Big frog news dropping on Wednesday my dudes, hold onto your butts.
Animal of the Day!
Eurasian Aurochs (Bos primigenius)
(Photo from Britannica)
Extinction Date- 1627
Habitat- Europe; Northern Africa; Central Asia
Size (Weight/Length)- 1,000 kg; 1.8 m tall
Diet- Grasses; Nuts; Leaves
Cool Facts- The Eurasian aurochs was a majestic species of megafauna cattle that lived throughout the Pleistocene. Aurochs were believed to live in small herds and have a similar hierarchy to their current descendents of domesticated cattle. Due to their massive size, Eurasian aurochs had little to fear outside of prides of lions or large tigers. Their cultural significance travels throughout the Neolithic peoples of Asia, Africa, and Europe. Aurochs were favored creatures for cave paintings and fights in the Roman Colosseum. Domestication of aurochs began in the Fertile Crescent when humans began civilization. Unfortunately, Eurasian aurochs were driven to extinction by over-hunting and a quickly transforming landscape that resulted in the death of many megafauna species. Today, their closest relative is the rare, Spanish Pajuna cattle.
Rating- 12/10 (The loss of prehistoric landscapes resulted in the loss of megafauna worldwide.)
This 65€ piece was commissioned by TheGreatAllie!
They wanted me to redraw one of the panels from my SniperSpy - Addict animatic and I was more than happy to! I really enjoyed making this, thank you so very much for comming me! <3
The charity of October 2023 is Community Conservation
Since 1989, Community Conservation has:
Protected over 1.2 million acres
Catalyzed over 20 community conservation projects
Influenced the creation of 7 parks
Helped form 16 local community conservation groups
Catalyzed regional change in Belize, Assam (India), Nepal, Myanmar and Peru
More about their current and past projects here
The Nunatsiavut conservation area, grounded in Indigenous knowledge
“Just because we’re small doesn’t mean we can’t do something,” says James Goudie, deputy minister of lands and natural resources in the Nunatsiavut government
“We can show the world that a small region can protect a massive amount of biodiversity.”
The Inuit Protected Area would only cover about a third of Nunatsiavut’s nearly 50,000 sq km of offshore waters, but the region is home to important populations of fish such as salmon and Arctic char, the breeding grounds for many migratory birds, and the habitat of Arctic marine mammals including polar bears, beluga whales and seals.
Establishing a protected area is also a pre-emptive strike against resource exploitation. Significant natural gas deposits have been found offshore along the Labrador shelf, but it has remained largely unexplored because of the ice. As the climate warms, however, the region is becoming more accessible – the Inuit Protected Area would prevent such resource exploration.
Goudie says Nunatsiavut does not oppose developing resources in its waters outside the protected area, but insists that it must benefit Inuit and cause negligible harm to the environment. Inuit are well positioned to lead Arctic marine conservation, he argues – and not just because they have a vested interest in protecting their home.
“Our connection and experience on the land is thousands of years in the making and that allows us a culturally based conservation ethic,” he says.
Traditional Inuit knowledge has been passed down orally through countless generations. Over time, the knowledge has accumulated nuances and observations: a dangerous rip-tide in a particular location, or how to properly prepare sealskin for a pair of boots.
Dane Shiwak with a ptarmigan. The 13-year-old is learning Inuit hunting traditions from his father
“Many studies show that biodiversity is highest on Indigenous-managed lands,” says Sigrid Kuehnemund, programme manager for national marine conservation areas with Parks Canada.
SciCafe: Protecting Our Crowded Planet
Protected lands are the vital strongholds of Earth’s biodiversity and ecological integrity, serving as sanctuaries where nature thrives undisturbed.
On Wednesday, October 4, join us at the Museum with Nyeema Harris, Knobloch Family Associate Professor of Wildlife and Land Conservation at the Yale School of the Environment, for an in-depth discussion about the realities of sharing our planet with nature and protecting the ecosystems we rely so heavily upon.
This event is free with RSVP! For more details and to register, visit⬇️
I finally got to see these in person! I still can't believe this is real!! (If you didn't know, I designed the art for these shirts and mugs)
Thank you to the random stranger who took this pic for me!
A nature reserve on the banks of the Assiniboine River near Brandon, Man. will soon be a site for conservation, learning and healing.
Wabano Aki, which means tomorrow’s land in Anishinaabe, will be used for agriculture, conservation, cultural and spiritual purposes by Indigenous communities in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
The 305-hectare area of land, previously known as Waggle Springs, was officially renamed on Sept. 28.
Christine Chilton, community relations manager at the Manitoba chapter of the conservancy, said the site acts as a classroom, but the partnership helps the land to take on a new meaning.
“We often approach things from a Western science perspective. And we’re realizing that it’s actually really important to take in a whole of society approach, which means that there’s a lot of different ways of knowing, and there’s a lot of different uses of land that can all work together to make a better tomorrow,” Chilton said. [...]
I’ve seen a few ~aesthetic~ photos of rock stacks in rivers recently and this is just a reminder that you are destroying habitat when you move rocks around in rivers and streams.
In addition to dragonfly nymphs, rocky river beds are home to lots of other larval invertebrates like damselflies, mayflies, water beetles, caddisflies, stoneflies, and a bunch of dipterans. Not to mention lots of fish and amphibians!
Plus large scale rock stacking can change the flow of a stream and lead to increased erosion.
Anyway dragonfly for admiration:
Calico pennant by nbdragonflyguy
i think also people who dont understand how "stacking some rocks sometimes" can be harmful have heard of the countless cases where "its just a little thing" has destroyed countless landmarks and parks
elafonisi's pink sand beaches only retain 10% of the pink hues they used to retain just a few decades ago,
and if you didnt know it could happen, a larger scale upheaval of a beach in jamaica actually did result in the disappearance of an entire beach.
pig beach in the bahamas attracts people for being, well, the bahamas, and native pigs in the area can be found swimming to get around sometimes. people go nuts for the photo opportunity and forget these are wild animals- and youd expect it being the pigs killing people, but actually, people being too friendly caused a ban on feeding the pigs because seven of the poor things died after people figured "how bad could it hurt them if i give them just one?"
and these are just cases of something specific happening or being taken or given. thats not including people ruining and closing down entire tourist attractions, beaches, and parks by completely overcrowding it, disregarding rules, or trashing and littering the places.
like if someone preserving the park tells you not to do something you think is "harmless," i swear they arent just doing it because they want to ruin your fun. maintaining these places is delicate work- its a privilege to see and visit these areas, not a right. please take care of the world around you whether youre very close or very far from home, okay?
Animal of the Day!
Parrot Crossbill (Loxia pytyopsittacus)
(Photo by John George Richardson)
Conservation Status- Least Concern
Habitat- Europe; Russia
Size (Weight/Length)- 55 g; 17 cm
Diet- Tree seeds
Cool Facts- The parrot crossbill is one of the only birds to naturally have their top beak mandible cross over their lower one. Their beak helps them to feed on pine nuts without having to husk the entire pinecone. The crossbill inserts its lower mandible into the pinecone and presses up on the scale with its upper. This gives the bird time to grab the pine nut with their tongue before moving on to get the next seed. They’re essentially the squirrels of the bird world. Parrot crossbills have distinct sexual dimorphism with the males being bright red and the females being green or yellow.
Rating- 12/10 (Their scientific name is translated to crosswise pine parrot.)
It *is* a problem that charismatic species are often focused on for conservation at the expense of less charismatic but important species, but threatened species that are the subject of a lot of public outreach and education are also typically strategically selected.
I suspect that monarch butterflies are an example of this. Milkweed is a highly valuable plant for pollinators and a host plant for like. 400+ insect species. Getting people to plant it to save monarchs is funny because you're essentially finessing people into saving a ton of other insects that they wouldn't ordinarily care about
For years, the people of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation watched over their waters and waited. They had spent nearly two decades working with Canada’s federal government to negotiate protections for Kitasu Bay, an area off the coast of British Columbia that was vulnerable to overfishing.
But the discussions never seemed to go anywhere. First, they broke down over pushback from the fishing industry, then over a planned oil tanker route directly through Kitasoo/Xai’xais waters.
“We were getting really frustrated with the federal government. They kept jumping onboard and then pulling out,” says Douglas Neasloss, the chief councillor and resource stewardship director of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation. “Meanwhile, we’d been involved in marine planning for 20 years – and we still had no protected areas.”
Instead, the nation watched as commercial overfishing decimated the fish populations its people had relied on for thousands of years.
Nestled on the west coast of Swindle Island, approximately 500km north of Vancouver, Kitasu Bay is home to a rich array of marine life: urchins and abalone populate the intertidal pools, salmon swim in the streams and halibut take shelter in the deep waters. In March, herring return to spawn in the eelgrass meadows and kelp forests, nourishing humpback whales, eagles, wolves and bears.
“Kitasu Bay is the most important area for the community – that’s where we get all of our food,” Neasloss says. “It’s one of the last areas where you still get a decent spawn of herring.”
So in December 2021, when the Department of Fisheries and Oceans withdrew from discussions once again, the nation decided to act. “My community basically said, ‘We’re tired of waiting. Let’s take it upon ourselves to do something about it,’” Neasloss says.
What they did was unilaterally declare the creation of a new marine protected area (MPA). In June 2022, the nation set aside 33.5 sq km near Laredo Sound as the new Gitdisdzu Lugyeks (Kitasu Bay) MPA – closing the waters of the bay to commercial and sport fishing.
It is a largely unprecedented move. While other marine protected areas in Canada fall under the protection of the federal government through the Oceans Act, Kitasu Bay is the first to be declared under Indigenous law, under the jurisdiction and authority of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation.
Pictured: "In some ways, I hope someone challenges us" … the Kitasoo/Xai’xais stewardship authority.
Although they did not wait for government approval, the Kitasoo did consult extensively: the declaration was accompanied by a draft management plan, finalised in October after three months of consultation with industry and community stakeholders. But the government did not provide feedback during that period, according to Neasloss, beyond an acknowledgment that it had received the plan...
Approximately 95% of British Columbia is unceded: most First Nations in the province of British Columbia never signed treaties giving up ownership of their lands and waters to the crown. This puts them in a unique position to assert their rights and title, according to Neasloss, who hopes other First Nations will be inspired to take a similarly proactive approach to conservation...
Collaboration remains the goal, and Neasloss points to a landmark agreement between the Haida nation and the government in 1988 to partner in conserving the Gwaii Haanas archipelago, despite both parties asserting their sovereignty over it. A similar deal was made in 2010 for the region’s 3,400 sq km Gwaii Haanas national marine conservation area.
“They found a way to work together, which is pretty exciting,” says Neasloss. “And I think there may be more Indigenous protected areas that are overlaid with something else.”
-via The Guardian, 5/3/23