Monday, February 28, 2011

Rarest Primates - The Golden Crowned Sifaka Lemur

One of the rarest primates on Earth is the Golden Crowned Sifaka. This lemur was discovered in 1982 in northeast Madagascar. It was fully described by scientists in 1988. This particular subspecies can only be found in northeast Madagascar, between the Manambato and Loky Rivers.

© Last Refuge/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis

The Golden Crowned Sifaka lemur is confined to a tiny area of hillside rainforest in this location. There are only ten forest patches left containing this subspecies, according to IUCN. This has placed it on the critically endangered list.

The Golden Crowned Sifaka lemur's Latin name is Propithecus tattersalli and it is the size of a house cat, measuring up to 50 centimetres long and weighing about 3 kilograms. It has large furry ears, white or honey coloured fur, light coloured underbelly, long tail, black face, large golden eyes, and a dark gold coloured crown.

This Sifaka moves in groups, called troops, of three to ten, usually consisting of 2 adults of each sex, but only one female in the troop produces offspring each year. Each pair is monogamous. They are diurnal (daytime) and the females are the dominants in each troop.

Their food is mostly conifer tree foliage, with the addition of some flowers, seeds, and barks. Their habitat is being destroyed due to logging and redevelopment for farmland.

The females are mature at 1642 days old, and their gestation period is about 165 days. The young's weight at birth is about .098kg, and they are weaned at about 155 days old. The Golden Crowned Sifaka lemur lives up to 20 years if undisturbed.

These lemurs are graceful, gentle, and have a variety of calls. Their hind legs are longer for leaping, and they swing from tree to tree using their forepaws, hind paws and tail. They are poached for food by outsiders, but are taboo according to locals.

The ICUN has listed this subspecies as critically endangered.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

PLEASE DOWNLOAD our petition, have it signed and send back to the address at the bottom. We need to have this licence revoked. Vince Gareffa was interviewed in the QLD Courier Mail making disgusting quotes to eating horse meat. Please help us be the voice for the horses who have no voice.
Please visit this petition and sign it.

List of Extinct Australian Mammals

Considering Australia has only been settled by environmentally harmful humans since the First Fleet in 1788, a lot of animals have been made extinct in a little over 210 years.

The Aboriginals knew and taught not to hunt to extinction or to destroy habitat or interfere with biodiversity.  They knew that a lot of the Australian environment depended on regular bushfires to germinate certain plants and keep the life cycle going, and would deliberately light bushfires to continue this cycle if fires were not occuring naturally.  They made certain lands taboo, ensuring the biodiversity of certain habitats continued undisturbed.

All this good and natural use of the land has been since usurped by white settlers.  While our environmental legacy has been sad, we can use this history to educate us to treat our fortunate land in a better and more understanding way.

Bettongia gaimardi gaimardi - Eastern Bettong
Bettongia lesueur graii Boodie - Burrowing Bettong
Bettongia penicillata penicillata - Brush-tailed Bettong
Caloprymnus campestris - Desert Rat-kangaroo
Chaeropus ecaudatus - Pig-footed Bandicoot
Conilurus albipes - White-footed Rabbit-rat
Lagorchestes asomatus - Central Hare-wallaby
Lagorchestes hirsutus hirsutus - Rufous Hare-wallaby
Lagorchestes leporides - Eastern Hare-wallaby
Lagostrophus fasciatus albipilis - Banded Hare-wallaby
Leporillus apicalis - Lesser Stick-nest Rat
Macropus eugenii eugenii - Tammar Wallaby
Macropus greyi - Toolache Wallaby
Macrotis leucura - Lesser Bilby
Notomys amplus - Short-tailed Hopping-mouse
Notomys longicaudatus - Long-tailed Hopping-mouse
Notomys macrotis - Big-eared Hopping-mouse
Notomys mordax - Darling Downs Hopping-mouse
Nyctophilus howensis - Lord Howe Long-eared Bat
Onychogalea lunata - Crescent Nail-tail Wallaby
Perameles bougainville fasciata - Western Barred Bandicoot
Perameles eremiana - Desert Bandicoot
Potorous platyops - Broad-faced Potoroo
Pseudomys gouldi - Gould's Mouse
Rattus macleari - Maclear's Rat
Rattus nativitatis - Bulldog Rat
Thylacinus cynocephalus - Thylacine, Tasmanian Tiger

Monday, February 21, 2011

Why Did the Caspian Tiger Become Extinct?

In the early twentieth century, the Russian government decided to reclaim land for development, and instructed the Russian army to find and kill all tigers found near the Caspian Sea.

These tigers are known as Caspian tigers, or Hyrcanian/Turan tiger by the locals. Their scientific name is Panthera tigris virgata.

The Caspian Tiger

Farmers then followed and cleared the Caspian tigers' natural habitat in order to plant crops.  The surviving tigers retreated from the land clearing into the hill and mountain forests, but they did not adapt well to their new habitat; their main source of food, the boar, were also hunted out.  They gradually died out.

It is generally accepted that the Caspian tiger became extinct in the 1950s.

                 "Caspian Tiger" by Vandome, McBrewster and Miller.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Facts on Endangered Tigers

Until the 20th century there were nine subspecies of tigers.
It is estimated they numbered over 100 000 in total worldwide.
Three tiger subspecies are now extinct. These are the Caspian, Javan and Balinese tigers.
It is feared the South China tiger is now extinct as they have not been seen for years.
All remaining tiger subspecies are critically endangered.  These are the Bengal (or Indian), Indo Chinese, Malay, Sumatran and Siberian.
It is currently estimated that if you put ALL the tiger subspecies together, there are perhaps about 3200 tigers now surviving in the wild.
Hunting and destruction of habitat are the main reasons for their near extinction.
Tiger populations are all on the decline.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Facts on Endangered and Extinct Animals

Extinct Animals

If there are no animals of a particular species or subspecies in the wild, it is said to be extinct. Extinction is caused by a number of factors:

Humans - pollution, development in natural habitat, hunting and poaching, industrial and residential development

Natural events - climate change, volcanic eruptions or overbreeding

Introduced animals becoming a feral pest - cats, dogs, pigs

Destruction of natural habitat - can be caused by any of the above

Prey animals or plants becoming endangered or extinct - losing a principal part of their daily diet.

There are hopes that preservation of extinct animal DNA will one day bring them back, but until then, we are the poorer for the loss of these species.

Endangered Animals

If only a few animals of a particular species or subspecies survives in the wild, it is said to be endangered.
The same factors that cause extinction, cause endangered status among animals.

Why Does Extinction Matter?

Extinction matters because it affects biodiversity on the Earth. The extinction of one species can cause the extinction of another species; it becomes a train wreck of biodiversity, as entire habitats become extinct. We, as humans, in our turn depend on these biodiverse habitats to ensure our own survival. Conservation is not just about animals, it is about people, too.

Our generation had to grow up without ever seeing a Dodo. Do we wish our children's children to grow up never seeing a Tiger?  Do we wish to live in a world that no longer produces sufficient oxygen to breathe?