Albino panda spotted in the wild

Rare albino panda seen again

If anyone has been reading this blog for some time, you may remember me writing about an albino panda that was photographed in wulong nature reserve in China (click here to read it)

This bear has been caught on camera (see above) and appears to be doing well. It has started to display mating behaviour and appears to be extremely healthy. It has all the features generally associated with albinism, with white fur and red eyes.. It is now around 5-6 years old, and has been seen playing with other pandas, suggesting that its unusual colouring is not leading to it being shunned from other pandas.

It was filmed approaching a mother with a 2 year-old cub. As the mother was ready to mate again, and yet did not show aggression to this male bear getting close, it is likely that this female is the mother of the white cub.

Currently thought to be numbered 1800 in the wild, the panda is currently listed as threatened – having been delisted from being endangered in 2016. It is also an integral part of the Giant panda national park which is being created, and links 67 panda reserves, allowing the bears to travel between the former islands of habitat, giving them the ability to breed in a more natural way. This is important, as inbreeding would make panda conservation even harder.

Algonquin wolves -origin different than we thought?

The Algonquin wolf, also known as the Eastern wolf is a species which has been discovered in the eastern USA and Canada (click on the bold name above, to visit the species page). 

Perhaps, understandably, it is hard to find a new species in the USA unless it is already pretty rare. This species is only thought to have around 500 individuals, throughout its range (eastern USA and north into Canada).

South-eastern Canada has been known for a race of wolves and coyotes, that do not appear quite right for some time. This study suggested that this group of wolves split from the rest of wolves around 67,000 years ago. This appears to recent to give rise to the significant genetic differences, but it appears that this population also bred with coyotes around 37,000 years ago, and has continued to have genetic exchange between both species (on occasion) since.

As such, it is suggested that the Eastern wolf largely owes its appearance to hybridization between all three.

Has this lead to a more successful species? Well, one may well suggest not, given the small number of these wolves that survive at this time.

However, this is a well settled part of North America, suggesting that in fact it could be down to human hunting rather than natural forces.

Aardvark

Aardvark

The Aardvark is an incredibly rarely seen animal. It is found on the savannahs of Africa, and generally lives well in and out of protected areas. It is quite a sizable aniimals, and has relatively high densities throughout its range (roughly 1 per square km in habitats that it is best suited to).

So why is it so rare to see this animal? They are one of the most exclusively nocturnal species that you can find. These are animals for which wildlife guides get excited.

The name, translated from Afrikaans means earth-pig. They are incredible diggers, and many of the burrows in the savannah are dug by them, who ever ends up using them.

The are insect eaters, and are well suited. Their claws are strong, allowing them to dig into the incredibly hard termite mounds, it has a long tongue of around 30cm, which they can direct down ant holes to get hold of their food. They have an incredible sense of smell and hearing to allow them to find the animals, and can shut their eyes and nose so as to avoid being attacked back.

Although rarely seen, there are places which have learnt how to watch them, giving you a great chance to see an animal few know about. Over recent decades, they have started appearing in zoos, with Colchester in the UK (should you visit, it is a species that needs patience, otherwise you are likely to just see a pile of aardvarks sleeping in their burrow.

It is at the top of animals I would like to see in the wild. Given, their range both in and out of reserves, I am hoping over time to build up plenty of places to see them out in the human world. Please get in touch if you are a farmer, who has these on your land.

Any of the savannah ecosystems on our wild places list will host these animals, however a great deal of luck will be needed to see them in the wild. However, we will add an special places we find where your odds are higher. For now, click here, if you want to visit a savannah ecosystem in the near future.

3.4.5 Peleinae, Alcelaphinae, Hippotraginae

Subfamilies 3. Peleinae, 4. Alcelaphinae, 5. Hippotraginae

The subfamily 3. Peleinae (one species)

Grey Rhebok

Grey Rhebok

The grey rhebok or grey rhebuck, locally known as the vaalribbok in Afrikaans, is native to South Africa, Lesotho, and Eswatini (Swaziland). The specific name capreolus is Latin for ‘little goat’. Generally confined to the higher areas of Southern Africa, they typically inhabit grassy, montane habitats – for example, sourveld – usually 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level, and carry a woolly grey coat to insulate them from the cold. They are not strictly limited to this habitat as they can be found in the coastal belt of the Cape, almost at sea level.

The grey rhebok is listed as “Near Threatened”, with a population of between 10,000-18,000

4. Subfamily Alcelaphinae - Sassabies, Hartebeest, Wildebeest (6 species)

Hirola

The HIrola ( also known as the Hunters hartebeest or hunters antelope) is a critically endangered species. It was named by H.C.V Hunter (a big game hunter and zoologist) in 1888. It is the only member of the genus Beatragus, and it currently has 300-500 individuals living in the wild (there are none in captivity).

It is a widely known fact, that should the Hirola be lost from the wild, it will be the last species in its genus, and therefore the first mammal genus to go extinct in Africa in the modern era. Locals have got behind this species, with 17 conservancies protecting much of the area. There are even efforts to make some of this area devoid of predators, so as to help this species bounce back faster.

Hirola

Tsessebbe, other names regularly used include Topi Sasseby and Tiang

Tsessebbee

The Tsessebbe is part of a group of so called species, which are actually subspecies (there are 5 or 6 subspecies recognized

It is closest related to the Bangweulu Tsessebe, Less so, but still very close to the Topi, Korrigum, Coastal Topi and teh Tiang subspecies. Even the Bontebok is very closely related.

  •  Tsessebbes have around 300,000 living wild
  • Korrigum (Senegalese Hartebeest) in 2004, it was numbered 2650, split between 2 national parks. They situation has not improved
  • Topi are doing well with over 100,00
  • Currently, the Tiang still number very high.

Bontebok

Found only in Southern Africa, its range includes South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia

There are 2 subspecies:

  • Bontebok, found around the western cape -2500-3000 (vulnerable IUCN)
  • Blesbok, found in the high-veld. Closely related to the Tsessebe has a population of around 120,000 (Least concern IUCN)
The majority of this is in protected reserves, meaning that the current threat is low and this species should keep growing
Bontebok

Hartebeest

Hartebeest

The Hartebeest – as many as 70 subspecies, local variants and similar have been suggested, however there is only one currently recognized species.

Overall, the species is listed as least concern with a population of around 360,000. The red hartebeest has a population of 130,000, but at the other end the Swaynes hartebeest in Ethiopia is only thought to number 800 in the wild. The Bulbul hartebeast (light blue) is extinct. The Lelwel Hartebeest(green) is considered endangered and has around 70,000 members. The western or Major hartebeest has around 36,000. What is clear, is that if you are travelling to an area where the local hartebeest is struggling, it would be we worth paying to see them, so as to give a value to them

Blue Wildebeest

  • Other names include common wildebeest, white-bearded gnu or brindled gnu.

There has been five subspecies recognized:

 

  • C.t.taurinus (Burchell, 1823), the blue wildebeest, common wildebeest, or brindled gnu Inhabits the dark brown range

  • C. t. johnstoni (Sclater, 1896), the Nyassaland wildebeest, inhabit orange (Tanzania, Mozambique Malawi)
  • C. t. albojubatus (Thomas, 1912), the eastern white-bearded wildebeest, found in the Gold (beside the Yelow)
  • C. t. mearnsi (Heller, 1913), the western white-bearded wildebeest, its range is shown in yellow
  • C. t. cooksoni (Blaine, 1914), Cookson’s wildebeest, is restricted to the Luangwa Valley in Zambia. This is the mighter brown

In addition, the distinctive appearance of a western form, ranging from the Kalahari to central Zambia, suggests that subspecies mattosi (Blaine, 1825) may also prove distinct from subspecies taurinus. The western form can be recognised even at a distance by its upright mane, long beard, and minimal brindling.

There are around 1.5 million of this species living in the wild – so they are not endangered. Having said this, given that 1.3 million (almost 90% of them live in the Serengeti ecosystem), were something to happen, we could be in a very different position..

Blue wildebeest

Black Wildebeest

Black wildebeest

The Black wildebeest is the black wildebeest or white-tailed gnu is one of the two closely related wildebeest species.  It was first described in 1780 by Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann. It came surprisingly close to extinction, having been hunted as a pest and for its meat and hide.

The current population is now thought to be around 18,000, though 7000 of this is in Namibia (outside their natural range) where they are farmed. Their conservation status is least concern

5. Subfamily Hippotraginae

Addax

The addax , also known as the white antelope and the screwhorn antelope, is an antelope found in the  Sahara Desert. The only member of the genus Addax, it was first described scientifically by Henri de Blainville in 1816. As suggested by its alternative name, the pale antelope has long, twisted horns – typically 55 to 80 cm  in females and 70 to 85 cm in males. Males stand from 105 to 115 cm at the shoulder, with females at 95 to 110 cm. The females are smaller than the males (sexually diamorphic). The colour of the coat depends on the season – in the winter, it is greyish-brown with white hindquarters and legs, and long, brown hair on the head, neck, and shoulders; in the summer, the coat turns almost completely white or sandy blonde.

The addax mainly eats grasses and leaves of any available shrubs, leguminous herbs and bushes and can survive with no more water than that in the plants they eat for long periods of time. Addax form herds of 5to 20 members, consisting of both males and females, but they are led by the eldest female. Due to its slow movements, the addax is an easy target for its predators: humans, lions, leopards, cheetahs and African wild dogs. Breeding season is at its peak during winter and early spring. The natural habitat of the addax are arid regions, semideserts and sandy and stony deserts.

The addax is a critically endangered species of antelope, as classified by the IUCN (though the USFWS lists them as endangered, as the population is thought to have gone from under 100 to around 500 in the last few years) . Although extremely rare in its native habitat due to unregulated hunting, it is quite common in captivity. The addax was once abundant in North Africa; however it is currently only native to Chad, Mauritania, and Niger. It is extirpated from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, and Western Sahara, but has been reintroduced into Morocco and Tunisia. On the map, they green areas are where they still live, while the red represent places that they have been reintroduced

Addax

Sable Antelope

Known for its impressive back curving horns, the sable antelope is a large antelope which inhabits wooded savanna in East and Southern Africa, from the south of Kenya to South Africa, with a separated population in Angola.

There are 4 subspecies

  • The southern sable antelope (other names include the common sable antelope, black sable antelope, Matsetsi sable antelope or South Zambian sable antelope) was the first to be described in 1838 and so is considered the nominate subspecies. Often referred to as the black sable antelope because it tends to have the darkest coat, this subspecies occurs south of the Zambezi River, particularly in northern Botswana and in large numbers in the Matsetsi Valley of Zimbabwe, but it is also found in South Africa. Currently, only about 15% pure Matsetsi sable antelopes are thought to exist in South Africa. The Matsetsi sable antelope population in Zimbabwe is only 450 (down from 24,000 in 1994). The sable antelope population in South Africa is about 7,000 (commercial and in reserves). Therefore, the Matsetsi sable antelope population apparently is less than 1,500 and declining. However, most of the sable antelope in the reserves are pure Matsetsi sable antelope. Anglo-American recently started a program of breeding pure Matsetsi sable antelope commercially and keeping them pure.
  • The giant sable antelope (also known as the royal sable antelope) is so named because both sexes are larger and their horns are recognizably longer. It is found only in a few remaining localities in central Angola. It is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is listed on Appendix I of CITES. There are thought to be less than 1000 left in the wild. Given a war raged for 27 years (ending in 2002), there is little tourism to the country. If this changes it is likely to give impetus for protecting what wildlife that remains.
  • The Zambian sable antelope (also known as the West Zambian sable antelope or West Tanzanian sable antelope) has the largest geographic range of the four subspecies, which extends north of the Zambezi River through Zambia, the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and Malawi into southwestern Tanzania. It is classified as Vulnerable (I cannot find a population estimate.
  • The eastern sable antelope (also known as the Shimba sable antelope) is the smallest of the four subspecies. It occurs in the coastal hinterlands of southern Kenya, particularly in the Shimba Hills National Reserve, and ranges through the region east of Tanzania’s eastern escarpment and into northern Mozambique.

In English “great sable antelope”, “sable” or the Swahili name mbarapi are sometimes used. An archaic term used in accounts of hunting expeditions in South Africa is “potaquaine”; the origin and exact application are unclear. Local names include swartwitpens (Afrikaans), kgama or phalafala (Sotho), mBarapi or palahala (Swahili), kukurugu, kwalat or kwalata (Tswana), ngwarati (Shona), iliza (Xhosa), impalampala (Zulu) and umtshwayeli (Ndebele).

Roan Antelope

Roan Antelope

The roan antelope is a large savanna-dwelling antelope found in western, central, and southern Africa. Named for its roan colour (a reddish brown), it has lighter underbellies, white eyebrows and cheeks and black faces, lighter in females. It has short, erect manes, very light beards and prominent red nostrils. It is one of the largest antelope, measuring 190–240 cm  from head to the base of the tail, and a 37–48 cm  long tail. Males weigh 242–300 kg and females 223–280 kg . Its shoulder height is around 130–140 cm.

It was first described by French naturalist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in 1803. It is listed as least concern by IUCN, while CITES places them on appendix 3 (I have been unable to find conservation of the subspecies, but these will be added if/ when I do.

Six subspecies are recognised:

  • H. e. bakeri (Heuglin, 1863): Occurs in Sudan (East Africa). Vulnerable 
  • H. e. cottoni Dollman and Burlace, 1928: Occurs in Angola, Botswana, the southern Democratic Republic of the Congo, central and northern Malawi, and Zambia (Southern Africa).
  • H. e. equinus É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1803: Occurs in Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe (Southern Africa).
  • H. e. koba (Gray, 1872): Range extends from Senegal to Benin (West Africa).
  • H. e. langheldi Matschie, 1898: Occurs in Burundi, the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda (East Africa).
  • H. e. scharicus (Schwarz, 1913): Occurs in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad and eastern Nigeria (Central Africa).
Roan antelopes can be found in woodland, grassland, and savannah; mainly in the tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, which range in tree density from forest with a grassy understory (such as the central Zambezian Miombo woodlands) to grasslands dotted with few trees, where they eat mid-length grasses.
 
They live in small groups and form harem groups of 5 to 15 animals with one dominant male. Males commonly fight among themselves for dominance of their herd, brandishing their horns while both animals are on their knees.

Gemsbok

The gemsbok or South African oryx, is a large antelope in the genus Oryx. It is endemic to the dry and barren regions of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and (parts of) Zimbabwe, mainly inhabiting the Kalahari and Namib Deserts, areas in which it is supremely adapted for survival. Previously, some sources classified the related East African oryx, or beisa oryx, as a subspecies.

The name gemsbok is from Afrikaans, which itself is from the Dutch word of the same spelling, meaning “male chamois”, composed of gems (“chamois”) + bok (“buck, male goat”).

It is on the Namibian coat of arms, as there are roughly 373,000 in the country. They are listed as least concern. Being a desert species, they are only found in South African reserves in the west, and are not found in the Kruger. The closely related East African Oryx lives (unsurprisingly) in east Africa.

Belsa Oryx - Also known as the East African Oryx

Belsa Oryx

The East African oryx  inhabits eastern Africa. The East African oryx has two subspecies;

  • the common beisa oryx (O. b. beisa)
  • the fringe-eared oryx (O. b. callotis).

In the past, both were considered subspecies of the gemsbok. The East African oryx is an endangered species, with 11,000-13,000 mature individuals in the wild.

Scimitar Oryx

The scimitar oryx, also called the scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), of North Africa used to be listed as extinct in the wild, but it is now declared as endangered. Unconfirmed surviving populations have been reported in central Niger and Chad, and a semi-wild population currently inhabiting a fenced nature reserve in Tunisia is being expanded for reintroduction to the wild in that country. Several thousand are held in captivity around the world.

Schimiter Oryx

6. Subfamily Aepycerotinae (1 species)

Impala

Impala

There are currently around 2 million Impala roaming across Africa.  About one quarter of these live in protected areas in Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Around 1000 of the Black faced Impala live in the green area in the west of Africa.

In some reserves such as the Kruger, they are the most common antelope.

7. Subfamily Antilopinae

Dama Gazelle

The Dama Gazelle is a small antelope, species with a handful of small populations acros central and western north Africa. It lives in the Sahara and the Sahel desert. 

In Niger, the Dama Gazelle has become a national symbol.

There are 3 subspecies, however the Mhorr gazell is extinct in the wild (though zoos have a number) , the dama gazelle is only kept in captivity one zoo and is very rare in the wild. 

The species is critically endangered with only 100-200 left in the wild. Given that this small population is spread over a number of areas. The number of wild semi wild and captive is around 2900, so it is just the need to save the species in the wild which is the current problem.

Schimiter Oryx

Beaked whales

Beaked whales

Beaked whales are a fascinating wide-ranging family. There are 24 species, but they spend much of their time in the ocean depths, and are capable of holding their breath for up to 3 hours.

More amazingly, it appears that some species might only spend several minutes at the surface before returning to the depths. Now, while this 3 hours record dive is repeatable is a big question. Assuming the beaked whale was capable of repeating this 8 times in a 24 hour period, we would be talking about a species which spends only 1% of its time at the surface. Given their shape also allows them to keep an incredibly low profile, even at the surface – and we do not know how many of them there are, it makes it clear how hard it would be to spot one.

If you could sit in one place, in the ocean for 24 hours, and have a whale repeatedly return to the surface for 2 minutes, half a mile away, it would not be hard to miss the animal.

Please note, where I have found a video, it is in line with the correct image. Before you reach all these species, there is an amalgamated news section for all beaked whales.

We are eager to support tourism of these species, but given they are seen so rarely, there is not a great deal of tourism connected to them. However, we will happily list anyone who does work in tourism and sees one of these even once (we will also list you on pages for cetaceans that you see more regularly.

Arnoux beaked whale Genus Beradius

Also known as the southern 4 toothed whale, southern beaked whale, New Zealand beaked whale, southern giant bottlenose whale and southern porpoise whale is one of the species of Berardius. This species and the one below, is so similar that only genetic evidence and the huge distance between them convinced people they were separate species. 

Little is known about them, because they are encountered so rarely

Play Video

Baird Beaked whale Genus Beradius

Also known as the northern giant bottlenose whale, North Pacific bottlenose whale, giant four-toothed whale, northern four-toothed whale and the North Pacific four-toothed whale, is a species of whale from the genus Beradius. It is the second largest toothed whale after the Sperm Whale

Play Video

Sato Beaked whale Genus Beradius

This whale was only recognized as a separate species on the basis of mtDNA. Its beak is usually only around 4% of body length. The name comes from the researcher who defined it (from pictures on land.

They generally have many scars, which are easy to see, as their skin is dark and the scars light to white.

Its classed as near threatened, though its hard to know.

Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Hyperoodon – bottlenose whales, northern bottlenose whale The northern bottlenose whale was hunted heavily by Norway and Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is capable of diving incredibly deep, with recorded dives reaching 2339m, and has been timed staying under water for 130 minutes. The northern bottlenose whale is endemic to the North Atlantic Ocean< and populations are found in the deep (500 m) cold subarctic waters of the Davis Strait, Labrador Sea, Greenland Sea, Barents Sea, , but can range as far south as Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. As of 2017, the population in the North East Atlantic is estimated to be between 10,000 and 45,000.

Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Hyperoodon – bottlenose whales, Southern bottlenose whale

The southern bottlenose whale is a species of whale, in the Ziphiid family, one of two members of the genus Hyperoodon. Seldom observed, the southern bottlenose whale is resident in Antarctic waters. The species was first described by English zoologist William Henry Flower in 1882, based on a water-worn skull from Lewis Island, in the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. They live in deep ocean waters over 1000 meters.

Gnerally their dives last 15-40 minutes, but it is unclear if they would be capable of diving for as long as the northern species. There are no population estimates, though they make up 90% of ziphiid sightings in Antarctic waters.

Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Indopacetus, Tropical bottlenose whale

The tropical bottlenose whale, also known as the Indo-Pacific beaked whale or Longman’s beaked whale, was considered to be the world’s rarest cetacean until recently, but the spade-toothed whale now holds that position. As of 2010, the species is now known from nearly a dozen strandings and over 65 sightings. This is the only species in its genus.

Given how rarely they are sighted, they have not been hunted, though they have been killed accidently.

Andrews' beaked whale

Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Mesoplodon, mesoplodont whales, Andrews Beaked whale

Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Mesoplodon, mesoplodont whales Blainvilles beaked whale

Blainville's beaked whale

Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Mesoplodon, mesoplodont whales Deraniyagala beaked whale

The Deraniyagala beaked whale is so rare, I have been unable to find a video to place here

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Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Mesoplodon, mesoplodont whales, Gervaiss beaked whale

Gervais's beaked whale
Ginkgo-toothed beaked whale

Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Mesoplodon, mesoplodont whales,

Ginkgo-toothed beaked whlae

Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Mesoplodon, mesoplodont whales, grey beaked whale

grey beaked whale
Hector's beaked whale

Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Mesoplodon, mesoplodont whales, Hectors beaked whale

Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Mesoplodon, mesoplodont whales, Hubbs Beaked whale

Hubbs' beaked whale
Perrin's beaked whale

Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Mesoplodon, mesoplodont whales, Perrins beaked whale

Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Mesoplodon, mesoplodont whales, Pygmy beaked whale

Pygmy beaked whale
Ramari's beaked whale

Subfamily Hyperodontinae, Genus Mesoplodon, mesoplodont whales

Subfamily Hyperodontinae

Sowerby's beaked whale
Spade-toothed whale

Subfamily Hyperodontinae

Subfamily Hyperodontinae

Stejnegers beaked whale
Strap-toothed whale

Subfamily Hyperodontinae

Subfamily Hyperodontinae

True's beaked whale

Baji or Chinese river dolphin

Baija or Chinese river dolphin - Extinct

Almost definitely extinct, this species of river dolphin lived in the Yangtze and was also known as the white dolphin among other names.

The last confirmed sighting was now more than 20 years ago, and given the incredibly polluted state of their river home it is unlikely that any did survive. There may well be much debate in the future, as to whether similar river dolphins from elsewhere could replace them. What is clear is that this is irrelevant for a significant length of time, as it is likely to be many decades before the river is capable of supporting significant populations of fish, never-mind a river dolphin.

Below is a rare clip of it from before extinction, and below is any times that it is mentioned on this site. Given that it is extinct, its mentioning may not be helpful for seeing it, but may well be of interest. Below this video, is an automated list of any articles from this site which mentions this species. Unfortunately, as the species is extinct means that the local population cannot benefit from ecotourism, but there are many other species that still cling on in China. All wildlife has the capacity to bring in money for those who live nearby. Help us make this happen

Australian Snubfin Dolphin

Australian Snubfin Dolphin

Found off the north coast of Australia (see the map to the right for a more detailed idea, the Yellow is suspected range, and the question marks designate areas which have similar attributes, but where they have never been seen) it looks very similar to the Irrawaddy dolphin, and was only recognized as a separate species in 2005.

They are the only 2 species found in the genus Orcaella. The closest relative to this genus (as you may have guessed) is the Orca or killer whale.

Females reach a length of 230cm while males grow to 270cm. While lifespan is estimated at 30 years, this species is so rarely encountered, scientific studies have proved impossible so far.

Generally living in groups of 2-6 (larger groups of up to 14 have been encountered). It is consindered vulnerable, and while its population does not show rapid declines in recent times, its wild population is thought to number 200 or less.

 Below, is a video of the species, and then is a list of any mentions of this species on the website (given how rare it is, it may never show any articles).

Below that, I will add any opportunities to see this animal in the wild, as we make contacts

Aardwolf

Aardwolf

The aardwolf is the smallest member of the Hyaenidae family, as you can see from the map, it is a species with two separated populations, one in East Africa and one in Southern Africa. It is insectivorous, and exclusively nocturnal, and is generally thought of as one of the harder animals to see in the wild. If incredibly lucky, you can see them feeding alongside Aardvarks, and even Pangolins, but this is rare.  They favour open dry plains and savannahs.

Looking at first glance rather similar to a thin striped hyena, but with a black mane running from its neck, down its back, it can raise this during a confrontation. 

As it ages, it can loose its teeth, however, due to the softness of most insects, this is not the death sentence that it is in many wild animals.

They will defend a territory from others, that covers 1-4 square km, during the breeding season, but are solitary the rest of the time. Both sexes mark their territory, and they will maintain as many as 10 dens throughout their territory, giving them a nearby bolt-hole should danger approach.

They are careful not to destroy a nest that they raid, and will remember where they are, so that they can return for another meal a few months later.

They generally have a density of 1 per square km at most (though this is far higher than animals like lions.

While some farmers mistakenly kill them, thinking that they threaten their livestock, their diet of insects is often good for the farm animals. Their hide is worth a little.

Below is a video of this species and below this is a list of any articles that mention this species. When we have more contacts, you will find them below the news section.

Dhole

Dhole

The Dhole is an ancient species of dog, It split from the rest of the dog family 5.2-7.6 million years ago.

While it is related to the family of canis, it is different. It was once found throughout Europe, Asia and North America, but its range decreased down to its current range 12,000-18,000 years ago. In more recent times, this area has shrunk significantly, as a result of human changes.

Even with the dramatic reduction in range, it is still a large area, given the current population is thought to be around 2500 individuals, which means that it has to be a rare species, and likely there are areas with little or none of the species still found.

There are a variety of factors, from loss of habitat, persecution for livestock predation, competition from other species and diseases caught from closely related species. There are currently 7 subspecies of dhole recognized, though in the past that number has been as high as 10.

It is protected in parts of its range, but is still at threat.

Atlantic humpback dolphin

Atlantic Humpback Dolphin

The Atlantic humpback dolphin is a dolphin species that is found on the west coastal areas of Africa. Unfortunately the IUCN classes it as critically endangered. Apart from their difference in range with the Indo-Pacific dolphin, they are also different in appearance, particularly colouring. 

It is found along the coast from the Sahara to Angola, generally in water less than 20m deep. It is generally shy, does not ride the bow wave of boats and ariel jumps are pretty rare. Usually found in groups of 1-8, occasionally they have been seen in groups of 20-40.

Generally they look for food in the shallows, and occasionally right in the surf. They have been known to engage in cooperative fishing methods with Mauritanian Imraguen fishermen. They do this by driving the fish towards the shore and into the nets. They favour inshore fish such as mullet.

As in many other parts of the world, and other dolphin species, one of the biggest threats they face is incidental capture in gill nets.

It is considered critically endangered, partly because it has been shown to be damaged by coastal development, and this is increasingly common in its range. We are eager to support its future survival, through any tourism (this helps giving value to the species, and therefore makes sure that local people are invested in its future survival. If you work in tourism of this species, click on the “list your wild place” link on the home page. These links when added, will be added at the bottom of the page. If you work in conservation of this species, do join as a member, we are keen to publish any news that you might have.

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