Hard Numbers Reveal Scale of America’s Trophy-Hunting Habit by Rachael Bale [National Geographic]
Sport hunters, those who kill animals for recreation rather than out of necessity, imported more than 1.26 million trophies to the U.S. in the decade from 2005 through 2014, according to a new analysis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s import data by Humane Society International and the Humane Society of United States. That’s an average of 126,000 trophy imports a year, or 345 a day.[more inside]
Explorer Shivani Bhalla Helps People and Lions Coexist (and in turn helps those people as well) It's articles like this that make me smile. If only there were more arrangements like this for other endangered animals as well.
Stunning portraits of endangered zoo animals by National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore. Part of The Biodiversity Project. Previously. (via)
The red-crested tree rat (Santamartamys rufodorsalis), not seen in over a hundred years, made an unexpected, nonchalant appearance at the El Dorado Bird Reserve in Colombia a couple of weeks ago. Witnesses are unavailable for comment, being too busy with squeals of "Awwwwwww" to respond to questions. Press release here; high-res photos heEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Five years ago this week, the BBC started broadcasting one of the most extraordinary documentaries ever to grace television: Planet Earth. The culmination of five years of field work, it employed the most cutting-edge of techniques in order to capture life in all its forms, from sweeping spaceborne vistas to shockingly intimate close-ups -- including many sights rarely glimpsed by human eyes. Visually spectacular, it showcased footage shot in 204 locations in 62 countries, thoroughly documenting every biome from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the lifegiving waters of the Okavango Delta, a rich narrative tapestry backed by a stirring orchestral score from the BBC Concert Orchestra. Unfortunately, the series underwent some editorial changes for rebroadcast overseas. But now fans outside the UK can rejoice -- all eleven chapters of this epic story are available on YouTube in their original form: uncut, in glorious 1080p HD, and with the original narration by renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Click inside for the full listing (and kiss the rest of your week goodbye). [more inside]
"Bryn the pygmy rabbit died in 2008, marking the end of her genetic line. This subpopulation lost its sagebrush habitat as the land was developed for agriculture ... In an off-exhibit room at the Oregon Zoo, the staff was quiet, even reverent, as they brought in Bryn. She was one of two Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits left, and since both were old females, this was a solemn occasion." Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species
Elephants are self aware (news story, videos). "As a result of this study, the elephant now joins a cognitive elite," said researcher Frans de Waal at Emory University. [Past posts tagged with "elephant" "elephants"]
Panda, Inc. - National Geographic does pandas, including this surfeit of cuteness clip of Tai Shan and mom playing. Watch for panda mania to break out in the U.S. as we count down to Tai Shan's one year birthday. At 53 pounds, he is coming along nicely - see his progress in his photo album since birth. Meanwhile, in the wild, happy news that the panda population may be double what was previously thought. Yay! (via adorablog's great panda file.)
The Endangered Species Act marked its 30th anniversary this December. Some say we need it while others say we need to change it. Whatever its faults, many species have benefited from it.