With over 50, 000 photos (and counting) capturing over 100 mammal species from seven protected areas across Africa, Asia and the Americas…a global ‘hidden camera” research project is giving conservation biologists a rare glimpse into the ordinary lives of many endangered or threatened mammal species.The camera study, conducted by The Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network (TEAM), is helping to confirm what smaller, isolated studies have indicated: that habitat destruction is jeopardizing the biological integrity and diversity of many of the world’s mammals.
Here are some of the top animal stories and videos of the week (videos first). Enjoy! These first three are totally funny & cute…
Here are some top animal stories of the week (other than what we’ve covered already). Feel free to drop more stories or videos in the comments below if you have them.
Lions, these wonderful big cats — I think there isn’t anybody who has ever avoided their charm — could be extinct in just 15 years. Even though they are dangerous, they are lovable, too. But, unfortunately, there’s some really bad news: their numbers have been shrinking tremendously over the last 50 years! While, in 1960, there were a healthy 450,000 lions in wild, in 2010, were only 20,000! If that trend continued, lions would become extinct in just just over 10 years.
This irreverent video offers a hilarious solution to the very serious issue facing rhinos in South Africa.
Thanks to trophy hunt loopholes in South Africa, rhino horn smugglers have found a way to acquire their contraband legally.
As part of the sinister organized crime network that is controlling the illegal rhino horn trade, these “mules” (often women) are actually using “hunting safaris” as a front for running rhino horn from South Africa to Vietnam.
A former fellow writer on EcoWorldly.com (which is now EcoLocalizer), Rhishja Larson is the leading rhino expert I’ve ever run across. She knows rhinos! And, unfortunately, that means she knows more about the current rhino crisis than most.
Now, she and Saving Rhinos LLC have started a new campaign to bring critical rhino information and rhino crisis awareness to more people: Bust the Myth – Save the Species.
This is a cool video I thought I’d share with you animal & planet lovers (and especially you penguin lovers).
Well, Russia is one key actor threating grey whales with extinction, but it has also taken a step forward in protecting the critically endangered species. “Companies seeking oil extraction rights to a newly available concession off Russia’s Sakhalin Island will not be permitted to conduct activities while Western gray whales are present,” WWF wrote last week.
These are the cutest little guys (or girls). Have to love that WWF could set up a hidden camera there and get these candid, in-the-wild videos of these Sumatran tiger cubs. Of course, the reason it has to do so is not so uplifting. As is mentioned towards the end of the video, “This forest is under imminent threat of being cleared by the pulp and paper industry, despite being designated a ‘global priority Tiger Conservation Landscape’.”
Seriously, talk about an inspirational story. 6-year-old Aghelos Kouvaras was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma last September after a tumor was discovered in his abdomen. While undergoing treatment for the disease most of 1st grade, Kouvaras read about animals, and especially penguins, to stay in good spirits.
Kovaras has now beaten cancer and his next goal is to save penguins (no small task, but hey, neither is what he just did).
You can’t be surprised, given that our Congress people seem completely mad (and not just because of NCAA basketball), but, yes, they really are attacking the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and a number of iconic animals.
Luckily, Earthjustice, a leading non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the Earth and its resources, is working hard to rally U.S. citizens and stop the assault. And it’s come up with a really innovative, fun way of doing so.
Becky Striepe of our sister site Ecoscraps recently shared a pretty amazing photo of the plastic contents of a juvenile green sea turtle’s stomach (shown above).