As this is my first Christmas as a married woman, things have been quite hectic – with a whole new side of the family to consider, and travel arrangements to put together! As such, I’ve seemingly run out of time to write a December post, aside from this; my annual Christmas post.
As regular readers will know from September’s post, my little puppy dog crossed over the rainbow bridge, and thus we will spend our first Christmas without him. I always bought our Barney a festive dog treat to keep him happy and occupied whilst we opened gifts, and shared food.
Christmas traditions come and go but as long as we remember the real reason for the season, and show love and kindness to one another – as He who is love, first loved us, and came into this world as a baby, born and laid in a manger, because He loved us; Christ died and rose again, because He loves us.
All other images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.
If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages… . Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers) . Twitter (@AlisAnswers) . LinkedIn (Ali Lloyd)
In the past 10 years we have lost several animal species – in this day and age we consider ourselves better than our predecessors, yet we are still the main cause of animals going extinct… we’re no better than those before us – in some ways we’re worse, as we are not doing what we do to survive; we are doing it for “fun” or “progress”. In what civilised or ‘advanced’ society is there place for this abominable behaviour? Yes, this post is looking to be an informative rant-type…
In the past century many animal species have been wiped from the planet, below is a selection (from the past decade) of those lost forever: (1) 2015 – Eastern Cougar (2) 2014 – Malagasy Hippopotamus (3) 2013 – Formosan Clouded Leopard (4) 2012 – Pinta Tortoise (5) 2012 – Zanzibar Leopard (6) 2012 – Japanese River Otter (7) 2011 – Western Black Rhinoceros (8) 2010 – Alatora Grebe (9) 2010 – Derwent River Sea Star (10) 2009 – Christmas Island Pipistrelle Bat (11) 2008 – Spotted Green Pigeon (Liverpool Pigeon) (12) 2008 – Caribbean Monk Seal
Many species that are extinct today is due to humans – we hunt to extinction, we destroy habitats, we remove animals from the wild for fashion or entertainment – we first make them extinct in the wild and then we deplete the captive animals until they’re gone… and many other reasons. The ICUN Red List contains information of the endangerment of species. We used to hunt sustainably for food, and in many countries/cultures this is still the case, but most of the hunting (at least in first world cultures) is for “fun” or “sport” and is unjustifiably cruel and unnecessary. The man that hunts to feed his family and/or community is not the reason Elephants and Rhino’s are depleting in number and becoming extinct; the cruelty of riding out with a pack of dogs to have them tear apart an innocent fox is not for any justifiable reason; the mind-set of people needs to change to make a difference… the bans we have in place need to be enforced to make a difference… we all want a better world but that won’t happen if we cannot really change.
We have bans (in certain countries) on things like fox hunting, whale hunting (whaling), shark finning, dog and cock fighting, removing animals from the wild (with conservation excepted), and many more abhorrent things – yet these bans are not universal, and often not enforced. If there are no consequences for these actions, or these consequences are not adhered to and/ or enforced, then what power do these bans have? Where then is the protection for these creatures?
Animals are a lot more important to their ecosystems than people give them credit for – the removal or addition of one species has an affect on everything around it. Take the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park for example – video link here(this is in no way my video) – thanks to wolves being back in the ecosystem, the rivers went back to how they used to be, plants that had been destroyed by the overpopulation of deer returned, because the wolves kept down the deer population – things went back to the way they were; back to how they should be. Why did the ecosystem breakdown in the first place; why did the wolves become extinct in Yellowstone? Because of us. Because of humans. Because we killed them off…Grey Wolf
The way we are going, the same thing will happen again and again, with more species. We, as a species, need to change before we are the only species left on a dying planet – small steps to ensure that other species don’t become myth and fairy-tales, instead of living, breathing creatures that share this planet.
Moving is stressful when it’s just you and your junk (speaking from experience) – but how does moving take its toll on your pets? You can bet they’ll be stressed and anxious too, even if they’re not packing or trying to organise a removal company!
Here are some tips to help your pets cope with moving… part 1: packing and travelling.
On a practical level – remember to update your contact details on microchips, tags, pet passports, etc. – as well as with your pet insurance company and your local vet. If you’re moving a significant distance, remember to find a new local vet and get all your pet’s details transferred.
Updating the tag is something you can do easily, and may choose to do before moving day in case your pet wanders off during or post transit.
Your pet’s belongings and foodstuffs – if you can pack these last do. In particular pack bowls/bottles last so that your pet can have a drink upon arrival, as they will likely need one!
If you have a designated area in your home for your pet and will do so in your new home, this can all be packed last so your pet can chill whilst you pack up, and then unpacked first so your pet can begin to settle whilst you move the rest of your stuff in.
If your pet is prone to being anxious in transit there are steps you can take to ensure their welfare is one of the top priorities on moving day…
• Allocate one person (if possible) to be in charge of your pet – checking on them at regular intervals during the move to ensure they’re doing okay.
• Ensure the removal company staff know where your pet is and how their belongings are to be transported – i.e. any of your pet’s things that are to stay with your pet and not be packed deep into the removal van you should make the removal co. staff aware of.
• Pheromone sprays and collars are very beneficial to a distressed pet – companies such as Feliway and Adaptil provide such items for dogs and cats (for more information please click here for Feliway and here for Adaptil).
• Animals can be placed into carriers with a familiar scented item (current bedding rather than fresh, blanket or owners item of clothing, etc).
• Placing a blanket or towel or sheet over the carrier can also help in keeping your pet calm.
• Ensure pets in carriers have something to keep them occupied if they so wish – you don’t want chewing of carrier bars (potentially damaging their teeth/gums) when you could provide a chew toy to keep them occupied.
• Ensure your pet is secure in transit; whether this means entrusting someone responsible to holding the carrier, or fitting the carrier safely into a vehicle, or ensuring your dog’s seat-belt is secure and he can’t get to anything he shouldn’t whilst on the move – make sure your pet is safe and secure. A big pet peeve of mine is people who have dogs loose in the car – not only is their jumping about distracting to you and other drivers, even a small dog (say 5-10kg in weight) can cause serious damage to you if you have an accident and the dog is thrown into someone – not to mention the injury the dog will sustain by being unrestrained! We wear seat-belts to avoid injury if we were to be involved in an accident; its the same principal – secure your dog.
• If you ware moving far away and the journey is long – remember your pet would enjoy a bathroom/ water break and a leg stretch. Ensure that any exercise is done safely and with your pet on a lead – your can get harnesses/leads for dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and more.
To follow: I will cover moving with fish, amphibians and reptiles, and once you’re in your new place.
All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.
If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages… . Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers) . Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers) . Twitter (@AlisAnswers) . LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)
More of a re-discovery, than a new discovery; this little bird was thought to be extinct for the past 70+ years! Previously, the last sighting of this bird was in 1941! It was first discovered by British naturalist T.C. Jerdon, in 1862.
Their habitat was diminished by the development of local communities; with humans building on the habitat they had demolished. The Myanmar Jerdon’s Babbler lives in grasslands and floodplains, in Myanmar.
This bird is small (like a Sparrow), measuring 16-17cm in length; brown in colour, with a pale underside. The Myanmar Jerdon’s Babbler has a distinctive call, which is what led the team to the re-discovering of this little creature – the call was heard, recorded, and played back; resulting in a reply from the bird itself! The team has estimated there to be a population of approximately 10,000.
Hopefully, this once ‘extinct’ species will continue to rise, and make a come-back!
A new discovery in December 2014, as well as almost 80 years ago! Ecologist Carl Kauffeld claimed this little species existed, back in 1937; however, at the time, received no scientific recognition for it. The Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog – Rana Kauffeldi was named to honour the man who originally discovered this species.
The colourations of this little frog range from light greens to greys, with darks spots and stripes. The colouration of an individual can lighten/ darken according to seasons; so as to blend in better with the undergrowth, to avoid detection by predators. The Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog lives in the damp ground, where there is vegetation/ plants for cover; as well as near/ in shallow waters. The shallow waters are also the site for breeding.
With this new (or old) discovery, the total of Leopard Frog species is now 19. Northern and Southern Leopard Frogs, however is distinctly different genetically. This is what makes this a new species; its’ genetic diversity from other, similar species. However, this new species also has a unique trait, that contributes to its’ individualism; the sound it makes sounds more like a cough than a croak.
2014 welcomed this little frog species as a (new) recognised species.
Did you know that we are still discovering new species?
Over a period of posts, I will go through a few new discoveries from 2014…
Four new species of Tuco-tuco (small rodent) has been discovered in Bolivia in 2014. The Tuco-tuco is named after the “tuc tuc” vocalisation they make. There were thought to be eight species of Tuco-tuco in Bolivia; but with these new discoveries there are now twelve species of this little rodent species in this area. There are around 65 species scattered throughout South America.
They are classified as Mammals, of the order Rodent, and the genus Ctenomys. They are a small burrowing rodent, with large front teeth. Their closest relative is thought to be the Degu.
The Tuco-tuco is a herbivore, primarily feeding on grass. As well as grazing; grass (and other vegetation) is collected, and stored in burrows.
The Tuco-tuco measures between 18-30cm long, and weighs less than half a kilogram! They are fairly sedentary by nature (couch-potatoes if it was you or me!); however some species are social, others are not. They are a diurnal species – meaning that they are most active at dawn and dusk, and spend a lot of time above ground compared to most rodent species.
In tribute to all the species kept in zoos and safari parks, enjoy some pictures of species that are wild, unusual, rarely seen (outside of zoos/ safari parks), and protected species/ last of their species.
Not everyone agrees with zoos or safari parks – there can certainly be improvements made; but on the other hand, we all enjoy visiting the zoo or safari park and taking in the exquisite and diverse animal species.