Posts about Wildlife

A turtle in Galapagos.Photo: Finch-Bay Hotel.

Galápagos: Rare Fauna and a Leading Green Hotel

7.01.2016

They may not appear overly enthusiastic when it comes to appreciating what’s going on around them on their native Galápagos islands, whose name-givers they are: the weighty Giant Tortoises – eye-lids on half-mast – remain in the know by sheer age. With some of them having been around for nearly one-and-a-half centuries, they have posed as reliable long-term witnesses of the wondrous proceedings happening on the remote archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. 1,000 kilometres west off the South American coast and under the sovereignty of Ecuador, the islands are teeming with rare fauna ranging from cute to ugly to downright strange: the pre-historic looking Iguana’s serrated crest lends him a ferocious dragon-like air; the male Frigatebird makes a mighty fuss during the mating season, when he stages his macho parade in front of adored females and fortifies his efforts by inflating his Ferrari-red gular sac until it stresses at the seams; the Blue-footed Booby wraps its courtship into a wobbly dance performance. By awkwardly swaying from foot to foot Chaplin-style, he offers amused onlookers an endearing sight and has become the star of many a nature video.

Preserving the archipelagos of Galápagos is a primary goal locally. One of the precursors in achieving it, is the Finch Bay Eco Hotel on the isle of Santa Cruz.

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A Clown Fish receiving massage by a sea anemone. Photo: Nick Hobgood.

TED Talk. Paul Greenberg: The four fish we are overeating

20.12.2015

“Grinding Nemo”

Overfishing is only half of the story, says Paul Greenberg in his talk. The other half is about the boom in fish farming and aquaculture, which – over the past year or two – has started to exceed the amount of wild fish produced. In America and a great part of the Western World, shrimp is by far the most consumed seafood. 5, 10, 15 pounds of wild fish – deemed trash fish by the fishing industry – are killed to bring one pound of shrimp to the market. Filmmaker Mark Benjamin called the phenomenon “Grinding Nemo“, when shrimp dredgers vacuum up a huge amount of bycatch, that is then minced and turned into shrimp feed. An „ecosystem literally eating itself and spitting out shrimp“. A recent study has found that dredging for shrimp represents one of the most carbon-intensive ways of fishing there is.

This talk is vital for sustainably thinking human beings, perhaps especially for those organising large dinner events by profession.

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Traditional Dhows in Musandam/Oman. 12 days in Oman

Twelve days in Oman – a short film

19.08.2015

Marko Roth and his friends Lucas, Dominik and Vivi were looking for a cheap random flight to anywhere on the map and ended up in Oman, a destination they had not even heard of before. Their 12-day adventure took them crisscross through the scenic Sultanate located at the southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula that shares its shores between the Strait of Hormuz and the Indian Ocean. They devoured every inch of the country’s beauty, climbed mountains, dove into crystal-clear waters, and conquered the hustle-bustle of Muscat, Salalah, and Musandam streets and souks.

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Madeline Pickens spends her life saving America's Mustangs. Here with her horse "Paint".

Saving America’s Mustangs

4.06.2015

Madeleine Pickens is a businesswoman, animal welfare activist and philanthropist of European descent. When, in 2008, the Bureau of Land Management declared that the United States government considered euthanasia and/or the sale of more than 30,000 Wild Mustangs to slaughterhouses overseas, Madeleine resolved to establish a sanctuary for endangered native horses.    A year later, she testified before the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands in support of H.R. 1018, the Restoring Our American Mustangs (ROAM) Act. After acquiring the sanctuary in North Eastern Nevada, she saved over 600 Mustangs from slaughter and endeavours to rescue and preserve the Wild Mustang have been an ongoing process. Also, until this day, the sanctuary’s survival relies on Madeleine’s charity foundation „Saving Americas Mustangs“, through which the funding for the Mustang Monument Eco-Resort and Preserve could be raised.

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A black-and-white drawing. T.E. Gordon's "Hunting with Golden Eagles". A creative commons picture.

Eagle Hunting in Western China

8.02.2015

China’s Kazakh minority preserving culture

Chinese Kazakh eagle hunters ride with their eagles during a local competition in January, 2015 in the mountains of Qinghe County, Xinjiang, northwestern China. The festival, organised by the local hunting community, is part of an effort to promote and grow traditional hunting practices for new generations in the mountainous region of western China that borders Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. The training and handling of the large birds of prey follows a strict set of ancient rules that Kazakh eagle hunters are preserving for future generations. (Photos by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images, introduction: Qinghe, Xinjiang/China)

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