Wildlife Acoustics Blog

CONSERVATION

Our kids are drawing science from cartoons

Our kids are drawing science from cartoons

Trying to raise environmentally conscious children in a world filled with iPads and televisions is an ever-constant challenge. As a mother of a young daughter I struggle to make her aware of the biology in the world around her.

Yet more and more, I’m finding it might not be as difficult as I thought. Lately I’ve seen cartoons that are not only teaching scientific concepts, but that are on the cutting edge of biological education. For years I’ve praised and pointed anyone who would listen to The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That Episode 112 about bat echolocation as a fine example of science in cartoons (and of what we do at Wildlife Acoustics).

The show illustrates the science of echoes and how bats use them to navigate and forage in a way that any young child could appreciate.

Eight new critically endangered frog species discovered

Eight new critically endangered frog species discovered

A record eight new species were discovered in a wilderness sanctuary in Sri Lanka. The country is known for its amphibian diversity, but it is unprecedented to find so many new species in just one park.

One such species, the Starry Shrub Frog, is considered rediscovered, since it was last seen 160 years ago and was thought to be extinct. Unfortunately the Starry Shrub Frog, as well as most of the other new species found, is already being considered critically endangered. In fact, it is estimated that one-third of amphibians are threatened. Contributing factors include habitat loss, pollution, and a deadly fungus. Despite the fact that 130 amphibians have gone extinct since 1980, scientists think we have yet to discover many new species in rich habitats such as those in Sri Lanka.

Photo by: L.J. Mendis Wickramasinghe

How airplanes are saving the whales

How airplanes are saving the whales

Since 1999, California has been protecting its marine life by providing underwater sanctuaries to preserve and reestablish increasingly threatened marine life. The network of sanctuaries is one of the world's largest and stretches all along the California coast. Everything in the protected areas is regulated; from recreation to research.

Lighthawk volunteer pilots fly airplanes above the waters, conducting aerial surveys of the habitats. Twice a month, the pilots follow whales and dolphins and monitor boat traffic. By collecting data on the geographic locations of the creatures, they are able to advise ships to change course and avoid collisions. They can then report their data to California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife and help them establish the whales’ geographic distribution. The same observers are getting the bigger picture on the kelp reforestation in the area. Their work has become a vital element in the restoration of the marine ecosystem in the Pacific Ocean, from its gigantic mammals to its plants.

Wildlife Acoustics is proud to support wildlife conservation efforts

Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation Orginization for Bat Conservation Bat Conservation International Bat Conservation Trust Wildlife Habitat Counsil