Big Five Africa tradition and marketing

Leopard Serengeti

The big five in Africa The term “big five” is meaning the five animals more aggressive. The origin is from colonial age, where the first safari hunters called big five. They are the five animals more aggressive and so more difficult to hunt. Actually, the term big five have large … Read more

Meet orcas whales and dolphins

Orcas looking for seals

Kayaking meet orcas whales and dolphins

Meet orcas

This is a tribute to Nathan Pettigrew, a man who like Kayaking in New Zealand. Like you can read on his Youtube channel, he loves the wild marine animals and the interaction with them in respect of the wildlife interaction rules. We love people with this kind of approach to nature, with respect.

meet orcas

People like Nathan usually love even to promote this kind of approach. And they do this because their relationship with nature and wildlife is big and deep. Is very comfortable to hear which some species, are now in a better situation than in the past. During the video, you can watch Orcas, leopard seal, bottlenose dolphin, southern right whale, the humpback whale. If you want to visit New Zealand and watch the marine mammals, is better before you read this post of the official department of conservation of New Zealand.

Permits

Many activities need a permit. Perhaps if you have a guided tour you don’t need but is better anyway to read all.  In case you want to interact with mammal alone, you will need a permit. Especially if you’ll filming and then will share on blogs or social media. Follow the rules because the Govern’s effort is important and need the help of anyone, locals, and tourists.

Like you can see in the video, the mammals arrive very close to the beach. And is possible to observe the animals simply sit down on the rock, this approach ave many advantages. For example, you don’t need a boat, or maybe some member of your group doesn’t like to meet orcas so close. Perhaps the most important is that if you don’t use the boats you help to reduce the background noise in the environment.

The mammals like orcas dolphins or whales use the sound for to research preys. The same concept of sonar, so if in the environment there is a lot of background noise, the mammals are disturbed in his hunting.

Thanks, Nathan Pettigrew for the beautiful and emotional video

Brown bear one of biggest carnivore in the earth

A couple of brown bears

Brown bear

Brown bear

IUCN LC
IUCN red list classification as Least Concern

Scientific Name: Ursus arctors
English name: Brown bear – Grizzly bear
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Link to Red List page: Brown Bear red list 

brown bear grizzly bearDimensions:

The brown bear is big, is the biggest carnivore in the world, the dimension is different according to the subspecies, the Grizzly bear is usually between 170 and 280 cm long and tall at the shoulder is between 90 and 150 cm. The weight can be up to 650kg. When he stands up on the rear legs only he can arrive or even pass 3 mt. According to the researchers, the brown bear dimension depends on the food availability, this is the reason because the Kodiak bear is the biggest, he eats primarily salmons and this makes him so big. Another proof is the dimensions reached in captivity where the biggest specimen when has died weighed close to 1100 kg. The dimensions listed up are referred to the male specimen. The female is usually between 20 up to 50% of male.

Habitat:

The biggest brown bear prefers mountain places and he loves the semi-open place. In the Arctic region, the global warming is creating new areas suitable for brown bear. At the same time is removing areas at the polar bear. In Eurasia, the preferred habitat is the forest.

Where to find:

the 80% of the brown bear population is Alaska, Canada, and Russia. The remaining 20% is fragmented in Europe and other areas near the biggest population.

Lifestyle:

the brown bear is a very wild dangerous animal, its strength is great. Imagine one paw with the front legs can break the backbone of any animal. But is not a serial killer, his attack is classified and any time there is a specific reason. Mostly time is victim’s mistake the origin of the attack. In North America, the 70% of fatalities is by mother defending cubs.

The Alaska Science Center ranks the following as the most likely reasons for bear attacks:
Surprise
Curiosity
Invaded personal space (this includes a mother bear protecting her young)
Predatory intent
Hunting wounded
Carcass defense
Provoked charge
(source wikipedia}
The data above are regarding America’s brown bear. So in many other places, the behavior can be very different. But in any case, when you meet a mother with cubs stay far or die. I want to remark that this simple rule about mother and cubs is valid for any animal species.

The Brown bear don’t have any enemy, is alpha animal in his territory. The only competitor can be in some areas the Siberian tiger, where they share the same territory. Difficult to see fighting by adults of tiger and bear. Usually, if there is attack have as a target the cubs of the competitor.

Brown bear diet

is 80% vegetarian and the remaining 20% is hunting some prey. Just in the case of Kodiak bear, for example, the diet can be hundred % salmons and eggs of salmons. This is the reason because Kodiak bear is the biggest of all subspecies of brown bear. If the brown bear needs to be considered very danger is even true is danger in exceptional cases only. In the most case, he meets humans he leaves; he doesn’t like the human contact. unfortunately, there is the exception like for example in Yellowstone Park. In Yellowstone, the tourists are a lot and they do camping, and the bears are generally waste lovers. So if he feels the food’s smell he starts to search it. They can destroy tents or even cars, better don’t be there.

brown bear kodiak bear Major risk:

two are the big risks for brown bear, the climate changing with the global warming and the human activities. Is generally classified Last Concern by IUCN red list. Anyway some subspecies in some areas are Engendered. In the case of Kodiak bear the situation in particular, the destiny of this bear is cruel, in Kodiak island the hunt is permitted and regulated by ADF&G, every year 496 permits are released in front than request of 4500, fortunately not all the hunters kill a bear, and actually the number of killed is less then 200 per year, but the number is increasing.

We know the local residents collaborate with the authority for the respect of the law. They fight against the poaching in hunting of the biggest kodiak bear and this is remarkable. There is no official data regarding the conservation status of the Kodiak bear population. The IUCN classifies the brown bear and not the subspecies. We want to suppose which the population is stable, anyway remain the moral problem. To kill a specimen for to save another specimen is a contradiction in terms. I think children understand better than adults this discrepancy.
As usual, we hope reason and common sense will be used in the future for to protect this beautiful animal with humanity and love.

Reindeer a great arctic resource

Reindeer

Reindeer a great arctic resource

Reindeer

IUCN VU
IUCN red list classification as vulnerable

Reindeer

Scientific Name: Rangifer tarandus
English name: Reindeer, Caribou, Peary Caribou
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetartiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Link to Red List page: Reindeer red list

Habitat:

Reindeer primarily is present in the tundra and taiga of all arctic and sub-arctic region

Dimensions:

The male can be from 180 to 220 cm length and weight between 90 to 220 kg. The high at the shoulder can be 90 to 150 cm. The female can be from 160 to 200 cm length and weight between 80 to 120 kg.
Where to find: in Svalbard, Norway, Finland, Russia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Mongolia, and China.

ReindeerLifestyle:

the reindeer is a wild and semi-domestic animal. He has a fundamental importance for the Arctic and subarctic population. People indigenous use reindeer for food, clothing, shelter, and tools.
He is the animal who do the greatest migrations worldwide. Some North American populations cover every year around 5000 km, with daily moving up 55 km. The herd during the spring migration can be between 50.000 to 500.000 specimens. In autumn the huge herds will be divided into several small groups and will begin the mating season.
They love to eat the reindeer lichen. It is the base of their diet but they can eat even grass and leaves as willows and birches. And in the winter they remove the snow up to find their lichens. The mating season is in between the end of September and the beginning of November. And the births will be may or June.

The reindeer is predated generally by gray wolf, wolverine, brown bear, polar bear and golden eagles. But usually these predators they kill calves or diseases specimens. It is easy to understand, the fundamental importance of this animal in the ecosystem of the arctic and sub-arctic regions. He is important for predator and is important even for native, like the Inuit.

Major risk:

There is not a single major risk but a combination of factors. One important is the landscape changing. The development of industries and the transport infrastructures are modifying the migration routes. In addiction, hunting have impacts on the population decline. Though is regulated by law. The Arctic is in serious decline. The ecosystem is absolutely at risk and the effect is under the eyes of everyone in the world. Just the Heads of States and Governments don’t see it. The American administration has released some days ago the new permits for start drilling again in Alaska. They have removed the Obama administration prohibition. Finally, we see another example of the bad vision of the future!!!

Mountain gorilla – silverback gorilla in the wild

Mountain Gorilla

Mountain gorilla – silverback gorilla in the wild

Mountain gorilla – silverback gorilla in the wild

IUCN CR
IUCN red list classification as critically endangered

Scientific Name: Gorilla beringei beringei
English name: Mountain gorilla
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Hominidae
Link to Red List page: Mountain gorilla in the red list

Habitat:

The only habitat of this Gorilla is the mountain forest at an altitude between 2200 and 4300 mt. The forest is the cloud forest, a kind of forest tropical or subtropical. This forest is permanently in the clouds, from here his name.

Dimensions:

The mountain gorilla can reach 190 kg of weight and tall 150 cm. Female is usually the half or a little bit more than male.

Where to find:

According to his small number remaining, he is present only in a region located in three countries. Uganda, Rwanda, Republic Democratic of Congo. The parks are The Virunga in RDC. The Volcanoes in Rwanda and Magahinga in Uganda. All together are called Trans National Park.

Mountain gorilla in VirungaLifestyle:

In the imaginary of most of us, mountain gorillas remember Tarzan’s legend.
Mountain gorilla is one of two subspecies of the Eastern gorilla ( gorilla beringei ).
The population is around 880 specimens and is growing. Anyway, the 880 is a very low number, so they are listed by IUCN as Critically Endangered. Just one step from the extinction. Remember extinction is forever.

 

This gorilla is terrestrial, is one who has better adapted to the terrestrial life. Is quadrupedal, his movement is similar to the Chimps. They live in small groups of around teen animals, in rare cases also can be even of thirty elements.

There is a leader, a silverback, it is the name of the adult male. The leader is the strongest of the group. And he protects the group from humans or leopard even with his life.

Contrary to common thought, mountain gorilla is pacific and calm. The rarity and also the vulnerability of this animal, are imposed the necessity of regulating the visits by humans. If you are thinking about watching a gorilla group, will be necessary to book with a large advance. The number of tourists admitted per day is fixed, so is necessary the advance booking.
Usually, we think the gorilla is the more similar animal to the human. Did you know? if we look the gorilla aesthetically, the ability with hands and also the clever, we can say that. Therefore now science confirms this sensation with the genome study. Especially relevant the study confirm the genome appear 98% the same of the human.

Major risk:

The major risk is poaching connect with regional instability. The problem of poaching is the bush-meat, the poachers kill with the guns but even with snares. Sometimes especially gorilla cubs are victims of this snares. Also, there is even a part of poaching which involves the gorillas for the illegal trade. Another issue is the diseases caused by bacteria carried by humans.

In conclusion, even the habitat is a problem. In this specific moment, the good news is the increment of number much as last years. But if we are lucky and the population of Mountain gorilla will grow. They will need to expand their areal. Consequently when the areal around the actual is by human activity. Therefore the growing will be impossible.
The restrict area is one of the reason because of inbreeding. So this problem can be solved only with the enlarging of their areal.

Blue Whale the biggest animal on the earth

Blue Whale

Blue Whale the biggest animal of the world

Blue Whale

IUCN EN
IUCN red list classification as endangered

Scientific Name: Balaenoptera musculus
English name: Blue Whale
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetartiodactyla
Family: Balaenopteridae
Link to Red List page: Blue whale red list

Habitat:

Open oceans and along the coasts but not so close

Dimensions:

The blue whale can be 33 Mt length and 180 tons but normally is less than 30 mt and around 130/140 tons

Where to find:

is distributed all over the oceans divided into more subspecies. Is difficult to know easily the dimensions the populations because are fragmented.

Blue whaleLifestyle:

The blue whale is the biggest animal ever on the earth. Some studies show that even the saurian was not big like her. The communications are by songs, and it is fascinating to listen to these songs. Even if we can’t list all the sounds because someone is below the limit of human fill.
Her mastodontic dimensions make her eat up 4 tons of krill per day. When is breathing emit a spout, this spout can 12 mt high. The lifespan of this animal is around 80 years.

Impressive numbers even for the calves. They born after almost one year of gestation and they are 7 Mt length with a weight of 2.5 tons. He needs between 400 to 600 liters of milk per day. But is not enough, the blue whale is the loudest animal on the earth. The scientist has estimated that her sound level measured at one meter of distance is between 155 to 188 decibel.

Major risk:

Blue whale doesn’t have a natural enemy, just the killer whale can be a danger. But the attacks are not a custom. As usual, there is the human interaction. And the noise by the seals is creating a problem in the whale communications. The biggest issue has been the ruthless hunting, up to 1970 the blue whale killed was 380.000.

The hunting has been forbidden in 1960 everywhere but there is evidence that was under hunters attention up to 1970. So now the population is below the 1% of the original dimension. The species is considered Endangered and the actual population is between 5000 and 12.000 specimens. The good news is that the number is increasing but we are very far from the safe level.

Spectacled bear a brave climber

Spectacled bear

Spectacled bear a brave climber in South America

IUCN VU
IUCN red list classification as vulnerable

Scientific Name: Tremarctos ornatus
English name: Spectacled bear or Andean bear
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Link to Red List page: Spectacled bear IUCN red list

Habitat:

The preferred habitat of spectacled bear is the humid forest of Sierra. Can be found from 500 to 2.700 mt of altitude, it depends on the latitude location. Rarely but they can have some excursions to the snow limit. In this region usually above 5000 mt. altitudes.

Dimensions:

Males can weigh from 110 to 190 kg. The length can between 150 to 200 cm and the shoulder height is between 60 to 90 cm. Female is normally a third less than male. This species is smaller than other bear species. Especially if you compare with Polar, grizzly or Kodiak bears.

Where to find:

The spectacled bear is actually occupying mountains of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina. Someone sustain there is a small presence in Panama but if there is will be a very small population. A beautiful discover was to find by the Spectacled Bear Conservation of 65 specimens in the low elevation dry forest.

Spectacled bearLifestyle:

Spectacled Bear is one of smallest bear knowledge. In fact, his remote habitat joined to his shy character. And the solitary attitude didn’t permit to the scientists to study him up the recent years. So we don’t know a lot about him.

He is vegetarian, probably the more vegetarian of bears. He eats many threes the most common foods include cactus, bromeliads, palm nuts, bamboo hearts, frailejon, orchid bulbs, fallen fruit on the forest floor, and unopened palm leaves.

Occasionally he attacks and kills some animals like deer or lama. And sometimes even cattle but this is not demonstrated. His life is known only in captivity and is around 36. In the natural environment is estimated around 20.

Climbing attitude

The impressive characteristic of this bear is the climbing attitude. All bears climb but this is very impressive. It was filmed in rock walls very danger, watch the video below. On the trees, he climbs without problem up to 20/30 mt high. And he is usually creating a platform on the tree where he can protect himself and he can rest quite.

The spectacled bear is classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN red list. The risk as usually can come from human/animals conflict. This bear loves even maize plantation. When is the season he can destroy a significant part of the cultivations.

Local people in this cases prefer to kill the animal. Thinking to solve the problem but like our readers know, it is a false solution. Because when you kill the bear you kill a part of the ecosystem and consequently you kill a part of you.

Dr. Robyn Appleton has found the Spectacled Bear Conservation in Peru. And through her and her team which now we can know more about the spectacled bear. And to protect him through a scientific approach. Her program includes involving the community with education and support.
Support even you Spectacled Bear Conservation

Major risk:

Climate change is as usually an important reason of threat. Is knowledge the habitat occupied by the spectacled bear is suffering the climate change. Strictly connected is the original habitat loss. For thousands of years, this territory was occupied and tapped by humans. And is estimated the 5% only of the original Andean forest remain.

White shark is the scare of the seas?

White shark

The great white shark is the scare of the seas?

The great white shark

IUCN VU
IUCN red list classification as vulnerable

Scientific Name: Carcharodon carcharias
English name: Great white shark
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Lamniformes
Family: Lamnidae
Link to Red List page: The great white shark in the red list 

Habitat:

His habitat is the seas and oceans, he can live in open ocean like along the coasts. He loves to stay on the surface to 200 mt depths, in the epipelagic zone, furthermore in some cases can go deep up 1200 mt.
He prefers water temperature between 12 to 24 Celsius degrees.

Dimensions:

the great white shark dimensions, maybe are most noteworthy discussion theme. Everyone accept the average for males of around six mt lengths and 5 mt. for females. The issue is to determine the max length. The difference from scientific measurements to the fisherman legends is huge. Also, scientists say is acceptable to talk about 7 mt max and legends tell about 12 mt or more. According to the scientists’ theory is very difficult the shark have that dimensions. We need to considerate even the brutal fishing at the sharks and consequently the endangered risk. Is actually in the red list of IUCN like Vulnerable. So the scientists say is almost impossible to meet sharks oversize.

Where to find:

White shark is everywhere in the seas, the only regions where they are not present are the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Another place is the Baltic sea and the black sea. He prefers areas where there is an abundance of preys like seals or penguins.

Great white sharkLifestyle:

Never a fish was studied, filmed and feared like the great white shark. Spectacular animal and extremely wild, no one predator in the sea can compete with him. Just on rare occasions, the killer whale can kill him.

In the mouth, he has many rows of teeth, the shape and the disposed of it is for to block, kill and especially in case of big preys to tear the meat and eat in the second moment.
Is famous as a Hollywood star, and he is a star, Steven Spielberg in the 1975 direct Jaws. Consequently, the success of the thriller the folks start to think the great white shark is a killer, a sea monster.

dangerousness:

Is the great white shark really dangerous for humans? statistics show no. Compared with other issues like lightning, people killed by dogs or maybe a heart attack. To use these statistics maybe is not correct, and yes is true, if we compare like a simple number you can think is no danger. But you can say the same if I introduce the exposition time in the comparison? I want to say, with the heart attack risk I’m exposed in all my life but the risk to be attacked by a shark is only if I go swimming in his environment. I think is better to make some considerations, is better to ask why the shark, attack the human? and there is not a simple answer.

In the case of surfers is common think is because from below the surface the surfer appears at the shark like a prey, like a seal for example. In many other cases is not possible to think that. And the real cause of the attack is not clear.
So we think the great white is danger and is better to take care if you need to interact with him.

Major risk:

So as usual, the major risk is by the human, The Chinese consider the shark fin soup, a precious food. So the request of the shark fins is high and will be higher because the lifestyle is growing.

The white shark is caught even for teeth and also for sports fishing. Another problem is the fishing nets like for tuna fish where the sharks can be jailed. In IUCN is listed as Vulnerable, but there is controversial about the correct estimate. One issue is that it was considered nonmigratory but after recent studies, it was discovered is migratory. So is probably the estimate have counted even more then one time the same specimen. Finally, it is urgent to understand the real situation of the species.

Lynx an elegant wild cat of the forests

Lynx

Lynx an elegant wild cat

IUCN LC
IUCN red list classification as Least Concern

Scientific Name: Lynx lynx

English name: Lynx

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Felidae

Link to Red List page: lynx red list

Habitat:

Lynx inhabits forests up to high quote, is a cat of mountains.

Dimensions:

The biggest is the Eurasian lynx and she have a weighs in a range between 18 and 31 kg. She is 80 up to 130 cm length and the high at the shoulder is between 70 to 80 cm. Is a big wild cat and is even very pretty. She has a beautifully spotted mantle and the ears have at the top a tuft of hair like caracal.

Where to find:

Is possible to find in Asia North and Central Europe, North America. She’s divided into 4 subspecies so in Europe there is the Eurasian Lynx in North America there is the Canadian Lynx

LynxLifestyle:

She is a very good hunter, she catches all animals small and medium size. And sometimes in extreme cases, she hunts even moose or reindeer but with a huge risk for his safety.

In her diet, there is hares, rabbits, marmots, squirrels, dormice, other rodents, grouse, red foxes, wild boar, chamois, young moose, roe deer, red deer, reindeer.

The attack is ambush based, she waits for the twilight and she hides close her prey. When she’s at the correct distance she starts the attack and she tries to kill immediately the prey. She doesn’t leave the prey to go because she’s not structured for running.

She is very similar to the leopard, she’s solitary lifestyle and even hunting she do solitary. Her importance in the ecosystem is huge. She kills specimens diseased or old so she contributes to maintaining the ecosystem more strong. A strange thing is the discovery of the famous way of saying Eye of lynx is incorrect. His eyes are not particularly strong like instead the hears, a sense very developed. Did you know? she can live up to 10/15 years free and 20 in captivity.

A beautiful mating battle, keep the audio on, please!

Major risk:

In the Eurasian, Canadian bobcat is classified Last Concern, just the Iberian lynx is classified Endangered. Anyway, the conservation programs actually have his impact and in the lasts years. The number is increasing three times. That is not meaning now is ok because in absolute numbers terms we talking about from 50 to 150 specimens. So the way is long again but there is hope. The Major risk is just the human activities. In the past, she was extinct in many areas because of his beautiful mantle. And the attitude to predate the livestock, but actually, in general, the population is well maintained.

African Buffalo the Black Death

Cape Buffalo
IUCN LC
IUCN red list classification as Least concern

African Buffalo the Black Death

Scientific Name: Syncerus caffer
English name: African buffalo
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetartiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Link to Red List page: African Buffalo red list 

Habitat:

African savanna and small bush

Dimensions:

African buffalo can be high at shoulder up to 1.8 mt and body length can be up to 3.4 mt, He can weight between 500 to 800 kg normally, but some specimen arrive easily at 1000 kg.

Where to find:

He is present in all sub-Saharan Africa

African Buffalo

 

Lifestyle:

he is an animal strong, big and powerful and very very aggressive. He is considerate one of the most aggressive and in some places is called “Black Death”. Buffaloes are vegetarian and he grazes all the day in the herd. This herd can be even of 700 specimens.

Usually, males stay alone and they meet female only for melting. Female stay in a herd with calves and sometimes with the presence of some males.

Buffalo is not considered a lot because his large presence, but from the locals is feared. When a buffalo or herd of buffalo move close the villages, immediately there is the alarm. Nothing happens but everybody knows there is the buffalo.

Buffalo attack

People from rural villages have many possibilities to meet buffalo because they share the same environment. Buffalo love water and mud. People go to the water with their livestock. Ladies go to the river for wash clothes and carry water to the village, so the risk is ever high.

Usually, when a buffalo kill someone the locals’ hunters kill him with their traditional weapons like spears and knife. They hit him with the spears so the buffalo will move slowly because of the injuries. And then from behind, they cut the tendons of the back legs, after that the buffalo fall down and they finish him.

It is not simple to kill a buffalo without large shotgun but the brave locals they do. Masai says if you are attacked by buffalo you can do one thing only. You must to stretch out on the ground and wait. The buffalo horns are curved a lot and he will try to stick with the horns but he cants. All depend even if your dress is not very large and if you are lucky. Anyway, I think you are passing the worst moment of your life!!

Major risk:

He is hunted by lions and he can be killed by local for revenge when he attacks or worse he kills someone. So human interaction is the major risk. Some specimens when are old they go to graze solitary and they are even more aggressive than the others. The solitary is not simple to recognize, especially in the small bush where they graze sometimes for to hide from the lions. Sometimes locals cross the small bush where is difficult to see well and they meet the buffalo very close. So he attacks immediately and probably he kill the human.