Monday, October 31, 2016
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Can you believe that the biggest animal on earth is endangered? You would think that it could defend itself easily, and it does from predators. But it can't defend itself from humans. What animal am I talking about? It's the Blue Whale and it is one of my favorite mammals.
|Courtesy of NOAA|
The Blue Whale is almost 100 feet long and can weigh more than 150 tons. Can you imagine? My dad is 6 feet tall. It would take more than 16 dads as tall as mine standing on each others shoulders to be as long as a blue whale. And if an elephant weighs 12 tons, just think of how many elephants it would take to weigh as much as an adult blue whale. It's amazing how big this whale is!
But this whale is not only big, it also has one of the loudest voices of all animals. It can keep in contact with other blue whales hundreds and even thousands of miles away because its powerful voice can travel through the ocean that far.
So what does this huge whale eat? It eats krill. Krill is a small shrimp-like crustacean, and the blue whale eats 4 tons of them each day. Now, I like shrimp too, but I can't eat that much.
Blue whales are endangered because they were over-hunted until someone smart realized that there weren't as many around as there once was. That's when they became endangered. But it's not just hunting that is bad for blue whales.
Pollution kills whales. Blue whales need a clean ocean to live in. Plastic garbage can take their lives, and so can chemical spills. Noise is another type of pollution. That's right. Noise pollution can stop their communication and their navigational abilities. Some whales even get stranded on the coastline because of noises caused by boat traffic, explosions, military operations, and drilling for gas and oil.
For more information on how you can help blue whales contact Green Peace, Defenders, or World Wildlife Federation. You can also learn more about them through NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) here
Remember my motto--
"Some think it's cool, but I think it's cruel."
Thursday, August 11, 2016
This is the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Until 2005, everyone thought this critically endangered bird was extinct. Then in 2005, it was spotted in Arkansas. It lives in old pine forests of southeastern America, and hopefully Cuba. More about Cuba in a minute.
This woodpecker lost most of its habitat in the 1800s when people moved into the old forests and cut down the trees. By the 1900s, there were only a few left. Then it looked like there weren't any. So, in 1994 wildlife experts thought they were all extinct. Everyone thought they were gone forever, but in 2005 someone took a video of one in an Arkansas forest and the race was on to find it.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, that's bird science, set off to find it. They searched and searched. Look here. Some of the searchers thought they spotted a couple. There was even a scratchy video taken of one on a tree. But it just wasn't enough. Even after all the searching, there was no real evidence to prove the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was still alive. That is where Cuba comes in. A team went to Cuba in January. See their journals here.
They didn't find the woodpecker either, but they still hope its out there. You know, there are still some old forests in Arkansas. People there still believe it's alive. They even have pictures of it on some license plates!
Remember: "Some think it's cool, but I think it's cruel"
Photo By James St. John [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
There is only one animal in North America that can be called the "Bandit of the Prairie."Meet the Black-Footed Ferret.
The Black-Footed Ferret is one of the most endangered mammals in North America, but that was not always true. In the 1800s, they were pretty common on the prairie, but that was before people started plowing up the prairie to make homes, farms, and towns.
Losing their habitat to people was one reason they started disappearing. The other reason has to do with prairie dogs. Black-footed ferrets are predators of prairie dogs. Prairie dogs are their food supply. Farmers started killing prairie dogs, and the food was hard to find. By 1986, there were no black-footed ferrets left in the wild, and only 18 alive in zoos. But people cared, and now there are over 600. Here are some things you might not know about the black-footed ferret.
- They are a member of the weasel family.
- Their black mask keeps the glare of the sun from hurting their eyes.
- They can twist and turn through any tunnel.
- They spend most of the time underground.
- They make prairie dog tunnels their homes.
- They hunt at night.
- They like to be alone.
- Females have one to six babies in May or June.
- Their babies are called Kits.
- Kits are born blind, and stay in the tunnel for two months.
- Kits can be on their own before winter.
Animal Girl says, "Some think this is cool, but I think it's cruel!"
Hey! I am still not allowed to have my own blog until I am 13, but I now have an email. You can send me mail at
For more information, check these web sites.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
What chirps, hangs out in trees, lives in Africa, is the fastest land animal on earth, and is Africa's most endangered big cat? The spotted chirper is . . .the African Cheetah!
You would think a big cat like the cheetah would roar like a lion, right? But the cheetah actually makes chirping sounds like a bird. Sure it can growl, hiss, and purr like all big cats, but it keeps in contact with other cheetahs by chirping. Here are some facts you may not know:
- The cheetah's long legs and slender body makes them built for speed.
- Cheetahs can run up to 70 mph, but only for about half of a minute because that speed takes a lot of energy.
- Their long tail helps their balance.
- They have black lines that look like tears that run from the corner of their eyes to their mouth. These black lines keep the sun's glare away, and help the cheetah sight on their prey.
- They hunt during the day because they don't see very good at night.
Like so many other animals, cheetahs are endangered because of loss of habitat, hunted for their fur, and killed to protect livestock. One hundred years ago, there were 100,000 cheetahs in Africa. Now there are less than 10,000.To find out how you can help save the cheetah from disappearing, check out Cheetah-Namibia Wildlife Conservation.
Animals are here to share our world with us. Wouldn't life be boring without them?
Here's what I, Animal Girl, think about our disappearing animals.
"Some think it's cool, but I think it's cruel."
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Isn't this one of the most beautiful animals you have ever seen? Look at it's slim, athletic body, those perfect flippers, and that cute little face buried in the sand. Makes you want to reach out and touch it, doesn't it? But hold on! No touching. This is one of the most endangered mammals in the U.S. So what kind of seal is it?
Meet the Hawaiian Monk Seal
The Hawaiian Monk Seal swims, eats, and rests in the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. It's name is "llio holo l ka uana" in Hawaiian. That means "dog that runs in rough water." Of course, it's not a dog, but it's playful, barks, and can bite to protect itself just like a dog. Here are a few facts about the Monk Seal.
- It can live for 25 to 30 years
- It grow up to 7 feet long and can weigh 500 to 600 pounds.
- It eat fish, spiny lobster, eels, and octopus
- It can dive down to 1,000 feet
- It biggest predators are Tiger and Galapagos sharks
- Adults hunt at night, and juveniles hunt during the day
It's numbers are decreasing every year, and there are only about 1,200 left in the wild. They are victims of over-hunting, bi-catch, and habitat loss. They are no longer hunted, but they get caught in fishing nets just like dolphins and other sea animals. Their habitat is disappearing because Hawaii has more people, and that means more of the beaches are becoming people beaches not seal beaches. The Monk seal likes to rest in the sun on long sandy beaches, or hide in the brush on the shoreline when a big storm hits. If the beaches are all occupied by people, there is no room left for the Monk seals to rest, play in the surf, or to find a quiet place to have their babies.
Remember--"Some think it's cool, but I think it's cruel" to see animals disappear.
Here are three books I like on the Hawaiian Monk Seal. They are on Amazon. Here's a secret--The Story of Hina is my favorite. I even have an autographed copy!
The Story of Hina
Ching: The Hawaiian Monk Seal
For more information on the Monk Seal, please check out these sites.
Ke Kai Ola Marine Mammal Center
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Hello fellow animal lovers! I guess I have missed a few weeks of posting. All I can say is school kind of got in the way. Then, of course, I had a small family vacation. You know, a kid has to go where a parent goes. But I am BACK! And, I have an amazing animal to share with you. Here are a few hints:
- It's red
- It howls
- It is critically endangered
- It lives in swamps, forests, and wetlands
- It eats small mammals like rabbits, mice, and rats
- And, it was hunted to extinction in the wild in 1980
Meet the Red Wolf!
The red wolf is smaller than his cousin, the gray wolf. He lives in the southeastern part of the United States. In 1980, the red wolf was declared EXTINCT in the wild. But, thanks to a special captive breeding program, they were brought back into the wild. In 2010, there were 130 red wolves in the wild, and I hope the number keeps growing.
So why did they go extinct? They were hunted and trapped because people thought they were a threat to livestock. They also lost their habitat when trees were cut down for homes and agriculture.
You can help the red wolf by learning more about them, and spreading the word so that we save them before they disappear. To find out more about how you can help them, please check out the following web pages.
Some think this is cool, but I think it's cruel.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
|Photo by Craig Newton/FreeImages.com|
There is one animal that lives in Central East Africa that that looks like its mother was a unicorn and its father was an elephant. Do you know what it is? It's the Black Rhino.
The Black rhinoceros is a mammal, and it's not really black. It is a dark gray or brown. But it is big! An adult can weigh over 3,000 pounds. They also have poor eyesight. They can't see very far, but they have great hearing and sense of smell.
Black Rhinos are browsers. They eat all kinds of plants, and are usually seen with their heads down close to the ground so their pointed lips can pull in their food. The sun is very hot where they live, so they eat at night or in the early morning. When it's hot, they lay in the shade or find a mud hole to stay cool. They also have two horns. One is large and one is small. It is the large one that has made them critically endangered.
|Photo by Kym Parry/FreeImages.com|