wildlife | pg.3

Should There Be a National Tiger Registry?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | February 16th, 2011 | 7 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: America, Asia, backyard zoos, big-game parks, black market, breeding, cages, captive, captive wildlife, captivity, Chinese zodiac, conservation, database, endangered-species, environment, exotic animals, extinction, folk remedies, Global Tiger Initiative, Global Tiger Recovery Program, harm to wildlife, hunting, illegal, International Tiger Forum, International Year of the Tiger, laws, natural habitats, natural-habitat-adventures, nature, pets big cats, population, protecting wildlife, registry, regulations, Russian Federation, St. Petersburg, states, threatened, Tigers, trade, wild, wildlife, wildlife welfare, World Wildlife Fund

Tiger

There are more tigers in captivity (such as this one) than there are left in the wild. ©John T. Andrews

There are some statistics that you hear that knock your socks off, and you just can’t quite believe them. You think they’re concocted purely to get attention and for shock value. Here’s one I recently came across that fits that category: There are more tigers in American backyards than there are left in the wild throughout the world.

How could that be?! I wondered. After all, the tiger isn’t even indigenous to the United States! It turns out that there is very little regulation on keeping wild tigers here. And because their body parts are prized in Asian black markets for traditional medicines and folk remedies — and because they are popular subjects for photographers and as college mascots — trafficking in and owning tigers becomes a means of making money.

Resolved for 2011: Take a Nature Vacation

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | January 5th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: biking, brain health, children, city, climate change, Crystal Cove State Park, diseases of indoor living, eco-tourism, exercise, family vacation, Fitness, focus, hiking, kids, Los Angeles, natural-habitat-adventures, nature, new year's resolution, noise, obama, obesity, outdoors, outside, parenting, protection, Richard Louv, sedentary, stress, urban life, walking, wilderness, wildlife

Trekking in Patagonia

I spent part of the holidays in Los Angeles this year, surrounded by a sea of asphalt and traffic sprawling for hundreds of square miles. Shuttling between relatives and friends on the maze of 14-lane freeways, I soon felt spiritually exhausted by the visual din of billboards, power lines, parking lots, storefronts, neon signs and cars blowing past at 80 mph.

Is Going Green Just a Feel-Good Choice?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | November 18th, 2010 | 5 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: automobiles, bats, bird deaths, birds, Canada geese, canoe, carbon emissions, cars, chemicals, climate change, CO2, eco-friendly, energy, environment, environmental toxins, environmentalist, fossil fuels, green, green building, greenwashing, Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, kayak, kayaking, landfills, LEED, LEED buildings, LEED certification, nature enthusiasts, nature photography, nature photos, photography, plastic, power grid, recreation, recycler, recycling, sandhill cranes, save the environment, skyscrapers, songbirds, toxins, transportation, travel, turbines, water sports, weather, wildlife, wind farms, wind power

Sandhill cranes

Buying a kayak qualifies as a “big purchase” for my family, and my husband and I recently took that huge step. Although we’ve had a canoe for a long time, this is our first acquisition of this type of silent-sports, aquatic craft.

Collared, Banded and Tagged: Are We Overtracking Wildlife?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | October 26th, 2010 | 5 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: bird banding, Eco Travel, elk, endangered-species, environment, Finding Beauty in a Broken World, Natural Habitat, nature, radio collaring, radio telemetry, research, tagging, Terry Tempest Williams, tracking, travel, whooping cranes, wild animals, wildlife, Wisconsin, wolves, Yellowstone National Park

Ever since they were reintroduced to Wisconsin in 1995, I’ve wanted to see an elk in my home state. Last month, my dream was realized when I spotted three of them during a trip to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. One evening, while driving slowly up and down the forest roads at dusk, my husband and I saw three elk crossing the pavement ahead of us.

Are Animals Taking the Blame for Our Bad Behavior?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | September 27th, 2010 | 6 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: animals, Bryce Canyon National Park, buffalo, camping, Coyote, Eco Travel, environment, Glacier National Park, grizzly bears, hiking, hoodoos, Idaho, Katmai National Park, Montana, national parks, nature, Paiutes, wildlife, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

There are many Native American stories regarding the stunning red, orange and white hoodoos in Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park. The Paiute Indians call the park Unka-timpe-wa-wince-pockich — which means “red rocks standing like men in a bowl-shaped canyon.” According to one of their myths, a long time ago a group of people moved into the area and made Coyote angry with their bad behavior. Coyote put a curse on the people, turning them to stone. The canyon’s hoodoos are these Legend People.

How Far Should We Go to Rescue At-Risk Species?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | July 16th, 2010 | 8 Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: assisted migration, Australia, biodiversity, botanic gardens, butterfly, citizen activists, citizen science, climate change, dune thistle, ecology, endangered, environment, environmental activists, extinct, extinction, fauna, flora, Florida torreya, global-warming, habitat destruction, natural habitats, plants, Queensland, species extinction, Torreya Guardians, wildflower, wildlife

Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

The white lemuroid possum may soon hold a brand-new world title: First species to go extinct due to climate change.

In December 2009, scientists reported that the possum is missing from its only home in the mountain forests of northern Queensland, Australia. It hasn’t been seen there in three years. A slight temperature rise (of only 1 or 2 degrees) is likely the reason: The possum typically dies in as few as four or five hours at 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Does a Wildlife Photo Have to Be “Wild”?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | April 20th, 2010 | 8 Comments
topic: Eco Travel | tags: AlaskaPhotographics.com, Backpacker, bald eagle, BBC's Planet Earth, Defenders of Wildlife, digital photogaphy, Disney, game farm animals, Getty Images, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, National Wildlife Federation, nature prints, PBS Nature, photography, snow leopard, wildlife, wolf

If you’re a nature enthusiast, chances are that somewhere in your home you display at least one image of a wild animal in its natural habitat: a framed photo hanging on your wall of a black wolf peeking through the leaves, a calendar on your desk with 12 glossy shots of snow leopards in rocky places or several conservation magazines — whose covers depict eagles or hummingbirds in flight — stacked on your coffee table.

Should We Stop Designating Lands As “National Parks”?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | February 15th, 2010 | 16 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon, helicopter tours, Ken Burns, national parks, snowmobiles, wildlife, Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

National parks need to be killed.

It’s a shocking idea I came across recently. Ken Burns’s newest PBS series aside, they’re doing more harm than good to our places of natural grandeur and dwindling native eco-systems.

If I Call for Your Attention, Will It Pick Up?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | December 18th, 2009 | 6 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: aluminum cans, David de Rothschild, garbage, Great Pacific Garbage Patch, landfill, litter, marine litter, nature, plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic containers, Plastiki, recycling, trash, waste, wilderness, wildlife

About 80 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch comes from trash on land. ©John H. Gaukel.

It usually starts with one plastic water bottle or one beer can, casually tossed aside, just visible in the underbrush off the side of the trail where I’m walking. My thoughts are soon torn away from nature and “What a beautiful place this is,” to “What an eyesore; what the heck was that person thinking?” And then, all of a sudden, what just a moment ago looked to me like a pristine wilderness transforms into a one-item garbage dump. All I can focus on is that one rusty can or bent bottle.

Face to Face with Polar Bears in Manitoba

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | November 27th, 2009 | 1 Comment
topic: Eco Travel | tags: arctic, Churchill, excursions, Manitoba, Natural Habitat, natural world, nature, northern lights, polar bear expedition, polar-bears, wild, wild animals, wilderness, wildlife

Looking-in-windowcropped

Credit: Wendy Worrall Redal

I can still feel the Arctic air, sharp and clean. I can see the late-afternoon sunset, a glowing band of gold, then scarlet, then deep rose, lingering on the horizon. I can hear the yip of the sled dogs, avid to dash across the snow. But what remains most vivid in my memories of the past week is the image of my daughter’s face, nose to nose with an enormous polar bear.