TAG: Habitat

Wolves Under Fire

Wolves Under Fire

Wolf hunts in Wyoming have been sanctioned this last autumn for the first time in decades. After facing near extinction, wolves were reintroduced into the North America’s Rockies in the mid 1990’s. Since then, the population has been resilient, but fluctuations remain. There has already been a 60 percent population loss since 2007. This is illustrated throughout Yellowstone where the wolf population was reduced from 171 in December 2007 to just 80 in December 2012. This is in part due to human-induced mortality both within and outside of the park. Things seemed stable from 2009 to 2011, however, 2012 has brought… read more

Endangered, But Not Enough Apparently

The Gray Wolf

Wolves are intelligent and social animals. They have an intricate pack hierarchy, each member dependent upon the others. The loss of one member of a pack is like a human losing a family member. Each pack has a male and female leader called the alphas and they are the only ones allowed to have pups. Litter size is usually 4 to 6 pups and they never have more children than the environment can provide for. Wolves have their own communication system which includes their howling, barking, growling, posturing and scent making. Wolves are known to keep wilderness habitat healthy for… read more

Power To The Plants!


Despite the importance humans place on our own existence, there’s another life-form that eclipses our presence on the planet: the humble plant! From an environmental education perspective, it’s critical that we promote increased awareness of and appreciation for the value of plants within the broader spectrum of biodiversity. Plants are the primary life on Earth. Everything else depends upon them to survive. From terrestrial plants to aquatic plants, the green kingdom is profoundly important to the health and well-being of the planet’s biodiversity. Whilst many plants are not particularly glamorous, their function through photosynthesis is essential; indeed, Earth offers no… read more

The Miracle Of Life

The Miracle of Life

Nature is a powerful creative force. You’d be hard-pressed to identify any invention greater than the miraculous creation of all life on the planet! Yet in promoting (and conserving) biodiversity, are our priorities the same as those that nature itself might identify if given the opportunity and voice? The term “biodiversity” basically refers to the enormous variety of life on Earth. It is the totality of life-forms, plants and animals and micro-organisms alike. As environmental educators sharing knowledge about biodiversity, we need to communicate the value(s) of biodiversity in its own right. We also need to understand and communicate how different… read more

Pervasive Pine Trees


Pine trees are a common fixture in the natural landscape, thriving in countries as varied as Australia, South Africa, Madagascar, Bermuda, and Argentina. Pines are actually native to the northern hemisphere, specifically in North America and Eurasia, but due to the intentional planting of pines in foreign regions for industrial and commercial purposes, they can now be found in a majority of the southern hemisphere. They adapt quite well, even in tropical climates and soils of poor quality.  The problem with this is pines are quick to colonize in these foreign lands, and are prohibiting the growth of native plants that… read more

The Link Between Education and Biodiversity


The BBC TV series, Planet Earth, explores the plight of diverse endangered species around the globe. From the Amazon river dolphins and Ethiopia’s Walia ibex, to the much-loved polar bear and assorted amphibians of Central America – one thing consistently endangers these and other species, not to mention the habitats these creatures call home. What is the uniting threat? Alas, it is human beings and the way we choose to behave in relationship with (or some world argue, disconnection from) the natural world. When communicating the threats to and impacts of biodiversity loss (the extinction of life-forms on Earth, whether… read more

Habitats for Barn Owls


Raptor Works is a program based at Merced High School in California, which takes used crates that once harbored items like fruit or nuts and turns them into wooden homes for Barn Owls. The program was developed by Steve Simmons, a retired shop teacher and volunteer biologist. In this program, students of Merced High School take crates and other packages destined for the landfill, and make homes for Barn Owls. (Though they have also put their skills to use making habitats for other birds, including Bluebirds, Wood Ducks, Screech Owls, and American Kestrel.) Once the materials are up-cycled into homes,… read more

Saving the Reef

The Great Barrier Reef

The world’s largest coral reef with an eco-system is the Great Barrier Reef located off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The eco-system is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs, 900 islands stretching for over 1,600 miles over an area of approximately 133,000 sq. mi. More than nearly half the reef has vanished in the last 27 years. A coral reef ecologist, Katharina Fabricius, from the Australian Institute of Marine Science told LiveScience that she has been diving to the reef since 1988 and has studied the decline. To gather their data, Fabricius and her colleagues surveyed 214 different reefs near the Great Barrier… read more