Endangered river dolphin species’ numbers on the rise

Once believed to number in the thousands, the dolphins of the Mekong River were devastated by war, hunting, and indiscriminate net fishing.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/04/irawaddy-river-dolphin-population-biggest-20-years/

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Resilient Animals – Sea Turtles

Find out about the ancient mariners’ oldest known ancestor, how certain adaptations may have helped the reptiles survive, and the conservation efforts being made to save these creatures.

10 longest living animals on Earth

Humans have a relatively long lifespan with a maximum age of around 110 years. However, there are many other animals on earth which can live much, much longer than this.

These include certain reptiles, mammals, fish, and birds. The lifespan of animals is usually measured in terms of the average age that members of the species die at, rather than the oldest age they can reach.

#1 Immortal Jellyfish
This is one of, if not the only animal species on earth which never dies. Members of this species are able to turn themselves from an adult into a baby through a process known as “transdifferentiation”. The jellyfish then reproduces via asexual reproduction, creating hundreds of identical copies of itself, and therefore never dying – in theory!

#2 Ocean Quahog
This species of Arctic clam is the longest living species known to man. Many specimens of the shellfish have been collected that were over 400 years old. The oldest ever know died in captivity aged an incredible 507 years. It was collected during a scientific expedition, and may have lived even longer if left alone.

Read entire post 10 Longest Living Animals on Earth | GreenThumble

Resilient Animals – How Climate Change affects animals

Indeed, scientists were astonished to see that in November, a time when the region enters its coldest period, sea ice retreated in the Arctic.

A similar phenomenon was noted in 2013 when a chunk of sea ice as large as Denmark was removed from the Arctic at a time when sea ice is usually growing. It is therefore no surprise that the Earth’s surface temperatures in 2016 were the highest temperatures ever recorded.

The impacts of global warming and climate change are becoming increasingly clear, but they not only impact our natural environment. They have impacts on all its inhabitants, both fauna and flora. Our biodiversity is affected by changes in climate and other extreme events. At the same time, climate change also worsens other threats like habitat destruction, overexploitation, and disease.

The impacts of climate change on species are clearly illustrated by looking at the cases of the following species, prioritised on the basis of the detrimental effect climate change is having on them.

Read entire article How Climate Change Affects Animals | GreenThumble

How wildlife bounced back after Civil War

Gorongosa National Park, in central Mozambique, along the southeastern coast of Africa, is rising anew from the ashes and ruination of war. The latest numbers from its 2018 aerial wildlife count, just released, show that the park’s populations of large mammals, devastated during the conflict, continue to rebound.

This is a place—rare in Africa, cause for jubilation—where most species of big fauna are vastly more numerous now than in 1992, at the end of the civil war. Surveys then found just 15 African buffalo, six lions, 100 hippo, and a handful of blue wildebeest.

By the latest counts, the buffalo population is above one thousand head, hippo are at nearly 550, wildebeest above 600. Lions, though harder to count, are thriving too amid the expanded prey base.

Read entire article Devastated by war, this African park’s wildlife is now thriving | National Geographic

The unique wildlife of the Scottish Highlands

Watch reindeer forage for food and mountain hares seemingly vanish into a snowy backdrop. The Sense of Place series offers an intimate view of the most wild and remote habitats still left in the U.K, aiming to show the true value of these rare and fragile ecosystems.

What Sperm Whales can teach us about humanity

Sperm whales are only at the surface for about 15 or 20 minutes at a time, yet photographer Brian Skerry is able to capture beautiful moments of these giant undersea predators.

He experienced the rare opportunity to photograph a social gathering of six sperm whales near the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica. He witnessed fascinating behavior such as whales playfully biting each other, rolling around, and babysitting. This assignment made Skerry realize that sperm whales are complex animals that have identity and personality, and exhibit traits similar to human beings.

Rescued Scottish Wildcat kittens among last of their kind

These two Scottish wildcat kittens are among the last of their kind. A type of European wildcat found only in the Scottish Highlands, around 35 individuals remain. The brother and sister were found alone in the wild, at seven weeks old.

Conservation organization Wildcat Haven rescued the orphans. They are now at a rehabilitation center in a large enclosure, with minimal human contact. The two kittens will be released in the West Highlands in the spring, when they are old enough to survive in the wild.

Though they appear similar, wildcats can be as much as twice the size of domestic cats. They have mostly unbroken stripes, and thick, blunt tails with distinct bands and a black tip. Keen nocturnal hunters, they commonly hunt small mammals, like mice, voles, and hares. Hybridization, a result of interbreeding with feral and domestic cats, threatens the Scottish wildcats’ survival. Conservationists are working to protect the wildcats’ habitat, and to neuter domestic cats in targeted areas.

Tiger population sees hopeful rise in Nepal

Scientists estimate there are now 235 wild bengal tigers in Nepal, a huge leap from 2009, when there were only about 120 of the endangered animals.

In just the last four years, the population jumped nearly 20 percent, up from 198 of the animals, according to analysis performed by Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, along with conservation groups including Panthera and the Zoological Society of London.

The groups used images from camera traps and employed statistical models for the estimate of animals in five of the country’s national parks. Scientists hope success with Nepal’s tiger conservation ‘recipe’ might inspire other countries within wild tiger ranges to increase their efforts to protect and study the iconic and beloved big cats.

> Read entire article Nepal’s Tiger Population Nearly Doubles in Last Decade | National Geographic

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Fur Seals overcome extinction on ‘Resurrection Island’

It’s a life of extremes for Antarctic fur seals. Bulls fight to the death for breeding rights, while seal moms work to raise their adorable pups. And National Geographic wildlife filmmaker Bertie Gregory was there to capture it all.

National Geographic wildlife filmmaker Bertie Gregory takes audiences on an adventure to iconic South Georgia Island. Sailing through the roughest ocean on the planet in a 50-foot boat, his team’s target is the sub-Antarctic island, known for its breathtaking scenery and high concentration of wildlife.

Rescuers release 20 Javan slow lorises back into the wild

International Animal Rescue recently released 20 Javan slow lorises in Bandung, West Java. Javan slow lorises (Nycticebus javanicus) are protected primates and yet are heavily trafficked in the wildlife trade.

They are widely kept as exotic pets. The 20 animals were surrendered by their owners between 2015 and 2018. After passing a series of medical exams and a rehabilitation process, they were then transferred to Masigit-Kareumbi Conservation Forest Area and kept in enclosures to adapt to their natural habitat. The forest is a protected area with an appropriate ecosystem for their recovery. Conservationists will observe the animals for up to four weeks to see if they are ready to be released into the wild.

How a new generation is saving Zambia’s lions

National Geographic Explorer Thandiwe Mweetwa and Fulbright Scholar Henry Mwape are conservationists working with the Zambian Carnivore Program to ensure these big cats will be around for generations to come.