conservation

Showing 60 posts tagged conservation

If you’re a two year old, injured snowy owl in need of some new feathers, you’ll be lucky to find yourself at a raptor center like the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota. There, someone like Avian physiologist Lori Arent can perform the modern version of an old falconers’ procedure called imping – when a bird’s damaged flight feathers are replaced with a stronger ones. From National Geographic:

“I have a whole freezer full of harvested feathers, of different types and sizes, and I wanted to choose the right ones for this animal. I picked feathers from a male the same age as this bird and they fit perfectly…” 

She then whittled small sticks of bamboo so that one end poked into the shaft of the new feather and the other into the shaft still attached to the bird (where the burned feathers had been carefully sheared off).

With a little drop of quick-drying epoxy, she cemented each new feather into place. “If attached right, the new feathers are just as effective as the old ones” in letting a bird do all of its aerial maneuvers, she said….

Eventually, the owl will lose the borrowed feathers—in a process called molting—and grow its own new ones.

Snowy owls are amazing animals that travel long distances every year. Watch Snowy Owl Invasion.

And another lucky bird: Rocky the Bald Eagle is released from the Eagle Valley Raptor Center.

This orphaned white rhino calf was gravely injured by poachers, but thanks to emergency surgery and the care of wildlife veterinarian Cobus Raath and his team, little Shangi is on the mend, getting mudbaths, and joyfully running about with her caregivers. From the Smithsonian Channel’s Baby Planet: Human Intervention: Running with Rhinos.

Bonus video: Baby rhinos sound adorable.

via LikeCool.

Using 360-degree cameras to document the landscape and polar bears of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, teams at Google Maps, Earth Outreach, and Polar Bears International have made it possible for us to explore life on the tundra. This is behind the scenes of the Polar Bear Capital of the World:

This quiet town, set on the shores of western Hudson Bay, is a place where polar bears and humans coexist until the sea ice forms and the polar bears can travel on to the bay to hunt seals, their main prey.

During the warmer months, the polar bears are forced ashore by melting ice. While climate change may seem like a gradual process, often difficult to discern, the impact is real and evident in the polar bear capital. In Churchill, climate change has shortened the time that the bay remains frozen, reducing the polar bears’ hunting season by approximately four weeks…

In addition to this documentation, the team aims to educate about the polar bears’ quickly-changing habitat, and to inspire our reduction of carbon emissionsthe largest man-made contributor to warming the planet.

To learn more, check out these ways to reduce your carbon footprint. And then search for polar bears in Churchill.

In the archives: watch more polar bear stories, more conservation, and another video about how technology helps us understand our changing world: the Catlin Seaview Survey of the Great Barrier Reef.

via Inhabitat.

Watch this Kiwi chick hatch from an egg at Auckland Zoo. This is the season’s second hatchling for BNZ Operation Nest Egg, a program that collects the eggs of endangered and critically endangered wild kiwi. Hatched and protected until they are big enough to return to their native populations, this process has increased their chance of surviving to adulthood to 65%, up from just 5% in the wild.

Watch more videos of birds, zoos, and eggs, including this very different kind of hatching video: the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect.

In this clip from PBS’ The Funkiest Monkeys, we travel into an Indonesian island rainforest to learn about the complex relationships of the extremely intelligent and social crested black macaques

There is an unusual looking monkey called the crested black macaque that is endemic to rainforests in Indonesia, which includes the island of Sulawesi. These striking black primates, sporting punk hairstyles and copper-colored eyes, first caught the attention and won the heart of wildlife cameraman and biologist Colin Stafford-Johnson 25 years ago. But since then, their numbers have dropped by almost 90 percent, so the filmmaker returns to the island to discover why and how he could help.

Upon his arrival, Stafford-Johnson finds a very different looking Sulawesi. An island once entirely covered in forest, is now undertaken with new roads, people and buildings. He meets up with the leader of a team of local biologists — Giyarto, or Ugi for short — who has been studying the macaques for seven years. Together they will make a film to show how special these monkeys are, hoping to involve the local community in protecting them before they disappear forever.

You can check out The Funkiest Monkeys trailer here. Related watching in the archives: Japanese macaques cuddle in hot springs, and more endangered creatures.