The amazing colors of the remnant silk fabrics made me think of the incredible beauty of coral reefs. Knowing that coral reefs are in danger from ocean acidification and warming waters I wanted to make a panel about the importance of coral reefs to each and every one of us, ‘Every Second Breath” is the result.
The Mohave Fringed-Toed Lizard (Uma scoparia) is indigenous to the desert regions of Southern California, specifically areas of fine, wind blown sand. Scales along the edges of their feet (fringes) help them to run at high speeds. To escape predators they run on their hind legs and then dive into the sand, burying themselves about 2 1/2″ below ground. Unfortunately this doesn’t protect them from off road vehicles which can run them over and also destroy the vegetation which they rely upon.
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The Peregrin Falcon (Falco peregrinus) is a great example of an endangered species success story. The Peregrin Falcon came close to becoming extinct due to the use of DDT and other pesticides from the 1950s through the 1970s. It was one of the first species named to the Endangered Species Act. The banning of DDT in the 1970s and captive breading programs helped the Peregrin Falcon population rebound, and it was removed from the Endangered Species act in 1999.
The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna lewini) is classified as endangered by the IUCN Red list. Populations of Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks have dropped as much as 95% in the last 30 years, primarily because Scalloped Hammerheads are the shark most commonly caught for shark fin soup. Increasingly, there is a call to ban ‘shark finning’; a practice where the fins of live sharks are cut off and the sharks are thrown back into the ocean to die.
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The name Orangutan (genus Pongo) means ‘person of the forest’ in Malay. Orangutans are great apes living in the rain forests of Borneo and Sumatra. They are among the most intelligent of primates with incredibly advanced use of tools. Orangutans spend as much as 90% of their lives in trees, and are therefore extremely susceptible to deforestation and habitat loss. Other threats to the Orangutan include poaching and the illegal pet trade.
The Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis) is classified as critically endangered, with the Western subspecies of Black Rhino declared extinct in 2011. The greatest threat to Black Rhinos is the illegal market in rhinoceros horn. Under CITES appendix 1, the trade in rhino horn has been illegal since 1977. But the demand is still great, with China being the largest importer.
Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii) is a medium sized bat with large ears native to North America. Their population has been declining due to habitat loss, and disturbance of caves, roosts, etc. They have recently been named as a candidate for the California State Endangered Species Act.
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The Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red list. There are around 1,000 living in the wild and close to 500 in zoos and captive breeding programs worldwide. Deforestation is the major threat, as their original habitat has been reduced to less than 10% of its original area.
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There are 250 known species of Bumble Bee (genus Bombus). They are social animals living in small colonies. Bumble Bees are important pollinators, and are used to pollinate green house plants such as tomatoes, peppers and strawberries. They are increasingly at risk due to climate change, habitat loss, and use of pesticides. The IUCN has formed a Bumblebee Specialist group to study the plight of Bumble Bees world wide, and has listed Franklin’s Bumble Bee as critically endangered.
The Grey Wolf (Canis lupis) evolved in Eurasia during the Pleistocene, and eventually migrated to both Northern Africa and North America. They were once plentiful in the lower 48 states, but were hunted to near extinction by the 1930s. They were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in 1995, and today there are only wolves in Canada, Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Northern Rockies and the Great Lakes region. Grey wolves usually travel in packs consisting of an alpha male and female, and their offspring.