Tortoises on the Galapagos Islands were subject to extensive overexploitation for food by sailors and settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, populations are threatened by invasive species, habitat loss, poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. Conservation programs like conservation breeding and reintroduction are showing great success, and the tortoise populations are slowly recovering.
Southern Resident Orcas are one of three orca ecotypes found in the Salish Sea. Unlike the so-called Transient and Offshore Orcas, they feed primarily on Chinook Salmon. But salmon stocks have declined dramatically in recent decades. Since 2005, Southern Resident Orcas have been considered endangered.
Around 30 free-ranging Blue Peacocks live on Peacock Island in Berlin. They are descendants of the peacocks that King Frederick William II brought to the island in 1795. Those peacocks formed the basis for a menagerie on the island. More than 800 exotic animals once lived on the little island in lake Wannsee. Later, in the year 1842, most of them were handed over in to the newly founded Berlin Zoo.
In 1996, the Great Bustard was in Germany on the verge of extinction. Only 57 individuals were left. Through a breeding program, habitat conservation and predator management, the population grew again to over 300 animals. Today, many birdwatchers come to the Havelländisches Luch to observe the courtship of the Great Bustards. A nature experience that would no longer be possible without the commitment of the conservationists.
The Northern White Rhino is on the verge of extinction. There are only two living animals left – two females. They live closely guarded in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya. The international BioRescue consortium is trying to make the impossible possible with frozen sperm, advanced assisted reproductive technologies, and stem cell-associated techniques.
IUCN has classified the giraffe as vulnerable due to a decrease in total population of 36-40% between 1985 and 2015. Yet they receive far less attention than other animals in Africa. This article is the continuation of my article on the Giraffe Center Nairobi with facts and interesting details about our largest land animal.