Mammals in the news

A few of the articles that caught my eye recently include a couple based on African-research:

Why Elephants Are As Ritualistic and Violent As the Mafia; and this piece on the genetics of Mountain Gorillas (apparently they have long numbered in the hundreds).

Its a big month for Otters. Grace Yoxon, from the International Otter Survival Fund got in touch to promote International Otter Awareness Day on 27 May inviting everyone to take part. A poster and flyer is attached. She writes

The whole aim of the day is to make people more aware of otters and the threats they face. In the UK people believe that otters are doing very well and the situation has certainly improved but even here there are some areas where otters are still struggling to make a comeback. There are many threats – the most important is of course roads, but there are also threats from litter, disturbance and sadly deliberate and illegal killing.

As we know, otters are at the top of the food chain and using both the land and water they are an ideal indicator of a healthy environment. This is vital for all species including our own. It is important that we tell people about this.

Worldwide there are 13 species of otter and nine of them are declining and it is vital that we draw attention to this so that steps can be taken to halt this decline. The focus is always on the high profile species such as elephants and tigers and it is up to us to alert the public to the problems facing otters.

If you do plan to take part please tell us so that we can publicise it on the Events page of our website.

If you are doing anything with children you can download materials at

And here is a PDF to spread awareness

She’s also just released a new book which looks like it should be good though I haven’t seen it yet.

Continuing the aquatic theme then here’s a great video of a diver’s encounter and a Sperm Whale.

Less great for our species – but a victory for justice – was this story of Norwegian wolf hunters being sentenced to jail time.

A couple of havens for wildlife got some attention to: in Papua New Guinea and Chernobyl



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