Hong Kong customs discovered the largest shark fin smuggling in Hong Kong’s history. There were two shipping containers from Ecuador listed as “dry fish” in Spanish, but Hong Kong customs discovered 26 tons of dried shark fins in them, with 90% of them from protected species, estimate come from 31000 thresher sharks and 7500 silky sharks.
Seagulls in Rome are used to picking up scraps left behind by human, but because of the recent lockdown, restaurants and cafes are closed and the streets are empty. Seagulls are forced to return to their natural habit as predators, and hunting down small birds, fish and even rats.
During the coronavirus lockdown, many people decided to adopt pets from rescue centers and shelters in the USA. A shelter in Chicago even announced that they have no dog available for adoption at the moment!
falconry is recognized as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity in England. The government allows falconers with permit to take the smallest and weakest chick from wild peregrine falcon nest if there were three or more chicks. Peregrine falcons were once faced extinction in the 1970s, even though their population is stable now, conservationists think these licenses, conservationists think these license could send the wong message, lead to increasing number of illegal trade and affect the falcons’ habitat. They believe falconers can use captive birds for cultural purposes and should not disturb the wild population.
Leatherback turtle are endangered because of death caused by fishing gears and habitats loss due to human destruction. no leatherback turtle nested on the coastlines, but the recent coronavirus lockdown gives these beaches a break from the overcrowded tourists. The turtles are back to lay eggs again and now these coastlines are having the largest number of nests in the past 20 years.
Red-billed oxpecker mainly feeds on ticks on large mammals. The critically endangered black rhino has very poor vision; in addition to keep the rhino tick-free, oxpeckers also warn the rhino when they spot danger. Study found a black rhino with oxpeckers can 100% detect human approach, but dropped to 23% if the rhino is without them. due to the disappearance of large mammals, the red-billed oxpecker became extinct in some areas, leaving the black rhino alone without oxpecker companions.
Shore plover is a critically endangered bird that is endemic to New Zealand. There are only around 250 of them in the wild. They are mainly threatened by invasive species like cats and rats. Conservationists are trying to captive breed them and release them to predator-free islands when they are still juveniles. Due to the coronavirus lockdown, it has been harder to transfer them, but Air New Zealand managed to arrange a special flight just to bring five juveniles to their new home Mana Island.
Mountain gorillas are critically endangered, and are closely related to human; they could get diseases like common cold from human and died. To prevent the chance of being infected with COVID-19, rangers and researchers working in the protected area in Rwanda are now wearing masks, washing hands frequently and checking body temperature daily. They are also reducing contact and time with the gorillas and keeping extra safer distance aways from them.
human has great demands for cuttlefish; every breeding season, cuttlefish come close to shore around British to lay eggs, and large amount of them will be caught. Over 90% of the cuttlefish are being caught before they finish laying their eggs, and this is causing great decline in their population and lead them to extinction. environmental groups urged to avoid eating cuttlefish, and hope to set catch limits as well as not fishing them during their breeding seasons.
a new study discovered whales migrate in order to shed their skins. Researchers spent over 8 years studying 62 orcas; there are actually more food resources in the cold waters for the orcas than in tropical areas. However, a layer of diatoms will be collected if the orcas stay in cold water for too long. By migrating to the tropical waters, orcas can shed their skins and remove the diatoms to maintain healthy skins.