Monday, 2 July 2012

Wildlife stuff from the week 25/6 - 1/7/12

'Giant tortoise Lonesome George dies'
Lonesome George was the last of his species; conservationists had spent years trying to breed from him, but to no avail. Why do i feel so upset about a tortoise that i didn't even meet? They seem so friendly, i suppose...

Unlike humans, who can only identify water by temperature change as it is entered, hummingbirds, along with many insects, can detect moisture itself.
This is known as hygeroreceptivity, which is used to identify which plants have greater stores of nectar inside them - a useful ability for animals that have such energy-intensive existences. It's no good for them to suck at an empty flower!

Future extinctions associated with habitat loss could be higher than currently predicted.
“Once you’ve accounted for the smaller geographic range of, for example, amphibians compared with mammals,” said Jetz, “we find striking and almost rule-like consistency among continents. The way the number of endemic species increases with area suggests that potential extinctions due to diminished habitat are approximately proportional to the area destroyed. This highlights the potentially severe consequences of habitat loss on species diversity.”

[video] Live videos feeds of puffins, nesting on a remote Maine island. (Un)surprisingly dull!
'Remote US puffin colony up close on HD web cam'

South Korea is in the process of banning the hunting/capturing of dolphins, sea turtles, and sea horses, for any purpose other than research... "research".
If the South Koreans' practice definition of 'research' is the same as the Japanese's, then i'm not sure how much this bill is going to help them! I hope they don't follow the same trend as Japan, in South Korea.

'Gabon burns five tonnes of ivory'
"Gabonese President Ali Bongo on Wednesday set fire to five tonnes of ivory worth millions of euros to mark his government's commitment to battling poachers and saving elephants."
Largely symbolic, but sends the message that ivory trading doesn't pay, and that the conservationists' efforts are supported. It's such a shame to see it go up in smoke, but if poachers think they can sell ivory on, then they'll carry on doing it.

Someone get Columbo on the phone...
'Mystery mass deaths of green turtles in Australia'

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