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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.
Feb 1

Species name: blue shark

Nominated by: Hector the Blue Shark

(official spokeshark for the Ecology Action Centre)

IUCN Red List classification: Near Threatened

What is so special about your species?

Blue sharks are sleek and streamlined, zipping through the water, crossing entire oceans. As they zip around, blue sharks use proton filled jelly in their heads to detect electrical fields generated by other fish and animals in the water – even miles away. And, of course, they have unique super cool, blue tinted skin making them very recognizable.

What are the threats to this species in the wild?

Blue sharks are the most heavily fished shark in the world caught in many types of fisheries throughout our oceans with estimates ranging from 15-20 million caught every year. The fins of blue sharks make up the largest percentage of the global fin trade and the number of blue sharks being landed continues to rise in many areas. These amounts don’t even capture the tens of thousands of blue sharks that are hooked and cut off lines while at sea because they are unwanted catch. With some regions seeing upwards of 30% declines in population, there are increasing concerns about blue sharks and whether they can continue to withstand this amount of fishing.

Unfortunately, despite their amazingness and their important role as a widely distributed apex predator, the blue shark is often considered a pest by fishers trying to catch other more valuable species. They remain unloved and underappreciated and, as such, there are almost no limits on how many blue sharks can be caught by fisheries nor fishing controls in place that would ensure the blue shark remains throughout our oceans in the future. Ignoring proper management and conservation for such an ecologically important species, especially one so heavily impacted by human activities, should no longer be acceptable in 2018, .

What can people do to help your species?

Follow Hector the Blue Shark, the most famous blue spokeshark, in his work with friends at the Ecology Action Centre to get science-based, strict fishing limits in place for him and his blue shark kin around the world. Supporting an organization with dedicated experts that work with fisheries managers, conservationists, researchers, and governments is one of the best ways people can help blue sharks and other sharks and rays. It takes years of work and dedication to move conservation forward for these animals and organizations need your support!

The Ecology Action Centre together with partners Project Aware, Shark Trust, and Sharks Advocates International are SLAM, the Shark League of the Atlantic and Mediterranean, working for groundbreaking conservation at the international level for sharks, rays, and skates.

VOTE NOW!

 

Feb 1

Species name: Asian elephant

Nominated by: Elephant Family

 

IUCN Red List classification: Endangered

What is so special about your species?

The largest living land mammals – elephants – are intelligent, social and vital to their ecosystems.  For thousands of years they have helped shape and protect their landscapes and the species they live alongside.  Capable of immense strength and extraordinary empathy they live in complex social groups led by a matriarch.  Sadly, the Asian elephant is a forgotten species that does not enjoy the same public profile and support as its larger African cousin.

What are the threats to this species in the wild?

Over the last 100 years, Asian elephant populations have plummeted by 90% leaving around 50, 000 struggling to survive in fragmented landscapes across thirteen range countries. As human populations grow, elephant habitat is shrinking at a rapid pace leading to increasingly fierce competition between people and elephants for living space and food which can lead to conflict, often with fatal consequences for both sides.

Along with the depletion and fragmentation of habitat and ivory poaching, a new threat – the illegal trade in elephant skin – is emerging.

What can people do to help your species?

Since 2002 Elephant Family has funded over 160 conservation projects to help protect this endangered animal. Partnering with Asia’s most ambitious and determined conservationists we are reconnecting forest fragments, preventing human-elephant conflict and fighting wildlife crime.

You can help by voting for the Asian elephant to raise awareness of its plight or donate to fund our critical conservation work at www.elephant-family.org.

 

VOTE NOW!

 

Feb 1

Species name: freshwater pearl mussel

Nominated by: Freshwater Habitats Trust

 

IUCN Red List classification: Critically Endangered

What is so special about your species?

Freshwater pearl mussels are magnificent bivalves that live in rivers with exceptionally clean water and lots of healthy wildlife. Pearl mussels are spectacularly long-lived, often over 100 years, and have a fascinating life cycle. Baby pearl mussels need healthy populations of trout and salmon and live harmlessly in the gills of these fish, enjoying a safe, oxygen-rich nursery until they are big enough to begin life in the riverbed. In return, large populations of the filter-feeding pearl mussels provide a water cleaning service. A healthy population of Freshwater pearl mussels shows that a river and all its wildlife are doing well.

Freshwater pearl mussels were once widespread. Sadly, there are very few rivers where these marvellous mussels still live, and even fewer where baby mussels are able to grow into adults. Freshwater pearl mussels are now one of the most critically endangered species in the world.

What are the threats to this species in the wild?

Freshwater pearl mussels are not breeding well because our rivers are in a poor state. Nutrient pollution from agriculture and sediment washing off land are making our rivers uninhabitable for many species. Fish numbers have fallen so baby mussels cannot survive, and mussel beds are choked with silt and algae causing the adult mussels to die. People fishing for pearls, which is illegal, therefore is also a concern, even though they are very unlikely to ever find a pearl in a pearl mussel.

What can people do to help your species?

Anyone who looks after land can help by reducing the amount of pollution and soil running from their land into streams and rivers. There are many schemes that offer support for land managers looking to protect our clean, healthy rivers and help clean up polluted waters.

 

VOTE NOW!

 

Feb 1

Species name: red-footed booby

Nominated by: Chagos Conservation Trust


IUCN Red List classification: Least Concern

What is so special about your species?

With a funny name comes some funny feet, but no one can deny that the red footed booby is one of the most beautiful seabirds found in the Chagos Archipelago and certainly stands out in a crowd!  With their bright red feet they are ready for Valentine’s Day every day.  These colourful birds spend much of their time on the islands of the archipelago with regular visits to the ocean to feed.  Having an aerodynamic body and closeable nostrils means they can dive into the water to catch squid and small fish with ease.

What are the threats to this species in the wild?

In the Chagos Archipelago invasive black rats are one of the biggest threats to red footed boobies. These seabirds nest on the ground providing easy access for these introduced predators to prey on eggs and chicks. Out at sea, overfishing threatens the food supplies for red footed boobies.

What can people do to help your species?

Always choose sustainably sourced seafood to ensure that there is enough available for the other species that depend on seafood for their survival. You can also support the Chagos Conservation Trust in its efforts to eradicate invasive black rats from the islands of the Chagos Archipelago.

 

VOTE NOW!

 

 

Feb 1

Species name: Copan brook frog

Nominated by: World Land Trust

IUCN Red List classification: Endangered

What is so special about your species?

This striking, little-known amphibian has lime green leopard spots and deep, ruby-red eyes. They are very small, between 3-4cm, and their latin name ‘soralia’ is a Greek word for lichen, reflecting how the green spots resemble the lichens of its habitat.

What are the threats to this species in the wild?

Unfortunately this beautiful, tiny frog is restricted to small fragments of habitat that remain in the mountain rainforests of Caribbean Guatemala and Honduras. Protecting these last remnants of forest from deforestation for agriculture is of high conservation priority for this species and the other endangered, endemic amphibians that can be found in this region. The other major threat facing this species is the infamous fungal disease chytridiomycosis, which is one of the main causes (alongside habitat loss) for the drastic decline of amphibian species worldwide.

What can people do to help your species?

Support World Land Trust’s (WLT) efforts to preserve Caribbean Rainforest habitat in Guatemala for endangered and endemic amphibians. WLT’s partner Fundación Para el Ecodesarrollo y la Conservación (FUNDAECO) protect one of its last remaining forests, Sierra Caral, as part of their Conservation Coast programme.

VOTE NOW!

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