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]
The Winners (and a small flock of runners-up) have been named in the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
The family shows up at Hank’s house unaware that they’ll be sharing it with assorted wildlife whose collective attitude toward humans ranges from playful to scarily aggressive. Oh, and all the animals are real, and largely untrained, and when they paw and pounce on their human costars, you can see real terror in the actors’ eyes — like actual Oh shit please God no terror.The making of Roar, possibly the Most Dangerous Movie of All Time.
Chris Crowe has a girlfriend. She stands a leggy 5 feet tall, weighs a trim 11 pounds, and sports a set of wings like you’ve never seen. Walnut the white-naped crane is the most genetically distinct endangered crane on the block — which means she needs to have been making babies, like, yesterday. Walnut was raised by humans at a zoo, and as a result, she recognizes and trusts humans — and is deeply hostile to other cranes. How hostile? She killed the two male cranes that her former keepers attempted to pair with her. "I like to jokingly tell people that Walnut ‘allegedly’ killed two male cranes," Crowe says. "It’s not like she was tried and convicted. We don’t know her side of the story."
Tanja Brandt is a German photographer who has dedicated her career to photographing animals and wildlife. In one of her most recent projects, Brandt shot photographs of a highly unlikely pair of friends: Ingo, the Belgian shepherd, and Poldi (Napoleon), the one-year-old owlet.
That's right - it's time for Mammal March Madness! "Battle outcome is a function of the two species' attributes within the battle environment. Attributes considered in calculating battle outcome include temperament, weaponry, armor, body mass, fight style, and other fun facts that are relevant to the outcome. These are one on one- head to head combat situations- um except for the mythical mammals that have multiple heads. Some random error has been introduced into calculating battle outcome & the amount of that error is scaled to the disparity in rankings between combatants. Early rounds, the battle occurs in the better-ranked species' habitat (home court advantage). BUT once we get to the ELITE EIGHT, battle location will be random: forest, semi-arid desert, intertidal zone, or snowy tundra." Action kicks off on March 9 with the wildcard match up between the pygmy jerboa and the bumblebee bat (Kitti's Hognosed Bat). You can follow the action on twitter using the hashtag #2015MMM or on the blog Mammals Suck. In the meantime, start filling out your brackets - common names or binomial nomenclature.
Animals (especially wild animals) don't have the vanity or the discipline to pose for organized family photos, but wildlife photographers will still do their best to capture photos that look like they could be corny family holiday post-cards.
For these endangered lemurs, it was love at first sight
There's puppy love, there's muskrat love, but there is nothing like the love of two middle-aged, critically endangered lemurs.… Dern, 17, had lost her mate at the Waco, Texas, zoo several months ago, and Anthony, 16, had recently been separated from his brother when he was sent to another zoo. Although both were accustomed to living with ring-tailed lemurs, it wasn't the same…. Both were lonely.
"First time I ever got beat up by a baby moose." -- Maine moose trapper/tagger Wes Livingston gets mauled by an ungrateful juvenile moose on video. [via 9MSN; TW: animal mauling; Livingston is ok] [more inside]
Once upon a time, a man explored some abandoned cottages. The people had left long ago, but the houses were still being lived in. Fortunately, the man was a photographer.
"Now, my friend Adams was accused of a crime he didn't commit, so he escaped into the mountains, leaving behind the only life that he ever knew." In 1977, three years after the popular movie The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams introduced the story of John "Grizzly" Adams to the public, a TV show of the same name premiered. [more inside]
When 17th-century Dutch captain Willem de Vlamingh encountered what he described as "a kind of rat as big as a common cat" on on island off the western coast of Australia, he quickly dubbed it "Rats' Nest". Despite the insult, these marsupials aren't known to hold a grudge: the Quokkas, native to what is still known as Rottnest Island and nearby isles, are some of the happiest-looking, most inquisitive furry critters around.
More Than Human: Tim Flach's intimate photographs of animal gestures and expressions seem more than a little familiar. [more inside]
Rare: Portraits of America's Endangered Species is a short video featuring close-up wildlife footage by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore.
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]
"When you see a wildlife photo or film that looks too good to be true, it probably is." Audubon Magazine's Ted Williams investigates game farms and the widespread use of captive animals in wildlife photography. (via) [more inside]
Wildlife rehabilitators take care of wounded or orphaned animals, nursing them back to health and preparing them for a life back in the wild. This leads to a lot of cute baby animal videos. (Roll over for descriptions.) [more inside]
Giraffe mating battles can be brutal but they are generally gentle giants. Man's fascination with these exotic creatures can be tracked from 9,000 year old rock art to the quest for exotics that brought them to the courts of Medici-era Florence, Restoration Paris, and Imperial China, spawning much curiosity and fanciful illustration. Today, giraffe-o-philes can get up close and personal in Kenya's Giraffe Manor. [more inside]
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"]
How To Have A Ton Of Fun Raising Baby Squirrels. Husband and wife document their adventures raising these little spazz-monsters with many photos and some Flash movies. Via Cute Overload.
We all know that otters are terminally cute (warning: streaming WMV), but the Federal Government is only just now figuring out that they're also smarter than humans give 'em credit for. And they have no respect for the poor widdle shellfish industry. No respect at all. Awww.
Remember the threads last week about R/C planes with digital cameras? Rank amateurs. Animal Planet has upped the stakes in the unmanned aerial vehicle race by strapping a video camera to an eagle. That's right, an eagle. It's incredible. Check out the dogfight in particular. They're also doing a bunch of other cool things with animals and technology.
If you need a picture of an alpaca, some video of a nudibranch or audio of a nightjar.
If you need a picture of an alpaca, some video of a nudibranch or audio of a nightjar.
Feeling Peckish? Like a big bald eagle? Order one now! Humour might be one way of trying to protect endangered animals but the bushmeat trade is no joke and fighting it is damn difficult, probably as difficult as fighting world poverty. Does anyone else feel that these jokes just aren't funny anymore?
Orlando is under attack by alligators: something that isn't that uncommon, but seems particularly bad this year. We're used to losing a hunting dog or two, but when the gators start taking down horses (don't worry, the horse lived) and killing young children in an urban environment, you've got to wonder what's happening. Tip to tourists from a local: if chased by a gator, flee in a zig-zag pattern (gators are pretty fast, but turn like Sherman tanks.)