Monday, December 7, 2009

Vancouver Island Marmot Facts and How You Can Save Them

Vancouver Island Marmots are about the size of a large house cat and love rocks - they use them to stay warm, cool down and stand on to look for predators. They also have another love - peanut butter!

Vancouver Island marmots need their rest - they hibernate for almost 7 months of the year.

They are also sometimes called "whistle pigs" because of the alarm call they give when there is danger which sounds just like a whistle. Listen to a Vancouver Island Marmot whistle.

Why Vancouver Island Marmots Need Our Help
Vancouver Island Marmots are the most endangered mammal in Canada with only ~100 in existence. They only live high in the mountains and only on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and have been negatively impacted by clear cutting logging which has made it easier for their predators, cougars, wolves and golden eagles to prey on them. Source/more info: The Vancouver Island Marmot

Help Save Vancouver Island Marmots

Vancouver Island Marmot photo courtesy of: The Vancouver Island Marmot

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Silky Sifaka Facts and How You Can Save Them

 Silky sifaka males are gentlemen at meal time where it's "ladies first" when it comes to eating and silky sifakas definitely like variety in their diet, eating up to 76 different species of plants.

Silky sifakas are also very playful, even the adults have been observed playing for long periods. The same can't be said for mating though, silky sifakas are thought to only mate one day a year in either December or January, talk about a dry spell! Listen to a silky sifaka.

Why Silky Sifakas Need Our Help
Silky sifakas have the dubious honor as being one of the world's 25 most endangered primates. They are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN as there are only 100 -1000 left. Silky sifakas have never bred in captivity so it is crucial that their habitat be saved which is in political turmoil and has been further destroyed by slash and burn agriculture and logging. Further complicating matters is that silky sifakas are only found in a few areas in Madascar, have a low birth rate and are hunted for food. Source/more info: Silky Sifaka: Conservation and Research in Madascar.

Help Save Silky Sifakas

Silky sifaka photo courtesy of:  RachelinMadascar

If you like primates you might also like: Cute Monkey Pictures  Monkey Mountain in Germany and Observing Endangered Samango Monkeys in iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fun Clownfish Facts and How You Can Save Them

Clownfish may look cute, but they are one of the more aggressive fish in the sea! Even though they are only 2 to 5 inches long, they will approach scuba divers to “chase” them away from their anemone. If scuba divers are persistent, clownfish have even been known to bite scuba divers! Fortunately their teeth aren’t very sharp. Most small fish stay away from scuba divers so clownfish are brave fish to “chase” away divers, especially since divers are ~ 1000 times the size of a clownfish. Can you imagine chasing and attacking an animal that was over 1000 feet long with only small teeth as your weapon? By the way, the larger clownfish that are the most aggressive are female – talk about girl power!

Why Clownfish Need Our Help
Over 50% of clownfish for sale come from the wild. After Finding Nemo came out, wild clownfish populations decreased by over 75%. Clownfish are caught by commercial divers and they usually use cyanide which temporarily paralyzes the fish making them easier to catch, but in the meantime killing other fish and destroying coral reefs. Source/more info: Finding Nemo Fan? Fun Clownfish Facts

Help Save Clownfish
Clownfish photo courtesy of Marcus, a German award winning photographer

More Clown fish photos

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Polar Bear Facts and How You Can Save Them

Did you know that polar bears are more likely to overheat than get cold even despite living in the coldest temperatures on earth? I guess that's why it's good to have up to 4.5 inch of blubber and two layers of fur. What color is polar bear fur? Sound like an obvious question? The answer may surprise you. Polar bear fur is actually clear, not white. Polar bear skin is also black (but you can't see it under all that clear fur) which also helps polar bears stay warm.

Why Polar Bears Need Our Help
Loss of sea ice is the biggest threat to polar bears which are considered vulnerable, but near endangered. Polar bears depend on the sea ice for hunting and breeding. Polar bears are starving because of lack of sea ice and in some cases drowning as they are forced to swim greater distances in search of food. There have even been recent reports of male polar bears
feeding on young polar bear cubs, a previously unheard of behaviour but likely due to the food shortage. Source/more info: Polar Bears International
Help Save Polar Bears

Polar bear photo courtesy of: