdiocese and Father Gonsalves agreed to a meeting date with Jane and Mike in March.

      And on the first of April, Jane announced some happy news: a two-month agreement with the Parish. “The cats get to stay in the only home they have ever known and we were able to spread the word about TNR as the only effective and humane way to control our community cat population,” she said.

      Mike noted that caring for feral cats is a fluid process. A perfect arrangement can be turned upside down overnight, he said: “Any colony on private property needs resourceful caretakers committed for the long haul.”

      During the trial period, a feeding station and appropriate shelters for the cats remain in the courtyard. A litter box has been added. And planning for the long term continues.

      We’ll keep you posted.

      For more information:

      Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals

      244 Fifth Avenue, Suite R290

      New York , NY 10001-7604

      Phone:   (212) 252-2350 or  (212) 330-0033        

      E-mail:  info@AnimalAllianceNYC.org or info@NYCFeralCat.org

      Website:  www.AnimalAllianceNYC.org or www.NYCFeralCat.org

      • 1. Amy Sacks and Lisa L. Colangelo, “ Catfight Over Feral Colony” – Daily News (posted online atNYDailyNews.com, 17 Mar. 2012).
    • Each day, hundreds of small rescuers are hard at work saving homeless animals. Who are they? What motivates them? Let us tell you our story.

      Helping Animals Rescue Team, or HART, is a newly formed rescue group with thirty-plus combined years of rescue experience among its three directors. Allison Marcus, Sylence Campbell and I merged our individual rescue efforts to best assist animals most in need. While most of the adoptions take place in New Jersey, where I own a grooming salon, our rescue efforts reach to New York and Tennessee where Allison and Sylence live, respectively. HART is not limited to a particular area or breed. By being open to all kinds of pets, we assist more animals, and can more easily find a home situation to suit each pet’s individual needs. 

      A large portion of the rescue effort of HART, and many other small rescues, revolves around what we call special-needs cases. These are pets with medical problems that must be evaluated and treated prior to placement in a permanent home.

      When I was visiting Sylence in Tennessee last October, we stopped by the Cumberland County Animal Shelter in Crossville with some donations. We met a very young cat who, on account of an exposed wound on her rear left leg, faced euthanasia. We called Allison, who agreed to foster the kitten as we planned her course of treatment. I flew out of Tennessee with the cat, Astrid.

      Dr. Parker at Suffern Animal Hospital in New York determined that the open wound was a compound open fracture. Astrid’s other three legs had been fractured but had previously healed at some point. Amputation of the left rear leg was recommended by Dr. Parker, and Astrid went to Animal General in New York City for that surgery. Finances are always tight for small rescues like HART, but we found a way to pay for her amputation. Astrid fully recovered from her surgery, and now runs, jumps and climbs; her lack of a limb did not deter a family from accepting her into a permanent home.

      Also last year, an emaciated dog was brought to the grooming shop by another rescuer. HART agreed to take her the dog, soon known as Missy. This Labrador-pitbull mix, at just over one year old, weighed a mere 20 pounds, 2 ounces. Each rib was visible and her skull protruded. She had apparently been confined to a dirty crate, as her fur was urine stained over most of her body. Missy’s first bowel movement contained pieces of plastic larger than a quarter, perhaps from a food bowl.

      She immediately began receiving a diet developed by one of the HART directors for restoring the health of malnourished dogs. Despite her weakened state and starvation, Missy was still an affectionate dog who adored anyone who showed her a bit of attention. As she spent most of her time at the grooming shop with Sylence and me, she became accustomed to other dogs and got considerable exposure to potential post-rehabilitation homes. After weeks of proper nutrition, physical rehabilitation, veterinary checks and lots of love from all who met her, Missy went home with a client of the grooming shop. Missy’s new family had adopted a dog from Sylence and me three years earlier, through another rescue network. They’ve since adopted a cat from HART as well. And Missy has bloomed into a beautiful, muscular dog.

      Healthy pets too are at risk at pounds and shelters pressed for time and space. While the directors of HART are all too aware that we cannot save them all, we are motivated to save as many as we can while providing the best care possible. Each HART director often fosters multiple pets at a time. Making sure to never overload our homes or those of our carefully selected foster families, HART takes in cats, dogs and other pets.

      Sylence, now in Tennessee, often visits the Cumberland County Animal Shelter to pull animals when their time is nearly up. When the shelter is crowded, illnesses such as respiratory infections in cats and kennel cough in dogs can strike quickly. This greatly decreases chances of the pets getting adopted. Sick yet treatable pets are the first ones slated for death. Sylence temporarily fosters each animal until transport to New York or New Jersey can be arranged; after the animals’ trip north, Allison and I will foster them or find the right volunteer foster home. As some conditions are not fully visible in the stressful shelter environment, the pets are evaluated while Sylence is fostering them and again after they are transported north. A veterinarian promptly attends to any newly developed or discernable situations. HART strives to not merely get a pet quickly into a new home, but to ensure that the pet will make a successful transition into the new environment. In the last six months, HART has saved more than 20 pets who were homeless in Tennessee.

      Occasionally, pets are abandoned at my grooming shop. Recently a mother brought in and surrendered a pet rabbit, with her crying daughter in tow. The family was going on vacation and didn’t want to find a pet-sitter for the rabbit, so the mother decided to discard her instead. I offered to pet-sit the rabbit while the family was away, but this was rejected by the mother. So I assured the young daughter that her beloved bunny would be well cared for. Rescue isn’t just about caring for animals, but requires compassion and support for those who care for them as well. One day when the girl is grown she will likely remember the compassion shown by strangers — not only for her pet when her family would no longer care for her, but for a young child saddened by a loss.

      HART’s ability to continue to make a difference in the lives of animals depends on public support. Foster homes are always needed, especially in Eastern Tennessee as well as the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. HART provides for all of the foster pet’s needs, including food, veterinary care and any medications needed. All our foster families provide is an open heart and a nurturing hand to care for these animals. Transport drivers, event venues and workers, cat snugglers at our adoption site in Franklin, New Jersey and cat foster room in Greenwood Lake, New York are also welcome.

      HART is a New Jersey registered nonprofit organization. HART is in the process of applying for 501(c)3 status, but the application, requiring $400 to submit, would make a considerable dent in the funds HART requires to care for the rescued animals. As HART has no overhead, the directors take no payment; all funds donated go directly to the animals’ care. We hope to obtain 501(c)3 status by the end of 2012, so that donations made from outside of New Jersey will be tax deductible.

      If you would like more information or to donate to HART, please consider doing so by visitinghttp://hartrescue.weebly.com and donating online. Donations payable to HART may also be mailed to:

      HART Rescue

      c/o Critter Grooming

      53 Route 23, Ste. 1

      Franklin , NJ 07416

    • Caviar is named after the Persian word khaviyar, meaning “bearing eggs.” In this case, the eggs come from marine animals whose communities are ravaged from generations of exploitation.

      Caviar commerce historically involved clubbing a sturgeon on the head and extracting the animal’s ovaries. To this day, the roe is often extracted through cutting the fish, then stitching up the wound to keep the sturgeon alive and commercially productive—yet the practice is often fatal. A collaboration between Friends of Animals and the conservation group WildEarth Guardians will shield these animals through a combination of vigorous public outreach and a petition to add 15 sturgeon communities to the U.S. endangered species list. If they are listed as “endangered,” commerce in these fish will be unlawful for anyone subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

      The listing petition is an emergency measure: If sturgeon keep losing habitat and falling prey to the lucrative caviar trade, their only chance for survival might be in captivity. We find that future unacceptable.

      But by the time the U.S. government moves to list them, it could be too late. So we’re also asking chefs to expressly reject sturgeon meat and caviar. The trend in farmed and even “ecofriendly” caviar is deceptive: it usurps habitat that ought to belong to thriving marine animal communities. Moreover, sturgeon farming makes it possible to illegally kill free-living sturgeon and pass the parts off as farm-raised. The sturgeon market also creates an incentive to catch free-living, mature fish as breeding stock.

      Online commerce is another key issue. Caviar (marketed by species name or as Kaluga, Osetra, Sevruga or Karaburun caviar) is currently sold through Amazon.com by a number of vendors, so WildEarth Guardians and Friends of Animals recently requested that the CEO of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, halt the sale of caviar and other products derived from the sturgeon communities named in our petition to the federal government.

      “The caviar trade is the primary threat to these species, and many people buy caviar online,” said Taylor Jones of WildEarth Guardians.

      Sturgeon are described by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as the most threatened group of animals on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. But if we work to defend them from North America, we can make an impact. This is because North American demand for caviar is a massive driver of the trade in Russia and Iran—both legal and illegal, for shoppers’ demand far exceeds the supply. Some caviar traders circumvent the law by using false species labels, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora last year expressed pessimism about efforts to control caviar smuggling. So the whole idea of using sturgeon is a problem—not just illegal use.

      What We Can All Do: Just Say No to Sturgeon Roe

      Support Friends of Animals’ and WildEarth Guardians’ campaign by sharing this article, and calling on chefs, restaurateurs, retailers, airlines and your friends to avoid products made from the sturgeon species, including caviar and sturgeon meat.

      Avoid and tell your friends about isinglass, a substance obtained from swim bladders that is used as a specialty glue or in the production of some beers and wines. (Shopping tip: Explore Barnivore.com. It will help steer you clear of any wine or beer using isinglass.)

      Inform Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos that you support Friends of Animals’ and WildEarth Guardians’ campaign. Use this article to explain why you want Amazon.com to stop selling caviar from the marine animals we have petitioned the United States government to list as endangered. Send your comments to jeff@amazon.com

      Accentuate the Positive: Include a Cavi·Art Tasting at Your Next Party!

      We heard this Danish product was a hit at the New York City Vegetarian Food Festival. At just about $10 a jar it’s a lot gentler than regular caviar on the wallet as well as on sea life. Could this product inspire online retailers and hosts of elegant affairs to drop caviar made from sturgeon, and try a new paradigm?

      Cavi·Art is a bit lighter than fish roe, with a less oily feel. It’s showy, versatile and great fun to experiment with: vibrant, delightful and real in its own right. Start with traditional water crackers and whip up a few canapés sashimi-style, with avocado, pea shoots and a drop of tamari. Or peel and grate a small potato, and pan-fry it with a bit of Spectrum Organics’ canola oil and sea salt, for a potato pancake to garnish with a festive medley of Sour Supreme (by Tofutti) and chives, and a spoonful of apple sauce. Or how about Cavi·Art with a drop of habanero hot sauce, a bit of avocado, sour cream and bell pepper?

      This is a great conversation piece for a party, whether fun or fancy, laudable for its taste as well as the way it advances respect for the ocean’s bio-community. Chef Trish Sebben-Krupka says: “I think this will appeal both to people who liked caviar, and those who have never tried it or are put off by the fishy, inky taste of actual caviar.”

      Cavi·Art’s distributor, Plant Based Foods, Inc., offers an elegant website, easy ordering and outstanding customer service. We’ve enjoyed all of the distributor’s vegan offerings: yellow, orange, black, ginger and wasabi Cavi·Art. We bought three jars of the product, but to ensure we tried all five of the vegan varieties (UPDATE: The salmon roe, which had contained carmine, is now vegan; it has the red, larger beads and tastes delicious), Robin, who handles U.S. distribution, included a jar each of wasabi and ginger varieties with our order gratis, knowing we were reviewing this product for the Friends of Animals website and VeganMeans.com. We liked all five varieties and were especially excited by the recipes Trish has come up with using the wasabi and ginger varieties. Living by our motto “Spare an animal: eat a vegetable” has never seemed so posh!

      Friends of Animals and WildEarth Guardians Work to Defend:

      Sturgeon of Western Europe

      The olive-hued Acipenser naccarii (Adriatic sturgeon), once thrived in waters from Italy to Greece. Killed for meat, they are down to perhaps 250 in their marine habitat.

      Acipenser sturio (Baltic sturgeon) can grow to 16 feet long. Caviar traders have reduced them to a single reproductive population in the Garonne River in France.

      The Caspian Sea, Black Sea, and Sea of Azov: the Heart of the Caviar Trade

      The olive-grey Acipenser gueldenstaedtii (called Russian or Azov-Black Sea or Danube sturgeon) and Acipenser nudiventris (Ship, Spiny, or Thorn sturgeon) have been commercially exploited and caught as by-catch.

      Acipenser persicus (Persian sturgeon) are exploited for caviar and suffer habitat loss from dams and pollution. Acipenser stellatus (Star sturgeon) have been devastated by legal and illegal exploitation for meat and caviar.

      Sturgeon of the Aral Sea and Tributaries

      Three sturgeon species, Pseudoscaphirhynchus fedtschenkoi, Pseudoscaphirhynchus hermanni, and Pseudoscaphirhynchu kaufmanni, have declined or disappeared along with the Aral Sea. Dangerous heavy metals and run-off from animal agribusiness is turning their habitat into a dead zone.

      Sturgeon of the Amur River Basin, Sea of Japan, Yangtze River, and Sea of Okhotsk

      Acipenser mikadoi (Sakhalin sturgeon) can grow to 8 feet in length and were historically common in Japanese markets; now, only 10–30 spawning adults survive.

      Increasing pollution from Russian and Chinese agriculture is threatening Acipenser schrenckii (Amur sturgeon), which have declined an estimated 95 percent. Also native to China and Russia, Huso dauricus (Kaluga or Great Siberian sturgeon) are among the world’s largest freshwater fishes, exceeding 18 feet in length and one ton in weight. They are heavily poached for caviar.

      Acipenser baerii (Siberian sturgeon) are fished for caviar and have lost nearly half their spawning habitat from dam construction. Acipenser dabryanus, (Yangtze sturgeon) may only survive due to stocking, and there is no evidence that stocked animals are reproducing naturally.

      The massive Acipenser sinensis (Chinese sturgeon) were deemed a major commercial resource in the 1960s. Not even 300 individuals swim free.

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