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Animals

How does an animal get on the endangered species list?

Last week I posted an Endangered Species Glossary, discussing what the differences are between an animal that's endangered, threatened, etc.  The next question is, how does an animal fit the criteria for being put on the endangered species list?

It's not as easy as I initially thought it would be.  It takes careful observation and lots of crunching numbers.

For an animal to be considered critically endangered, the animal must be at least an 80% reduction over the last 10 years (or three generations).  For an animal to be considered endangered, the reduction percentage must be at least 50%.  For vulnerable, it's 10%.... read more

Endangered Species Glossary

You may hear people talking about an animal being endangered, threatened, vulnerable, etc.  But, what is the difference?  Here's a glossary to help you out.  

Extinct:  When an animal is extinct, the last member of the species has died.  The most notable extinct animal is probably the Dodo Bird. 

Extinct in the wild: This means that there are no animals left in this species in the wild, but some do remain in captivity.  Some species are reintroduced in the wild, but others may be difficult to reintroduced because their survival techniques might be lost.  Some species exist like this for a long time, such as the Barbary lion which has been extinct in the wild for almost 90 years.  ... read more

Where have all the fireflies gone?

As a little kid in a sorta rural area of New Jersey, I loved fireflies.  We'd catch 'em in jars, watch them light up, and set them free.  I moved to California (where they don't have fireflies) in 1997, and then back to the Northeast in 2004.  Since moving back here, I've seen very few fireflies.  At first I thought that maybe Massachusetts was too far north to have fireflies, but even when traveling down to New Jersey or New York, I saw few fireflies.  I kept wondering why.  What happened to all the fireflies?

Today, I stumbled upon a website about the lack of fireflies.  It's true, firefly populations are indeed declining.  I learned that fireflies did typically live in Massachusetts.  (Read about where they live)  But why?  And what can we do about it?... read more

Critter Help!!!

I'm going crazy here. I've had this mouse or two sharing my house with me for far too long.

I've tried ammonia in little bowls, so they'd think there was a cat around--worked for an hour or so.

I've tried those little sticky traps--they actually eat them.

I've totally redone my dog's eating schedule so there's no excess food around--frustrated dog, no effect on mouse/mice.

The other day I went to get my dog a treat from the TOP OF MY REFRIGERATOR and found a mouse had gotten up there and chewed through the bag.... read more

Aquaponics - the inside scoop on the closed-looped, fish and produce yielding system

What is Aquaponics? 

It is a closed-looped, symbiotic process involving fish and produce where fish waste provides a food source for the plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in. So that means you can raise your own fish and grow your own produce in a self sustaining nutrient system.... read more

Killing two birds with one stone (not literally)

How about saving the planet and its animals, all at once?

Many people give up the consumption of animal products for numerous reasons, which may include personal health and well-being, ethical beliefs, food expense reduction, and more. Thinking today about the reasons why I choose to follow a vegan lifestyle lead me to considering the environmental impact of the lifestyle. For those of you who are opposed to giving up your cheeseburgers regardless of the information presented, this will at the least provide you with some food for thought (a small side order for your burger).

In the past, the United Nations issued a report, somewhat like a call-to-action, for the world to reduce its consumption of animal products (both meat and dairy). As quoted in the U.K. Guardian, the UN feels that a "global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change." Clearly, this is a pretty serious issue.

... read more

The Piping Plovers of Cape Cod

During my last trip to Cape Cod, my husband and I were walking along the beach and we saw these cute little birds all over the place that we hadn't really seen elsewhere.  We took a video of them walking around and then later in our trip we learned that those cute birds are called piping plovers.  These birds are so precious to Cape Codders that some beaches on the Cape are actually closed to protect the breeding habitat of the piping plover!

Piping Plover, Endangered Species

Piping plovers are shorebirds that migrate to the Cape in the spring from the coasts of the Southern US and Caribbean.  They can also be found in the Great Lakes Region and parts of Canada.

They nest in little depressions in open flats, laying four eggs to a clutch. When the chicks hatch, they can run around and feed themselves within just a few hours.  Impressive, huh?

Piping plovers nesting in the Great Lakes are listed as endangered and piping plovers nesting along the Atlantic Coasts and in the northern Great Plains of the US and Canada are listed as threatened.  In Massachusetts, the plovers are protected under the Federal and Massachusetts Endangered Species Act.

... read more

Six Pack Rings

Six Pack Rings, Problems With Soda RingsGrowing up, one thing I always remember hearing about was that those plastic six pack rings that hold together cans of soda and beer could strangle sea turtles.  Horrified, I always made certain to cut them up before disposing of them.... read more

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