Along the Mississippi River Flyway in Iowa, Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge provides important habitat for migratory birds. Floodplains and forests are used by many wildlife species including migratory songbirds, waterfowl, hawks and eagles, deer, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians. After a recent snowstorm, it’s also a stunning winter sight. Photo by Jessica Bolser, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Did you know that it is a serious crime to buy and sell North American migratory and predatory birds on our continent?
Recognizing that threatened animals often move beyond national boundaries, in 1918 both Canada and the United States of America both signed onto the “Migratory Bird Treaty Act”.
This act created a unified, multinational, front in the protection and conservation of over 800 indigenous bird species including eagles, owls and crows. This is not some piece of junk legislation, abiding by these rules has had a significant impact in the stability and future of these species.
As a consequence of these laws, anyone offering you local or modern specimens is most likely putting themselves and yourself at risk for major fines (if not imprisonment)! For more information and a full list of species restricted please research the “Migratory Bird Treaty Act”. #CollectResponsibly
Cuteness alert: A baby coast horned lizard found on McGinty Mountain at the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge in California. Established in 1996, the San Diego Refuge protects habitats for threatened and endangered species, migratory birds, and rare plants and animals found in a variety of habitats. Photo by usfws biologist John Martin.
The basking shark is the second largest living fish, after the whale shark, and one of three plankton-eating sharks besides the whale shark and megamouth shark. It is a cosmopolitan migratory species, found in all the world’s temperate oceans. It is a slow-moving filter feeder; its common name derives from its habit of feeding at the surface, appearing to be basking
in the warmer water there. It has anatomical adaptations for filter
feeding, such as a greatly enlarged mouth and highly developed gill rakers.
Its snout is conical and the gill slits extend around the top and
bottom of its head. The gill rakers, dark and bristle-like, are used to
catch plankton as water filters through the mouth and over the gills.
The basking shark is usually greyish-brown, with mottled skin. The
caudal (tail) fin has a strong lateral keel and a crescent shape. The
teeth of the basking shark are very small and numerous, and often number
one hundred per row. The teeth have a single conical cusp, are curved
backwards, and are the same on both the upper and lower jaws. Adults
typically reach 6–8 m in length. Basking sharks are believed to overwinter in deep waters. They may be found in either small schools or alone. Small schools in the Bay of Fundy and the Hebrides
have been seen swimming nose to tail in circles in what may be a form
of mating behaviour. Despite their large size and threatening
appearance, basking sharks are not aggressive and are harmless to
humans. It is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.
Bird’s eye view of the shallow, calm water bay at Fishermans Point in Lincoln National Park, Australia.
The Lincoln National Park is home to a number of resident as well as migratory bird and animal species. Numerous kangaroos, wallabies and emus reside in the national park.