Nature Hub

WWF Says Earth Has Lost 50% Of Its Wildlife In The Past 40 Years

WildA new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London has found the number of wild animals on Earth has reduced by half over the last 40 years, according to The Guardian. The decrease comes as a result of the negative impact humans have had on ecosystems across the globe. Wildlife have been hunted and killed for food by humans at an unsustainable rate and have also had their habitats destroyed or polluted:

The steep decline of animal, fish and bird numbers was calculated by analysing 10,000 different populations, covering 3,000 species in total. This data was then, for the first time, used to create a representative “Living Planet Index” (LPI), reflecting the state of all 45,000 known vertebrates. […] 

The report concludes that today’s average global rate of consumption would need 1.5 planet Earths to sustain it. But four planets would be required to sustain US levels of consumption, or 2.5 Earths to match UK consumption levels.

The fastest decline among the animal populations were found in freshwater ecosystems, where numbers have plummeted by 75% since 1970. “Rivers are the bottom of the system,” said Dave Tickner, WWF’s chief freshwater adviser. “Whatever happens on the land, it all ends up in the rivers.” For example, he said, tens of billions of tonnes of effluent are dumped in the Ganges in India every year.

Tell 'Chizi's Tale' and Help Save the Rhino: VIDEO


In August we reported that South Africa would evacuate 500 rhinos from the Kruger National Park to protect them from poachers as the illegal trade in their horns continues to decimate their populations. A record 1,004 rhinos were killed in South Africa in 2013 and many of those brutally slaughtered leave behind rhino orphans which are left to fend for themselves or taken in by conservationists.

Chizi's Tale is a new children's book that tells the story of one such infant in Zimbabwe, and was written by Jack Jones, a senior in high school at Brunswick School in Connecticut. Chizi's Tale is the true story of an abandoned baby rhino which is being raised by a park ranger and his family. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to TUSK, the British charity which uses conservation as a tool to fight poverty, facilitate education and end conflict, while protecting areas rich in biodiversity and taking an active role in the fight against rhino poaching.

Check out a preview behind-the-scenes story of the book, AFTER THE JUMP...

Enlighten your kids, and check out the website here.


Continue reading "Tell 'Chizi's Tale' and Help Save the Rhino: VIDEO" »

Researchers Film Young White Killer Whale: VIDEO


Researchers off the coast of Kamchatka in Eastern Russia have captured footage of a juvenile white Orca. Previously, researchers filmed a mature male white Orca they nicknamed "Iceberg." Said the researchers of this latest footage:

In August-September we surveyed the southeastern coast of Kamchatka and Northern Kuril Islands as part of a humpback whale project funded by Russian Geographical Society. In the Fourth Kuril Strait, between Onekotan and Paramushir islands, we met a large aggregation of orcas, but soon after we started photographing them for photo-IDs, the fog thickened. Soon, we couldn’t see anything further than hundred meters, so we stopped to listen for the sounds. Suddenly a group of orcas approached us, and right next to the boat, a white orca surfaced. It was not the famous Iceberg, but a small white orca, likely a juvenile. We soon lost the whale in the fog, but the image was fixed in our mind and in this short piece of video. We hope to meet more white orcas next year.

Watch the video of the young Orca, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Army of Frogs Gather Around iPhone to Marvel At Worm Video: WATCH


Did you know a group of frogs is called an "army"? Or that frogs are positively mesmerized by video footage of worms?

See for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

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South Africa To Evacuate 500 Rhinos To Save Them From Poachers


The South African government has announced it will relocate as many as 500 rhinos form the Kruger National Park, a large nature reserve comparable in size to Israel or Wales and home to 8,400 white Rhinos. As the BBC reports, the move comes as illegal hunting of Rhinos has risen dramatically in the last seven years

South Africa is home to more than 80% of Africa's rhinos. Illegal poaching has risen sharply from 13 in 2007 to 1,004 in 2013.

Environment Minister Edna Molewa said the relocations from the Kruger National Park, coupled with the creation of "rhino strongholds", could "allow the total rhino population size of South Africa to continue to grow."

"South Africa, with its large rhino populations, has borne the brunt of rhino poaching. We remain confident that our efforts in implementing the integrated strategic approach will build on our successful track record of conserving rhino," she said.

South Africa's rhinos are primarily being hunted for their tusks. And though the trading of rhino horn has been against international law since 1977, the black market continues to thrive as demand for rhino horn is still high in some Asian nations.  

Other poachers seek to kill African rhino merely for the “sport” of it.

(Photo by Andy Towle)

New Jersey Bear Strolls Through Neighborhood On Two Legs: VIDEO

Upright New Jersey bear

For a change of pace, this is a post about bears of the Stephen Colbert "godless eating machines" variety.

Ian Bohman of New Jersey stepped outside his suburban home only to find a local ursimorph out for a stroll. While a bear in your neighborhood is cause for concern, this particular bear tried to blend in with the locals by walking on its hind legs like your standard bipedal human. So either someone is very adept at costuming, or World of Warcraft's Pandaren race are less a flight of fancy and more a plausible evolutionary prediction.

You can watch Baloo saunter down the street AFTER THE JUMP...

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