Sunday, February 26, 2012

Important Facts About The South China Tiger

The South China tiger (also known as the Amoy, Chinese or Xiamen tiger) is a smaller-sized subspecies of tiger native to the forests of southern China. The South China tiger is the most critically endangered tiger species with only a handful left in the wild.

The South China tiger is natively found in the temperate upland forests of southern China, where its once wide range has now been reduced to a few isolated populations, which are said to be found inhabiting the mountainous borders between provinces.

The South China tiger is one of the smallest species of tiger behind the Sumatran tiger and the Malayan tiger. As with the other smaller sized tiger species, the small size of the South China tiger allows it to move through the dense jungle more easily.

Like other tiger species, the South China tiger is known to be a strong and capable swimmer, often able to catch its prey when its in the water. This hunting strategy only works however if the South China tiger is faster than the animal it is hunting.

The South China tiger is a dominant and carnivorous predator, hunting it's prey by stalking it until the South China tiger has the opportunity to catch it off guard. South China tigers primarily hunt larger mammals including deer, wild boar, cattle and goats.

Due to the size and power of the South China tiger, it has no natural predators in its native environment. Humans that hunt the South China tiger and habitat loss are the only threats to the South China tiger.
After a gestation period of 3 to 4 months, the female South China tiger gives birth to up to 5 cubs. Newborn South China tiger cubs weigh about 1 kg (2 lb) and are blind and helpless. The mother feeds them milk for about 2 months and then the South China tiger cubs are introduced to meat. South China tiger cubs depend on their mother for the first 18 months and then they start hunting on their own.

Today, due to habitat loss caused by deforestation, and hunting by human poachers, the South China tiger is considered to be a critically endangered species. The South China tiger is the most critically endangered species of tiger and one of the 10 most endangered animals in the world, as there are thought to be less than 20 South China tigers left in the wild.

The South China tiger, Panthera tigris amoyensis, was formerly abundant in South China's temperate upland forests. Today its wide range has been reduced to three isolated areas in south-central China, where small and scattered populations are said to persist along the mountainous borders between provinces. As with the Black-footed Ferret, one of the biggest contributing factors to the South China tigers' dwindling population is the destruction of its prey base. Two other major factors that have contributed to the tiger’s decline are poaching and population fragmentation. South China tigers, like other tiger subspecies, live in dense jungles. South China tigers also love spending time in water, similar to other tiger subspecies.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Important Facts About Adelie Penguin

The Adelie Penguin is the smallest and most widely distributed species of Penguin in the Southern Ocean and is one of only two species of Penguin found on the Antarctic mainland (the other being the much larger Emperor Penguin). The Adelie Penguin was named in 1840 by French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville who named the Penguin for his wife, Adelie. Adelie Penguins have adapted well to life in the Antarctic as these migratory Birds winter in the northern pack-ice before returning south to the Antarctic coast for the warmer summer months.

Adelie Penguin Anatomy and Appearance

The Adelie Penguin is one of the most easily identifiable Penguin species with a blue-black back and completely white chest and belly. The head and beak of the Adelie Penguin are both black, with a distinctive white ring around each eye. The strong, pink feet of the Adelie Penguin are tough and bumpy with nails that not only aid the Adelie Penguin in climbing the rocky cliffs to reach its nesting grounds, but also help to push them along when they are sliding (rowing) along the ice. Adelie Penguins also use their webbed feet along with their small flippers to propel them along when swimming in the cold waters.

Adelie Penguin Distribution and Habitat

The Adelie Penguin is one of the southern-most Birds in the world as it is found along the Antarctic coastline and on the islands close to it. During the winter months, the Adelie Penguins migrate north where they inhabit large platforms of ice and have better access to food. During the warmer summer months, the Adelie Penguins return south where they head for the coastal beaches in search of ice-free ground on the rocky slopes where they can build their nests. More than half a million Adelie Penguins have formed one of the largest animal colonies in the world on Ross Island, an island formed by the activities of four monstrous volcanoes in the Ross Sea.

Adelie Penguin Behaviour and Lifestyle

Like all species of Penguin, the Adelie Penguin is a highly sociable animal, gathering in large groups known as colonies, which often number thousands of Penguin individuals. Although Adelie Penguins are not known to be terribly territorial, it is not uncommon for adults to become aggressive over nesting sites, and have even been known to steal rocks from the nests of their neighbours. Adelie Penguins are also known to hunt in groups as it is thought to reduce the risk of being eaten by hungry predators. Adelie Penguins are constantly interacting with one another, with body language and specific eye movements thought to be the most common forms of communication.

Adelie Penguin Reproduction and Life Cycles

Adelie Penguins return to their breeding grounds during the Antarctic summer months of November and December. Their soft feet are well designed for walking on land making the trek to it's nesting ground much easier as the Penguin fasts during this time. Adelie Penguin pairs mate for life in large colonies, with females laying two eggs a couple of days apart into a nest built from rocks. Both the male and female take it in turns to incubate their eggs while the other goes off to feed, for up to 10 days at a time. The Adelie Penguin chicks have an egg-tooth which is a bump on the top of their beaks, which helps them to break out of the egg. Once hatched, the parents still take it in turns to look after their young while the other goes off to gather food. After about a month, the chicks congregate in groups called crèches and are able to fend for themselves at sea when they are between 2 and 3 months old.

Adelie Penguin Diet and Prey

Adelie Penguins are strong and capable swimmers, obtaining all of their food from the sea. These Penguins primarily feed on krill which are found throughout the Antarctic ocean, as well as Molluscs, Squid and small Fish. The record of fossilised eggshell accumulated in the Adelie Penguin colonies over the last 38,000 years reveals a sudden change from a Fish-based diet to Krill that started two hundred years ago. This is thought to be due to the decline of the Antarctic Fur Seal Seal in the late 1700s and Baleen Whales in the twentieth century. The reduction of competition from these predators has resulted in there being an abundance of Krill, which the Adelie Penguins are now able to exploit as an easier source of food.

Adelie Penguin Predators and Threats

Adult Adelie Penguins have no land based predators due to the uncompromising conditions that they inhabit. In the water however, the biggest threat to the Adelie Penguin is the Leopard Seal, which is one of the southern-most species of Seal and a dominant predator in the Southern Ocean. These Penguins have learnt to avoid these predators by swimming in large groups and not walking on thin ice. The Killer Whale Whale is the other main predator of the Adelie Penguin, although they normally hunt larger species of Penguin further north. South Polar Skuas are known to prey on the Adelie Penguin's eggs if left unguarded, along with chicks that have strayed from a group.

Adelie Penguin Interesting Facts and Features

Adelie Penguins inhabit one of the coldest environments on Earth and so have a thick layer of fat under their skin helping to keep them warm. Their feathers help to insulate them and provide a waterproof layer for extra protection. The Adelie Penguin is a highly efficient hunter and is able to eat up to 2kg of food per day, with a breeding colony thought to consume around 9,000 tonnes of food over 24 hours. The flippers of the Adelie Penguin make them fantastic at swimming and they can dive to depths of 175 meters in search of food. Adelie Penguins do not have teeth as such but instead have tooth-shaped barbs on their tongue and on the roof of their mouths. These barbs do not exist for chewing but instead assist the Penguin to swallow slippery prey.

Adelie Penguin Relationship with HumansA visit to the Adelie Penguin colonies has long since been on the programme for tourists to the Antarctic, who marvel at the vast numbers of them nesting on the beaches and hunting in the surrounding waters. This has meant that Adelie Penguins are one of the most well-known of all Penguin species today. Early explorers however, also hunted the Penguins both for their meat and their eggs in order to survive in such uncompromising conditions.

Adelie Penguin Conservation Status and Life TodayDespite having been confined to living on coastal Antarctica, Adelie Penguins are one of the most common and widespread Penguins in the southern hemisphere. With more than 2.5 million breeding pairs found throughout southern Antarctica, the Adelie Penguin has adapted well to it's polar habitat. Scientists have also been known to use Adelie Penguin nesting patterns as indicators of climate change, noticing that they are able to nest on beaches that were previously covered in ice. The Adelie Penguin is listed as Least Concern.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

African Monkeys Are Most Active All Day

African Monkeys is a genus of medium-sized enterprises of the primates of the family of Old World monkeys. There are six species currently recognized, although some classify them all as one species with many subspecies. This article uses the term Chlorocebus consistent for the kind and the only common name of the species. these monkeys is sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal and Ethiopia to South Africa. However, in previous centuries, a number of them were taken as pets by the slavers, and were transported across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean islands, with the enslaved Africans. The monkeys escaped or were later released and was naturalized.

The dorsal fur of monkeys Chlorocebus varies between species from pale yellow to gray-green to dark brown, while the lower part and the ring of hair around the face is a whitish yellow. The face, hands and feet are bare and black, although their abdominal skin is bluish. Males have a blue scrotum and penis red. Rather, they are semi-arboreal and semi-terrestrial, spending most of day on feeding the ground and then sleep at night in trees. However, they must drink every day and depend on the water, so they are never far from rivers or lakes. Like most other Old World monkeys, they have cheek pouches for storing food. They are diurnal and are most active early morning and later afternoon or early evening.

 The group hierarchy plays an important role: dominant males and females are given priority in search of food, and are maintained by the junior members of the group. They have female philopatry, a social system where females remain in the same home range they were born in the males leave after sexual maturity. These monkeys are territorial animals and a group can occupy an area of ​​about 0.06 to 1.78 square kilometers (0.023 to 0.69 square miles). They use a variety of vocalizations. They can warn members of other groups from their territory, and they can also notify members of their own troop of dangers from predators, using different calls for different predators.

Monkeys scream when they are disciplined by members of the troupe. They eat leaves, gum, seeds, nuts, herbs, mushrooms, fruits, berries, flowers, buds, shoots, invertebrates, bird eggs, birds, lizards, rodents and other vertebrate prey. Their favorite foods are fruits and flowers, a seasonal resource that varies to cope with changes in food availability. On the island of St. Kitts, they fly often brightly colored alcoholic beverages left by tourists on the beach. Many tourists have also discovered the monkeys will deliver a powerful bite if they are cornered or threatened.

Males do not participate in rearing the young, but the other females in the group (the "aunts") to participate in sharing the burden. The dominance hierarchy also comes into play, as the descendants of the most dominant group members get preferential treatment. The gestation period is about 163 to 165 days and births are usually a single young. The births usually occur at the beginning of the rainy season, when there is enough food available.

On the island of Barbados, the farmers complain the monkeys damaging their crops, and many are trying to find ways to keep them at bay. On Halloween of 2006 a monkey was suspected of causing an island-wide ban of 8 hours. The monkey apparently climbed a light pole and sparked a 11,000 to 24,000 volts and CPL early this morning. In Africa, many monkeys are killed by powerlines, dogs, vehicles, shooting, poisoning and hunting, both as a food source and as a source of traditional medicines.