Dogs’ memories, new research


This video says about itself:

16 November 2016

Episodic-like memory in dogs (Canis familiaris): Recall of others’ actions after incidental encoding revealed by the do as I do method. Credit: Claudia Fugazza, Ákos Pogány, and Ádám Miklós / Current Biology 2016. Link to paper here.

From Science News:

Dogs form memories of experiences

Tests of mimicking actions suggest dogs have a form of episodic memory

by Laura Sanders

12:00pm, November 23, 2016

Dogs don’t miss much. After watching a human do a trick, dogs remembered the tricks well enough to copy them perfectly a minute later, a new study finds. The results suggest that our furry friends possess some version of episodic memory, which allows them to recall personal experiences, and not just simple associations between, for instance, sitting and getting a treat.

Pet dogs watched a human do something — climb on a chair, look inside a bucket or touch an umbrella. Either a minute or an hour later, the dog was unexpectedly asked to copy the behavior with a “Do it!” command, an imitation that the dogs had already been trained to do. In many cases, dogs were able to obey these surprise commands, particularly after just a minute. Dogs didn’t perform as well when they had to wait an hour for the test, suggesting that the memories grew hazier with time.

Like people, dogs seem to form memories about their experiences all the time, even when they don’t expect to have to use those memories later, study coauthor Claudia Fugazza of Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest and colleagues write November 23 in Current Biology.

Dog saves earthquake victim dog


This video says about itself:

Italy: Dog rescued by firefighters from earthquake rubble in Norcia

31 October 2016

A dog was rescued by Italian firefighters after being trapped under rubble in Norcia, Monday, following a 6.6 magnitude earthquake that severely damaged the town and its surroundings on Sunday.

Some 20 people were injured in the earthquake, but no deaths have been reported. Emergency and civil protection teams were dispatched to the area to assess the damage.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Video: Dog saves dog after day under earthquake rubble

Today, 14:06

Guided by their own rescue dog, Italian rescue workers in the town of Norcia yesterday removed another dog alive from the rubble. The animal had been buried during the earthquake on Sunday.

One can see on a video of the Italian fire department how rescue workers liberate the animal gently out of its predicament and give it water. The animal was covered in dust but at first glance nothing else was wrong.

When the earthquake, the worst in Italy since 1980, struck, there were no deaths. Many people had already left the area after previous earthquakes in the area. In late August during the quake around Amatrice town nearly 300 people died.

Italian priest blames earthquakes on gays: here.

Dogs, cats new world records


This video says about itself:

Most tricks by a cat in one minute – Meet the Record Breakers

7 September 2016

Didga the Australian skateboarding cat and her owner Robert performed a total of 20 tricks in one minute to earn themselves a place in the Guinness World Records 2017 book.

Didga, who was adopted from a cat shelter, can even take on the challenge of a real skateboarding park.

The tricks include:

1. Sit
2. Give left paw
3. High-five
4. Give right paw
5. Wave
6. Sit-up
7. Lay down
8. Go onto one-side
9. Roll-over
10. Back to sit
11. Stand
12. Shuffle right
13. Shuffle left
14. Spin 360
15. Come (walk to me)
16. Stop
17. Step on the coin
18. Jump into hands
19. Go from hand, down to knee, then onto the skateboard
20. While the board is moving, jump over the bar and land back onto the board, a.k.a. “hippy-jump”

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Ludo from South Yorkshire is the longest cat in the world. “Because he is 118 centimeters long, he is very clumsy,” says his owner. “He often tries to hide, but cannot.” Ludo is of the Maine Coon breed. …

And Lizzy is the biggest dog in the world. This Great Dane in Florida is 96 centimeters high. She is so large she cannot eat from her tray if it is on the ground. Therefore, the tray is always put on a chair.

Hedgehog with baby passes dog, video


On this 24 August 2016 video, a hedgehog with her baby passes a dog. Fortunately, the dog is behind glass.

Marjolijn Dissel made this video in her garden in Alphen a/d Rijn in the Netherlands.

African wild dog puppies outside for the first time


This video says about itself:

Wild Dog Puppies Emerge for the First Time – Super Cute!

2 August 2016

Such a cute sighting of a pack of wild dogs‘ new pups.

Seen at Ngala Game Reserve – Greater Kruger National Park

Video by: Morkel Erasmus.

Dogs against monkeys at Japanese farms


This video says about itself:

Dog Vs Monkey In Japan – Wild Japan – BBC

11 July 2016

Japanese farmers have been using the internet’s favourite dog to protect their crops from thieving monkeys.

Whisky protects Polynesian parrots


This video says about itself:

Rimatara Lorikeet and other birds on Atiu, Cook Islands

Rimatara Lorikeet – found only on Rimatara (Tubuai Islands), Kiribati, Atiu (Cook Islands)
Rarotongan Fruit-dove – found only on Rarotonga and Atiu (Cook Islands)
Rarotongan Flycatcher – found only on Rarotonga and Atiu (Cook Islands)
Chattering Kingfisher – found only in Society Islands and Cook Islands

Videos, photography and sound recording by Philip Griffin, April 2014 – Atiu, Cook Islands

From BirdLife:

Whisky protects lorikeets in French Polynesia

By Caroline Blanvillan, 27 May 2016

Invasive alien predators, especially rats, are the biggest threat to the birds of the Pacific region. Their spread across the Pacific has followed the movements of people, particularly Europeans, over the last two centuries. These invaders, as they “stepped off the boat”, heralded the beginning of the decline of many bird species.

Today, the Pacific region has 42 bird species that are classified as Critically Endangered, a quarter of the world’s total of such species.

BirdLife and its Pacific Partners have already cleared 40 islands of invasive species: the recovery of previously declining species on these islands has been spectacular. It is one of two actions that can ensure the continuing survival of species. The second, which is also the most cost effective option, is to prevent invaders from arriving in the first place.

In both cases, biosecurity is the essential component. Moreover, it makes good economic sense both for places that invasive predators not yet reached and those from which they have been removed. While this seems like simple common sense, in places where boats are vital to everyday life, an opportunistic rat will always try to catch a lift. It only takes a romantic couple or a pregnant individual and a new invasion will start.

So, prevention is not an easy task. Yet, in island communities, especially those sometimes hundreds of kilometres across the sea from the main resources, local people are the key defenders against predator invasions: they need every tool they can find to help them.

With the help of a generous grant from the Prince Bernhard Nature Fund, the Société d’Ornithologie de Polynésie (SOP Manu, BirdLife in French Polynesia) and the local associations on Ua Huka and Rimatara islands are putting in place biosecurity measures to protect these precious places.  To help them, Dora and Whisky, two Jack Russell terriers bred and trained in New Zealand, were imported to try to detect any stowaway rats or other invaders.

Are they effective?  In the eight months since Whisky has been on rat patrol on Rimatara, three rats have been detected, the most recent one already dead.  This demonstrates the elevated risk of re-invasions.  The potential is real and conservationists are not merely crying wolf!

Did Whisky miss any invaders?  To test how good our ”super hero” really is, SOP Manu’s Caroline Blanvillain hid the skin of a rat in a cargo going out to Rimatara and waited to see if the protocol of inspection now in place on the Rimatara wharves was effective.

The result: one rat skin and one dead rat in another package were detected.  This proves the importance of the biosecurity and the need for adequate resources to be available to local communities in order to continue this essential work.   The cost is small when compared with the tens of thousands, possibly millions, of dollars that would be needed to remove the rats if they invaded successfully.

The islands of Rimatara and Ua Haka are last refuges of three of the most beautiful and rare lorikeets in the world; the Endangered Ultramarine Vini ultramarina and Rimatara Lorikeets V. kuhlii and the Vulnerable Blue Lorikeet V. peruviana.  All three owe their survival to the fact that rats have not yet got to these isolated islands.  Rimatara is also the potential site for the establishment of a second Tahiti Monarch Pomarea nigra population.

These are precious places.  We owe a big thank you to the Prince Bernhard Nature Fund and the dedicated local communities and Site Support Groups for keeping them safe.