An enormous social weaver nest in the Namib Rand desert. These nests can have up to 100 separate chambers each with individual entrances. You thought your condo had thin walls…
American White Pelicans in California
Trinidad Piping Guan (Pipile pipile)
Also known as the common piping guan, the Trinidad piping guan is a critically endangered species of guan found only on the island of Trinidad in the Lesser Antilles. Like other guans the Trinidad piping guan is primarily arboreal and feeds almost exclusively on fruit and berries. They are usually active at dusk and will forage in groups of 3-5 individuals. The Trinidad piping guan is currently listed as critically endangered and are nearing extinction with only 200 individuals left.
Katarzyna Bajerowicz aka Kasia/Kasi (Poland) - Illustration done for book Krabat by Otfried Preussler, 2011
The Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird that inhabited the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. When foreign sailors came to the island they fed on the Dodo as well as their domestic animals that they brought with them, this is one of many reasons the bird went extinct. Dodos oddly enough are related to Pigeons and Doves, which makes sense when you take a step back. The Dodo also fed on a tree nicknamed the Dodo tree (Sideroxylon grandiflorum).
This tree’s survival depended on the Dodo for the seeds of the tree would only germinate with the help of the Dodo’s digestive tract…It is believed there are only 13 trees left of this type and all of them are thought to be at least 300 years old, the trees do not have growth rings so no one really knows… They also fed on worms!
Anyway it was fun drawing a Dodo.
Save species who have not yet left us.
The discovery of the striking red, white, and black Araripe Manakin in 1996 stunned bird enthusiasts all over the world. The bird’s habitat is humid riverbank “gallery” forest watered by streams arising from springs at the base of the Araripe Plateau. These streams continue into arid caatinga (dry shrubland and thorn forest), which surrounds the riverbank forests.
The Araripe Manakin’s Critically Endangered status, which has led to its listing as an Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species, has also focused attention on the importance of conserving its unique habitat, which determines not only this bird’s continued survival but also the quality of life for thousands of people living in this largely impoverished region of northeastern Brazil. Both bird and habitat are threatened by the clearing of these forests for farming, cattle, and home-building.
In 2003, the first information about the Araripe Manakin’s biology and threats to its survival were presented in a management plan aimed at local stakeholders. Just this year, the bird became the first species in Brazil to receive a National Conservation Action Plan — making it a widely recognized symbol for biodiversity, natural resources conservation, and the importance of environmental sustainability.
With ABC support, the Brazilian NGO Aquasis and the Araripe Manakin Conservation Project are maintaining an experimental tree nursery and beginning a long-term habitat restoration initiative with local partners — providing hope for the future of this rare bird.
Competitive Exclusion Principle
In ecology, the competitive exclusion principle, sometimes referred to as Gause’s law of competitive exclusion or just Gause’s law, is a proposition which states that two species competing for the same resources cannot coexist if other ecological factors are constant.
When one species has even the slightest advantage or edge over another, then the one with the advantage will dominate in the long term. One of the two competitors will always overcome the other, leading to either the extinction of this competitor or an evolutionary or behavioral shift towards a different ecological niche. The principle has been paraphrased into the maxim “complete competitors cannot coexist“…
(read more: Wikipedia)
(image: Pine Warbler, Dendroica pinus, a species of bird that seems to be utterly dominant as a gleaner in certain types of Pine trees, photo by Ken Thomas)
Photo of the Week - 6/3/13
Wood Ducks, including this beautiful male, have been a somewhat common sighting as of late along the Songbird Trail at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.
Credit Tiffany Kersten/USFWS