We bring you the latest from around the World in wildlife and conservation news.
The gut-wrenching footage of an emaciated polar bear dragging himself across a snowless landscape in Canada was meant to provoke a visceral response. It did exactly what was intended, with billions of people all over the world collectively groaning in anguish. The video was shot in August last year by a one of the founders of a non-profit called SeaLegacy and was posted to Instagram in December with the caption “This is what starvation looks like” as part of a wider discussion regarding the effects of climate change.
Recently Boris Johnson went on safari in Indian’s Ranthanbhore tiger reserve and made the bold proclamation that the goal of 10,000 tigers in the wild by 2050 should be set. That may sound a little radical but if we are to save this magnificent species from extinction in the wild there needs to a major shift in the minds of everyone involved in tiger conservation. This includes politicians, policy makers, scientists and conservationists all of whom have conflicting opinions on how best to save the species in India.
Conservationists have sounded the alarm by saying the Earth’s largest colony of king penguins has seen its population decline by nearly 90 per cent over the last thirty years. The colony resides on Île aux Cochons which is a remote island half way between Africa and Antarctica. The last time researchers visited the island, there were 2 million penguins. Recently satellite imagery and photos suggest that the population has collapsed and there are less than 200,000 remaining.
Over the past seven years, according to a survey conducted in 2016, nearly one in three African elephants has disappeared. That means there are less than 400,000 elephants left and conservationists say that if the poaching is not stopped it is very probable that the species will become extinct across several African countries in the coming decade. It is notoriously difficult to get accurate elephant population statistics because the most recent census took place two years ago. Nevertheless, African elephants are still considered a vulnerable species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
It’s not enough that there is an existential struggle to save the endangered sea turtle, but new challenges continue to occur. In Florida the species all but vanished four decades ago. Fortunately, there was a coordinated response from conservationists, government and volunteers which saved the species from extinction in that part of the world. However, it would appear the fight is far from over and a new trend has emerged that threatens the turtle’s survival, male turtles seem to be disappearing.
It might sound absolutely insane given the long history Australia has had with introducing invasive species, but conservationists are seriously considering introducing rhinos now. Many people make think that idea is completely potty but all five species of rhinos in the world across Africa and Asia are increasingly under attack from habitat destruction and poaching. Rhinos are a species that used to dominate the planet but are now one of the most endangered animals on Earth.
A pair of orangutans, mother and son, were recently released back into their original habitat after having undergone an intense period of rehabilitation. The International Animal Rescue in partnership with the West Borneo Forestry Department returned the mother and son back to the wild after a period of three years. The mother whose name is Maili had been at the Indonesian rehab centre since 2015 and her son was obviously born in captivity.
A number of tourists who visited a nature reserve in China threw stones at a panda in an attempt to get the bear to move have been blacklisted as a result. The panda was lying motionless beneath a tree where it had been resting in the panda enclosure of the Foping National Nature Reserve in Hanzhong North-East China. A group of approximately 20 individuals got together and began to shout at the bear and when it did not respond, one man began hurling stones at the animal.