Posted by: zoologikal | February 2, 2008

WESTERN LOWLAND GORILLA (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

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Image Source: http://www.arkive.org/
Length: Males: 170-180cm, Females: 140-150cm
Weight: Males: 140-275kg, Females: 60-100kg
Range: Central Africa: Tropical forests in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Nigeria
Population: 94,000
Threats: Habitat Loss, Poaching, Disease (Ebola virus has killed off most of the population)
My Comments: Hunting, the bush meat trade and the Ebola virus has been the main cause of extinction of these Great Apes and for many other subspecies of Gorilla. Roads that have been built for timber production have opened their once secluded habitat to humans and their exploitation of these areas and the creatures that live there. Even tribes of people like the pygmies are not immune to the growing industrialization of the world. They are susceptible to human viruses so the more contact with humans the worse it is for these animals.
More Info: http://www.iucnredlist.org/search/details.php/9406/all

Posted by: zoologikal | January 21, 2008

Key Largo Cotton Mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus allapaticola)

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Image Source: www.emagazine.com/may-june_2002/0502feat2.html
Length: 170 to 189 mm, tail length is 72 to 87 mm
Weight: 17 to 46 g
Range: United States (Hardwood hammock forests throughout Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida)
Population: Not Known
Threats: Habitat Loss(Clearing of tropical hardwood hammocks for urban development), Urbanization, Fragmentation, Urban Encroachment, intra species competition(Black Rats), Predation(Domestic Animals)
My Comments: This mouse only seems to thrive in the Hardwood Hammock Forests of Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida. It is yet another case of a species becoming extinct because of the human need to urbanize and it’s unintended effects. Although I personally feel it is obvious that all urban development takes planning, this species cannot compete with rats and domestic cats that might prey on them. They are ecologically bound to this location which is why they need protection. I feel that we all must be aware of not only the animals that we see on the television but we also must be aware of the animals that we don’t see. We share this planet and all life has a purpose and that is to keep an ecological balance. It seems like the more contact we have with these rare animals, the more threatened they become.
More Info: http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/images/pdflibrary/klcm.pdf

Posted by: zoologikal | January 19, 2008

Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis)

lynx2.jpgImage Source: http://lynxeyes.oldiblog.com/?page=galeries
Length: 90 cm
Weight: 11 kg
Range: Canada and United States (Mostly Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Colorado, and more rare in New England, Utah, and Minnesota)
Population: Not Known
Threats: Human Activities, Hunting, Historical Commercial Trapping, Habitat Loss/Timbering/Road Access, Human Alteration Of Forests and Recreation Developments(Ski Resorts), Urbanization
My Comments: In the case of the Canada Lynx, historically, European settlers and their trapping methods initially caused a drastic population loss. Native peoples seem to have lived in relative balance and respect for this animal as these tribal nations did with many natural phenomenon and occurrences.  In addition, the Canada Lynx is a popular game hunting animal. Hunters with high powered rifles would kill them for sport and/or to stuff as trophies.  This type of hunting was a pastime of the gentry and the elite.  The Lynx is not eaten but their fur is very much prized on the global western market.  The Canada Lynx hunts exclusively the snowshoe hare when abundant. Their populations are dependent on each other. The Lynx’s numbers cycle in response to the Hare’s population. This is known as the “Cycle of lynx abundance”. Although about 75% of The Lynx’s diet is Snowshoe Hare, they will also eat birds, carrion, voles, mice, and sometimes larger deer. The Lynx is a solitary hunter.
More Info: http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/er/factsheets/mammals/lynx.htm

Posted by: zoologikal | January 11, 2008

West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus)

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Image Source: http://www.nepa.gov.jm/yourenv/biodiversity/Species/manatee.htm
Length: 3 meters long
Weight: 400 and 600 kg
Range: West Indies
Population: 3,276 as of 2001
Threats: Human Activities, Hunting, Natural Changes In Water Temperature, Natural Toxins
My Comments: It’s said that Christopher Columbus and his sailors thought that Manatees where mermaids.  In any event, Manatees have never had a good relationship with man and these slow moving, sensitive, creatures usually end up losing their encounters with us humans. Speed boats are a major killer but they also die from the waters becoming too cold. They go into hypothermia and don’t eat. They are herbivores and swim from fresh, to brackish, and salt waters. In short they are very sensitive to either natural or human created disturbances.
More Info: http://www.savethemanatee.org/manfcts.htm

Posted by: zoologikal | January 8, 2008

Hainan Gibbon (Nomascus hainanus)

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Image Source: http://www.hku.hk/ecology/porcupine/por33/33-misc2-hainan.htm
Length: Head-body 45 – 64 cm
Weight: 5.7 kg
Range: South East Asia, Hainan Island of China
Population: 17 individuals as of 2007
Threats: Loss of Habitat, Deforestation, Hunting, Fragmentation of habitat
My Comments: As one of the world’s most endangered primates, it’s unfortunate that these interesting animals that we know so little about, need to suffer the loss of their population. They are apes just like us and Gibbons are the only monogamous Primates. I always liked that characteristic about them. They are also cool to watch when they swing through the forest where they should be and NOT in zoos. Unfortunately, that is a place where they can be generally safe for breeding purposes. Unless we educate more people about the need to preserve our natural areas and the species that remain like this Gibbon, we will continue to loose all creatures great and small. Of course, the last primate to go will ultimately be us and we have already had good practice at enslaving and destroying populations of people as well as that of other animals. Our intelligence doesn’t seem to be working very well in my opinion.
More Info: http://www.primate-sg.org/hainanus07.htm

Posted by: zoologikal | January 4, 2008

Jaguarundi (Herpailurus yaguarondi)

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Image Source: http://www.cathouse-fcc.org/images/maya0207.jpg
Length: 65 cm (30 inches) and 45 cm (20 in) of tail
Weight: 6 kg (13.2 lbs)
Range: Mexico, Central, and South American, small population introduced in Florida and has been rarely seen in the south west U.S. including Texas and Arizona
Population: Not known(It is important to keep their range open)
Threats: Loss of Habitat
My Comments: These are small and stocky cats. Actually, I read on wikipedia that they may have close genetic ties with pumas and even old world cheetahs. The local people call them “leoncillos” or “little lions”. They come in gray and red mixed litters. They can swim and eat small birds, reptiles, and small mammals like rabbits. I would guess since they swim that they couldn’t help to pass up a juicy frog or fish.
More Info: http://www.bigcatrescue.org/jaguarundi.htm

Posted by: zoologikal | January 2, 2008

MARIANA FRUIT BAT/FLYING FOX (Pteropus mariannus)

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Image Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:WOE_92_Mariana_Fruit_Bat.jpg
Length: 195 to 250 mm from head to rump
Wingspan: 860 to 1065 mm
Range: Islands of Guam and Mariana
Population: About 100 individuals on Guam but populations fluctuate between islands
Threats: Hunting, Deforestation
My Comments: Fruit Bats, or Flying Foxes, are one of my favorite bats. This is in part because they actually do have fox-like face. Some are very large so I can see why some tribal people respected them and other people fear them. However, they eat fruits and disperse seeds to recycle plant(fruit tree) growth.
More Info: http://www.dfw.gov.mp/wildlife/wildresp/Marianas%20Fruit%20Bat.htm

Posted by: zoologikal | January 2, 2008

BLACK-FOOTED FERRET (Mustela nigripes)

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Image Source: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/wallpaper/black-footed-ferret_image.html
Length: 45 cm (18 in) long, including a 15 cm (6 in) tail
Weight: 1 kg (2 lbs)
Range: Re released in Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.
Population: Over 600 as of 2007
Threats: Loss of Grassland Habitat(Causing >), Reduction of Prairie Dogs(Main food source), Hunting, Poisoning, Viruses, Bacterial Diseases
My Comments: These seem to be larger then your average pet store ferrets and yes they like to munch on cute little Prairie Dogs. Hey, they have to eat too…
More Info: http://www.blackfootedferret.org/

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