Italian Alpine chamois and climate change


This is a chamois video from France.

From Wildlife Extra:

Alpine goats shrinking due to global warming

Climate change is causing Alpine goats in the Italian Alps to shrink, say scientists from Durham University.

The researchers, who have been studying the Alpine Chamois for the last 30 years, have found young Chamois now weigh about 25 percent less than animals of the same age in the 1980s. These declines they believe is strongly linked to the region warming by 3-4ºC during the 30 years of the study.

Although this shrinking in itself is not unusual as a lot of studies have found that animals are getting smaller because of the changing climate, this is usually due to the decling availability and nutritional content of their food, which is not true in this case.

The study found no evidence that Alpine meadows grazed by Chamois had been affected by the warming climate. Instead, the team believes that higher temperatures are affecting how chamois behave.

Co-author Dr Stephen Willis said: “We know that Chamois cope with hot periods by resting more and spending less time searching for food, and this may be restricting their size more than the quality of the vegetation they eat.”

“Body size declines attributed to climate change are widespread in the animal kingdom, with many fish, bird and mammal species getting smaller, said lead author Dr Tom Mason. “However the decreases we observe here are astonishing. The impacts on Chamois weight could pose real problems for the survival of these populations.

“This study shows the striking, unforeseen impacts that climate change can have on animal populations. It is vital that we continue to study how climate change affects species such as Chamois. Changes in body size could act as early-warning systems for worse impacts to come, such as the collapses of populations.”

See also here.

Released gibbons have baby in Cambodia


This video says about itself:

Released Gibbons Have Baby

21 October 2014

We are very excited to announce that our released gibbons, Baray and Saranik, gave birth to their first baby earlier this month! At the end of last year, a pair of endangered pileated gibbons that were raised at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC), were successfully rehabilitated and reintroduced into the protected forest of Angkor Archaeological Park. Since their release, the gibbons have been closely monitored, and it has been quite remarkable how quickly they have adapted to their new life in the forest. They remain a closely bonded pair, are completely self-reliant and now the latest addition to their family is another sign that they have settled into their new home!

The reintroduction of gibbons and the birth of this baby gibbon in particular is an exciting and vital step towards the conservation of this endangered species! Learn more here.

Black woodpecker video


This is a black woodpecker video.

Renske van de Wiel from the Netherlands made the video.

Squirrel collecting dog’s hair for its nest, video


This video is about a red squirrel, collecting dog’s hair for its nest.

Johannes van der Laan from the Netherlands made the video.

New toad species discovery on Jersey


This is a Western Common Toad video from France.

From Wildlife Extra:

New toad species identified in the UK

Toads on the island of Jersey have been found to be an entirely different species to toads found in the rest of the UK.

The Western Common Toad (Bufo spinosus) – which is also found in western France, Iberia and North Africa – is more genetically different from the Common Toad than humans are from gorillas or chimpanzees. In the UK they are found only in Jersey, which is the only location in the Channel Islands to have toads.

As a new species, the toads will need a tailored conservation programme in place in order to ensure their future survival in Jersey.

“We always suspected there was something special about the toads of Jersey,” said Dr John Wilkinson, Science Programme Manager at Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC). “They grow larger, breed earlier and use different habitats than English toads. Now we know they are a new species, we can ensure efforts for their conservation are directed to their specific needs.”

Conservationists in the UK, the Netherlands and Portugal collaborated in order to correctly identify the toad. Fieldwork was carried out by Wilkinson along with researchers from Jersey Environment Department, and genetic studies were conducted by Dr Jan Arntzen at the Netherlands’ Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, and Dr Inigo Martinez-Solano at CIBIO in Portugal.

John Pinel, Jersey’s Principal Ecologist, commented on the discovery: “Conservation of biodiversity in Jersey has always had a high priority; this news will help ensure that toads continue to receive the positive action they deserve.”