Sunday, April 28, 2013

10 Most Endangered Animals

10. The little dodo bird, an island ground pigeon. Native to Samoa, and only twelve inches in length, it's relative is the famous large dodo bird from Mauritius which became extinct 400 years ago. They are disappearing at an alarming rate due to habitat loss and illegal hunting. Survey suggests less than 200 dodo birds exist. Worse still, there are no dodo birds in captivity.

9. The Chinese giant salamander, native to central, southwestern and southern China, is the world's largest amphibian (reaching up to 6 feet!). Although it can lay up to 500 eggs at a time, then guarded by the males, they have almost completely disappeared due to over-exploitation as a food source.

8. The Siberian (Amur) Tiger, the largest big cat in the world, living in negative 50 degree climates of Russia. Due to hunting, the Siberian saw a decline to just 40 tigers in the 1930s, now population estimates are around 500. Read our post about the tiger here.

7. Leatherback Sea Turtle, despite having the largest regions of habitats (spreading from tropics to subpolar regions), population has plummeted from over 100,000 female Leatherback Sea Turtles to just 30,000 14 years later, and the number continues to fall at alarming rates. The biggest threats to these turtles is ingesting plastic bags, which they confuse as food like jellyfish, humans stealing their eggs, illegal hunting, beach development, and beach erosions due to climate change.

6. Western Lowland Gorilla and Cross River Gorilla, both native to West Africa. Although the Western Lowland Gorilla is much more numerous than the Cross River, they have seen a 60% population decline in the last 25 years. Threats include habitat loss, illegal commercial hunting by poachers and the ebola virus.

5. Northern Right Whale was named for it being the right whale to kill as it was full of valuable whale oil but it also floats when it's dead, making it easy to handle and process. As a result, it was driven to near extinction. Entanglements in commercial fishing, and climate change affecting crustaceans on which the whales feed threatens the existence of the Northern Right Whale.

4. Northern Sportive Lemur, or any of the other 100 species of lemurs. All species live on the island of Madagascar and are declining drastically in population due to illegal hunting and habitat deforestation from logging. Researchers have recently reportered there may only be 20 wild Northern Sportive Lemurs. Less than 100 Greater Bamboo Lemurs exist in the wild.

3. Javan Rhinoceros is the most threatened of the 5 rhino species. Between 40-60 remain in the Ujung Kulon National Park and the last of a small group in Vietnam was killed by poachers. The Javan Rhinoceros has been hunted to near extinction for it's horns.

2. Amur Leopard which lives in snowy Russia, a rare breed adapted to this climate. Similar to the African leopard, the Amur can run at speeds up to 37 miles per hour (60 km/hour). Only 30 Amur Leopards remain in the wild. The threats, habitat loss due to logging, roads and civilizations, illegal hunting and climate change.

1. Ivory-Billed Woodpecker which lives, or lived in southeastern US and Cuba. It was listed as extinct in 2004, but few reports of sightings have been made in Florida and Arkansas. Extinction has been caused by habitat deforestation (logging) and human exploitation for it's feathers.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Rhino Born in San Diego

Congratulations to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for the birth of a southern white rhino, the first to be running around in the park in 12 years! The herd has welcomed the arrival of spunky Kayode, we are so happy for you and the new addition to the SD Safari Park African Plains family!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Extreme Birding

Today, April 25 is designated as the day the Cornell Lab of Ornithology will attempt to break the record for the most birds found in a single day. If you love birds as much as we do, you know that migrating patterns depend on weather pattern and temperature. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology will track birds as they migrate over Texas, in hopes of recording more species in any one day. The goal, to track over 265 species! If your kids have grown and miss the opportunities to raise funds for a good cause, make your pledge here! And follow on Facebook along throughout the day to keep updated with the finds!

The non-profit organization's mission is to interpret and conserve the environment focusing on five key areas: research, education, citizen science, technology and conservation.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a world leader in the study, appreciation and conservation of birds, and is apart of Cornell University.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Earth Day: Canopy Project

Sorry for the late post, forgot to publish but I still think The Canopy Project is worth sharing. Hope everyone had a lovely Earth Day. We hope you take what you've learned about the Earth, conservation and sustainability with you not just on Earth day but every day. 

Earth Day is fast approaching (yay!) and we are so excited to share a few campaigns to help protect the planet, people and resources here on Earth!

We're crazy about trees here at Little Critterz, who wouldn't be? They're beautiful, tall, green and leafy! (channeling Phoebe Buffet, no?) Not to mention they provide shelter and food to thousands of species.

Trees aren't just beneficial to animals. They reverse land degradation, filter the air, help slow down climate change, and provide food, energy and income to developing communities. Many communities depend on trees for food, fuel, fencing and soil stability to aid in long-term economic development and environmental sustainability.

Earth Day Network has partnered with Global Poverty Project to plant 10 million trees over the next 5 years in impoverished areas around the world. With just a $1 donation to the Canopy Project, the organizations will plant 1 tree! Donate now, we just did!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Enter to Win!

We at Little Critterz know how important the bond is between human and animal life. We are inextricably linked. From tigers, elephants, crocodiles to frogs, butterflies and field mice, animals enhance the joy and wonder on the planet and in our lives.

These Little Critterz are a daily reminder of the beauty of the wild world. Sitting atop a dresser, nightstand or bookcase, each little piece of art is a reflection of the love we have for all life.

So we are giving you a chance to win your choice of 3 'Little Critterz Collection' Carded Miniature Figurines! There are over 300 different styles to choose from in 16 different subsections ranging from Aquatic to Zoo, Dinosaurs to Forest, Egyptian to Fantasy!

Go to our Facebook page for more details!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Real life Jurassic Park?

Ever since the books and movies graced popular media, the world has had a fascination with being up close and personal to dinosaurs. Yes they have been extinct for millions of years and many species could kill humans without even trying, but how cool would that be to look history in the face!

Ok, so not exactly Jurassic Park because dinosaurs haven't exactly been resurrected from their DNA - too many ethical questions come into play. However, Australian mining mogul is planning a dinosaur park to include over 150 dinosaurs that can breathe, blink, move their arms and tails and roar!  These animatronic dinosaurs will stand over 7 meters (about 23 feet tall!) and reside on the Palmer Coolum Resort in Queensland, Australia. Two can already be found on the property, a Tyrannosaurus Rex named Jeff and an Omeisaurus named Bones.

40 dinosaurs arrived last week, including a Deinosuchus, a giant early relative of the crocodile.

All dinosaurs are expected to arrive by the end of April, with the Dinosaur Park fully function shortly thereafter. As Australia nears winter, you have the time to plan a once in a lifetime, memorable vacation to share with your children or grandchildren, as well as for the kid in all of us!