Endangered or Threatened Species We Have Seen

A couple of the animals below are endangered. The others are threatened species due to habitat loss and other environmental issues. Ruth and I have seen all 4 in our travels.

The only place to see the Australian sea lion above today is on Kangaroo Island. We went there from Adelaide the last time we were in Australia and observed some on a beach. They were lethargic and sleepy but alive, and we were ordered not to make noise or approach them. We were told we were privileged to see them because there are fewer than 12,000 of them left.

Above is a photo I took of the common barn owl. These birds are widely distributed and threatened in some places due to habitat loss that makes it harder for them to find food, but they are OK in other areas. The general consensus is that they are to be considered endangered because their natural habitat is being destroyed. Barn owls are beautiful birds.

The octopus’ name is Pebbles and she may or may not still be a resident in the Shaw Center for the Salish Sea in the town of Sidney on Vancouver Island. We met and watched Pebbles for a long time last autumn, and the staff at the Shaw told us that she would soon be released back into the waters of the Salish Sea, her natural home. Octopi are very intelligent and don’t adapt well to captivity, so Shaw puts one on display for a short period of time and then sends it home probably to mate and die, its natural fate. The Salish Sea environment contains 172 bird species, 247 fish types, and 3,000 invertebrates. Invertebrates are backbone and spineless residents including octopi. There are severals species of them in the Salish Sea and some of them are very large. I failed to ask if Pebbles was part of an endangered species of octopus.

The jellyfish is a sea resident too. The one pictured just above is a box jelly, one of the most deadly animals in the world. Ruth & I saw an exhibit about them in an eclectic museum in Darwin called the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. There were also displays about Cyclone Tracy and a crocodile named Sweetheart. I wrote about the experience under the title “The Northern Territory’s Best Artless Museum”. No one smart goes into the sea around Darwin from October to May because of box jellies. Every year some humans in Darwin die from contact with them. It’s estimated that 20 to 40 Filipinos in the somewhat nearby Philippines die each year from box jelly stings. The display about them in the Darwin museum was quite informative. Invertebrates have no bones, brains, or blood. They’re 95% water. There are 200 known species of jellies, but few of them are as deadly as the boxes. Some of them like the Peach Blossom are threatened and disappearing.

Hank

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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