Saturday, February 21, 2015

5 Animals that were Recently Tagged Extinct

Although we have discovered thousands of new species over the past few years, this generation has also seen the extinction of a number of animals. Many of these became extinct because of environmental depletion and some due to hunting and poaching. Here are a few animals that got declared extinct over the last twenty years.

Golden Toad
Golden Toad

Also known as the orange toad or Monteverde toad, this toad was only found in Costa Rica’sMonteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Although once a common specie, their population started to decline in the 80’s until the last one was seen in 1989. They were officially declared extinct in 2007. Researchers say that chytridiomycosis which is an amphibian disease, airborne pollution as well as climate change caused the demise of this specie.

Baiji dolphin
Baiji dolphin

The last Baiji dolphin, or Yantze River dolphin, was seen in the 2002. The specie had already been tagged as critically endangered but scientists are already saying that they could be extinct. A group of researchers even went on a search in 2006, covering almost 2,000 miles looking for any signs of surviving dolphins. Decline of the Baiji dolphin’s population is caused by poaching,pollution, habitat loss, boat traffic, and overfishing. For a time, they were even hunted for their skin, which was used to make luxury bags and gloves.

Hawaiian crow
Hawaiian crow

A native in Hawaii, this bird is said to be extinct in the wild. The last two wild individuals disappeared in 2002. There are some individuals that live in captivity, and more than 40 specimens were hatched in breeding programs. However, the breeding programs did not end well as mortality rate still increased. Scientist till can’t pin point what caused the population of this bird to decrease to the point of extinction, but some speculated that the illness avian malaria could have been a main reason.

Pyrenean ibex
Pyrenean ibex

This is actually one of the two Spanish ibexsubspecies that were tagged extinct. They were once commonly seen across the areas of Spain and France, however during the 1900s, population of the Pyrenean ibex fell lower than a hundred individuals. The last of these animals died in 2000. Researchers tried cloning these animals, but failed. Diseases, poaching and inability to compete for food cause their population to die out.

Spix's macaw
Spix's macaw

Although there are about 70 Spix's macaw alive in captivity, the last bird that lived in the wild was seen in 2000. Although technically extinct, the species is tagged as critically endangered since its potential habitat is not thoroughly surveyed. Once common in northern Brazil, these birds slowly died out in the wild because of trapping, hunting, habitat destruction, as well as the introduction of “killer bees” which competed for their nesting sites.
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Friday, February 20, 2015

5 Common Animal Hybrids

Animal hybrids, or crossbreeds of two very similar species, are strange and rare, but possible. Most of these hybrids are done by humans. However there are times when animals that are closely related mate and result with a natural biological hybrid. These offspring share traits found in both parents and even more.

Here are some strange, but unique half breeds in the animal kingdom.

Mix a lion and a tiger together and you end up with the biggest big cat around. Ligers are the result of a female tiger and a male lion mating, usually in domestic settings since tigers and lions would never normally cross paths in the wild. Ligers can grow to about 10 feet in length and reach a weight of 700 pounds. Other big cat mixes include leopons (which is a leopard and lion mix) and jaguleps (jaguar and leopard mix).


This is a mix between an equine, commonly a donkey or horse, and a zebra. These consist of zonies, zonkeys, zorses and other combinations. This crossbreeding is an example of how animals with different chromosome numbers can still produce offspring. For example, horses come in 64 chromosomes while zebras only have around 32 and 44, which depends on species.

Grolar Bears
Grolar Bears

When polar bears mate with grizzly bears, the grolar bear is the result. One of the very few hybrids that actually happen in the wild, these bears do roam the northern hemisphere. Researchers say that one of the reasons why grolar bears exist is because of global warming. Polar bears end up moving a little to the south while grizzlies move up. Since both bears share a lot of features, grolar bears end up looking like polar bears with dirty fur.


Another mix that is said to happen naturally, wholphinsare the offspring of Atlantic bottlenose dolphin and false killer whales. Currently, there are two specimens alive and are kept in captivity at the Sea Life Park in Hawaii. Their shape, color, and size meet halfway between a dolphin and a whale. Ever the number of their teeth is mixed, with an average of 66pieces.

Savannah Cats
Savannah Cats

These are the result of mixing domesticated cats and wild, medium sized, large eared African cat. They’re much bigger than the common house cat, but are actually very sociable and loyal. The International Cat Association has even declared these cats as a new breed in 2001. Savannah cats act more like dogs than cats and are often placed in leashes and taken on walks with their owners. They can even be trained tricks like fetch.
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

8 Exotic Animals that can be kept as Pets

When it comes to pets, some people think the common house cat or dog is too boring or common. Home owners are able to keep exotic pets, and there are so many to choose from. Some cities and towns will need these animals to be registered but some places are very lenient when it comes to people keeping exotic animals for pets.

Here are 8 exotic animals that you can legally own as a pet.

If you think hamsters and guanine pigs are too small, get a capybara. This animal is the world’s biggest rodent, reaching a weight of 150 pounds and a length of 4 feet. Unlike their smaller relatives, these rodents can live a pretty long life, spanning from 8 to 10 years. They do share similar traits with hamsters and guanine pigs, like their being very social, playful and smart. Capybaras will need fresh grass or veggies to eat and some water to swim in.

Fennec Fox
Fennec Fox
One of the cutest fox species around, there perky, large ears give them an innocent and childlike look. Originating from North Africa, these foxes can love to around 10 to 16 years and have recently become popular as exotic house pets. Having one is like owning a dog and a cat. They’re playful, loyal and protective, but they spend most of the day sleeping and have the same temperament as cats. Expect these guys to run around or jump on your couch because of excitement.

This adorable little animal is actually related to the raccoons. They come from the forest of South and Central Africa, and can live up to 20 to 25 years. They’re also called “honeybears” and are incredibly sociable and affectionate. Kinkajous get along well with other animals and humans since they love to play and are docile in nature.

Servals are definitely not your usual house cat. They originate from south and central Africa and can live up to 19 years. They can grow to about 2 feet tall and weight at 40 pounds, which is about the same size of a medium sized dog. Many serval owners say that they’re cat acts more like a dog. they even take them out for walks in leashes.

Kangaroos are definitely too big to keep as pets, but wallabies are the perfect size for a home with a lawn or backyard. They can weigh in at 53 pounds and grow to about 40 inches. People who love the outdoors will love the wallaby since they prefer to spend more time outside. They’re also fuzzy and cute, love to hop around and are extremely friendly and social.

Squirrel Monkey
Squirrel Monkey
Originating from the forests of South and Central America, squirrel monkeys may just be the most lovable exotic pet anyone can have. They can weigh to around 2 pounds when fully grown and are energetic, playful and a lot of fun. These animals are also very intelligent, affectionate, and social, much like a child. Their brain to body ratio is the biggest amongst the primates, so potty-training is going to be a breeze.

Hyacinth Macaw
Hyacinth Macaw
If you’re into birds, the hyacinth macaw might just be your pet. Coming from South America, these birds can grow to a whopping 3 to 4 pounds with wing spans reaching 4 feet. Keeping these as pets means you’ll need a big space and a sturdy cage since their strong beaks are known to be able to break their cages apart.

The most exotic pet of them all, chimps are prized by exotic pet lovers because they’re very similar to humans. Although endangered, some cities and countries will still let you keep them as pets. They’re very expensive and require a high upkeep. They act like a 3 year old child and are very affectionate to their owners. 
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

6 of the First Domesticated Animals

Humans have long used animals to make their lives a little easier. Since the time of the hunter-gatherers, men taught animals to help them with work, as well as guard and protect them and their food. Below are the first few animals that we had domesticated over the past thousands of years.

Dogs have stayed by our side for more than 10,000 years. They stared out like wolves, wild and free, but humans started to befriend them and domesticated them. Archaeologist can set domesticated canines apart from wild wolves though certain features, like smaller teeth and "Sagittal crest". Different dig sites across the world confirmed that canine domestication is a worldwide phenomenon

There are a number of wild cattle that were domesticated in different places and times. thetaurine, which is the most common early domesticated cattle, is said to have been domesticated around 8,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent. They are also the most common domesticated cattle used in trading. The zebu, which originated in the area around Pakistan, was domesticated 7,000 years ago. While the capeletti, which was common in the African and Egyptian areas, were used by humans as early as 9,000 years ago.

Goats and Sheep
 Goats and Sheep
We can’t forget the other common heard animals. Humans are said to have herded goats and sheep in about the same time as they domesticated dogs. Goats and sheep are mainly used as livestock, for food, milk, fur and their skin. Sheep are more common in colder areas since people needed their wool to create fabrics. 

The strongest animal that humans have ever domesticated, horses are used in agriculture, trade, constructions of empires, and even to war. These huge beasts have definitely made our lives much easier, especially when it comes to listing heavy load. There are still a few wild horses in certain parts of the world. However some wild horses are actually feral horses like the mustangs in the United States and the brumby in Australia.

Cats became our companions at around 7000 years ago when we started to grow our own food instead of gathering or hunting. As humans stored and collected grain, cats became very useful to help keep mice away. The ancient Egyptians are said to be the first people who domesticated these animals, not just to help them keep the mice away, but for religious and cultural purposes as well. they worshiped a cat-goddess and treated their cats will the highest respect. They even mummified them when they passed away.

This might sound shocking, but snails are actually one of the first animals we domesticated. Our ancestors kept them mainly for food since snails are packed with nutrients and they’re easy to take care of. Many Paleolithic digs have also found large numbers of snail shells, taking their domestication back to earlier than 12,000 years ago. Since they’re very close to containing all the nutrients we need, they’re also very famous with traders, pilgrims and even those who went in campaigns.
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Sunday, February 15, 2015

5 of the Smallest Mammals in the Planet

They might look defenseless and cute, but their size helps these small mammals to survive their environment and live to see another day. From climbing delicate branches like acrobats while hunting to moving fast and dodging predators, these petite animals use their small frames for their advantage.Here are the top 5 smallest mammals on the planet.

Pygmy possum
Pygmy possum
Although this furry little creature looks more like a chinchilla or a hamster than a kangaroo, they’re actually members of the marsupial family, along with koalas, Tasmanian devils and wombats. They can grow to about 2 to 4 inches and weigh in at 10 to 45 grams. Like larger possum species, they’re nocturnal and spend a lot of time hanging upside-down using their tails. These little possums can be seen in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia. During colder months, they prepare themselves for hibernation. After gaining all the nutrients that they need and store it in their tails, they roll up into a ball and their metabolism and body temperature reduces.

American shrew mole
American shrew mole
Weighing in at about two nickels, or 10 grams, the American shrew mole is one of the lightest mammals on the planet. They grow to about 2 inches long with a tail that reaches about an inch in length. They’re also called Gibb's shrew mole and are mostly seen in the woods in the northwestern areas of the United States and around southwestern British Columbia. The American shrew mole has a long snout that it uses to sniff out food. Its paws are equipped with pointy nails that let it burrow down into the earth and create tunnels.

Pygmy jerboa
Pygmy jerboa
The pygmy jerboa became really famous when a video of one went viral on the internet. This tiny animal looks like a mixture of a baby kangaroo and a mouse. Recorded as the smallest rodent in the planet, it only weighs in at 3 grams and grows to about 2 inches. An identifying feature of this animal is its tail which can grow 3 times longer than its body, averaging at 6 inches long. A native to Afghanistan and Pakistan, certain species are also seen in China and Central Asia.

Etruscan shrew
Etruscan shrew
Commonly weighing at 2 grams, these animals reach a length of 1.5 to 2 inches, not including their tails which take up 1/3 of their total body length. At most, they can reach about 2.3 inches in total body length. Although it might be small, this shrew is known for its huge appetite. Eating roughly twice its body weight in a day, it’s constantly munching on something. Its heart also beats at 25 beats a second which makes it seem like the little guy is constantly getting mini heart attacks. Etruscan shrews are common is the grassy fields of North Africa and Southern Europe.

Bumblebee bat
Bumblebee bat
Although there are a number of shrews on the list, the smallest mammal in the planet has to be the bumblebee bat. Weighing at just below2 grams and reaching a length of 1 to 1.3 inches. Recently discovered during the 1970’s this bat is also known as Kitti's hog-nosed bat, named after the zoologist that discovered it and its pig-like snout. These bats live in certain limestone caves in southeast Myanmar and western Thailand.
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Saturday, February 14, 2015

7 of the Strangest Looking Animals on Earth

Not all animals end up as extravagant and colorful as peacocks or as cute and cuddly as giant pandas. Some of them look very strange and sometimes even scary. However, even if these animals are a bit of a fright to look at, most of them are actually pretty harmless.
Below are 7 of the strangest looking animals on earth.

California condor
California condor
A very rare bird that’s found in North America, the California condor shows a lot of grace when it glides above the deserts and canyons of North America’s west coast. Up close, however, this giant bird definitely isn’t photogenic. Its head is bald, adapting to its nature as a scavenger. Feathers on the head might become bothersome and clotted with blood as it feeds on carrions.

This fish looks more like a ball of goo with a face. It’s slimy, gelatinous appearance actually helps it survive its natural habitat. Blobfishes live in very deep parts of the world’s oceans, so its pudding-like body helps it endure the high pressure and stay buoyant.

Naked mole rat
Naked mole rat
Life’s very difficult when you can’t see. However this isn’t an issue for naked mole rats. These hairless rodents spend most of their time underground, dinging for insects and worms in colonies. Their furless bodies help them adapt to the underground environment and they have very little need for sight. For an animal its size, they have a pretty long lifespan, reaching about 30 years.

Proboscis monkey
Proboscis monkey
We humans might think that a giant nose is embarrassing, but for these monkeys, the bigger their nose is, the better it helps with looking for a mate. Proboscis monkey live in groups composed of a male and multiple females and their young. Some all-male groups also exist, composing of juvenile males. Their big nose also helps them make loud warning calls.

A wild member of the pig family, these animals are characterized by their snout, medium sized tusk that protrudes from their mouth, and a curvature that looks like a wart on their face, hence their name. They also have a mane that runs down their backside. Commonly seen in the grasslands and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa, these pigs are well adapted to surviving the harsh heat of their environment.

Star-nosed mole
Star-nosed mole
These moles look like any other regular mole, except for their noses. They have a bizarre star shaped nose which they actually use to help them find their way around their habitat. Star-nosed moles have 22 small, fleshy appendages on their snout that function more like sensitive fingers. Their snouts contain 25,000 sensory receptors that the more uses to guide itself though their underground lair.

This creature, which looks more like a gremlin, is actually related to monkeys. Not only do they look unusual, they also have strange traits like tapping on tree branches and trunks with their long, bony fingers to looks for grub and insects. Found in Madagascar, many locals say that this animal brings bad luck, but it’s actually just a harmless creature of the night.
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Friday, February 13, 2015


The technology have been looked into as most useful for humans. Little did anybody realize, test-tube babies could be the best tool in saving a dying animal specietoo.

Yes, there is much promise that test tube baby seems to hold in the fight to save this dwindling rhino population. Experts from three continents agree that they may have finally the solution. But though the idea seems perfect, making it happen is another thing.
baby rhino
The Science of Extinction

Technology definitely is a game-changer. Where many people would have thought it impossible to have children, test tube babies bridge a widening gap and brought hope and untold joy to many a-families.

Animals, on the other hand, can make the most of technology. As what many pundits know, extinction never happen overnight. It is a gradual process. To be arrested, a holistic approach to the problem must be brought to the fore.
Animal caretakers at the world-famous San Diego Zoo have recently made public of the fact that Angalifu, one of two white rhinos it keeps, had died at 44, a ripe age for the animal.

Immediately the incident posed a very unique challenge for every animal activist and wildlife conservationist in the planet. You see with Angalifu’s death, there are only 5 remaining members of the species in the whole world: one female currently in California, another in the Czech Republic, plus three in Kenya, a group consisting of two females and one male. And that’s it.

An Uphill Climb

But these complications are just the beginning. It goes even more complex. You see of the five remaining, four are already in their final years of existence being in their 40’s, a good record for a specie with a lifetime average of 43. That leaves but one young female, born in 2000, to be young.

In an interview with AFP, curator of mammals for the San Diego Zoo Safari Park Randy Rieches, disclosed, “"It is seriously going to be an uphill battle. There is absolutely no doubt about that.

"We're looking at a bunch of different options," he opened up. Options like in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination are being looked into. The working team admits the process is like "grasping at straws at this point in time."

A Long and Winding Road

The compounded problem is the result of the long unsuccessful struggle against poachers in Africa. Rhinos have commanded such a price that the animal has been hunted for decades, decimating their numbers in the process. Once classic example is the Northern white rhino which is barely existing because of massive poaching for their horns. Added to this are the complications of wars and ethnic conflict, the World Wildlife Foundation reports.

Put in bad decisions and you have a specie hanging on to dear life. Ten years ago, for instance, some 30 animals were living wild within the Garamba National Park, a conservation area set by the Democratic Republic of the Congo ( DRC ).
Mindful of the threat of extinction, conservationists organized to have them moved to Kenya where they can be better treated and looked after. However, the DRC government made it clear that the animals are not to be taken out of the country.

Note Rieches, an expert on rhinos for decades, “"That proved to be a very poor decision, because they weren't able to protect them because of the remoteness."
And so one by one the animals fall. Add illegal commerce to the mix and you’ve got your powder keg waiting to blow. Rieches added, “Now it has become so horrific with rhino poaching because rhino horn prices gone through the roof. They're doing it now with gunships. The rangers on the ground are so severely outmatched. It's just almost impossible. They are literally putting their lives on the line to try to stop the rhino poaching."

Fate Hanging in the Balance
Looking at the conundrum, he points out that there is a need for the 3 distinct institutions from 3 different countries to work together as one to have a flicker of hope to save the animal. Namely these are: the Czech Republic's Dvur Kralove Zoo, Kenya's OlPejeta Conservancy and of course San Diego.

They are making progress but it is in inches. Already, a Czech expert dropped the California facility a visit. So did one German expert who went to Kenya to obtain semen samples.

TheUS expert exclaimed, “"We're actually in partnership with everyone that still has animals. So everyone is trying methods on their own, but working together with samples."

So in the hope of widening the chances as much as possible, semen samples have been frozen. They are looking at two approaches: one is to fertilize the eggs in the lab or what is called as the “test tube scenario”; the other is to impregnate a close relative, a southern white rhino, a specie with far more numbers.

To give the cross-breeding a more Northern rhino flavor, female calves produced from that combination would have to be bred once again with the sperm of a northern white. If successful, the end-product would be 15/16 pure northern white.
It’s a long haul and Rieches is not expecting anything drastic. To boot, the gestation period for a healthy female rhino is 17 months.

The rhino expert concluded, “"So this is a long term project. We're in it for the long haul... it will take time before something comes to fruition, it certainly will be a couple of years."

Rieches see the struggle as his own personal fight. Working as part of the conservancy group San Diego Zoo Global for 36 years, the rhino conservationist sits also on the board of directors of the world-renowned International Rhino Foundation.
It things get ugly and the white rhino dies, it will drive a stake into his heart.
As a parting shot he says, "A large portion of my life has been rhinos... it's going to be a huge, huge thing for me if this happened on my watch, if this happened during my lifetime."

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Shunning the Lab to Save Millions of Trafficked Animals

There are many ways to get the world to start saving the wildlife. For instance, not too long ago an enterprising conservationist chose to do his part by getting himself to be swallowed by a giant snake, an anaconda to be exact. A lady with a Ph. D. who is used to working within the confines of her secluded work has set her sights to join the fight and get her hands dirty. And the best way to do it she decided is to take precious time off her laboratory.

The Booming Illegal Industry

It may have managed to stay under the radar but poachers are raking in big when it comes to the number of animals taken from the wilds of Brazil. Recent estimates pega whopping 38 million animals are caught every year satisfying the global demand illegal it maybe. Most of those taken are birds, poised to be caged for pet lovers all over the world, mostly from Rio de Janeiro or Madrid or Sydney or New York.

Credit it to Brazil’s burgeoning demand for exotic pets, its largely weakened laws on wildlife trade compounded with the light penalties meted against violators that the illegal poaching on its wildlife has grown into a $2 billion industry.

Not if Juliana Machado Fereira can’t help it with the simplest of tools: information.

Enter Juliana

Juliana may just be the right person to get the job done. Armed with the right information she is in a good position to raise the fight for wildlife a notch higher.

Based in São Paulo, the wildlife conservationist affirms that it is customary for Brazil and many other South American nations to keep wild songbirds, parrots and macaws as pets. And that this is deeply ingrained right into their very culture.

"Most people have no idea that buying a parrot can have a devastating impact on nature, and support a whole system of illegal activities," she shares. "That's why educating consumers is crucial. Often, just giving them facts changes minds and behavior."

That is the goal of Freeland Brasil,an advocacy Machado Fereira has founded to fight illegal wildlife trafficking. And though she is constantly working with law enforcement at the forefront of what may become a full-blown war against trafficking, her organization wages a different side of the war – raising awareness of the problem via films and lectures and various educational programs for university students and high scholars alike.

Her group informs the public that more often than not, smuggled birds are prone to be mistreated and injured while in transit, with most of them ending up poorly-treated as caged pets. A lot of times, birds are not getting their needs answered, given the wrong food and placed in too small cages.

Yet, Juliana’s aims go beyond these individual animals. She affirms, "I care about the individual birds I rescue. But my real focus is on survival of whole species.”

"Brazil's wildlife is plundered in such huge numbers every day, severe imbalances are occurring within ecosystems," she expounds. "Extinctions of entire local populations can happen, and that affects many other prey and predator species up and down the food chain."

In the bigger picture, the illegal trade in Brazil has long-term side effects, definitely not beneficial for the human race. Altering local ecosystems result into inbreeding problems, weakening seed dispersal and producing inadequate pollination on many farms.

Taking a Stance with the Police

Yet, to a large extent, Juliana has contributed a lot more than just providing the right information to buyers of illegally-acquired wildlife. A large portion of her work is targeted at developing handy scientific techniques that give law enforcement agencies leverage in battling traffickers.

Armed with a Ph.D. in genetics, she was able to come up with species-specific molecular markers enabling police to identify the exact origins of a seized bird, for instance. Also, this acts like a lie detector separating legally bred species with illegally acquired. Additionally, this molecular tracking makes it a lot easier to return rehabilitated birds to the spot where they should be.

The delicacy of the matter is echoed by Machado Ferreria who stipulates, “"Even within the same species, distinct groups with unique genetic differences can evolve as they adapt to particular environments." Further, she added, “So if a scarlet macaw that was stolen from a forest in the northeast is returned to a forest in the northwest, it could mate and jeopardize the long-term health and viability of that local population."

A Most Versatile Wildlife Activist

Machado Ferreira’s work has seen her forging a decade-long research collaboration with the world-renowned U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services National Forensics Laboratory. Over the years, however, she has learned to spend lots of time outside her lab.

Her Freeland Brazil, a global partner of Thailand's Freeland Foundation– another group at the forefront of putting wildlife trafficking and human slavery to an end –gives police needed training to lower the escalating death rate of seized animals.
To date, she’s putting key knowledge into a guidebook to help law enforcement agencies in the fight against illegal trafficking.

It’s no wonder Machado Ferreira’s name has become synonymous with wildlife conservation efforts catapulting her to the national scene. And she’s upping the ante. Helped by SOS Fauna,an animal welfare group, she goes with law enforcement in the field, even joining key police raids helping identify and count animals in the process. This work is fraught with danger as it revolves around danger-prone street markets.

"Traffickers don't want to risk bringing all their merchandise to a fair, so police intelligence information [has] also led us to homes near the markets where illegal cargo was held," she explains. "We would stake out surveillance in front of those houses and then join the raid to seize the animals."

She is bringing the fight even to the political arena, lobbying for stronger anti-trafficking laws to Brazilian legislators. However, she knows that the road to redemption is still a long way to go saying: "The lobby which supports the wild pet trade is very strong, powerful, and well-financed."

She envisions a cross-border network much like the more successful ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network and acknowledges a great need to be bold now saying, "We need to act now—or we'll have nothing left to protect."
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With the rate these animals are disappearing, it may not be long before we’ll see the last of them. Granting we would be able to grab the chance.

The human race may be in for an unpleasant surprise. You see these animals are already hanging on to their last breath, and yet we have done essentially the same things that have pushed them to that place. And if we don’t do a drastic turnaround it won’t be long before we find out that truly you’ll never miss the water until the well runs dry.

We’ve done a some in-depth research and we’ve narrowed down the list to 10. Here are 10 of the most endangered species on Earth in the year 2014:

#10:Sumatran Tiger
Sumatran Tiger
These tigers which live in the Indonesian island of Sumatra are at their lowest numbers, hanging on to survival mode. And the situation is dire. Already their closest cousins have lost the war. Neighboring tigers namely Bali tigers and Javan tigers have folded the flag, not a single entity is alive today. In short, extinct. Rough estimate of Sumatran tigers place them at about 400 to 600 individuals.

#9: Cross River Gorilla
Cross River Gorilla
If you think this hairy beast looks powerful enough to fend for itself – especially with those big forearms, then you’ll have to think again. Currently, there are only 200-300 individuals are left in the whole Planet Earth. That is not even equal to the number of days in a year, barely right?
But that only shows how endangered this specie is. Cross River Gorillas are endemic to the forrest hills and mountains found in Nigeria and Cameroon border. Specifically by the waters of the river named as Cross. The specie is known as the most endangered of all the African apes.

They may be seen enjoying the sun like most sea creatures would. But they’re numbers are really down low. Endemic to the Northern part of the Gulf of California, Vaquitas which means “little cow” in Spanish, are dangerously nearing extinction. For today, there are but 100 to 300 “little cows” that are roaming the seas. And that’s assuming nobody died in that last count.

#7: White-headed Langur
White-headed Langur
For a moment there, you’d think they were friars with white head gears. And harmless too.

But the good memories are but ages ago. Today, these intelligent creatures are languishing in the wild. Their numbers have become but a fraction of their original population. So much poaching have been done, the rate of their annihilation is stagerring. It is said that over 80% of their total numbers are lost. And only 70 are left in the wild today.

#6: North Pacific Right Whale
North Pacific Right Whale
Money can certainly affect everyone, including these large mamooths of the deep!
Hunted for commercial purposes, these sea mammals which lives mostly in the Pacific Ocean, in the Northeast part, are slowly reaching critical population count. Where there used to thousands roaming the vast ocean, today there lives not even a 100, pundits claim. So many have been hunted, rough estimates say there are but 50 lest in the deep, blue sea.

#5:Javan Rhinoceros
Javan Rhinoceros
Such a ferocious-looking animal, don’t you think! Looking at them you can picture out a tank of an animal. And with a tusk that looks as sharp as a Japanese samurai’s blade, anyone would think twice to mess with these Javan rhinoceros.
But contrary to what you see, these animals have been the target of massive poaching. The scary result: Once widespread and numerous, today they number but 40 and that is all in captivity. All that many believe to be the remaining surviving individuals are housed in Ujung Kulon National Park located West Java, Indonesia.

#4: Amur Leopard
Amur Leopard
Sometimes beauty can be one’s doom. Take the Amur Leopard for instance. Its thick and beautiful fur is a valued by many making the Amur Leopard one of the most sought-after animals for the hunt.
Today, while these specie roam in large numbers in Southeast Russia and Northeast China, they’re but a handful. Numbering only about 20 in the wild. And many illegally-acquired skins belonging to these creatures of beauty have been confiscated by border guards. Sad fate for such a beautiful animal!

#3: Northern Sportive Lemur
Northern Sportive Lemur
Talk about being on the brink. There are so few of these Northern sportive lemursleft in the wild their numbers have gone down to but 18 in Northern Madagascar. All told.
Now, if that was bad news already wait to hear the next. None of these big-eyed creatures exist in captivity. Looks like there is still tons and tons of work to do for animal conservationist and for all people to pitch in.

Dubbed to be the Asian Unicorn, you’d be surprised at the sharpness of its horns. With the proper angle, you’d think it had only but one and not a set, perhaps reason enough for its unicorn name.
However, all we have today left from this animal may be its footprints as scientists have pointed out this seemingly magical creature is already part of the list of extinct animals. Good to hear somebody way back 2013 caught one in his camera. Fact remains, getting a reasonable number of their population is close to impossible.

#1: Ivory-billed Woodpecker
Ivory-billed Woodpecker
It may be the biggest of all woodpeckers in the world, making itself a classic act all its own, more like a bird royalty. But all their regality maybe but a memory as rumors has it not one exists today in the whole planet.
Used to be endemic to the Southeastern United States, the specie may have been already decimated. Although reports have emerged in the past that some may have survived man’s intrusions, these are few and far between. And many experts believe it is virtually impossible to do an honest assessment today.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Red Wolf

The red wolf is a medium sized species of wolf, found in the coastal marshlands of southern parts of eastern North America. By the 1970s the pure red wolf was thought to be extinct in the wild, but a population has since been reintroduced in North Carolina that is said to now be up to 100 red wolf individuals.
Red Wolf
The red wolf was roamed across the south-eastern United States from Texas to Florida to New York. The red wolf's historical habitat included areas of forest, swampland and coastal prairies where it would of been one of the top predators. Today however, the world's red wolf population is confined to a protected area in North Carolina.
Red Wolf
The red wolf is generally smaller in size than the grey wolf, found in more northern parts of North America. Red wolves are named for their cinnamon coloured fur, which is brownish-red with dark patches on their backs. Red wolves also have broad noses and large looking ears for the size of their head.
Red Wolf
In a similar way to other canines, and indeed other wolf species, the red wolf is a very sociable animal, living in pack with a number of other red wolf individuals. Red wolf packs usually contain a dominant male and female and their offspring and contain between 2 and 10 members. The red wolf is also a highly territorial animal, with the red wolf pack guarding it's range from intrusion by other red wolf packs in the area.

Although red wolves are known to hunt together as a group in order to catch a larger animal such as a deer, red wolves primarily eat smaller ground dwelling animals such as rabbits and rodents. Red wolves also eat birds, raccoons and other small animals. When trying to hunt a larger animal, the red wolf pack works together to confuse and corner their prey.

In their historical range, red wolves were considered to be one of the most dominant predators within their environment, only coming under threat from larger canines such as grey wolves or the occasional coyote. Human hunters wiped out the red wolf population in large parts of their natural range, and the population was finally thought to become extinct primarily due to habitat loss.

Red wolves are usually able to reproduce by the time they are 2 years old and begin mating in the warmer spring months of February and March. The female red wolf gives birth to a litter of up to 10 cubs after a gestation period that lasts for around 60 days. Cubs are born blind and are nursed by the rest of the pack until they are able to hunt for themselves and either remain with their parents or leave to start a pack of their own.

Today, the red wolf is no longer extinct in the wild since their reintroduction to North Carolina in 1987, and the population their is now thought to be just over 100 red wolf individuals. Nevertheless, the red wolf is still considered to be a critically endangered animal and is regarded as the 10th most endangered animal species in the world.
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