Feb 10

A-Z of Endangered Species – Poison Dart Frog

P-PDFrog-MDBSMThis week for the letter P I am heading to the jungles of South America and I am featuring my second amphibian of the series, it is the Poison Dart Frog. There are well over 100 different types of Poison Dart Frog, they come in all kinds of amazing colours and patterns with unusual names such as the Strawberry Poison Frog and the Golden Leaf Folding Frog. Beautiful as they are this cute little frog is actually one of the worlds most poisonous animals with one type of frog containing enough poison to kill over 100 people, some of the frogs are so poisonous they are lethal to touch.

The Poison Dart frog can be found exclusively in the Amazon rain forest, living mainly on the forest floors, the eat various insects such as ants, flies and termites. as you can imagine living in the Amazon rainforest the main threat to these beautiful little creatures is habitat loss, vast areas of the rainforest are constantly being cleared and turned into farmland while the trees are turned into timber. over the last 40 years over 20% of the Amazon rainforest has been cleared.

To find out more about the Poison Dart Frog and many other animals at risk from extinction check out the WWF website here – http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/poison-dart-frog

One of the main reasons I am doing this project is to raise awareness for many of the threatened animals on our delicate planet, one way you can help is to share this and any of my posts on social media. You can also donate to my just giving page. It is a safe secure method of donating money to the WWF and ALL of the money goes directly to the charity.

Thanks go to the WWF for supporting my project and thanks to those who have donated so far.

 

Feb 04

A-Z of Endangered Species – Hairy Nosed Otter

O-Otter-MDBSMThis week I am taking a look at Otters, in particular one of the least known animals on the planet, the Hairy Nosed Otter. This little chap was thought to be extinct up until 1998, since then a few small populations have been discovered in Southeast Asia. Because there are so few of the animals and they are very similar to other otters in the area very little about them is known. They live in coastal areas and rivers in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam plus a few other remote areas. and feed on Fish and Crustaceans.

Otters can be found all over the world and range in size from the giant South American Otter which is nearly 2 meters long to the Oriental Small Clawed Otter which is just 70cm long. All Otters are at risk from various different threats, the usual suspects being habitat loss, pollutants and poaching. The Japanese River Otter sadly became extinct in the late 20th century do to hunting and then habitat loss, there are constant efforts to prove the existence of any of these animals in the wild in the hope that like the Hairy Nosed Otter some may have survived however none have yet been discovered.

One of the main reasons I am doing this project is to raise awareness for many of the threatened animals on our delicate planet, one way you can help is to share this and any of my posts on social media. You can also donate to my just giving page. It is a safe secure method of donating money to the WWF and ALL of the money goes directly to the charity.

Thanks go to the WWF for supporting my project and thanks to those who have donated so far.

Next week it is the Letter P, any guesses?

www.bowtieballoonguy.co.uk/blog

Jan 28

A-Z of Endangered Species – Narwhal

N-Narwhal-MDBSMThis week I am taking a look at my first marine mammal, The Narwhal is one of those creatures most people have heard of but dont know much about, they seem to be such mythical creatures, like a cross between a whale and a unicorn. The tusk is actually one of the whales teeth and it can grow up to 3 metres in length, it is usually the males who grow the tusks and it has been known for some whales to grow 2 of them.
Narwhals live in the arctic waters around Canada and Greenland and they can dive up to an incredible mile and a half deep for their food. The whales depend on sea ice for their existence and this will be dramatically affected by climate change. There are several other threats to the Narwhal including include increased development of oil and gas facilities, this means more shipping vessels, creating more opportunities for collisions and also underwater noise pollution, many marine animals rely of sound for survival and noise pollution can be a problem.
The WWF has an active role in monitoring the populations of Narwhals, with help from Satellite tagging they can monitor the positions and routes of the whales to gain a better understanding of their migration routes. My main focus of this project is to bring awareness to the many species under threat and one way you can help is to share this post and any of the others from my A-Z series.
If you would like to make a donation towards the WWF-UK then I have set up a Just giving donations page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies . 100% of the monies raised on the Just Giving page will go directly to the WWF-UK
#narwhal #whale #endangeredspecies #wwf-uk #balloon #balloontwisting #balloonart

Jan 21

A-Z of Endangered Species – Monarch Butterfly

M-Monarch-MDBSMThis week I have managed to reach the half way mark and for the letter M I have made a Monarch Butterfly. The Monarch butterfly is one of the wonders of the world, every year in October thousands of the butterflies migrate from the forests of Canada and North America all the way down to the forests of Mexico, it is a journey of thousands of miles and the butterflies do it every year without fail. It is only the 4th generation of Monarch butterfly that makes the journey, generation 1, 2 and 3 stay in the forests of Canada but the 4 generation is able to live much longer than the usual 40 days enabling it to make the epic journey to the warmer forests for the winter.

Climate change is a big problem for the Monarch butterfly, changes in weather patterns and temperatures may effect the butterfles migration routes, Colder winters would be devastating for the butterflies in Mexico and warmer dryer summers could mean that the usual summer habitat would move much further north.

Another problem for the butterflies is something I have mentioned many times in this series of balloons, it is deforestation, so many species are at risk from the dramatic loss of forests, the WWF is working hard to help prevent the loss of the butterflies habitat by promoting good forest management and sustainable tourism.

You can read more about this amazing butterfly at the WWF page here – http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/monarch-butterfly

If you would like to make a donation towards the WWF-UK then I have set up a Just giving donations page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies . 100% of the monies raised on the Just Giving page will go directly to the WWF-UK.

Jan 13

A-Z of Endangered Species – Lemur

L-Lemur-BTBGSML is for Lemur – There are around a 100 different types of Lemur and this week I have decided to pick just one, it is a Lemur that I think everyone would recognize, the Ring Tailed Lemur. All wild Lemurs live on the island of Madagascar, the name Lemur means Ghost or Spirits and this was first used for the Loris (a nocturnal lemur) but is now used for all the Madagascan primates. The range in size and shape, the smallest being the cutely names mouse lemur (at just 30 grams).

The Ring Tailed lemur lives in large groups of up to around 30, the groups huddle together to keep warm and are very social. The ring tailed lemur is also one of the few species living in a matriarchal society, this means that it is the females who have control over the group.

Lemurs of all kinds are at threat from deforestation in Madagascar, large areas of their habitat has been lost to farming. Lemurs are also at threat from humans who hunt them for bushmeat, they are also one of the main food sources for hawks and a previous entry into my endangered species list, the Fossa. Ring Tailed Lemurs seem to adapt to zoo life fairly well and there are now over 2000 of the animals in zoos around the world, this has helped with breeding the animals but it also means that lemurs are sometimes taken from the wild for private zoos and to become pets.

I am approaching my halfway mark now, Letter M is next week and then it will be downhill all the way for me, I will however need to start thinking about some of the more difficult letters such as Z, Q and X. You can donate to the WWF-UK by visiting this link – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies

Jan 06

A-Z of Endangered Species – Kakapo

KakapoThis week I am featuring a bird for the second week running, this however is a very different bird to last weeks Japanese Crane. For the first time in my project I am heading down to New Zealand and a bird called the Kakapo. The Kakapo has some rather unusual qualities, it is a parrot but being one of the worlds largest and heaviest parrots it is unable to fly so it is a ground dwelling creature, The Kakapo is also a nocturnal bird so can usually only be seen at night.

Living only in the forests of New Zealand the Kakapo once thrived on the islands due to the fact that there are very few natural predators, this is also thought to be a reason why the bird lost its ability to fly, with no reason to escape from predators it stays on the ground all the time. Kakapo live surprisingly long lives, usually 50-60 years but some have lived to over 100 years.

The defenceless Kakapo has been suffering for many years, firstly from the local tribesmen who collected their feathers for their elaborate costumes, and then more recently from other predators such as cats and rat which were introduced by Europeans. As of January 2017 there are just 154 Kakapo left on the planet, that does seem like a very low number but recent years have seen a small population boom for the Kakapo so things might be looking up for them. One thing that amazes me is that every single one of the 154 Kakapo has a name, I quite like the sound of Robbie, a 15 year old male, he is the son of a female called Heather and a male called Sass, you can check out all their names here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_kakapo

My main focus of this project is to bring awareness to the many species under threat and one way you can help is to share this post and any of the others from my A-Z series. To find out more about the work to help the Kakapo visit the Kakapo Recovery page here – http://kakaporecovery.org.nz/

If you would like to make a donation towards the WWF-UK then I have set up a Just giving donations page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies . 100% of the monies raised on the Just Giving page will go directly to the WWF-UK.

Dec 31

A-Z of Endangered Species – Japanese Crane

j-japcrane-mdbsmThis week I am heading to the far east and the Japanese Crane, also known as the Red Crowned crane this bird is one of the largest of the crane family, These amazing birds are an icon of Japan and legend says that these birds will live to 1000 years old, they are a symbol of luck, longevity and fidelity.

The Japanese Crane can be found in Japan, China, North and South Korea and more recently in Siberia. They are well known for a dance which is performed during the mating season, they are sometimes described as ‘Snow Ballerinas’ with their graceful moves.

The Japanese Crane was hunted to near extinction in the late 1800s but thankfully a small group of birds managed to survive, the birds were then hit with lots of other problems, mainly the loss of their habitat and it was thought that there were fewer than 20 of the birds left in the wild. In the 1950s however locals suddenly awoke to the problem and started to feed the birds, helping them to survive the harsh cold winters. By 1959 the population has increased to around 150 and it has been rising ever since, breeding programmes and new colonies have been set up and now the future is looking bright for this beautiful bird.

My main focus of this project is to bring awareness to the many species under threat and one way you can help is to share this post and any of the others from my A-Z series.

If you would like to make a donation towards the WWF-UK then I have set up a Just giving donations page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies . 100% of the monies raised on the Just Giving page will go directly to the WWF-UK

Dec 23

A-Z of Endangered Species – Indochinese Tiger

i-indotiger-btbgsmHello everyone, it is now week 9 of my endangered species made from balloons, for the past few weeks you may have noticed the WWF have been concentrating their efforts on Tigers. I thought it would be good to tie my project into to the WWF campaign by featuring a tiger this week so for the letter I this week I have made an Indochinese Tiger.

Despite its name the Indochinese tiger is no longer found in China, there are only 350 of the animals left and they can be found in secluded mountainous forest regions of Cambodia, Laos, Burma Thailand and Vietnam. The habitat of the tigers can be found along many of the borders of the countries which makes tracking and counting the tigers very difficult.

The Indochinese tiger is an expert hunter and will stalk and eat wild boar, deer, cattle and goats. Due to their size they have no natural predators however they are at huge risk from poaching,  there is an increasing demand for tiger parts to be used in traditional medicine and the set up of tiger farms has just made the problem worse.

The WWF carries out research of the tiger populations to help improve their habitat, they are also working with local communities to help people co-exist with the tigers.

To find out more about the Indochinese tiger and the work the WWF are doing follow this link – http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/indochinese-tiger

You can donate to the WWF-UK by visiting this link – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies

Dec 16

The A-Z of Endangered Species – Hercules Beetle

h-hbeetle-mdbumA-Z of Endangered Species – Hercules Beetle

I have reached week 8 of my endangered species made from balloons and for the letter H I have decided to feature my first insect of the series, This fascinating creature is called the Hercules beetle and is one of the largest beetles in the world. living in the jungles of south America it spends its time foraging through the leaf litter looking for food.

The Hercules beetle is named for it’s sheer size with some being measured up to 18cm in length but it is rare for them to get this big. This amazing beetle can carry up to 850 times its own body weight which makes it one of the strongest creatures on earth for its size. To give you an idea of its strength it is the equivalent of me lifting up a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

There are 13 different types of Hercules beetle and the male beetles all have the distinctive horn pincers, some have horns which are longer than the actual body of the beetle. As is the case with many animals in the jungles of South America these incredible creatures are under threat due to the deforestation of their natural habitat. They are also affected by water and air pollution.

You can find out more about the Hercules Beetle here – http://a-z-animals.com/animals/hercules-beetle/

You can donate to the WWF-UK by visiting this link – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies

http://www.bowtieballoonguy.co.uk/

Next week it is the letter I and I will be featuring a very popular animal.

Dec 10

A-Z of Endangered Species – Galápagos penguin

g-gpenguin-mdbsmThis week is week number 7 and I am featuring my first bird of the series, It is a penguin, everyone loves penguins and this Galápagos penguin is the only species of penguin living north of the equator. As the name suggests these penguins live on the Galápagos Islands in the Eastern Pacific ocean around 600 miles to the west of Ecuador.

This Penguin survives in the warmer Galápagos Islands due to the Cromwell current bringing cold waters up from the southern cooler regions. They spend their days in the sea eating fish and crustaceans then return to land at night.

The Galápagos penguin is quite small in size and so it is at risk from many predators. On land, the penguins are preyed upon by crabs, snakes, domestic cats, hawks, owls and even rats while in the water they are preyed upon by sharks, seals and sea lions. They also face many dangers such as Illegal fishermen interrupting the penguins’ nests and being in fishing nets by mistake. On top of all of those risks they are also in danger from regular volcanic activity.

You can find out more about the Galápagos penguin here – http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/galapagos-penguin

You can donate to the WWF-UK by visiting this link – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies

Next week for the letter H I am going to feature my first insect of the series.
http://www.bowtieballoonguy.co.uk/blog/

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