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This week’s animal pics: Thanks for rejecting the Keystone Pipeline (Love, the animals)

January 19, 2012

Yesterday, the Obama Administration rejected the proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline. This is great news, as a spill would be disastrous to wildlife from Canada to Texas. We previously introduced you to animals who didn’t want the pipeline to go through. Today, we bring you animals who would have been affected by the pipeline who want to say thank you for rejecting the proposal.

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Today’s news: Four new species and whales for sale

January 13, 2012

Here are some fascinating articles that the humans (and animals ) at Current Instincts are reading today. Did we miss something major? Let us know below or send us an email.

1. World’s smallest frog discovered. It ain’t easy bein green or smaller than a dime. Or at least we imagine so. Papua New Guinea is the home of the world’s smallest frog – measuring in at only 0.27 inches long. That’s smaller than a dime! So if you ever go there, watch where you step, they like to hide out in leaf litter on the forest floor. (BBC News)

2. New snake species found in Tanzania. Scientists have been busy all over the world discovery animals this week! The latest is a black and yellow viper with spiky horns that lives in South Africa. Scientists are already worried about this new species however. They fear people in the area may adopt them as pets. (Global Post)

Nice to see you again!

3. ‘Extinct’ Galapagos tortoise may still exist. And the animals just keep on coming. Scientists believe that a giant tortoise from the Galapagos believed to have gone extinct more than 150 years ago may still be around. Hybrid tortises have been spotted in the area, and at least one parent is believed to be the extinct tortoise. Better yet, the hybrid tortoises are only 15 years old, so it’s very likely their parents are still alive. (BBC News)

4. New lemur climbs out of hiding in Madagascar. We’re starting to think if we traveled to Madagascar, we would just trip over new species and become instant world-renowned scientists. A new hamster-sized lemur has been spotted living among different lemur species. Unfortunately, the cuties don’t live in a protect area of Madagascar. (Discovery News)

5. Quota market to save whales proposed by U.S. researchers. Buying whales for a good cause? Scientists think it just might work. Since it seems to be hard for humans to value something without slapping a dollar sign on it, it’s been hard to protect wildlife, and especially whales, because they have no economic value. So buy putting a value on them, scientists could buy whales up, protecting them and making them valuable in the market place. (Yale 360)

This week’s animal pics: Animals from Massachusetts

January 12, 2012

We previously dedicated an entire post to animals from New York, since the authors of Current Instincts all have ties to the Empire State. This weekend, CI Susan is reuniting with Bianca in Boston – where it all began. So today, we bring you animals that call Massachusetts home.

Susan once spotted a wild turkey on the Northeastern campus.

Total masshole.

Oh yes, gray seals simply love the coast of Massachusetts.

The piping plover loves the beach. And is a die-hard Sawx fan.

Huskies are most frequently found on Huntington Ave. and Matthews Arena.

Fish are free to roam if they want to, all around the world

January 10, 2012

Just hangin out with my friends, all peaceful like.

What’s better than swimming around the ocean like a boss, going wherever the currents will take you? Knowing more of your friends will be swimming around with you. Now, in the U.S. at least, that’ll be the case. Today the United States became the first country to impose catch limits on every species it manages. The policy is designed to curb overfishing so that world fishing populations don’t collapse.

Not only is this a great shift in policy, but it was a bipartisan effort. Former President George W. Bush reauthorized the Magnuson-Stevens Act which governed all fishing in U.S. waters, and President Obama sealed the deal. Annual catch limits should be in place by the beginning of the 2012 fishing season.

Some of my fellow fishy friends will be protected for the first time. I’ve never gotten along with mahi-mahi (they’re presumptuous) but for the good of the ocean, I’m glad they’ll be safer to roam where they want. One important sounding guy even said that this provision “is probably the most important conservation statute ever enacted into America’s fisheries law.”

So thanks to everyone who worked to put this new policy in place. I’ll be happy to see more of my friends swimming around.

Frank the Fish

Today’s news: Seal populations plummet, lemon sharks in a feeding frenzy, and PYTHONS

January 9, 2012

Here are some fascinating articles that the humans (and animals ) at Current Instincts are reading today. Did we miss something major? Let us know below or send us an email.

1. Africa’s rainforests ‘more resilient’ to climate change. Rainforests in Africa may be more resilient than rainforests in the Amazon and other areas around the world. An international conference found that the forests in Africa have endured all kinds of changes over the past 4,000 years so they should be more prepared for whatever climate change throws at them. (BBC News)

2. Seal populations plummet as sea ice thins. Less sea ice in the North Atlantic results in less seals. Newborn seal pups are born and nursed on sea ice, their moms have less areas to give birth. Eighty percent of seal pups may have died in 2011 due to lack of sea ice. (Yale 360)

We can totally see why they would want to feed a whale shark. They're super sweet.

3. Begging whale sharks raise concern in Philippines. Fisherman in the central Philippines have been feeding the giant fish shrimp for decades. By now, the whales know just where to go for a quick snack, and they’ll often come to the surface looking to be fed. Environmentalists worry that the practice is changing the natural behavior of the whale sharks. (Discovery News)

4. Lemon sharks in feeding frenzy. Lemon sharks in the Great Barrier Reef leap out of the water to catch fish – which sounds awesome. A camera crew describes how they were able to get the awesome footage of the lemon sharks feeding. (BBC News)

5. Florida python invasion could spread. The Florida Everglades became home to an isolated breeding population of burmese pythons a few decades ago. But now ecologists warn that they could spread to other sections of Florida and possibly even the Caribbean. (Discovery News)

Today’s news: Shooting stray dogs, hybrid sharks, and a crab named after The Hoff

January 6, 2012

Here are some fascinating articles that the humans (and animals ) at Current Instincts are reading today. Did we miss something major? Let us know below or send us an email.

1. Decision to shoot stray dogs under review. It seems weird that this needs to be reviewed – but here goes. Officials in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania are reconsidering letting police officers shoot stray dogs. Nothing good has ever come from Pennsylvania. Ever. The worst part of this story? A leaked memo from the police department says “officers [should] inform citizens the dog is ‘going to a nice farm in the country.'” Way to go Pennsylvania. Way to go. (Discovery News)

2. World’s first hybrid shark found in Australia. Like we always say at Current Instincts, if something sounds terrifying, it’s probably from Australia. Okay, maybe we’ve never said that, but we’ve certainly thought it. 57 new sharks have been found, and researchers think the interbreeding is a response to climate change or fishing patterns. The researchers claim the species won’t evolve into a “mega-shark”, but even the fact that they felt the need to warn us of that makes us a little nervous. (Telegraph)

I shall destroy your wind turbine blades.

3. Feds propose allowing wind-farm developer to kill golden eagles. Developers of a central Oregon wind-farm may get a unique permit that allows them to kill three golden eagles over five years as long as they meet all their other environmental obligations. Killing or disturbing bald eagles without a permit has been illegal since 1940. The birds would presumably be killed by the blades of the wind turbines. (MSNBC)

4. ‘The Hoff’ crab found in the ocean. A new crab species found on the floor of the Southern Ocean has been nicknamed “The Hoff” because of its hair chest. They were found in large numbers near volcanic vents. No word how Germans feel about this discovery yet. (BBC News)

5. Can dogs read your mind? Unfortunately, no. How do you get to be one of these researchers who just chills with dogs all day? Can we get that job? Anyway. New research shows that dogs often seem psychic, they’re not actually reading your mind. But similar to human babies, they will track your motions which can help them deduce your intentions. (Discovery News)

Today’s news: Too many geese and the return of porpoises to San Fran

January 4, 2012

Here are some fascinating articles that the humans (and animals ) at Current Instincts are reading today. Did we miss something major? Let us know below or send us an email.

1. Facing consequences of success in bid to save a goose. Here’s proof that you really can have too much of a good thing. Efforts to save snow geese have been so effective that they’re now considered nuisances in areas like Missouri and farms along the Mississippi River. The mass amounts of geese have been squeezing out other species and destroying nesting grounds. (New York Times)

2. Harbor porpoises return to San Francisco Bay. Harbor porpoises haven’t been seen in San Francisco Bay since World War II – but now they’re showing up again. At the time, the bay was a major ship-building center and naval port, making it a pretty nasty place for marine animals to live. They’ve been gone so long, researchers think the species might have forgotten how gross the area was in the first place. (Discovery News)

We iz no eating meat. We iz playing on jungle gym.

3. Meat-eating panda caught on camera. When most of us think of pandas, we picture them noming on some delicious(?) bamboo. And that’s mostly what they do – 99 percent of a panda’s diet is bamboo. But now a camera set up at a zoo in China has video footage of a panda eating a dead gnu. It’s unclear if the panda killed the gnu. First of all, ew. Second of all, why can’t this zoo keep track of their animals? (MSNBC)

4. Return of wolves has helped Yellowstone Park. Not only are wolves super awesome to look at, but they also kick-ass and take names. The return of wolves to Yellowstone Park (dibs on that screenplay!) has helped balance out the ecosystem, mainly by curbing elk populations. Less elk also means healthier aspen and willow tree populations, since elks used to nom on those like no ones business. (Yale 360)

5. Rhino poaching soars, horns worth more than gold. 2011 was a really bad year for rhinos in South Africa. The street value of one horn has soared to $65,000 a kilogram. Since this is America we don’t know what kilograms are, but those sound like scary numbers. A total of 443 rhinos were killed in South Africa in 2011. (MSNBC)