Part of the most remote island archipelago on Earth, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument supports a reef ecosystem with more than 7,000 marine species and is home to many species of coral, fish, birds and marine mammals. This includes the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, the endangered leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles. A Hawaiian monk seal naps on the beach with a rainbow on the horizon. Photo by Mark Sullivan, NOAA/HMSRP, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.
Recent hatchlings of gharial crocodiles on mom’s head, the banks of the Chambal River, India. Photo by Udayan Rao Pawar. Gharial crocodiles (Gavialis gangeticus) are highly endangered with just 200 or so breeding adults remaining in 2% of their former range.
The adorably named rusty patched bumblebee just became the first bee
species in the contiguous United States to be officially categorized as
“endangered” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Since the late 1990s, its population has
shrunk by 87%, CNN reported.
“The rusty patched bumblebee is among a group of
pollinators, including the monarch butterfly, experiencing serious
declines across the country,” Tom Melius, the Wildlife Service’s midwest
regional director, told CNN. Read more
The Saimaa ringed seal (Pusa hispida saimensis) is a subspecies of ringed seal (Pusa hispida). They are among the most endangered seals in the world, having a total population of only about 320 individuals. The only existing population of these seals is found in Lake Saimaa, Finland (hence the name).This seal, along with the Ladoga seal and the Baikal seal, is one of the few living freshwater seals.
The kea is the only alpine parrot on the planet, and is one of ten parrot species endemic to New Zealand. It belongs to the same family as the precious moss potato, the kakapo, and the colourful kaka. Its clownish nature is so well-known that a group of kea is called a circus!
After mating, the female cassowary will lay three to six large, green eggs. Once these eggs are laid, the female’s job is done, and she will wander off to find another male to mate with. It is the father who constructs a nest of waterproof vegetation and incubates the eggs for the next fifty days. A devoted parent, the male will not leave his eggs until they have hatched. A broody male cassowary does not need to eat, drink, or even defecate for the entire period of incubation.
Cassowary chicks are small, beige in colour, with dark brown stripes. The father will protect his new family with devotion, showing them what foods to eat and ferociously protecting them from predators. The chicks will stay with their father for the next nine months.
It has also been noted in zoos that cassowary chicks will imprint readily on anyone who is present when they hatch, including humans. These chicks are then extremely tame and will follow their adopted parent anywhere. In some native villages in New Guinea, cassowary chicks are even kept as pets and left to wander loose through the village, like chickens. However, even the tamest chick will turn savage and dangerous upon reaching adulthood.