The Wildlife Conservation Thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Galvatross, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. Galvatross

    Galvatross Make TFW2005 Shrektastic Again! Veteran

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    I've been thinking about this for a while actually. I thought that the non-Transformers thread could do with a thread where news and thoughts about wildlife conservation could be posted, whether it's in-situ (in the wild) or ex-situ (in captivity) conservation efforts. News and discussion can also deal with rediscoveries of thought-to-be-extinct species, or just personal observations of wildlife and their status from near your home or from trips and vacations. We have a "Jurassic Thread" for fossil discoveries, and we've had threads about the last male northern white rhinoceros, Sudan, and lions eating lion poachers, so why not a place for what are usually less publicized wildlife stories? With that said, here were go...

    International Union for the Conservation of Nature status updates, including Australian reptiles and Mauritius flying foxes, the latter which have been culled in an attempt to protect fruit crops:

    Australia’s reptiles threatened by invasive species, climate change – IUCN Red List

    2018

    A species of kangaroo rat not seen since Galvatron and Rodimus were enemies of rival factions, the San Quintin kangaroo rat, was spotted for the first time since in Baja California.

    Museum researchers rediscover animal not seen in 30 years: San Quintin kangaroo rat found in Baja California will be subject of a conservation plan

    Kangaroo rats are extremely remarkable rodents well adapted to arid environments where water is scarce that travel via macropod-like locomotion. From personal experience they can be extremely inquisitive, bold, and friendly even, so it's great knowing a feared extinct species is still alive and kicking.

    Also, here is confirmation that at least a leopard is alive and well on Zanzibar:

    Zanzibar Leopard Captured on Camera, Despite Being Declared Extinct

    There has not been any genetic evidence to confirm it's a descendant of the previously known Zanzibar leopards, although I personally doubt some locals would bring more leopards from mainland stock and release it in some manner.

    Now the Zanzibar leopard is not distinct enough to be its own subspecies, but it's still extremely cool that a large carnivore can hold on for decades on a populated island with no proof of continued existence until now. If the Zanzibar leopard can survive, so can many, many other things.

    Life finds a way.

    By the way, this thread doesn't have to be limited to animals. Plants and fungi and even whole ecosystems are fair game, too.
     
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  2. KnightSaberAmi

    KnightSaberAmi Nyan Nyan

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    I remember the rediscovery of the kangaroo rat, was huge news back in the 80's. Course being a kid fresh out of San Diego, it was pretty relevant to me, also a resurgence of the awareness of the extinction of the Dodo with an emphasis on the awareness of the near extinction of the California Condor was pretty big then too.

    Currently, here in the Northeast, attention is on a breeding pair of peregrine falcon and the poaching of their adult offspring.

    This is a good idea for an open dialog but keep in mind animals are a hot button issue but everyone keeps the focus to within the rules we should be golden.
     
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  3. Galvatross

    Galvatross Make TFW2005 Shrektastic Again! Veteran

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    I happened to watch a show that featured the Andean, or spectacled, bears that live in the dry forests and hot, arid slopes of western Peru last night, so it is kind of neat seeing this on the internet the next day:

    Videos: spectacled bear’s home in the dry forests of Peru revealed

    Interesting, given this threatened species is often found in the cooler altitudes of the Andes. Bears, to their own benefit, are adaptable, whether it's spectacled bears wandering from oasis to oasis or brown bears adapted to the Gobi Desert.
     
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  4. Galvatross

    Galvatross Make TFW2005 Shrektastic Again! Veteran

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    Earth has more trees now than 35 years ago

    It's great that there is more tree cover on Earth, but at the same time it's unfortunate that so much tropical forest and canopy cover has declined.

    At the same time, with billions of humans on the planet and so much land devoted for agriculture, grazing, and industry, I think more agricultural and grazing areas need to be looked at as potential wildlife habitat. I remember years ago a study from Central America showing agricultural areas still maintained populations of ~ 2/3 of bat species found in forests, so I think it would be a good idea to look at ways to make existing areas heavily used by humans better wildlife habitats and not only focus on "pure" wilderness areas.
     
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  5. Yaujta

    Yaujta ANUTFORAJAROFTUNA Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

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    I didn't even know the place existed in my state, but there is a really wonderful wolf sanctuary in Lititz, PA. My mother took my daughter there this past Tuesday, and they had an amazing time.
    Basically, the place does tours, but they are very strict and we'll organized. The workers are all volunteers, with all proceeds going to the care of the wolves.
    Wolf Sanctuary of PA - Wolf Sanctuary of PA
     
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  6. Galvatross

    Galvatross Make TFW2005 Shrektastic Again! Veteran

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    As long as human civilization and wildlife habitat overlap, there will be places like this.

    The good news is that wolves here in the West are recolonizing many of their former haunts. They have expanded to Oregon and even California. Mexican wolves, a southwestern subspecies, have been reintroduced to Arizona/New Mexico. The wolves in the US I'm worried about are the red wolves of the Southeast, which number less than fifty in the wild, regardless of their taxonomy.
     
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  7. Wolfguard

    Wolfguard Your own personal Jesus.

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  8. Galvatross

    Galvatross Make TFW2005 Shrektastic Again! Veteran

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    Since you're going to Armenia this year, if you go to a monastery called Noravank in Vayots Dzor marz, which is in a red-rocked canyon and within the Gnishik Protected Area, supposedly bezoar ibex in the late afternoon and evening come to drink and browse in the canyon's stream.
    Gnishik: Inside Armenia’s only Community-Managed Protected Area – Caucasus Nature Fund
    Gnishik Protected Area – Caucasus Nature Fund

    Armenia is the bezoar capital of the Caucasus, with the population increasing. Armenian mouflon populations are also increasing, Persian leopards (very rare) are being seen more often in camera traps in the Zangezur Range, and red deer are being introduced in Dilijan, so there are good things happening there. Striped hyenas are rare, but still found in Siunik.

    Also keep an eye out for a diverse avian fauna of over 300 species. Common birds I have seen are yellow and white wagtails, hooded crows, common magpie, white storks, Armenian gulls, house sparrow (which are also ubiquitous in American cities), European bee-eater, common hoopoe, European goldfinch, many swallows and swifts (I mean Tsitsernakaberd means "Fortress of the swallows") and more. I have also seen European rollers in Kotayk near Garni, common buzzards, steppe eagles, a Dalmatian pelicans in Lori, booted eagle, three Eurasian griffin vultures in Siunik, blue-cheeked bee-eater in Nagorno-Karabakh, Eurasian turtle-dove, Syrian woodpecker, spur-winged lapwing in Yerevan, Caspian snowcock in Aragats, and more. Rarities I have not seen include bustards (great and little; houbara are extirpated), Caucasian grouse, greater flamingos, marbled teal, and others. The subtropical area near Meghri and the border with Iran has some different birds, like see-see partridge and black francolin in its dry woodlands and scrub.

    There are also many neat reptiles. I saw many lacertids and Caucasian rock agama. Other reptiles I didn't see include vipers (the Caucasus and Anatolia have many unique species), anguids like scheltopusiks, Armenian tortoise, Schenider's golden skink (rare in Armenia), and the endemic to the Ararat Plain Horvath's toad-headed agama.

    The only amphibian I found was a Rana macrocnemis, but the country also has Syrian spadefoot, a few other anurans, and a couple of newts. It's too bad none of the four spotted newts of the genus Neurergus (Anatolian, Urmia, Kurdistan, and Lorestan) are found in Armenia, as they have lovely, colorful patterns. It's also a shame that tigers, Persian goitered gazelle, onager, houbara bustard, and some other animals are no longer found in the country, and the presence of some, like Pallas cats, or manuls, which have not been sighted since the 1930s, is uncertain. Armenian whiskered bats, endemic to Sevan, have not been seen since the 1980s, although given how well bat species can hide, often for more than a century, the little insect hunters very well may be flying in Armenia's night skies still.
     
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  9. Hadlen_Weltall

    Hadlen_Weltall Gunpla and Cow Master

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    My pasture is a popular landing zone for the Whooping Cranes. unfortunately the program, Operation Migration, that kept them from Extinction has been shut down.
     
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  10. Galvatross

    Galvatross Make TFW2005 Shrektastic Again! Veteran

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    That is amazing! So whooping cranes stop on your property during their migration? How often do you see them? I have seen thousands of sandhill cranes, but never a whooping crane.
     
  11. Wolfguard

    Wolfguard Your own personal Jesus.

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    Oh man, thanks for all that critter info! This first time I'm only going as far as Garni and maybe Lake Sevan, but next trip I want to go to the Vayots Dzor region for sure - my favorite wine is made there at Trinity Vineyards.

    Links saved. I'll see about contributing to them as well.

    :thumb 
     
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  12. Hadlen_Weltall

    Hadlen_Weltall Gunpla and Cow Master

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    Operation Migration didn't want people knowing where they were because of their conservation efforts to leave them alone in the wild, but compared to whats native to this area, tall white birds like this aren't common to see. And you cannot miss them when you see them out in the pasture. Our farm is on the natural creek area and so, it's an ideal environment for them. They're an attractive nuisance attraction. People see them in my field from the road and so, I've had my fair share of trespassing nature photographers come around and into my pasture enough times because of them... they ignore the No Tresspassing sign that says "BEWARE OF GUARD BULL" and I've caught people offguard gettting stalked by my 1,600 lb buddy. I almost had one lady get trampled because she saw the birds and ran out to get pictures, and she didn't pay attention to Hungy who was practically breathing down her neck. I got there just in time and he withdrew and I escorted her off the property, not at gunpoint though, even though my sign says "Tresspassers will be shot" on one side, and "you were warned" on the back. Anyway, jokes and stupid people stories aside..

    In any case in the past couple of years, despite the birds more sporadic visits, I have not had many people sneaking in for photos as much, aside from a local ornithologist who gets invited out.

    As far as interacting with them is concerned I keep my distance, but can't avoid having to manuever around where they would roost because, as said that's my cow pasture and I'm out there every day. so technically it's not hurting anything. This was from the last visit around December.

    20171213_130659.jpg
    Pretend you didn't see this.

    As I said though, their visits have been sporadic the past couple of years but they would land here annually around winter time and roost in our area for a few weeks to a couple of months or so. it started with four of Operation Migration's original group of fledges, but then a couple of years in, one disappeared and another got killed by some idiot hunter in the next county. typical "illegally hunting for sandhill cranes" because while they're the "ribeye of the sky' but sandhill hunting in Georgia is illegal as it is, someone shot it and then realized there's a TRACKER on its leg and they got caught. .. the one that disappeared though, they assume a gator got it because they lost the tracker signal, and one of the local areas that isn't our field was known for water lizards... then one of the pairs adopted another fledge and brought it with them one year before it too went off on its own with a mate, and then the original pair recoupled with another group of birds.

    Interesting to see happen but it's a sad fact to know that despite this group's effort these birds are not long for this world. it's an experience of passively interacting with them even hearing them calling in the distance during the nights and learning the hard way why they call them "whooping" cranes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  13. Galvatross

    Galvatross Make TFW2005 Shrektastic Again! Veteran

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    Off topic, but if you're going to Garni are you going Geghard? That is a beautiful location just miles beyond in a wooded canyon.

    And yeah, that organization supports conservation and protected areas in all three former Soviet countries in the Transcaucasus. Without breaking any site rules, I think the shared nature and biodiversity of the countries in the region as well as in other parts of the world can be useful means toward creating peaceful relations.
     
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  14. Wolfguard

    Wolfguard Your own personal Jesus.

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    I'm going to try to if I can leave early enough. My plans are basically to visit certain places during the day, then meet up with my friend in the evening when she's off work. If she has the day off, she will go, but I am planning my days with the thought that she will be at work.

    Oh, that's great to hear! I didn't know there was any such cross-border cooperation towards the "east." That give me just a little bit of hope for some change in that particular country.
     
  15. Drangleic

    Drangleic Insult to injury

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    I'm all for animal conservation. However I think we should find a way to destroy all mosquitoes, flies and ticks. Just wipe them completely out. All pointless, annoying creatures that I hold no qualms over killing when they get in my way.
     
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  16. Spekkio

    Spekkio Master of War

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    NPR's On Point did a program about conserving lions. You can listen here.
     
  17. ShinGi

    ShinGi Well-Known Member

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    While flies are annoying they have an important place in the ecosystem . Removing them would create huge problems
     
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  18. ShinGi

    ShinGi Well-Known Member

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  19. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    For anyone that owns 20+ acres of land with some of it being heavily wooded, many states offer grant programs where they pay you per acre not to cut down wildlife habitat.

    Very cool program and you get paid for simply not cutting down dead or weather damaged trees.
     
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  20. Moonscream

    Moonscream YES, We Exist, and We DON'T Want to Date You

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    Got the latest orca Sightings report from the Center for Whale Research. Looks like li'l Scarlet, aka the starving baby J50, didn't make it. On 2 Sep 2018 her mother and the rest of her immediate family were accounted for, but she was not with them. :( 

    --Moony