INTERESTING FACTS

 

Leaving egg-eating top predators alone is good for turtle conservation

hands up who loves raccoons?Raccoons Procyon lotor love loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta eggs, as do ghost crabs Ocypode quadrata. The trouble with the often-used conservation measure of controlling raccoons at turtle nesting beaches is it lets the ghost crabs off the hook: raccoons are also partial to the odd crustacean for dinner. A study published recently in Biological Conservation suggests that leaving at least some raccoons might actually benefit the beleaguered turtles, because they suppress predation levels by crabs. Yale researcher Brandon Bartons field study found the highest ghost crab numbers and highest overall turtle nest predation occurred where there were the fewest raccoons. Go on, go cuddle a raccoon today. Source: Barton BT & Roth JD (2008) Implications of intraguild predation for sea turtle nest protection. Biol. Cons. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2008.06.013

Image: Hans-Walter Untch (photo is of a mainland raccoon, not a Caribbean Raccoon)

Article taken from Journal Watch Online - http://journalwatch.conservationmagazine.org
URL to article: http://journalwatch.conservationmagazine.org/2008/07/29/yay-for-raccoons/

 

 

To prevent BIRDS from flying into windows, simply draw a grid with a yellow highlighter marker on your window.  It is mostly invisible to us, but very visible to the birds.  LINK here

 

Squirrels may love peanuts, but they are really not a healthy food choice.  Peanuts in a squirrel's diet over time can cause metabolic bone disease by preventing calcium from binding to their bones.  This causes weak and brittle bones which result in fractures leading to death.  If you must feed peanuts, do so VERY sparingly.  Substitute other fresh whole nuts, black oil sunflower seeds, apples, grapes, coconut, native berries, and veggies.  The squirrels may resist the new diet for a while, but will learn to love it.  An especially good food for them is sweet potatoes or yams.  They are filled with vitamins and minerals important in a healthy diet.

 

Did you know that when a baby opossum is born, it is just the size of a pencil eraser?  Mom gives birth after just two weeks, and the tiny legless babies must find their way to her pouch, where they will finish growing to normal birth size.  But an opossum never finishes growing.  They are one of only a few animals that grow their entire life.  Pretty amazing. 

 

According to the latest research, the hands of a raccoon are more dexterous than those of a monkey, or even a human.  In fact, if they had a thumb like ours, they would be considered a primate.  Scientists, recently, have come to believe that raccoons are the link between primates and other animals.

 

Contrary to what most people believe, an opossum is not considered to be an aggressive animal.  They are defensive only.  Their first line of defense is to open their mouth and show off all those teeth.  They have more teeth than any other mammal!  If that doesn't work to scare you off, then they can have an event that is much like a hiccup, only in the case of an opossum, they appear to be dead.  There isn't any thing an opossum can do to prevent it from happening, either.  Just like a hiccup, you just gotta do it.

 

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