Animals

RIP Lonesome George

Today is a sad day for animal lovers, conservationists, naturalists, and ecologists all over the world. Lonesome George died today at the age of 100. Lonesome George was the last member of a subspecies of giant tortoises that lived on the Galapagos islands. George was an iconic conservation figure and thousands of people from all over the world would come to the Galapagos just to see him. It truly breaks my heart to see even a subspecies go extinct. Whalers in the 19th and 20th century would hunt these tortoises for their meat which greatly reduced their population. The sad part is that most people won’t even care that George was the last member of his species and will continue on with their daily lives as if nothing has happened. Even sadder, is the fact that it’s very unlikely that people will read or hear about this story, yet if Kim Kardashian gets a divorce the entire WORLD knows about it.

It does not matter if he was just a subspecies or just some animal you had ever met or seen in person. George was an iconic figure of conservation, a member of his last species living until today! I am very proud at the conservation work being done around the world though. So many people are fighting to save all endangered species and raising awareness of the importance of it. Even if George wasn’t your family member or friend, it should make people aware of the seriousness of this issue going on today. What gets me frustrated is that many species today are becoming extinct, not because of some naturally occurring event but because of human activity. Our selfishness and greed to use up all of the world’s resources has led to destroying the habitats of numerous species and eventually causing them to become extinct. New laws need to be made and stricter laws need to be enforced so when people or companies commit these environmental crimes, it is not just a slap on the wrist. Orangutans are on the brink of extinction because of people destroying their habitat in order to obtain palm oil from the palm trees they reside in. That is just one example.

More people need to be aware of these environmental issues so future generations can benefit from this planet. A lot of people just don’t care about saving these animals because they don’t see anything wrong going on in the world. The sad fact is, if we continue to lose biodiversity on this planet, we will ultimately suffer from it. I personally don’t think enough people are aware of the severity of the situation, and there should be more YouTube videos about conservation so we can all share with one another. Facebook and YouTube have become such popular media outlets, that if more people would start making awareness videos on conservation and it’s importance, there could be even greater movements and more supporters of these causes. Instead, we have videos of cats playing pianos going viral. I have even been thinking of making a video myself just to put it out there, but I am a terrible film editor and I have a lot more research to do before I can even plan to start making a video.

One last point I want to make is that obviously these tortoises aren’t the first or last species to fall victim to bad intentioned humans. So many other animals have become extinct due to human selfishness. We cannot continue to live this way, how can we humans be so inhumane? We need to stop being so vicious and cruel toward our fellow neighbors. And with that I leave you this quote:

“We share this planet with many species. It is our responsibility to protect them, both for their sakes and our own.”
– Pamela A. Matson, Ecologist, Dean, School of Earth Sciences and Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies, Stanford University, California

(To read the full story on Lonesome George, click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-18574279)

Advertisements
Categories: Animals, Conservation, Ecology, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The girl who couldn’t cry wolf

Today during my lunch break, i was reading some news online and stumbled across an article¬†http://www.monstersandcritics.com/smallscreen/features/article_1699609.php/Exclusive-Nat-Geo-star-and-expert-Casey-Anderson-on-Swedish-wolf-attack-mauling which a woman in Sweden was mauled and killed by a pack of wolves. She worked at the zoo and was found in pieces when her co-workers found her. The article did not say too much detail about the attack because not a lot of information was gathered but instead interviewed Casey Anderson who is a naturalist and bear handler. Brutus the bear might ring a bell to any of you who watch tv. He’s been on a few shows and talks about conservation, animals, and the environment. They interviewed Casey because he was also mauled by a pack of wolves but luckily survived the attack, so they wanted to know the experience he had and what he was thinking and so on. I like Casey and his view on the natural world and animals, hell, anyone who is interested in animals is already a friend of mine. He and Brutus (his bear) are well known for always being together but i have mixed feelings about this. Many people anthropomorphize animals because of the tendency to be caring and nurture any living thing that is either cute or vulnerable. Animals are wild and their instincts kick in when their life is on the line. The lady in Sweden who was attacked by wolves should not have gone alone. Wolves are in a highly complex social hierarchy and you have members of the pack always looking to dominate the leader to move on up the ladder. When they eat, only the leader gets to eat first and the best meat. The least powerful in the pack eats scraps or the less desirable meat. It’s fascinating and just boggles my mind how wolves can be such intelligent species, no wonder they are apex predators. They have been known to fight down prey twice their size and who can easily kill them in defense. They work like a team and have a strategy for each hunt. Just what i have typed should intrigue even the least enthusiastic animal lover. This is nature at its best, creating an animal so intelligent and powerful that even with it’s medium size, are still apex predators in the wild. And the more ironic thing is that, it’s closest living relative, the dog, is man’s best friend! The point i wanna make in this post is that anyone who is handling animals or encounters wildlife should encounter it extremely cautious and never alone. Any wild animal, no matter the size, can be dangerous and will do what is necessary to protect itself and it’s young. There are animals who are friendly to humans and even than should we still approach with caution. Most animals keep to themselves and we should admire and study from a safe line and if necessary to handle, as stated before, handle with extreme caution. I can’t stress enough the safety of handling wild animals, the name says it all, wild! They are unpredictable and therefore should not be underestimated. One of my greatest experience with approaching wild life was a year ago i was kayaking in the bay, early in the morning, when i was approached by a bottlenose dolphin, two feet from my kayak! When i noticed the dolphin, my heart went racing, my hands clammy and sweating and i immediately turned my kayak to get a better view. I never paddled closer to him/her. I just kept my distance, stopped paddling and see what he/she would do. The dolphin ended up going my direction and went right under my kayak! It was one of the greatest experiences i have ever had. As it went under my kayak, i saw his/her eye and i can tell it was thinking about things and analyzing me from curiosity. After it went under my kayak, it went off in search for food, i am assuming. I will write one day about dolphins and whales and why they are one of my favorite animals because if i get started now i will never finish. But hopefully i didn’t steer you off from the main subject of this blog, which is wildlife safety. Never be afraid to explore and encounter wildlife, they are magnificent beings that have personalities and a mind of their own! but as i stated before always with extreme caution. Here are some cool pictures of the dolphin i encountered and a neat one i found on a wolf. Until then, stay safe exploring, discovering and sharing!ImageImageImageImage

Categories: Animals, Conservation, Ecology, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunday funday

Greetings fellow bloggers, i know it’s been a while since i have posted a blog here but instead of posting a blog everyday, i decided to post when i most felt inspired to write. I felt if i were to write everyday, my blogs would just be nonsense and random postings. I want this blog to be meaningful, bring up current ecological and conservation issues or thoughts of a certain subject. I am currently reading the book “100 heartbeats” by Jeff Corwin. He was my favorite biologist to watch on tv when i was younger. He was funny, outgoing and seemed to love what he did. Besides Steve Irwin, he was another favorite of mine to watch on TV. One day i stumbled into a Barnes and Noble and was looking for a good book to read, i noticed “100 heartbeats” and thought “wow, i really wanna read what this book is about”. When i was paying for the book, the cashier remarked “oh wow, this seems like a pretty good book to read, too bad i am not too fond of Jeff Corwin”. I asked her why she thought of that and she told me her husband works at the zoo and heard that in Jeff Corwin’s show, Jeff would manipulate the environment or the animals to get the right shot for the camera. I thought she just heard rumors and i looked into it online and found nothing. I really wanted to know if it was true because i looked up to him just like most biologists or naturalists i see on television. In the end i found nothing and i know not everyone is perfect and if he did do those things it would be not to an extreme where animals would be harmed. Who knows in reality if it was true or not but either way i still payed for the book and started reading it. It’s a very interesting book that talks about certain species that are endangered, the fight and importance of conservation and his own thoughts on these experiences. On another note, i am eager for july to arrive already because that is when my expedition to the reefs start! Very excited on that. On a side note, i started teaching my dog to catch a Frisbee and i got a pretty good picture of her. Hope you guys enjoy it! One more thing i wanted to point out. I realized that people get a lot of traffic on there blogs because they post pictures and post often. Sadly i am not a photographer and i don’t post often but i can assure you guys, when i post something i will try my best to make it meaningful and interesting. As for pictures, i will try my best to post old stuff and new stuff. I will be taking a trip with my lovely girlfriend to a wildlife sanctuary in west palm beach next week so i will be making sure i take lots of pictures and get lots of interesting facts on the animals i see! Until then, have fun exploring, sharing and discovering.Image

Categories: Animals, Conservation, Ecology, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exotic species in texas?

I recently tuned in to the show 60 minutes and they were giving a special on ranches in Texas that had exotic species from Africa, Asia, and Europe that are either endangered in their native lands or completely extinct! The catch to this story is that the ranches are not wildlife sanctuaries but rather hunting grounds where people can book a day of hunting these wonderful and rare animals for as much as $7,500 dollars. Three of the owners of the ranches were interviewed and they claimed they were conservationists, and that if it wasn’t for the ranches, these species would ultimately disappear from the planet. On top of that, they were saying how by hunting these animals, they are conserving them. I personally have a very strong opinion about this topic. Just because you have endangered animals in your ranch does not give you the right to open hunting season so you can get a profit out of it and at the same time call yourself a conservationist. One of the owners said when it comes down to conservation, the only thing that matters is the numbers of the species. Technically he is right, conservation is about keeping a healthy number of a certain species to balance out the ecosystem and keep it healthy but at the same time these ranchers are abusing the term “conservation”. A true conservationist cares about saving species in a humane way. When a hunter or fisherman catches its prey, it is to be solely consumed and not treated as a trophy. I am myself a fisherman and it is one of my favorite activities but when i fish i try to do it the most humane way because if it wasn’t for these animals we would not have food on our planet. A true conservationist does not only preserve the species but also it’s habitat, while these ranchers who call themselves “conservationists” breed them just to be hunted. I strongly disagree with them because they give conservationists a bad name. It is wrong and very inhumane, the reason they do it is for profit not to preserve these species. I do not condone hunting and fishing as long as it is for consumption and not to be showed as a trophy prize. These wonderful animals deserve to live and not be used as a show case so people can go hunt them and these owners make a ton of money out of it. What is your opinion on this matter? I don’t mind having a friendly argument or hearing other opinions of this subject. This is their website http://www.texasexotichunting.net/index.html Until next time!

PS. here is a preview of the episode http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7396481n

Categories: Animals, Conservation, Ecology, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

A brighter day!

This is a great day to be writing my thoughts and ideas because it is a day i can share my wonderful news. I am an assistant researcher at a ecology lab in a university. I am interning there so sadly, i do not get paid but i love the work i am doing there and the current project we are working are is amazing. The project we are working on is located on the reefs by key largo and our subjects are herbivorous reef fish. The goal of this project is to figure out the feeding, and behavior of these herbivorous reef fish. In recent years, there has been a decline in game fish, such as grouper, snapper, and other carnivorous reef fish, including sharks. Our goal is to understand the impact this is having on the herbivorous reef fish and on corals in general. The books say that without enough of these reef fish which feed on other fish, the herbivores become too much and end up killing corals. On top of that, corals start losing competition for space from cyanobacteria, algae, and other invertebrates. Without corals and coral reefs, there are no nurseries for baby fish and with no nurseries, there is no protection. This can cause devastating effects on the ecosystem. Well i have been working in this lab since October and this past monday was my last day because for summer the team goes to the keys to dive everyday and unfortunately i cannot join them because i do not have my scientific scuba license required for me to join. A bummer, i know. But the good news is this monday, my boss told me in july i can join the team in understanding the behavior and feeding habits because they are going to snorkel instead of scuba to try to not interfere as much as possible. I was beyond excited and so happy to hear such amazing news. I can get so much field work experience and put this impressive stuff on my resume! In a few weeks before i leave, i will buy a go pro camera and try to take awesome pictures to share. In the meantime, i have to complete a workshop on identifying reef fish and types of corals which is not boring at all, i love it. Hope to share with you all pictures and updates on this amazing experience soon. In the near future i shall bring up current topics of debate and issues on conservation and/or certain species. Stay tuned my friends, i am hoping to make this blog as exciting as it can be. Until then, adios!

Categories: Animals, Conservation, Ecology, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jobless Friday

Well, not exactly jobless because i do have a job working for parks and recreation but i have been looking for a new job these past few weeks. It’s tough when you are in a position like i am in, needing more money coming in and needing to finish college. I feel extremely pressured to finish college and get my degree but at the same time i feel more pressured in needing to find a better paying job. I am looking at any type of position that brings in more money but ideally, i would want something related to my field. Unfortunately experience is necessary nowadays and connections are as well. A lot of people have jobs that pay the bills and pay their luxuries but deep down, you can tell they aren’t happy. So many employees i run into everyday that have a “fuck off” written on their forehead. I sometimes feel like saying “if you hate your job, why did you even apply for that position?” But things aren’t always so black and white. In today’s economy, people need to find any job they can get their hands on because the job they want is never available. Even being an intern in some lab or animal sanctuary never guarantees you a permanent spot. Connections help and unfortunately i have very few in my field, and the ones that i do have require me to graduate first. I better tough it out, hope for the best, and continue to look for that job that is at least related in my field. That’s my best advice i can give to anyone that is in my position. In meantime, i have a few books i shall read that are very interesting and have great reviews: 1. Animals make us human, 2. 100 heartbeats, and 3. A walk in the woods. All these nature/animal related books have given me insights to a better future, a future where we can learn, enlighten and teach others. The more information we learn from all these different types of animals, the better we can understand our ecosystem and how these animals tie into our way of life. I had a dream last night, and from what i remember, i was in a lake with someone i never met and we were discussing the rainy season, floods and how it brought in all these mosquitoes. The stranger then told me how it tied to all the amphibians that were living on this lake and I’ll never forget what she told me. “It’s that tiny delicate balance that makes life possible on this planet”. I woke up in awe, i have never had a dream like this in my entire life and it was like god was talking to me, such an amazing experience to have. Until next time. Keep exploring, learning, and sharing!ImageImage

Image

Categories: Animals, Conservation, Ecology, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.