We bring you the latest from around the World in wildlife and conservation news.
BBC filmmakers who were in Antarctica shooting the wildlife series Dynasties were in for a surprise. The crew were in the middle of a colony of penguins when they came across one member of the flock that stood out. An all-black penguin was mixed in with the crowd and the BBC says that it was probably the first-time footage of an all-black emperor penguin has ever been captured. The reason for the all-black colour is a genetic mutation known as melanism.
Some experts think that orangutans could face extinction within the next decade whilst others believe that this could occur within several. Regardless of when the breaking point occurs, the reasons are the same. Habitat loss is perhaps the greatest threat. WWF has classified orangutans as a ‘critically endangered’ species with the total population of all three species at around 122,000 in the wild.
A new study suggests that a much better strategy to ensure the protection of snow leopards is to involve local communities and protect their livelihoods. Snow leopards are the alpine ecosystem’s apex predators. This means conserving the species is critical for all other species in the ecosystem such as Asiatic Ibex and Musk Deer. Unfortunately, the population of snow leopards is declining as the number of prey population falls, poachers hunt the species for their skin and locals engage in revenge killings in retaliation for loss of livestock.
The population of wild mountain gorillas is believed to be on the rise making it a true conservation success story. Despite the good news, their numbers still remain low with only 1,000 in the wild making their future fragile. This means the work WWF is doing through the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) is as important as ever. Here are five things you should know about this iconic species and why it’s so important that they continue to survive.
There has been some great news coming from South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs with official data suggesting that the number of rhinos killed in the country feel from 1,028 in 2017 to 769 last year. At the turn of the twentieth century, more than a half million rhinos roamed throughout Asia and Africa. Unfortunately, the situation is quite different today, with very few rhinos surviving outside reserves and national parks as a consequence of relentless poaching or habitat destruction that has occurred over many decades.
If you need proof that the panda is the most chilled out species on earth, then look no further than this video. According to news reports news, an eight-year-old girl in China has the fright of a lifetime after falling into a panda enclosure. Fortunately, she escaped unharmed and the pandas did not seem to mind at all they had a young intruder in their enclosure. Apparently, the wall of the enclosure had gaps that small kids could fit through.
Activists have taken the unprecedented step of filing a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the drive hunting of dolphins in Taiji Wakayama Prefecture made famous in the documentary “The Cove.” Environmentalists are arguing that the practice is both cruel and illegal. Drive hunting is the process of forcing dolphins into a cove by disorienting and panicking them, and then tangling them in nets resulting in their suffocation and drowning.
Most of Kenya’s leopards are characterised by their iconic light coat and dark spots, however there are a tiny fraction of the population that have a rare genetic mutation known as melanism which makes them appear all black in sunlight. San Diego Zoo Global says leopards with melanism have spots that show up at night under infrared imagery. The black leopard has achieved mythical status with lots of stories in central Kenya’s Laikipia County, the location of the most recent sightings.