Animals You May Not Have Heard About: Sunda Colugo

The Sunda Colugo (Galeopterus variegatus) is also known as the Sunda Flying Lemur.

Although, it is not truly a lemur, nor can it fly.

Sunda-flying-lemur.jpgListed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List but currently has a declining population trend.


The Sunda Colugo is a forest dependant species living in evergreen forests and sleeping in coconut tress.


There is a large threat from hunting for consumption by local people and also from deforestation.


The Sunda Colugo is protected by national legislation and is found in many protected areas such as Halimun National Park.

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

unnamed.jpgWhat do you call a group of Sunda Colugos?


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Animals You May Not Have Heard About: Jerboa











The Jerboa is a strange animal, part kangaroo, part mouse and part bunny. Read on for some more facts!



r210584_808154.jpgInstead they get all their moisture from their food, which mostly consists of plants.






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Animals You Might Not Have Heard About: Dugong


Now unless you are a Harry Potter fanatic, you’ve probably never heard the word Dugong or know what one is. In this post, I’m going to introduce you to the fourth member of the Sirenia family.

The Dugong (Dugong dugon) may look like a manatee and they do belong in the same family but they are different species. The dugong is classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List with a decreasing population trend. The Dugong lives between East Africa and Vanuatu.

spd0816_species_istock_000032507042_web.jpgThe Dugong lives in coastal areas in waters that are shallow to medium-deep and between 15-17ºC. The Dugong can be found in the Indian Ocean, Red Sea and in the northwest and western Pacific Ocean.

Dugongs face threats from incidental capture from fishing gear. They are also hunted both legally and illegally. Boat strikes and boating activities such as acoustic pollution are causing problems for the dugong. There has been damage, modification and loss of their habitat and there has also been chemical pollution such as oil spills in their range. Although dugongs are legally protected in most of their range the enforcement is typically weak or non-existent.

Dugongs are covered under three international conservation conventions:

  1. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  2. The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
  3. The Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

They are also included in the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI). The IUCN believe that the most promising initiative is the UNEP Dugong, Seagrass and Coastal Communities Initiative.

Animalia Chordata Mammalia Sirenia Dugongidae



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Animals You May Not Have Heard About: Gerenuk

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The Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri) is a species of Antelope that is native to African countries such as Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania. The Gerenuk is also nicknamed the Giraffe-Gazelle due to its elongated neck.

3135323.large.jpgGerenuks can be found in bushland and semi-arid locations. They are largely independent of water as they are one of the most exclusive browsers in the animal kingdom.



According to the IUCN Red List, Gerenuks are currently Near Threatened but they are extremely close to meeting the threshold of Vulnerable. The reason for the decline in numbers has been thought to relate to the encroachment of human settlement onto their natural range. Humans have cut down trees in their natural habitat for wood burning. Furthermore, Gerenuks are hunted for their meat, although it is not known how much this has affected their numbers.

gerenuk1_velthaus.jpgAround 10% of the population of Gerenuks occurs in protected areas such as the Tsavo National Park. The population that calls the Tsavo National Park its home has faced its own problems with their numbers being reduced by rinderpest and drought.

Perhaps the best thing about Gerenuks is their unusual way of feeding!!

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Animals You May Not Have Heard About: Maned Wolf

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ab833056118095e446bad796b2627050--maned-wolf-rainforests.jpgThe Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is the largest canid of South America which slightly resembles a red fox. Despite its appearance and its name, the Maned Wolf is neither wolf nor fox and is also not closely related to any other canids. The Maned Wolf is in fact the only species in the genus Chrysocyon; which means ‘golden dog’. Maned Wolves are the tallest of all living canids, with reddish brown fur and long black legs with a black mane.

Maned WolfThe Maned Wolf can be found in the lowland grassland and scrubland of Central and South America, with around 17000 mature individuals in the wild. The IUCN Red List now classifies the Maned Wolf as Near Threatened and the species is at risk from four major threats.

  1. maned-wolfHabitat loss
  2. Human persecution
  3. Road traffic accidents
  4. Pathogens from domestic animals

There are several conservation projects aimed at saving the Maned Wolf from a further demise. Click here to read more about these projects.


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Animals You May Not Have Heard About: Binturong

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The Binturong or Bearcat is an omnivorous viverrid (commonly called civets) that is native to South and Southeast Asia. They have a long, heavy body with short, stout legs and thick black fur with a bushy, prehensile tail which they use to communicate.

Binturong-6Binturong are almost exclusively arboreal and are confined to tall forests. They are active both during the day and at night depending on the individual and their dietary preferences. Binturongs are normally shy but they can be aggressive if harassed.

DFByb8pWAAIDJeDBinturongs are classed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List as their population is in decline, mostly due to habitat loss.

The best place to view the Binturong in the wild is in the Danum Valley in Borneo.

binterong_02Strange Binturong fact: Binturongs are reported to smell like buttered popcorn due to scent glands located under its tail.

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Animals You May Not Have Heard About: Hoatzin

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The hoatzin is found in Ecuador and is a very strange bird, it has an extremely strange smell reported to smell like fresh cow-manure, so much so that it is known locally as the ‘Stink Bird’.



The hoatzin is very popular with evolutionary scientists as they believe it is the missing link between reptiles and birds, similar to Archaeopteryx. For this reason they are becoming more well known to general public.


 images.jpegHoatzins are not very good fliers as they have a small sternum and so do not have strong muscles for flapping their wings, after a large meal many hoatzins are seen resting with their beaks open and wings drooped.


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