Senate Bill to Make Sasquatch the Official WA State Cryptid

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Feb 192017
 

WA official state cryptid: Sasquatch!

Washington moves to make sasquatch the state’s official cryptid!

Sasquatch is everywhere nowadays, and I’m not just talking about in the woods.  You can see sasquatches on billboards, commercials, and everybody’s favorite reality TV series.  Strangely enough, though, there is not a single mention of the creatures in the state laws of Washington despite the tourism dollars brought there by the hairy hominoid (though there are a couple local ordinances).  That might be about to change.  

Senator Ann Rivers who represents the 18th Legislative District in Washington has proposed a bill to make sasquatch the official state “cryptid,” or undiscovered animal.  This was brought on by a letter from “Caleb,” a boy who lives in her district.  

Some might complain that this sort of thing doesn’t belong in the solemn halls of legislative government, but I would strongly suggest otherwise.  A very large sum of money is spent in Washington every year by bigfooters coming to conferences, paying for campsites, buying gasoline, buying souvenirs, and going on paid expeditions looking for evidence of sasquatches.  These bigfooters therefore use the public lands set aside by the state, thus ensuring their protection for future generations.  Clearly, bigfoots have played a small yet significant role in Washington’s tourism and public lands.  

I predict that as bigfoots become more prominent in the minds of the public, and especially after academic acceptance of the species, they will play a huge economic role in Washington and other states.  How will they be protected?  What, if any, rights will they be granted to ensure their safety and autonomy?  Will they be viewed as threats or assets?  How will our own views of the lands they live on be changed?  All these questions and more will surface, so it’s a good thing to put sasquatches on the minds of Washingtonians now, before they are proven as a real species, so some of these questions can be pondered before answers are demanded.

Here’s a snippet from the press release: 

Child’s letter prompts bill to designate Sasquatch as state ‘cryptid’

Read the rest of the article by clicking this link.

Apr 122013
 

Orangutans are deeply interesting to me, partly because it is my opinion that they are probably the closest living relative to the sasquatch (though I admit this is little more than speculation).  There are so many parallels in behavior and morphology between orangutans and sasquatches that it seems clear to me that to study one is to gain insight into the other.

Orangutans are now an endangered species, mostly due to habitat destruction.  One of the species’ last refuges is on the island of Borneo.  There are an estimated 3000 to 4500 orangutans live on the island, and these apes are constantly at the mercy of the three countries’ governments that hold power over the island.  When a species’ survival depends on the wisdom of government, especially three third-world governments, those are some bleak prospects for their future.

The topography of Borneo

However, apes are amazing things.  People strongly underestimate them, referring to them as “dumb apes” or “monkeys” without an understanding of their intelligence, stealth, and kinship with ourselves.  They can literally live under our noses without being detected, as the sasquatches have done successfully forever now. Every once in a while a new ape species, or an unknown population of a known ape species, is stumbled upon.  This very thing recently happened, and it is good news indeed.

A pocket of orangutans was discovered where none had been known to exist before.  There are approximately 200 individuals in this area, and they were found to be there by their nests they left behind.  The below article discusses this further, but when reading it consider a few things.  The population was discovered by the signs they left behind.  We have those same signs left behind by sasquatches.  The local people already knew that the orangutans were there, it was the scientists that were oblivious.  This is also true of the sasquatch.  And finally, the governments are now considering protecting the population by forming new national parks, or in other words, they are protecting the land so the apes can use it.  If we in North America protect the land, we protect the sasquatch.  That’s “conservation before discovery” at its core.

Enjoy the article:

Secret Population of Orangutans Found

By Live Science Staff | LiveScience.com

A population of 200 of the world’s rarest orangutans was found tucked away in the forests of the island of Borneo, according to theWildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

All subspecies of Bornean orangutans are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. But scientists estimate just 3,000 to 4,500 individuals are left in the subspecies known as Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus, making them the most severely threatened.

Two-thousand of those live in the Malaysian state of Sarawak inBatang Ai National Park and Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, researchers say. The previously unknown population was found by conservationists near the Batang park, in an area covering about 54 square miles (140 square kilometers).

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Mar 082013
 

While watching this, remove the gorilla and insert a sasquatch.  Is this level of interaction with a bigfoot possible?  Could it be that extended video of this quality could remove the need of a type specimen (a dead one) to prove the species?  I think it’s at least possible, and certainly worth a try.

People claim to have achieved this level of interaction with bigfoots, but so far these stories are just that: stories.  I suggest that to avoid the killing of a bigfoot, people who say they have this level of interaction should produce video of this quality or better.

I’m not saying, “Put up or shut up.”  I’m saying that we should do this for them, the big guys.  There are already several groups actively pursuing the killing of a specimen.  One will eventually be successful.  Can those who take a more compassionate stance beat them to the punch?

Bigfoots are real.  The “discovery” of the species is inevitable.  Can we avoid killing one to prove they are real?  Not unless we try.

Sep 102011
 

Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-6-MD) has introduced bipartisan legislation to ban invasive experimentation on chimpanzees in the United States.  Representative Bartlett says that it’s time for Americans to “decide if the benefits to humans of research using chimpanzees outweigh the ethical, financial and scientific costs.”  He goes on to say that the evidence is mounting that they do not.  


The reason I’m posting this on a blog about bigfoots is that chimpanzees are routinely experimented on because they are humans’ closest relative.  I think that we in the bigfoot community know of another, even closer relative.  After bigfoots are recognized by the scientific establishment, what sort of inhumane treatment will they be subjected to?  I feel that if we move now to protect the already recognized great apes, then after “discovery” sasquatches will receive the same (and hopefully greater) protections under the law.  


Now is the time to move to start advocating for the protection for sasquatches (see my previous blog post, Conservation Before Discovery).  I am not suggesting that you picket the White House Lawn with signs proclaiming we stop experimenting on sasquatches.  We cannot afford to be seen as aluminum-foil-hat-wearing-nut-jobs.  However, we can quietly support the protection of all ape species, as well as strongly advocate for aboriginal (human) people’s rights.  It is likely that sasquatches will fall smack in between these two groups, thus calling into play a unique mixture of laws that are already on the books.  


Please read Representative Bartlett’s editorial from the New York Times below.


Stop Using Chimps as Guinea Pigs

By ROSCOE G. BARTLETT
Published: August 10, 2011


BEFORE I was elected to Congress, I was a physiologist at the Navy’s School of Aviation Medicine. For our successful missions to transport men to the moon and return them safely to Earth, I invented a series of respiratory support devices, which we tested on primates, including Baker, a squirrel monkey. Before humans were rocketed into space, Baker was the first primate to survive a trip into space and back; Able, her counterpart on the flight, died from an allergic reaction to an anesthetic during a procedure shortly after the landing.
At the time, I believed such research was worth the pain inflicted on the animals. But in the years since, our understanding of its effect on primates, as well as alternatives to it, have made great strides, to the point where I no longer believe such experiments make sense — scientifically, financially or ethically. That’s why I have introduced bipartisan legislation to phase out invasive research on great apes in the United States.
Today is the start of a two-day public hearing convened by the Institute of Medicine, which is examining whether there is still a need for invasive chimpanzee research. Meanwhile, nine countries, as well as the European Union, already forbid or restrict invasive research on great apes. Americans have to decide if the benefits to humans of research using chimpanzees outweigh the ethical, financial and scientific costs.
The evidence is mounting that they do not. For one thing, many new techniques are cheaper, faster and more effective, including computer modeling and the testing of very small doses on human volunteers. In vitro methods now grow human cells and tissues for human biomedical studies, bypassing the need for whole animals.
Click this link to read the rest of the article.


Aug 162011
 

A close up of a chimpanzee’s face.  It is 
eerily human-like, especially in the eyes.
August 16, 2011 
IMAGERY FROM THREE CONTINENTS, SEVEN COUNTRIES HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF PROTECTED AREAS & COORDINATED APPROACH TO MAMMAL CONSERVATION AND DIVERSIty
Arlington, VA — The first global camera trap mammal study, announced today by a group of international scientists, has documented 105 species in nearly 52,000 images, from seven protected areas across the Americas, Africa and Asia. The photographs reveal an amazing variety of animals in their most candid moments — from a minute mouse to the enormous African elephant, plus gorillas, cougars, giant anteaters and — surprisingly — even tourists and poachers.

IN PHOTOS: See the images from the camera traps »

Analysis of the photographic data has helped scientists confirm a key conclusion that until now, was understood through uncoordinated local study: habitat loss and smaller reserves have a direct and detrimental impact on the diversity and survival of mammal populations. Impacts are seen in the form of less diversity of species and less variety of body sizes and diets (smaller animals and insectivores are the first to disappear), among others. This information replicated over time and space is crucial to understand the effects of global and regional threats on forest mammals and anticipate extinctions before it is too late.

The results of the study have been published in the article “Community structure and diversity of tropical mammals: data from a global camera trap network“, in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. The study was led by Dr. Jorge Ahumada, ecologist with the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network at Conservation International. Protected areas in Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Laos, Suriname, Tanzania and Uganda were researched, making this not only the first global camera trap mammal study, but also the largest camera trap study of any class of animals (not just mammals).

To read the rest of the article on Conservation.com, and to see more photos, click this link.

Dec 222010
 

Bigfoots are lucky to live in North America.  As the below video points out, the survival of great apes is directly tied to the standard of living of the humans with whom they share their habitat.  Despite current economic conditions, we North Americans enjoy among the highest standards of living in the world today.  That alleviates at least some pressure on the bigfoot population.


When you watch the clip, keep thinking, “Sasquatch.”

While bigfoots might be affected by deforestation or other human influences, they are unlikely to fall prey to heavy pressure from bushmeat poachers.  We’ll know that the current economic crisis is really bad when bands of people take to the woods to hunt saquatches for food…
Though it might sound ridiculous to some, I want to encourage the bigfooting community to be aware of, and maybe even help support, the various ape conservation societies that are out there (such as the Great Ape Trust, who produced this video clip).  Remember that sasquatches are undoubtedly a member of the great ape family.  Their inevitable discovery will likely place them somewhere on the ape gradient between gibbons and humans .  What we do for the other apes now will eventually be reflected upon the sasquatch.  
Nov 142010
 

This news blurb recently crossed my desk, so I thought I’d put it out there for my many international readers.  If you live in or near London, try to make it down for the event.  Although sasquatches will not be on the agenda for the night, that is a temporary oversight.  At least two of the speakers (Sir David Attenborough and Dr. Jane Goodall) are interested in the subject enough to voice optimism towards the animals’ existence.  The other ape experts should be closely listened to as well, since it is clear that sasquatches are a species of great ape that deserve their place alongside their gorilla, chimp, bonobo, orangutan, gibbon, and human cousins.  


Here’s the article.  If you can attend, please tell me how it went by contacting me at NorthAmericanBigfoot@gmail.com.  


Organised by The Ape Alliance, hosted by Sir David Attenborough, and featuring high-profile speakers such as Dr Jane Goodall, this is an evening to be enlightened by the ape world, by the people who are involved in their conservation.


The evening will commence with a short film introducing five species of ape, followed by a series of 20-minute talks about the plight of each species from five speakers involved in ape research and conservation. 


Speakers include orangutan expert Dr Birute Galdikas; Ian Redmond, UNEP ambassador and chair of The Ape Alliance; pioneering chimpanzee researcher Dr Jane Goodall; bonobo conservationist Dr Jo Thompson, and Chanee (Aurelien Brulé), founder of the Kalaweit gibbon conservation project in Borneo. A panel discussion and Q&A will be chaired by conservationist Mark Cawardine.
Tickets cost £25/£34, or £100 for a VIP drinks reception with the speakers and other special guests. All proceeds go towards ape conservation projects.
The Lyceum
21 Wellington Street
London WC2E
For further information, click here



Sep 222010
 




The title of the article below caught my attention, but as it turned out the “world’s least known apes” were not sasquatches after all.  They were crested gibbons.   It must have been a coincidence that the gibbon was depicted in a tree in a bipedal pose.

Being a fan of everything ape, I read the article with an eye out for issues that would similarly affect sasquatches.  As it turns out, the crested gibbon is being threatened by hunting (which clearly doesn’t affect the sasquatch population) and deforestation (which clearly could threaten the squatch).  

The parallels between the gibbon’s plight and that of the other apes is starkly clear.  Deforestation is the number one threat to great apes.  

Perhaps this same issue will threaten the North American sasquatch population.  Perhaps it threatens the population right now, but nobody knows because the creatures still remain in the realm of myth.  Either way, there is something you can do about it.  I call it “Conservation Before Discovery.”  

This idea of Conservation Before Discovery is simply being aware of land conservation issues, and casting your political votes accordingly.  Take the opportunity to write an email to your representatives encouraging them to pass measures to protect vast tracts of land.  Encourage them to pass legislation protecting wild areas and wild animals.  Notify them that you care about apes (even though no recognized species of ape lives in the United States or Canada, our government still discusses and weighs legislation that protects apes on other continents).

A word of advice: You probably shouldn’t rant at your representative about how their actions will benefit sasquatches.  That will make them think you’re a kook who needn’t be listened to.  So, while being politically assertive for the sake of bigfoots, please don’t drop the “BF Bomb” or your effort might be for naught.  


World’s least known apes, the crested gibbons of South East Asia, face imminent extinction





A gathering of the world’s gibbon experts, led by Fauna & Flora International (FFI), has declared a call to action to save the crested gibbons of South East Asia during the XXIII Congress of the International Primatological Society. 

“The crested gibbons are the most threatened group of primates and all species require urgent attention to save them from extinction”, said Thomas Geissmann, the world-renowned gibbon expert from Zurich University and FFI gibbon advisor.

All seven species of crested gibbons are highly threatened and some are among the world’s most endangered mammals. They are found east of the Mekong River in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam and China. Several species have declined drastically over the past decade due to hunting and habitat loss caused mainly by rapid economic development.

The plight of crested gibbons is exemplified by the world’s rarest ape, the Hainan gibbon. There are about 20 individuals remaining in two family groups on China’s Hainan Island. The Hainan gibbon’s closest relative is the cao vit gibbon, which survives in a patch of forest on the Vietnam – China border and numbers not much more than 100 individuals. 

“Current efforts by FFI appear to be turning round the fortune of the cao vit gibbon at the eleventh hour,“ said Paul Insua-Cao, FFI China-Indochina Primate Programme Manager.

“FFI has been championing conservation of several of the world’s rarest gibbon species for more than a decade. The organization is working with local communities and government authorities across the range states of these gibbons to protect them and their habitat”.

In the past FFI’s surveys have discovered several previously unknown populations of gibbons across the region, which have led to work to securing those populations for the future.

Gibbon conservation attracts much less funding than that of the great apes such as gorillas and orang-utans. Hence, it is vital that projects are focused on those places with utmost importance for the survival of the species. The efforts of FFI and other like-minded organizations will need continuous investment and support for the foreseeable future to ensure the gibbons’ survival.

For further information and high resolution photos, please contact: 

Rebecca Foges, 
Communications Officer 
Fauna & Flora International, 
Station Road, 
Cambridge, 
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 579 491 
Email: 
Rebecca.foges@fauna-flora.org

Jun 052010
 
Being an amateur scientist, I try to use scientifically appropriate terms when I talk ‘squatch.  Therefore, when I ran across the following excellent primate glossary, I thought that many of my fellow bigfooters would want to use the appropriate vocabulary in their own writings and conversations.  It is in that spirit that I offer to you a glossary of words compiled by the Great Ape Trust.  




But first, a self-defining paragraph about the Great Ape Trust:

Great Ape Trust is a scientific research facility in Des Moines, Iowa, dedicated to understanding the origins and future of culture, language, tools and intelligence. Announced in 2002 and receiving its first ape residents in 2004, Great Ape Trust is home to a colony of six bonobos involved in noninvasive interdisciplinary studies of their cognitive and communicative capabilities, and two orangutans.




And now the glossary:




Great Ape Trust Glossary

A guide to help you understand the specialized terms used in ape language research.

Absolute Brain Size

The actual size of a brain, usually expressed by a measure of weight or volume. Compare relative brain size.

Anthropology

The scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans.

Ape

Species that are members of the Families Hylobatidae (gibbons or “lesser apes”) and Hominidae (great apes: chimpanzee, gorilla, gibbon, orangutan and human).

Arboreal

Of, living in, or connected with trees.

Bipedalism

An upright posture or form of locomotion that relies on the use of the legs without any assistance from the arms. Humans are the only species of primate that habitually use a bipedal form of locomotion.

Brachiation (pronounced bray kee ay’ shun)

A form of locomotion that relies on the arms without any assistance from the legs. The gibbons are the only true brachiators, although some other aboreal primates are considered semi- or modified brachiators.

Cheek Pouch

Elastic cheeks that allow relatively large amounts of food to be held in the mouth temporarily, usually during foraging; found only in Old World primates.

Cognition

A construct that references higher-order and complex operations of the brain. Cognition generally is held to be based on mental operations well beyond the bounds of simple associative learning. Its operations are posited whenver we obtain evidence of an organism achieving an understanding of a problem in which behavior reflects comprehension of over-arching principles rather than simple associations, especially in first-time efforts to meet a new challenge. The mastery of symbols and their representations for use in language and mathematics is generally held to be enabled by the operations of cognition.

Culture

The transmission of acquired patterns of behavior and problem solving across generations via social learning and rearing. At the human level, culture is reflected in art, discovery, educational institutions, family and community life. At the nonhuman levels, the transmission of learned signals, methods of hunting and foraging, tool fabrication and use, are generally accepted as products of enculturation.

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)

The sequence of nucleic acids that is commonly referred to as the genetic “blueprint” for each individual organism. DNA is one of the means of assessing the relative similarities that exist among species.

Evolution

The process by which the characteristics of a population change over time in relation to the demands of the environment. Evolution is the foundation upon which all of biology rests and is the scientific explanation for the diversity of life on Earth.

Folivorous

Referring to organisms that have a diet composed primarily of leaves or other forms of vegetation; frequently used interchangeably with “leaf-eating.”

Frugivorous

Referring to organisms that have a diet composed primarily of fruits.

Ischial Callosities

Hard, thickened areas of hairless skin that are prominent on the rear ends of may species of Old World primates. These structures function primarily as sitting pads.

LANA

An acronym for the Lana Language project with the chimpanzee, Lana. Although Lana’s achievements were initially thought to be limited to analogs of language, across time it was clear that she had mastered several significant language skills.

Lexigrams

Distinctive geometric symbols embossed on keys of a keyboard where each symbol was intended to function as a word. For a symbol to become a word it must acquire both a functional and symbolic equivalence with a specific referent. a referent might be a food, drink, a person, a place, a color, or the state of something (e.g., a window being open). the term was coined for the LANA Language Project of 1971 in which a chimpanzee was first introduced to language learning through use of a computer-monitored keyboard.

Linguistics

The study of the nature, structure, and variation of language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, and pragmatics.

Matriarchal

A female who rules a family, clan, or tribe.

New World Monkeys

All species of nonhuman primates that are native to the southernmost portion of North America (Mexico) and Central and South America.

Old World Monkeys

All species of monkey that are native to areas outside the Americas, chiefly Asia and Africa. Prosimians and apes may be correctly labeled Old World primates, but they are not monkeys.

Prehensile

For primates, referring to tails that can function as a third hand or foot by grasping, reaching, or holding. Prehensile tails are only found in the New World monkeys.

Primate

Any member of the order Primate. All primates have a shared set of physical features, such as forward-facing eyes, opposable digits, and relatively large brains for mammals of their size.

Primatology

The study of any member of the order Primate.

Prosimian

Literally, “pre-monkey.” The more primitive species of primate, including the lemurs, lorisies, pottos, and galagos. Some sources include tarsiers as well, although this is debated among taxonomists. Monkeys and apes are not members of the prosimian group.

Relative Brain Size

The proportion of the body made up by the brain. Compare absolute brain size.

Sagittal Crest

A flat, bony protrusion rising from the top of the skull. This structure is most exaggerated in male gorillas and serves as an attachment point for the muscles associated with chewing.

Sexual Dimorphism

The difference in body size or structure that is correlated with the two sexes within a given species. For example, adult male orangutans may be twice the size of adult female orangutans.

Sympatric

Of two or more populations inhabiting the same geographic area.

Syntax

The study of the rules whereby words or other elements of sentence structure are combined to form grammatical sentences.

Taxonomy

The classification system introduced by Carolus Linnaeus that is based on how closely or distantly species are related to each other.

Transfer Index

A comparative-psychological measurement of intelligence defined by Duane M. Rumbaugh in 1969. The measure is based on Harlow’s learning set training methods. The TI serves as a defensible measure of complex-learning skills and the abilities for transferring operationally defined amounts of learning to modified test conditions. This method defined a very high correlation between brain size and intelligence form prosimian to the great apes.

May 142010
 
Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows that I’m a huge fan of Jane Goodall.  This isn’t just because she thinks that the existence of sasquatches could be a very real possibility.  At least as important would be that she’s just an all around do-gooder, and the world needs as many of those as it can get.  

“For Cliff –
Together we can reveal the secrets still out there.
– Jane Goodall”

Dr. Goodall seems to be on the right side of primate legal issues, which all bigfooters probably should pay attention to.  After all, when sasquatches are proven to be real animals, they will probably be afforded the same rights as the other great apes.  (If sasquatches prove to be of our genus Homo, or even something entirely different, then the legal circus that follows will prove to be very interesting!)  The better our legal system treats the other great apes now, the better sasquatches will be treated later.  

I received an email from the Jane Goodall Institute today.  Signing their proposal was a no-brainer for me.  When I suggested Conservation Before Discovery several months ago, the protection of apes was a central part of that idea.  I’m always eager to do my part for the cause.

Habitat destruction is a common enemy of all the surviving species of great apes, including humans.  The problem of bushmeat (which is the killing and eating of apes) isn’t a problem for humans (thank goodness), but is a grave threat to chimpanzees and the other African apes.  (I don’t think sasquatches would have to face this problem, but there are some strange folks lurking in the woods…)

Please join me in doing a very small thing for the benefit of our closest biological family members:  Sign this petition.  Please read the email that follows and do the right thing.  A page from the Jane Goodall Institute will pop up after you sign the petition to request a donation, so help if you can.  (You already did help, just by signing the petition though.)  


Dear Cliff,

If you haven’t had a chance to sign the Jane Goodall Institute’s bushmeat petition—there’s still time! Dr. Goodall and I will be visiting members of the U.S. Congress the week of May 17, 2010 to educate them about deforestation in Africa, including the link between logging and the illegal commercial bushmeat trade. Please help us reach our goal of 15,000 signatures from our supporters by May 16, 2010.

The illegal commercial bushmeat trade is an issue that we can’t afford to ignore.

At the turn of the 20th century, there were approximately one to two million chimpanzees in the tropical forests of Africa. Today, scientists estimate that there are fewer than 300,000 chimpanzees remaining in the wild. Habitat loss and the illegal commercial bushmeat trade are the two biggest threats facing wild chimpanzees, and these problems are inextricably linked.

The remoteness of chimpanzee habitat was once the chimpanzee’s greatest defense. But now major logging and mining businesses are encroaching deeper and deeper into forests, cutting roads into previously inaccessible areas and providing greater access to poachers who kill many species including endangered chimpanzees. In some cases these companies actually hire hunters to provide bushmeat for their employees. Scientists estimate that bushmeat hunters process 10,000 metric tons of bushmeat from African forests each year.

Please sign the petition and ask your representatives to support legislation that discourages the illegal commercial bushmeat trade and other destructive activities—like irresponsible logging and mining practices—that contribute to it. If you have already signed, please ask your friends and family to sign the bushmeat petition. We need all the help we can get.
Thank you so much for your support of my work and the Jane Goodall Institute.