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22 août 2017 2 22 /08 /août /2017 16:20


Lors du forum international sur la conservation de l'once ("léopard" ou "panthère" des neiges) qui se tiendra ce jeudi et ce vendredi 24 et 25 août 2017 à Bichkek (Kirghizistan), le WWF Russie présentera une nouvelle méthode de suivi de l'animal, développée par des spécialistes russes et leurs collègues américains ayant travaillé longuement en Russie, permettant d'établir un recensement plus réaliste et moins aléatoire de ses effectifs.

Le forum accueillera les délégations officielles des pays hébergeant cet animal : Russie, Chine, Mongolie, Inde, Népal, Bhoutan, Pakistan,  Afghanistan,Tadjikistan, Ouzbékistan, Kazakhstan, et Kirghizistan. Le but du forum est de renforcer les efforts interétatiques et transfrontaliers pour préserver le prédateur et ses 20 habitats principaux. A son issue, sera présentée une résolution comportant les principales décisions des Etats et les plans pour l'Avenir. WWF Russie, ce jour.


Comme l'avait précisé Victor Loukarevsky au début de l'année, la Chine du Sud - Ouest représente 70% du territoire de l'once, mais l'on ne sait à peu près rien des effectifs de celui - ci dans cet espace. Pour le reste, a population la plus importante est supposée se situer en Mongolie (environ un millier d'individus) et la mieux protégée et la plus épanouie est au Bhoutan (200 individus).


Asian mountains mystery. 10 février 2017 (compte - rendu de la réunion de Kathmandou des 19 et 20 janvier).

The participants of the international meeting in Kathmandu on 19-20 January focused on the numbers of snow leopard in the wild and the plan of action for conservation. The event was organised by the Secretariat of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme (GSLEP) initiated in 2013 in the run-up to the Bishkek summit scheduled for September 2017. The Russian delegation included Viktor Lukarevsky, large mammals specialist and lead researcher at the Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve. In his interview for the Zapovednaya Rossiya website, he spoke about the results of the ministerial meeting in Nepal and important issues in the conservation of snow leopards.


Question: Mr Lukarevsky, who attended this meeting?


Viktor Lukarevsky: It was attended by prominent snow leopard researchers, representatives of environmental agencies, and international foundations. The Russian delegation included Amirkhan Amirkhanov, Deputy Head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources.


In Kathmandu, we met with one of the pioneers and founders of this research, Rodney Jackson, although he did not deliver a report this time. Other participants spoke about the snow leopard situation in various leopard range countries, and discussed and planned measures for their protection and study. Other issues discussed in Kathmandu were climate change, the melting of glaciers, and how the snow leopard habitat is changing. After the meeting, I was even more convinced that the worldwide leopard situation is very disappointing.


Question: As I understand it, the level of snow leopard research is quite different in different countries, isn’t it?


Viktor Lukarevsky: Where the leopard situation is more or less good, it was obvious, and people were able to show it. These countries include, for example, Bhutan, which is in fact a small, poor country. I never thought that the Bhutanese would reach such a high level in their research. In 1994, I attended a meeting of the Snow Leopard Trust on snow leopard studies; these meetings are held regularly. I remember the Bhutanese report was extremely poor then. They said they knew the animal existed and regarded it as sacred. Their new report was so comprehensive and clear; the author clearly and fully explained the situation and confirmed the numbers. I was very impressed.


They estimate snow leopard population at home at 150-200 animals. You need to understand, Bhutan is a tiny place; moreover, the leopard there is protected by nature as well as by law. Its main habitat along the northern border with China is fenced off by a wall made up of mighty peaks ranging from five to seven thousand metres. Approximately 80 percent of leopard habitats in Bhutan are carefully protected nature reserves. However, interestingly, they currently use 400 camera traps there! Something few countries can afford. On an area of ​​about 400,000 hectares, according to photographic identification, 63 leopards have been reliably registered. I am talking about adult animals only. This is an incredibly high density, despite the fact that their camera traps are installed approximately on two-thirds of the territory. I think they have even more snow leopards in that one reserve, and there are two more. The Bhutanese speaker was the only one who presented specific evidence.


Question: What about the others?


Viktor Lukarevsky: Take Pakistan – they estimate snow leopard population roughly at the same level as Bhutan, about 200 animals, although the ​​suitable habitat there is three or four times greater than in Bhutan. In Pakistan, with 60 camera traps over a larger territory, they took only 56 individual photos of leopards – allow me to emphasise, not individual leopards, but images. They did not do any photo identification. They say they have collected faeces and identified 100 animals by DNA analysis. True, they did not specify the period during which they collected the material. And we all know that the snow leopard situation is changing very rapidly, that 10 years from now, it may change dramatically. These data are then extrapolated to the entire area of ​​habitat and this is how they get the figure, 200 snow leopards. Well, statistical extrapolation sounds good enough.


Question: What about the global population estimates?


Viktor Lukarevsky: Snow leopards are found in 12 countries. The worldwide population is estimated by different researchers at 4,000 to 7,000 species. I would suggest sticking to 4,000, which is somewhat closer to reality. Well, let's count.


Bhutan with 200 snow leopards (one of the most reliable estimates), Pakistan with 200, and Nepal with 200 make 600.


India. In India, there is one (maybe more, but the comments were not clear) specially protected area where there is a high density of snow leopards. They also extrapolate the statistics to the entire area of ​​suitable habitat and get the same old estimate of 200. Okay, right. But there is one curious observation. In neighbouring Bhutan, the leopard population seems to fall dramatically on the border with India – one or two registered in the entire border region. In Bhutan, the snow leopard is a sacred animal, virtually never hunted. The fall in the numbers on the border can be easily explained – poaching by people from neighbouring India. The conclusion suggests itself. But, okay, let’s assume that India has 200 snow leopards.


Mongolia estimates its snow leopard population at about 700-1000 animals.


Our colleagues in Kyrgyzstan, estimate 400-500. I used to work there myself, doing research, and I know what the real situation is – at best, there are 100, and another 100 in Kazakhstan. In Tajikistan, again, from my point of view, they need to work more to really estimate the snow leopard population. According to preliminary data, there is a maximum of 400. So the total turns out to be about 2,500.


As for the number of snow leopards in Russia, I will talk about it later, in any case, it is not more than a few dozen animals.


Question: So where does this gigantic figure of 4,000-7,000 come from?


Viktor Lukarevsky: Do not forget China. China accounts for about 70 percent of the global snow leopard habitat. Here we are talking about an estimated several thousand animals. However, when I looked at the Chinese materials, I found them somewhat unfounded, to put it mildly. There are a few publications on this subject. One of them analyses the images from camera traps in one of the specially protected areas. Animals are registered once a month or perhaps two at most, with a very low density. This is about the specially protected area. And what about the unprotected parts? I think the situation is worse there. Again, these estimates are extrapolated.


Given this, I want to go back to admiring the work done by researchers from Bhutan. That small poor country has spent a huge sum by any measure on camera traps to obtain reliable results, while richer countries seemed to find it easier to use statistical methods.


Question: What role does the number of individual animals play in the assessment of the status of the species in general?


Viktor Lukarevsky: I have always believed and continue to believe that, what is really crucial for the general stability of the snow leopard as a species, is not the number of individuals, but the number of viable reproductive groups. A group is not a single individual. A group is viable if the female who was its reproductive core but died for any reason, is immediately replaced by another. If the group is unable to compensate for the loss, it is not viable. In my estimate, compact viable groups of snow leopards in areas where the population density is more than two leopards per 100 sq km, can be counted on the fingers of two hands. Three in Bhutan, although the density is much higher there, about five or six leopards per 100 sq km; in Nepal, maybe two; one or two in India; one in Kyrgyzstan; one or two in Tajikistan, perhaps three;  five to seven in Mongolia and an unknown number in China.


Question: What is the situation in Russia?


Viktor Lukarevsky: Disappointing, unfortunately. Russia is located at the edge of the snow leopard habitat. At the beginning of our work in the late 1990s, we estimated the number of snow leopards in Russia at 100-120. The report made by WWF Altai-Sayan Branch coordinator for rare species Alexander Karnaukhov in Kathmandu contained a figure of around 70. In my own personal assessment, it's much worse – the number of snow leopards in Russia barely reaches 35; maybe a little more due to transborder movement of leopards that live on the border with Mongolia.


As for the reproductive cores in Russia, this question is even more controversial than the population numbers. Some researchers believe that there are reproductive groups despite the obvious lack of data. If a group has one or two females, this group cannot be considered sustainable or stable. By comparison, Kyrgyzstan has seven reproductive females in the Sarychat-Ertash State Nature Reserve, on a relatively small area of ​​about 50,000 hectares. This is a categorically different situation. I repeat: Russia represents the edge of the snow leopard’s habitat, which is under severe poaching pressure.


Back to the population numbers. We could play with these numbers all we like – 2,000, 4,000 or even 5,000 – but we are not cattle breeders and should not just count the number of heads. We know that the decisive role in the survival of the species is played by the structure of the population. It is important that we have viable groups, not scattered individuals. Exploring the species, we must seek to understand it. Saving the snow leopard requires further research and a harsher crackdown on poaching.

ACTUALISATION AU 28 AOÛT 2017. A l'issue de la réunion de Bichkek, la nouvelle méthodologie de recensement a été adoptée de façon uniforme par tous les pays hébergeant des onces. Et l'accent a également été mis sur la coopération transfrontalière (par exemple, la pérennité et le développement des populations des félins de l'Altaï Sayan russe induit une politique commune avec des régions transfrontalières en Mongolie occidentale et en Chine du Nord - Ouest). WWF Russie, le 28 août.


Единая методика поможет систематизировать учет численности ирбиса во всем мире.





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21 août 2017 1 21 /08 /août /2017 05:35

L'Inde va durcir sa législation contre le braconnage, chercher des solutions pour réduire le nombre d'animaux sauvages victimes de collision avec les trains, etc... The Times of India. PTI, hier. Amended Wildlife Act to be formulated soon, Union Minister Arsh Vardhan says.


Ceci est un baume, et non un traitement. La question cruciale pour la décennie à venir est celle de la façon dont le territoire sera occupé physiquement et mentalement par une population humaine croissante, et les animaux sauvages. Les tigres auront connu, d'ici 3 ans, un triplement de leur population au cours de la période 2005 - 2020, sur un espace de plus en plus perturbé. Au début des années 2020, un mécanisme de "bottleneck" entraînera l'effondrement de leurs effectifs si les questions de l'aménagement du territoire et des règles de comportement des habitants ne sont pas sérieusement et véritablement prises en compte...

PULSATIONS PERIODIQUES. En 1972, il restait moins de 2000 tigres sauvages dans le sous - continent, et Indira Gandhi lança alors avec vigueur le "Tiger Project". A l'orée des années 1990, les tigres étaient environ 4500. Ils étaient 3 fois moins nombreux 15 ans plus tard...

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18 août 2017 5 18 /08 /août /2017 15:20

Aujourd'hui est inaugurée dans la rue Myasnitskaya (une des principales artères de Moscou), une sculpture de Piotr Chegodaev représentant deux tigreaux de l'Amour jouant avec un hérisson. La date choisie coïncide avec le 172ème anniversaire de la Société de Géographie de Russie. Amur tiger Centre, ce jour.



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15 août 2017 2 15 /08 /août /2017 06:03

Une vallée à Hunchun...

Les habitants de la Chine septentrionale (ré)adoptent des modes de vie et de représentation intégrant une cohabitation fluide avec les grands prédateurs sauvages. China Daily, ce jour. Zhang Zefeng. "China's siberian tigers come in from the cold".


"We are relying on our renewable forestry resources to achieve economic growth," said Cao Yongfu, the bureau's director. "Workers who are willing to make changes to improve their lives are given a lot of support."

Raising awareness

In addition to time-trusted methods, such as educating hunters to stop them hunting and involving local communities in tiger conservation, forestry bureaus are also working to improve awareness of protection among the younger generation.

"We believe that educating younger people is an important and effective method. It can actually affect three generations," said Jia Lihong, director of the publicity center at the Hunchun National Siberian Tiger Nature Reserve.

In 2010, Li Zhixing, secretary-general of the Hunchun Tianhe Siberian Tiger Protection Society, published a textbook called Love my Hometown, Love Siberian Tigers in the hope of improving students' awareness of the tigers and environmental protection.

"I want the students to learn about ecological matters from the local environment, which is mainly represented by Siberian tigers," Li said, adding that the tiger is an "umbrella species", whose survival indirectly protects other species in its habitat. "Protecting tigers protects other wildlife in the ecosystem."

The book has been widely used in Hunchun's primary and middle schools, and it has been adopted by schools in nearby Wangqing and Huangnihe this year.

Zang Yunjuan, a secondary school teacher who has used the book since it was published, has witnessed a significant improvement in students' awareness.

"In the past, few students understood the importance of Siberian tigers and why they should be protected," she said.

"Now, they not only understand the necessity of protecting tigers and other endangered species, but they also see the importance of taking care of the local environment."

Jia, who had previously spotted a tiger's footprints in the area, suspected that a big cat was responsible.

"The owner paid about 20,000 yuan ($3,000) for the cow last year," said the 66-year-old herdsman from Lishugou village in Hunchun. "If my assumption is correct, he will be entitled to compensation."

Judging by the bites and scratches on the carcass, Wu Wenming, an official with the Hunchun forestry bureau, concluded that a Siberian tiger had killed the cow.

"The bite on the cow's neck was fatal," he said. "The provincial government will reimburse the losses caused by the incident."

In 2007, Jilin formulated compensation guidelines to cover damage caused by wild animals. In recent years, the number of attacks has risen.

According to Zhang Jinyan, an official at the bureau, cases of wild animals, such as tigers, bears and boars, attacking livestock or destroying crops have risen from 228 in 2007 to 707 last year.

This year, tigers have already killed between 60 and 70 animals.

"The reimbursement plan guarantees the interests of local people whose properties are damaged by wild animals," Wu said. "To a degree, it mitigates conflicts between endangered species and the people who share the land with them."

Alternative incomes

Since 2013, when China signaled the construction of a national park system, the central government has taken a number of measures, including banning commercial logging in key State-owned forests in the northeastern provinces.

One of the national parks, which straddles Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, is scheduled to become a sanctuary for endangered tigers and leopards.

Since 2015, State-owned forest farms in Jilin have shifted from logging to creating green industries, such as tourism, to raise incomes while protecting the environment.

Wang Caijin, who used to work as a logger at the Dahuangou forest farm in Hunchun, was deeply worried when he was forced to quit his job, the only work he had ever known.

"Loggers who are not allowed to log are like farmers who don't have land to farm," he said.

Like many of his former colleagues who have stopped logging and become forest rangers, Wang got a job in the forest, assessing potential fire hazards.

The logging ban removed the forestry bureau's main source of revenue, so Wang's salary, which mostly came from government funding, shrank significantly.

To raise incomes and accommodate the rising number of tourists attracted by recently-established scenic spots nearby, the forest farm provided Wang with financial support that enabled him to open a home inn.

The sideline has boosted Wang's income by an extra 10,000 yuan a month, three times the average wage of a forestry worker. He now owns a car and leads a satisfying life.

"For 32 years, logging was my only source of income," he said. "Now, I don't have to rely on labor-intensive work and my income is much higher."

Officials at the Tianqiaoling forestry bureau in Wangqing, near Hunchun, have also transformed the local economy in an ecologically friendly way.

In recent years, the bureau has successfully cultivated 10,000 mu (666 hectares) of seedlings and 8,000 mu of medicinal herbs, including important ingredients of traditional Chinese medicine, such as ginseng.

Incomes are rising as forestry workers take part-time jobs, such as cultivating edible fungi, beekeeping and raising pigs, chickens and frogs.

Last year, the local black fungus industry employed 1,997 workers and generated more than 100 million yuan, according to the bureau.

"We are relying on our renewable forestry resources to achieve economic growth," said Cao Yongfu, the bureau's director. "Workers who are willing to make changes to improve their lives are given a lot of support."

Raising awareness

In addition to time-trusted methods, such as educating hunters to stop them hunting and involving local communities in tiger conservation, forestry bureaus are also working to improve awareness of protection among the younger generation.

"We believe that educating younger people is an important and effective method. It can actually affect three generations," said Jia Lihong, director of the publicity center at the Hunchun National Siberian Tiger Nature Reserve.

In 2010, Li Zhixing, secretary-general of the Hunchun Tianhe Siberian Tiger Protection Society, published a textbook called Love my Hometown, Love Siberian Tigers in the hope of improving students' awareness of the tigers and environmental protection.

"I want the students to learn about ecological matters from the local environment, which is mainly represented by Siberian tigers," Li said, adding that the tiger is an "umbrella species", whose survival indirectly protects other species in its habitat. "Protecting tigers protects other wildlife in the ecosystem."

The book has been widely used in Hunchun's primary and middle schools, and it has been adopted by schools in nearby Wangqing and Huangnihe this year.

Zang Yunjuan, a secondary school teacher who has used the book since it was published, has witnessed a significant improvement in students' awareness.

"In the past, few students understood the importance of Siberian tigers and why they should be protected," she said.

"Now, they not only understand the necessity of protecting tigers and other endangered species, but they also see the importance of taking care of the local environment."

 Un tigre de Hunchun...

Dans le même temps, les spécialistes chinois de la faune sauvage poursuivent leur coopération avec leurs collègues russes pour établir les protocoles les plus efficients. Amur Tiger Programme, ce jour.


Russia and China conduct collaborative research at the Bastak Nature Reserve

The Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and the Institute of Complex Analysis of Regional Problems of the Far East branch of RAS together with China’s Institute of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Heilongjiang Province’s Academy of Sciences are conducting joint research on potential Amur tiger habitat areas in order to restore the animal’s population in its historical range.


On 4 August, experts held a seminar entitled Mapping Bastak Nature Reserve Forests Using Multispectral Satellite Data from Different Seasons. It was pointed out that specialists at the Bastak Nature Reserve are using unique methods of modelling the Amur tiger habitat which are based on point analysis of satellite imagery. Using the satellite data, they can study the reserve’s territory in detail and make a rather accurate vegetation map.


The experts also began conducting field research in forest biocoenoses of the nature reserve. Researchers from the Heilongjiang Province are studying the Amur tiger habitat and environmental planning methods for creating protected areas, and are estimating the animal’s food resources.


Par ailleurs, l'affermissement du mode de vie des peuples autochtones dans le cadre du parc naturel de la rivière Bikin tend à devenir une référence pour les russes comme pour les chinois. Voir le détail à propos du festival de Krasni Yar, qui s'est tenu les 4 et 5 août.


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14 août 2017 1 14 /08 /août /2017 05:09

UN GRAND POISSON COURAGEUX, LUMIERE INCANDESCENTE DANS LES MERS TENEBREUSES. Tourner la page de la guerre pluriséculaire du Pacifique.

La voie des dieux. Jean Herbert : « Le shinto est le culte de la nature, le respect de celle – ci et l'admiration de sa beauté sont la foi des japonais. »


Aujourd'hui, commence dans le village japonais de Taiji (Sud Est du pays, région du Kansaï), le festival d'été de la baleine : Taiji Isana* (Isana est un terme japonais très ancien pour désigner la baleine, et qui signifie littéralement "grand poisson" ou "poisson courageux"). C'est d'ailleurs en s'inspirant de cette dénomination que lors du Whaling History Symposium de New Bedford (été 2014), Hayato Sakuraï  présenta le Japon de la première moitié du XIXème siècle comme "The Great Forbidden Fish" aux yeux des américains...


Ce village se veut le gardien d'une culture traditionnelle de chasse au globicéphale et au dauphin, menacée de toutes parts. Expression d'un syndrome obsidional, il s'associe avec celui de Klaksvik (îles Feroe danoises), célèbre pour son "Grindadrap" tout aussi controversé...


De fait, les activités baleinières actuelles dans cette localité n'ont plus rien à voir avec ce qu'elles furent entre 1606 et 1878. Elles relèvent clairement du sacrilège, les plus anciennes se rapportant au sacrifice. Ce qui ne manque pas de susciter de nombreuses réactions d'opposition, sur la base de l'effroi et de l'écoeurement.

 Ceci étant, il ne s'agit pas ici de condamner mais d'essayer de comprendre et de trouver les chemins de guérison de l'âme collective d'une communauté.

* Le festival annuel d'automne "taiji kujira matsuri" se tient pour sa part le premier dimanche du mois de Novembre (soit le 5 Novembre cette année). 

Voir aussi, un festival comparable, le même jour, à Yokkaichi. Asahi Shimbun, ce jour. Shoichi Otsu. 


REALITES ACTUELLES. La pêche côtière à Taiji permet chaque année la mise à mort de milliers, voire de dizaines de milliers de petits cétacés. Un dauphin mort rapporte 6000 dollars, et un dauphin capturé vivant en vaut 150 000... La viande des animaux tués est toxique, avec des taux particulièrement élevés en mercure et un dérivé de celui - ci. Pour la première fois, le 1er août dernier, les autorités de Taiji en ont officiellement convenu et appelé à ne pas consommer cette viande.


En parallèle, l'industrie baleinière japonaise, qui intervient aussi bien dans l'océan austral que sur ses propres côtes, s'autorise une chasse"à objectif scientifique" de plusieurs centaines de rorquals de Minke chaque année, l'essentiel des victimes étant des femelles enceintes (les Norvégiens et islandais, au reste, agissent de même). Le navire le plus célèbre de cette flotte est le Nisshin Maru.

Taiji érige à nouveau des monuments en l'honneur des cétacés, comme le faisait le Japon ancien dans son ensemble ("La résurrection des lucioles géantes", mis en ligne le 21 juin 2017).



Il y a des millénaires, la baleine constituait une source de nourriture essentielle pour les populations des Philippines, du Japon, de Corée, de Tai Wan, du Hainan (et probablement du Nord est du Vietnam). Et tout au long de la période historique, les habitants de l'archipel nippon ont consommé les cétacés à des degrés divers, leur viande n'a jamais été taboue, y compris dans les prescriptions bouddhistes les plus rigoureuses, alors que celle de très nombreux animaux l'était.


C'est à la période EDO (à partir du XVIIème siècle) que la consommation se démocratise considérablement, et que la chasse prend un nouvel essor, avec de nouvelles techniques, notamment à Taiji qui fut la matrice et le laboratoire de cette révolution baleinière. Dans le même mouvement, sont rédigés de véritables traités de baleinologie (celui de Matazaemon Masutomi "Isana Toriekotoba" constitue un véritable dictionnaire concernant les baleines elles mêmes, leur chasse, leur préparation...). Et les monuments mortuaires en hommage aux victimes poussent comme des champignons sur l'archipel. 


Voici ce que dit Franz von Siebold ("Le Steller du Japon indépendant" mis en ligne le 28 juin 2017) à propos du rapport des japonais à la viande de baleine : 

"...the right whale's meat is very delicious and it is a major part of the diet. Whalers sell whales to fish wholesalers. People eat the whale's meat, blubber and internal organs and take oil from the inedible parts. All over Japan, people eat whale meat. The taste of the right whale is similar to the bull or the buffalo, and is hard a little. Although they eat both row and salted whale meat, salted meat tastes better. Salted blubber is eaten sliced. Fins can be eaten. The salted blubber can be used as a medicine for chronic diarrhea, and it is effective for stomach ailments and general stomach health. Powdered fin relieves constipation and oil is a medicine for scabies..." He clearly recorded that whale could be used not only as a source of food but also for medicine. I would say good bye after having whale soup." This is one of 'Edo-senryu' (humorous verse of the Edo period) explaining the lives of the Edo people. On New Year's Eve, it was the custom for apprentices to clean their master's houses thoroughly. After they had finished their work, they were offered whale skin soup. They would not go home before they had this soup. It seems that whale skin soup was really delicious and loved by all in Edo."



LA GUERRE DU PACIFIQUE. L'exploitation massive des immenses bancs de cachalots au large du Japon par les baleiniers américains à partir de 1820 va conduire le Japon, en quelques décennies, à la privation de la principale source de subsistance de ses habitants, la  perte de son indépendance, la destruction de son système social, et la mise à mal de sa culture ("Une révolution bleue", mis en ligne le 13 février 2017).


By 1822, thirty ships were whaling off Japan. By 1846, together with Russian, British, Dutch and French ships, as well as the big American whaling fleet, there were seven hundred or more vessels hunting off Japan, killing right whales, humpback whales, grey whales and sperm whales in great numbers. However, unlike the shore-based Japanese, the foreign ships had no use for meat or bones, and certainly not for entrails. They killed for oil, baleen, and what little ivory came from the sperm whales. To the Japanese, the wastage of those years is a horror story.

En octobre 1842, le grand cachalot blanc Mocha Dick met en déroute une armada internationale au large du Japon. Cet évènement constitue l'axe véritable du roman d'Herman Melville "MOBY DICK" ("La résurrection des lucioles géantes" mis en ligne le 21 juin 2017).

Le 24 décembre 1878, Taiji connaît la plus grande catastrophe humaine de l'histoire mondiale de la chasse à la baleine ("Guerre et Paix" mis en ligne le 26 juillet 2015). En proie à la disette, et après de douloureuses controverses, les pêcheurs choisissent d'enfreindre le tabou absolu en se lançant à la poursuite d'une femelle accompagnée de son petit. Celle - ci les entraîne au large, alors qu'une tempête se déclenche. Il y aura entre 110 et 130 morts. Le village se videra et ne s'en remettra jamais.

As the year of 1878 dragged into winter the beach-master or 'ami-moto' was getting desperate. At that time there were two hereditary leaders in Taiji. One was Taiji Kakuemon, who ran the business operations, and the other was his relative, Wada Kinemon, the advisory head. On December 24, 1878, after a bleak, poverty-ridden period of poor catches, a big female right whale and her calf were spotted by the lookouts. The triple black and white pennant was raised and the whalers momentarily relaxed, for the whalers knew that a female and her calf were not to be hunted. It was late afternoon, and for a successful hunt, a whale would have to be killed and secured before nightfall. 

At the beach in front of the shrine of Asuka, the two leaders argued. Kakuemon insisted that the village needed a whale, and needed one before the New Year. Kinemon said no, it was not their custom to hunt a female with calf, and that it drew late, that bad things would befall them if they broke this rule.

Nevertheless, Kakuemon gave the order to hunt, and as the red signals went up and the conches blew from the lookouts, the surprised whalers jumped to their long sculling oars and the gaudy, sleek boats darted forward. The whale was enmeshed and harpooned, but she fought with great fury, and dragged the boats out to sea. Cold winds were blowing from the shore and the men became cold and exhausted. It got dark. By morning the fleet was scattered, and no matter how hard the men in the boats attempting to tow the whale struggled at their oars, the winds, current, cold and the sheer size of the whale was too much for them. Finally, in tears, they cut the whale loose. The storm grew worse.

Within a few days, the cream of the Taiji whalers, and the best of their boats, had been swept far out to sea and had died from exposure or drowning. Some drifted as far as the seven islands of Izu. Estimates of the death roll vary from 111 to 130 men killed. Only a handful survived.

Taiji Kakuemon, in his grief, gave his entire family estate to the bereaved families, and eventually left Taiji for good. The village was plunged into an awful depression, and many young men left for foreign shores, for Hawaii, California, Canada, Mexico. Many of the dances, skills and sea lore of the whalers died with those men who chased the taboo female...


LA GUERRE DU PACIFIQUE EST TOUJOURS A L'ORDRE DU JOUR. La tension actuelle entre Etats - Unis et Corée du Nord n'est ni plus ni moins qu'une conséquence directe de la perturbation des équilibres du Pacifique du Nord - Ouest provoquée par les baleiniers américains à partir d'avril 1820, à l'origine d'une grave maladie civilisationnelle dans l'archipel nippon, la guerre du Pacifique entre communautés humaines (1931 - 1953) puis l'extermination des cachalots par les Japonais (1946 - 1979) ("Guerre et Paix", 26 juillet 2015, "Une révolution bleue", 13 février 2017). Certaines cibles officiellement visées par la Corée du Nord, sont particulièrement emblématiques. La base aérienne américaine d'Okinawa est la plus importante au Monde en dehors du territoire américain. L'armée US occupe près du quart du territoire okinawais, au grand dam de ses habitants. L'île de Guam a constitué la base logistique de départ des bombardiers qui ont détruit les villes d'Hiroshima et Nagasaki les 6 et 9 août 1945... 

Qui plus est, un conflit américano - coréen mettrait directement en cause le foyer - souche des tigres de l'Amour ("L'Amour est éternel" mis en ligne le 17 février 2017).

EN FINIR AVEC LA GUERRE DE 200 ANS. Aux Etats - Unis, beaucoup s'opposent frontalement aux activités baleinières actuelles des japonais ("Incantations et jérémiades", mis en ligne le 18 mai 2017). Et il est certain que celles ci reposent sur des bases profondément malsaines et pathologiques. Mais les Japonais ne seront en position de le conscientiser véritablement puis de le reconnaître explicitement que si, au préalable, les américains adressent des excuses officielles au peuple japonais pour leurs activités agressives déclenchées le 5 avril 1820, et revisitent en coopération avec ceux - ci l'ensemble des évènements significatifs survenus depuis lors, en y incluant, au premier chef, le rôle des cachalots. L'erreur communément admise (par de nombreux japonais, notamment) selon laquelle Herman Melville place la scène finale de MOBY DICK au large du Japon (elle se situe en réalité près des îles Gilbert, plus à l'Est) est significative à cet égard. 


Peut être, un jour, Taiji érigera un nouveau monument commémoratif, dans un esprit différent des précédents. Il rendra hommage à un héros protecteur, héritier du Vent Divin du XIIIème siècle ("Une révolution bleue" mis en ligne le 13 février 2017) et des baleines blanches jumelles  ("Une arche, un sillage" mis en ligne le 2 avril 2017) et qui aurait pu être un personnage d'Hayao Miyazaki. 



Voir aussi le formidable hommage artistique rendu à Isana, sur


Le titre de la composition est SAMSARA, expression bouddhiste du "Cycle de l'Existence". Six cachalots nagent dans un cercle. Ils symbolisent les six étapes du cycle. Dans chacun des cachalots, sont encapsulés des objets ou phénomènes variés, comme un navire, un volcan sous - marin, une mer de nuages...


Voir les détails des sculptures sur :


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13 août 2017 7 13 /08 /août /2017 06:17

La population d'éléphants en Inde est globalement stable (environ 27 000 individus) dans un pays où leur espace se réduit. Les animaux sont donc amenés à se déplacer et investir de nouveaux territoires, ce qui amplifie les heurts avec les communautés humaines. The Times of India, ce jour. Jayashree Nandi, TNN. 


Voir aussi : The Times of india, hier. Jayashree Nandi, TNN.


Préserver des zones naturelles d'une superficie significative et qui puissent être effectivement et facilement reliées entre elles constitue pourtant, et plus que jamais, la priorité pour le maintien de long terme des populations de grands animaux sauvages et de la sécurité des communautés humaines. On le voit bien avec l'exemple de Pilibhit, réserve à tigres depuis septembre 2008, située dans l'Uttar Pradesh (Inde du Nord), à la frontière Sud - Est du Népal. La population des grands félins a significativement augmenté dans les années 2010 (de 28 à 50 individus), mais 6 personnes sont mortes sous leurs crocs au cours des 3 derniers mois. Voir le détail dans "The Indian Express", il y a 3 jours. Jay Mazoomdaar.


Un grand tigre mâle dans la réserve de Pilibhit. 

En Inde, aujourd'hui, il y a 1 tigre sauvage pour 5 léopards et 10 éléphants.

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9 août 2017 3 09 /08 /août /2017 06:46

Les grands "cimetières" déjà découverts sont notamment ceux de Mamontovoye et Berelekh.

Dans la région de Krasnoïarsk (Sibérie du Sud - Ouest), a été découvert l'un des plus grands "cimetières de mammouths" du pays, où l'on trouve aussi des restes de rhinocéros à fourrure et de prédateurs. Tous ces animaux semblent ne pas être entrés en interaction, mais plutôt avoir été tués par des chasseurs humains. Voir l'article détaillé et illustré dans "The Siberian Times" ce jour.


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8 août 2017 2 08 /08 /août /2017 08:32

Une donation présidentielle de 5 millions de roubles a été accordée au Centre de Réhabilitation et de Reintroduction du Tigre de l'Amour, situé dans le village d'Alekseievka (Province maritime du Primorje, Russie du Sud - Est). Amur Tiger Programme, hier.


The Centre for the Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals has received almost five million roubles following a presidential grant competition, the first held in 2017. This is the largest grant won by a non-profit organisation in the Primorye Territory.


The funds will go towards the maintenance of equipment, purchasing of fuel,  paying salaries, and also getting expendable supplies, plus veterinary medicine, etc. Part of the grant will also be used to provide tiger food for those residing at the centre as well as to monitor those released back into the wild,” said the centre’s executive director, Viktor Kuzmenko.


The Centre for the Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals in the village of Alekseyevka was built in 2011 by the employees of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Tiger Special Inspectorate. Since 2012, eight Amur tigers have been in rehabilitation and later released back into the wild. The latest were Vladik and Filippa, who are being monitored through GPS collars and camera traps. 

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4 août 2017 5 04 /08 /août /2017 07:23

Il y a désormais environ 650 lions d'Asie dans la forêt de Gir et ses environs (Sud Ouest du Gujarat), parmi lesquels 180 jeunes de 1 à 2 ans, selon le département des forêts de cet Etat. Les lions de Gir étaient 13 en 1905, puis environ 150 au début des années 70 du siècle dernier. Leur nombre avait encore plus que doublé au début de ce siècle, et une décennie plus tard, ils étaient officiellement un peu plus de 400.  Ils étaient 523 selon le recensement de 2015.  Un spécialiste de ces animaux, Yadvendradev Jhala, considère pour sa part qu'il convient d'effectuer un recensement systématique sur l'ensemble de la région, car selon lui, les lions sont en réalité beaucoup plus nombreux que ce que vient d'indiquer le département des forêts. Voir "The indian Times", ce jour. Himanshu Kaushik, TNN. "Lion population roars to 650 in Gujarat forests."


Les lions de Gir sont, avec les lions - buffles (ou lions de rivière) d'Afrique orientale, les descendants en ligne direct des lions originels (voir "Les pères de nos pères" mis en ligne sur ce blog le 3 octobre 2015). Ils sont génétiquement très proches du lion géant des montagnes de l'Atlas, présumé éteint depuis les années 60 du siècle dernier.

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3 août 2017 4 03 /08 /août /2017 15:32

Le parc national chinois de 1,5 millions d'hectares, en construction dans le Nord Est de ce pays, sera finalisé en 2020. Il offrira, aux tigres et léopards qui vivent dans le Sud Est de la Russie, un espace important d'épanouissement potentiel pour leurs populations, au Sud - Ouest de leur actuelle distribution géographique, et remettra au gout du jour la tradition, perdue dans cette région depuis le milieu du siècle dernier, de cohabitation harmonieuse entre communautés humaines et grands carnivores sauvages.  Voir "Amur Tiger Programme", ce jour.


Vladivostok hosted meetings on the construction of the new National Park of Tiger and Leopard (NPTL) in the People’s Republic of China. The events involved experts from China’s State Forestry Administration, the Forestry Bureau of the Heilongjiang Province, the Forestry Department of the Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces, Khanka Lake National Nature Reserve, as well as senior Land of the Leopard National Park officials.   


The new 1.5 million hectare National Park of Tiger and Leopard will be located in the Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces bordering on Land of the Leopard National Park in the east. The plans for the national park’s territory were approved in July, and the entire national park is to be completed in 2020.


The new trans-border national park will protect and study the Far Eastern leopard population and the southwestern population of the Amur tiger. It is also necessary to adapt the local residents’ life and activity at the protected nature territory to new conditions. “It is vitally important to maintain harmonious coexistence between humans and nature. Apart from restoring the habitat of rare animals, we will need to incentivise local residents to change their lifestyle and production modes,” Tang Xiaoping, head of the NPTL working group, said.


There are also plans to set up a photo monitoring network and to create a new mechanism for managing the national park. For these purposes, Land of the Leopard experts are cooperating vigorously with the working group engaged in establishing the new park and they are also sharing their experience of managing a protected nature territory. 


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  • : Le retour du tigre en Europe: le blog d'Alain Sennepin
  • : Les tigres et autres grands félins sauvages ont vécu en Europe pendant la période historique.Leur retour prochain est une nécessité politique et civilisationnelle.
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