Animal Travels: Peru

PERUVIAN WOOLLY MONKEY
(Lagothrix cana)
Endangered

57bafda8408a8.image.jpgMAJOR THREATS
This species is heavily hunted and infants are much favoured as pets. The females with offspring tend to be targeted by hunters, so that they can sell the infants as pets. Hunting is the main threat prior to deforestation, and colonization severely reduces their numbers.  Heavy deforestation also occurs in many parts of this species’ range.

FUN FACT
Can move at speeds of up to 35mph.


HUMBOLDT PENGUIN
(Spheniscus humboldti)
Vulnerable

Humboldt_penguin.jpgMAJOR THREATS
Fisheries in Peru exploit the main prey of the penguins, greatly reducing their prey base.
Alien species such as rats predate on the eggs of the penguins and also on young chicks. There have also been reports of feral cats on the islands in Peru which can cause a predation risks to both adult and juvenile individuals.
Andean foxes can enter coastal reserves in Peru and prey on the adult and juvenile penguins.
Humboldt Penguins are extremely sensitive to human presence which reduces the success of breeding at frequently visited sites.
These penguins are also at risk from habitat loss and pollution.

FUN FACT
Humboldt penguins were named for the German scientist, Alexander Von Humboldt, who explored Cuba, Mexico, and South America in 1799.


SCARLET MACAW
(Ara macao)
Least Concern

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MAJOR THREATS
There are currently no major threats to the Scarlet Macaw but their population trend is currently decreasing. It is predicted that the population of Scarlet Macaws will drop by around 25% in the next 3 generations.

 

 

FUN FACT
They are said to have the intelligence of a 4-8 year old child.

 

 


AMAZON RIVER DOLPHIN (BOTO)
(Inia geoffrensis)
Data Deficient

shutterstock_164233874-1024x679.jpgMAJOR THREATS
Accidental death in fishing gear such as in gill nets. 
Deliberate killing for fish bait.
Fishing with explosives although illegal in most places is still common in areas of the Amazon.
Damming of rivers.
Between 1956 and the early 1970s, more than 100 botos were live-captured and exported mostly to the USA, Europe and Japan

FUN FACT
These dolphins are PINK!


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Lost Forever: Caribbean Monk Seal

Cms-newyorkzoologicalsociety1910.jpgIts time to look backwards at the animals of the past that couldn’t quite survive into our present. This week we will be looking into the Caribbean Monk Seal (Neomonachus tropcicalis) and what ultimately led to its extinction.
The Caribbean Monk Seal went extinct in 1952 with the last confirmed sighting off Serranilla Bank. These seals used to inhabit the Caribbean Sea and they were the first type of seal to go extinct from human causes.

HABITAT & DIET
220px-Caribbean_monk_seals_New_York.jpgThey could be found in the water around rocky or sandy coastline and islands which they used for resting and breeding. Their diet is unknown but was believed to be eels, lobsters, octopus and reef fish.

MAJOR THREATS
Caribbean-Monk-Seal.jpg
The only known predators of the Caribbean Monk Seal were sharks and humans. They were hunted for their skins and oil and were also put in danger due to the fishing industry. It was ultimately the tough pressures from humans that led to their extinction.


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Animal Travels: France

With almost 250,000 square miles of space France is packed with wildlife from the Alpine Ibex to the Common Genet.


ALPINE IBEX
(Capra ibex)
MG_5228_950Pixels_WM.jpgListed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List with a increasing population trend. There is estimated to be around 31420 mature individuals remaining in the wild.

HABITAT, DIET & BEHAVIOUR
You can find an Alpine Ibex on open and rocky habitats at high altitudes. They feed on alpine grasses and are a diurnal species that is most active in the early morning and late afternoon.

MAJOR THREATS
Currently they are not believed to be facing any threats but there are concerns about their genetic diversity. Their habitats are surrounded by high densities of domestic goats and sheep which can carry a risk of parasites and disease.

CONSERVATION
The Alpine Ibex is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention.

KINGDOM PHYLUM CLASS ORDER FAMILY
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

BEECH MARTEN
(Martes foina)
beech marten.jpgThe Beech Marten is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List with a stable population trend.

HABITAT
Beech Martens prefer open areas, however in countries such as France they are becoming more common in urban and suburban areas. In these countries they can be found nesting in attics, barns and even in car engine spaces.

MAJOR THREATS
These little animals can sometimes be persecuted as a pest and some of them also suffer from rabies.

CONSERVATION
Beech Martens are also listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention.

KINGDOM PHYLUM CLASS ORDER FAMILY
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

CHAMOIS
(Rupicapra rupicapra)
chamois-4-640x425.pngThis species is also luckily listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List with around 440,000 mature individuals remaining in the wild.

HABITAT & DIET
The Chamois likes to live on steep, rocky areas in the mountain and they feed on grasses, herbs, leaves, buds, shoots and fungi.

MAJOR THREATS
They are currently suffering from poaching and overhunting; and they are also facing competition from domestic livestock. There have also been outbreaks of pestivirus and sarcoptic mange in some populations.

CONSERVATION
Yet another species from France that is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention.

KINGDOM PHYLUM CLASS ORDER FAMILY
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

COMMON GENET
(Genetta genetta)
CommonGenet.JPGListed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List and with a stable population trend.

HABITAT & DIET
The Common Genet prefers wooded habitat and can often be found around water. They feed primarily on small mammals but they will also take birds, vertebrates, insects and fruit depending on the availability of prey.

MAJOR THREATS
The main threats for these animals come from road traffic collisions and hunting. They are killed for their meat, body parts, skin and fur.

CONSERVATION
They are mostly found in protected areas and they are also listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention.

KINGDOM PHYLUM CLASS ORDER FAMILY
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Viverridae

ALPINE MARMOT
(Marmota marmota)
marmot.jpgThese little rodents are listed as Least Concern (YAY FOR FRANCE!!) by the IUCN Red List with a stable population trend.

HABITAT & DIET
They live in alpine meadows and high altitude pastures eating a fully herbivorous diet.

MAJOR THREATS
Alpine Marmots are hunting for their meat, fur and fat.

CONSERVATION
They mostly occur in national park and are listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention.

KINGDOM PHYLUM CLASS ORDER FAMILY
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Sciuridae

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Animal Travels: New Zealand

New Zealand is probably less thought about than their big next door neighbours when it comes to wildlife; but with almost 103,500 square miles of land and a population of almost 5 million, this little island is no stranger to animals.

New Zealand is famous for its Kiwis and is home to 5 species of them:

  1. Southern Brown Kiwi (Apteryx australis) Vulnerable
  2. Great Spotted Kiwi (Apteryx haasti) Vulnerable 
  3. Northern Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) Endangered
  4. Little Spotted Kiwi (Apteryx owenii) Near Threatened
  5. Okarito Brown Kiwi (Apteryx rowi) Endangered

OKARITO BROWN KIWI
(Apteryx rowi)
120048Birds online CD1 084.jpgAlthough these kiwis are endangered they have an increasing population trend with around 200-250 mature individuals remaining in the wild.

HABITAT
The native population of the Okarito Brown Kiwi has now been restricted to 10,000ha of forest between the Okarito River and the Waiho River.

MAJOR THREATS
These kiwis are affected by habitat loss and predation of introduced mammals. Chicks are predated by stoats and some adults are killed by dogs and in road traffic collisions.

CONSERVATION
Operation Nest Egg has been put in place to help reduce the affects of predation. Eggs are removed from nests and the chicks are hand reared until they are large enough that they are no longer the prey of stoats.

NORTHERN BROWN KIWI
(Apteryx mantelli)
TeTuatahianui.jpgAgain, these kiwis are endangered but they current have a stable population trend.

HABITAT
These kiwis can be found in dense, subtropical, and temperate forests but can also occasionally be found living in shrub lands.

MAJOR THREATS
These kiwis face threats from the predation of dogs and ferrets.

CONSERVATION
These kiwis are also a part of Operation Nest Egg.

KEA
(Nestor notabilis)
kea-for-kate.pngThese birds have a declining population trend with around 3300 mature individuals remaining in the wild. They are classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List.

HABITAT AND DIET
The Kea prefer high altitude forests and alpine basins, feeding on a diet of shoots and berries.

MAJOR THREATS
Climate change, deforestation and killings by farmers are the most current threats to the numbers of Kea.

CONSERVATION
Kea are listed on CITES Appendix II and there is a population census planned to take place soon to get a more accurate count of the remaining individuals.

HECTOR’S DOLPHIN
(Cephalorhynchus hectori)
hectorsjump_labelled_cropped_22629.jpgThese dolphins are Endangered with around 7500 mature individuals remaining in the wild and a decreasing population trend.

HABITAT AND DIET
Hector’s Dolphins inhabit the shallow coastal waters within 15km of the shore of New Zealand; feeding on squid and several species of small fish.

MAJOR THREATS
The largest threat to the Hector’s Dolphin is entanglement in gill nets. Around 60% of deaths were due to entrapment in gill nets.

CONSERVATION
They are listed on CITES Appendix II and they occur mostly in protected areas (consisting of two sanctuaries).

NEW ZEALAND SEA LION
(Phocarctos hookeri)
sea-lion565.jpgThese Sea Lions are Endangered with a decreasing population trend and around 3000 mature individuals remaining in the wild.

MAJOR THREATS
Commercial sealing in the early 19th century until the mid-20th century depleted the population. They are also in danger from epizootic outbreaks.

CONSERVATION
The New Zealand government has protected these Sea Lions since 1881 and they are also covered under the Marine Mammal Protection Act 1978.

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Lost Forever/Animals We’ll Never See Again: Great Auk

240px-Great_Auk_(Pinguinis_impennis)_specimen,_Kelvingrove,_Glasgow_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1108249.jpg

The Great Auk (Pinguinis impennis) was a large, flightless bird that went extinct in 1844 when the last known specimens were killed on the 3rd July at Eldey Island, Iceland. The nearest living relative of the Great Auk is the Razorbill.

 

HABITAT AND DIET
Historically, the Great Auk only bred on remote, rocky islands. Young birds fed on plankton, while the adults dived for fish.

 

MAJOR THREATS
Great Auk Painting.preview.jpgGreat Auks were hunted for their feathers, meat, fat and oil. As the birds became more scarce, early conservations believed that the collecting of specimens was necessary to help save the species. Unfortunately, this specimen collecting was what lead to the ultimate demise of the Great Auk.

In remembrance of the errors that early conservationists made, the peer reviewed academic journal of the American Ornithologists Union is named the Auk.

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Animal Travels: Holland

With 2119 square miles of space and a population of almost 6 and a half million, Holland has its own ‘Big Five’. The Red Deer, Wild Boar, Roe Deer, Badger and the Red Fox.

RED DEER
(Cervus elaphus)
Unknown.jpegThe Red Deer is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List and they have an increasing population trend.

HABITAT AND DIET
Red Deer can found in a range of habitats including: open deciduous woodland, mixed forests and coniferous woodland, upland moors and mountainous areas; but they prefer broadleaved woodland that is interspersed by large meadows. Red Deer feed mainly of shrub and tree shoots but they will sometimes dine on grasses, fruits and seeds.

MAJOR THREATS
Red Deer are facing trouble from habitat loss and overhunting. They are also susceptible to the spread of parasites and diseases from introduced species.

WILD BOAR
(Sus scrofa)
Wild-Boar-1_public-640x425.jpgThese mammals are classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List however, their current population trend is unknown.

HABITAT, DIET AND BEHAVIOUR
Again, Wild Boars can be found in a wide variety of habitats, whether that is temperate and tropical habitats such as semi-desert regions and tropical rainforests. They can also inhabit temperate woodlands and grasslands. Wild Boars are omnivorous, although vegetable matter makes up around 90% of their diet. These Boars are most active in early mornings and late afternoon and they spend around 4-8 per day foraging.

MAJOR THREATS
Globally, there are no major threats to Wild Boars; but locally, they can be susceptible to habitat destruction and hunting pressures.

ROE DEER
(Capreolus capreolus)
Roe-deer-buck-moulting-into-summer-coat%2c-Pigneys-Wood%2c-Julian-Thomas%2c-11-May-2015-(small).jpgAgain, the Roe Deer is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List with an increasing population trend. There are around 15 million mature individuals remaining in the wild.

HABITAT
These deer prefer landscapes with a mosaic of woodland and farmland.

MAJOR THREATS
There is an increased mixing of various genetic pools which could leave the Roe Deer susceptible to diseases and parasites. They also face danger from poaching, free-roaming dogs and collisions with vehicles.

CONSERVATION
There have been re-introductions of Roe Deer into depleted populations.

EURASIAN BADGER
(Meles meles)
140506.jpgThe Eurasian Badger is another species that is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. These Badgers currently have a stable population trend.

HABITAT AND DIET
Badgers prefer either deciduous woods with clearings, or open pastureland with patches of woodland. They are opportunistic foragers with an omnivorous diet, feeding on fruits, nuts, cereal crops, invertebrates and some vertebrates such as hedgehogs, moles and rabbits.

MAJOR THREATS
Land use changes have caused a loss of suitable habitat for the badgers. Badgers are also persecuted as a pest and in places like the UK they are believed to be associated with bovine TB and so this lead to a cull. Also, rabies reduced numbers of badgers throughout Europe.

RED FOX
(Vulpes vulpes)
150px-Red_fox.jpgThe final of Holland’s ‘Big Five’ is also classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List with a stable population trend.

HABITAT
The Red Fox can survive in extremely diverse habitats such as the tundra, deserts and forests as well as in city centres. Their natural habitat is a dry, mixed landscape with scrub and woodland. Foxes now appear to be closely associated with people and so can be found wherever there is human life.

MAJOR THREATS
Threats to Red Foxes are highly localised and include habitat degradation, loss and fragmentation. Globally, Red Foxes don’t face any major threats. The Red Fox is classed as a pest and so is unprotected throughout all its range. In the future, this could potentially cause problems.

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Animals You Might Not Have Heard About: Dugong

SCR_58127.jpg

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.

HABITAT AND RANGE
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.

MAJOR THREATS
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.

CONSERVATION
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.

KINGDOM PHYLUM CLASS ORDER FAMILY
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Sirenia Dugongidae

dugong.jpg

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