Very few rodents rate as high on the cuteness scale as the long-eared jerboa. Found in the deserts of Mongolia and China this species relies on its incredible jumping abilities to dodge birds of prey and other predators when it’s out foraging. Jerboas can also rapidly hop sideways to fake out and confuse their predators. The exact reason behind the jerboa’s endangered status isn’t entirely understood, but it has been suggested that it is due to habitat disturbance from mining activities, agriculture, and possibly climate change. The introduction of the domestic cat has put further pressure on this mammal – a good reminder to all of us to keep pet cats indoors whenever possible! Photo taken @moscow_zoo_official
It would be easy to mistake this spotted goblin for a rock on the bottom of the ocean floor. As it turns out, that is exactly what nature intended – the spotted goblin’s body color is very similar to that of the surrounding sandy or coral seabed in which they are found serving as a form of natural camouflage. This species of fish is nocturnal and typically lies partially buried on the sea floor during the day, covering itself with sand and other debris making it virtually invisible to any other species in the same area. On the off chance the spotted goblin is disturbed, it will fan out its brilliantly colored fins as a warning to scuba divers and potential predators. There are no known threats directly impacting this species, but efforts to keep our oceans clean can only help to further secure the future of this extraordinary fish. Photo taken @aquariumdenver
The California condor, like this one @phoenixzoo, is one of the largest flying birds in the world. Thousands of years ago, California condors lived in many parts of North America, but as settlers moved west, they disturbed the condors by hunting them, poisoning them, collecting their eggs, and reducing the size of prey populations. Eventually condors could no longer survive in most places and by the late 1900s those that remained were limited to the mountainous parts of southern California. Thankfully, intensive conservation and breeding efforts have brought the condor back from the brink of extinction with over 450 birds (both wild and captive) thriving today. I am honored to be a speaker at this year’s Wallace Stegner Lectures in Mountain View, California as part of a series focused on change and resilience. Click on the link in my bio to grab your tickets today! @peninsulaopenspacetrust
#natgeo100contest@natgeo hit 100 million followers! As a thanks, they are having a photo contest for the next 24 hours only. To submit, simply post your most Nat Geo inspired photo on your feed using the hashtag #NatGeo100Contest. The top 10 photos will be posted on @natgeo and the winner gets a photo trip to Tanzania. Good luck! Piper, the Brazilian porcupine photographed @stlzoo
How did the greater slow loris get its name? The word ‘Loeris' is the Dutch word for clown, a name this species probably earned because of unique facial features that resemble a clown mask. The slow loris is unique in other ways too – it is a venomous mammal! The loris secretes venom through glands under their arms, which coats their teeth when grooming. While rarely used as a defense mechanism, the venom can make bites potentially fatal which is the main reason fangs are removed when lorises are captured and sold in the pet trade. You can help change the demand for this species in the pet trade by reporting online videos that show pet lorises behaving in ways their owners find “cute” – these cute poses are often reactions to high levels of both stress and fear. Photo taken @mnzoo
While Asiatic golden cats are reported to be decreasing in India and Indonesia, very little is known about their overall status in the wild. If there’s one thing we do know about this cat, it is its ability to survive even under the most dire circumstances. These cats are known to prey on poultry, sheep, and goats – a primary reason why this species is actively hunted by local villagers, but tradition plays a role as well. In certain areas the meat of this cat is considered a delicacy, and legend says that burning the pelt will drive tigers away from the village which has earned them the nickname “fire cats”.
Happy World Pangolin day from this juvenile white-bellied tree pangolin and its mother @pangolinconservation! White-bellied pangolins are found in West and Central Africa but their biggest threat comes from Asia. While all eight species of pangolin are in danger of extinction due to illegal trafficking, there is reason for hope. The @PangolinSG is working hard to combat the trafficking crisis and raise awareness among governments and NGOs. Though the problem may seem far away, you can help support this species by using the power of your network to bring attention to this incredible creature.
As human populations grow and new settlements are built, people and hippos encounter each other more frequently. Often the solution to these interactions is to shoot the hippo, a reaction the @africanwildlifefoundation is trying to find alternatives for. This species is easily deterred from grazing on farms if a fence or ditch is put in place, so the foundation works with communities living close to hippos to install these safeguards, minimizing negative human-wildlife interactions. Photo taken @sanantoniozoo
Happy Valentine’s Day from these adorable golden striped salamanders! In Portugal their populations are widespread and abundant, but they are considered vulnerable because of their specialized habitat requirements. The main threats come from the growing use of its habitats for agriculture, and from pollution by chemicals, mainly insecticides. Show these and other salamanders some love this year by keeping your yard insecticide free. Today is the final day to buy this print in our Valentine’s Day flash sale – use the link in my bio before time runs out! Photo taken at the Biodiversity Hall of Natural History and Science Museum in Porto, Portugal.
This whirligig beetle photographed in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique is one of a group of 12 very similar species. It can be found on the surface of almost any body of water from ponds and lakes, to canals, ditches and slow-flowing rivers. No matter where you live, you can help to look after nature near you by providing food, water and shelter. To encourage beetles like this one and other wetland wildlife into your garden, try creating a wildlife-friendly pond!
Koalas rely on eucalyptus trees for food, shelter and safety against predators. As housing developments and busy roads encroach into koala habitat and decrease the number of available eucalyptus trees, they're left vulnerable to road accidents, dog attacks and the spread of life-threatening diseases like chlamydia. The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital (@wildlifewarriorsworldwide), where this photograph was taken, provides care for up to 800 sick and injured koalas each year making it Australia’s busiest koala hospital. Their tireless efforts give koalas like Augustine and her young ones Gus and Rupert a second chance at life in the wild.
It's no secret why this species is called the brown long-eared bat. Those incredible ears are nearly as long as this bat’s entire body! Surprisingly they can hold their massive ears upright in flight, but when resting they curl them back and tuck them underneath their wings. Like most bat species the brown long-eared bat is threatened by habitat loss and the use of insecticides, which reduces the amount of prey available for bats to feed on. The best way for you to help bats? Keep your garden insecticide free! Photo taken @moscow_zoo_official.