Today is Earth Day! There are many small steps you can take to help the environment, starting today.
Here are a few examples:
1. Use public transportation, walk, or ride a bike instead of using a car.
2. Grow your own fruits and vegetables in a backyard garden.
3. Plant a tree or three!
4. Bring reusable bags with you when you go shopping.
5. Swap out household cleaning products with biodegradable/eco-friendly versions.
A new study has revealed that from 2002 – 2011, 62% of forest elephants had been wiped out in central Africa. Organized criminal gangs have been slaughtering whole herds of elephants to profit from a rapidly expanding illegal ivory trade.
Elephants, who are highly intelligent creatures, are aware of the danger they face and have tried to adapt. They avoid roads and travel silently during the night. But these tactics are not enough when facing the onslaught of gangs wielding automatic assault weapons and grenades.
If nothing changes, African elephants are on a short path to extinction.
To learn more about the plight of African elephants, see:
If you would like to help elephants, you can write to your politicians to speak out against poaching. (Americans can write a letter to the Secretary of State on the Wildlife Conservation Society website.) For information on organizations that combat the illegal ivory trade, see National Geographic’s page, Blood Ivory: How to Help.
Three meerkat pups were born at the Oakland Zoo. Their names are African in origin and are Ayo (joy), Rufaro (happiness), and Nandi (sweet). The pups are approaching six weeks of age and are doing well.
According to Victor Alm, Zoological Manager:
“It has been wonderful watching the mob [group of meerkats] raise the pups. It has truly been a collective effort and all the adults are taking their turns caring for and teaching the new pups their different roles and jobs needed to be a productive meerkat.”
In the wild, meerkats inhabit the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. They are physically adapted to living in the harsh desert environment. Dark patches around their eyes help them be effective lookouts by reducing the glare of the sun, much like a baseball player who paints dark lines beneath his eyes.
Do you know how many times have you been swimming at the beach in the vicinity of a great white shark? Thanks to a team called Ocearch, now you can find out if there’s a great white near you. Using GPS-satellite tagging technology, Ocearch is tracking the movement of around 40 great white sharks.
A screenshot from Ocearch’s Global Shark Tracker tool. This shows the path of a great white shark called Mary Lee, who has swum along the east coast as far north as Cape Cod.