Sunday, September 22, 2013

World Rhino Day

Each day 2-3 rhinos are killed for their horns, which in some cultures are seen as having healing powers. 

Between 1970 and 1992, the population of the black rhino species decreased by 96%.
Fewer than 200 Greater one-horned rhinos existed earlier in the 20th century.
There currently are approximately 35-44 Javan rhinos surviving in in one country, Indonesia.
Fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos are believed to survive on the island of Sumatra, with perhaps as few as ten animals remaining in Sabah, Malaysia. 
Only the populations of the Southern white rhino remain viable.The Northern white rhino is believed to be extinct in its last known habitat in Garamba National Park due to poaching.

Oh stop the horror!

Despite the slaughter, rhino numbers worldwide are actually increasing … thanks to the International Rhino Foundation and its partners in countries like Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, India and Indonesia.

Today, September 22, is World Rhino Day. Where we celebrate all 5 remaining species of rhinos. We've said it before, and we'll say it again days like these are important in the plight to spreading awareness and promoting the aid and rehabilitation of endangered species. See wildlife day blog post here

You can help save rhinos from extinction by going to zoos. Supporting your local zoo means supporting research, breeding, rehabilitating and reintroducing these endangered species back into the wild. 

Other ways to help according to the IRF

White Rhinos
Support our Stop Poaching Now! campaign. Train and equip rhino rangers in South Africa and Zimbabwe, empower legal professionals to prosecute wildlife crime, and employ specially-trained “Horn Dogs” to track rhino horn poachers and smugglers.
Black Rhinos
Funds are needed to move rhinos threatened by poachers to more secure areas in Zimbabwe’s Lowveld region and for our project to reintroduce the black rhino to Botswana by translocating animals from South Africa.
Greater One-horned Rhinos
Re-establish rhino populations in India’s Manas National Park and Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary. Help us increase the number of rhinos in Assam to 3,000 animals by the year 2020.
Sumatran Rhinos
Employ Rhino Protection Units in Indonesia’s Bukit Barisan Selatan and Way Kambas National Parks, home to two-thirds of the world’s Sumatran rhinos, of which only about 100 are believed to remain. Support our breeding efforts at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary.
Javan Rhinos
Employ Rhino Protection Units in Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park, the final stronghold for the Javan rhino. Less than 50 remain. If this population disappears, the species will be gone forever.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Enchanted Garden Escape

We, here at Little Critterz love the outdoors. We love the plants and animals, and the magic the natural environment provides. But when we're stuck in doors cooking, cleaning or working, we love having a piece of the outdoors in with us.

One of my favorite things about my house is my enchanted garden which has claimed the space above my dresser. The rich walnut wood and the array of succulents reminds me of the beautiful rain forests. My vases never go without fresh flowers. The greenery and pops of color add life to the room that nothing else can substitute. Candles are a must for their fragrance and mood lighting. And the Little Critterz add playful touches to the garden in my bedroom. 

Where to get these Little Critterz :turtle, snail, snake, winged bunny, hummingbird, butterfly, fairiesgnomes, horse
What kinds of touches do you like to add to your home? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rewild The World

TED Talks are one of my favorite places to learn about new exciting topics and developments in Technology, Entertainment, Design (or TED), Business, Science and Global Issues. I constantly find myself inspired by these remarkable speakers and the ideas, problems and solutions they present.

Recently TED posted a talk by George Monbiot from a global talk this past July entitled "For More Wonder, Rewild the World". Here is the talk:

Interesting quotes from the talk:
"And it was only when I stumbled across an unfamiliar word that I began to understand what I was looking for.

"So the wolves, small in number, transformed not just the ecosystem of the Yellowstone National Park, this huge area of land, but also its physical geography."

"Why shouldn't all of us have a Serengeti on our doorsteps?"

Rewilding is the mass restoration of ecosystems. Or a second definition, rewilding of human life not in opposition to civilization but have access to richer, wilder lives of adventure because of rewilded habitats. I'm picturing a less lonely and non post-apocalyptic version of "I Am Legend". Doesn't that sound like a utopia? Is a Serengeti on our doorsteps really that farfetched?

Temperatures, climates and environments similar to now in the West hosted a variety of fauna and megafauna not seen here today. Elephants, rhinoceros and lions grazing the streets of Britain. Climate hasn't chased away these animals but pressure from humans has. Now in keeping with wolves and whales example, perhaps he's suggesting reintroducing megafauna to Western society trinkle down effect may include human population decrease thus resulting in more smaller fauna and flora increases, which in turn increases megafauna populations.

Okay, so I don't exactly see a wildlife park in the middle of the American suburbs, at least in my lifetime. But it sure if fun to think about. And I do agree with his parting words, "In motivating people to love and defend the natural world, an ounce of hope is worth a ton of despair." 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Four Leopards Found In Remote Valley in Pakistan

The Snow Leopard Trust has found four cats in Pakistan! Now they need to find ways to protect them.

In May and June of this year, the Snow Leopard trust team was able to photograph snow leopards at 19 different sites in Misgar Valley. Misgar Valley is the most northern point of Pakistan, before reaching China. Known for it's remoteness and unpredictable weather of floods, mudslides and snow, the area is a very difficult place to for the team to work.

After extensively evaluating the coat patterns, the team was able to identify at least four cats.

The team took community surveys and found generally negative attitudes towards snow leopards among local herders, mostly due to livestock depletion. Now comes the challenge of working with the community, addressing negative attitudes. The families seem interested in their livestock insurance program, started by Indianapolis Prize 2014 Nominee Charu Mishra.

To the Trust, there are three pillars to conservation:

  • livestock insurance programs
  • livestock‐free wildlife reserves
  • environmental education
These initiatives will restore wild lands, increase wild prey abundance, reduce persecution of threatened predators, catalyze greater use of the habitat by the endangered snow leopard, and raise conservation awareness.

The Snow Leopard Trust, based in Seattle Washington, is a world leader in conservation of the endangered snow leopard.

Little Critterz supports the Snow Leopard Trust, and we are very excited about this recent accomplishment.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ways to Celebrate // Happy Wildlife Day!

Today is National Wildlife Day. Most people shrug off days like today, or Earth Day or Dog Day, etc. But isn't it symbolic, like a birthday, a day to appreciate and celebrate a particular being? Let's celebrate! In this case it's not Timmy down the street, but all wildlife on this earth.

Wildlife includes all animals, plants, fungi, and organisms that are non-domesticated by humans, although it is agreed by most scientists that all wildlife is affected by human species (no surprise there, right?)

Every species is an important of it's ecosystem, and thus the ecosystem of the planet and consequently humans. Jonas Salk once said that if all humans disappeared from the Earth all life would flourish in 50 years, but if insects disappeared all life would end.

That's a very surprising, and humanizing concept (no pun intended). Humans have a unique ability to create and destroy on a massive scale, and like most people, we here at Little Critterz believe in minimizing destruction and conserving the planet for all life on it now, and for generations to come.

So hats off to all the wildlife on Earth. We are entertained and mesmerized by you. We learn from you. We appreciate you. So let's donate to an organization today whose commitment to wildlife preserves the species. Visit your local zoo or aquarium because their efforts are crucial to the survival, education, and research to wildlife. Watch a wildlife documentary to learn about a new species or environment. Or make a purchase on Little Critterz so we can continue to support non-profit wildlife organizations. Whatever you do today, Happy Wildlife Day!

Some of our favorite wildlife species. What's yours?