Welcome to the Arkive blog!

Here at Arkive, we provide the ultimate multimedia guide to endangered species, and through our blog we’ll keep you up to date with news from the world of wildlife videos, photography and conservation, alongside the latest on our quest to locate imagery of the planet’s most wanted plants and animals.
Mar 27

Arkive’s Week in Review — Wildlife News

ICYMI: Arkive has compiled some of the biggest and most interesting headlines from this week.

Article originally published on Friday, Mar 20, 2015

Pleasure palace in Lao facilitates wildlife poaching for Chinese elites

Chinese-pangolin

Chinese pangolin

A city-sized resort in Laos is facilitating large scale wildlife trafficking for Chinese tourists. Visitors can openly buy endangered species products including pangolins and helmeted hornbills.

View original article

Helmeted-hornbill-male-with-large-stick-insect-to-be-delivered-to-female-in-nest

Helmeted hornbill male

Article originally published on Saturday, Mar 21, 2015

Green sea turtle still at risk, say wildlife agencies

Green-turtle-ventral-view

Green turtle ventral view

Hawaii has fewer than 4,000 nesting green turtles with 96 percent of them nesting at French Frigate Shoals. This makes the population highly vulnerable to disease outbreaks.

View original article

Article originally published on Sunday, Mar 22, 2015

Opossums may come to humans’ rescue for snake anti-venom

Patagonian-opossum-portrait

Patagonian opossum

Opossums suffer no ill effects from snake bite venom due to a protein which appears to neutralize the venom. Poisonous snake bites account for the death of 20,000 humans a year.

View original article

Article originally published on Monday, Mar 23, 2015

Skin microbiome may hold clue to protect threatened golden frogs from lethal fungus

Golden-arrow-poison-frog-on-leaf

Golden arrow poison frog on leaf

Researchers applied the beneficial bacteria from the skin of several  wild Panamanian frog species that were Bd-resistant to the skin of the golden arrow poison frog hoping it would confer resistance. While this procedure did not confer resistance, researchers learned that survivors of the fungus already possessed unique bacterial communities prior to the experiment.

View original article

Article originally published on Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015

World’s forest have fragmented into tiny patches

Munchique-wood-wren-on-the-hand-of-a-scientist

Munchique wood-wren

Fragmentation reduces biodiversity by up to 75%. Some fragmented regions house endemic species such as the Munchique wood-wren that exists in only a handful of peaks in the Colombian Andes, but these are now isolated from each other by pastures and roads.

View original article

Article originally published on Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015

Elephant poaching rate unchanged – and still devastating

Forest-elephant-bull

Forest elephant bull

Around 20,000 elephants were killed in 2014, which is the same as 2013. China remains the largest market for ivory, while the United States is second.

View original article

Article originally published on Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Why there is a record number of starving sea lion pups this year

Young-California-sea-lion

Young California sea lion

Since the start of the year, more than 1,800 sea lion pups have washed up on California shore from San Diego to San Francisco. Researchers are looking at warmer oceans as the primary culprit.

View original article

Enjoy your weekend!

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA

 

 

Mar 20

Arkive’s Week in Review — Wildlife News

ICYMI: Arkive has compiled some of the biggest and most interesting headlines from this week.

Article originally published on Friday, Mar 13, 2015

New wormy amphibians discovered in Southeast Asia

Sagalla-caecilian-head-detail

Sagalla caecilian head detail

Three new caecilian species have been discovered in Vietnam and Cambodia. Southeast Asia currently hosts about 15% of all known caecilians.

View original article

Article originally published on Saturday, Mar 14, 2015

Wildlife: Sandhill cranes migrating through Colorado

Greater-sandhill-crane-ssp-tabida-calling-in-flight

Sandhill crane calling in flight

As they make their way toward Canada about 25,000 sandhill cranes might pass through Colorado.  Cranes are among the oldest living species with fossil records going back 9 million years.

View original article

Article originally published on Sunday, Mar 15, 2015

 Rehabbed bay area bobcat released back into the wild

Three-week-old-bobcat-kitten-vocalising

Three week old bobcat kitten vocalizing

Last fall a 3 pound juvenile bobcat was found seriously injured near Brentwood by a rancher. Last week the bobcat was released after being rehabilitated and her weight doubled to a healthy 6 pounds.

View original article

Article originally published on Monday, Mar 16, 2015

 Switch off the lights for bats

Leislers-bat

Leisler’s bat

Bat activity is generally lower in street-lit areas as opposed to dark ones, a new study found. This overturns a previous assumption that street lights benefit bats because insects congregate around them.

View original article

Article originally published on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015

 ‘Basically they just fell out of the sky’: 2,000 snow geese found dead in Idaho

Snow-goose-on-tundra-with-chicks-

Snow goose on tundra with chicks

Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game announced on Monday that 2,000 snow geese were found dead and they suspect that avian cholera might be the cause. Officials disposed of the bodies to ensure that the disease does not spread to other bird species.

View original article

Article originally published on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015

 Hear that? Orangutans use hands to amplify calls

juvenile-southern-bornean-orangutan-p-p-wurmbii-

Juvenile southern Bornean orangutan

When orangutans use alert calls to warn others about predators, they sometimes cup their hands around their muzzles to make their calls louder and deeper. Changing sounds by using a part of your body was formerly thought to be a behavior unique to humans.

View original article

Article originally published on Thursday, Mar 19, 2015

Dottyback’s deadly colour trick revealed

Narrow-bordered-Bee-Hawk-moth-

Narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth

The dusky dottyback can change the color of its body to match the species of reef fish it is hunting. The art of mimicry is well known in the natural world with species using ruses to catch, mate or avoid others such as the narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth that resembles a bee.

View original article

Female-common-carder-bumblebee-feeding-from-flower

Female common carder bumblebee feeding from flower

 

Enjoy your weekend!

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA

 


Mar 19

Have you ever seen a wildlife film and wondered to yourself, who is the person behind the camera? Enter Rich and Richard Kern – the dynamic wildlife filmmaking father/son duo who capture incredible imagery of Florida’s magnificent wildlife and ecosystems and share it with over 1.5 million students! They are a more-than-worthy team to conclude Arkive’s Conservation Heroes series.

Rich (left) and Richard Kern out in the field.

Rich (left) and Richard Kern out in the field.

If you find Rich and Richard’s story inspiring, then click on the blue button below or at the end of the interview to see Rich and Richard’s “Wish List” of actions that would help them continue sharing their films with the world. Working together, we can support and promote conservation.

Kern wish list button

Can you share the story behind the beginning of Odyssey Earth and how the pieces came together?

Rich: I began as a filmmaker and I showed the films that I produced to travel adventure audiences all over the United States and Canada. In 1977, my wife and I started the non-profit Encounters in Excellence to teach students in the Miami-Dade area about Florida wildlife and ecosystems. This soon became a large series to over 50 schools per year.

Rich Kern and his wife, Judy, founders of Encounters in Excellence

Rich Kern and his wife, Judy, founders of Encounters in Excellence

However, I also wanted to find a way that students could have access to this type of educational material year round. My son, Richard came up with the idea of creating a website for the films he and I had produced. Teachers and students could now navigate this site and explore and discover the different resources available to them for lesson plans which became Odyssey Earth.

Richard: Our typical film presentation series runs from the Fall through early Winter. This past year my dad visited 25 schools and I visited 50 schools. We give 2-3 presentations for each school totaling about 130 presentations each year. We create different presentations for elementary school and then middle school and high school students reaching about 40,000 students each year.

Can you share a filmmaking moment that stands out to you whether it was a connection you made with a species you were filming or a moment of enlightenment about nature?

Rich: I was in Silver Springs, FL filming fish and I was quite focused. I didn’t realize that there was an alligator swimming behind me. I didn’t see it until it was practically in my lap. Once I understood that the alligator was more afraid of me than I was of it then I started following it and filming.

American alligators abound in Florida, USA

Richard: When my dad got home, he started going through the film, and my mother promptly told him that he should buy life insurance.

Have there been ways that you can measure the impact that your work has on students both in Florida and around the world?

Richard: One way that we measure our impact is through questionnaires and evaluations that we hand out to teachers and students.

Rich: The average rating we receive from teachers is a 95% “excellent” for our presentations. I think it also significant that we fill our quotas for teachers and schools that want us to present. We recently made some films that dealt with the food web as well as more specific issues like the rise of sea levels.

Creek snorkling low res

Richard Kern snorkeling and filmmaking in creek

Can you share your typical kit (equipment) list?

Rich: Back in the day, you needed 16mm film equipment and changed your film every 3 minutes.

Richard: With new technology, however it’s changed what you pack. First off you need a backpack to carry all your supplies. Usually we take a fluid head tripod, a small hi-def Canon camcorder, and a digital single lens reflex camera. Getting into specifics though, I always pack a light shotgun microphone, lenses, and an external digital sound recorder. As for essentials in Florida, water to stay hydrated, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent is a must.

Sometimes, a filmmakers kit can be just as interesting to the subject as it is to the filmmakers themselves!

Can you also share your equipment tip list for amateur filmmakers?

Richard: If you already have a handheld camera, then that is a good place to start. I would recommend a fluid head tripod.

Rich: It makes your shot smoother, which makes the film less distracting for the viewer. You can also get a pan-tilt cradle where you can place your camera to get wide angle shots. You also should get a camera with a wi-fi capability which allows you to use it remotely.

What would you advise someone who is starting to look at how to get into wildlife filmmaking?

Rich: Go to college and study biology. Filmmaking you can pick up as you go. As a filmmaker, you have to learn to craft a story. You want to make sure that you get the science right and that you engage your audience. You should also take a journalism course or English course in college, it helps you to effectively create the narrative.

img424 low res

Rich Kern filming seals early in his career

In your opinion, what is the advantage of visual media compared to other ways of storytelling?

Richard: The written word comes in many different languages that cannot be understood by everyone. Meanwhile, the visual is universal. It’s a universal language. Visual media can be easily digested and seen by everyone.

Finally, what do you find most rewarding in your field of wildlife filmmaking?

Rich: I love it when I capture a rare species behavior. To get it on the screen and get it right the first time is worth a lot of excitement.

Richard: You can look at flora and fauna as puzzle pieces. Seeing how those puzzle pieces work together, finding the relationships is amazing.

 

img324 low res

The Kerns have been fortunate enough to film a variety of species in incredible global locations

From reading about Heroes to becoming one yourself 

Inspired by Rich and Richard’s story to take action? Please click on the button below to make a pledge today to take an action like sharing their story socially, helping to spread the word further, to donating to their work to educate others about Florida wildlife and ecosystems! Whichever you choose, your pledge to take action matters to the Kerns, to Arkive, and to the incredible species and habitats of Florida.

Take Action!

Kern wish list button

Mar 13

Arkive’s Week in Review — Wildlife News ICYMI: Arkive has compiled some of the biggest and most interesting headlines from this week. Article originally published on Friday, Mar 6, 2015

As forests burn, conservationists launch global wildlife rescue

Scarlet-macaw-landing

Scarlet macaw landing

Extreme events and long-term warming caused by climate change compound the existing threats to wildlife like habitat loss and degradation. Using small aircraft to detect and map threats like forest fires and illegal clearing can significantly reduce the incidence of severely damaging forest fires. One of many affected forests is that of Guatemala, which is home to the scarlet macaw and the ocellated turkey.

View original article

Ocellated-turkey-side-view

Ocellated turkey side view

Article originally published on Saturday, Mar 7, 2015

Four large species of snake added to restricted import list

Reticulated-python-juvenile-coiled-around-sapling

Reticulated python juvenile coiled around sapling

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared that the Beni anaconda, green anaconda, DeSchaunsee’s anaconda, and the reticulated python are “injurious” under the Lacey Act. The Lacey Act prohibits the export, import, buying, selling or acquisition of wildlife and plant species named on the list.

View original article

Green anaconda close up

Article originally published on Sunday, Mar 8, 2015

Back from the brink of extinction: hunting for the world’s rarest frog

Corroboree-frog-crawling-on-moss

Corroboree frog crawling on moss

A research team found only four coroboree frogs within the southern part of New South Wales, its entire range. Recently, experts from Melbourne Zoo and Taronga Zoo along with NSW wildlife officials released 80 frogs into a fungus-free area of New South Wales within Kosciuszko National Park.

View original article

Article originally published on Monday, Mar 9, 2015

Amphibians, already threatened, face increased susceptibility to disease from stress, research shows

Plethodon-shermani--on-leaves

Red-legged salamander on leaves

Researchers treated red-legged salamanders with either corticosterone, a stress hormone, or oil. They then exposed them to the chytrid fungus. Researchers found that “stressed” salamanders had a greater abundance of the chytrid fungus.

View original article

Article originally published on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015

The truth about giant pandas

Infant-giant-panda-portrait

Infant giant panda portrait

Thinking of the giant panda as cute and cuddly is only half the truth. In reality, the giant panda is a formidable species  who delivers one of the highest bite forces of any carnivore.

View original article

Article originally published on Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015

If apes go extinct, so could entire forests

Male-bonobo-lying-down

Male bonobo lying down

Many tree and plant species in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are purely dependent upon the bonobo for seed dispersal. If the bonobos disappeared it could create a cascading extinction cycle.

View original article

Article originally published on Thursday, Mar 12, 2015

World’s whaling slaughter tallied at 3 million

Blue-whale-underwater

Blue whale underwater

In the last century, nearly 3 million cetaceans were wiped out. Some estimate that blue whales have been depleted by up to 90%. The North Atlantic right whale also hovers on the brink of extinction.

View original article

North-Atlantic-right-whale-swimming

North Atlantic right whale swimming

Enjoy your weekend! William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA

Mar 12
subir chowfin (1).jpg.small

Subir Chowfin with the forests he has helped to protect in the background

Ever wonder what  a person who dedicated ten years of his life to preserving 450 vital hectares of forest in India looks like? Meet Subir Chowfin, wildlife researcher and the next inspirational person in Arkive’s Conservation Heroes series!

If you find Subir’s story inspires you, click on the blue button below or at the end of the interview to see Subir’s “Wish List” of conservation actions that would make a world of difference for his work.  As a team, we can each take action today to support conservation!

Subir's wish list button

A Stunning Ecosystem with a Tumultuous History

This Arkive Conservation Hero’s story Pauri Garhwal's Uttarakhand Districtbegins in the Garhwal Himalaya in the Pauri Garhwal district of the state of Uttarakhand in India where, thanks to the efforts of a local wildife researcher and his mother,  450+ hectares of forested land in The Gadoli and Manda Khal Fee Simple Estates are forever protected.

A walk through the estates reveals a bounty of  predominantly oak and pine forests interspersed with grassy hill banks and rocky crags. The forests also house an incredible abundance of wildlife such as leopards, barking deer, rhesus macaque and feature endemic species such as the cheer pheasant.

The forests of the Gadoli and Manda Khal Fee Simple Estates are prime habitat for leopards

Interestingly, the Gadoli and Manda Khal Fee Simple Estates initially belonged to the British East India Company and were managed as Tea Estates. From the late 1800s to the 1900s the estates changed ownership several times with a substantial 1,100+ acres landing with Rev. David Albert Chowfin.  It soon became clear though that the forests were suffering from illegal development activities in certain areas in violation of the forest and environmental laws of the country.  Some of these activities include unsanctioned road construction, illegal dumping of garbage, and land encroachment meaning humans are building houses and tending agricultural lands further and further within the Gadoli and Manda Khal Fee Simple Estates forest. With the expansion of unchecked human activities in the forest, it became clear that something would need to happen to protect and conserve the wildlife.

A Conservation Hero Emerges

To put a halt to this activities, local citizen and wildlife researcher Subir Chowfin filed a complaint in 2006 to the Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) in Pauri. Unfortunately, neither the Land Revenue Department nor the local forest department chose to take any action. In response, Subir took even greater action and filed a public interest litigation before the National Green Tribunal in the nation’s capital, New Delhi.

Subir and his mother Christine worked for ten years to save the forests of the Gadoli and Manda Khal Fee Simple Estates from illegal human activities, home to rhesus monkeys among other wildlife

After nearly a decade long battle with different agencies, Subir along with his mother Christine Chowfin finally achieved results. The National Green Tribunal ordered that all non-forest activities be stopped on 450 hectares of the Estates. The Tribunal also ordered the state government of  Uttarakhand to declare the 450 hectares as either reserve forest/protected forest or private forest.

Landscape of Gadoli Fee Simple Estate

From Protecting Forests to Building Conservation Programs

Through the Gadoli and Manda Khal Wildlife Conservation Trust set up to support the forest, Subir works to preserve and protect the wildlife in the Estates by pursuing a long list of fascinating activities such as supporting field wildlife research projects and developing educational programs for the local community and school children. The Trust also established a sustainable agricultural program that helps promote the environmental and ecological benefits of organic farming. Furthermore, as part of their agriculture program, the Trust employs women from the hill regions of  Uttarakhand providing them with regular, stable salaries. Subir believes programs like these help to involve the community as a whole within the process of conservation and gives them a reason to preserve these forests.

Stunning landscape of The Gadoli and Manda Khal Fee Simple Estate

 From reading about Heroes to becoming one yourself 

Inspired by Subir’s story to take action? Please click on the button below to make a pledge today to take a conservation action – actions that range from sharing Subir’s story socially to help spread the word further to donating to his nonprofit organization that protects these forests! Or maybe you are a recent graduate or scientists that sees the Estates as an incredible opportunity to dig into Indian wildlife research and conservation work. No matter your interest, every action matters.  Please make a pledge today! 

Take Action

Subir's wish list button

About

RSS feedArkive.org is the place for films, photos and facts about endangered species. Subscribe to our blog today to keep up to date!

Email updates

Sign up to receive a regular email digest of Arkive blog posts.
Preferred frequency:

Arkive twitter

Twitter: ARKive