Animal conservation: Which countries have the most National Parks by number and area of land?

Which countries have the most National Parks by number, land area, and percentage of land area to support the conservation of animals? 

SafarisAfricana, a website based in the United Kingdom that researches safari destinations and experiences, published a blog article on National Parks around the world.  

First, what do conservationalists mean by ‘National Park’? The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has clear definitions for the designation of a National Park. The IUCN stated in 1969 that a National Park must be a large area of land with one or several ecosystems, unaltered by humans, where plant and animal species, geomorphological sites and habitats, are of special scientific, educational, and recreational interest, or which contain a landscape of great beauty. The country’s authorities must have taken steps to conserve and enforce the respect of the whole area. Visitors are allowed to enter under special conditions. 

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Beehome is the first robotic hive to protect the planet’s bees

An American-based company called Beewise created the world’s first robotic hive – called a Beehome – in 2017 to help save and protect the planet’s bees. 

The Beehome is a solar-powered, artificially-intelligent, robotic hive, placed in a field, that accommodates 24 colonies of bees – about 2 million bees. It is 1 metre (3 feet) high and 3 metres (10 feet) wide. It can replace the traditional 150-year-old Langstroth wooden bee boxes used by beekeepers.

The beekeeper can care for the bees remotely.The Beehome replicates what human beekeepers do, but on a minute-by-minute real-time basis.

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Wild tiger population in Nepal is increasing

The wild tiger population in Nepal is increasing due to a program to prevent its extinction. There are now three times more wild tigers in Nepal than there were in 2009, according to the Nepalese government.

In 2009, the Nepal National Tiger and Prey Survey found that there were only 187 wild tigers in Nepal. This year’s 2022 survey found that there are now 355 wild tigers in the country, which is an increase of 190% since 2009.

The low numbers of wild tigers in Nepal in 2009 were due to poaching for the illegal animal trade and loss of habitat. At the St. Petersburg International summit on tiger conservation in 2010, governments of 10 countries with wild tigers set a goal to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president for wildlife conservation of the United States World Wildlife Fund (WWF). 

In collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Nepalese government initiated a conservation program in 2010 to save the wild tigers.

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RESEARCH: Turtle Dove numbers are declining in the United Kingdom

A research study in 2021 found that the number of Turtle Doves were declining in the United Kingdom. Volunteers, farmers, study groups, bird clubs, and other organizatios all contributed to the research. 

The first national survey of Turtle Doves in the UK in fifty years showed that there were only 2,100 pairs of Turtle Doves that now breed in the country, which is a decline of 98% from 125,000 pairs in 1970.

The survey found that the Turle Dove is now concentrated in south-eastern and eastern England, and as far north as Yorkshire.

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Entomology Collection at Drexel University in Philadelphia

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia is America’s oldest natural history museum. Established in 1812, it has a collection of 19 million specimens, with 4 million insect specimens, representing about 100,000 species of insects. 

Jon Gelhaus is Curator of Entomology at the ANS, where he has worked since 1990. He looks after the Entomology Collection. Since 2012, he has also been Professor in the Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science department where he teaches courses in Conservation Biology, Entomology, and Plant and Animal Identification. Entomology is the study of insects.

Jon Gelhaus and Jennifer Sontchi, Senior Director of Exhibits and Public Spaces at The Academy of Natural Sciences (ANS), presented a small portion of the collection during a live streaming event on 12 August 2021.

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RESEARCH: The four most common wild bird species in the world

There are 50 billion wild birds on Earth – but four species dominate – says a New Scientist article on 17 May 2021.

Earth has around 50 billion wild bird species according to a new global estimate, but most species are very rare and only a handful number in the billions.

Just four wild species have over a billion individuals, and they are the most common wild bird species in the world. This is in contrast to 1,180 species that have less than 5,000 individual birds each.

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RESEARCH: Humans love big animals

All creatures great and small, but which ones are the best of all?

Humans seem to love big animals. Research scientists have found that people think that larger animals are more charismatic than smaller ones, with some exceptions.

Scientist Emilio Berti, previously from the Aarhus University in Denmark, and his colleagues, compiled information from 9 existing datasets on animal charisma. Some datasets included information from volunteers about their attitude to particular species of birds and mammals. Other datasets included information on the number of Wikipedia page views seen by readers for particular species of animals, and the number of images of species posted to Twitter and the photo-sharing site Flickr.

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What is the IUCN Red List?

What is the IUCN Red List?

The IUCN is the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The IUCN, amongst other tasks, compiles a list of animals and plants from around the word that are considered to be threatened – in danger of becoming extinct. The inventory, or list, is called the Red List of Threatened Species.

The aim of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is to create a ‘universally accepted system of classification of species at high risk of extinction globally.’ It is an international standard with a scientifically tested assessment. 

Each species is assessed according to a set of established criteria, and rated on a scale ranging from ‘least concern’ to ‘extinct.’

The classifications are:

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RESEARCH: Tracking Red Pandas in Nepal

Research scientists are satellite tracking the movements of Red Pandas in the mountains of Nepal. 

Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens) are endangered and there are only a few thousand individuals in their native environment in the eastern Himalayas and in southwestern China. The population numbers are declining due to habitat loss, poaching (illegal hunting), and inbreeding. 

In Nepal, Red Pandas are a protected species. The conservation scientists have put Global Positioning System (GPS) collars on 10 Red Pandas to remotely monitor their range of movements in the forests near Mount Kangchenjunga. 

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Tasmanian Tiger

The Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) is an extinct Australian marsupial mammal. It was also called Tasmanian Wolf. It was not a tiger, nor a wolf, nor a dog (canid). It was a dog-like animal with stripes called a Thylacine. Extinct means that it is no longer living. The species has died out.

The Tasmanian Tiger was sandy-coloured with short soft hair and dark stripes on its back and its long tail. It had a pouch (similar to kangaroos and other marsupial mammals) to care for its young. Both male and female Tasmanian Tigers had a pouch, but only females had mammary glands in her pouch. It has a dog-like snout, round ears, and dark eyes. It had dog-like paws.

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