May 22

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 15, 2015

The war on India’s tiger preserves

Bengal-tiger-portrait

Bengal tiger

The government of India provides funds to help willing residents move out of protected tiger habitat and onto nearby farmland.  At times, however, factors working against tigers include luxury resort chains that want to build “ecotourism” lodges that do not allow tigers to live nearby. Other times, it is mining companies that wish to move deeper into protected areas.

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Article originally published on Saturday, May 16, 2015

Controversial bear hunt awaits final approval from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

American-black-bear-scratching-head

American black bear scratching head

Florida is awaiting approval to host its first bear hunt in 20 years. The hunt is considered a method of controlling the bear population, since Florida has seen an increase in human-bear conflicts. Opponents of the bear hunt note that improperly secured food/trash attracts bears and that people should focus on trash management and not on hunts.

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Article originally published on Sunday, May 17, 2015

Wildlife experts counteract fallacies about coyotes

Adult-coyote

Adult coyote

Two recent coyote attacks in Bergen county, New Jersey have brought this canid to the forefront of the conversation about wildlife. Wildlife experts stress that while coyotes are predators, they very rarely attack humans. They also informed the public that coyotes are not the top carriers of rabies in the area. Most importantly, coyotes play a vital role in the ecosystem by controlling rodent populations.

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Article originally published on Monday, May 18, 2015

Fuzzy ducklings are the future of this Hawaiian species

Male-Laysan-duck

Male Laysan duck

The Laysan duck is a critically endangered bird endemic to Hawaii that in 1911 had fewer than 20 birds due to invasive rats. Conservation efforts brought the population back to almost 1,000 birds, but 40 percent of them were lost in 2011 due to the Japan Tsunami. In 2014, however 28 young Laysan ducks were moved to Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary in an effort to establish a population on Kure.

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Article originally published on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Giant panda gut bacteria can’t efficiently digest bamboo

Giant-panda-eating-bamboo

Giant panda eating bamboo

The giant panda is known for primarily eating bamboo, but the microbiota it harbors in its stomach actually resembles that which is found in carnivores, a recent study found. It poses a conundrum since pandas spend up to 14 hours a day consuming up to 12.5 kg of bamboo leaves and stems, yet can only digest 17 percent of it.

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Article originally published on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

EU concerned about farming impact on its wildlife

Skylark-portrait

Skylark

In the EU major threats to grasslands, wetlands, and dune habitats were overgrazing, fertilization and pesticides. Fifteen percent of birds in the EU are near threatened or in decline including once common birds such as the skylark.

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Article originally published on Thursday, May 21, 2015

Photos from the front: the California oil spill in pictures

Adult-gray-whale-breaching

Adult gray whale breaching

On Tuesday, an underground oil pipeline burst near Goleta, California spilling crude oil into the Pacific. Whales and sea lions were spotted in the area where the spill occurred.  It is estimated that 21,000 gallons of crude oil entered the ocean.

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Young-California-sea-lion

Young California sea lion

Enjoy your weekend!

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA

 

Mar 13

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 6, 2015

As forests burn, conservationists launch global wildlife rescue

Scarlet-macaw-landing

Scarlet macaw landing

Extreme events and long-term warming caused by climate change compound the existing threats to wildlife like habitat loss and degradation. Using small aircraft to detect and map threats like forest fires and illegal clearing can significantly reduce the incidence of severely damaging forest fires. One of many affected forests is that of Guatemala, which is home to the scarlet macaw and the ocellated turkey.

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Ocellated-turkey-side-view

Ocellated turkey side view

Article originally published on Saturday, Mar 7, 2015

Four large species of snake added to restricted import list

Reticulated-python-juvenile-coiled-around-sapling

Reticulated python juvenile coiled around sapling

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared that the Beni anaconda, green anaconda, DeSchaunsee’s anaconda, and the reticulated python are “injurious” under the Lacey Act. The Lacey Act prohibits the export, import, buying, selling or acquisition of wildlife and plant species named on the list.

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Green anaconda close up

Article originally published on Sunday, Mar 8, 2015

Back from the brink of extinction: hunting for the world’s rarest frog

Corroboree-frog-crawling-on-moss

Corroboree frog crawling on moss

A research team found only four coroboree frogs within the southern part of New South Wales, its entire range. Recently, experts from Melbourne Zoo and Taronga Zoo along with NSW wildlife officials released 80 frogs into a fungus-free area of New South Wales within Kosciuszko National Park.

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Article originally published on Monday, Mar 9, 2015

Amphibians, already threatened, face increased susceptibility to disease from stress, research shows

Plethodon-shermani--on-leaves

Red-legged salamander on leaves

Researchers treated red-legged salamanders with either corticosterone, a stress hormone, or oil. They then exposed them to the chytrid fungus. Researchers found that “stressed” salamanders had a greater abundance of the chytrid fungus.

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Article originally published on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015

The truth about giant pandas

Infant-giant-panda-portrait

Infant giant panda portrait

Thinking of the giant panda as cute and cuddly is only half the truth. In reality, the giant panda is a formidable species  who delivers one of the highest bite forces of any carnivore.

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Article originally published on Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015

If apes go extinct, so could entire forests

Male-bonobo-lying-down

Male bonobo lying down

Many tree and plant species in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are purely dependent upon the bonobo for seed dispersal. If the bonobos disappeared it could create a cascading extinction cycle.

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Article originally published on Thursday, Mar 12, 2015

World’s whaling slaughter tallied at 3 million

Blue-whale-underwater

Blue whale underwater

In the last century, nearly 3 million cetaceans were wiped out. Some estimate that blue whales have been depleted by up to 90%. The North Atlantic right whale also hovers on the brink of extinction.

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North-Atlantic-right-whale-swimming

North Atlantic right whale swimming

Enjoy your weekend! William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA

Jan 30

Arkive has compiled some of the biggest and most interesting headlines from this week. Enjoy!

 

The following articles were originally published on Monday, January 26, 2015

Palm oil may be single most immediate threat to the greatest number of species

Bornean orangutan photo

Bornean orangutan infant hanging from tree

Palm oil production drives the conversion of ecosystems such as rainforest and peatlands into plantations which reduces biological diversity. Many species in South East Asia are affected by palm oil production such as the charismatic orangutan.

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Giant pandas don’t know their own faces

Infant giant panda, portrait

Apparently, giant pandas do not recognize themselves in a mirror. When confronted with their own image they reacted by showing defensive behavior.

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The following articles were originally published on Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

How Ebola is killing the world’s ape population and what we can do to stop it

Juvenile eastern chimpanzee in tree

Western lowland gorilla silverback

 

The Ebola virus affects not only humans, but chimpanzees and gorillas as well. There appears to be a legitimate link between the increase of deforestation and the frequency of outbreaks.

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President Obama Protects Untouched Marine Wilderness in Alaska

Portrait of bearded seal, head coloured by sediment

Bowhead whale surfacing

Atlantic walrus portrait

President Obama has declared 9.8 million acres in the wateroff of Alaska’s coast as off-limits to consideration for future oil and gas leasing. These waters are home to  bowhead whales walruses, and bearded seals.

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The following articles were originally published on Wednesday, January 28.

Rare Sierra Nevada Red Fox Sighted In Yosemite National Park

Red fox in snow, side profile

Yosemite National park officials spotted a Sierra Nevada red fox in the park for the first time in almost 100 years. This subspecies of the red fox is extremely rare with less than 50 individuals believed to be in existence.

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With local help, hawksbill sea turtles make a comeback in Nicaragua

Front on view of a hawksbill turtle

Hawksbill turtles have shown a 200 percent increase from 154 nests to 468 nests in the last 14 years. Poaching rates in Nicaragua’s Pearl Cays have decreased by more than 80 percent.

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The following articles were originally published on  Thursday, January 29 .

Scientists discover that fish larvae make sounds

Five-lined snapper shoal

Researchers found that the larvae of grey snapper produce sound though at this time it is unclear as to the purpose of these sounds. Snapper are a large diverse group that includes the vibrantly colored five-lined snapper.

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Mysterious megamouth shark washes ashore in the Philippines

Megamouth shark

A 15 foot adult male megamouth shark washed up on the shores of Barangay Marigondon in the Philippines on Wednesday. There are only 64 confirmed sightings of this mysterious and elusive shark.

View original article

Enjoy your weekend!

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA

Oct 31

Happy Halloween! Here at Arkive, we’re definitely fans of the creepier species that put us in the mood for a spooky Halloween like the vampire bat or the brain coral. But this year, we decided to share our favorite “mask-wearing” animals. These are animals that, with a little help from nature, look like they are wearing a mask all year round. Who knows, maybe some of these animals will inspire your get-up for Halloween tonight!

Bulwer’s pheasant

Bulwer's pheasant photo

One look at the Bulwer’s pheasant and we bet you’d be hard-pressed to find a stranger mask-wearing species on Arkive!

Spectacled bear

Spectacled bear photo

Don’t let this calm face fool you. This bear is ready to scare up the crowd for some midnight Halloween snacks!

Horned grebe

Horned grebe photo

Who’s ready for the masquerade ball? The horned grebe appears ready any day of the year!

Emperor moth

Emperor moth photo

While not a mask in the traditional sense, the “eyes” have it when it comes to the Emperor moth!

Andean cock-of-the-rock

Andean cock-of-the-rock photo

Some may consider the Andean cock-of-the-rock’s head piece a little … outlandish but we think it fits right in on Halloween and every other day of the year!

And finally, because even Halloween can be a time for cuteness as well as spookiness, we present arguably one of the cutest mask-wearers in the wild world …

Giant panda

Giant panda photo

Just one look at that face and we’re ready to hand over our entire bag of Halloween goodies!

Find yourself inspired to wear an animal mask for Halloween tonight after seeing all these incredible “mask-wearers” in nature? We’ve got 8 different animal art masks ready and waiting to be printed and colored by little goblins or ghouls – or big goblins or ghouls, too, for that matter!

No matter how you choose to celebrate, the Arkive team wishes everyone a fun, festive and safe Halloween!

Ari Pineda, Program Coordinator, Wildscreen USA

Jan 13

Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) prefer to live in old forest which has never been logged, according to new research.

Giant panda photo

The giant panda is classified as Endangered, with fewer than 2,500 mature individuals left in the wild.

Looking at the habitat features most closely associated with the presence of giant pandas, the study, published in the journal Biological Letters, was based on data collected over five years in China’s Sichuan Province. As expected, bamboo was a key factor predicting the presence of giant pandas, as it forms the vast majority of their diet.

Photo of a giant panda feeding on bamboo

The poor nutritional quality of the giant panda’s specialised bamboo diet means it has to spend up to 14 hours a day feeding.

Importance of old-growth forest

However, the team also discovered that the presence of giant pandas was strongly linked to the age of the trees. Why old-growth forest is so important to the giant panda was unclear, but it may be that the bamboo growing beneath older trees is more nutritious, and easier for pandas to eat.

Another intriguing possibility is that only older trees grow large enough to form cavities in which female giant pandas can give birth. This raises the possibility that a lack of suitable ‘maternity dens’ may limit the giant panda population in areas which have a history of logging.

Photo of a giant panda maternity den

Female giant pandas give birth and care for the tiny cub in a ‘maternity den’ for the first few months of its life.

Protecting giant panda habitat

These important findings come ahead of a key decision by the Chinese government on whether to renew a logging ban which has been protecting giant panda habitat since 1998. The study concludes that it may be more cost-effective for the government to protect the existing old-growth forest than to open it up to logging while protecting an equivalent area of previously logged, secondary-growth forest.

Photo of typical giant panda habitat

The remaining giant pandas are now restricted to temperate mountain forests, at elevations up to around 3,400 metres.

With the protection of unlogged forest now shown to be as important to giant panda conservation as preserving areas of bamboo, it remains to be seen what the future will hold for these vital giant panda habitats.

View ARKive’s giant panda photos and videos.

Find out more about the giant panda on WWF’s Giant Panda page.

Liz Shaw, ARKive Species Text Author

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