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Should Captive-Bred Chimpanzees Have Full Endangered Species Act Protection?

In a move that's probably long overdue, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced last week that it will conduct a status review to determine if captive chimpanzees ( Pan troglodytes ) should be reclassified from "threatened" to the more protected status "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).Wild-born chimpanzees have been fully protected under the ESA since they were classified as "endangered" in 1990, but chimps and other great apes in captivity have not enjoyed the same protection under what is known as the "captive-bred wildlife exception." According to the Michigan State University College of Law's Animal Legal & Historical Center, this means "people who register with FWS can legally export, re-import, sell and 'take' (including euthanize) their captive-bred apes as long as those activities enhance the survival of the species." Those activities include scientific research, exhibition (this applies to show-biz chimpanzees) or "holding and maintenance of 'surplus' apes (meaning those not immediately needed for scientific research or breeding)." The "threatened" designation also means that people can import, export or sell great apes with an FWS permit (pdf).The FWS status review is a response to a petition from The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Jane Goodall Institute, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, the Fund for Animals, Humane Society International and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society."The federal government does not 'split list' any other endangered species by wild and captive populations, and it should not have done so in this case," HSUS president and CEO Wayne Pacelle said in a prepared statement...

September 7, 2011 — John R. Platt

#SciAmBlogs Tuesday (while traveling)

Enjoying my visit with Mom in Belgrade, but keeping an eye on the network anyway. Here is today's crop of posts - which ones do you like the best?- Scicurious - Can probiotic yogurt cure your psychiatric ills? - Krystal D'Costa - Is The Grass Always Greener? - Maria Konnikova - Lessons from Sherlock Holmes: Confidence Is Good; Overconfidence, Not So Much - Jennifer Frazer - Lucky Mycologist Finds Lost Smut - Anna Kuchment - The New, New Math: A Parent’s Guide - Jennifer Jacquet - We’re Not Alone: 8,699,999 other species on Earth - Christina Agapakis - Synthetic Biology Slam - Eric Michael Johnson - Freedom to Riot: On the Evolution of Collective Violence - Charles Q...

September 6, 2011 — Bora Zivkovic

Open Laboratory 2011 - submissions so far

For the background on what Open Lab is, see this post.The submission form for the 2011 edition of Open Lab is open. Any blog post written since December 1, 2010 is eligible for submission.We accept essays, stories, poetry, cartoons/comics, and original art.Once you are done submitting your own posts, you can start looking at the others', including on aggregators like, and I always do, I will keep posting the full list of submitted entries once a week until the deadline - see the listing under the fold.You can buy the last five annual collections here...

September 5, 2011 — Bora Zivkovic

Friday Festival at #SciAmBlogs

I am having fun at Science Online London. But I found some time to check what the bloggers were up to today. You should, too: - Caleb A. Scharf - Starbreath - Matthew Francis - What We Know About Black Holes - Scicurious - Friday Weird Science: Science is HARD, you guys! - Hannah Waters - On vaccines: scientists can’t stop doing science because of crazy people - David Bressan - September 2, 1806: The landslide of Goldau - Scott Huler - Storm Center: New Tools for the Postmortem - Jennifer Frazer - A New Weapon in the War on Frog Chytrids: Water Fleas - Katrina Edwards - North Pond: Searching for Intraterrestrial Life - Mary Karmelek - After 136 Years of Overcrowding, Straphangers Still Look for Relief - Kate Clancy - Around the web, data entry edition - Eric Michael Johnson - Male Chauvinist Chimps or the Meat Market of Public Opinion? - Maria Konnikova - Lessons from Sherlock Holmes: Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Imagination - David Biello - Smog Levels to Remain Higher than Scientists Suggest Safe for Public Health - John Horgan - Why Screening Teens for Mental Illness Is a Terrible Idea - George Musser - Do Physicists Make the World a Better Place? =======================If you like any of the posts by our bloggers and if you think the posts can be easily edited and formatted for print, submit them for the next edition of The Open Laboratory.Conversations on our articles and blog posts often continue on our Facebook page - "Like" it and join in the discussion.You should follow the Blog Network on Twitter - the official account is @sciamblogs and the List of all the bloggers is @sciamblogs/sciambloggers...

September 2, 2011 — Bora Zivkovic
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