Jun 22

More photos, videos and texts are added to ARKive every alternate week. Here is a summary of our latest update: 

The stats 

  • 126 new species
  • 46 new videos
  • 876 new photos
  • 42 new media donors
  • 32 new texts

What’s new – our favourite new species

Photo of a Roatan coral snake

New profile for one of our Most Wanted species - the Critically Endangered Roatan coral snake.

What’s new – our favourite new images

Photo of a woodland jumping mouse grooming

Woodland jumping mouse grooming

Photo of a pale male red-shouldered hawk in snow

Red-shouldered hawk in snow

What’s new – our favourite new videos

Photo of a female scaly-sided merganser with young

Fantastic footage of chicks of the Endangered scaly-sided merganser leaving their nest high in a tree.

Photo of a Puerto Rican boa

Amazing footage of the Puerto Rican boa hunting bats in a cave.

Photo of brown surgeonfish in reef habitat

Stunning footage of brown surgeonfish mass spawning.

Get involved!

If you have any photos, footage or species information that you think we should add into ARKive please let us know. There are many ways to get involved with ARKive, from contributing your photos to just spreading the word about us – every little helps!

Full details 

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Jun 22

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in the eastern Himalayan foothills of India is on the road to recovery, as illegal logging and wildlife poaching have declined and wildlife populations have increased. 

Following the advice of the IUCN, this protected area has now been removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Photo of Indian rhinoceros covered in mud, with mynah birds along back

Indian rhinoceros

A rapid decline in wildlife and the eradication of the Indian rhino during a decade-long insurgency led to the inscription of Manas Wildlife Sanctuary on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1992. 

However, a UNESCO/IUCN monitoring mission to the sanctuary earlier this year noted that huge progress has been made to increase the populations of key species, including tigers, Asian elephants and Indian rhinos. Threats have declined significantly and the park infrastructure has improved, according to the mission report. 

The great efforts by the Indian authorities to support recovery of wildlife populations and improve the overall park management have brought about a positive change for one of India’s natural treasures,” says Tim Badman, Director of the IUCN’s World Heritage Programme. 

The Sanctuary is on a good track, but the work and funding to secure its future need to be sustained.”

Photo of barasingha with velvet on antlers

Barasingha with velvet on antlers

Reintroduction of the Indian rhino to Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is currently underway, with funding for conservation projects secure until the end of the year. 

The mission report recommended that a restoration programme be established for the barasingha, also known as the swamp deer, as it seems unlikely that this species will recover without direct conservation efforts. It also suggested that a tourism management plan be developed with local communities, so that ecotourism can be established as an alternative livelihood. 

Peter Shadie, Deputy Head of IUCN Delegation, added “While the focus of media and public attention is usually on the new sites to be added to the World Heritage List, the protection of sites already on the list plays an equally important role in ensuring the future of our world heritage.” 

The List of World Heritage in Danger is a practical way of providing support to the sites that need it the most.”

Read the IUCN press release – Manas Wildlife Sanctuary on the road to recovery. 

View more images and videos of the Indian rhinoceros on ARKive. 

Alex Royan, ARKive Species Text Author

Jun 22

The Bristol Festival of Nature is the largest event of its kind in the UK with a multitude of organisations coming together in order to bring people of all ages a step closer to the natural world. The intrepid ARKive team were on hand for the whole event to introduce people to the weird, the wonderful and, erm, origami?!   

Schools Day

The festival kicked off on Friday 17th June with schools day, where around 1,000 children travelled to Bristol centre to be entertained, engaged and inspired. Always ready for a challenge, the ARKive team introduced them to the wonderful world of Darwin’s fox and Barbour’s forest tree frog via the art of origami. With a series of nifty folds under the careful watch of our black belt origami instructors, some amazing critters were produced.   

Charlie Whittaker, ARKive Media Researcher showing students how to make an origami frog

Charlie Whittaker, ARKive Media Researcher and origami black belt at work

Photo of an origamo Darwin's fox and Barbour's forest tree frog

A lifelike Darwin's fox and Barbour's forest tree frog

For the aspiring zoologists, there was then a chance to test their knowledge with our quiz. See how you would fare by guessing who the following bundles of fluff belong to: tiger, coyote, Bornean orang-utan, brown bear or red wolf? Click on the image to find the answer!   

Can you guess what these youngsters will be when they grow up?

Can you guess what these youngsters will be when they grow up?

The Festival

The main festival took place on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June and, despite the initial torrential rain, around 150 organisations put on a range of exciting activities from hedgehog making with the Avon Wildlife Trust to meeting a few of Bristol Zoo’s 175th anniversary Wow! Gorillas! At the ARKive stand, we were happy to chat with existing fans and introduce the website to new people of all ages. We were even able to mingle with some of the local wildlife ourselves!   

Photo of Bristol Zoo's Wow! Gorillas! - helping to celebrate the zoo's 175th anniversary

Bristol Zoo's Wow! Gorillas! - helping to celebrate the zoo's 175th anniversary

Photo of ARKive Media Research Assistant, Becky Taylor, mingling with the wildlife!

ARKive Media Research Assistant, Becky Taylor, mingling with the wildlife!

If you missed out on the fun, never fear, the award winning Festival of Nature will return to Bristol in June 2012. If you can’t wait that long, take a look at some of the other events run by the Bristol Natural History Consortium.   

For more images of our trip to the Festival of Nature visit our Flickr account  

Becky Moran, ARKive Media Researcher

Jun 21

Today is World Music Day – a celebration of different types of music from across the globe. Whether you’re into jazz, reggae or calypso there’s a style of music out there for you. ARKive species are celebrating World Music Day by forming their very own band – check out the line-up!

Trumpeter swan

Trumpeter swan photo

The trumpeter swan getting ready for its first appearance in the ARKive band

On brass we’ve got the noisy trumpeter swan. The trumpeter swan is North America’s largest native bird and has a wingspan of up to a huge three metres. With its unique ‘trumpeting’ call, we don’t need to give this bird an instrument!

 

Shovelnose guitarfish

Photo of a shovelnose guitarfish

Shovelnose guitarfish getting ready to rock.

Rocking it on guitar, it’s the shovelnose guitarfish. Named due to its distinctive shape, the shovelnose guitarfish is usually found partially buried in the sandy seafloor awaiting its next meal. Will its fins cope with the guitar solos?

Banded pipefish

Banded pipefish photo

Banded pipefish

Adding a little Scottish sound to the ARKive band, it’s the banded pipefish on bagpipes. Similarly to seahorses and other pipefish, the female banded pipefish deposits her eggs in the male’s brood pouch. The eggs develop in the brood pouch and the male gives birth. That’s where the parental care ends, so the banded pipefish will still be able to find time for the band!

 

Cardinal click beetle

Cardinal click beetles getting ready to click

Bringing hope to everyone who can’t play an instrument, but still wants to join in, it’s the cardinal click beetle. Clicking its fingers – or wings! – this bright red species helps keep everyone in time. The cardinal click beetle has a novel way of righting itself – like other click beetles -  if it gets flipped over. It arches its back and flips itself into the air with a loud ‘click’, landing on its feet.

 

Triangle palm

Photo of a triangle palm

A triangle palm getting ready for its appearance on stage

Remember the days when you had to stand at the back of the school band, playing the triangle? Well, that’s just the job for the triangle palm. Luckily, the triangle palm has many fronds to hang triangles from, so it can play lots at once – a bit like a wind chime!

 

Harp seal

Harp seal photo

Noisy harp seal

ARKive has got its very own harp player – the harp seal. Found around the north Atlantic and Arctic Ocean, harp seals are well adapted to cold weather with a thick coat of blubber. Harp seals are noisy, sociable animals – let’s hope our harp player brings its friends along to watch the band.

 

Bongo

Bongo photo

Bongo, about to play the bongos!

On percussion we’ve got the bongo. More commonly seen in lowland African forests, the bongo’s stripes and spiralling horns will make sure that the ARKive band stands out from the crowd!

 

Fluted clam

Fluted plam photo

On woodwind, it's the fluted clam

On woodwind, we’ve got the fluted clam. Beautifully mottled with vivid green and blue spots, the fluted clam offers shelter for many marine invertebrates including crabs and clams. It’s a bright addition to the ARKive band!

 

David Bowie spider

David Bowie spider photo

Ziggy Stardust and the David Bowie spiders?

Is David Bowie the best singer ever? We’ve got his namesake, the David Bowie spider, to front our band. Peter Jäger discovered the hairy arachnid in 2009 and named the species after David Bowie to attract public attention to the plight of endangered spiders. Could it also have something to do with Bowie’s album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars?

 

Verreaux’s sifaka

Verreaux's sifaka photo

ARKive's backing dancer, a Verreaux's sifaka

Every band needs a backing dancer and there’s no better dancer in the animal kingdom than Verreaux’s sifaka. Gracefully bounding across the ground with its arms held high, Verreaux’s sifaka will make sure the ARKive band gets noticed!

Would you have rather seen the trumpet-mouthed hunter snail on brass? Are you disappointed there’s no bass? Let us know which species you want to see in the ARKive band.

Ruth Hendry, ARKive Media Researcher

Jun 21

The world’s oceans are in a “shocking” state and marine species may face an unprecedented extinction event, an international panel of experts has warned.

Photo of bleached Acropora spp. coral

The many threats to the world’s coral reefs include increasing ocean temperatures, which can cause coral ‘bleaching’, as shown in this Acropora species.

The panel was brought together by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) and involved scientists from across a range disciplines. It was the first to consider the cumulative impacts of the pressures facing the oceans, including pollution, ocean acidification, ocean warming, over-fishing and hypoxia (reduced oxygen levels).

Rapid pace of change

The findings are shocking,” said Alex Rogers, Scientific Director of IPSO and a professor of conservation biology at Oxford University. “As we considered the cumulative effect of what humankind does to the oceans, the implications became far worse than we had individually realised… almost right across the board we’re seeing changes that are happening faster than we’d thought, or in ways that we didn’t expect to see for hundreds of years.”

Photo of dead southern bluefin tuna caught in a tuna pen

Overfishing has brought species such as the southern bluefin tuna to the brink of extinction.

These rapid changes include the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, sea level rise, and the release of methane trapped in the sea bed. More worrying is how different threats are acting together in ways that had not previously been recognised, their combined effects being worse than each threat alone.

For example, some pollutants have been found to stick to the surfaces of tiny plastic particles in the ocean, increasing the amounts of these pollutants being consumed by marine creatures. Global climate change, ocean acidification, pollution and overfishing are also working together to increase the pressures on the world’s coral reefs, many of which are now in severe decline.

Photo of a group of common clownfish swimming next to anemone

Coral reefs support a huge variety of other species, including fish such as these common clownfish.

Sixth mass extinction?

The combined effects of these stresses mean that ocean ecosystems are unable to recover, being constantly under attack from multiple threats. The panel concluded that not only are we already seeing significant declines in marine species and habitats, but that we now face losing species and entire marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs, within a single generation.

Life on Earth has gone through five “mass extinction” events in the past, and human activities are now thought to be causing a sixth such event. The panel’s report said that the combination of threats to the ocean is creating the same conditions found in every major extinction in Earth’s history. Levels of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the ocean are already far greater than at the time of the last mass extinction of marine life, some 55 million years ago. The rate of the ocean’s degeneration is also far greater than anyone had predicted.

Photo of manta ray entangled in a fishing net

Manta ray entangled in a fishing net.

Conserving the world’s oceans

The panel’s conclusions will be presented in a report at the UN headquarters in New York later this week, when discussions will take place aimed at reforming governance of the oceans. The report calls for urgent measures to better conserve ocean ecosystems, and in particular to improve governance of the largely unprotected high seas.

IPSO’s immediate recommendations include stopping exploitative fishing, especially on the high seas where there is little effective regulation. It also recommends mapping and then reducing pollutants, such as plastics, fertilisers and human waste, which are entering the oceans. In addition, sharp reductions need to be made in greenhouse gas emissions, and research is urgently needed into ways of reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Photo of a green turtle, side profile

Like many marine species, the green turtle faces a range of threats. This species is classified as Endangered by the IUCN.

One of the report’s co-authors, Dan Laffoley, Marine Chair of IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas, and Senior Advisor on Marine Science and Conservation for IUCN, admitted that the challenges were vast. “But unlike previous generations, we know what now needs to happen,” he said. “The time to protect the blue heart of our planet is now.”

Read the full story at IUCN – Multiple ocean stresses threaten globally significant marine extinction.

Read more about climate change on ARKive.

View photos and videos of marine species on ARKive.

Liz Shaw, ARKive Species Text Author

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