Focusing On The Conservation of Ecosystems, Habitats & Wildlife

Sea Lions Beginning to Come Back to the Bay's Pier 39

Good News!  Looks like the Sea Lions are slowly reappearing on San Francisco’s Pier 39!

This is what Pier 39 normally looks like. Photo found on Rugerdier's photostream flickr account

Over the last couple of decades, this has been home for more than 1,700 sea lions, however a couple months ago…all but a couple of them disappeared.  Marine experts believe that the sea lions left for some tasty food on the coast of Oregon.

Brink of Extinction for Half of all Primates

According to many experts from across the world, nearly half of all primate species are in danger of becoming extinct.

Conservationists said in a news statement recently about the release of the report Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates, 2008-2010 that “mankind’s closest living relatives–the world’s apes, monkeys, lemurs and other primates–are on the brink of extinction and in need of urgent conservation measures”.

Conservationist say this threat is mostly due to the destruction of tropical forests, illegal wildlife trade and commercial bush-meat hunting.

Celebrating The Year of The Tiger: 2010

TIGERS are known for their ferocity and their power. In Chinese astrology, one of the 12 signs is the sign of the tiger.  Those born in the year of the tiger are assigned the traits of being both colorful and unpredictable.  They are adventurous, powerful, and passionate.

There are possibly as few as 3,200 TIGERS left in the wild. These big cats are the most endangered and threatened species on EARTH. To read more about this “King of the Jungle” CLICK here.

Unfortunately, according to a new report from the conservation nonprofit WWF, there are only 350 wild tigers remaining in Asia’s Mekong River region.  This loss is contributed from the drive by trade in tiger parts.  To watch a video by WWF, click on the link below or or the tiger photo above.

Video Courtesy WWF Greater Mekong

Bat Fungus Killing Thousands of Bats in U.S.

A deadly fungus called “white-nose syndrome” which has only appeared in hibernating bats along the northeastern seaboard from Vermont to Virgina is now spreading throughout the eastern United States and is on the move.

Photograph courtesy N. Heaslip, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

This fungus is found on the wings, ears and muzzles of infected bats.  Unfortunately, the two bats that were infected were discovered in Tennessee which is approximately 65 miles from a confirmed infection site in Virginia.  If this white-nose syndrome spreads throughout Tennessee, it could wipe out two endangered bat species (Gray and Indiana bat), scientist say.

Special Valentine's Day for the San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Wild Animal Park received a special gift on Valentine’s Day – a baby African Elephant. At approximately 2:00 a.m., visitors that were camping at the zoo said they heard elephants “trumpeting” which commonly occurs when a baby calf is born.

Details have not been released for this baby African elephant, however newborns usually weigh between 250 and 300 pounds and stand approxiamtely tree feet tall.  With this new addition, the Swaziland herd has grown to more than a dozen.

Snow Days at LA Zoo: Saturday and Sunday

This weekend  special “snow days” for some lucky creatures at the Los Angeles Zoo.  Don’t miss this rare opportunity to watch creatures playing and exploring in a snowy winter wonderland.  February 13th and 14th from 10am – 4pm only.

For more information Click here to read about this event.

Baby Black Rhinoceros born at Germany's Berlin Zoo

The Berlin Zoo received a special gift last week – a baby Indian Black Rhinoceros.  On February 7th, this calf which has still not been named has been a wonderful addition to the zoo.

According to some statistics, there are only about 3,600 Indian Black Rhinoceros left in the wild.

Zimbabwean Security Forces – Poaching? – Really?

In a news conference today, the leader of a U.N. program to protect endangered species charged Zimbabwean security forces of being involved in the poaching of elephants and rhinoceros.   In the last 2 years, the rhinoceros population has decreased so dramatically that it is now on the verge of extinction in Zimbabwe.

Mark Davis, DVM travels to Zimbabwe to assist in the translocation of endangered black rhinos.  He is a technical advisor for the IRF (International Rhino Foundation). Click on the play button to watch the “Horror and Hope” of the Black Rhino.

WWF has reported recently that the demand in Asia for the rhinoceros horn for medical use has spearheaded the poaching in Africa and Asia to an all time high.

Dr Susan Lieberman of WWF describes the severity of the situation by saying that:

“This is the worst rhino poaching we have seen in many years and it is critical for governments to stand up and take action to stop this deadly threat to rhinos worldwide. It is time to crack down on organized criminal elements responsible for this trade, and to vastly increase assistance to range countries in their enforcement efforts.”

Giant Squid Invade the Southern CA Coast

For the last week, Humboldt squid,  possible man eaters and one of the largest squid in the ocean, have been grouping in large numbers off the coast of Southern California.  The reason, they are following the swarms of schooling bait fish which have been migrating south.

Photo found on's Website

Not much is known about the Humboldt Squid or Dosidicus gigas, a cephalopod and member of the Ommastrephidae Family, since it lives in depths up to 2,000 feet.  They have a reputation in sailor lore as a sea monster that can drag a man overboard and to the blackest depths of the abyss. It’s a cannibal that has no reservation about eating one of its own kind, it’s eyes huge,  blood is blue, it carries a cadre of deadly weapons all over it’s body and it may well be the most ruthless, cunning predators living below the surface of the water.

I’ve seen a few documentaries on the giant squid, but never encountered them in the wild.  I love the light show they give off to communicate or some other still unknown purpose.

The best place to see them is the Sea of Cortez in the 25 mile area off the coast of Santa Rosalia, in the California Baja.

Unfortunately, it has been estimated that commercial fisherman annually catch over 100,000 tons of giant squid each year.