Save Endangered Eels From Cocaine Poisoning

Target: His Excellency Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission

Goal: Stop cocaine pollution of European rivers to protect endangered eels from extinction.

Eels are slowly dying of cocaine poisoning due to a buildup of the drug in European waters. Trace amounts make their way into the rivers, building up and spreading outward into the Atlantic Ocean; a study shows that eels exposed to the drug were not only hyperactive, but suffered from muscle breakdown and swelling. Scientific testing showed that even after rehabilitation, the animals still suffered from these issues as well as a breakdown in their fat reserves, which they need to be able to swim to breeding grounds.

With eels already endangered, this cocaine poisoning could see the complete disappearance of the species within a few short years. Eels who lack the muscle tissue and fat reserves to swim to their breeding grounds cannot help further the growth of the species, and even those who do may pass the poisoning on to their offspring. Additionally, cocaine in the water supply is dangerous to other aquatic wildlife, plant life, and possibly even humans who swim in or use the water from the rivers.

We must take steps to stop cocaine pollution of these waters, for the good of all living creatures but especially for the eels who may die out completely. Sign this petition to stop cocaine pollution and save them now.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Your Excellency President Juncker,

Trace amounts of cocaine in European rivers are poisoning already endangered eels, whose ingestion of the substance is causing a breakdown of their muscles and fat reserves. This hinders the eels’ ability to swim to breeding grounds, and even those who are able to risk their offspring being born with cocaine poisoning. Additionally, even the slightest amount of cocaine in the water is dangerous for other aquatic wildlife, plant life, and even the humans who swim in or use the water.

You must put a stop to cocaine pollution as soon as possible. If cocaine continues to build up in the rivers and the ocean, the eel species will disappear completely in just a few short years. Put an end to the deposits of cocaine in the waters, and protect the eel, as well as all other aquatic life in Europe.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: MALIZ ONG

Protect Europe’s Heaviest Flying Bird

Target: Borja Heredia, Head Avian Species Team, UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

Goal: Promote and increase support for organic farming to help protect great bustard populations.

The European great bustard is an endangered species suffering from intensive agriculture and man-made structures. It is an important species because it has the potential to determine the health of an area’s biodiversity. Spain and central Europe house the largest populations of great bustards, but their numbers have been steadily declining in Ukraine and Russia, especially. Poor management and conservation programs, along with intensive agriculture, have negatively affected their numbers in these areas.

Intensive agriculture uses pesticides and fertilizers that kill off insects in open landscapes, where great bustards live. If these lands use toxic chemical inputs, the bird no longer has insects to eat. Great bustards can be used as a flagship species (or symbol) for areas that use less-intensive agriculture. If we focus on protecting the great bustard, the entire health of open landscapes in Europe will also improve.

Another issue great bustards face are structures that obstruct their way, which often result in fatal interactions. Power lines are hazardous, as great bustards fly in low altitudes and cannot see them. Railway cables, wind parks, and roads are also a problem because they are barriers to movement and fragment landscapes.

To restore populations across Europe like they have done in Germany, conservation efforts must be implemented through decreased use of pesticides and fertilizers, leaving fields fallow, and ensuring that the birds have enough resources to support their young. Sign the petition below to urge the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals to promote organic farming to protect the great bustard population.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Heredia,

The UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals has the capacity and expertise to help protect endangered animal populations. The European great bustard is one such endangered species–Europe’s heaviest flying bird which has suffered declining populations over the past few decades. Intensive agriculture, which uses pesticides and fertilizers, power lines, roads, and railway cables have all contributed to its decline. However, Germany has shown that with successful conservation efforts and collaboration between various stakeholders, it is possible to restore their populations.

Organic farming, a less intensive form agriculture which typically does not use fertilizers or pesticides and allows time for the fields to recuperate, is one solution to the great bustard’s decline. If the UN promotes organic farming through different campaigns and interventions such as encouraging consumers to purchase organically-farmed produce, and helping farmers adopt more eco-friendly farming practices, we can still save the bird’s populations.

The great bustard can be used as a flagship species for open landscapes across Europe. Intensive agriculture kills off insects and plants, which negatively affects the bird’s resources for survival. If we protect it, we are protecting a whole region, simultaneously. I hope that the UN can devise and implement a campaign to promote organic farming, which can be a part of a bigger conservation effort to save the great bustard. I firmly believe that with collaboration across various stakeholders such as land-owners, farmers, conservationists, and hunters, we can help save the great bustard.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Franceso Veronesi