polar bears have black skin and clear fur to keep them warmAverage height is 1,150Males are larger than femalesAverage height is about 8feet (standing on its hind legs)
• The Arctic’s polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have become the iconic symbol of early victims of climate-induced habitat loss. Designated a threatened species for protection by the Endangered Species Act in the US, many polar bear populations will be vulnerable to extinction within the next century if warming trends in the Arctic continue at the current pace.
Habitat• The polar bears main habitat is on offshore pack ice, and along costs and island of the Arctic region. Over 40 per cent of all polar bears living today live in Northern Canada, on pack ice and along the shores of the many island there. Polar bears prefer the ice packs to other parts of their habitat because it allows them to remain in close contact with their main food source. Seals. Polar bears will remain in this ice pack habitat all year. They prefer the sea ice over all other places. When summer comes, and the polar regions warm up, the polar bears will travel many miles to remain on the ice, near their food source, seals. Any polar bears that do not stay on the ice when the ice begins to retreat will have to remain on the land, until the ice forms again in the fall.
niche• The polar bears niche is eating the seals and whales
Food source• Polar bears feed mainly on ringed and bearded seals. Depending upon their location, they also eat harp and hooded seals and scavenge on carcasses of beluga whales, walruses, narwhals, and bowhead whales. On occasion, polar bears kill beluga whales and young walruses.• When other food is unavailable, polar bears will eat just about any animal they can get, including reindeer, small rodents, seabirds, waterfowl, fish, eggs, vegetation (including kelp), berries, and human garbage.
Reason• The chief threat to the polar bear is the loss of its sea ice habitat due to global warming. Rising temperatures cause sea ice to melt, especially in the summer months when the polar bears are the most active. Polar bears depend on sea ice as habitat for hunting and dens.• As available sea ice decreases, polar bears have to swim farther to find suitable habitat and it takes much longer to find a meal. Compounding the problem, sea ice loss also impacts polar bears main food source--seals.
• In 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act primarily because of the decline of its primary habitat: sea ice. The Secretary of Interior listed the polar bear as threatened but restricted the Endangered Species Acts protections and thus the polar bears future is still very much in jeopardy.
Solution• It is critical that we act now to curb greenhouse gas emissions and find alternatives to fossil fuels if we are going to save polar bears and avoid the worst impacts of global warming. Also changing our daily lives could help too.
Whos the hero???• WWF is supporting field research to better understand how climate change will affect polar bears and to develop adaptation strategies. WWF also works to protect critical polar bear habitat by working with governments and industry to reduce threats from shipping and oil and gas development in the region and with local communities to reduce human-bear conflict in areas where bears are already stranded on land for longer periods of time due to lack of ice.
• A wild panda spends much of its day resting, feeding, and seeking food. Unlike other bears from temperate climates, giant pandas do not hibernate. Until recently, scientists thought giant pandas spent most of their lives alone, with males and females meeting only during the breeding season. Recent studies paint a different picture, in which small groups of pandas share a large territory and sometimes meet outside the breeding season. Much remains to be learned about the secret lives of these elusive animals, and every new discovery helps scientists in their battle to save this species.
• Pandas can range up to 160 pounds an 1.5 meters tall• The males are larger than females• And they eat for ten hours• They are playful animals
• An international symbol of conservation since WWF’s founding in 1961, the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) which numbers around 1,600 in the wild, faces an uncertain future. Its forest habitat in the mountainous areas of southwest China has become fragmented, creating a number of small and isolated populations. WWF has been active in giant panda conservation for nearly three decades by working working with the Chinese government to protect habitats through the creation of reserves and to help local communities become less dependent on forest resources. Over half of the habitat where pandas live is now protected, and corridors are being established to connect key panda populations. But the 1,600 remaining wild pandas are still living in over 20 geographically separate areas, and infratructure development is on the increase, so there’s still much more to be done.
Habitat• They live in the mountains that has bamboo forests. Suitable panda bear habitat is found in the mountainous regions of Southwest China as well as in the temperate Chinese forests. Earlier, the occupied panda bear habitat extended throughout a large part of southern and eastern China, northern Vietnam and northern Burma. The decline of the panda population and the loss of panda bear habitat is not a 20th century problem; it has occurred throughout the last millennium. The panda bear was considered a rare species even in ancient China. Hunting and climate change are believed to have been the two major factors contributing to the constant decline of this extraordinary species.
Niche• bamboo forests, its diurnal ( active during the day )• it feeds on bamboo leaves and stem, its jaws are adapted for coping with the tough vegetations.• huge paws for digging out roots, thick fur for extra warmth.
Food source• Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the pandas diet is 99% bamboo. Pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared feed.
Reason???• Today, the giant pandas future remains uncertain. As Chinas economy continues rapidly developing, this bamboo-eating member of the bear family faces a number of threats. Its forest habitat, in the mountainous areas of southwest China, is increasingly fragmented by roads and railroads. Habitat loss continues to occur outside of protected areas, while poaching remains an ever- present threat.
solution• Fortunately, society has taken notice of the plight of the Giant Panda. This includes the Chinese government which has set up 50 Panda Reserves. Essentially, authorities have set aside over 2.5 million acres for Giant Pandas, where they can live, at least in theory, without fear of human destruction.
Whos the hero????• WWF has been active in giant panda conservation since 1980, and was the first international conservation organization to work in China at the Chinese governments invitation.• It is important to recognize that WWF and other NGOs are significant, but peripheral players in China. After many years of observation and practice it is clear that WWF’s main role in China is to assist and influence policy level conservation decisions through information collection, demonstration of conservation approaches at all levels and capacity building. In addition, WWF also serves as a facilitator; a source of information and a communicator in panda conservation.
• Although strong and powerful, gorillas are generally gentle and shy. They live in groups of 2-40 individuals, averaging about 11. Groups are led by a dominant male, the silverback, named for the silvery gray hairs that grow when the male matures. The silverback serves as the chief leader and protector of the group, to whom all group members defer. He decides when and where to forage, rest and sleep, arbitrates disputes among his family members and protects them from rival silverbacks or human predators.
• Scientists consider mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) to be a critically endangered gorilla subspecies, with about 720 surviving in the wild. More than 200 live in the Virunga National Park, located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, bordering Rwanda and Uganda. War has been waged in areas around the park, with gorillas subject to related threats such as poaching and loss of habitat. Conservation efforts have led to an increase in the Virunga population by 14 per cent in the last 12 years, while the mountain gorillas other home, the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, has experienced population increases of 12 per cent over the past decade. Despite this success, the mountain gorillas status remains fragile, and WWF is working to save the great ape’s forest habitat in the mountains of the heart of Africa.
Habitat• The dense, forest ecosystems of the mountains of East Africa are the last remaining habitat of the mountain gorilla.• Mountain gorillas are restricted to 4 national parks. One family of mountain gorillas inhabits the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. The second family of mountain gorillas is found in the territory shared by Volcano National Park (Rwanda), Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Uganda), and Virunga National Park -Southern Sector (DRC).• Their behavio
Niche• Gorillas are primarily terrestrial (although they lived in trees back in their evolutionary past). Gorillas live in tropical rain forests (in the forest edges and clearings), wet lowland forests, swamps, and abandoned fields.• The different subspecies of gorillas live in different parts of western Africa.
Food source• It is perhaps surprising that an animal as large and strong as the mountain gorilla is primarily an herbivore. Mountain gorillas eat over 100 different species of plants. They rarely need to drink since their diet is so rich in succulent herbs, from which they get their water.
Reason???• The primary threat to mountain gorillas comes from forest clearance and degradation, as the regions growing human population struggles to eke out a living. The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), in collaboration with Fauna and Flora International and World Wide Fund for Nature, established the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) to safeguard the last remaining mountain gorillas.
solution• Educating local communities about zoonotic diseases may decrease disease transfer, and ideally, providing more widespread access to health care would also be useful. Where gorillas come in contact with researchers, park visitors, and staff, implementing even stronger protocol that includes face masks, gloves, required immunization, and further required distances from the animals may also decrease chances of disease transfer Currently, field personnel working with the research populations of mountain gorillas take part in an employee health program designed to limit disease transfer to gorillas. In populations as small as the mountain and Cross River gorillas, it is imperative to minimize the possibility of infectious disease transfer as this could eliminate both populations entirely.
Whos the hero???• IGCP works on three levels: Strengthening gorilla habitat protection through regional collaboration, researching the dynamic between the human population and the natural habitat/wildlife, and working with local communities to develop livelihood strategies that are complementary to conservation objectives.• This coalition has been a tremendous success, but support is still greatly needed. The most endangered of the gorilla subspecies, only 786 mountain gorillas remain in the wild.
Did You Know?• There are only 786 mountain gorillas left in the world.• Humans and gorillas are 98% genetically identical.• Male silverback gorillas can weigh 50-100 pounds more - and are about 10 times stronger - than the biggest American football players.• When the group is attacked by humans, leopards, or other gorillas, the silverback will protect them even at the cost of his own life.
• Leatherback sea turtles are the biggest turtles on Earth. A leatherback can weigh more than a ton—2,000 pounds (907 kilograms)! Theyre long, too. Leatherbacks are generally at least 6 feet (2 meters) long. An adult leatherback sea turtle is generally longer than an average-size man is tall.
• Unlike other species of sea turtles, which have hard shells, the leatherbacks shell is leathery; it feels almost rubbery. The shell is black, often speckled with white or yellow spots.• These huge reptiles lived 100 million years ago—during the age of dinosaurs—but their future is uncertain.
• The largest marine turtle and one of the largest living reptiles, the leatherback turtle, (Dermochelys coriaceathe) has survived for more than a hundred million years, but is now facing extinction. Recent estimates of numbers show that this species is declining, particularly in the Pacific where as few as 2,300 adult females now remain, making the Pacific leatherback the worlds most endangered marine turtle population. Atlantic turtle populations are more stable but scientists predict a decline due to the large numbers of adults being caught as bycatch and killed accidentally by fishing fleets. Additionally, rising sea levels and higher temperatures on Atlantic beaches pose a new threat to turtles and their offspring. Nest temperature strongly determines the sex of offspring, and a nest warming trend is reducing the number of male turtles. WWF aims to conserve leatherback turtle migratory pathways - by working with fisheries to decrease bycatch, by protecting critical nesting beaches, and by raising awareness so that local communities will protect turtles and their nests.
Habitat• Leatherback sea turtles live mainly in warm waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Theyve also been spotted in icy seas off the northern shores of Canada as well as the southern coast of South Africa.
Niche• Leatherbacks must breathe air at the surface, but can stay underwater for up to 35 minutes at a time. Only females ever leave the ocean. During nesting season, the female comes ashore on a sandy beach, where she digs a hole. She lays about 100 eggs in the hole, covers them with sand, and heads back to sea. Sea turtles do not guard their nests, so the babies are on their own.
Food source• The leatherback sea turtle is omnivorous feeding on jellyfish (its primary food source), crabs and fish. They are also known to eat sea urchins, squid, crustaceans, tunicates, blue- green algae and seaweed.
reason• Leatherbacks are one of the more endangered creatures on Earth, for several reasons, mostly due to human activity. They are often caught by accident in fishing nets. Stuck underwater, they drown. Sea turtle nesting habitats are also being destroyed, and the eggs they do lay are illegally collected by people for food. Newly hatched sea turtles instinctively head from the nest to the sea, but in areas where people live, the hatchlings often become confused by lights from houses built along shore. Instead of heading to sea, they head toward the lights. Another hazard for sea turtles is floating plastic trash, which they often mistake for jellyfish, their main food.
solution• Dont buy products which have been made from sea turtle parts. Guitars, ashtrays, jewelry and other products made from sea turtles are sold to tourists around the world.• Stop loitering in oceans & seas• Protect sea turtle nests and ensure that they return to the sea.
Whos the hero???• WWF is working to conserve leatherback turtles and their habitats in Central and South America, and the western Pacific through concerted pan-Pacific and trans-Atlantic approaches that aim to protect critical nesting beaches and migratory pathways.
• The Amur leopard has some very distinguishing features. The hairs of its summer pelt are 2.5 cm long but in winter they are replaced by 7 cm long ones.• Apart from its long winter coat, which is a light color in the winter, and more reddish-yellow in the summer, the Amur leopard is easily told apart from other leopard subspecies by its widely spaced rosettes with thick borders. It also has longer legs, probably an adaptation for walking through snow.• Adult males weight around 32-48 kg, and exceptionally large males weigh up to 75 kg. Females typically weigh 25-43 kg.
• Leopards are highly adaptable cats, and all nine subspecies of leopard were once common throughout most of Africa and Asia. Today, however, the Amur leopard is considered the world’s rarest cat. Also known as the Far Eastern leopard, this cat’s range originally extended across northeastern China, the Korean peninsula, and the southern portion of Primorsky Krai, Russia. Now just 25 to 40 Amur leopards remain, occupying a sliver of habitat in Russia along its border with China. A few of these individuals sometimes wander into China.
• The Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is a very rare leopard subspecies that lives only in the remote and snowy northern forests of eastern Russian’s Primorye region. Its former range included Korea and northern China, but the Amur leopard is now extinct in those countries. A 2007 census counted only 14-20 adult Amur leopards and 5-6 cubs. Threats facing the species include habitat loss due to logging, road building and encroaching civilization, poaching (illegal hunting) and global climate change.
Habitat• Habitat: forests in hilly country• Distribution: Russia, in a small area west of Vladivostok, near China and North Korea. A few individuals survive in China and Korea.
Niche• The Amur leopard has the most northern distribution of the eight subspecies of leopard. It is called after the river Amur on the border between China and Russia. In the sixties and seventies the Amur leopard was still found in considerable numbers in former Manchuria, the Korean peninsula and in the southern part of Ussuriland in the Russian Far East. Today the only viable population is left in a small area between Vladivostok and the Chinese border. In China and North Korea very few leopards remain.
Food source• The main prey species are roe deer and sika deers, small wild boars, along with hares, badgers and raccoon dogs.
Reason???• The primary reasons for the Amur leopard’s decline are hunting and loss of habitat. Humans are their main predators: Trophy hunters seek to kill the leopards for their beautiful spotted fur coats, while subsistence hunters find the cats a nuisance as they compete for sika deer and other prey. Farmers may persecute the cats in retribution for killing livestock. Annual fires, ignited by people to turn forests into grasslands for farming, are probably the greatest threat to leopard habitat. Since the mid-1970s, in addition to these threats, logging, inbreeding and disease, development of natural gas pipelines and road and railway networks, along with mineral extraction have decimated the Amur leopard population.
solution• Conserve the armur leopards natural habitat• Stop deforestation
Whos the hero??• In 1998, the Russian government adopted a strategy for the conservation of the Amur leopard. WWF is supporting anti-poaching activities in the Barsovy wildlife refuge, as well within the whole leopard habitat in the Russian Far East.
• The Monarch butterfly is one the most readily recognized and beloved insects in North America. With its vivid orange and black markings and often bold behavior around people, it seldom fails to create a smile on the face of an those who see it.
• Monarch butterflies are known for the incredible mass migration that brings millions of them to California and Mexico each winter. North American monarchs are the only butterflies that make such a massive journey—up to 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers). The insects must begin this journey each fall ahead of cold weather, which will kill them if they tarry too long.
• Every year millions of delicate monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) migrate from North America to their winter habitat in Mexico. A well conserved and protected high- altitude pine and fir forest in Mexico is essential for the survival of the overwintering of monarchs, which has been recognized as an endangered biological phenomenon. The protection of its reproductive habitats in the United States and Canada is also crucial to saving this species migration, one of the most remarkable natural phenomena on the planet. WWF, in collaboration with the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature, has designed an innovative conservation strategy to protect and restore the Monarch butterflies wintering habitat in Mexico, so butterflies are protected from extremes weather and other threats. WWF is also supporting local communities to establish trees nurseries that are reintroduced to the monarch butterfly reserve, creating at the same time new sources of income for the owners of the monarch forests.
Habitat• The Transvolcanic Range in Mexico or the Pacific coast of California. Monarchs are found all around the world in sub-tropical to tropical areas. They are found in open habitats including meadows, fields, marshes, and cleared roadsides.
Niche• Monarch butterflies begin life as eggs and hatch as larvae that eat their eggshells and, subsequently, the milkweed plants on which they were placed. (Monarchs are dependent on milkweed plants, which larvae eat nearly exclusively.)
Food source• For starters, the larvae (caterpillars) of monarch butterflies eat ONLY milkweed, this is why the monarch butterfly is dubbed the ‘milkweed butterfly’. The larvae stage is the only stage of the monarch butterfly that feeds on milkweed; there is something in milkweed that allows the caterpillar to grow and keep all of the vitamins needed to transform into a beautiful butterfly. In turn, the adult butterflies consume all sorts of different things including nectar, water and even liquids from some of the fruits we consume.
Reason ???• The Monarch Butterfly population, as well as numerous other animal species, is suffering the effects of man-made events as well as the consequences of the “global warming” phenomenon.• Scientists assert that the global climate change may cause the Monarch’s over-wintering sites in Mexico to become wetter, and the spring and summer breeding areas of the United States west coast and mid-western agricultural belt to become warmer. As temperatures become too warm for this species, their summer migrations may take them even further northward.
solution• The world can do their part by lowering conditions that cause global warming…such as lowering the carbon dioxide rate.
Whos the hero???• World Wildlife Fund, in collaboration with the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature has designed an innovative conservation strategy to protect and restore the Monarch butterflies wintering habitat in Mexico. The plan will help preserve the high-altitude pine and fir forest that serves as home to one of the most remarkable natural phenomena on the planet.• A well-preserved forest ecosystem in Mexico is critical for the survival of the Monarch butterfly wintering, which has been recognized as an endangered biological phenomenon, and the first priority in world butterfly conservation.
• The Javan rhino is very similar in appearance to the closely related greater one-horned rhinoceros, but has a much smaller head, a slightly smaller overall size, and looser, less apparent skin folds.• The species has a single horn of about about 25 cm. Recent evidence suggests that the horn may be absent or very small in females.• The upper lip is pointed and can be used to grasp food and bring it to the mouth.• Size: 2-4m long, up to 170cm in height, and weighing 900- 2,300kg• Color: Dusky grey
• The Javan rhino is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, with no more than 50 left in the wild and none in captivity.
• Listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List (2009), the Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is considered to be one of the most endangered large mammals in the world with only two populations existing in the wild, for a total number of less than 60 animals. Highly prized as a commodity in traditional Asian medicine, Javan rhinos have also been brought to the verge of extinction by the conversion of forest habitat to farmland. WWF has been involved in protection and conservation of the Javan rhino since 1998, supporting forest rangers to undertake increased patrolling and protection activities, conducting surveys of the rhino population, raising awareness of the importance of the rhinos to local communities, and supporting park management. Last month, highly trained sniffer dogs were used to search for traces of the extremely rare and endangered Vietnamese Javan Rhinoceros, of which no more than a dozen are thought to exist. These samples will be analysed to better understand the gender mix and whether this small population has a chance of survival.
Habitat• -lives in dense rainforest• -prefers low altitudes• -there is evidence of Javan Rhinos living 3,000 ft above sea level• -favors places with good water supply• -likes to roll in wallow, which is a muddy pit• -instead of digging its own wallow, it uses a pig wallow or natural pit• -is a solitary animal• -has loosely defined territory• -can go several days without drinking• -may travel great distances to find water• -has bad eyesight• -is alerted to danger by sense of hearing and smell
Niche• The Javan rhino appears to be a more adaptable feeder than other extant rhino species. In the tropical rainforest where the species now survives, it is a pure browser, but possibly was a mixed feeder (both browse and grass) in other parts of its historic range where the species is generally believed to have occupied more lowland areas, especially along watercourses.
Food source• -eats about 150 different plant species• -prefers shoots, twigs, young foliage, and fallen fruit• -area where it feeds is easy to spot because of uprooted saplings• - to knock over a tree, the rhino leans against it with its shoulder• - as tree gives way, the rhino pushes it down with its front legs• -also feeds from bushes and low hanging branches• -its upper lip is adapted to grasp food for this purpose
Reason???• Only one or two small populations of Javan rhino remain. This makes the species extremely vulnerable to extinction due to natural catastrophes, diseases, poaching, political disturbances, and genetic drift. The biology of the species is poorly understood, with techniques for accurately estimating their numbers not fully developed.
solution• By purchasing certified sustainable palm oil and FSC-certified forest products, retailers, traders, and manufacturers help protect Javan rhino habitat by limiting illegal logging and forest conversion to oil palm plantations. Consumers can also help by demanding certified products.
Whos the hero???• Today, we conduct ongoing research on the Javan rhino in Indonesia, which continues to reveal critical information on behavioural patterns, distribution, movement, population size, sex ratio and genetic diversity.• We also support anti-poaching patrols in Indonesias Ujung Kulon National Park.• In addition, in Ujung Kulon National Park we are supporting habitat management in the hope that the existing environment can maintain a larger population.• These efforts include reducing threats from encroachment and illegal extractions, reducing Javan rhino competition with banteng (wild cattle), and studies to increase the availability of the species natural food supply by halting and reducing the invasion of Arenga palm.
I believe if everyone had a burningpassion for these magnificentcreatures…we could save theworld.-Thank you
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