Canines, Carnivores, & Conservation
One of the biggest environments that is the focus of many conservation efforts is the ocean. We spoke before about how plastics are affecting the ocean (if you missed it, you can read about it here), but what else affects the health of our marine ecosystems?
During World War II, the US military was seeking ways to ensure a backup emergency food supply was available to personnel stationed in Hawaii. One of the potential food sources investigated was the Giant African land snail (Achatina fulica), a large pulmonate (air-breathing) gastropod native to East Africa. Measuring up to 2.8 inches high and nearly 8 inches long, this huge snail is commonly used in diets and medicinal practices around the world. Unfortunately, the popularity of this species has now made it the most invasive snail in the world, causing agricultural and ecological devastation globally.
Keeping endemic species around is important. Many of them are endangered due to habitat loss and other human actions. They’re important to save not just because they’re unique to a particular area, but because they are important to maintaining biodiversity, too.
Coyotes are in the same family as wolves, the Canidae family. These canids may look similar to wolves at first glance, but they have some significant differences. They are smaller in size and have thinner features than wolves do, like their ears and their muzzle.
These animals are known for their adaptability.
Although the Mojave Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) outlived the dinosaurs, can live in deserts reaching 140 F, go an entire year without a drink, and must enter dormancy for most of the year to survive, these ancient reptiles are still struggling to overcome new threats of human disturbances and climate change.
Conservation requires a lot of time, work, and money. A lot of time is spent tracking and studying species and their habitats so that we know how they’re being affected by our own actions as humans, by poaching, by global warming, and to get more data to make better-educated decisions on how to help our environment.
Luckily, as technology advances, we’re able to gather more information easily.
A group of scientists urged the Biden administration Thursday to restore legal protections for gray wolves, saying their removal earlier this year was premature and that states are allowing too many of the animals to be killed.
Did you know that lions are the only social big cats? Besides mothers with their offspring, other cats are solitary. Why is that? Why are some carnivores solitary and others more social?
Conservation canines are also working to help the most endangered mammal overcome their pandemic plague. Dogs may just be the key to the third resurrection of the Black-footed ferret species and their continued survival.
Genetic diversity is incredibly important when it comes to conserving species. Just like how an ecosystem can’t function as well as it should without system-wide biodiversity, animals specifically need genetic diversity to avoid an increased risk of extinction. Due to...
We know that carnivores have a lot in common – things like sharper teeth and simpler digestive systems – but have you thought about how they hunt? Let’s take a look at a few different carnivores and see how they use their predatory skills and adaptations to take down prey.
Around the world, guard dogs protect livestock, property, people, and even elephants. Did you know they are instrumental in protecting penguins? For most of our discussions on how our four-legged friends are aiding in the conservation of imperiled species around the...
The Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) may be the most important insect for our ecosystem and human population health.
How do dogs help with honey bee conservation?
We know that carnivores are those that eat meat, but have you given much thought to what characteristics they have in common? Or what differences there are between them?
Let’s take a closer look at carnivores by asking, “What Characteristics Do Carnivores Share?”
Border Collies are part of the herding group of dogs. They usually live to be between 12 and 15 years old and weigh between 30 and 55 pounds. These dogs were originally bred over 300 years ago in Scotland to work on farms and handle sheep and other animals between the border of Scotland and England.
Is one right for you?
When you get a dog, you need to plan ahead. Your days are now scheduled with your dog’s needs in mind. Traveling is the same. You need to make a plan when it comes to vacations to ensure your dog is as safe and comfortable as possible. Depending on the circumstances,...
Invasive species are organisms that are not native to a specific environment and cause harm in that environment. These plants, animals, microbes, etc., must cause harm to be considered an invasive species. This harm can be ecological or economic. These species are a major threat to native species because they change habitats, interfere with biodiversity, and can cause the extinction of native species due to competition for resources like food and space.
How Do Invasive Species Spread?
They weigh between 24 and 40 pounds and live to be between 7 and 12 years old. They’re mammals and they live in colder climates in the northern regions of North America, Europe, and Asia.
Meet the wolverine.
Have you seen a dog agility competition before?
It’s a competition where dogs have to run through an obstacle course and are timed while they do it. They have to jump over obstacles, run through tunnels, weave through poles, climb over seesaws, and more! These competitions are really fun to watch, but have you thought of actually training for it with your dog?
Of all the things that negatively affect our environment, plastic seems to have the biggest target on its back. And with good reason – plastic, especially single-use plastic, is one of the largest contributors to pollution in our oceans. 80% of litter in our marine habitats is from plastic, because every year, 8 million tons of it finds its way into the ocean.
These foxes are well equipped to handle any cold weather. They can live in temperatures that plunge as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit. Their short ears and muzzle, furry paws, and bushy tail are all adaptations that enable them to keep warm.
They are the arctic foxes.
The pandemic has affected many industries. The most obvious ones that we think of are restaurants, theatre, concerts, but there have been other industries that have been completely knocked off course due to the pandemic.
Service dogs and the organizations that train them, are one of them.
Yup, you read that right! Through the Canines Assisting Conservation series, we have discussed how trained dogs assist in the conservation of multiple terrestrial mammals, and now we can add marine mammals to that list as well! Just as on land, scent-seeking dogs...
There are remarkable examples of how wild canids can also assist us with understanding and preserving our environment. Being the most widely distributed canine on Earth, foxes provide us a unique perspective on ecosystem health in differing habitats around the world.
Learn how foxes are helping humans monitor ecosystem health.