The Whisker Chronicles

Whiskers are also known as vibrissa, from the latin vibrare "to vibrate". Vibrissa are the specialized hairs on mammals and the bristlelike feathers near the mouths of many birds. Their resonant design is symbolic of the energies, good and bad, that are reverberating throughout the natural world. Every living thing is connected and, by birthright, deserves to exist.

Orangutans and the Great Ape Conservation Fund (Written for The Ecotone Exchange)

Earlier this month, I wrote about Sandra, an orangutan at the Buenos Aires Zoo and a landmark ruling on animal rights. I am following up with more information about the … Continue reading

January 31, 2015 · Leave a comment

Sentient Sandra and a Landmark Ruling on Animal Rights (Written for The Ecotone Exchange)

Last month, amid the holiday hustle and bustle and with little fanfare, a landmark legal ruling in the world history of animal rights occurred in Argentina. The ruling concerned an … Continue reading

January 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Only Good Wolf is a Live Wolf

October 12th-18th is Wolf Awareness Week. During wolf week in 2013, I wrote about conservation efforts to preserve red wolves (Canis rufus). It has been a bad year for red … Continue reading

October 17, 2014 · 1 Comment

Elephant and Rhino Conservation: Three Encouraging Events in One Year (Written for the Ecotone Exchange)

In September, 2013, conservation groups announced a three-year $80 million Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to bring together NGOs, governments, and concerned citizens to stop the slaughter of … Continue reading

August 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

International Tiger Day 2014

Tuesday, July 29 is International Tiger Day. International Tiger Day is held annually on July 29 to give worldwide attention to the preservation of tigers.  It was founded at the Saint … Continue reading

July 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

State of the Rhinoceros: Ten Things You Need to Know

  There are five species of rhinoceros:  Black, White, Greater-one horned, Javan and Sumatran. Three of the five species have an imperiled listing by the International Union for Conservation of Nature … Continue reading

July 25, 2014 · Leave a comment

The AAZK, Bowling for Rhinos and National Zoo Keeper Week (Written for The Ecotone Exchange)

By Maymie Higgins If you think zoo keepers and aquarists merely prepare food, feed animals, play with animals and scoop poop (or in the case of aquarists, continuously balance the nitrogen … Continue reading

July 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Brown Pelicans: An Endangered Species Recovery Success Story (Written for the Ecotone Exchange)

Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It was a warm, sunny autumn afternoon and I was out for a stroll at my favorite spot on this Earth. October … Continue reading

June 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

Extinct in the Wild: Hawaiian Crow

Scientific Name: Corvus hawaiiensis, also known as ‘Alalā (Cry like a child) Historic Range: The Hawaiian Crow is native to the Big Island and was most populous in upland forests, … Continue reading

June 17, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Legacy and Future of the Endangered Species Act

Disclaimer:  Like any good legislation, The Endangered Species Act is a dynamic law with the intended beneficiaries constantly changing.  The data for this blog was obtained directly from the U. … Continue reading

February 28, 2014 · Leave a comment

How Saving Orangutans Can Lower Your Cholesterol (Written for The Ecotone Exchange)

In my work as a nurse coach, I often explain to my patients the finer nuances of blood cholesterol laboratory results and how changes in nutrition can improve their numbers.  … Continue reading

February 28, 2014 · Leave a comment

Take the International Polar Bear Day Thermostat Challenge (Written for The Ecotone Exchange)

Thursday, February 27 is International Polar Bear Day, celebrated annually by Polar Bears International.  On this day, everyone is invited to join in celebrating it as a day of action … Continue reading

February 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: Higgins Eye Pearlymussel

Scientific Name:  Lampsilis higginsii Year Listed on the Endangered Species List:  1976 Endangered Species Listing Status:  Endangered  Conservation Efforts and Partners:    In the early 1980s, biologists from the U.S. Fish … Continue reading

February 25, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: American Crocodile

Scientific Name:   Crocodylus acutus Year Listed on the Endangered Species List:  1975 Endangered Species Listing Status:  Endangered (Florida population is threatened, as of 2007)  Conservation Efforts and Partners:   Preserving and … Continue reading

February 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: Desert Pupfish

Scientific Name:   Cyprinodon macularius Year Listed on the Endangered Species List:  1986 Endangered Species Listing Status:  Endangered Conservation Efforts and Partners:   The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Arizona Game … Continue reading

February 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: Eastern Indigo Snake

Scientific Name:   Drymarchon corais couperi Year Listed on the Endangered Species List:  1978 Endangered Species Listing Status:  Threatened Conservation Efforts and Partners:   In one example, partnerships were formed with Auburn University, Zoo Atlanta, … Continue reading

February 20, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: American Burying Beetle

Scientific Name:   Nicrophorus americanus Year Listed on the Endangered Species List:  1989 Endangered Species Listing Status:  Endangered Conservation Efforts and Partners: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began capturing American … Continue reading

February 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: Bog Turtle

Scientific Name:   Clemmys muhlenbergii Year Listed on the Endangered Species List:  1997 Endangered Species Listing Status:  Threatened Conservation Efforts and Partners:   In 1986, a program began in Tennessee that ultimately … Continue reading

February 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celebrating World Pangolin Day: Temnick’s Ground Pangolin (Cape Pangolin)

Scientific Name:   Manis temminckii Year Listed on the Endangered Species List:  1976 Endangered Species Listing Status:  Endangered Conservation Efforts and Partners:    Cape pangolins are protected by legislation in a few … Continue reading

February 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: Okaloosa Darter

Scientific Name:   Etheostoma okaloosae Year Listed on the Endangered Species List:  1973 Endangered Species Listing Status:  Threatened The Okaloosa darter was originally listed as endangered in 1973, with only 1,500 … Continue reading

February 12, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: Karner Blue Butterfly

Scientific Name:   Lycaeides melissa samuelis Year Listed on the Endangered Species List:  1992 Endangered Species Listing Status:  Endangered Conservation Efforts and Partners: Beginning with twelve members in 2001, The Butterfly … Continue reading

February 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: Ozark Hellbender

Scientific Name:   Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi Year Listed on the Endangered Species List:  2011 Endangered Species Listing Status:  Endangered Conservation Efforts and Partners: In 2011, the Saint Louis Zoo and the … Continue reading

February 7, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: Bornean and Sumatran Orangutan

Scientific Name:   (Pongo pygmaeus) and (Pongo abelii) While all orangutans were previously believed to be subspecies of the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), recent research supports the taxonomic classification of the … Continue reading

February 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: Piping Plover

Scientific Name:   (Charadrius melodus) Year Listed on the Endangered Species List:  1985 Endangered Species Listing Status:   Endangered in the Great Lakes watershed. Threatened everywhere else. Conservation Efforts and Partners:  In … Continue reading

February 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: Desert Tortoise

Scientific Name: (Gopherus agassizii) Year Listed on the Endangered Species List: 1980 Endangered Species Listing Status: Threatened Conservation Efforts and Partners: In March 2009, the San Diego Zoo Institute for … Continue reading

February 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

What is the Endangered Species Act?

This year is the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. Congress passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973. On December 28th of that year, President Richard Nixon signed … Continue reading

February 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

Saving Red Wolves: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the AZA Red Wolf SSP (Written for The Ecotone Exchange)

November 19, 2013 · 1 Comment

North Carolina Aquariums: Partnering with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the Local Community to Save Sea Turtles (Written for The Ecotone Exchange)

The moonlight reflected off the North Carolina shoreline, illuminating the way as she used her strongly developed forelimbs to drag herself several yards towards the dunes, just as her mother … Continue reading

November 19, 2013 · Leave a comment