Apr 3, 2020

World: National Geographic

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----- Forwarded message ----
From: National Geographic <ng@email.nationalgeographic.com>
Date: Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 11:58 AM
Subject: ANIMALS: Joe Exotic and The Tiger King's big question
National Geographic
Thursday, April 3, 2020
This Venetian canal is still dolphin free
By Rachael Bale, ANIMALS Executive Editor

By now, many of you have heard of Joe Exotic, the eccentric former owner of a large tiger breeding and cub-petting business. Maybe you read about him in our December feature about captive tiger ownership in the U.S., or maybe you've watched Netflix's recent miniseries, Tiger King. In January, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison for plotting to kill a tiger sanctuary owner and activist, for killing five of his tigers, and for selling or trying to sell tigers illegally across state lines.
(Above, an endangered Siberian tiger at Omaha's respected Henry Doorly Zoo).

Many of us at Nat Geo have followed Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, and some of his counterparts around the country for many years. Most of these private big-cat breeders will tell you they're helping shore up tiger populations.

This is not conservation. Nor is it good animal care. (Below, a tiger skull found by authorities and used as evidence in Joe Exotic's trial)
A tiger skull found and used as evidence in Joe Exotic's trial
Tiger King is mainly about Joe Exotic and his hatred of Carole Baskin, who runs an accredited, nonprofit sanctuary in Florida called Big Cat Rescue. Sometimes buried amid the drama of the show are serious issues about private tiger ownership, cub-petting, and animal welfare. I totally get how you could walk away not understanding why scientists and wildlife advocates criticize places like Joe's and respect places like Carole's. If you want to learn more about what you may have missed about tigers in Tiger King, we've got an explainer for you here.

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A close-up gorilla encounter that warmed this photographer's heart
No, you're upside down: Visitors to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda often have to hike for miles up the steep, slippery slopes of a mountain in hopes of finding a family of mountain gorillas. "Our first day was a disaster," writes photographer Cristina Mittermeier, since the gorillas were hiding. On her last day, however, the guide suddenly signaled for quiet. "He spotted a group of these beautiful animals resting ahead," Mittermeier says. Then, wonder: "I loved watching this young gorilla peek at me as it laid on the forest floor." Note: All four subspecies of gorillas in the world are endangered or critically endangered.

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Smooth. Sleek. Gentle. Meek: Ball pythons, which live primarily in West and central Africa, are believed to be the most popular pet snake in North America and Europe. From 1997 to 2018, more than 3.6 million ball pythons were exported legally from West Africa. But new research raises questions about how little we know about them in the wild and whether the exports are sustainable. Last week, some scientists and activists called for the trade to be reduced or suspended, Rachael Bale says.

Carriage horses: The death of one of the 200 horses that pull carriages in New York City has reinvigorated bitter debate about the business, Nat Geo's Natasha Daly reports. Activists say that modern city streets are no place for horses and claim rampant abuse but offer little proof. People in the industry say drivers and owners love and properly care for their horses. The black-and-white views on each side suggest there's little room for compromise. The horse's death on Feb. 29 preceded the industry's temporary shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

Where is the food? Elephants eat up to 440 pounds of food a day. Elephant-keepers in Thailand, home to 4,000 captive elephants, say they do not have the money to feed them now that the tourists are gone, the BBC reports. The elephants risk being sold to zoos and returning to work in the illicit logging business. "If there is no support forthcoming to keep them safe, these elephants, some of whom are pregnant, will either starve to death or may be put on to the streets to beg," says Lek Chailert, founder of the Save Elephant Foundation.

On a brighter note: Several threatened species, such as the grizzly bear and a squirrel-size monkey, are poised for a comeback, thanks to conservation efforts. "Habitat preservation, anti-poaching efforts, and advances in captive-breeding programs can offer a lifeline to the most endangered members of the biosphere," Nina Strochlic writes in the latest National Geographic magazine. Subscribers can read the article here.
Counting is vital to honeybees
Learning to count: Many animals do it. It's important to their survival. Honeybees (above) can keep track of the number of landmarks they pass on their trips away from the hive. One of the most sweeping analyses of its kind has revealed the widespread ability of wild animals to use numbers, Virginia Morell writes for Nat Geo.

Subscriber exclusive: Photos from inside a tree reveal the intimate lives of wild honeybees
We're so used to seeing bees or thinking of bees living in a square white box. And that's how they live for beekeepers. But it's not how they lived for millions of years on their own.
Thomas D. Seeley
Cornell professor and longtime honeybee researcher
On Friday, Whitney Johnson covers the latest in photography news. If you're not a subscriber, sign up here to also get Debra Adams Simmons on history, George Stone on travel, and Victoria Jaggard on science.
This type of hare is an important food element for the jaguars in this region straddling the U.S.-Mexico border
Corridors cut: The Sky Islands region of southern Arizona and New Mexico is home to hundreds of species found nowhere else in the U.S., including jaguars, colorful birds called elegant trogons, and lowland burrowing tree frogs. (Pictured, a hare—important prey for the jaguars—at the border wall near the San Pedro River). Jaguars are among the animals whose migration corridor to Mexico is being cut off with the construction of the border wall. Nat Geo's Douglas Main writes that wall construction is moving ahead amid the nation's focus on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
This newsletter has been curated and edited by David Beard, with photo selections by Eslah Attar. Have an idea or a link? We'd love to hear from you at david.beard@natgeo.com. Thanks for reading.

Mar 21, 2020

Planet Earth: Nature Resources For Home Learning

Brian Mertins is a top notch Nature Mentor!!! I recommend subscribing to his newsletter.

----- Forwarded message ----
From: Brian Mertins <brian@nature-mentor.com>
Date: Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 7:15 AM
Subject: Nature Resources For Home Learning

With so many recent cancellations of events, travels & social gatherings, what are you going to do with all this extra free time?

If you're looking for stress-free ways to connect with nature from home and in the backyard, here's a list of resources I've created over the years:

General Nature Connection
Complete Guide To Using A Sit Spot In Nature - This is always the first activity I encourage my students to practice because it can be done anywhere and really opens your awareness to exploring natural mysteries.

Sensory Awareness Exercises - This is a fun collection of simple sensory-based meditation techniques & exercises to help you become more present with birds, plants, trees, etc. Sensory awareness is a primary activator for gaining the mind, body & spiritual benefits of nature.

How To Be A Naturalist The Easy Way - An overview of different nature skills that support having fun outdoor adventures to facilitate personal inspiration & discovery.

Easy Guide To Nature Observation - The ability to truly observe nature is both a practical skill that brings cool outdoor encounters, and also a pathway to finding peace, harmony & magic.

Animal Tracking
Cat & Dog Tracks Video - This video breaks down several simple yet typically overlooked track characteristics to help you identify tracks using the common example of cats & dogs.

Where To Find Animal Tracks - If you need help knowing where to look for tracks in your area, this article walks you through several practical steps, including how to identify good tracking spots from your computer (seriously!)

Online Guide To Animal Tracks - If you just want to look at a whole bunch of different tracks, this article has tons of great examples to explore.

Birds & Bird Language
Easy Guide To Understanding Bird Behavior - Birds are constantly telling us what they think and feel by how they behave. This article covers 9 of the most common bird behaviors, with some extra coaching on observing birds.

Beginner's Guide To Bird Language - This is THE master guide I created for learning how birds communicate about danger, and how you can use bird language to locate hawks, cats, owls, coyotes, bears, and generally just know what's happening out in nature before anyone else.

The Bird Language Blueprint - If you really want to go deep with bird language, this is my complete online course that walks you through all the steps from learning the birds to following alarm calls to locate sneaky wildlife… includes a free hour of coaching after you get through the course materials.

Plants, Trees & Ecology
The Plant Identification Cheat Sheet - This cheat sheet walks you through how to observe plants and "key out" the identifying characteristics so you can grow confident plant knowledge.

How To Read The Secrets Of A Forest - One of my most popular video tutorials demonstrating how simple analysis of patterns in nature brings an almost intuitive ability to predict invisible characteristics of any landscape.

14 Types of Plants Everyone Should Know - If you just want to check out pictures of a bunch of common plants, this article is a great compilation of plants that should be at the top of everyone's study list!

For Parents, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents
7 Tips For Connecting Children With Nature - Looking at the key mindsets to help you get the best results with children.

22 Nature Connection Activities For Sharing Nature With Beginners - These activities are incredibly simple & easy to do without even leaving the backyard.

Other Useful Skills
Cloud Types And Weather Prediction Tips - Cloud watching is a very calm & meditative activity. It's amazing how much you can read about the weather by looking at the appearance of clouds.

Nature And The Mind-Body Connection - Nature is both a practical skill, and also a pathway to inner peace & clarity. This article examines how nature benefits the human mind and body.

Easy Guide To Nature & Stress Relief - This article talks about how we can gear our time outside towards relieving anxiety & worries. Nature gives us a chance to rejuvenate & find peace.

I hope you're all staying healthy & happy during this time!

I really appreciate you subscribing to these emails and hopefully my articles, videos & podcasts can help make this time a little more enjoyable for you.


PS. Reply to this email if you're looking for more on a particular topic. I have TONS more content to help you continue learning and stay entertained while stuck at home!

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Mar 18, 2020

World #Sparrow Day is March 20th

Maybe there are virtual celebrations. Distance from people is important during Covid19 emergency however sunshine and nature are important health benefits for people. Enjoy the NatureForever web pages and learn about the 26 species of sparrows. Clean and sanitize your computer devices ;-)  
logo by NatureForever.org

11th year running!
Protect Sparrows! 
Celebrations around the World!
Check it out: