Do British children know marine animals?


This video from India is called Reef Life of the Andaman (full marine biology documentary).

From Wildlife Extra:

Survey reveals some children struggle to identify turtles, rays and even penguins

British children are struggling to identify some of the most common sea life, according to research commissioned by the National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham, with some as old as 12 unable to correctly name a turtle.

The research was carried out to establish the extent of children’s knowledge of marine life. More than 500 youngsters between the ages of five and 12 were shown images of various species of sea life including a ray, turtle, otter, seahorse, octopus, jellyfish, penguin, clown fish, crab and starfish.

Overall, boys performed slightly better than girls of the same age, and children in the Midlands, East Anglia, Scotland and Wales were the best performers by region. Those in Northern Ireland, the North East and London had the highest number of incorrect answers.

Almost all of those surveyed correctly identified the starfish and the seahorse, but there was some confusion when it came to deciding on the octopus and jellyfish, with almost a third of eight year olds wrongly naming the octopus, and more than a quarter of nine year olds believing a jellyfish was called a glow fish.

Surprisingly, almost half of seven to nine year olds were unable to recognise a ray, with some thinking it was a shark, and 20 per cent couldn’t distinguish a green sea turtle from a tortoise.

In many languages other than English, like German, Dutch, Spanish and French, the children would not have gotten bad notes for this; as in those languages, the word for “turtle” is the same as the word for “tortoise”.

Most unexpectedly, though, many children struggled to recognise a penguin, with a fifth of seven year olds opting to call it a puffin or even a Pingu – the friendly television character penguin. Understandably, a fictional character also influenced five year olds to identify the instantly recognisable orange, white and black striped clown fish as Nemo.

James Robson, curator at The National SEA LIFE Centre in Birmingham, said: “The results of the survey are really interesting – and very surprising! We chose to use some of the most well-known animals at the centre in the survey and, whilst some aren’t straightforward to identify, we didn’t think others like the turtle or ray would cause so much confusion. It shows just how important the educational aspects of The National SEA LIFE Centre and other animal-focused attractions really are.

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Animal welfare award


This video from India is called Anthony Marr: Champion of Bengal Tiger – part 1 of 2.

And this is Anthony Marr: Champion of Bengal Tiger – part 2 of 2.

From Wildlife Extra:

The WVS Animal Champions Award 2014

January 2014: The Worldwide Veterinary Service have launched a new award, the WVS Animal Champions Award 2014 and want your ideas on how they can help make the biggest difference to animals in need, wild or domestic.

The winner of the award will be provided with support to tackle an animal welfare project of their choice. An experienced WVS team will be sent to work on the project for one week and financial support will also be provided for essential materials and equipment. They are therefore seeking applications for projects that the WVS team can achieve during this time frame and that will have a lasting impact to support and sustain animal welfare in your area.

Applications are welcomed from all WVS supported charities and the deadline for applications is 1 February 2014. The winner will be selected and notified in the week commencing 4 February and the project will then take place between February and May.

For more information click HERE.

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Indian gang-raped woman recovering


This video from India says about itself:

Indian woman allegedly gang-raped recovers in hospital

23 Jan 2014

The woman who was allegedly gang-raped in India, on orders from tribal village elders who objected to her relationship with a man, was recovering in a local hospital on Thursday.

So, now at least a bit of good news after yesterday’s horrible news.

Now, one should hope for more good news. Like complete recovery for this woman. Like effective anti-rape policies, in India and elsewhere.

And police in India used water cannons on women protesting last week’s horrific gang-rape and murder of two teenage girls.

India 2014 election results: here.

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Snow leopards on camera in Uzbekistan, first time


This video from India is called Silent Roar: Searching for the Snow Leopard (Nature Documentary).

From Wildlife Extra:

Snow leopards caught on camera in Uzbekistan for the first time

January 2014: Newly obtained camera trap images have provided the very first photographic evidence of snow leopards in the central Asian country of Uzbekistan.

In November and December of 2013, a team of rangers and biologists led by Bakhtiyor Aromov and Yelizaveta Protas, in collaboration with global wild cat conservation organization, Panthera, and WWF Central Asia Programme, conducted a snow leopard camera trap study in the Kizilsu area of Gissar Nature Reserve, on the border of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Images taken through the study have confirmed the presence of at least two individual snow leopards in the region, along with other large predators – lynx and bear – and an abundance of prey animals, including ibex, wild boar, and hare.

Today, the snow leopard is classified as endangered, with as few as 3,500-7,000 individuals remaining in 12 countries across Asia. For years, snow leopards have been reported in this area of Uzbekistan but, until now, their presence has only been confirmed through traditional surveys and very rare visual encounters.

Panthera’s Snow Leopard Programme Executive Director, Dr Tom McCarthy, stated: “It is very exciting to document snow leopards within the Gissar Nature Reserve in Uzbekistan using camera trap technology. Panthera has provided over 300 camera traps through partnerships such as this to better document the range of this elusive and endangered cat of central Asia’s mountains. With an improved understanding of their range and numbers we have a better chance to save them.”

Situated on the western edge of the Pamir mountain range, the Gissar Nature Reserve serves as the largest protected area in Uzbekistan, strictly guarded by border patrols and reserve rangers, with visitors allowed only for scientific research. The reserve protects several species of rare and endangered animals, including the snow leopard, lynx, Himalayan brown bear and otter, which are listed in the Red Book of Uzbekistan and the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

Formerly part of the great Silk Road and Soviet Union, the reserve has more recently been home to armed conflicts resulting from the dissolution of the USSR and formation of newly independent states in the 1990s. Fortunately, this strife resulted in even stricter protection for the reserve.

Alexandr Grigoryants, Executive Director of the State Biocontrol Agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan, commented: “The State Biocontrol Agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan is particularly focused on the protection and increasing the numbers of rare and endangered fauna in Uzbekistan. Thanks to the hard work of the reserve employees, and with the active help of state protection officers and international conservation organizations, such as WWF, UNDP, Panthera and others, the population numbers of endangered animals in Uzbekistan will increase.”

The confirmed presence of snow leopards in Uzbekistan, in the westernmost part of the species’ range, and the availability of prey as confirmed through this study’s camera trap images, provides hope for the survival of this endangered wild cat in Uzbekistan and throughout its range.

Rare Pictures: Snow Leopards Caught in Camera Trap. Endangered big cats photographed in northern Pakistan: here.

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Dinosaur footprints discovery in India


This video is called Jurassic Park of India.

It says about itself:

15 Jan 2013

Raiyoli Dinosaur fossil park is the 3rd largest dinosaur park in the world, visitors can see the real fossils of the dinosaurs embedded in the rock as well as real dinosaurs eggs.

From the Press Trust of India:

Dinosaur footprints found near Jaisalmer

January 13, 2014 16:42 IST

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan: A team of foreign and Indian scientists have spotted the footprints of dinosaurs at Thaiat village in Jaisalmer district, sources said today.

A team of 34 foreign scientists from a number of countries including France and Germany are camping in Jaisalmer to study fossils of dinosaurs found in sandy desert areas near the city recently.

Dinosaurs‘ evolution, extinction, and paleo-bio-genography is the centre of their research related to fossils, they added.

Yesterday, the team led by Dr Jan Schlogl of Slovakia observed the footprints in one of the basal rocks of Thaiat scarp section and Professor Gregory Pienkowski of Poland identified the footprints as those of Pterosaurs or the flying dinosaur.

Pterosaurs lived in the age of dinosaurs, but were not dinosaurs themselves.

“The first footprint was small, only 5 cm long, but perfectly imprinted on the upper surface of a sandstone bed. Its shape and name is clear – it is called Grallator, a specific name given to the footprint, left by a small predatory dinosaur. The footprint maker was not bigger than an hen”, according to the sources.

However, the second foot print was much bigger – about 30 cms long. Such tridactyl footprint (three toes) is named Eurontes giganteus and it must have been left by a much bigger creature, the sources added.

Dr P K Pandey of the Geology Department at University of Rajasthan had already recorded petrosaur bore fragments during the previous years.

Near the Thaiat village on the Jaisalmer-Jodhpur highway there is an outcrop of Jurassic rocks.

Careful geological observation by the team allowed them to interpret ancient environments in which these rocks (once soft sediments) were deposited, according to Dr Pandey.

It could be imagined that a vast coastal zone of which the Jurassic sea would be encroached some 180 million years ago, he added.

These scientists have come to Rajasthan on the sidelines of the 9th International Congress on The Jurassic System, held between January 6-9th, organised by Department of Geology, University of Rajasthan in Jaipur.

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