The mysterious African Forest Elephants
- the forest elephant, or Loxodonta cyclotis, is the smallest of the three living elephant species
- native to the forests and jungles of central and west africa, particularly gabon and the republic of congo
- 30 years ago forest elephant numbers topped 1 million but poaching and destruction of habitat have destroyed the population, believing to number less than 100,000 today
- though they are believed to travel in smaller groups than their savannah-dwelling cousins, the forest elephant is no less social. they meet in large numbers in forest clearings, called bais, to interact and dig for minerals in the mud with their social network
- as big fruit lovers, they are also natural gardeners and seed disseminators
- their tusks are straighter and denser than savannah elephants, making them very attractive to poachers
Officials in Cameroon just seized 200 forest elephant tusks on their way to Asia. They believe the tusks add up to at least 94 dead elephants. The poachers remain at large. [x]
The bat-eared fox is named for its huge ears, which can grow to be more than five inches long and stand out much like the ears on a bat. These foxes live in family units and typically eat insects to survive.
This amazing animal can eat more than a million termites per year and can actually help control the termite population. They rarely drink water because they are able to hydrate with all the bugs they eat.
Mountain Tapir [Tapirus pinchaque]
Sawfish Science in Florida
This just in — NOAA Fisheries Biologists Dr. John Carlson, Dana Bethea, Grace Casselbury and intern Ryan Jones are on their monthly expedition examining the distribution and abundance of smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), an ESA endangered species, in Everglades National Park.
The scientists have recorded some extremely low salinity measurements this expedition and are measuring how the distribution of sawfish changes in response to low salinity. Today they tagged a 3 ft female near Chokoloskee Island. All of this research is designed to help implement recovery objectives in the ESA.
Photo credit: Ryan Jones
Check out our video on how we protect them:
(via: NOAA Fisheries)