Did you know that some ravens can talk? varya, this 24-year-old russian raven @moscow_zoo_official will scream “varya!" or “voronok” which means “small raven” when he is frightened or angry. ravens are known to be highly a intelligent and adaptable species; especially remarkable in their ability to not just survive in harsh climates, but actually thrive in everywhere from the high arctic to some of the hottest deserts known.
With only four individuals known to researchers, the yangtze giant softshell turtle is the world’s largest, and arguably the most rare, freshwater turtle. this female, thought to be over 100-years-old, calls the suzhou zoo in china home, along with one other male. before her time at the zoo, she was saved from a meat market by a traveling circus owner impressed by her size (these turtles can weigh up to 200 pounds!). she remained in the circus until it was shut down in 1949, when she was relocated to the zoo. to ensure the survival of her species, this female must breed – several past attempts at artificial insemination have failed, but even the most threatened species have hope thanks to great organizations like @turtlesurvival who work to save endangered turtles from extinction. for behind the scenes footage, visit the link in my bio.
The philippine tarsier is just one of many species i met on my latest journey filming with @60minutes . while this primate may look like a pocket-sized gremlin, something about its appearance makes it irresistibly adorable. science says that this is due to this species having the second largest eyes in the world compared to brain size. human infants are born with adult-sized eyes; a trait that makes them attractive to their elders, and as a result, increases their odds for protection and survival past infancy. unfortunately, our fascination with wide-eyed creatures is one of the leading reasons for the tarsier’s decline, with the number of tarsiers in the illegal pet trade on the rise. learning to love these tarsiers from afar will help give this species its best shot at a brighter future. photo taken @avilonzooph. if you didn't catch @60minutes last night, you can watch the segment at the link in my bio.
Helmeted honeyeaters like quin have a reason to celebrate thanks to @zoosvictoria and the rest of the helmeted honeyeater recovery team who have been working tirelessly to bring this species back from the brink of extinction. when the effort began in 1989, there were only ~50 of these birds in the wild – now there are nearly 200! just last month, five helmeted honeyeaters were successfully released after graduating from healesville sanctuary’s “stranger danger” program. this groundbreaking program trains the birds to recognize and hide from natural predators such as goshawks to give them the best chance at survival! #pollinatormonday #healesvillesanctuary
I will be on @60minutes tonight at 6:30 cst. while filming in the philippines with @60minutes i had the opportunity to photograph the visayan leopard cat. known as a biodiversity hotspot, the philippines is one of the most diverse countries in the world, yet its wildlife and habitats are under pressure as the result of human activities. this leopard cat is one of many species facing an uncertain future due in large part to rapid deforestation - illegal logging and the establishment of sugar cane farms is severely limiting the amount of space these cats can call home. @avilonzooph, where this photo was taken is working on reducing these threats through their wild.c.a.r.e program – a zoo-based protocol designed to implement both wildlife research projects and education programs in the philippines. tune into 60 minutes tonight at 6:30pm cst to learn more!
Banana slugs act as nature’s “garbage truck” cleaning up items other animals won’t eat. they convert matter such as rotten fruit, leaves, meat, or poop into fertilizer and keep the forest healthy. traveling as slow as 6 inches per minute, they would not be able to outrun a predator, but luckily, their slime keeps them safe by numbing and coating the inside of a predator’s mouth.this species can be found in natural forested areas in northern california along the pacific coast up to alaska and was photographed at @nwtrek.
Today is the last day of national geographic image collection’s flash sale! check out some of the other beautifully paired images. visit the link in my bio to purchase a signed print for only $100.
Currently, only three institutions in the world are home to the critically endangered rufous-fronted laughingthrush. the main population is housed at cikananga conservation breeding center (ccbc) @ cikananga.foundation in java where a captive breeding program was implemented in 2013. over the past 5 years the facility has bred a total of 18 birds, with 17 still residing at ccbc. the key to success for this species will come from getting birds from different captive populations to breed with one another. the more genetic diversity a population has, the healthier it is, and the greater its chance of survival. with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck this species may one day return to the wild. @ zootrhy_plzen where this bird was photographed houses and breeds and has one of the finest collections of this species in the world.
Meet the tanuki, also known as a raccoon dog. this species is usually brown and black, however, this tanuki who lives at @okczoo is leucistic, meaning it lacks color. in the mid-20th century, the fur-farming industry introduced a few thousand raccoon dogs to european parts of the soviet union and they have since thrived in northern and eastern europe. although their population is stable, they are still hunted for their fur in some areas. in japan, numerous myths and legends surround the tanuki; folklore holds that the species are tricksters and shapeshifters, but not malicious.
On my journey to the philippines with @60minutes i met this southwest bornean orangutan at the @avilonzooph. critically endangered bornean orangutans are fully protected in both malaysia and indonesia, but the forest that they depend on is not. logging to make room for palm oil plantations has made it almost impossible for orangutans to find tall old growth trees which they need to cross rivers that divide their habitat. the inability to move freely makes mating with other orangutans difficult, leading to a lack of genetic diversity which can be disastrous for a species whose numbers are already declining. installing artificial rope bridges is a temporary solution to this problem, but it is not a permanent fix. you can help save orangutans by only buying from companies that support sustainable palm oil practices. see the other species i photographed in the philippines this sunday on @60minutes
This is a bird poop frog photographed at @stlzoo. as you might guess, their funny name comes from their resemblance to bird droppings, which allows them to be perfectly camouflaged in their habitat of tropical and subtropical forests. if lucky enough to spot one, you would find them on tree stumps or in water-filled tree cavities.
As one of brazil’s most endangered parrots, this female red-browed amazon represents decades of intense conservation work. while this species remains threatened due to habitat loss and the international pet trade, it is no longer listed as endangered by the iucn thanks to the work of brazilian conservation ngos and institutional partners. over the past 25+ years @rarespec, where this bird was photographed, has successfully bred nearly 100 red-brows in captivity. breeding programs like this one will help to maintain a healthy population while work is done to enforce anti-trafficking laws and secure protection of forest habitat.