🎶 I'm walking in the wonder, You're the wonder in the wild, Turning wilderness to wonder - "Wonder" by Hillsong United
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Repost from @yosemitenps - "The beauty and charm of the wilderness are his for the asking, for the edges of the wilderness lie close beside the beaten roads of the present travel." - Theodore Roosevelt
On September 3rd, 1964, the Wilderness Act was signed into law, setting aside 9.1 million acres of land as areas "where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain". Fifty-three years later, about 110 million acres of US federal lands are protected wilderness, 704,624 of which are within Yosemite. Have you experienced their beauty and charm?
📌September 2nd - International Vulture Awareness Day! Too much of a well rounded post not to share!
Repost from @natgeo - Vultures are not pretty (in the conventional sense of the term) and you might not think they need to be highlighted but they do. Vultures in Africa and Asia have experienced catastrophic declines over the last twenty years. In India and around Asia some species have declined by up to 99% due to the use of a drug called Diclofenac - a drug used to cure some ailments in cows. In Africa a mixture of poisoning both direct and indirect combined with habitat loss and loss of food has contributed to their current steep decline. Vultures are hugely important to eco-systems - they consume more meat on the plains of Africa than all the other predators and scavengers combined. Without them playing such an important role other scavengers such as jackals, feral dogs and hyenas will proliferate and with that will come an increase in rabies - as has been seen already in India with increased incidence of human rabies. So love them or hate them humans need them.
📌September 1st - National Ginger Cat Appreciation Day! Did you know that the "tabby" cat is really a coat pattern and not a cat breed? An orange tabby can have different coat patterns with "brindle", spots, or striping. Most orange tabby cats are MALES due to what we call a "sex- linked trait." A female has two X chromosomes (where the gene for this special pigment is located) therefore they will need two copies to produce an orange coat. Whereas a male has one X and one Y chromosome, meaning if they inherit this coloring on their single X chromosome, they will express it because there isn't a second copy to counteract it! Because of this same idea, most "calico" or 'orange and black (sometimes white)' cats are FEMALE. While males with this coat pattern actually have too many sex chromosomes making them sterile.
Grateful. 🙌🏼🇺🇸🌄😍 at Nassau County, New York
📌August 30th - International Whale Shark Day! Research on these creatures both in captivity and in the wild is ever increasing over the past decade. In 2010, the first blood parameters were published on this giant! There are 5 places you can technically obtain blood from these massive fish, however the most common draws occur at the base of the second dorsal fin or from the caudal vein. These techniques have been incorporated and practiced with temporarily netted animals to obtain samples from wild populations. Not surprisingly, their bloodwork is similar to other elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) with some modifications. Visit @georgiaaquarium, @conservationorg, and @saveourseasfoundation for more information.
Photo: Liquid Productions, LLC.
📌August 26th - National Dog Day! Dogs are a man's best friend!
But really, dogs are used in so many facets of life. From working dogs, to support, protection and companion animals; they can enhance our jobs and our lives. In this case, the Anatolian shepherd breed is used by Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) to preserve endangered cheetah populations. This is an adaptive livestock- and management- practice; by which CCF breeds and provides a livestock guard dog to farmers in Namibia. The shepherd protects the livestock from predators and in return, farmers are not tempted to kill cheetahs, jackals and other wild animals due to predation threats on their herds and livelihood. (Plus, in captivity, they make for great buddies in a zoo environment where cubs may not be immediately placed in coalitions!) 🐱🐶
📌August 25th - Founders Day for the National Park Service! Happy 101st Birthday NPS! 🎉
Repost from @upperdelawarenps - Upper Delaware is celebrating Founders Day today. A great way to celebrate the National Park Service is to get out and #FindYourPark. We invite you to come out and visit Upper Delaware.
1916 - NPS created under Woodrow Wilson
1933 - Herbert Hoover passed the Reorganization Act which restructured the executive branch of government and allowed -->
1933 - Franklin D. Roosevelt made executive orders to transfer War Department historic sites and national monuments managed under the Department of Agriculture to the NPS
1952 - Dwight D. Eisenhower began Mission 66 to upgrade and expand national parks for the 50th anniversary.
1964 - Wilderness Act
1970 - National Park Service General Authorities Act
1972 - Marine Mammal Protection Act
1973 - Endangered Species Act
2000 - Marine Protected Areas are established
Today, the NPS handles over 84 million acres which includes ~60 national parks! 🍃🌿🌱☘️🌲🌵🌎 at Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River
📌August 19th - International Orangutan Day! The Orangutan is the only species of great ape that lives outside of Africa, in Bornean and Sumatran rainforests. Their name orang-utan literally means "forest people" in Malay having been named as large primates in the trees, where they spend most of their time. Pongo pygmaeus (the Bornean Orangutan) has 3 subspecies based on separate geographic regions within the country whereas Sumatran Orangutans (Pongo abelii) stand alone in their taxonomy. ALL are Critically Endangered according to the IUCN. Their biggest threat to extinction is deforestation and habitat loss due to conversion of land for palm oil plantations! The @cheyennemountainzoo in Colorado Springs, CO has developed an app for scanning and sourcing products from sustainable farming operations and organizations which support the sustainable use of palm oil! 🌿🍃🌏
📌August 17th - National Black Cat Appreciation Day. The "black panther" can fall under different species categorization within the big cats. The America's are home to Panthera onca (jaguars) and this trait is inherited through dominant alleles (fancy word for a specific copy of a gene). "Dominant" means a single gene that codes for dark pigment can make the animal appear black and/or less characteristic of other individuals of the same species. In Asia and Africa, this "melanistic" trait (aka carrying dark pigment melanin) is carried as a recessive trait in the Panthera pardus (leopard) species. "Recessive" means that for the animal to appear with this trait, it must inherit two of two copies of the gene that codes for dark pigments. Pretty neat! Check out the nonprofit organization @pantheracats for more about big cats and what is being done to help save them around the globe! (It's also #nationalnonprofitday so feel free to give them a follow. 🐾🐾🐱🖤)
If nothing else, maybe this page can provide some reference to influential people and organizations. Hence, the Repost from @janegoodallinst using @RepostRegramApp - #wednesdaywisdom We must all do out part to show our humanity, and bring out the humanity in others. What goodness have you seen lately that inspires you to make a difference? | #janegoodall #drjanegoodall #drgoodall #janegoodallquotes #goodall #inspirationalquotes #inspirational #kindness #humanity #begooddogood #inspiration #finditliveit
Repost from @natural_history_museum using @RepostRegramApp - In honour of #WorldLizardDay, here's Andrey Gudkov's #WPY51 image of two formidable Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizards, wrestling along the coast of Komodo National Park.
Andrey had visited many times, hoping to capture the spectacular fights between males during the summer breeding season. After several fruitless attempts he returned in December and witnessed this unexpected hilltop battle. ‘It was an unforgettable show’, he recalls. Weighing up to 150 kilogrammes, with huge claws and serrated teeth, Komodo dragons rear onto their hind legs to wrestle. In this case it was likely a territorial dispute. These formidable competitors have a protective outer layer, their scales reinforced with tiny bones, which acts like natural chainmail.
Image: Komodo judo by #WPYalumni Andrey Gudkov, Russia.
Finalist 2015, Amphibians and Reptiles category of @nhm_wpy
#AndreyGudkov #KomodoDragon #Lizard #Reptiles #Wildlife #Nature #WPY #WildlifePhotographerOfTheYear #Photography #WildlifePhotography #NaturePhotography #Exhibition #NaturalHistory #NaturalHistoryMuseum #NaturalHistoryMuseumLondon #Museum
📌August 14th - Happy Birthday Appalachian Trail! Eighty years ago today, the Appalachian Trail was completed! It runs from Georgia to Maine, crossing through Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Shenandoah National Park as well as many State Parks and 8 National Forests (Chattahooche, Nantahala, Pisgah, Cherokee, Jefferson, George Washington, Green Mountain and White Mountain). Photo by Marc Andre.
Photo by Mack Hoseley. But the caption below was taken from @endextinctionintl
📌 August 12th - World Elephant Day 🐘
Elephants are the largest terrestrial animals on earth, and are native to parts of Africa and Asia.
There are 3 species of elephant in the world, and several subspecies.
Elephants are facing extinction within the next 20 years, if major steps are not taken to save them NOW.
THREATS TO ELEPHANTS:
* Trophy hunting
* Human-wildlife conflict
* Habitat loss
* Poaching for Ivory
* Poisoning (especially in palm oil plantation regions)
* Tourism and logging industry (elephants taken from the wild and tortured into submission for domestic use and tourism experiences). WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP SAVE ELEPHANTS:
* Do not kill elephants
* Do not purchase any products containing Ivory or other elephant parts
* Report any illegal or suspicious activity regarding Ivory collection or sale, to international and local authorities and organisations
* Do not participate in elephant tourism activities such as riding [due to misguided "taming" practices].
* Visit and support ethical organizations such as @elephantnaturepark, @dswt and @blesele who rescue and rehabilitate orphaned and abused elephants. #worldelephantday #endextinctionintl
Repost from @africanwildlifefoundation Congress is considering HR 2603, a bill that would exclude non-U.S. species, like #lions, from the Endangered Species Act. Tell Congress to vote NO on this dangerous bill. #WorldLionDay
To follow up on yesterday's post - the AWF brings up a bill introduced to the House of Representatives in July 2017. This bill currently has 21 co-sponsors (20 R, 1 D). It is called the "SAVES Act" or "Saving America's Endangered Species Act." Which may sound great -- until you look closer. This Act would TAKE AWAY protections for any threatened or endangered animal NOT native to the United States. As was stated, this includes LIONS, as well as 630 other species globally! 🌎🌍🌏
As a global leader, the precedents set in America extend to other nations. Listing foreign species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) increases awareness for necessary conservation, research, collaboration and funding agreements. By the U.S. CHOOSING to support foreign species, we place a huge barrier against activities which endanger these critical populations (including trophy hunting, illegal wildlife trading, inappropriate breeding, and general mistreatment). The removal of this protection could have devastating consequences for too many wild wonders!
📌August 10th - World Lion Day!🦁 The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) publishes the most comprehensive listing of global conservation status of animal and plant species. Overall, the IUCN lists LIONS as a "Vulnerable" species to extinction. In actuality, their subpopulations are very diverse. In India, the subpopulation would qualify as "Endangered" whereas in West Africa, they would be "Critically Endangered" given their rapid decline over multiple generations and their restricted geographical ranges.
LION populations have been declining due to human predation whether it be hunting - poisoning - poaching - because of rising human populations or expansion of agriculture in these regions, climate change (resulting in ecological shifts that cause droughts and changes in prey density), trophy killing, illegal wildlife trading, disease or combinations of the above. Because prey is not always readily available in the wild due to shifting ecosystems, these predators sometimes stalk and kill within livestock herds - causing ranchers to defend their livelihoods.
Extensive work is being done to work with livestock ranchers in these regions to prevent unnecessary loss of life including the stringing of "lion lights" described by Richard Turere (via @ted) or building of "bomas" to prevent access to livestock. To learn, support, or donate, see the mentioned organizations in the comments section.
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