Apr 22

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

The theme for Earth Day this year is, “It’s Our Turn To Lead”. Our friends at Earth Day Network are urging people to learn more about the topic of climate change which generally refers to man-made changes to the environment that have contributed to the steady rise in the earth’s temperature, rising sea levels, ice melting at the poles, and extreme weather events.

Not only does climate change affect the weather but it also impacts the well-being of several species around the world. We’re supporting Earth Day this year by showing five wild faces that have been affected by climate change.

As Arkive patron Sylvia Earle has said, “With knowing comes caring, and with caring comes hope”.  Let’s learn about the following five species and spread a little hope for their survival on Earth.

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus


This wonderful marsupial is one of the most iconic Australian animals. Rising carbon dioxide levels cause plants to grow faster which lowers protein levels. Nutritionally poor eucalyptus leaves might cause the koala to migrate exposing them to predation. They are also particularly vulnerable to bush fires and drought due to their lack of mobility and dependence on trees.

Dlinza pinwheel (Trachycystis clifdeni)


The Dlinza pinwheel  is one of the most visually striking snails with its translucent shell and beautiful whorls. This snail is known from only the Dlinza forest and due to its limited habitat is quite vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.

Golden toad (Incilius periglenes)


The magnificently colored macaroni yellow golden toad was last seen in 1989 and is unfortunately believed to be extinct. Climate change is one of the contributing factors that led to the decline of golden toad populations.

Quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma)


The quiver tree has been named the national tree of Namibia. This tree is an important nesting site for large numbers of sociable weavers. Changing climates are causing quiver trees to slowly shift their distribution toward higher latitudes and altitudes.

Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)


The magical leatherback turtle is the largest turtle in the world and lacks the typical bony plates on its carapace. Its shell is flexible and covered in a thin layer of leathery skin. Changing ocean currents due to climate change might affect the migrations of juvenile leatherbacks as well as cause them to lose some of their prey.

The Earth Day Network is capturing more than a billion “Acts of Green” as part of the annual Earth Day celebration. By clicking on the link below, you can log your time spent reading this blog as an “Act of Green” and take part in this historic event.

Log reading this blog as an “Act of Green” for Earth Day today!

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA 

Mar 2
Dlinza pinwheel image

Dlinza pinwheel (Trachycystis clifdeni)

Species: Dlinza pinwheel (Trachycystis clifdeni)

Status: Critically Endangered (CR)

Interesting Fact: The Dlinza pinwheel has a line of bristles round its shell!

The exceptionally striking Dlinza pinwheel is a small species of snail that is found in only the Dlinza Forest in South Africa. Its name comes from the unusual whorl of bristles that radiate out from the edge of its shell, and resemble a Catherine wheel or pinwheel firework. The fragile, almost translucent pale-brown shell is a spiral shape with up to five whorls. In its coastal forest home, the Dlinza pinwheel can be found beneath leaves, under fallen logs, in leaf-litter and sometimes in damp, swampy areas. The Dlinza pinwheel is so rare that nothing is known of its feeding behaviour or reproductive biology.

The single forest where this species lives is officially protected, which offers some protection to this tiny snail. Nevertheless, the small and exposed nature of its home means that this rare and fascinating snail remains somewhat helpless to the changing world around it, and a single extreme weather event could potentially wipe out the whole population. More research into the ecology and behaviour of this small but captivating species may help unearth valuable information to help guide appropriate conservation action and bring the diminutive ‘pinwheel’ back from the brink of extinction.

Find out more about the organisation in charge of conserving the Dlinza forest: Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife

View the Dlinza pinwheel on ARKive.

Becky Moran, ARKive Species Text Author


RSS feedArkive.org is the place for films, photos and facts about endangered species. Subscribe to our blog today to keep up to date!

Email updates

Sign up to receive a regular email digest of Arkive blog posts.
Preferred frequency:

Arkive twitter

Twitter: ARKive