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October 2011

Criminal Penguin Caught Stealing Rocks

Sun 30th October 2011 (0 comments)
Adelie Penguin

The Adelie Penguin is a small sized species of penguin that along with the Emperor Penguin, is the only penguin species that is found on the Antarctic Mainland. They are the smallest and most widely distributed penguin species in the Southern Ocean.

Named in 1840 by French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville after his wife, the Adelie Penguin is easily recognised with a blue-black back and head, white underside and a distinctive white ring that circles each eye. They also have pink, webbed feet that help them to swim and move around on land.

Dogs Threatened By Mysterious Disease

Tue 25th October 2011 (0 comments)
Woodland Walk

The Animal Health trust has recently issued both a plea and a warning to dog owners in the East of England after an outbreak of Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) has been confirmed in five woodland regions in three different counties including Norfolk, Nottinghamshire and Suffolk, with 79 cases having been confirmed so far this year.

The mysterious disease was first investigated in September and October last year after reports came in of dogs becoming seriously (sometimes even fatally) ill, shortly after having visited one of the areas that are now under investigation by the Animal Health Trust.

Whales Still Threatened By Hunting

Fri 21st October 2011 (0 comments)
Tail of Southern Right Whale

Numerous people around the world have been expressing their concerns over the past couple of weeks as the season of autumn also marks the start of the "whaling season". Despite commercial whaling having been banned now for a quarter of a century, around 1,000 whales continue to be caught as part of a 'scientific research programme' in Japan.

Whaling ships usually leave Japan with the arrival of autumn when they tend to head south into the Antarctic Ocean, and do not return until the spring. Last year however, the Japanese hunting fleet returned early with only a fifth of the animals that it was hoping for, after being held back by animal activist group, Sea Shepherd.

Demand Surges For Sustainable Palm Oil

Tue 18th October 2011 (0 comments)
Palm Oil Production

According to a recent report by the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) Certified Sustainable Palm Oil is now in higher demand than ever before. A surge in the market uptake of Sustainable Palm Oil in September saw a record 70% market demand for the product, which is an increase of 48% from September last year.

The RSPO has been working since 2004 to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products throughout every stage of the palm oil chain. It is a non-profit organisation that has united all sectors of the palm oil industry including producers, processors and traders, manufacturers, retailers, investors and environmental conservation groups.

Disaster Hits New Zealand

Fri 14th October 2011 (0 comments)
Motiti Island, Bay of Plenty

On Wednesday 5th October 2011, a large container ship ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef in New Zealand's Bay Of Plenty and started leaking oil out in the surrounding waters. By Sunday 9th, a 3 mile long oil slick was running through the rich and diverse sea.

Soon after, fist size balls of oil started being washed up on the nearest beaches and volunteers began flocking down to the shore to do their bit in the clean-up operation. However, more than a week later and 350 tonnes of oil are now thought to have entered the water.

Watching Wildlife - October

Tue 11th October 2011 (0 comments)
Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrel

The month of October is distinctive amongst the others as it is the only month that is fully submerged in the short season of autumn. The leaves are changing colour and turn from bright green to yellow, orange and red before they finally break away from their branches and pile up high on the forest floor. By now, all of the migrating birds will have headed south and small mammals are continuing to forage for the last few morsels to add to their winter stashes.

It is at this time of year as the nights close in earlier and the climate becomes damper and colder that species rarely seen at other times of the year begin flourish in these decaying conditions. Numerous fungi species spring up from amongst the debris on the forest floor and on rotting logs and tree stumps. It is also during this month when wildlife becomes most exposed in the forest as the trees shed their leaves and begin to shut down for the winter ahead.

Under Threat - The Dwarf Wedgemussel

Mon 10th October 2011 (0 comments)
Dwarf Wedgemussel

The Dwarf Wedgemussel is a small-sized and rare species of freshwater mussel that is only found inhabiting the streams and rivers along North America's Atlantic Coast. Although the range of the Dwarf Wedgemussel would have once extended north into Canada, they have been extinct there since the late 1960s.

The Dwarf Wedgemussel is a tiny creature that only rarely grows to more than four and a half centimetres in size, making this rare animal even harder to spot amongst the pebbly sand on the riverbed. They are most commonly found in small streams and deep rivers where they prefer to bury themselves in the clay amongst the roots of trees in the water.

Under Threat - The Panamanian Golden Frog

Sun 9th October 2011 (0 comments)
Panamanian Golden Frog

The Panamanian Golden Frog is a Critically Endangered species of frog that is natively found in the tropical rainforests of Panama, often close to a fast-flowing water source. It is because of this noise close-by that these frogs often communicate between one another by waving their limbs (a form of semaphore), making them quite unique.

Despite still being technically listed as a Critically Endangered species, the Panamanian Golden Frog has not been seen in the wild since 2007, when it was filmed as part of a BBC nature series involving David Attenborough. Many now consider the Panamanian Golden Frog to be extinct in the wild, with a small population still found in zoos around the world.

Under Threat - The Alligator Snapping Turtle

Sun 9th October 2011 (0 comments)
Alligator Snapping Turtle

The Alligator Snapping Turtle is the world's largest and most dangerous species of freshwater turtle, with one specimen found in 1948 being said to be as large as a kitchen table. Found throughout the Mississippi Basin in the southern USA, the Alligator Snapping Turtle is one of the most ferocious predators in it's natural environment.

They spend the daylight hours buried in the mud on the floors of rivers and lakes where they wait ready with their mouths open to ambush their prey. The Alligator Snapping Turtle has a thread of skin on the end of it's tongue which is used to lure unsuspecting fish right into it's mouth, before it rapidly snaps it's strong, sharp jaws shut.

Under Threat - The Beluga Sturgeon

Fri 7th October 2011 (0 comments)
Beluga Sturgeons On Stamp

The Beluga Sturgeon is a large and long-living species of freshwater fish that is native to the temperate waters of the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. Although the Beluga Sturgeon shares it's name with the more famous Beluga Whale, the two species are unrelated with the name Beluga coming from the Russian word for white.

The Beluga Sturgeon is the largest species of freshwater fish in the world with some individuals growing more than 7 meters long and weighing nearly 1.5 tons. They are also able to live for more than 100 years but this means that they are slow-maturing and often won't reach sexual maturity until they are in their twenties.

Featured Article: A Beginners Guide To Keeping Fish

Thu 6th October 2011 (0 comments)
Dwarf Gourami

Fish make great, low-maintenance pets, and a fish tank can be quite a soothing addition to your home. However, setting up a home for your pet fish does require effort in order to ensure they enjoy a happy, healthy environment. The type of fish you get will dictate what sort of environment is needed so do a lot of research beforehand to make sure you are providing for your pet correctly.

Of course, the main key to keeping fish healthy is to take care of the water. Without properly maintained water, the fish will not thrive. While it's fine to use tap water to fill your tank, it should be conditioned first, using an aquarium water conditioner. Make sure you do this before adding the water to the tank. You should also use fish filters to oxygenate the water as well.

Under Threat - The Green-Cheeked Parrot

Thu 6th October 2011 (2 comments)
Green-Cheeked Parrot

The Green-Cheeked Parrot (also known as the Green-Cheeked Parakeet and the Green-Cheeked Conure) is a small species of long-tailed parrot that is found inhabiting the jungles of South America. They are strikingly coloured birds with green cheeks and body, a dark head, white rings around their eyes, blue wings and an extraordinary maroon tail that is long and straight.

Natively found in the forests of Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina, the Green-Cheeked Parrot is an incredibly sociable bird that inhabits it's woodland home in a flock that usually contains between 10 and 20 members. However, unlike numerous other South American tropical birds, the Green-Cheeked Parrot rarely participates in mixed species feeding, tending to remain with their flock instead.

Under Threat - The Black Rhino

Wed 5th October 2011 (0 comments)
Black Rhino, Tanzania

The Black Rhino is one of two species of rhinoceros that are natively found in Africa (the other being the larger White Rhino). Also known as the Hook-Lipped Rhino, the Black Rhino has a thin top lip that is specially designed for ripping leaves off trees and bushes and despite it's name, is not black in colour at all but instead tends to have fairly light coloured skin.

There are thought to be four different subspecies of Black Rhino that differ slightly in both appearance (the horns of some are straighter or more curved than others) and where they live, as certain species are better adapted to more arid climates where others prefer the lush, tree-lined grassy plains. Out of the four Black Rhino subspecies, the South-central Black Rhino is the most numerous.

Celebrate World Animal Day - People Are Animals Too

Tue 4th October 2011 (0 comments)
Amur Tiger

Starting in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy, World Animal Day was initiated as a way of highlighting the plight of the world's endangered species. World Animal Day took place on the 4th October as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, and has grown rapidly since then being widely celebrated in countries around the globe and encompassing the need to think about all kinds of animal life.

Not restricted to any one nationality, creed, religion, political belief or ideology, World Animal Day is intended as a day of celebration for anyone in the world who cares about animals. The launch in the UK on 4th October 2003 meant that organisations, groups, animal shelters, places of worship, schools, clubs and individuals participated in what was to become an annual event and, quite simply, helped make history!