Reserve in Namibia, Africa ©

I bet you didn’t know that the Giraffe as a species is in serious trouble since populations have plummeted by nearly 40% in the past two decades across Africa.

Why? Well, it’s mainly due to major habitat loss, habitat degradation, and population fragmentation, worsened by illegal hunting and human population expansion. At the end of 2016, the Giraffe was uplisted on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species from “least concern” to “vulnerable”. While other African animals such as the rhino and elephant are known to be threatened worldwide, the Giraffe has not gained much attention at all and is silently slipping towards extinction. What no one realizes is that there’s actually less Giraffe than there are elephants…
Rigorous conservation efforts will need to be undertaken in order to restore declining populations. Greater awareness of this issue is the first step.


The world’s population of giraffes continues to decline at an alarming rate, with just under 100,000 individuals left in their native habitats. That is a decrease of nearly 40% over the last 20 years. These findings led the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to change giraffes’ status last year to Vulnerable, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. For #WorldGiraffeDay, consider joining the fight to End Extinction. Let’s turn things around. (source)

anonymous asked:

what is your opinion of taking the last of the species in the wild and putting them into zoos with the goal of eventually reintroducing there future offspring back into the wild

Very interesting question, theres examples where this worked but also some where this didnt worked

Where it worked

Przewalski’s horse (Equus ferus

After 1945 only two captive populations of the Prezwalki’s horse in zoos remained, in Munich and in Prague. By the end of the 1950s, only 12 individual Przewalski’s horses were left in the world. In 1977, the Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of the Przewalski horse was founded in Rotterda, the Foundation started a program of exchange between captive populations in zoos throughout the world to reduce inbreeding, and later began a breeding program of its own. As a result of such efforts, the extant herd has retained a far greater genetic diversity than its genetic bottleneck made likely.

In 1992, sixteen horses were released into the wild in Mongolia, followed by additional animals later on. One of the areas to which they were reintroduced became Khustain Nuruu National Park in 1998. Another reintroduction site is Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area, located at the fringes of the Gobi desert. Lastly, in 2004 and 2005, 22 horses were released by the Association Takh to a third reintroduction site in the buffer zone of the Khar Us Nuur National Park, in the northern edge of the Gobi ecoregion.

Since 2011, Prague Zoo has transported twelve horses to Mongolia in three rounds and it plans to continue to return horses to the wild in the future. The Zoo has the longest uninterrupted history of breeding of Przewalski’s horses in the world and keeps the studbook of this species.

The reintroduced horses successfully reproduced, and the status of the animal was changed from “extinct in the wild” to “endangered” in 2005. On the IUCN Red List, they were reclassified from “extinct in the wild” to “critically endangered” after a reassessment in 2008 and from “critically endangered” to “endangered” after a 2011 reassessment.

California condor (Gymnogyps californianus

Condor numbers dramatically declined in the 20th century due to poaching, lead poisoning, and habitat destruction. A conservation plan was put in place by the United States government that led to the capture of all the remaining wild condors which was completed in 1987, with a total population of 27 individuals. These surviving birds were bred at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the Los Angeles Zoo. Numbers rose through captive breeding and, beginning in 1991, condors were reintroduced into the wild. The California condor is one of the world’s rarest bird species: as of December 2015 there are 435 condors living wild or in captivity.

Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx

The Phoenix Zoo and the Fauna and Flora Preservation Society of London are credited with saving the Arabian oryx from extinction. In 1962, these groups started the first captive-breeding herd in any zoo, at the Phoenix Zoo, sometimes referred to as “Operation Oryx”. Starting with 9 animals, the Phoenix Zoo has had over 240 successful births. From Phoenix, oryx were sent to other zoos and parks to start new herds.

Arabian oryx were hunted to extinction in the wild by 1972. By 1980, the number of Arabian oryx in captivity had increased to the point that reintroduction to the wild was started. The first release, to Oman, was attempted with oryx from the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Although numbers in Oman have declined, there are now wild populations in Saudi Arabia and Israel, as well. One of the largest populations is found in Mahazat as-Sayd Protected Area, a large, fenced reserve in Saudi Arabia, covering more than 2000 km2.

In June 2011, the Arabian oryx was relisted as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. The IUCN estimated more than 1,000 Arabian oryx in the wild, with 6,000–7,000 held in captivity worldwide in zoos, preserves, and private collections.

Where it didnt work

Thylacin (Thylacinus cynocephalus)

The Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger or the Tasmanian wolf. Native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, it is believed to have become extinct in the 20th century

The last captive thylacine, later referred to as “Benjamin”, was trapped in the Florentine Valley by Elias Churchill in 1933, and sent to the Hobart Zoo where it lived for three years. The thylacine died on 7 September 1936. It is believed to have died as the result of neglect—locked out of its sheltered sleeping quarters, it was exposed to a rare occurrence of extreme Tasmanian weather: extreme heat during the day and freezing temperatures at night.

Quagga (Equus quagga quagga

The Quagga was an extinct subspecies of plains zebra that lived in South Africa until the 19th century.

After the Dutch settlement of South Africa began, the quagga was heavily hunted as it competed with domesticated animals for forage. While some individuals were taken to zoos in Europe, breeding programs were unsuccessful. The last wild population lived in the Orange Free State, and the quagga was extinct in the wild by 1878. The last captive specimen died in Amsterdam on 12 August 1883.

So you see this can go either way but i would say overall if it helps the species im for it because nature conservation is very important to me

Kodkod (Leopardus guigna)

The kodkod is the smallest cat in the Americas. It lives primarily in central and southern Chile and marginally in adjoining areas of Argentina. Since 2002, it has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List as the total effective population may comprise less than 10,000 mature individuals, and is threatened due to persecution and loss of habitat and prey base. The kodkod has a small head, large feet, and a thick tail. Typical adult length is 37 to 51 cm. Kodkods are equally active during the day as during the night, although they only venture into open terrain under the cover of darkness. During the day, they rest in dense vegetation in ravines, along streams with heavy cover, and in piles of dead gorse. They are excellent climbers, and easily able to climb trees more than a meter in diameter. They are terrestrial predators of birds, lizards and rodents in the ravines and forested areas, feeding on southern lapwing, austral thrush, chucao tapaculo, huet-huet, domestic geese and chicken

photo credits: Mauro Tammone


The only way anyone will win this staring contest is with the cheat at the end.

A male Asian narrow-headed softshell turtle at the @stlzoo. This species can be found in large, clear rivers with sandy bottoms in Thailand. Their numbers throughout southeast Asia have dropped terribly because these turtles are so big and meaty, people hunt and eat them. This species is now listed as critically endangered on the IUCN red list.

The Inger’s Asian tree toad [also known as the green tree toad, Pedostibes rugosis] is one of the six arboreal [tree-dwelling] toads of the genus Pedostibes, which includes yellow spotted climbing toads. They can be found in northern Borneo and some parts of Indonesia. Although these toads are relatively common, they have suffered habitat loss due to human expansion and are currently listed as “near threatened” by the IUCN Red List. This specimen was found and photographed in Borneo by Jasmine Vink.


The Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii, syn. Pardofelis temminckii), also called the Asiatic golden cat and Temminck’s cat, is a medium-sized wild cat of the northeastern Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2008, and is threatened by hunting pressure and habitat loss, since Southeast Asian forests are undergoing the world’s fastest regional deforestation

Earth is Dying - and it's Our Fault.

I need to fully develop my conservation blog and post things like this there. But here’s the deal.

We are in the midst of the planet’s sixth mass extinction.

These are incredibly rare, and yes, it is what you think it is - when hundreds, thousands of species go extinct within a short period of time. But if it’s happened before, why is this one so bad?

Because the five before this have been due to completely natural causes. The warming or cooling of the planet, volcano eruptions, floods, droughts…

But this time, HUMANS are the primary problem. That’s right, us. You and I.

Sure, we are not the only reason for species going extinct, but everything we do harms the environment. Our hunger for expansion and a higher standard of living has caused us to keep destroying nature just so we can build on it.

So, habitat destruction is a HUGE problem. Along with littering, overpopulation, overusage of water, fragmentation, and carbon emissions (which contribute to global warming). We are invading and destroying rainforests - even the protected biodiversity hotspots are difficult to preserve - and disaster falls.

We are wiping out keystone species, plants and animals that could trigger the collapse of an entire ecosystem because they’re so important. We are losing species of plants that may have undiscovered medicinal value (like a cure for cancer).

Species are disappearing faster than we can blink. What will we do when the bees are gone? The sea turtles, the sharks? What happens when you wake up in the morning and the birds aren’t singing, what happens when you go to the beach and instead of clean sand and rocks, it’s filled with litter and trash?

So, yes. We are destroying our planet and ensuring the downfall of both us and future generations.

So how can we stop this?
1.) Conserve resources. The lower the demand is for products, the less people will go out and harvest them. Try and save water, drive less (public transportation may be a better option for example), save electricity by turning lights off. The littlest things can help.

2.) Don’t litter. This should be easy. But apparently, people haven’t been getting the message. Those garbage patches in the ocean can’t just be cleaned up.

3.) RECYCLE!! This is so important, and so easy! I’m astonished at the amount of people I know who don’t recycle. Please encourage everyone you know to participate, too.

4.) Educate. We have the world at our fingertips. Visit the IUCN red list, which documents all species of animals, and names their status. Look at other websites. Learn. Teach people. Let them know what’s happening.

5.) Donate. This can be the hardest to do because, well - money is hard to come by. But I urge you all to send this money to a good cause. There are soooo many environmental and conservation groups out there to donate to. Your money will be well spent. Just make sure you research each project before donating to ensure it’s not a scam.

Thank you for listening - and I urge you all to speak up about this. We need this planet. It doesn’t need us.

Snake?…..worm?….salamander! This is one of the most unusual #amphibians found at my frog research site in Honduras. It is the Cusuco worm #salamander (Oedipina tomasi) and has a tail almost twice as long as its body! As per the IUCN Red List, this species is listed as Critically Endangered because its Area of Occupancy is less than 10 km2, all individuals are in a single location, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat on the Sierra de Omoa. Right now, my team is focusing on saving #frogs in immediate danger of #extinction, but many salamanders might need #conservation help too!

Made with Instagram

Of the seven extant species of sea turtles living amongst the worlds oceans, this is a Hawksbill Turtle or Eretmochelys imbricata for short. All seven species are present on the IUCN Red List, ranging from vulnerable to critically endangered; with the majority of threats being anthropogenic. Illegal wildlife trade, bycatch and habitat loss have shown to greatly impact numbers, which is why it’s more important than ever to help protect these amazing creatures. Thankfully there are lots of global organisations (such as WWF) playing a huge role in the protection and conservation of sea turtles; often including eco-tourism or volunteer programmes which can be incredibly fun, and very rewarding to get involved in.

Entry 6: Western Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis longipes)

Once found throughout the sub-Saharan African savannah, this genetically unique subspecies of rhinoceros found itself the target of poaching for its large, keratin horn.  They weighed in at 800-1,400 kg (1,800-3,100 lbs) though they fed entirely on leafy greens and shoots.  This large browser would sit out the hottest parts of the day in wallows or under shade, relying on birds, such as the red-billed oxpecker, to detect any threats due to their near-sightedness.

It was believed that their horn had medicinal powers in some Chinese cultures, providing a supposed effect on male incontinence, headaches, arthritis, and to be used as a poison detector. It was also upheld as a symbol of power in local African and Middle Eastern cultures, who sometimes created daggers hilts and other ornamentations from the horn.  The hunt for this horn, which left the animal dead from the violence of such deaths even though the horn was not a part of it’s skull, dwindled their population from 850,000 in the 1900s to just 10 in 2000.

The last reported sighting was in the Northern Province of Cameroon in 2006.

Extinction Date According to the IUCN Red List: 2011


The orangutans (also spelled orang-utan, orangutang, or orang-utang)

are the two exclusively Asian species of extant great apes. Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are currently found in only the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. Classified in the genus Pongo, orangutans were considered to be one species. Since 1996, they have been divided into two species: the Bornean orangutan (P. pygmaeus) and the Sumatran orangutan (P. abelii)

Conservation status

The Sumatran and Bornean species are both critically endangered[71][72] according to the IUCN Red List of mammals, and both are listed on Appendix I of CITES.[71][72]

The Bornean orangutan population declined by 60% in the past 60 years and is projected to decline by 82% over 75 years. Its range has become patchy throughout Borneo, being largely extirpated from various parts of the island, including the southeast.[72] The largest remaining population is found in the forest around the Sabangau River, but this environment is at risk.[73]


Wildlife Wednesday: Manatee Awareness Month

Did you know November is Manatee Awareness Month? Manatees are the official marine mammal of Florida. Sailors once mistook them for mermaids, hence the name of the manatees’ scientific order, Sirenia. There are three species of manatees in the world: The West Indian manatee, the West African manatee and the Amazonian manatee. All are vulnerable under the IUCN Red List. But only one—the West Indian manatee—lives in the United States, where it’s federally endangered. It’s estimated less than 10,000 mature manatees remain in the wild. Collisions with boats are the single greatest threat to their survival, followed by loss of warm-water habitats. But if you like going out on the water, you can help protect them! The best tips are to keep a watchful eye for manatees or manatee signs, reduce your speed, and avoid shallow areas with seagrass beds where they could be feeding. (Photo: John Parker/Smithsonian Environmental Research Center)

Entry 42: Schomburgk’s Deer (Rucervus schomburgki)

Once inhabiting the swampy plains of central Thailand, the Schomburgk’s Deer - named as such for Sir Robert H. Schomburgk - roamed along the Chao Phya River Valley well into the 1900s.  Sporting an impressive basket-like rack, antlers could grow upwards of 31 points and measure up to 33 inches (83 cm) on the outer curve.  They stood at about 3.4 feet tall (104 cm) and were about 6 feet (180 cm) long.

During the rainy season, the flooding of their river valley habitats forced their herds onto higher ground islands.  This habit, however, would prove to be their downfall.  Isolated onto these islands, hunters took advantage and killed as many individuals as they could.

In the late 19th century, commercial production of rice ate away at the Schomburgk’s Deer habitat, enveloping the grass lands in which they grazed.  This, coupled with overhunting, led to the final known wild stag being killed by a Siamese policeman in September of 1932.  The last known captive specimen was killed by a drunk man who wandered into the temple where it was being kept in Samut Sakhon, Thailand in 1938.  It was rumoured to still roam the wilderness, though no confirmed sightings occurred after 1938.

Extinction Date According to the IUCN Red List: 1994-2006

IUCN red list

our emotions at first were
of the least concern,
flowing and flowering freely.

under the light of each other’s gaze,
suddenly rendered 
vulnerable, till chances
of survival reached 
an all-time low:



and now,


[For anyone who doesn’t know what the IUCN Red List is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IUCN_Red_List ]

100 HORSE BREEDS 39. Przewalski Horse

Przewalski’s horse, or Dzungarian horse, is a rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse native to the steppes of central Asia. In the 15th century, Johann Schiltberger recorded one of the first European sightings of the horses in the journal of his trip to Mongolia as a prisoner of the Mongol Khan. The horse is named after the Russian colonel Nikolai Przhevalsky (1839–1888) (the name is of Polish origin and “Przewalski” is the Polish spelling). He was the explorer and naturalist who first described the horse in 1881, after having gone on an expedition to find it, based on rumors of its existence. Many of these horses were captured around 1900 by Carl Hagenbeck and placed in zoos. As noted above, about twelve to fifteen reproduced and formed today’s population.

The native population declined in the 20th century due to a combination of factors, with the wild population in Mongolia dying out in the 1960s. The last herd was sighted in 1967 and the last individual horse in 1969. Expeditions after this failed to locate any horses, and the species had been designated “extinct in the wild” for over 30 years. After 1945 only two captive populations in zoos remained, in Munich and in Prague. The most valuable group, in Askania Nova, Ukraine, was shot by German soldiers during World War II occupation, and the group in the United States had died out. Competition with livestock, hunting, capture of foals for zoological collections, military activities, and harsh winters recorded in 1945, 1948 and 1956 are considered to be the main causes of the decline in the Przewalski’s horse population. By the end of the 1950s, only 12 individual Przewalski’s horses were left in the world.

Since 2011, Prague Zoo has transported twelve horses to Mongolia in three rounds, in cooperation with partners and it plans to continue to return horses to the wild in the future. In the framework of the project Return of the Wild Horses it sustains its activities by supporting local inhabitants. The Zoo has the longest uninterrupted history of breeding of Przewalski’s horses in the world and keeps the studbook of this species. As for the endangerment of the Przewalski’s horse, the status was changed from “extinct in the wild” to “endangered” in 2005. On the IUCN Red List, they were reclassified from “extinct in the wild” to “critically endangered” after a reassessment in 2008 and from “critically endangered” to “endangered” after a 2011 reassessment.

Today most “wild” horses, such as the American Mustang or the Australian Brumby, are actually feral horses descended from domesticated animals that escaped and adapted to life in the wild. In contrast, the Przewalski’s horse has never been domesticated and remains the only truly wild horse in the world today. Przewalski’s horse is one of three known subspecies of Equus ferus, the others being the domesticated horse Equus ferus caballus, and the extinct tarpan Equus ferus ferus. There are still a number of other wild equines, including three species of zebra and various subspecies of the African wild ass, onager (including the Mongolian wild ass), and kiang.

In the wild, Przewalski’s horses live in small, permanent family groups consisting of one adult stallion, one to three mares, and their common offspring. Offspring stay in the family group until they are no longer dependent, usually at two or three years old. Bachelor stallions, and sometimes old stallions, join bachelor groups. Family groups can join together to form a herd that moves together.

The patterns of their daily lives exhibit horse behavior similar to that of feral horse herds. Stallions herd, drive and defend all members of their family, while the mare often displays leadership in the family. Stallions and mares stay with their preferred partner for years. While behavioral synchronization is high among mares, stallions other than the main harem stallion are generally less stable in this respect.

Horses maintain visual contact with their family and herd at all times and have a host of ways to communicate with one another, including vocalizations, scent marking, and a wide range of visual and tactile signals. Each kick, groom, tilt of the ear, or other contact with another horse is a means of communicating. This constant communication leads to complex social behaviors among Przewalski’s horses.

Entry 2: Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus)

Once the largest carnivorous marsupial of both the Australian mainland, Tasmania, and New Guinea, the Thylacine was already declining when European settlers came to the shores of this far flung continent. As an apex predator, they were never particularly suited to the role. Despite initial assumptions, they did not posses a strong olfactory system as similar predators such as the wolf.  They were not strong runners, but instead likely relied on surprise to hunt.

They had the ability to stand up for periods of time on its hind legs, similar to a kangaroo.  Both male and females possessed pouches, a rare attribute in marsupials.  

By the time they had become extinct on the mainland, due to a combination of the dingos partial domestication by aboriginal peoples who may have overrun the thylacine’s hunting ground as well as a decline in prey for any number of reasons, their isolation upon Tasmania spelt their doom.  A bounty was put upon their heads by the colonial government due to their predation upon livestock.  This bounty put pressure on an already declining species that led to substantial population loses.

The last known specimen died in captivity just 59 days after Tasmania declared them a protected species.  Though people continued to report sightings of the creature through the 1960s, it was only listed as a endangered species through the 1980s despite little evidence of their continued existence.

Extinction Date According to the IUCN Red List: 1986