Apr 24

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 17, 2015

Your name here: auctioning the naming rights to new species to fund conservation

Titan-beetle-climbing-branch

Titan beetle climbing branch

Ecologist, Mary Lowman was on a mission to save Ethiopia’s church forests so she needed an innovative way to fundraise. Thus began the process of auctioning off new species’ naming rights which includes several different new species of beetle.

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Article originally published on Saturday, Apr 18, 2015

Approving a hunt is a misguided solution to bear problem

American-black-bear-cinnamon-morph-female-with-cinnamon-and-black-cubs

American black bear and cinnamon morph black bears

On Wednesday (Apr 15), the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a plan to legalize bear hunts in Florida, specifically targeting the black bear. The rationale is that their population has rebounded and that there has been an increase in human-bear encounters.

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Article originally published on Sunday, Apr 19, 2015

Sea lion pup taken from Dockweiler Beach parking lot, witness says

Young-California-sea-lion

Young California sea lion

A witness  saw four people harassing two sea lion pups; the pups were not injured. The suspects then took one of the pups and put it in their car and drove away. The whereabouts of the pup are unknown at this time.

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Article originally published on Monday, Apr 20, 2015

Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are mysteriously vanishing

Kemps-ridley-turtle-hatchlings

Kemp’s ridley turtle hatchlings

In 2010, nest numbers for Kemp’s ridley turtle fell by 35 percent at primary nesting beaches with slight increases in 2011 and 2012. 1n 2014, however the nest total was the lowest in eight years. While the BP oil spill may be a factor, other researchers suggest that colder water temperatures might have affected their populations

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Article originally published on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015

Judge recognizes two chimpanzees as legal persons: a first

Eastern-chimpanzee-subordinate-pant-in-response-to-dominant-grunt

Eastern chimpanzee

Hercules and Leo, the chimpanzees have been determined to be people in New York courts. Both chimpanzees were being used for biomedical experiments. Now, they will spend the rest of their lives at an animal sanctuary.

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Article originally published on Wednesday Apr 22, 2015

Elephant contraception? How a vaccine is replacing sharpshooters

African-elephant-family

African elephant family

Elephants used to be killed by the hundreds in South Africa to keep their numbers below a certain threshold. At Greater Makalali, however, the vaccine PZP has cut the rate of increase of the population by half, its success has led to its adoption in other South African wildlife reserves.

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Article originally published on Thursday, Apr 23, 2015

Could Bees Be Addicted to Pesticides?

Honey-bee-asleep-during-cold-weather

Honey bee asleep during cold weather

It appears that bees prefer to eat pesticide –contaminated plants. Neonicotinoids may act like drugs to make “foods” containing these substances more rewarding. Previous research has shown that neonicotinoids scramble the memory and navigation function in bees.

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Enjoy your weekend!

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA 

Apr 3

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 27, 2015

New species of monitor lizards found on the black market

varanus-bitatawa

Northern Sierra Madre forest monitor

In a black market in Manila, researchers discovered two new monitor lizard species for sale. They obtained the lizards and took them back to the United States for genetic analysis.

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Article originally published on Saturday, Mar 28, 2015

Malawi to burn its £5m ivory stockpile this week – and demonstrate its commitment to wildlife conservation

African-elephant-family

African elephant family

On Thursday (Apr.2), Malawi President Peter Mutharika will lead the march to the incineration of the country’s ivory stockpile. In purely commercial terms a live elephant is worth 75 times more than a dead one.

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Article originally published on Sunday, Mar 29, 2015

Injured tortoise given 3D printed shell

Burmese-starred-tortoise

Burmese starred tortoise

An injured female leopard turtle has been given a prosthetic shell to protect her as she heals. With a healthy diet and optimum temperature, the shell is expected to regrow properly. She belongs to the Testudinidae family that includes the equally stunning Burmese starred tortoise.

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Article originally published on Monday, Mar 30, 2015

Sexy male birds ‘make worse dads’

Male-blue-and-yellow-tanager-perched-on-branch

Blue-and-yellow tanager perched on branch

Among male blue-black grassquits, who  belong to the tanager family Thraupidae, those with more striking coloration provided less food to their offspring when compared to less ornamented males. Attractive males tend to pursue extra pair copulation.

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Article originally published on Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

New Report: Five years after Deepwater Horizon, wildlife still struggling

Pair-of-bottlenose-dolphins-breaching

Pair of bottlenose dolphins breaching

Species are still feeling the effects of the Deepwater Horizon event. In 2014, dolphins on the Louisiana coast, were found dead at four times the historic rate which is connected to the oil spill. After the spill, the number of Kemp’s ridley turtle nests has on average declined.

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kemps-ridley-turtle

Kemp’s ridley turtle

Article originally published on Wednesday, Apr 1, 2015

Warm spring helps endangered butterfly’s numbers soar

High-brown-fritillary-feeding-on-marsh-thistle (1)

High brown fritillary feeding on marsh thistle

The high brown fritillary is one of the UK’s rarest butterflies. Since the 1950’s the butterflies numbers have fallen dramatically. In 2014, however its population increased by more than 180% compared to the previous year.

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Article originally published on Thursday, Apr 2, 2015

Tarantulas’ movements get a ‘little wonky’ if its too hot

Curlyhair-tarantula

Curlyhair tarantula

A recent study looked at the effect of temperature on the locomotion of tarantulas. Higher temperatures caused their coordination to decrease, while cooler temperatures caused them to slow down.

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 Enjoy your weekend!

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA 

 

Apr 2

Welcome back for part two of our Arkive Atlantic Islands feature series where we celebrate the incredible biodiversity of the South Atlantic islands! Let Arkive melt away the remaining winter snow with these magical tropical paradises of the South Atlantic. These islands have a high degree of endemism –  species that are only found on those islands – as well as biologically rich waters.

Below are some of the marvelous species that inhabit these islands. Enjoy!

Ascension Island

Ascension-spurge

Ascension spurge

Ascension Island was formed from the debris of a now extinct volcano. It is considered to be one of the most isolated islands in the world.The unassuming Ascension Spurge grows on the driest parts of the island on lava fields up to 310 metres above sea level. Its stems contain a thick, poisonous, milky juice that can cause blindness if it comes in contact with the eyes.

Falkland Islands

Falkland-steamerduck-pair-with-ducklings-on-tideline

Falkland steamerduck pair with ducklings on tideline

The Falkland Islands are visited by approximately 227 migratory bird species who remain on the islands throughout the breeding season. The Falkland steamerduck receives its namesake from its habit of using its wings and feet to propel itself across the surface of the water like an old paddle steamer. Unlike most ducks, this species is flightless since its wings are shorter than its body.

Fernando de Noronha

Green-turtle-ventral-view

Green turtle ventral view

The insular Atlantic forest on Fernando de Noronha is the only one of its kind. Green turtles are born with a special hooked ‘egg tooth’ used to break out of the egg, which they later lose. Also, they are named not for the colour of their carapace, but rather for the green colour of their fat.

St Helena

St-Helena-boxwood-flower-close-up-in-abandoned-cultivation

St Helena boxwood flower

St Helena is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. The critically endangered St Helena boxwood is a small shrub that smells strongly of tobacco. Erosion is the primary force pushing this endemic species toward extinction.

São Tomé and Príncipe

Sao-Tome-shrew-close-up

São Tomé shrew

São Tomé and Príncipe is Africa’s smallest country and was formed from the accumulation of volcanic debris. The elusive São Tomé shrew is a rarely seen species that appears to be a solitary mammal since they are usually seen alone. This species is tolerant of human activity and has also been found close to human settlements.

Tristan da Cunha

Inaccessible-rail-drying-wings

Inaccessible rail drying wings

The offshore islands of Gough and Inaccessible are considered to be two of the world’s most important breeding grounds for sea birds. The adorable Inaccessible rail holds the title of the smallest flightless bird in the world.  It is most abundant in tussock grassland, further away from cliffs and in the open fern-bush on the plateau.

Now that you know a bit more about the islands, species, and ecosystems of the South 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 swim with the southern rockhopper penguins of the Falkland Islands? Or maybe you prefer to scour the rocky shores of São Tomé and Príncipe? 

Islands quiz button copy

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

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.

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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.

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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

 

 

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