A pangolin is released into the wild by Natural Resources Conservation Agency officials at a forest in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Photograph: Jefri Tarigan
People are killing these little weirdos to make luggage out of their scaly skins. People are gross.
Yes, your dogs is smiling: Humans can recognize emotions in other animals »
"Classifying dogs’ (Canis familiaris) facial expressions from photographs," a study by Tina Bloom and Harris Friedman published in February in scientific journal Behavioural Processes, has shown that people can correctly identify emotions in dogs’ faces. It used a series of photographs of one dog’s face (meet Mal the Belgian shepherd!) and involved 50 human volunteers of varying degrees of experience with dogs, who were asked to identify the dog’s emotional state in each photo. The results?
Both groups [“people experienced and inexperienced with dogs”] were able to read the dog’s emotions. Paradoxically, experienced people were less accurate reading aggressiveness. Experienced people were better identifying behaviorally defined situations.
With only one dog and 50 volunteers, it wasn’t exactly a rigorous study, but … you totally know when your dog is happy or ashamed or surprised, right? And now science totally supports your claims.
[Photo from Casa-Rodríguez Collection via Flickr]
Help Florida figure out how to protect 61 endangered and threatened species »
Because lord knows Florida needs all the help it can get.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has opened up a forum that the agency hopes will create an open conservation with the public about how to protect 60 species of imperiled animals.
The FWC invites the general public to visit their site to review their new draft action plans and to comment on them.
"We hope the public and stakeholders will comment on the draft species action plans and share their ideas on common themes or actions among plans," said Claire Sunquist Blunden, the stakeholder coordination for imperiled species management planning for the FWC.
[Eastern Chipmunk photo by Vicki DeLoach via Flickr]
Say goodbye to the polar bear »
Too bad, polar bears, but a bunch of us humans don’t want to stop selling your pelts on the open market, so you can expect to be hunted to extinction.
This issue is tied up with politics surrounding Canada’s First Nations, specifically the Inuit:
There are about 25,000 polar bears left in the world with an estimated 16,000 living in the Canadian Arctic. Canada is the only country that permits the export of polar bear parts.
Each year around 600 polar bears are killed there, mainly by native hunters. According to Inuit representatives, the pelts from around 300 bears are sold for rugs. Other parts including fangs and paws are also exported.
The Inuit say they get an average of $4,850 per pelt. They argue that this is a critical economic resource for a people that do not have much else.
The trouble with that argument is that in conjunction with global warming destroying their ecosystem, the bears won’t be around to hunt much longer. Say goodbye to polar bears, everyone; the next generations won’t even know what they are.
Twit Twoo… How many owls can you spot? A tiny owlet is almost invisible at first glance as it blends into the feathers of its mother. Even wildlife photographer Marina Scarr only realised she had taken pictures of two owls after she looked at the image on her camera while taking pictures in Desoto Park, Florida. Photograph: Marina Scarr/Caters News Agency
Taken from picture desk live: follow the best news pictures of the day from conflict-stricken regions to the lighter side of life chosen by the Guardian’s award-winning picture team
Amazing! I can’t even tell where that little owlet starts!
Everyone’s favorite sloth videographer, Lucy Cooke, has a new book about the residents of the Avarios Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica. Preview some of the delightful images (and get links to buy your own precious copy) at Slothville!
Cosmetic animal testing banned in the European Union! »
That’s right! As of March 11, “the marketing, import, and sale of animal-tested cosmetics and their ingredients will no longer be legal in the EU.” Congratulations to PCRM, who did a lot of work lobbying for the ban, and here’s to passing a similar ban in the U.S. Cosmetics don’t need to be tested on animals any longer. Science has moved beyond it; here’s hoping we can move society beyond it, too.
[Photo by Ahmad Hashim via Flickr]
Welcome to protection under California’s Endangered Species Act, great white shark! »
Great whites are the scariest sharks ever, thanks to movies and television and their natural aura of gruesome death, but of course also despite the protections we already had in place for them, commercial fishing is reckless and whoops, we’re accidentally killing them so fish-eaters can eat fish.
Great whites have been off-limits to commercial and sport fishing under California law since 1994, Reuters noted. However, the fish, particularly young ones, still wind up as “bycatch” in gill-nets intended for halibut, swordfish and white sea bass off of California and Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Such bycatch, also known as “incidental taking,” has been unrestricted.
But now (for a month already!), thanks to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, great whites are now protected under the state Endangered Species Act. They’re not on the Endangered Species list, but this news is progress toward that end. Save the great white! Don’t let the Pacific (completely) go to hell because a bunch of jerks are hungry for fish steaks.
The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella
Want to see more? Be sure to visit The Philippine Tarsier Conservatory location page on Instagram!
The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella, Bohol, is owned by the non-profit Philippine Tarsier Foundation, whose mission is to save the tarsiers. The Sanctuary gives visitors the opportunity to see these tiny tarsiers up close, learn more about the species and take photographs of them as they live freely inside a protected forest. All fees collected from visitors support conservation efforts.
Tarsiers, one of the smallest primates, have thrived in rainforests around the world for the past 45 million years; however, the tarsier population has drastically dwindled since the 1960s as a result of habitat loss, hunting, pesticides and human disturbance. Today, the Philippine tarsier exists only on a few islands in the Philippines, Indonesia and Borneo. Once a common sight on the Philippine island of Bohol, the tarsier is now on the endangered species list.
I love a creepy-cute primate, don’t you?
Exclusive Awesome Photos: Penguins And Seals In Antarctica! »
My aunt and uncle, who wish to remain anonymous, recently took an incredible trip to Antarctica and snagged some insanely cool pictures of Antartic animals! Enjoy, and let’s all be grateful for amazing aunts and uncles!
I have no words for the glory that is these images. Who wants go to Antarctica together while it’s still frozen?!