Disney Nature: Monkey Kingdom

We recently saw Disney Nature’s newest documentary titled Monkey Kingdom, and it was pretty good. What I loved about this film that was different than previous Disney Nature pics was that they showed the interaction between the monkeys and their human neighbors. As humans develop more and more into previously wild areas, there will inevitably be some overlap. You get to see the difference in how they live between their wild home, and the one in the big city. Their sleeping habits are affected, their diets, and even their social structure. Narrated by Tina Fey, it had the typical style of other Disney Nature documentaries where the subjects are named, and the events take place from a particular animal’s perspective, in this case, an adult female monkey low in the social order. It follows the amazing journey of these monkeys from their home territory, to the big city, and back, and the female monkeys journey from the bottom to the top of the social hierarchy. I recommend this movie to both adults and children looking to learn more about nature and get a good story at the same time.

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Santa Barbara Oil Spill

I was so sad to hear about the Plains All American Pipeline oil spill this occurred this past Tuesday off the coast of Santa Barbara County in California. The spill ended up being five times worse than they originally thought. While clean up efforts continue, the long term effects on the marine life and environment are yet to be seen. We are still seeing effects on the marine life from the Deep Water Horizon oil spill that took place in the Gulf back in 2010.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has this to say:

“California’s coastline is one of the state’s most precious natural treasures. This oil spill has scarred the scenic Santa Barbara coast, natural habitats and wildlife. My office is working closely with our state and federal partners on an investigation of this conduct to ensure we hold responsible parties accountable.”

This spill hits a little closer to home for me. I live in northern California, and I volunteer with marine mammals like the California sea lions and elephant seals being effected by this spill. In addition, fish, birds, and other wildlife are being affected by this spill. Apparently, it is the only major pipeline in the area without an automatic shut off valve because of the previous owner somehow talking his way around the requirements back in the ’80s. That is unacceptable. As of today, they still hadn’t found the segment of pipeline with the leak.

In an MSNBC article, it is reported that:

“The oil transportation company has been fined at least 10 times for oil spill violations in four other states between 2004 and 2007, according to reports. The Houston-based company has been deemed the “worst violators” by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration.”

This company needs a kick in the butt. They should be shut down. That many violations and failure to have an automatic shut off valve?! It makes me sick just thinking about it. We can only hope that this was a lesson to them, and that they will be held fully responsible.

Benefits of Wildlife Crossings

As wild areas become more and more developed, roads and other structures fragment wildlife populations. Animals find it harder and harder to come across new mates that will keep genetic diversity high. Recently it has been found that bear populations, at least, are using wildlife crossings like underpasses to find new mates. Montana State University researchers compared genetics of bear populations in the Canadian Rockies. Their study resulted in the first proof that these crossings can maintain the genetic diversity. This is excellent news for wildlife and the humans that love them!

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Revamp and a Fresh Start!

Those of you that follow my blog may have noticed that I kind of dropped off the grid a while back. I got a new job and have been working a lot of hours (50+ a week) and I am also a full time student taking online classes to become a registered veterinary technician.

I apologize for the lack of posts.

Now I hope to start writing more again. This time it will be different, though. I cannot promise regular posts about consistent topics. Ain’t nobody got time for that! There will be Weird Wildlife Wednesdays from time to time but not every week. Sometimes I may write about or post interesting things that I come across and they will be related to all of my favorite topics: wildlife rehabilitation, veterinary things, nature, travel, books, etc. I will try to post at least once a week.

I thank you for your understanding and hope that you find some of what I post interesting!

Weird Wildlife Wednesday: the Tarsier

This was meant to be posted last week and for some reason never went through so I guess it will have to work for this week. Sorry about that!

The Tarsier, a small primate, are so stinkin’ adorable with their fluffy faces, huge round eyes, and large ears. It’s a shame that they are endangered.

Tarsiers are found on the densely forested islands of Malaysia, Indonesia, and southern Philippines. The social aspects of their behavior are not very well known, although studies have found that some Tarsier species aren’t solitary like once believed. The Tarsiers are named for their long tarsal bone which enables them to leap far distances. They spend most of their time in the trees, resting and checking out their environment for food. The life span of Tarsiers can range anywhere fro 12 – 20 years depending on the species. As small carnivores, they eat little reptiles, insects, and birds.

Like most other species, habitat loss is a main threat for these guys. Unfortunately, captive breeding programs are relatively unsuccessful.

Source: http://a-z-animals.com/animals/tarsier/