Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Creep Keeps Rhinos Out
The "creep" is an area which has a containing boundary which is spaced to allow the more narrow antelope in while keeping the wider rhinos out.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
"A Chickadee Slips...
"Overall, it appeared that each giggle at least had the potential of identifying which hyena was giving the call, their age, and their place in the dominance hierarchy."
"...the way in which hyenas might use giggles requires more research to fully understand, but if the new study is correct the little laughs are social tools essential to navigating the complex social world of hyenas."
Darwin's Hawkmoth Orchid
Plastic Pollution Art
Monday, March 29, 2010
Willy's Earth Hour
His caregivers were there to answer questions and show off his toys and food.
It was a fantastic evening for all!
(I struggled to get photos. It's a lot harder to shoot in pitch black conditions then I imagined!)" Ucumari March 28, 2010, upload, title and quotes.
Click on Willy's Earth Hour photo to see more ucumari photos of Willy and Earth Hour.
Earth Hour Views...
Our Paid Consultant
"Thirty feet shy of the tree, the 42-year old father stoops down and removes a memory chip from a solar-powered unit that fuels a motion-activated camera inside the nest box. Back home, Bragg and his family crowd around the computer, eager to learn what the mother owl has been up to.
"We never know what we're going to see," Bragg said. "One night she brought in seven snakes. Another night it was salamander night. Once, she brought in what I think was one of my brother's chickens."
"Citizen science is often overlooked as a reliable method for gathering and reporting data...but if done right it can yield powerful results. The Cornell Lab has sunk more than $15 million into designing valid citizen science projects..."
Glad We Still Have Zebrafish!
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Spring Rehab Update
No Motors North of 62
Boaters must carry their own "toilet". The Park boating office near the put-in, where you pay your fee and sign-in, will sell you a "toilet in a pouch" for $5.
No motorized boats are allowed north of Route 62 on Randleman Lake. I'm pleased.
"Everybody Loves Whales"
Giraffe & Keeper Butt Heads
This is why the NC Zoo's Acacia Station delivers visitors to the giraffes at the 3 1/2 acre Forest Edge habitat at eye level. No hammerhead giraffe opportunities there.
A donor couple fully funded Acacia Station through the NC Zoo Society.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Whale War Free Diver
"Ansel Adams Resurrected..."
getting a glass of water
lake life1 photo and title.
[NOTE: NC Zoo keeper Beth McChesney has commented that "This is actually Ruthie chimp."
Visitors & Primates Interact...
You don't want to be with primates much over a foot in height.
The interaction sounds about like the interaction NC Zoo visitors might have with birds in the tropical Forest Aviary or one might have with squirrels in the city park. Don't touch.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Sad News from Spain
But at this Spanish zoo, three of seven tigers did the same thing our little bros do, as cats will, when a cleaning employee pushed the wrong button. But when your cats weigh 300 pounds, the authorities don't give them a chance to come back in if they get too close to slow, weak, naked homo sapiens.
When your cats weigh 300 pounds, this should not be able to happen.
Are 700,000 Salt-Water Zoos...
"There are an estimated 700,000 saltwater home aquariums in the United States, and tropical fish with a bit of rock and a plastic Diver Dan are no longer enough to satisfy the keepers of many of these miniature oceans. The fish are still there, but as technology and technique have improved, the aquariums are now often small-scale reef ecosystems, with living coral and “live” rock brimming with anemones, shrimp, sea urchins, crabs and snails."
"Jessica McCawley, a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, disagrees that the fishery is threatened. She helped update the regulations last year, and said: “These collectors are a special type of fisherman. They’re very concerned about the environment and the sustainability of the fishery. And they came to us and said, ‘Can you put some regulations on us?’""
"Jump the Sun"
4 or 5 of...
Illegal in Illinois: Pet Primate
"Word of My Death Was Premature"
CITES Fails Polar Bear, Sharks...
"There was better news for tigers and elephants, whose protection was maintained."
Modern Zoo Promos
"...just like any proud future parent, the zoo decided to show everyone the very first ultrasound. The scan was projected onto prominent buildings, along with a URL directing people to a central website, www.baby-olifant.be."
"...content was spread via social media with photos on Flickr and videos on YouTube. A tool was created to allow people to create a customized Facebook profile picture that featured their face with an elephant's trunk entering the frame and the message "I'm also waiting for baby K.""
Attendance increased by over 300,000.
[@BoraZ RT @tamarakrinsky]
Thursday, March 25, 2010
...and in my other hand..."
That's a lot of dung!
[UPDATE/NOTE: Thanks to @tdelene RT of @Slate, I am reminded by the attached photo that dung beetles create "balls" of dung; therefore "lift" may really be "roll", and like "pulling" the trailer/trucks on "round wheels"; still a lotta strength and lotta dung!]
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Ostrich & Baby Toys
“The ostrich really enjoy these things for enrichment,” she reports.
The NC Zoo has ostrich in its Forest Edge habitat, with zebra and giraffe, as well as in its Watani Grasslands African Plains, with southern white rhino, various antelope and other African plains birds.
"...these caterpillars don’t have gills or a natural scuba mechanism of trapping air bubbles. Instead, they appear to get oxygen directly from water. To survive submerged, the caterpillars need fast-flowing waters..."
“Islands are clearly these crucibles of evolution...”
120,000 Year-Old Polar Bear
"In just 1000 generations or so, U. maritimus morphed from a stocky brown bear to a long-necked bear with thick fatty layers and that signature white coat."
"...the species had split off from the so-called ABC brown bears, which inhabit three islands—Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof—in southeastern Alaska. Those bears are more closely related to polar bears than they are to other brown bears..."
San Diego Zoo & Climate Change
"...on the leading edge of a movement by American zoos to highlight the impact of climate change on animals...they have a responsibility to share their knowledge with the 3 million people who visit each year."
"The Biggest Week...
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Wilbur the Humpback Whale Answers
U.N. Votes for Pachyderms
"Tanzania had asked for a one-time sale of 200,000 pounds of ivory worth $20 million. Zambia began seeking to sell 48,000 pounds of ivory..."
"According to conservation groups, rhino poaching hit a 15-year high in 2009..."
Earlier Doha CITES decisions had disappointed conservation groups, especially champions of polar bears and bluefin tuna.
Monday, March 22, 2010
"Won't you please help us?"
CITES Throws Lifeline to Rhinos
Live Life of Zoo Vet
Sunday, March 21, 2010
"life" - the premier
My favorite story might have been the strawberry poison arrow frog mother who carried her six tadpoles up a huge tree, one at a time, to its own private bromeliad pool, where she provided them with the occasional unfertilized egg to provide the nutrition need to grow and mature.
Wildlife Charities Getting Tough...
"WWF, formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund, has hired former SAS soldiers to train African wildlife wardens, and the Zoological Society of London is funding elephant-mounted patrols to protect rhinos in Nepal."
Pix from within the Water Hole
Finally, his goal was met. He was in place with camera and African lions were drinking in front of him: "...my hands began to shake vigorously, in such a way that even my vibration reduction technology would have been rendered utterly useless. Closing my eyes and lowering my head, I became conscious of the irony unfolding before me. Here I was, after months of patience and preparation, with my ultimate shot just meters away and no way to capture the image?"
Salute to Mussels
US to Decide Elephant Fate?
"The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has appealed to President Obama and the US government to support Kenya, the birthplace of Obama's father, which is leading efforts by 20 African nations to maintain elephant protection and oppose ivory trade..."
Tanzania, Zambia, Japan and China have taken the opposite side in this "debate".
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Gorillas Out Together!
Keepers Kelly Froio and Willy Campbell tossed fruits and vegetables to the trio at 11:30 a.m.
All were well fed and there were no problems.
Earlier I saw one of the females and Nik approach and then quickly retreat from each other...showing that they are not yet a cohesive group, but also that they are respecting each others' space.
Keeper Campbell reports that there have also been promising interactions between the gorillas off exhibit.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Aviary Field Guide Updated
Thursday, March 18, 2010
"To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world's most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent."
[@sciencegoddess RT @countemotions]
Zoo Fanatic Lynne...
Sliced Bread Not New Either
Well, wife Ann, who lived in Zurich for many years handed me a little coin purse she has had for 30 years. A promotional gift from a Swiss insurance company, it zips out into a...wait for it...grocery bag!
Europeans have used reusable bags to avoid the no-win "paper or plastic" choice for decades.
Save habitat and clean up streams and oceans by using washable, reusable bags.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Awarded for Passerine Breeding
General curator of animals Ken Reininger notes that among the NC Zoo passerines are the fairy bluebird, turquoise tanager, blue-grey tanager, snow-headed robin chat, hooded pitta, red-faced liocichla, golden white-eye, golden-headed manakin and the yellow-rumped cacique.
Labels: blue-grey tanager, eyes, fairy bluebird, golden white eyes, golden-headed manakin, hooded pitta, Ken Reininger, red-faced liocichla, snow-headed robin chat, turquoise tanager, yellow-rumped cacique
Also "new" to the Aviary will be the Yellow-rumped Cacique general curator Ken Reininger told us this morning.
A North American bison will come to the Zoo Sunday from Burlington, NC. It will be introduced into the herd of bison on the "Great Plains" exhibit here, with elk, general curator of animals Ken Reininger told us in the management staff meeting this morning.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Key Chain Grocery Bag
Acacia Station '10
Zoo Offers Vet Camps
Monday, March 15, 2010
The girls are out!
Title, quote and photo by ucumari. (Click on the photo to see more taken of the two today by ucumari. Jamani is definitely the younger, and less gray, I believe.)
5 Tweets: Just Nature
"2- I held it for a few minutes, waiting for it to recover then offered it a potted tree branch as refuge. But it would not leave my hand.
"3- So I kept holding it, standing in the rain. When it stirred against me, I opened my hand. It flew off, parallel to a tree line.
"4- Then a small hawk darted out of the trees and nabbed it in flight. The sparrow shrieked a little. The hawk flew off with it.
"5- I felt bad, and stood there in the rain kind of stunned, watching the hawk fly off with its lunch. But I guess that is just nature."
5 tweets today by @tdelene.
Gorilla Girls' Pix
I visited near 3 p.m. Acacia was actively exploring. Jamani was ready to return to her "night quarters" and was waiting near the back of the exhibit to do so.
Gorilla Girls Go out!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Japanese Game Show...
"Lost in the Intersection"
Listen to the Children (& Bob)
"You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world"
Bob Dylan "Masters of War"
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Global Warming Shrinks Birds
Rare Black Penguin Video
"Bell" Your Crafty Cat!
Orang Caller ID
Lance Stops for Baboons
Bowl for Rhinos
The American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK) has raised about $3.5 million for rhinos in this way. The NC Chapter run by NC Zoo keepers is one of the nation's most successful at this great effort, having raised about $90,000 to date.
Appropriately, Blue Rhino, the Winston-Salem, NC, based propane tank exchange company, is the national sponsor of Bowling for Rhinos.
Friday, March 12, 2010
"Grandfather" to Close Bear Hut
For years the Bear Hut sold food to toss to the black bears. But “by allowing the public to throw food to bears we have unintentionally been giving people the impression that it is okay to give food to wild bears, and we have been training our own bears to beg for food,” said Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation executive director Penn Dameron.
The new plan is for the bears to receive “measured portions of omnivore diet and fresh produce, ensuring that each bear gets exactly the right amount of food each day.”
Expect to see more natural bear behaviors after the change. The bears are expected to play with each other, climb, wade in the pond and walk around their habitat more.
“An extensive enrichment program will also be in place to keep the bears active and intellectually stimulated. “Enrichment” is any diversion that makes an animal’s life more interesting. It might involve giving them a ball to play with, releasing live fish into their pond, or hiding food for them to forage,” according to a press release sent to me today by former NC Zoo Society Board secretary Hugh McCrae Morton III, of Grandfather Mountain.
Over four decades, “the Mountain” has been permanent home for 17 black bears. A total of 59 cubs have been born in its habitat.
Eight bears live in the habitat today. Seven are females.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Remembering Mt. K
Saw it from this angle in about 1987 with an NC Zoo Society safari tour group..
Made my way to the top, from the Tanzania side, with NC Zoo lead vet Dr. Mike Loomis about six years ago.
Believed a First
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
"Effects of an Adventurous Day"
Wolf as Managment Tool
"Many wolf advocates (myself included) have touted the ecological benefits of wolves as a weighty “pro” to their reintroduction."
"...a new study published in the March issue of BioScience, “Using Small Populations Of Wolves for Ecosystem Restoration and Stewardship”..."
Earth Hour @ NC Zoo
Lotta Light Bulbs!
Proud of our very green Zoo.
Turtle Release Off Thailand
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Spreading Her Weight
"The Frog Scientist"
Monday, March 08, 2010
Mt. LeConte Hike
It is not an easy hike, but what Greenmon and I can not figure is how the video made this list of "the craziest, most dangerous, most dizzying hikes in the world". Compare the Mt. LeConte video with El Caminito del Rey!
Elephant Research Lost in Flood
"Flooding of the Ewaso Ng’iro River has destroyed the research facility and camp at the Samburu National Reserve, which has pioneered valuable elephant research including the discovery that fences made from beehives can deter elephants from raiding farms."
I've been fortunate to spend some time on the banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro in Samburu. Remember many hippos.
The NC Zoo's mammal curator Guy Lichty sent this news earlier today.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Frogs & Atrazine
A bird out of the nest might have better help nearby, from its parents, than anything humans can do for it.
On Randleman Lake
Also New to Sylvan Heights
Nearing completion is the waterfowl blind. The recently added tree house and large flamingo exhibit, the blind, the developing ruff (and reeve) exhibit, the new restrooms (with exhibit) and the planned "pavilion" are among the reasons to visit soon and again.
Of Ruffs & Leks
The US population of the ruff (a very unique sandpiper) was three, all at the San Diego Zoo. Sylvan Heights is creating a lek and exhibit for 24!
Half the year the ruffs (males) and reeves (females) look like your "basic" sandpiper. The males are simply larger.
The other half of the year (the breeding season) sees the ruffs transform (with a special exception). 84 percent of the ruffs become territorial males within the lek (a grouping of breeding males). Territorial males have black and "chestnut" neck displays (also called ruffs). 16 percent are satellite males (non-territorial breeding males tolerated by the others because, it seems, the females prefer the larger leks). These males have white displays.
Recently discovered is a rare, additional male. This male does not transform and mimics the females. There appears to be an underlying breeding strategy here too!
Sylvan Heights Waterfowl & AZA
Twenty-four AZA curators and keepers of birds made the two-hour trip from the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center to Scotland Neck, NC to tour Sylvan Heights Waterfowl during the conference. Six reps from the San Diego Zoo toured March 4, the day before our quarterly, Sylvan Heights Board meeting.
"China banned trade in tiger products in 1993, but illegal demand there remains high and is the greatest driver of poaching. China periodically has considered lifting the ban to allow some of its tiger farms to provide parts to meet domestic demand for medicinal tiger products.
"The possibility that China could lift the ban “is without a doubt the most polarized issue in tiger conservation,” said Ronald Tilson, a director at the Minnesota Zoo. Most conservationists insist that more tiger products increase demand, and more demand always hurts wild tigers, because consumers prefer wild ones for what is believed to be their greater potency."
Tiger farms!? Aaarrrgghhh!!
Saturday, March 06, 2010
"At the "Y"...M....C...A!
Happy Willy Wednesday!
Public Art Aids Sea Turtles...
"The subject of those murals is a familiar and revered one to peninsula residents -- sea turtles. A recent study indicates that this public art has had a profound impact on attitudes and behaviors toward the marine environment."
"These murals are billboards marking the start of turtle highway..."
Deforestation & Malaria
"But have you thought about how “habitat alteration, fragmentation, and deforestation can increase the risk of malaria transmission through effects on mosquito survival, density, and distribution”? I hadn’t… Deforestation coupled with a warming climate can create microclimates where mosquitoes dig[e]st their blood meals more efficiently, leading them to feed and lay eggs more frequently — perhaps altering the disease dynamics and abundance of the malarial parasite in the environment."
The talk is sub-titled "Growing Plants That Will Distinguish Your Nursery From the Competition." Before becoming executive director of the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, Kernersville, the speaker was assistant director of the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh."
Friday, March 05, 2010
Another Lizard Eavesdropper?
"The Madagascan iguana is only the second iguana known to eavesdrop like this, joining a marine species on the Galápagos Islands that was the subject of a study several years ago. The two findings suggest that the behavior may be widespread in these kinds of lizards."
Bravo! NC Sea Turtle Rehabber!
Thursday, March 04, 2010
See 'em All!
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Best Internship on Earth?
Get to Know Mark MacAllister
"Philosophically, I tend to find myself most interested in the place where technology, education (especially K-12 but also for adults) and environmental advocacy come together."
Zoo Closed Again!
Labels: NC Zoo
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
zebras in the snow
Mom Billie Jean Enjoys View
Uploaded by Smithsonian's National Zoo on 26 Feb 10, 1.22PM PST. [Tip: Valerie Abbott (ucumari) facebook page]
Monday, March 01, 2010
Happy St David's Day
Tough Time To Be a Coral
"Marine scientists John Bruno and Elizabeth Selig, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, analyzed over 8000 coral surveys from all over the world to see if local management through Marine Protected Areas had any positive effect on coral." Results surprised them.
[@patriclane RT by @BoraZ]