May 3
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ARKive’s Top Ten Animal Bands

For a bit of #WildlifeWednesday fun, we asked you to send us examples of bands or singers with animals in their names, and we got some great responses! We received a fabulous selection of actual band names as well as creative puns, from the Black Eyed Bees to Blenny Rogers, so we’ve put together a blog to showcase our favourites!

The Eagles

Philippine eagle image

The Philippine eagle is also known as the monkey-eating eagle

The Eagles are famous for the song ‘Hotel California’, but our ARKive eagle of choice hails from the other side of the world: the Philippines. The Philippine eagle is the world’s largest eagle, and is sadly one of the most threatened birds of prey.

Arctic Monkeys

Yunnan snub-nosed monkey image

The diet of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey is composed primarily of lichens

This monkey may not be from the Arctic, but he certainly looks a little chilly! The Yunnan snub-nosed monkey is a rather elusive, Endangered primate from south-western China.

And now we’ll move on to some of the fabulous puns you all sent in!

Nine Inch Snails

Trachycystis haygarthi image

Trachycystis haygarthi is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List

We’re not sure the shape of this snail’s shell could be classed as ‘The Downward Spiral’ like the title of the 1994 album by Nine Inch Nails, but it’s certainly a spiral of some sort! This particular snail species, Trachycystis haygarthi, is endemic to South Africa, and so is found nowhere else in the world.

Gulls Aloud

Herring gull image

The herring gull is a supreme opportunist and scavenger

In 2005, Girls Aloud released the single ‘Wake Me Up’, and it seems that herring gulls across the UK took this message to heart, and appear to have made it their mission to squawk as loudly as possible in the early hours of the morning, waking up many a sleepy person!

Llama del Ray

Guanaco image

The guanaco can live at high elevations, as its blood can carry more oxygen than that of other mammals

A relative of the domestic llama, this guanaco appears to be singing along to the latest Lana del Rey song! We’re not sure this species is particularly tuneful, though…!

Fleetwood Macaque

Sunda pig-tailed macaque image

The Sunda pig-tailed macaque is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List

‘The Chain’ is a Fleetwood Mac classic, and this Sunda pig-tailed macaque appears to be joining in the song at full voice. Yet one type of chain this species would not be celebrating is the chainsaw. One of the main threats to this primate is habitat destruction as a result of tree felling in its forest home.

Dire Kraits

Banded sea krait image

The banded sea krait is highly venomous, but is rather docile

The Dire Straits song title ‘Down to the Waterline’ suits this amphibious reptile rather well! The banded sea krait leads a semi-aquatic lifestyle, and comes ashore to lay its eggs.

Mötley Shrew

Savi's pygmy shrew image

Savi's pygmy shrew is the smallest land mammal in the world

Mötley Crüe’s drummer Tommy Lee could certainly rock out on percussion at pretty mean speeds, yet as far as rapid beats go, even he would be no match for Savi’s pygmy shrew! This species has a heart rate of over a thousand beats per minute!

Def Leopard

Leopard image

Leopards can be individually identified by their spot patterns

Def Leppard’s fourth album included the hit single ‘Animal’, a rather appropriate song title for this blog!

The leopard certainly is a beautiful animal, with its gorgeous coat pattern of rosettes which enable it to remain camouflaged when hunting. Conservation efforts are vital to ensuring a future for this species, so that it is not left ‘High ‘n’ Dry’.

Moose Springsteen

Moose image

Along with the Eurasian elk, the moose is the largest living deer species

Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the U.S.A’ is potentially a rather fitting anthem for this large species, as the moose’s range does include parts of the United States, as well as Canada, Russia, northern Mongolia and northern China.

Thanks to everyone who sent in ideas, you certainly are a creative bunch!

Kathryn Pintus, ARKive Species Text Author

Apr 21
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The ARKive Team’s Favourite Species – Merove Heifetz

Last week lion-loving Maggie showed her support for her favourite species, but will this weeks team member be wild for whiskers or think scales are superior?

Merove Heifetz – Chief Operating Officer, Wildscreen USA

Favourite species? Bonobo

Why? It’s my favorite species because they are a very peaceful and intelligent species that are so incredibly human-like in their appearance and in their expressions.

Bonobo image

The bonobo is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List. The bonobo is threatened due to land conversion for agriculture throughout Congo, where it is endemic. The rising demand for bushmeat is also compromising the future of this human-like primate.

See more photos and videos of the bonobo on ARKive.

Apr 12
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Rare primate images added to ARKive

When biologist and photographer Alexandr Pospech got in touch with ARKive to offer some rare primate images we were understandably excited. During June 2011, Alex explained that he had participated in an expedition and study led by Brent Loken of Ethical Expeditions in the Wehea forest, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. In order to monitor the local wildlife, the team set up camera traps around a newly discovered mineral spring or ‘sepan’, and when checking the images three weeks later they turned up some surprising results.

Miller's grizzled langur photo

Dr. Stanislav Lhota confirmed that the team had recorded images of Miller’s grizzled langur, an Endangered subspecies of Hose’s langur. Miller’s grizzled langur is extremely rare and was previously listed as one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates – at one time some people even feared that it may have become extinct. The team’s discovery not only confirmed that a population of Miller’s grizzled langurs remains, it also provided evidence that the subspecies’ range extends further than previously thought.

Miller's grizzled langur photo

With the help of his assistant Yatim, Alexandr visited the place several times during following week and was able to build hides in which he spent 3 days in order to observe and photograph the langurs, producing the first ever high quality images of this rare subspecies, which he has kindly contributed to ARKive.

Miller's grizzled langur photo

Alexandr told us “I put a lot of energy into my photos with the goal of helping nature conservation. The days spent on photographing these langurs were extremely exhausting. When I came back late in the evening, took care of all the photo equipment and prepared for the next day, there were only about 3 hours left to sleep before setting up to the forest again. When I first saw the langurs in the viewfinder, I knew the effort was worth it. But the task of protecting wildlife all over the World has just started. And everyone can help.”

Make sure you check out Alexandr’s images on ARKive, and read more about his work on his website. You can also read the article produced by the team, which was published earlier this year in the American Journal of Primatology.

Claire Lewis, ARKive Media Researcher

Mar 29
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In the News: Forest fires threaten population of Sumatran orangutans

Fires raging in an Indonesian swamp forest are severely threatening the rare Sumatran orangutan that occurs there, and may have already contributed to the deaths of around a third of individuals in the population.

Photo of Sumatran orangutan male, female and infant

Sumatran orangutan male, female and infant

Fire hazard

The Tripa forest in Aceh province, Indonesia, provides crucial habitat for the world’s densest population of the Critically Endangered Sumatran orangutan. However, according to conservationists, a third of the orangutans in the forest may already have died as a result of the fires, while the rest of the population remains seriously at risk.

Habitat loss driving declines

In the past twenty years, 80% of orangutan habitat in Indonesia has been lost to illegal logging, gold mining and conversion to permanent agriculture, notably palm oil plantations.

In the Tripa forest, palm oil companies have drained large areas of peat swamp which, in addition to severely fragmenting and degrading the orangutan’s forest habitat, has created fire ‘hot spots’ at many of the palm oil plantations.

A total of 92 fire hot spots were recorded between 19 and 25 March 2012, and recent images show that only just over 12,000 hectares of the original 60,000 hectare forest now remain.

Photo of male Sumatran orangutan swinging through trees

Male Sumatran orangutan swinging through trees

The frequency and severity of these fires have had a huge impact on the wildlife in the region. The scale of the problem is reminiscent of the 1997 and 1998 forest fires which raged through much of Borneo, during which time it was estimated that around one third of the island’s orangutan population was killed.

Graham Usher, of the Foundation for a Sustainable Ecosystem, said that, “If there is a prolonged drought and the fire continues … then orangutans, tigers and sun bears within it will be exterminated before the end of 2012.

Photo of Sumatran orangutan mother and infant feeding

Sumatran orangutan mother and infant feeding

A global tragedy

Tripa used to be home to around 3,000 Sumatran orangutans in the 1990s. Today, fewer than 200 individuals are thought to survive there. According to Ian Singleton, conservation director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, “It is no longer several years away, but just a few months or even weeks before this iconic creature disappears. We are currently watching a global tragedy.

Between 2009 and 2011, 100 orangutans died, and estimates suggest that a further 100 individuals have been killed in recent months, either in the conversion of the forest to palm oil plantations or by starvation and malnutrition.

Read the article in the Guardian: Rare Sumatran orangutans dying as fires rage in Indonesian swamp forest.

Find out more about the Sumatran orangutan on ARKive.

Helen Roddis, ARKive Species Text Author

Feb 26
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The ARKive Team’s Favourite Species – Michelle Lindley

The mischievous kea won over Eleanor Sans last week, but will this week’s species be just as rebellious or slightly more reserved?

Michelle Lindley – ARKive Research Manager

Favourite species: Indri

Why? Madagascar was always on my list of places I wanted to visit and last year I was lucky enough to go. Watching Madagascar’s largest lemur, the indri, in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park was fantastic. Listening to the family groups calling to each other in the mornings was one of the best wildlife experiences. The eerie sounds they make are amazing, and watching them leap from branch to branch was unbelievable.

Favourite indri image on ARKive:

Indri image

The indri is one of the world's most threatened primates

The indri is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List. Threats to this species include habitat fragmentation due to slash-and-burn agriculture and forests being cut down for fuel and timber. The indri is also killed for food in certain areas of Madagascar.

See more photos and videos of the indri.

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