Category Archives: Greenygrey conservation

Yellowstone Wolf Reintroduction Helps Beaver Biodiversity

Hi, it’s Harry Silhouetteof-Wolfhowlingonhill, television correspondent at the Greenygrey. I was delighted to see that the BBC‘s fascinating series, Nature’s Microworlds, recently had an episode about how wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone in the 1990s helped the oldest national park in the world’s river ecosystem return to its best state since wolves were exterminated in the 1920s.

28-365
28-365 (Photo credit: balaocat)

Yellowstone Wolves Benefit Beavers and Biodiversity

In Nature’s Microworlds‘ infotainment style, the Steve Backshall-narrated documentary took the viewer through several reasons why wolves might have helped beavers thrive; eliminating them one by one in a Sherlock Holmes-style deductive reasoning.

Nature
Nature (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Was the key connection coyotes, bears, bison or elk?

Thankfully for us, Marc Latham has written a new article about it for his Suite 101 Natural World Media channel; including a Greenygrey image; and it provides a more in-depth account of the documentary; its information; and the key link between wolves and beavers that has helped to replenish Yellowstone’s riverbanks.

 

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Valentine Love Story Wolf Tragic Ending

Hi, it’s Greenygrey. Love is in the human air today as Valentine Day is celebrated. But it’s not only humans that exhibit love you know. I know because I am of course a werewolf, and know both my human and wolf sides.

Love Story Inspired Century of Animal Conservation

And one of the greatest love stories ever told; well, it was in fact real; was that of Lobo and Blanca, two wild wolves living in a time of change in the American West.

English: no original description
English: no original description (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They eluded capture by ranchers for months, but Blanca was eventually trapped, and her scent used to trap her pining partner Lobo.

Valentine Story Ending and More Information

That wasn’t the end of the story. The tear-jerking broken-hearted ending to this famous wolf love story and more information are available in Marc Latham’s new Suite 101 Natural World Media article.

Illustration from Ernest Thompson Seton's Wild...
Illustration from Ernest Thompson Seton’s Wild Animals I Have Known (1898) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although there wasn’t a happy ending for the Lobo and Blanca love story, their intelligence and devotion did turn their captor, Ernest Thompson Seton, into a wildlife and conservation advocate.

Moreover, the story of Lobo and Blanca he told inspired a Disney movie and BBC documentary; as well Sir David Attenborough, who has been producing groundbreaking wildlife documentaries for over half a century.

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Life of Pi – Pie in the Sky as Animal Species Die

Hi, it’s Greenygrey. I did go to the cinema once this year – to see the Life of Pi movie, which looked like a travel story comparable to my ramble across North America and Grey’s ozyssey across Oztralia. Moreover, knowing many animals are sacred in Hinduism I thought there’d be a positive message about the relationship between humans and animals.

Life of Pi God and Animals Message

I really enjoyed Ang Lee’s movie, and recommend watching it. I thought the storyline was entertaining and thought-provoking, and the cinematography majestic. However, I was disappointed that the central theme seemed to be that God made humans and animals separate.

Apparently the message is not so strong in the book, which I haven’t read.

I agree that you should take care when interacting with dangerous animals like tigers; as the warning on the front page of the Greenygrey website stresses; and that wild animals should live in the wild. What I don’t agree with is that there is a God-designed distinct separation between humans and animals.

Humans and Animals Similarities and Differences

I think this is a dangerous message for animals and wildlife conservation on Earth, because humans have used a special status under ‘God’ to treat their close relatives badly, pushing many species to extinction.

Ever-improving scientific knowledge and studies into animal behaviour, highlighted in documentaries such as The Wonders of Life show that animals share almost all the DNA and thought processes with humans, and this is because life on Earth has evolved together over millions of years.

Humanity and Animals Share Compassion and Emotion

Humanity is at its best when being caring and compassionate, but even this is not unique. Many animals will put their lives on the line trying to care for others; and even others of other species.

Stories of dogs mourning their masters are common. It could be argued that dogs have been trained to care over the thousands of years they’ve spent with humanity, since wolves and humans made friends, but there are also many cases of animals in the wild adopting or befriending animals from other species.

The video of polar bears and huskies making friends and playing was an example of this, and another even more remarkable one was brought to my attention by Stefan Latham. This showed a leopard killing a baboon and then taking pity on the baboon infant, and seemingly adopting it.

It doesn’t prove there is or isn’t a god or gods, but I hope it shows that there is not such a distinct difference between humans and other animals that the Life of Pi movie seems to suggest.

Wild Wolf Photo Star of Independent Chernobyl Wildlife

Hi, it’s Chris Packwolf, nature and wildlife correspondent at the Greenygrey. First of all, I was pleasantly surprised to see a great greenygrey photo of a wolf in the wild on the BBC‘s morning news paper round-up from today’s Independent newspaper.

The sad part is that it is inside the Chernobyl environment, which was said to  still have a radiation problem after the nuclear fallout of 1986. No humans have returned, so wildlife is said to be thriving there.

The best news is that the animals studied there are not showing any signs of deformities from the radiation. In an ideal world, humans will soon return and live in harmony with the wildlife that is acting as a safety scout.

Lost Land of the Tiger Documentary Controversy

Marc Latham’s new Lost Land of the Tiger BBC documentary article for Suite 101 was going to be the headline news today, but the greenygrey wild wolf story scooped the top story spot this morning. There’s never a dull moment at the Greenygrey.

It’s still a very interesting article though, with the amazing documentary leading to an intriguing controversy. Hopefully it won’t distract from the most important issue raised: conserving tigers and other wildlife.

People with access to the BBCiplayer can watch the documentary today up to 7.59pm GMT.

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Chris Packham’s Natural World Amazing Animals Ant Acropolis

Hi, it’s Chris Packwolf, natural world correspondent at the Greenygrey. I’m delighted to report that Marc Latham’s fourth article about my human parallel Chris Packham’s three-part Nature’s Weird Events series is now on the Suite 101 Natural World Media channel.

Birds Use Spider Silk for Nests

Among the weird natural events featured in the nature documentary and article, are birds using spider silk to build nests and the migratory behaviour of monarch butterflies and elephants; and the spectacles they create.

There is also a massive ant colony structure that is being excavated in Mexico showing the complexity of the ant world. The 160-foot (fifty metres) square complex is thought to have housed seven million leaf-cutter ants.

The ants use grass as fungus for fertiliser. The complex contained chambers for different departments, like a human building or city. There’s a video on YouTube showing such an ant colony excavation (might be the same one):

Aggressive Animal Behaviour Overshadows Evidence of Intelligence

Hi, it’s Chris Packwolf, natural world correspondent at the Greenygrey. I was delighted to read an interview by my human parallel Chris Packham in yesterday’s Metro, which is available on the Metro website.

Animal Attacks more Interesting than Animal Love? 

A Puffer Fish,Arothron hispidus is kissing my ...
A Puffer Fish, Arothron hispidus is kissing my camera at Big Island of Hawaii (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although the Metro is a great read, and it’s good that they’ve given Chris Packham space in their paper, I guess he is a little disappointed that the interview headline is about dangerous animal behaviour, rather than the sensational serenading behaviour of the puffer fish, which Chris Packham considers his favourite moment of the second Nature’s Weird Events series.

But that’s a question of news values, and what they think will interest readers. Back to the amazing animals…

Puffer Fish Serenading Structure

New evidence has found that the male puffer fish builds this amazing ‘crop circle’ style structure on the ocean floor to serenade females, and even decorates it with shells. There are practical reasons too, with the ridges protecting eggs from waves and nutrients in the shells for the young inside.

Wood Frogs Self-Freeze

Marc Latham’s latest Suite 101 Natural World Media article about the third episode of Nature’s Weird Events focuses on the puffer fish behaviour and tree frogs‘ ability to self-freeze; with those two stories so amazing that they seem to have taken up all the word count.

Another article summarising the rest of episode three is likely…

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Polar Bears Play with Husky Dogs Video and Analysis

Hi, it’s Harry Silhouetteof-Wolfhowlingonhill. Great news from the new revamped Suite 101, where our ol’ colleague Marc Latham has set up a Natural World Media channel.

Polar Bears and Husky Dogs Play Friendly

In an exclusive interview, Marc said he was inspired by footage of wild polar bears making friends with their natural predator competitor husky dogs, and scenes of them playing together on the BBC‘s Chris Packham presented Nature’s Weirdest Events documentary. And that wasn’t the end of it.

The bear brought back friends the next year and it has been an annual event in Churchill, Canada since 1992. There’s more about it in Marc’s first article on the new channel:  playing polar bears and husky dogs.

*We don’t recommend trying to copy the huskies and trying to make friends with polar bears, just in case you meet any in the near future.

**The first episode of Nature’s Weirdest Events is available in the UK until Thursday January 10th. There is also some polar bear and husky play footage on YouTube (please note the greenygrey jumper):