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February 2012

The Most Endangered Primates On The Planet

Wed 29th February 2012 (0 comments)
Red-Shanked Douc

Red-Shanked Douc

Primates (including monkeys, lemurs and apes) can be found all around the world with this vast and diverse group of mammals containing some of the most intelligent animal species on the planet. Humans are classified as part of the Great Ape group along with Orang-Utans and Chimpanzees, which are the only other animal species that actually make tools in the wild in order to survive more successfully.

However, out of the roughly 500 different primate species that inhabit jungles, forest and mountainous woodland in numerous different countries, 25% are now considered to be threatened with extinction in the near future. Hunting and habitat loss has decimated primate populations all around the world and is leading to the complete loss of many of our closest relatives from the wild forever. Here is just a small handful of some of the most vulnerable primate species on the planet:

Helping Toads To Cross The Road

Mon 27th February 2012 (0 comments)
Common Toad

As spring starts to arrive with the warming weather animals begin to stir from their winter hibernation and set off in search of a mate. However, the early blooms along our hedgerows don't just signify the start of seasonal change, it is also the beginning of an annual event that is deeply troubling.

In order to reach their traditional spawning ponds, thousands of toads (along with frogs and newts) are forced to venture across roads and are often killed in the process, which has inevitably led to drastic declines in their population numbers, particularly in southern parts of the UK.

Growing Your Own Food In February

Fri 24th February 2012 (0 comments)

Although during this month we can often see the first signs of spring appearing with winter blooms popping up in gardens and along hedgerows, February can be an unpredictable month weather-wise meaning that you have to be careful about what you start to plant outside and when (although it is generally better to be a little patient and wait until March).

Providing that the conditions are right and the ground is warm enough (a good indication of this is when the grass has started to grow) hardy seeds can be planted outdoors, but should be sewn under cover to protect them from any further frosty spells. If you live in an area with clay soil, then it might be best to wait a couple a weeks to let the ground warm-up.

The Roaring Big Cats

Mon 20th February 2012 (2 comments)

Cats of all sizes can be found in different habitats around the world but out of the nearly 40 different cat species, four really set themselves apart. The world's Big Cat Family is one of power and distinctiveness and although it is not a true way of classifying these felines, this group contains some of the most dominant predators on the planet.

The term "Big Cat" most commonly refers to four members of the genus Panthera which are the tiger, the lion, the leopard and the jaguar which are four of the world's largest felines that are able to roar (something which other cat species cannot do). However, these magnificent carnivores are under threat throughout much of their once vast natural ranges.

A Beginners Guide To Photography - First Steps

Thu 16th February 2012 (0 comments)
Black-Headed Gull


Taking photographs of the natural world is one of our greatest pleasures in modern times, allowing us to capture beautiful landscapes and mesmerising images of animals that we share our surroundings with, and you don't need a big and expensive piece of equipment.

Watching Wildlife - February

Mon 13th February 2012 (0 comments)
Coal Tit

Coal Tit

Although the month of February may swing between being bitterly cold and windy, to bright sunny days that seem to signify the first signs of spring, a great deal is happening in the seemingly quiet world of wildlife particularly in the avian world where early breeding has begun. Numerous bird species that winter in the UK are performing often elaborate courtship rituals with their partners and prepare for the arrival of their young in the spring.

However, it isn't just birds that are looking to mate this month as signs of increasing activity around badger sets also indicates their readiness to mate and on those warmer days, you may even be lucky enough to spot insects that have come-out of their winter hibernation and possibly even tadpoles in your local pond or stream along with the first blooms of the year.

Palm Oil Free Treats - 7. Cornish Cream Tea

Fri 10th February 2012 (0 comments)
Wild Orangutan

With ever increasing awareness about the negative effects that the palm oil industry is having on the environment, it remains a great shame that more and more everyday products seem to contain it. However, as companies are permitted to list it as "vegetable oil" in their ingredients consumers are unable to make an informed decision.

The worst thing for many consumer-level palm oil activists is not just the fact that basic products contain it, but also that those rare indulgences are now a thing of the past with palm oil found (but listed as vegetable oil) in all kinds of treats including chocolate, sweets, ice cream and numerous types of biscuit. So, at A-Z Animals we have prepared a number of palm oil free recipes for you to enjoy!

Saving The Slow Loris

Mon 6th February 2012 (2 comments)
Slow Loris

Last month, the BBC aired a documentary in it's Natural World series that aimed to bring awareness to one of the world's rarest and most unique primates, the Slow Loris. The Loris is a small nocturnal mammal that is found inhabiting the dense tropical forests in south-east Asia and on a number of Indonesian islands including Borneo, Sumatra and Java.

Until recently very little was known about the Slow Loris including it's primary behaviours and even the distances travelled by this weird animal but thanks to the work of one expert, more and more is being discovered about these small arboreal primates including the fact that there are actually more than 10 different species.