Endangered Baby Orangutan at Twycross Zoo

Bornean orangutan

A new addition to the Twycross Zoo: a baby Bornean orangutan! Photo by Twycross Zoo.

Twycross Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of an endangered Bornean orangutan. The baby ape, born on November 28, is happy, healthy and doing very well. The newborn is 36-year-old Kibriah’s fourth offspring.

Bornean orangutan mother and baby

Mother Kibriah with her new baby.

Great Ape Team Leader, Simon Childs, said: “We’re all very proud. Kibriah is a very loving mum and she’s doing such a great job. She is holding the baby very close so we won’t know if it’s a boy or a girl just yet. When we find out the sex, we can then start to think of a name for him or her. At this stage we don’t mind what sex it is, we’re just happy to have another healthy infant.”

According to Dr. Charlotte Macdonald, Head of Life Sciences: “The Bornean orangutan is classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Redlist (IUCN), with fewer than 50,000 individuals remaining in the wild. As they only give birth on average once every eight years their numbers are dwindling fast as a result of the extreme rate at which forest habitat in Indonesia is being destroyed by deforestation.  Experts now agree that orangutans are likely to be extinct in the wild within the next 20 years, so successful breeding is imperative if this ape is to continue to exist on this planet in the future.”

Learn more about Bornean orangutans at our orangutan facts page.

For more about the new addition at the Twycross Zoo, see their website.

Rare Rhino Caught on Camera Trap

Park authorities at Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia were able to capture video footage of Javan rhinoceroses going about their business using camera traps. These rhinos are considered critically endangered by the IUCN Red List. Only 40-60 Javan rhinos are alive today, with the majority of the population living in Ujung Kulon National Park. There are no Javan rhinos in captivity.

Collaborating to Save Tigers

Camera trap technology helps identify key habitats tigers use to hunt and breed in the Taman Negara region. Tracked with modern software, the data allow rangers and researchers to map routes for effective anti-poaching patrols. (Credit: Ruben Clements/Rimba)

Camera trap technology helps identify key habitats tigers use to hunt and breed in the Taman Negara region. Tracked with modern software, the data allow rangers and researchers to map routes for effective anti-poaching patrols. (Credit: Ruben Clements/Rimba)

Woodland Park Zoo has joined forces with Panthera to continue the battle to save tigers in the wild. The group will focus on saving tigers in Malaysia, where habitat loss and poachers have decimated the population. The ten year project will provide hands-on training and financial assistance to help save these tigers.

Learn more about Woodland Park Zoo here.

Learn more about Panthera.

Endangered Red-Crowned Crane Chick at Seattle Zoo

Red-crowned crane chick

Woodland Park Zoo’s new red-crowned crane chick is on a mission, living as an ambassador for cranes facing habitat loss and life-threatening, human-wildlife conflicts in their Asian range. Photo credit: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle is home to a new male red-crowned crane chick! The fluffy, brown chick, hatched on May 13, will play an integral role in the survival of the species. Red-crowned cranes are severely endangered, with only  2,700 cranes remaining in the Amur Basin of Northeast Asia.

The zoo works with Muraviovka Park for Sustainable Land Use and the International Crane Foundation, through the zoo’s Partners for Wildlife, with the goal to bring the red-crowned crane population back from the brink of extinction.

“Muraviovka Park gives red-crowned cranes a chance to flourish; it’s a safe haven for them to breed, nest and raise their young,” says Fred Koontz, Woodland Park Zoo Vice President of Field Conservation. “This wildlife sanctuary is the first nongovernmental protected area, and the first privately run nature park in Russia since 1917, and it’s making a tremendous difference for the future of cranes and many other species.”

If you would like to help red-crowned cranes, you can get involved with Woodland Park Zoo’s efforts at zoo.org/conservation.

Red-crowned crane chick

Red-crowned crane chick

Photo credit: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

Rising Sea Levels Threaten Marsh Rabbit

Marsh rabbit

Photo by Tomfriedel.

In the Florida Keys, a very endangered species of rabbit faces a tough future. As sea levels rise, suitable habitat for the Lower Keys marsh rabbit shrinks. Increased development in the area further impacts the rabbits’ chance of survival because it not only blocks the rabbits from moving inland, it also blocks the necessary vegetation from “migrating” inland as well.

Once abundant in the keys, only a few hundred Lower Marsh rabbits remain. According to Jeff Gore, a statewide wildlife biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, “Obviously, it’s already having an effect on the marsh rabbit, but in a state like Florida with so much coastline and so many endangered species, it’s going to be a major concern for decades to come.”

Read more at Science Blog.

Baby Lemur Born at Maryland Zoo

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore welcomed a male baby Coquerel’s sifaka on November 12 and named him Nero. At birth, the baby lemur weighed 94 grams, about the weight of a deck of cards. According to Meredith Wagoner, mammal collection and conservation manager, “Sifaka are born with sparse hair and resemble tiny gremlins, however their white hair soon grows in, and they begin to resemble their parents.”

In the wild, Coquerel’s sifaka inhabit the island of Madagascar. They are endangered as a result of habitat loss from deforestation. Sifaka are different from other lemurs in the way they hop through treetops in an upright posture using only their hind legs. They propel themselves on the ground by side-hopping on their hind legs.

To learn more, see the Maryland Zoo website.

Free Wildlife Game for Smartphones and Tablets

Survival app screenshot

Wildscreen, an international conservation charity, has launched a new free app called Survival for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.

The app features a series of quickfire games that test your knowledge of endangered animals.  Beautiful graphics and photos from the charity’s ARKive enhance the gaming experience.

Download the app here: Survival

Baby Cheetah at Busch Gardens

The animal care team at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fl is busy these days caring for a four week old cheetah cub.  The cheetah was born at another zoo and his mother was unable to care for him. The decision was made to hand-raise him and so far it’s been successful. The little guy now weighs over 2 lbs. and is growing stronger each day.

Once he is big enough he’ll join other cheetahs at the park and will one day play a role breeding program to help increase the population of these endangered animals.

Busch Gardens supports the conservation of and education about cheetahs through the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, which has donated nearly $100,000 to cheetah efforts in Africa since 2005 and also helps fund conservation programs for white rhinos, marine animals and many other species around the world.

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Rare Javan Rhino Dies

The International Rhino Foundation announced that a carcass of a highly endangered Javan rhino was discovered in Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park last week.

From the press release:

Ujung Kulon holds the only viable population of the critically endangered species; no more than 48 Javan rhinos remain on the planet, and at least 44 of those are found in Ujung Kulon.  Fewer than four animals of unknown sex and age may remain in an isolated population in Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam, where the carcass of a poached Javan rhino was found last month.

“Javan rhinos persist in Ujung Kulon because they are carefully monitored and guarded by Rhino Protection Units, elite anti-poaching teams that patrol the park every day.  While the loss of this rhino was tragic, it appears to have died from natural causes rather than poaching,” said Dr. Susie Ellis, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation.

Ellis went on to say, “Rhino experts agree that expanding the usable habitat in Ujung Kulon is an important first step. The next priority will be to establish a second viable population of Javan rhino at a suitable site elsewhere in Indonesia as an ‘insurance’ population. This will be essential if we are to safeguard it from natural and human-caused disasters and to ultimately prevent its extinction.”

If you would like to help Javan rhinoceroses, visit www.rhinos-irf.org.

Rhino skeleton

Skeleton of a male Javan rhino found last week on a densely forested trail in Indonesia's Ujung Kulon National Park. Forensic evidence suggests he died in March of natural causes.

Rhino bones laid out

The skeleton of the rhino laid out, with the horn still intact.

Nevada Zoo Welcomes Ring-tailed Lemur Baby

The Roos-N-More Zoo in Nevada has been surprised by the birth of a ring-tailed lemur baby. The zoo staff was not aware the mother, named Morocco, was pregnant. The baby has been named Marques and it’s gender is not known yet. The staff believes Marques is a girl, but they cannot confirm that yet. For now Marques is clinging to her mother’s chest, allowing a few glimpses of her tiny black and white ringed tail.

All species of lemur are endangered, so this birth will help maintain the current population.

Read more about Marques at RGJ.com.

Read more about the ring-tailed lemur at Animal Fact Guide.