Thursday

Three wolves were slaughtered in the Drôme (Southeastern France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region) by "wildlife enforcers" at the beginning of April 2020. Among them were two pregnant wolves!

These killings, ineffective against predation, also threaten the survival of the wolf species, classified as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The 30 Million Friends Foundation calls on the public authorities to reinforce the effectiveness of measures to protect livestock, through more harmonious and balanced cohabitation.

Quarentine of humans has not always saved wildlife. This was evidenced by the slaughter of three wolves in the Drôme in early April 2020. " While the French citizens (were) under the coronavirus quarantine, others decided to go and kill the wolves, a protected species, in the midst of breeding season, Criticizes the Ferus Association. In total, 13 of the 560 wolves present in France have already been slaughtered since the beginning of 2020. If one of them was killed illegally by a poacher, the other 12 were "legally" killed, under French regulations which set the limit on wolves that can be killed each year. Although the wolf is protected by the Berne Convention of 1979 and the Habitats Directive of 1992, these same texts also provide for exceptions for certain reasons and conditions, from the prohibition on killing.

Two of the three wolves killed in April 2020 were pregnant wolves from two different packs. " If the shooting of females pregnant with a protected species is already wrong, it also means a high risk for the breaking up of the packs, " warns Ferus. Indeed, when an alpha is killed, the pack will disperse and the wolves, alone and weakened, will prefer to hunt the most vulnerable prey which constitutes the domestic herds. So the killings then have an opposite effect to what was expected. And as proof, the wolf attacks increase from year to year because of the increasing amount of exceptions from the prohibitions on killing wolves.

Moreover, in December 2019, the National Council for the Protection of Nature (CNPN) described the government's policy of limiting the growth of wolf populations to limit damage to domestic livestock as inadequate. " This type of practice has no scientific basis and to date has brought no real improvement, either in terms of social acceptance of the wolf, or better protection of herds ," warns the Council . This observation is confirmed by other scientific bodies: the National Museum of Natural History (MNHN) and the scientific committee of the Nation Action Plan on the wolf in particular. " To allow this to continue, wolf killings would then be used to try to achieve social peace, to appease the owners of livestock.

By allowing the annual wolf removal rate to be 17% of the population - even 19% if the first rate is reached before the end of the year - (a total of 100 individuals!), the decree of January 3, 2020 pursues more of the practice of regulation than the conservation of the species." To allow the wolf population to adapt to future changes and thus ensure its long-term viability, a total of 2,500 to 5,000 adult wolves would constitute the minimum necessary, " recommend the MNHN and the National Hunting and Wildlife - now the French Office of Biodiversity - in their expertise on the future of the wolf population in France (03/2017). " This figure has been deliberately forgotten "Deplores the CNPN. Since French regulations authorize, alongside of defense killings (which aims to protect herds in the event of an wolf attack)... the practice of "just killing wolves", this can become entirely disconnected from the actual damage caused to cattle!


In addition, half of the 98 wolves slaughtered in 2019 were killed during the breeding/raising period of the pups. “Given the increasing number of wolves slaughtered, the fact that there is no longer any period of prohibition on killing, particularly during the breeding period, seems to be inconsistent with the status of protected species. The state of conservation remains vulnerable ', warn experts. Hence their recommendation, reiterated every year, aiming to lead a " more balanced policy in favor of the wolf population ".

The solution: Strengthen the alternative means of protecting herds

Ultimately, combating the predation of the wolf, while preserving the survival of the species, implies strengthening the effectiveness of the means of protecting livestock such as guarding, the use of protection dogs, the installation of electrified fences and limiting the size of herds. To achieve this, scientists recommend a more qualitative approach to these protective measures, in particular through support for the farmers and also the establishment of a vulnerability diagnosis - over the long term - in areas of high wolf predation. " The killing of wolves should not be decided until after this analysis has been made, recommends the CNPN.

But to do this, it would still be necessary to first make compulsory and systematic the technical support of farmers and the analysis of vulnerability (currently they are only implemented at the farmer's request). The administration would then have to verify, on the spot, the effective implementation of the protection devices. Finally, we should encourage the use of existing scaring devices: light devices ("foxlights"), electrical wires ("fladry") or repellant collars. According to experts, " the multiplication, recurrence and variation of innovative means - associated with the 3 essentials: humans, dogs, fences - will help keep wolves away from the herds, with greater success ".

Peaceful cohabitation with the wolf would therefore not be unrealistic if the public authorities and farmers concerned really gave themselves the means of alternative protection!

Tuesday

At some point in our lives, we all were told that fairies don’t exist and cartoons aren’t real. Fast forward to today—we have proof they all were wrong.

The most adorable baby possum was found in Australia and upon further investigation, the internet is convinced he’s a Pikachu. With no disguise.

A rescuer in Melbourne brought the orphan possum to the Boronia Veterinary Clinic, where she lit up the room with her bright yellow fur. It turns out, the golden color occurs due to a mutation that causes a low level of the pigment melanin, which gives them their normal color. Or there’s another explanation. The cute little bud belongs to a species of Pokémon and our life has been a lie. So, let’s take a look at this viral cutie pie down below and be sure to get your Pokéball ready.

This rescued brushtail golden possum went viral for her incredible orange-yellow coat

“She was brought in by a member of the public who found her on the ground. We suspect she had fallen off her mother’s back.” At the time, they estimated her to be around 5 months old and at that age should have still been living with and being looked after by mum.

Dr. Stephen Reinisch said that “she was a bit shy at first, as expected, given the strange situation she had found herself in, but was otherwise in good spirits and health.” The possum spent the night at the clinic and was then collected by a carer the following day.


The standard color for a brushtail possum is brown. “However,” Stephen explained, “they can have less common color variations like this special yellow possum.” He said that there are other possums with this same color mutation around, but they are much less common in the wild. “Their bright color makes them an easier target for predators as they do not camouflage as well as their brown counterparts.”


Caroline Dazey from the non-profit Wildlife Victoria said that there are more golden possums found in the state, especially on Melbourne’s fringes. “We do get calls about them, there are little pockets of them in Victoria.” However, the volunteers keep their location secret in order to keep them safe.
Source




Sunday

A recording has been made of one of the world’s smallest (and cutest) cat sounds like for what’s thought to be the first time ever.

The tiny cat, known as a Chilean güiña, is half the size of your usual house cat and weighs just under six pounds. The animals are extremely shy and been dubbed a ‘mystery cat’ that ‘lives in the shadows’.

However, as part of National Geographic’s Photo Ark, more information about the güiña has been discovered, including a recording of the unique sounds it makes. The Photo Ark has been created by the National Geographic Society alongside photographer Joel Sartore with the aim of helping endangered species through ‘the power of photography’. One of those endangered species in the adorable güiña.

The güiña is the 10,000th animal to be part of the Photo Ark portfolio. The cat (named Pikumche) was recorded and photographed while in captivity at Fauna Andina, a licensed wildlife reserve and rehabilitation centre in south-central Chile. It’s thought that this is the only place in the world to have güiña’s in captivity – Pikumche is one of eight at Fauna Andina.

As well as Joel taking pictures of the sweet feline, he filmed what Pikumche sounded like – something thought to be the first ever recording of the cat.

Pikumche is two-and-a-half year old male and was orphaned when he was a kitten so was hand-reared at the centre. Because of this, he’s got used to being around humans and is unable to go back into the wild.


While Pikumche can’t be returned to the wild, from the sounds of the video he’s pretty content where he is. Fernando Vidal Mugica, founder of the centre Pikumche lives at, explained the noises the cat made are ‘likely expressions of pleasure or excitement’ and his meow was because the other güiña’s appeared.

Güiña’s, also known as Leopardus guigna, are classed as ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN red list and were last assessed in 2014. The largest reason for their decline in numbers is due to loss of habitat.

Fernando added that the small cats rely on native forest to exist and that protecting it is the ‘main goal’. Joel started the Photo Ark back in 2006 in his hometown on Lincoln, Nebraska. He’s since gone on to visit 50 countries in his quest to create this photo archive of global biodiversity.

Apparently he wants to document a whopping 15,000 different species – with the güiña marking his 10,000th.
 Source
VIDEO

'I'd swear they told their buddies to come,' says photographer Daryl Granger. As people across Canada find creative ways to pass the extra hours at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an Ontario couple has found a new hobby that has both humans and critters going nuts.

Daryl Granger and his wife Karen are both photographers who own and operate RoseLe Studio in Simcoe, Ont.

"We spend a lot of time in the backyard and we noticed, 'gosh there's a lot of squirrels,' so we thought 'why not set up a photo shoot,'" Granger told CBC News on Monday.

"As you know, everybody has a lot of time on their hands. We're used to doing creative photo shoots, but we couldn't because of the pandemic." In the span of four weeks, Granger has built two outdoor sets to attract squirrels to his yard, and he says a third one is in the works. "The first one, we named it Nutzy's Country Market and we built all the wooden food bins and everything," Granger explained.

"The last one [which was completed on Saturday] is a peanut butter factory, and I am working on one, a nut vault — so it will show the squirrels looking like they are trying to get into a bank vault filled with nuts."

Nutzy's Country Market features an assortment of nuts, including almonds, peanuts, and walnuts, while the peanut butter factory is filled with — you guessed it — peanut butter. The couple spends hours in their backyard each day watching the creatures explore and snack on the treats.


"All these squirrels have personalities. You just see them interacting on a set and it's like they're hungry for nuts. They climb all over things," Granger said. "Since we put the nuts there, I'd swear they told their buddies to come, I'd say the total we have is about 10. You see them coming from all different directions. We feed them nuts, so of course they're going to come."

Blue jays joined in the fun. In addition to the squirrels, Granger said there have also been some other special visitors.


"We had cardinals show up [and also] blue jays," Granger said. "Blue jays, they like peanuts. We had about four jays that kept coming into the set every now and then, and they weren't afraid of the squirrels. It's like they all want food."

Granger says he enjoys every moment of their new-found hobby. 'It's very entertaining. The sets are fun to build, and you have your time that you have to kill so I'll probably do it for a while," he said. "Even my dogs are getting used to it. They used to chase the squirrels but now they're getting better and they're lying beside me and watching the squirrels." The couple has been sharing their photos on their Facebook page, and based on the reactions, they have brought pure joy to many.


"Haha, I love this … I should do something for my chipmunks. They love their peanuts," was Jimi Green's reaction. For Brian Deryck, it was simply: "This is fantastic."

And Suzanne Avey's comment was: "This is exactly the kind of humour we all need right now. Thank you."
Source

A young fox’s private life was revealed to a woman when she kept tabs on what he got up to in her garden. The fox took up residence in Jen’s backyard last March, much to her delight. And this week, he appeared to have a new friend…a girlfriend.

Jen lives in England and said the foxes like their garden probably because all the neighboring properties have dogs and cats.

“Fortunately (or unfortunately as I want a cat!) we have neither,” said Jen. “Next door has three cats, and there are numerous huge dogs in neighboring gardens too! There’s a giant Rottweiler next door, two German shepherds on the other side, Staffordshire terriers to the right. We’re the only house without dogs so they probably feel safe!”

Jen has seen the young male fox mature. “He’s a young fox as we’ve seen him grow. He comes out most days and sunbathes. Our garden is about 200 ft long and enclosed. We leave the bottom of the garden wild. As there’s a pond down there too, we get quite a lot of wildlife around and he lives at the end of it. Hopefully they’ll have a den there!”

The female companion can be distinguished from the male as she has a slightly narrower face and smaller ears from her new beau.

Jen said that the foxes like to play together and as she works from home she was able to take photos of the pair playing together.


“I work from home and keep a camera on the windowsill in my office as he comes out most days, sometimes he comes quite close to the house.

“These pictures were taken about 200ft away. He sometimes come within about 20 or 30ft of the house but runs off if you open the door. I once got close when he was asleep when I needed to go to the shed but he ran away when he woke up.”

Jen does not feed them and does not want them to become reliant or familiar with humans, as it may endanger them.


“We’ve left the end of the garden wild with country flowers etc so get a lot of birds/butterflies as well as the foxes and hedgehogs, there were toads/frogs in the pond as well,” wrote Jen.

“The pond pic is from when we first moved in, the entire garden was pretty overgrown so it’s not exactly an ornamental pond and has seen better days!”

“I’m glad they run away if I open the door or go into the garden, as not everyone is welcoming of them as I am,” she wrote. “I don’t feed him either for that reason.”

Jen is thrilled the young male fox has found a mate. “I’ll be beyond excited if there are kits!”
Source

Stats

Archives

Pages