Apr 10

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 3, 2015

‘Lazy’ sea lion sons rely on mothers milk while diligent daughters learn to hunt

Galapagos-sea-lion-pup

Galapagos sea lion pup

For the first two years of their life, male Galapagos sea lions barely make any effort to hunt. Meanwhile, many young females hunt at sea even before their mothers wean them.

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Article originally published on Saturday, Apr 4, 2015

How do hummingbirds fly in wind and rain?

Ruby-throated-hummingbird-male-feeding-on-kalanchoe-flower

Ruby-throated hummingbird male feeding on flower

Researchers placed hummingbirds within a wind tunnel to observe their response to different wind speeds. They twist their bodies to accommodate the airflow which expends more energy, but allows them to continue flying in place.

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Article originally published on Sunday, Apr 5, 2015

Florida wildlife officials ask people not to ‘help’ gopher tortoises

Gopher-tortoise-in-burrow-entrance

Gopher tortoise in burrow entrance

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Department urged people to not help gopher tortoise hatchlings to the ocean, since they cannot swim.  The announcement was made after three instances occurred of people trying to help.  The public was reminded that not all turtle species can swim.

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Article originally published on Monday, Apr 6, 2015

Aceh’s purge of illegal oil palm at 3,000 hectares and counting

Young-Bengal-tiger

Young Bengal tiger

Oil palm plantations are being removed to protect the people from ecological disaster. The plantations lie within the protected Leuser Ecosystem (KEL), the last place where the Sumatran rhino, elephant, tiger, and orangutan coexist in the wild.

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Indian-elephant-bull

Indian elephant bull

Article originally published on Tuesday, Apr 7, 2015

Overfishing leads to crashes in sardines and other forage fish

Pacific-sardine

Pacific sardine

Forage fish are essential food for bigger predators thus playing a vital role within the ecosystem. U.S. fisheries managers are deciding whether to shut down fishing for Pacific sardines since stocks are declining.

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Article originally published on Wednesday, Apr 8, 2015

The truth about magpies

Magpie-stealing-Partridge-egg

Magpie stealing partridge egg

Magpies have a notorious reputation for being thieves of shiny baubles and preying upon the defenseless chicks and eggs of songbirds.  The reality however, is that they are interested in objects, their shininess is irrelevant. While they may prey on songbirds, there is no evidence to suggest they cause population crashes.

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Article originally published on Thursday, Apr 9, 2015

Farmers urge return of jaguars to protect crops

Female-jaguar-resting-in-vegetation-by-river

Female jaguar resting in vegetation

White-lipped peccaries damage farmers’ crops in Brazil as their populations grow and farmers are considering alternatives to hunting. One option is maintaining well-connected jaguar habitat on their agricultural properties thereby allowing jaguars to naturally control peccary populations.

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White-lipped-peccaries-caught-on-camera-trap

White-lipped peccaries caught on camera trap

Enjoy your weekend!

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA 

Mar 31

Arkive officially announces the launch of its Atlantic Islands feature series: North Atlantic Islands and South Atlantic Islands! Through generous foundation support, our team has researched the islands of the North and South Atlantic Ocean, pulling together some of the world’s best imagery and informational factfiles to shine a spotlight on the incredible island ecosystems in this part of the world.

Through a two-part blog series beginning today with the  North Atlantic islands page we highlight some of the most stunning species and habitats from Iceland down to the Bahamas and more. 

Ready to be whisked away to island life? Let’s go!

Stunning Anegada Island, British Virgin Islands

The North Atlantic islands are a diverse group with some of them formed through the movement of tectonic plates and others through accumulation of volcanic material. One of the most unique features of any island is its ability to support endemic species. However, these endemic species often face the dual threat of overfishing and tourism, which leads to urbanization and an alteration of the landscape.

Bahamas

Nassau-grouper-portrait

Nassau grouper

The Bahamian islands are extremely low-lying with an average elevation of only 10 metres.  The mottled Nassau grouper resides in shallow waters near reefs and other rocky substrates. This austere species possesses the unique ability to change its colour pattern to resemble its surrounding environment or as a means of communication.

Bermuda

Bermuda-skink-on-rock

Bermuda skink on rock

Bermuda is made up of 7 main islands and over 140 smaller islands, arranged in a crescent-like formation. The diminutive yet robust Bermuda skink inhabits rocky, coastal area and is the only terrestrial vertebrate endemic to Bermuda. Hatchlings are born with sky blue tails that become brown/black with age.

British Virgin Islands

Virgin-Islands-coqui-on-leaf-lateral-view

Virgin Islands coqui on leaf

The position of the British Virgin Islands makes them extremely vulnerable to hurricanes and other weather events. The Virgin Islands coqui is a stunning little frog that strongly prefers living near terrestrial bromeliads. Males serenade females with two tone calls and will only commence their courtship call when the female approaches.

Canary Islands

Canarian-shrew-on-biologists-hand

Canarian shrew

The Canary Islands is made up of seven islands that include Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, Hierro. The lilliputian Canarian shrew resides lava fields with little or no vegetation. This seemingly mild-mannered species uses a neurotoxic venom to immobilize its prey such as the Atlantic lizard.

Cape Verde

Loggerhead-turtle-swimming

Loggerhead turtle swimming

The natural habitats in Cape Verde range from being desert-like and flat to luscious high-elevation forests. The endangered loggerhead turtle prefers coastal water, but may be found in the open ocean as well. These turtles have extremely powerful jaws that can crack the shells of even the queen conch and giant clam.

Cayman Islands

Buffy-flower-bat-hanging-from-ceiling

Buffy flower bat hanging from ceiling

Of the 26 reptiles and amphibian species, 75 percent are endemic and 30 of the 48 freshwater mollusc species are found nowhere else in the world. The enigmatic buffy flower bat has a diet, which consists largely of pollen, but may include nectar and fruit. This sleepyhead is believed to leave its daytime roost later than other bat species.

Cuba

Male-bee-hummingbird-in-breeding-plumage

Male bee hummingbird in breeding plumage

Wetlands are found on around 4 percent of Cuba’s surface providing a habitat for numerous resident marine organisms and many migratory birds. The micro-sized bee hummingbird holds the honor of being the smallest living bird in the world! It can beat its wings 80 times per second and consumes up to 8 times its body mass in water each day.

Iceland

arctic-fox-portrait-winter-coat

Arctic fox, winter coat

Around 11 percent of Iceland is covered by glaciers and 6 percent by rivers and lakes. The pristine Arctic fox is a sturdy critter that can withstand subzero temperatures. It has a short nose to reduce heat loss and increased blood flow to the feet pads to prevent freezing.

Jamaica

Captive-Jamaican-hutia

Jamaican hutia

Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean and is located to the south of Cuba. The Jamaican hutia can be found in mountainous areas of karst formation where extensive networks of tunnels and crevices offer it protection. Hutias give birth to well-developed young that can eat solid foods and move around just 30 hours after its birth.

Madeira

Madeira-pipistrelle-head-detail

Madeira pipistrelle

The word madeira is Portuguese for ‘wood’, referring to the extensive laurel forest that once covered the island. The Madeira pipistrelle is an early riser and among one of the first bats to emerge from its roost in the evening. It uses echolocation to detect its prey and emits calls at a frequency of around 45-47 kHz.

Turks and Caicos Islands

Caicos-Islands-dwarf-boa-subspecies-greenwayi

Caicos Islands dwarf boa

There are 35 protected areas in the Turks and Caicos Islands that include national parks, nature reserves, sanctuaries and areas of historic interest. The miniature Caicos Islands dwarf boa lives up to its name and averages around 38 cm in length! When threatened it coils itself into a tight ball, hides its head, smears a foul-smelling fluid on its coils and exposes its bright yellow tail.

Now that you know a bit more about the islands, species, and ecosystems of the North Atlantic, ever wonder which island would best match your personality and interest? We wondered that too so we came up with a nifty little quiz that compares your personal interests and personality to unique characteristics of the islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

Would you thrive living alongside the puffins of Iceland? Or maybe you prefer to scour the warm, sandy shores of Jamaica? 

Islands quiz button copy

And stay tuned for the second half of this series where we introduce you to the marvelous flora and fauna of the South Atlantic Islands.

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA

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