Halfway through my three-week, 417-mile journey down the “most endangered” river in America, the water began flowing backward and the mud started talking.
It spoke in baritone gurgles, like Barry White trapped in a bong.
You know what this is, John?
No, Barry White mud.
This is QUICKSAND
Out in the field with one of Alberta's few female trappers.
Emily the Trapper is smart, loves animals, and thinks your ideas about fur trapping are all wrong. [more inside]
I think it is high time that MeFites meet Michael Forsberg
, a Lincoln, Nebraska based Conservation Photographer
who works primarily in the Great Plains of North America
, once one of the greatest grassland ecosystems on Earth. (His bio.
) His goal has been to try to capture the wild spirit
that still survives in these wide-open spaces and put a face to the often overlooked native creatures and landscapes found there. His hope is that the images can build appreciation and go to work to inspire conservation efforts on the land far into the future. Here is a great 48 minute presentation that Michael gave at the California Academy of Sciences
after completing his most recent book simply entitled "Great Plains". In the video he unselfishly shares not just his photographic images but also his equipment and techniques. [more inside]
A Death in Yellowstone: On the Trail of a Grizzly Bear.
a gripping story and a well written article in Slate
, by Jessica Grose.
Includes a similarly remarkable photo feature. [more inside]
"Richard Lewis is director of Durrell's Madagascar programme
. Here he speaks
about how the team and the local villagers are working to protect the world's rarest tortoise
. This includes the drastic measure of "defacing" the beautiful shells in order to make the animals worthless on the black market."
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]
April 27th is World Tapir Day!
Take a few minutes to celebrate our prehensile-schnozzed fellow mammals by learning some facts
, viewing some cuteness
, or supporting the cause.
explores the pressures faced by wildlife and habitat. Featuring video content like the Plight of the Snow Leopard
, or a feature about manatees, Can Gentle Survive?
, by conservation organizations worldwide. Limited at present to about 30 programs, but growing as more groups come on board.
As two more villages are relocated
to create reserves
for Project Tiger
in India, each family will be offered two hectares of land, a house and 100,000 rupees or approximately $2200. But is this a sustainable solution
for anti poaching measures
? At Ranthambhore tiger reserve
in the backward district of Sawai Madhopur, poaching has
been controlled but pressure on the park
remains as long as the seven relocated villages are unable to find alternate sources
of long term income and other resources. When seeking food and shelter, saving the tiger
is the last thing on their minds. Witness the slaughtering
of the rare gorilla in Congo
for food recently until the rebels were convinced to stop
. Local needs
versus long term ecological preservation
will continue to be issues
unless alternate viable solutions
can be found.
The Snow Leopard
is a magnificent animal (and the cubs
,) but also a very endangered one. A recent study by TRAFFIC
, Fading Footprints: The Killing and Trade of Snow Leopards
(PDF), describes the threat faced by the species, including in Afghanistan
. The International Snow Leopard Trust has released the Snow Leopard Survival Strategy
(PDF) to try to aid the species.