Hi friend, I hope your week has been great so far!
Here's your Weekly Wildlife Wednesday for May 30th.
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Amazing wildlife photo of the week. This beautiful violet-backed starling bird almost doesn't even look real! Found widely in the woodlands and Savannah forest edges of mainland sub-Saharan Africa, it's rare to find these beauties on the ground as they spend most of their time in the trees.
Suicidal mating marsupials declared endangered. While 'Suicidal Mating Marsupials' sounds like a great name for a heavy metal band, I'm afraid the Australian government has just declared them endangered. These little guys, known as the antechinus, literally sex themselves to exhaustion, then die. Surprisingly, that's not the only thing causing them to be endangered. Habitat loss, climate change and threats from predators are making these numbers dwindle, leaving these Aussie mountaintop-dwellers in serious danger.
World Oceans Day 2018 is next week! On Friday, June 8th, the world will band together to spread awareness for the plastic pollution problem and the terrible effect it has on ocean life. Head over to the official events page to find an event going on near you - there are hundreds! And if there aren't any near you, you can start your own. Many of the events hold art galleries, music, food, film screenings, sports, lectures, and more.
Hunting with lead ammunition is poisoning birds in Africa. Scientists have found elevated lead levels in critically endangered vultures in Africa, whose populations have declined up to 90% due to hunters using lead ammunition for hunting. The hunters will shoot and abandon the carcasses, leaving them open for the birds to consume the poisonous blood. Although hunters are generally sympathetic to the birds, they've opposed a ban on lead-free ammunition due to its cost. Sounds like it's about time to switch over that ammo, fellas.
Wildlife rangers face high stress, low-support - likely to develop mental health issues. Last month, five wildlife rangers and their driver were gunned down in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is just one incident in a long line of high-stress situations rangers are put in every day. Along with working in a life-threatening profession protecting what they love against heavily-armed poachers, rangers may only get to see their families once a year, and are under high pressure every day. Luckily, there are people that want to help.
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