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Wildlife

Do Animals Mourn Like People?

November 29, 2018
animal mourning

Grief is a universal human experience. We feel grief following the loss of friends, family members, pets and sometimes even strangers. Though funeral traditions vary from culture to culture, mourning remains a consistent aspect of human societies.

Are humans alone in the experience of grief, though? Many people wonder whether animals may experience any of the same emotions. Some people even report behavior that seems like mourning when pets lose their owners or animal companions.

In the past, scientists hesitated to say animals experienced complex emotions like grief or love. However, new research suggests that the issue of animal grief may be more complicated than people initially assumed.

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Wildlife

Wildlife Forensics Helping Uncover Illegal Poachers

November 12, 2018
Wildlife forensics

It isn’t an uncommon scene in the savannas of South Africa. A grazing rhinoceros lowers its head to a patch of grass, and a sudden gunshot from a heavy caliber weapon catches them in the side. An illegal poacher comes to collect its horn, and in little as 10 minutes, they’ve moved on to their next target.

Poaching remains a critical issue across the globe, with endangered animals at threat of extinction over the value of their body parts. The musk deer of Asia are a popular target for their glands, which can sell to foreign traders for upwards of $200. A single tiger can yield over $50,000 in their skin, teeth and claws.

Through the application of wildlife forensics, however, poachers have a far more difficult time plying their illegal trade. Modern technology has proven so effective in stopping them that a system installed in a South African reserve has reduced the number of poached rhinos to zero. So how do these new methods work?

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Wildlife

What Are the Longest Living Animals?

October 22, 2018
longest living animals

Humans live a pretty long time — estimates for human lifespans generally fall between 70 and 80 years — but humans don’t even come close to outliving some of the planet’s oldest creatures. For some animal species, living past 100 is the norm, not the exception. Some scientists even think other species can teach humans a thing or two about aging well.

Studying earth’s longest living animals benefits people for a myriad of reasons. It can allow us to understand the biological aging process better, discover conditions that make for long lifespans and even understand how to protect our planetary elders. In addition to practical reasons, though, humans are fascinated by old animals because they represent the Earth’s past. It’s amazing to think that some animals alive today have been around since before the United States became a country.

Some of the planet’s oldest animals have endured changing climate conditions, predators and disease. They remind us that the results of our actions today can affect the environment not just now but for years and years to come.

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Wildlife

How Can You Participate In National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month?

October 8, 2018

There’s nothing better than having a little furry family member ready to greet you when you get home every day. Nothing, that is, other than adopting one from a shelter or animal rescue. October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. If you don’t already have a dog — or if you do — how can you participate in this awesome month-long event?

Start at Your Local Shelter

The best place to start during National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month is at your local animal shelter. Depending on where you live and how many animals are currently staying in the shelter, you may be able to find the perfect new four-legged member to add to your family. Many animal shelters run events and offer discounts on adoption fees during this month to encourage adoption.

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Wildlife

How to Put an End to Makeup Testing on Animals

September 24, 2018

When people walk into stores across the world, they’re thinking about what they need to buy and how quickly they can get out of there. That’s to be expected, especially when brands don’t advertise how they make their products in the stores where they’re sold.

If people do more research into what products they use on a daily basis, they’re able to make informed decisions about what they’re buying. The few minutes it’ll take to learn about this process could actually end up saving lives.

Animal testing is commonly acknowledged as a way that companies test products before putting them on the market, but the damage done to animals is extensive. Read on to learn how exactly you can help put an end to the dangerous and lethal ways that animals are used for product testing so you can ensure you’re promoting cruelty-free companies and using ethically made products.

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Wildlife

Tips for Teaching Wildlife Conservation for Kids

September 10, 2018
wildlife conservation for kids

Childhood lessons continue to influence kids throughout their lives, which is why it’s so important to make sure you’re teaching your kids what they need to know about life and the planet. By teaching your kids about wildlife conservation today, you can help ensure they’re kind to their environment even when they’re all grown up.

As climate change and unsustainable practices continue around the world, people are spending more and more leisure time inside in front of screens. In order to remedy this common disconnect from the natural world, make sure you’re helping your kids develop an appreciation for nature early in life. The more they get involved with the outdoors, the more they’ll understand the importance of protecting the planet.

Though Shakespeare definitely wasn’t talking about kid conservationists, it’s true that, though your kids be but little, they are fierce. They have the power to build a sustainable future, as long as you help them see why it’s important. Here are some tips you can use to teach wildlife conservation for kids.

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Wildlife

Why Are Elephants Important to the African Ecosystem?

August 27, 2018
elephants important

When learning about any animal, it’s easy to focus on the creature’s bodily features, behaviors and habitat without stopping to think about how they influence their native ecosystems. Take the elephant, for example. It’s a gigantic creature that has captured the interest of people through the years. Observers appreciate their huge ears, smooth tusks and leathery skin. But why are elephants important to the African ecosystem? Here are five reasons.

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Wildlife

National Honey Bee Day: Why Honey Bees Aren’t the Bees We Need to Worry About

August 13, 2018
National Honey Bee Day

National Honey Bee Day is August 19th, and it’s certainly a good idea to pause and be thankful for the way that honey bees provide the sweet stuff we love to spread on our toast, put into oatmeal and use for flavoring our tea and coffee. Honey bees are undoubtedly important to our eco-system.

However, when people urge others to “save the bees” — a statement which has recently intensified — it’s likely only honey bees that are on their minds. There are more than 25,000 species of bees besides the Western honey bee that many individuals know best. Honey bees produce honey, and they’re pollinators, but there are tens of thousands of other bees getting ignored.

Analysts say it’s even difficult to precisely say how many species of bees exist because relatively few have hives. Since they don’t return to dedicated places and instead roam freely, counting them becomes impossible.

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Wildlife

How Overpopulation Leads to Animal Extinction

July 19, 2018
animal extinction

Many scientists believe we’re entering the Earth’s sixth mass-extinction event, which could result in the loss of three-quarters of the planet’s species in the next few centuries. A recent study found that around one-third of land-based vertebrate species are experiencing reduced populations and territorial ranges.

Humans are one of the species that has experienced population growth in recent years. In fact, so many people are on the planet today that we’re driving the population reduction of other species, as well as a host of other environmental problems.

If this trend of destruction continues, it might result in the eventual downfall of not only many of the earth’s animal species but the human race as well.

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Wildlife

Reasons Why Endangered Species Stay Endangered

July 2, 2018
endangered species stay endangered

Republican President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act, which had broad bipartisan support, into law in 1973. The law lists certain species as endangered and threatened and aims to protect these at-risk animals. The ESA is believed to have saved 99 percent of the species it has listed.

Since then, the ESA has endured attacks from lawmakers and special interests. On the recent Endangered Species Act day on March 28, 1,452 scientists and experts sent a letter to Congress urging members not to approve several bills they said would undermine the Act’s scientific foundations.

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