I’ve been a little busy lately, but I do have a quick video from The Daily Show I want to share. It’s about how the people of Turkey Creek, MS, a historic black community founded in 1866 by freed slaves, had trouble protecting their land and cultural heritage from eminent domain, industrial pollution, and urban sprawl until the “bird people” stepped in. “Thank God for the Birds,” said Derrick Evans, a Turkey Creek community leader. I love this story because I think it comically touches on two important and almost universal issues when it comes to wildlife conservation.
The United Nations Convention on Migratory Species has declared 2011 as the Year of the Bat to raise awareness about bats, the services they provide to people, and their conservation needs:
Bats may be mysterious and misunderstood, but the earth’s only flying mammals are essential to our global environment. Discover how bats contribute to our rich biodiversity and well-being, through pollination, seed dispersal, insect control and other eco-services in rainforests, woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, deserts and cities.
Yay for bats! However, I was sad to see that the World Association for Zoos and Aquariums will not being doing anything . . . → Read More: Year of the Bat
I’m really excited about a new magazine that’s coming out soon: The Citizen Science Quarterly. The idea was pitched on Kickstarter and received over 3 times the asked for funding! The first issue will be coming out in February, and they are looking for writers. The deadline for submissions is Jan 15th, so if you want to share something about citizen science, send it in! There is an interesting Pepsi Refresh project up for vote to help bats facing whitenose syndrome. The Nature Conservancy is proposing building an artificial cave that . . . → Read More: Quick Links & Events 1.7.11
How about giving a gift that helps wildlife, conservation, or science this holiday season? Here is a few ideas that I came up with:
Snow Leopard Trust
First off, I suggest anything from the Snow Leopard Trust store. I really like their combination of community-based conservation and wildlife research. While they work to protect snow leopards and their habitat, they also work to improve the livelihoods of people who live in the snow leopard’s range. Many of the items in their online store are made by the people who live in areas where snow leopards live, and . . . → Read More: Looking for a gift idea?
On cold, winter nights, there is sometimes nothing better than snuggling up with some hot chocolate and a good nature documentary. If that’s sounding good to you about now, then you’re in luck! Because it’s Big Cat Week on Nat Geo Wild!
Big Cat Week begins tonight, Monday, December 6th (9 PM ET) with seven consecutive nights of ferocious felines. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at some of the programming for Big Cat Week and will be tuning in to see what else Nat Geo Wild has to offer. The first annual Big Cat Week focuses on African big cats, especially lions. Even with this focus, I’m impressed with the variety in these films as well as the amazing footage. Each film brings a different perspective from conservation to behavior and ecology. Lions are also the focus of Nat Geo Wild’s Big Cats Initiative, whose first goal is to “halt lion population declines by the year 2015″ through programs such as grants and public awareness. The initiative is led by Dereck and Beverly Joubert who are featured in the first Big Cat Week Feature: Big Cat Odyssey.
Sometimes ex-situ conservation like zoo breeding programs are the only hope for species facing extinction. Without such programs, species like the European bison (Bison bonasus), Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) and Asian Wild Horse (Equus przewalski) may have been lost forever. These species were once extinct in the wild and now have reestablished wild populations thanks to zoo breeding and reintroduction programs.
La loma tree frog
Unfortunately when an animal species is critically endangered, that doesn’t automatically mean it will be a good candidate for a conservation breeding program. Some species are just hard to care for or won’t breed . . . → Read More: New Hope for the La Loma Tree Frog
For a while now, I have considered writing about the controversy surrounding Dr. Lynn Roger’s black bear research and whether collared bears should be protected from hunting. I haven’t done so yet because I haven’t formed a solid opinion, can see both sides of the argument, and am not a bear hunter. But recently, Lynn Rogers made some comments that I can’t ignore.
I’ve had zero time to blog lately. Hopefully, I will have some time by the end of this week. But, I did still get the chance to put together a quick links for this week!
It’s almost Halloween! If you will be giving out candy this Halloween, make sure it doesn’t contain non-sustainable palm oil that harms Orangutans and other wildlife by following the Orangutan Friendly Halloween Candy Guide (.pdf file). You can learn more about Orangutans and the Palm Oil Crisis here. More reasons why I wish I had a smart phone: What kind of beetle? This . . . → Read More: Quick Links 10.27
Linnaeus, Shlinnaeus! – Fun scientific names! Though the author didn’t mention one of my favorites Aptostichus stephencolbertinamed after none other than Stephen Colbert. I’ll give props to anyone who can name Linnaeus’s favorite flower (without looking it up). Anyone?
I recently discovered twitter. I had of course heard of it before and occasionally stumbled over there. But now that I’ve actually signed up and am using it, I am overwhelmed by the flow of information. There is so much to read!
Anyway, here are some links I’ve stumbled across recently. I know I wanted to add more, but I’ve read so much that I’ve lost track of them…
New Citizen Science Project! Old Weather is a croudsource project from Zooniverse asking people to help scientists build better climate models by going through ship logs from the early . . . → Read More: Quick Links 10.13