May 8

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, May 1, 2015

Bat wings use sensory cells to change shape mid-flight

Bechsteins-bat

Bechstein’s bat

The hair on a bat’s wings has receptors that fire messages to the brain, which allow them to slow down quickly and make tight turns. In most mammals, pathway messages from the forelimbs travel to the neck, in bats however, messages travel to both the neck and the trunk.

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Article originally published on Saturday, May 2, 2015

Malnourished sea lion found hidden under car in San Francisco

Young-California-sea-lion

Young California sea lion

A sea lion pup was coaxed from its hiding spot through the efforts of police and animal rescue crews. Apparently this is the second time that this particular pup has been found wandering the streets. Diminishing food sources, appear to be one of the reasons that several pups have been found malnourished and sick.

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Article originally published on Sunday, May 3, 2015

Starfish suffer mysterious and gruesome demise along west coast

Crown-of-thorns-starfish-

Crown of thorns starfish

From southern Alaska down to Baja California, sea stars have been dying in droves. The cause seems to be a poorly understood wasting disease known as sea star associated densovirus.  Encouraging though, is the news that baby sea stars have been found along the coast in some of the affected areas.

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Article originally published on Monday, May 4, 2015

Wolves and coyotes feel sadness and grieve like humans

Eurasian-wolf-side-view

Eurasian wolf

Author Marc Bekhoff describes how a pack of wolves lost their spirit and playfulness after the loss of one of their female members. He also hypothesizes that similar to dogs, wolves and coyotes can experience physiological disorders.

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Adult-coyote

Adult coyote

Article originally published on Tuesday, May 5, 2015

30 illegal orangutan pets seized in West Kalimantan

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

Juvenile southern Bornean orangutan

Thirty orangutans being kept as pets have been seized and placed in a rehabilitation center. Orangutans usually live with their mother until the age of seven or eight. The orangutans are learning to fend for themselves so they can be released into the wild.

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 Article originally published on Wednesday, May 6, 2015

New species of diving beetle found living in isolation in Africa

Great-diving-beetle-portrait

Great diving beetle

A scientist has discovered a new species of diving beetle on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. It has no direct relatives and has been placed in its own genus with its scientific name being Capelatus prykei. Its closest relatives are diving beetles found in the Mediterranean and New Guinea.

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Article originally published on Thursday, May 7, 2015

New species of marine worm discovered on the Antarctic Deception Island

Peacock-worm

Peacock worm

The new species (Parougia diapason) belongs to a group of marine worms that commonly occur in marine seabeds rich in organic matter. The species was found in the bones of a common minke whale.

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Dwarf-minke-whale-head-detail

Common minke whale

Enjoy your weekend!

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA 

May 1

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, Apr 24, 2015

Fracas over Costa Rican shark-fin exports leads American Airlines to stop shipping fins

Smooth-hammerhead-swimming

Smooth hammerhead photo

An American Airlines plane traveling from Costa Rica to Hong Kong was carrying 904 lbs. of dried hammerhead shark fins when it touched down in Miami. The ensuing outcry caused by the incident led to American Airlines announcing that it has ceased to ship shark fins. The species’ fins found on the plane were from the vulnerable smooth hammerheads and the endangered scalloped hammerheads.

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Scalloped-hammerheads-swimming-with-shoal-of-fish

Scalloped hammerheads swimming with fish

Article originally published on Saturday, Apr 25, 2015

Wildlife officials move forward to lift wolf protections

Mackenzie-Valley-wolf-in-winter-side-view

Mackenzie Valley wolf

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission decided to move forward with the process of delisting the grey wolf from their endangered species list. The two options they are considering are: delisting the wolves statewide or partially, in eastern Oregon only.

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Article originally published on Sunday, Apr 26, 2015

New England amphibian migration endangered by late spring

wood-frog-on-mossy-log

Wood frog on mossy log

Every spring salamanders and frogs use vernal pools to mate and lay eggs. With the delayed spring, the time available for offspring to grow is reduced, which could affect their development. Among the affected species is the wood frog.

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Article originally published on Monday, Apr 27, 2015

Bumblebees use nicotine to fight off parasites

Vestal-cuckoo-bee-on-flower

Vestal cuckoo bee on flower

Parasite-infected bumblebees that consume nicotine-laced nectar delay the progress of the infection. However, the life expectancy of these bumblebees is not increased. On the other hand, healthy bees that consume nicotine appear to shorten their lifespans.

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Article originally published on Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015

Five tons of frozen pangolin: Indonesian authorities make massive bust

Sunda-pangolin-side-view

Sunda pangolin

Officials in Medan, Sumatra confiscated 169 lbs. of pangolin scales and 96 live Sunda pangolins from a smuggler. The pangolins were destined for China, where their scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

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Article originally published on Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015

Jane Goodall wants SeaWorld shut down

Orca-pair-underwater

Orca pair underwater

Jane Goodall believes the marine park giant should be shut down because the tanks for dolphins and whales create an “acoustical hell”. Goodall also noted that she hoped the awareness generated by documentaries like “Blackfish” led to greater understanding of how amazing these animals are.

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Beluga-whale-swimming-underwater

Beluga whale swimming

Article originally published on Thursday, Apr 30, 2015

Can assisted reproduction save the cheetah?

juvenile-cheetah-head-portrait

Juvenile cheetah

Today’s cheetah population suffers from low genetic diversity with most living cheetahs being between 5 percent and 10 percent genetically alike. Cheetah experts agree that assisted reproduction is only a stop gap with the real progress involving restoring habitat and preventing their hunting and killing.

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Enjoy your weekend!

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA 

Feb 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, Feb 13, 2015

Male black widows smell hungry cannibal females

Black-widow-female-showing-distinctive-red-egg-timer-shaped-markings-on-abdomen

Female black widow

Female black widows only eat courting males about 2% of the time. However, just in case, males can smell how peckish a female is just from the pheromones in her silk.

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  Article originally published on Saturday, Feb 14, 2015

 Wildlife: Southwest wolf populations tops 100 for first time in modern era

Mexican-wolf-portrait

Mexican wolf portrait

The Mexican wolf population in New Mexico and Arizona has grown by 31% to  109 individuals total.

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  Article originally published on Sunday, Feb 15, 2015

 Increasing number of stranded sea lion pups being rescued this year

Female-California-sea-lion-on-rock

Female sea lion

So far 185 sea lion pups have been rescued in 2015 in the San Diego area. Stranded pups are nursed back to health and once healthy released into the wild.

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   Article originally published on Monday, Feb 16, 2015

 Cold-blooded animals grow bigger in the warm on land, but smaller in warm water

Velvet-swimming-crab

Velvet swimming crab

Arthropods like crabs and insects, grow larger on land in warmer climates. Moreover, researchers hypothesize that reduced oxygen availability in water causes aquatic animals to reduce their body size more.

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Golden-ringed-dragonfly

Golden-ringed dragonfly

 Article originally published on Tuesday, Feb 17, 2015

 42 pangolins rescued…then sold to restaurant

Sunda-pangolin-side-view

Sunda pangolin

On Feb. 1, local Vietnamese police seized 42 live Sunda pangolins from poachers. Police handed them over to forest rangers who in turn ended up selling them to restaurants for a reported $56 a kilo.

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  Article originally published on Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015

Grizzly bears are waking up too early

Brown-bear-walking-Alaskan-population

Brown bear walking

Grizzly bears are emerging from their dens a month early according to Yellowstone Park officials. The warmer weather appears to be the reason for the grizzlies’ altered schedule.

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  Article originally published on Thursday, Feb 19, 2015

Great white sharks are late bloomers

Great-white-shark-swimming-anterior-view

Great white shark swimming

Male great white sharks take 26 years to reach sexual maturity. This differs significantly from the previous estimate that suggested that males reached maturity between 4 and 10 years of age.

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 Enjoy your weekend!

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA 

Sep 26

Populations of some of Europe’s key animals have increased over the past 50 years, according to recent research.

European bison image

The European bison is one of several species which have increased by more than 3,000% in the last 50 years

Species recovery

Through studying a total of 18 mammal and 19 bird species found across Europe, researchers found that key species, including grey wolves, brown bears and eagles, have increased in number in recent decades. This is welcome news for conservationists, as European animals have not always fared so well over the course of the last few centuries, with habitat loss, pollution and hunting all contributing to the decline of some of the continent’s most charismatic species.

The report, commissioned by conservation group Rewilding Europe, found that all species studied, with the exception of the Iberian lynx, have increased in number since the 1960s. The European bison, Eurasian beaver and white-headed duck were among some of the species whose populations had increased by more than 3,000% in the last 50 years, while several top predators such as the brown bear have doubled in number. The iconic grey wolf has seen serious losses in the past, but this latest research has shown positive progress in its conservation, with numbers climbing by a promising 30%.

Iberian lynx image

The Iberian lynx was the only animal in the study which was found not to have increased in number

Conservation works

People have this general picture of Europe that we’ve lost all our nature and our wildlife,” said Frans Schepers, Director of Rewilding Europe. “I think what the rest of the world can learn from this is that conservation actually works. If we have the resources, a proper strategy, if we use our efforts, it actually works.”

The comeback of European wildlife began in the 1950s and 1960s, and although numbers aren’t anywhere near those present in the 1600s and 1700s, conservationists are encouraged by the increasing populations. It is thought that various factors have contributed to the boost in animal numbers, including better legal protection and hunting limits. In addition, more and more people are moving away from the countryside in favour of cities, leaving more space for wildlife.

Successful areas

Analysis of the research, carried out by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), BirdLife and the European Bird Census Council, found that the south and west of Europe showed the largest comeback for mammals, with the ranges of these species increasing by an average of about 30%. For bird species, average ranges remained stable.

Grey wolf image

The grey wolf, once highly persecuted, has increased by a promising 30%

Concern among farmers

While it is great news for conservationists and for the future of European ecosystems, the recovery of some species, particularly large predators, has raised some issues. With the return of the grey wolf, many farmers, for instance, are concerned for the safety of their livestock.

The report acknowledges the challenges faced by farmers as a result of wildlife increases, and suggests that compensation schemes should be put in place by governments to offset any livestock losses. However, the report also highlights the benefits that rural communities may gain from thriving wildlife, including a boost to local economies as a result of ecotourism.

White-tailed eagle image

The white-tailed eagle was one of the 19 bird species studied

Focussed conservation

The results of this latest research are both encouraging and surprising, as biodiversity on a global scale continues to decline. However, scientists are keen to ensure that conservation efforts continue to build upon the success in Europe, by focussing on positive action and scaling up the conservation movement globally.

There are massive challenges out there globally,” said Professor Jonathan Baillie, Director of Conservation at the Zoological Society of London, “And we have to realise that the threats that Europe creates are not just within our borders, it’s internationally, and that we are having an impact on the 60% decline we’re seeing in low income countries around the world.”

Professor Baillie also highlighted the need to carry on moving forward with European species conservation, saying, “We just have to be aware that into the future there will be increasing pressure for food production and so on within Europe, and for a lot of these species, where we have seen the gains, we might lose them again if we are not careful. So it’s our job to keep our eye on the ball.”

Read more on this story at BBC News – Europe’s key animals ‘making a comeback’.

View photos and videos of European species on ARKive.

 

Kathryn Pintus, ARKive Text Author

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