Showing posts with label wildlife. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wildlife. Show all posts

Lemur Gets Carrot Cake

Dog blends into carpet
"At last they give me real food!"
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wik the wor
A lemur has many needs. One of them is good food - not your normal animal grub, but human stuff. It has requirements for sweet, sticky stuff that is bad for your health. As long as a vegetable is eaten with it makes things right. 

Australia's Pipistrelle Bat Will Be Extict Within a Year

Australia is about to lose the Christmas Island pipistrelle bat forever. Wildlife experts say the government is not doing enough. Only 20 of the small bats remain on an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia. The small group are staying together under the bark of a tree.

Watchers say the only answer is to collect all of them and try to breed them in captivity. Otherwise, they will be lost. The government has offered to set up a breeding program for a related small bat, but this will not save the pipistrelle. A zoologist, Mr Penney, says the species will not exist this time next year.

Scientists are planning to collect the bats and set up a breeding program themselves, ignoring the government. The government is not paying attention to the scientists, so that is what will happen.
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Alien predators are the main danger to the survival of Australia's native wildlife. Foxes and cats are clearing many areas of native animals. Indeed, Australian fauna has been the hardest hit in the world. Bettongs (rat-kangaroo) and wombats for example are oblivious to the danger when a cat or fox is present.

Australian prey have developed camouflage to defend themselves from native predators, but alien predators can see through this.

Thousands of years of isolation have made native fauna vulnerable. Other continents have long had the cat, goat, grey squirrel, mouse, pig, rabbit, red deer, red fox and ship rat, so their native animals have learned to survive and avoid extinction.  Responsibility lies clearly with early European immigrants.  The damage was done a few hundred years ago.
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Male Bower Bird Deludes the Female

Human males often lie to female partners to make them bond more and ultimately become a lifelong mate. Whether the female is aware of this doesn't seem to matter. Even when she knows, her affection is stronger than accepting she has been duped.

Male great bower birds also deceive females. He makes an intricate, often beautiful, structure to lure a prospective mate. First a bower is constructed which consists of twigs piled on top of each other. Then a walkway is built with an arch big enough for both birds to walk through. The final sweetener is the cache of rocks, shells, bones and fruit.

The male bird carefully places each piece of the cache either further away or at the front of the display to look better from the perspective of the female. He picks up each article waving it in front of her. The deception is that large objects are place further away and small objects are placed toward the front.

She is transfixed by his display and while "hypnotized" he mates with her. Sometimes she is not impressed and will not go into the swoon state. To prevent this, males will trash the work of rivals. Males of other species such as gray parrots, mistle thrush and pigeons deceive females as well.
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Endangered Species Saved by Captive Programs

Many animals have been saved from extinction by captive breeding programs. A creature of the desert, the Arabian oryx, became extinct in the wild in 1972. It has symbolic significance for Arabian people. Individual animals were brought together from Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

A watershed occurred in 1982 when some oryx were released into the wild. By 2011 the number of wild oryx reached more than 1,000. The species is no longer endangered. It is now classed as vulnerable.

Much has been learned from this successful intervention. This has been done before. In the 19th century the American bison was saved. Today there are 30,000 in the wild and another 30,000 have been bred for meat.

In Australia only 50 helmeted honeyeaters were alive in 1990. The Healesville Sanctuary has bred these birds releasing about 20 every year. Australia has adopted a policy of releasing endangered animals onto islands because cats and foxes easily kill native species. The greater stick-nest rat was saved in this way.
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Safe Food

"This looks like a safe place to hide."
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Funny Animal Photos

Wild Cockatoos Are Swearing at People

Australian wild cockatoos have been "infiltrated" by domesticated cockatoos who have escaped. Wild birds are copying words learned by escaped household pets. Cockatoos are not the only wild birds being affected in this way. Galahs and corellas shout out words that startle people. Escaped birds breed with their wild counterparts and chicks learn to talk from parents.

The parrot family is extremely good at mimicking sounds they hear. Songbirds and hummingbirds can also do this to a degree. The problem is cockatoos and parakeets are social animals. To wild birds a word is just a new sound to be learned and used socially. Human babbling to learn language is called subsong in birds, where chicks learn by trial and error.

Like humans, cockatoos continue to learn "words" all through their lives. "Natural" cockatoo sounds go together to form a language which has its own grammar. Human words are being integrated into this language.

A pet bird may only hear a word once and the word is remembered for life, particularly swear words that are spoken with some gusto.
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