A Caterpillar That Pretends To Be A Fearsome Snake

At first glance it may look like a fearsome snake but this rearing creature is actually a small caterpillar with a cunning means of defence. The Spicebush Swallowtail has evolved a large pair of false eyespots and bold yellow and blue markings to frighten off potential predators. The brightly coloured insect, which is only a few inches long, was snapped by wildlife biologist Jonathan Mays in Maine, U.S.He was photographing the striking caterpillars and the large black and orange butterflies they turn into in a red maple forest.

Mr Mays, said: ‘Swallowtail caterpillars are beautiful creatures. They strike a sense of wonder from many observers.‘Swallowtails have spots on their head that mimic snake eyes and are amazing to view.‘The disguise is very lifelike, so much so that even the reflection or eye-shine changes when viewed from different angles.‘The habitat was a spicebush stand amidst a red maple forest. I was at this site looking specifically for the caterpillars.’

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Wildlife Death Toll From Oil Spill Still Uncertain

Federal officials say they don’t know whether a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico killed 189 sea turtles, birds and other animals found dead since it started.The total includes 154 sea turtles, primarily the endangered Kemp’s ridley variety, plus 12 dolphins and 23 birds.

But in a phone news conference Tuesday, officials said they don’t know if any of the animals were killed by oil or the chemicals being used to disperse it.

Barbara Schroeder of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries program says necropsies have not detected oil in the bodies of the sea turtles.
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Zimbabwe Plans To Sell Elephants, Jackals, Cats To North Korea

Zimbabwe plans to sell animals including elephants, jackals and wild cats to a zoo in North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, according to Vitalis Chadenga, director of the African nation’s parks authority.The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is also studying applications from Japan, Mozambique and three other unidentified nations to buy species, Chadenga said by phone today from the capital, Harare.

“We don’t just export wildlife without first ascertaining if the conditions they will be held in are safe and we consider that conditions in Pyongyang will be suitable,” he said. Under both domestic and international law, Zimbabwe is allowed to sell wildlife to foreign nations, Chadenga said.Among the animals being sent to North Korea, an impoverished, communist nation, are elephants, giraffes, zebras, jackals, hyenas and civet cats, none of which are endangered in Zimbabwe, Chadenga said.
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Tigers' Bodies Are Plundered To Make £185 Wine !!

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Behind rusted bars, a skeletal male tiger lies panting on the filthy concrete floor of his cage, covered in sores and untreated wounds. His once-fearsome body is so emaciated it is little more than a pitiful pile of fur and bones.Death is surely a matter of days away and can only come as a welcome release. Wardens at the wildlife park in southwest China say, indifferently, that they do not expect him to see the start of the Year of the Tiger which began last Sunday.

‘What can we do?’ a female park official asks a small huddle of visitors with a sigh and a casual shrug. ‘He’s dying, of course, but we have to keep feeding him until he does. It’s against the law to kill tigers.’Instead, it seems, they die slowly of neglect. In row after row of foul, cramped cages, more tigers lie alone, crippled and dying. One is hunched up against the side of its cage with its neck grotesquely deformed. Another, blinded in one eye, lies motionless.

This shabby, rundown park in Guilin – one of China’s main tourist cities – is home to the world’s biggest single collection of tigers. Yet it is never included on foreigners’ tour itineraries.For here, 1,500 captive tigers – around half as many as there are thought to be remaining in the wild – live out miserable lives in squalid conditions.Each tiger costs around £6 a day to feed, and it is easy to see that the small clusters of visitors paying £7.50 each to wander around the cages and watch bizarre animal shows cannot possibly cover even the cost of food for the vast park.

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Tigers' Bodies Are Plundered To Make £185 Wine !!

article-1252500-083577F1000005DC-706_634x418

Behind rusted bars, a skeletal male tiger lies panting on the filthy concrete floor of his cage, covered in sores and untreated wounds. His once-fearsome body is so emaciated it is little more than a pitiful pile of fur and bones.Death is surely a matter of days away and can only come as a welcome release. Wardens at the wildlife park in southwest China say, indifferently, that they do not expect him to see the start of the Year of the Tiger which began last Sunday.

‘What can we do?’ a female park official asks a small huddle of visitors with a sigh and a casual shrug. ‘He’s dying, of course, but we have to keep feeding him until he does. It’s against the law to kill tigers.’Instead, it seems, they die slowly of neglect. In row after row of foul, cramped cages, more tigers lie alone, crippled and dying. One is hunched up against the side of its cage with its neck grotesquely deformed. Another, blinded in one eye, lies motionless.

This shabby, rundown park in Guilin – one of China’s main tourist cities – is home to the world’s biggest single collection of tigers. Yet it is never included on foreigners’ tour itineraries.For here, 1,500 captive tigers – around half as many as there are thought to be remaining in the wild – live out miserable lives in squalid conditions.Each tiger costs around £6 a day to feed, and it is easy to see that the small clusters of visitors paying £7.50 each to wander around the cages and watch bizarre animal shows cannot possibly cover even the cost of food for the vast park.

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Goa Wildlife Lovers Turn To E-Campaign To Save Tiger Reserve

After failing to move the state establishments, wildlife lovers in Goa have finally put their faith in e-campaign to secure state’sforest as a tiger reserve.The campaign, led by ‘Mission Green’, a group of wildlife enthusiasts, is evoking tremendous response with the list of concern people signing the e-letter which is getting lengthier every passing day.

Goa environmentalists have based their campaign on the recent unfortunate incident of a tiger poaching in Mhadei wildlife sanctuary.

The wildlife lovers say that the recent incident of killing of Tiger has proved beyond doubt, existence of the national animal in these forests.”Tiger numbers are dwindling across the country and Goa is not far behind. The recent episode of a tiger killing in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary region is no longer a secret,” the petition, which has received signatures and comments of more than 200 people reads.

“It is a known fact that tigers have been spotted regularly in this region and are resident here, recent evidence proving the presence of a tigress and its cub,” it adds.


(source)

Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Stripped Of Award

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A stunning image capturing a wolf leaping over a gate has been stripped of first place in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition after judges found the animal was likely to be a ”model”The winning entry, by photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez, beat thousands of entries to scoop the prize in October last year, receiving praise for its ”fairytale” quality.But an investigation was launched after suspicions were raised that the picture might breach competition rules. Rule 10 says that photographs of animal models may not be entered into the competition and that images will be disqualified if they are entered in breach.

A statement from competition organisers said Mr Rodriguez strongly denies that the wolf is a model.Owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, the long-running contest is billed as an international showcase for the best nature photography.Louise Emerson, from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition office, said today: ”It saddens us to confirm that after a careful and thorough investigation into the image, the storybook wolf, the co-owners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine have disqualified the winning entry of the photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez.
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Activist: Internet Allowing Illegal Wildlife Trade

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Illegal wildlife traders are turning to the Internet to reach a wider customer base, circumvent laws and evade authorities, an animal rights activist told a conference on Sunday.Items such as rhinoceros horns, leopard pelts and even live tiger cubs are being hawked openly in online advertisements on public websites, said Grace Ge, Asian regional director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

The Internet offers anonymity for the seller as well as fast and untraceable sales, while inadequate legislation governing online companies ensures relative impunity, she said at a regional animal rights conference held in Singapore.”The Internet has facilitated the trading of wildlife, which is having a devastating effect on animals and ecosystems worldwide,” she said.Through the Internet, traders are able to “circumvent rules, regulations and evade enforcement”, Ge told delegates at the Asia for Animals 2010 conference.
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Russia To Host Tiger Summit In 2010

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Russia will host a tiger preservation summit in Vladivostok in 2010, according to the Russian branch of World Wildlife Fund (WWF).Scientists decided to use Oriental calendar and the coming year of the Tiger to promote public awareness of the situation with Amur tigers, Igor Chestin, Director of the Russian branch of WWF said on Thursday.Chestin said that the Russian government, WWF and World Bank initiated the Tiger summit, in which the heads of 13 states are expected to participate.

Only 3200 wildlife tigers remain today, according to Vyacheslav Rozhnov, deputy director of the Ecology and Wildlife Evolution Institute.WWF estimates Russia’s Khabarovsk and Primorye regions have 500 Amur tigers at present.

The Natural Resources ministry will draft a tiger preservation program for the summit, which along with anti-poaching measures will urge for measures to stop cutting cedar forests, the natural habitat of tigers, and expand the territory of wildlife reserves.

(source)

Four Rare Northern White Rhinos Relocated To Kenya

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Four of the world’s last eight known northern white rhinos landed in Kenya and were transported to a game park where officials hope the endangered mammals will reproduce and save their subspecies.No white rhinos are known to remain in the wild, and the animals transported on Sunday have produced no offspring after nearly 24 years in a Czech zoo. So wildlife workers hoping to save the subspecies loaded two males and two females into wooden crates and began the effort to return them to what was once their savannah homeland.

When teams of Kenyan wildlife workers opened the crates on Sunday, two of the rhinos lingered several minutes before moving to a larger pen as Czech animal handlers coaxed them out with soothing words and treats. The other two exited immediately.The rhinos’ handlers and park officials said they hoped the two females will bear as many young as possible for several years, but all those involved acknowledged it was not a sure bet that the rhinos would reproduce.

The northern white rhino is the world’s rarest large mammal, making the international effort to save the subspecies all the more important.`Objective No. 1 is to get as many offspring as you can from the females, at least one calf out of each within two years,” said Rob Brett, the director of Fauna and Flora International, which helped arrange and finance the move.
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