Wildlife News December 2017

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Heart-breaking video of starving polar bear stirs controversy among conservationists

I guess a lot of you have seen this picture/video passing by on their newsfeed. But overall, it’s a stage some polar bears are going through. It’s a tough time and some seasons are better to find food than others. Polar bears have this huge layer of fat to survive the cold, but also to survive periods which are less productive for finding food. In the end, polar bears are top predators who are kept in balance by the availability of food, it’s just the circle of life. Although potentially climate change can be blamed for some of the cases, or that it happens more.

Check out the article on FoxNews here.

The World of Social Media: combatting animal cruelty and visitor monitoring on protected areas

Selfies – Combatting Animal Cruelty

Instagram has incorporated a new alert that pops up whenever a user uses a hashtag that could be associated with behaviour which could be harmful to animals. It’s in collaboration with World Animal Protection, WWF and the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.
Check out the article

It’s still an area where awareness is a big part of the problem, please check out the Wildlife Selfie Code.

Monitoring visitors in Protected areas by Social Media

Social media data is increasingly used as a proxy for human activity in different environments, including protected areas. This data is very important for management and marketing, but often very intensive and expensive. This study shows that social media activity is highly associated with park popularity, and social media-based monthly visitation patterns match relatively well with the official visitor counts. Although social media data tent to perform better in frequently visited parks, this data should always be used with caution. Over 60% of the national parks globally have Twitter or Instagram activity, which could potentially inform global nature conservation. Check out the full article here.

Light pollution lures night-time pollinators away from plants

A study has showed that plants growing near streetlights are pollinated far less often at night. They also studied the global effect and figured out daytime pollinators (often more numerous) were unable to solve the lack of night pollination. It’s just another sign we need to be careful with the way we are using our resources and dealing with nature. Find out more…

Can science bring the Tasmanian tiger back from extinction?

The Tasmanian tiger or thylacine got extinct in 1936. After 80 years and the increase of knowledge about DNA research, some scientist believes it may be possible to bring it back from extinction. A study has managed to complete the nuclear genome of the Tasmanian tiger. They used tissue from a one-month-old young which was preserved in alcohol. This being said, they are still far from bringing this animal back to the Australian system. Besides all the technology development which is still needed, there is also the rising question of we should do it if we are capable of it. The main reason to do so would be the fact that we humans actually brought it to extinction and if we could bring it back, we should. Anyway, there is still a long way to go, both on ethical reasoning and technological development. Find out more…

Scientists call for cheetahs to be listed as Endangered

First of all, why does it matter? It’s just a matter of awareness and the potential ability to get more funds for conservation and monitoring efforts. This being said it is important to acknowledge the state of populations. And the Cheetah is definitely not doing great. There are only about 3 500 left in southern Africa and about half of them are living in unprotected areas. It’s quite clear this is not a great situation to be in, and bringing more awareness is one of the key efforts to make. Changing the IUCN Red List status for the cheetah from Vulnerable to Endangered could open some doors to achieve this goal. Find out more…

Camera traps reveal surprises in Peru

Some nice pictures and videos about species living in forested areas in the Tahuamanu Province, Peru.  (Source: mongabay.com)

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TOP wildlife lists:

Top 10 happy environmental stories of 2017

Top 20 New species of 2017
Including 7 species of silky anteater, not 1.

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Wildlife News December 2017  
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