A zookeeper dressed up in a giant panda suit carries panda cub Cao Gen at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center.
Scientists wear the panda suits to limit human interaction with the endangered bears, which are being left to fend for themselves in the new habitat so they can learn crucial survival skills and live in the wild without assistance.
The success stories of the bald eagle, American alligator, and blue poison frog give species on the brink of extinction something to live for. LiveScience takes a close look at the most impressive comeback kids…
Good News: Nevada’s black bears could be moving east
by John DeLong
With an increasing population and attracted by an improving landscape, Nevada’s black bears may be on the march east to parts of Nevada’s interior where they haven’t been found for decades, according to a new report by bear biologists…
Camera Trap Photos: Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)
A giant panda takes a roll in the leaves.The giant panda’s habitat is limited to a region of temperate bamboo forests in south-central China. The bamboo-loving bears are endangered, and there are perhaps as few as 2,500 mature pandas left in the wild.
Click through for more pictures of wild creatures, both familiar and strange, captured by camera traps set up from China to Kenya to Virginia, and collected on Smithsonian Wild, a new website from the storied research institute. The cameras, triggered by motion and heat, capture the animals unawares, going about their lives in their natural environments.
Credit: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
When Lewis and Clark explored the West in the early 1800s an estimated 50,000 grizzly bears roamed between the Pacific Ocean and the Great Plains, across vast stretches of open and unpopulated land. But when pioneers moved in, bears were persecuted and their numbers and range drastically declined. Today, with the western United States inhabited by millions of Americans, only a few small corners of grizzly country remains, supporting about 1,400-1,700 wild grizzly bears. Of the 37 separate grizzly populations present in 1922, 31 were extirpated by 1975.
Polar Bears jostle each other at the St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo in St-Felicien, Quebec, on October 31, 2011. According to Environment Canada, Canada is home to around 15,000 of the estimated 20,000 polar bears in the world. The U.S. (Alaska), Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway are the other four countries where polar bears can be found.
While these bears do live in captivity, it can be argued they might have a better life than their wild brethren, who, thanks to climate change, are being forced to move due to melting ice. As sea ice decreases, the bears swim farther to find suitable habitats, and food is harder to come by.
CITES voted against protecting polar bears on an international level, here’s a story from a couple of days ago (3/5/13), in the Guardian UK, telling you why they should have…
US and Russia unite in bid to strengthen protection for polar bears
Proposal to ban international commercial trade in polar bear products sets up showdown with Canada over key Cites vote
by Damien Carrington
A fight to protect polar bears from Arctic hunters has led cold war foes the US and Russia to unite against Canada ahead of a key international vote this week.
The bitter row is over the 600 or so of the polar species killed each year by Canadian hunters, most of which are exported as bear skin rugs, fangs or paws. Diplomatic relations became even frostier on Tuesday, when the European Union attempted to block the US proposal to outlaw the export trade, which is strongly supported by Russia.
Canada, home to about three-quarters of the world’s 20,000-25,000 remaining polar bears, is the only country that allows the export of polar bear products. Its delegates argue there is “insufficient scientific evidence” that polar bear populations will decline by more than half in the coming decades and that trade is “not detrimental to the species”. They say hunting and trading in polar bears is “integrally linked” with Inuit subsistence and culture…
The United States has published a Federal Register Notice announcing the availability of tentative U.S. positions on the species proposals, draft resolutions and decisions submitted by other countries and the CITES Secretariat for consideration at CoP16 (the convention to discuss protection of threatened and endangered species).