Sierra Backdrop~

Tanya’s comment: Stopping to appreciate and enjoy nature helps us understand why it must be protected.

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transforms seedy,
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into splendid.
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Snow blanketing,

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drought ravaged land.
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Mother Nature cooling,
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her still feverish child.
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Cheers to you from fragile California~

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Izilwane Zasendle~

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This Zulu phrase means wild animals. There are about 12,000 white, and 627 black rhinos in Kruger National Park. This one is looking at you for protection!
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Leopards in Kruger are rare and rarely seen.
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We were very lucky to see this one! The Kruger population is estimated at approximately 1000, although they are hard to count, because they are hard to find.
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1,700 lions are thought to live in Kruger.
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There are about 37,000 cape buffalo, and yes this one is sleeping. They do that a lot in water holes!
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There are only around 300 nyala. This is a male and two females. Quite a sighting of beautiful, shy, creatures! (Late addition: My blogging friend Quiall, see comments, found a baby nyala’s legs in this photo that I didn’t see. Count the legs and you’ll find the baby!)
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2000 warthogs,
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5000 waterbuck,
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over 127,000 impala,
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and more than 8,000…

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Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction

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Courtesy of Wikimedia.org

“A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.”

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If Rhinos Go Extinct

Fight for Rhinos

To every thing there is a yin and yang, a balance. The web of all species is intricately connected, each relies on the others.

When we let a species go extinct, we upset the balance. So if we fail the rhino, what will happen to the rest of the savanna?

Rhinos are mega-herbivores, the lawn maintenance crew of the savanna. Their job to the ecosystem is to carve out paths for other creatures (eating), make water holes (digging), and to help germinate plants (defecating).

rhinos eating grass

It may seem simplistic, but they are the only sizable creatures in this habitat to do it. The other mega-herbivores, elephants affect different parts of the savanna, as they eat from a different menu, browsing on taller bushes and trees.

Rhinos eat an average of 23.6 kg during the course of each day. The dung piles they share can be 5 metres wide and 1 metre deep. That’s a sizable…

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iNaturalist.org

 

I recently posted a conservation article on my group blog, League of Bloggers, that mentioned a website called iNaturalist.org. The site has proved to be an ingenious way of gathering scientific data through the help of non-scientists who love nature. I’d like to give some more information about it here. If you’re a nature lover who takes photos of wildlife, this is a great opportunity to help with the conservation efforts of your favorite plants and animals!

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Tiger Breath!

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We got close enough to see the tiger’s breath! Click to enlarge and see for yourself. If I had to come home from vacation, I must admit this was a very good way to do it!!
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The Sumatran Tigers are in a brand new, outdoor, 5.2 acre, multi-level exhibit at The San Diego Safari (Wild Animal) Park. The exhibit houses breeding tigers and is filled with trees, plants, waterfalls, streams and ponds.
There are currently approximately 400 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild.
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There were originally nine sub-species of tigers in our world, but three of these are now extinct due to habitat destruction and poaching. All tiger sub-species are critically endangered.
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Poachers kill Sumatran Tigers for their bones which are used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine.
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The San Diego Zoo and Park supports tiger conservation by breeding tigers to insure genetic diversity through cooperative exchange. It also actively supports…

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Dolphin Defense

Walking with the Alligators

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A Dolphin group in Xcaret, Mexico
Picture credit:  Truncatus

Today is feel good Sunday, so in Honor of this day of positive  thinking, here is a  feel good story.

Do you need or want,  yet another reason to fight for and defend wild animals?

Is it just me, or do Dolphins always look happy and like they are smiling?

I give you this story,  in the hopes that you too will become a wildlife or any animal defender from this point on~

Recently in the waters off of New Zealand, near Cook Strait,  British swimmer Adam Walker, was saved from the jaws, (truly sorry for that) of a Great White Shark.

Walker  was about to become lunch while swimming for Whale and Dolphin Conservation,  in support of the very animals that saved him.

This was his seventh swim for the group to raise money and awareness for Whales and Dolphins around the world.

The pod of…

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Discarded Fishing Line Lethal To Birds And Marine Mammals

Berkley, one of the largest suppliers of fishing line, started the Berkley Conservation Institute, giving fishermen the chance to send in their used fishing lines. Stores and marinas also send Berkley their old lines in bulk. “We turn fishing line into park benches and fish-habs,” said Ji Martin, conservation director for the Berkley Conservation Institute.

Ann Novek( Luure)--With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors

Discarded fishing line and other marine debris are killing wildlife in huge numbers.

More than one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year from marine debris,according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Fishing line is the number one culprit cleanup volunteers encounter when they try to save wildlife,according to the Ocean Conservancy organization.

“When these animals get caught in this line, it’s a slow and agonizing death,” said Jim Walker spokesman for Mississippi’s Department of Wildlife Fisheries & Parks.

 

http://article.wn.com/view/2014/01/18/Discarded_fishing_line_lethal_threat_to_birds_and_marine_mam/#/related_news

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The Red Panda: A Species in Need of Protection

Photo courtesy of RedPandaNetwork.org

Photo courtesy of RedPandaNetwork.org

 

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is currently keeping a close eye on red pandas and their habitat across India, Nepal and Bhutan to better understand and help this adorable, but declining species.

The WWF describes the red panda:

“Most people don’t know that China’s famous black and white bear has a little red cousin. The red panda is slightly larger than a domestic cat with a bear-like body and thick russet fur. The belly and limbs are black, and there are white markings on the side of the head and above its small eyes.

Red pandas are very skillful and acrobatic animals that predominantly stay in trees. They use their long, bushy tails for balance and to cover themselves in winter, presumably for warmth. Primarily an herbivore, the name panda is said to come from the Nepali word ‘ponya,’ which means bamboo or plant eating animal.”

Almost 50% of the red panda’s habitat is in the Eastern Himalayas. Because its survival depends on such a limited area, it is extremely vulnerable to any alterations in its habitat. That’s why the loss of nesting trees and bamboo, which provides their main source of food, is causing a decline in red panda populations across much of their range.

Photo courtesy of images.NationalGeographic.com

Photo courtesy of images.NationalGeographic.com

One of the ways that the WWF is trying to help red pandas is by working with yak herders and other community groups to reduce human impact on its habitat. Fines and/or jail time for people caught hurting or killing the animals have also been instituted. This punishment is meant to deter poaching- red panda fur caps and hats have been found for sale in Bhutan.

For more info about these beautiful but vulnerable animals and how you can help them, visit worldwildlife.org.

 

The Arctic Fox: Another Possible Casualty of Global Warming/Climate Change

Photo courtesy of imagecache6.allposters.com

Photo courtesy of imagecache6.allposters.com

Arctic foxes are beautiful animals, perfectly adapted to their climate. Although their looks are cute and almost delicate compared to other foxes,  their home range is quite large and encompasses the coldest places in the world- the entire Arctic tundra, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia, Norway, Scandinavia, and even Iceland. These animals are so tough that they are the only native land mammal in their area of Iceland, according to Defenders of Wildlife. 

Of their several ingenious adaptations that make it possible to survive in such extreme conditions is deep, thick fur which allows them to maintain a consistent body temperature, as well as compact bodies which minimize the surface area that is exposed to the cold air.

Unfortunately for this amazing creature, it is under threat of extinction due to a variety of factors. They are prime targets of the fur trade and have fallen victim to diseases spread from domestic dogs.

Then, of course, there’s global warming. The Defenders of Wildlife webpage about the arctic fox explains:

“The Arctic fox is losing ground to the larger red fox. Arctic foxes are specially adapted to thrive in the far north. Where conditions are less extreme, however, this highly specialized species is generally out-competed by its cousin, the more adaptable red fox.

As climate change takes its toll and the snow-line continues to recede further and further north, the range of the Arctic fox shrinks, too, giving way to the northward advance of the red fox.”

The longer we humans take to acknowledge that the scientific proof of global warming is certain and irrefutable, the less time we will have to halt the extinctions of animals such as the arctic fox- animals which are very dependent on the specific conditions of their home habitats. Conditions that, as we argue and argue, will continue to shift and change.