Monkey Puzzle Tree

Today’s endangered species comes from Chile. It’s called the Monkey Puzzle Tree. It’s also known as the Pehuén, monkey tail tree, Chilean pine and Pino Araucana. Comes from the Family Aracucariaceae (don’t ask me how to pronounce that one) which is species of evergreen conifers but it’s not actually the same as your average pine tree. The name came from the idea that it would be a real puzzle if a monkey tried to climb this tree but, fun fact, there are no monkeys in Chile anyway!

California Condor

Today’s endangered species is one of the largest birds in the world; the California condor or Gymnogyps californianus. Gymnos is Greek for naked, because their heads are naked, gyps for vulture and californianus for their range which is California. However, 40,000 years ago, the California condor used to roam all over North America. By the way, condor comes from the Inca word cuntur which the Andean condors are named. Andean condors are California condor’s cousins and they are also critically endangered.

Humans of…

Endangered Thursdays is normally dedicated to animals listed on the IUCN list all over the world to bring awareness to their plight. Today I’m switching it up and keeping it short.

As many people are aware, a huge hurricane named Harvey graced parts of Texas with its presence beginning last week. Houston in particular is now up to 50 inches of rain. That’s as tall, if not taller than the average human which means this city is underwater. Harvey has returned to land but this time in parts of Louisiana which is heartbreaking considering this is the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, 12 years ago, that killed thousands of people.

Przewalski’s Horse

Today’s endangered animal looks hard to pronounce but it’s actually pretty simple. Przewalski is pronounced “shuh-VAL-skee”. Also known as the P-horse for short, or the Mongolian horse. Przewalski’s horse are the last true wild horses. All the “wild horses” you see in places like Australia and North American Great Plains are actually feral horses.The Mongolians refer to P-horses as “tahki” which means spirit. Spirits are generally worshiped so you don’t ride the P-horse, you don’t capture the P-horse and your certainly don’t kill the P-horse.

Amur Leopard

Not to be confused with the cheetah, today’s endangered tale is brought to you by the Amur Leopard. The name Amur comes form the Amur river which separates Far East Russia from Northeast China. The Amur leopard is also known as the Korean leopard or the Manchurian leopard depending on which region is referencing it. It is currently listed on the IUCN Endangered Species list as critically endangered.

Saola

Today’s endangered animal is quite the unicorn. Brace yourselves.

Saola (pronounced sow-la) are in the genus bovid family. Other bovids include bison, buffalo, antelopes and domestic cattle. The saola stand out because they have long curving horns and striking white marking patterns on their face. Saola are endemic to the deep, evergreen forests and Annamite Mountains of Laos and Vietnam. Saola means “spinning wheel posts” in the Lao language because their horns resemble the spinning wheels on posts that villagers used. They weigh about 175-220 pounds (80-100kg).

Asian Elephant

Today’s endangered post is focusing on the Asian elephant. It is grouped as top 10 most endangered animals in the world. Their population ranges between 40,000 and 50,000 which may seem like a lot but in actuality is not enough. Before the 20th century, over 100,000 Asian elephants existed. Their numbers have been vastly cut down for reasons I will discuss in a bit.

Red Wolf

In the spirit of Game of Thrones returning, today’s endangered animal is the red wolf. The most well known wolf species is lupus or the gray wolf but the red wolf belongs to species rufus. Gray wolves are found throughout North America and Euraisia. They are not always gray in color. For example the Arctic gray wolf can be gray or white. Red wolves are endemic to to a small area of coastal North Carolina. You will not see a red wolf anywhere else in the world (legally).

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

I’m going to mix it up again this week and talk about something that’s pretty gruesome.

Have you ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? If not, you’re in for an enlightening ride.

When I first learned about it, I was told it was this big island of trash that was “larger than the state of of Texas” or “three times the size of the United Kingdom!” The sad truth is, no one will never really know the size because it’s constantly growing.