Blog: Carlita the Croc

Animal New Year's Resolutions

Well, the New Year has come and gone, bringing with it new beginnings and commitments to changes for the better. At least, for humans it does.  Animals like me tend to live life and not worry so much about how we’re living it.  We are driven by instinct.

But what if we animals did make New Year’s Resolutions?  What would they be?  Allow me a little creative license so that I might explore what habits animals might like to change for the better…

Burmese Python – Move back home

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Burmese pythons, native to Southeast Asia, have become an invasive species in the wetlands of Florida.  Pet owners and pet shops have either intentionally or accidentally released the snakes and they are now thriving in areas such as the Everglades, which is similar to their native habitat.  However in the Everglades, the presence of Burmese pythons directly competes with and threatens alligator populations, the area’s natural top predator.

If you live in Florida, here is a link to Florida’s National Park Service tips on how you can help with the invasive species problem.  Even if you don’t live in Florida, you can check out their “Don’t Let it Loose” guide and educate yourself and others about releasing non-native animals to the wild.

Ravens – Quit creeping people out with my uncanny intelligence

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Ravens and other corvids can recognize and remember individual human faces, solve multi-step problems, deceive, and make tools. I know some humans that are still struggling with some of these skills.

Polar bear – Stick to my diet

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As you may know, polar bears are the poster child for climate change.  As humans use fossil fuels like oil and coal, to power their lives. The carbon dioxide that is produced as a byproduct is released into the atmosphere at a rampant rate.  This rampant carbon dioxide acts like a blanket, trapping heat in the atmosphere.  One of the effects of this trapped heat is less ice in the polar north where polar bears live.  Polar bears rely on sea ice to ambush seals coming up to breathe through holes in the ice.  No ice equals no place to hunt.  Scientists have reported some polar bears resorting to eating vegetation.  But, tundra plants have nowhere near the amount of nutrients to sustain a massive animal such as a polar bear…much less a whole population of them! Additionally, polar bears are carnivores, built to survive on meat and fat.

A changing climate doesn’t just affect polar bears, though.  The trapped heat changes weather patterns and the distribution of warmth and moisture all over the world.  So it is in everyone’s (and by everyone, I mean all animals’ and humans’) best interest to reduce the use of fossil fuels on a massive scale. (Pro tip:  Take it from an ectotherm…the sun is a great source of energy.)

Octopus – Save some cool for others

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Octopuses can do it all.  They hunt, they hide, they problem solve, they have Technicolor skin cells called chromatophores, and they can fit through tiny openings because they have no bones.  They won the lottery of super cool abilities.

Orinoco crocodiles – Hire better PR

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I know, I know, shameless plug.  But yeah, my people are struggling.  We are listed as “Critically Endangered,” by the IUCN which means we are very vulnerable to extinction.  We were hunted for our skins in the early 20th century, and then later viewed as vermin and killed due to fear.  There are efforts to breed Orinocos and give the hatchlings a “head start” before they are released into the wild.  These efforts are mostly carried out by private ranchers who depend on funding from private organizations.  People in the field stress the importance of education programs developed by and for the local people in the areas where Orinocos live, in order to garner understanding of the importance of my kind, as well as support for continued conservation efforts.

Squirrels – Stop forgetting where I hide my nuts

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It’s true.  Squirrels bury their nuts and then forget about them.  And that’s how trees are born.
 
Did you make a New Year’s Resolution?  Better yet, a Resolution that will benefit wildlife and nature??

Posted: 1/15/2016 9:12:08 AM by


Carlita the Croc

I'm Carlita the Croc, here to deliver my candid views on various topics, articles, news, and stories in conservation. For the latest news follow me on Twitter, for striking photos follow me on Instagram.

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