Saturday, 27 February 2016

Facts about Polar Bears

Source: Artic Kingdom
Here are some very interesting facts about these giants of the North:

·         Polar bears are fantastic swimmers.

·         They have pretty small tails (7-12 cm long).

·         Their whole body is covered with fur except for their nose tip and paw pads.

·         Polar bears are fast and can run at 25mph for short distances, usually while charging prey

·         There are 20-25,000 polar bears remaining in the Arctic.

·         Polar bears are perfectly suited to their environment because they have furry, anti-slip feet and heat-conserving ears.

·         Their fur is thick, two-layered, and oily to repel water and prevent their coats from freezing.

·         Interestingly, their fur is white because the sunlight is reflected back down the hair-shaft to heat the skin.

·         They moult every year whereby they replace their fur completely

·         Their skin is black in order to soak up the sun’s heat efficiently.

·         A polar bear is well insulated by a thick layer of fat under the skin, especially in water.

·         Their ears are furry but smaller than other bears’ so that they can retain heat more effectively and help keep them warm in winter temperatures that can reach -30OC.

·         Its nose is a valuable hunting tool because most of the food occurs under the ice.

·         They also have an amazing sense of smell. In fact, they can smell a seal up to a km away – even under the ice!

·         Their nostrils close when they’re under water.
·         Polar bears need to eat about 2kg of fat each day.

·         They are the biggest of all bear species.
Source: Travel4Wildlife
·         Males (boars), weigh up to 800kg.

Source: Polar Bear International

International Polar Bear Day

Source: Telegraph

Source: Daily Mail
Today is an important day on every environmentalist’s and animal lover’s calendar: It is International Polar Bear Day. This day is celebrated annually on the 27th of February. It is celebrated to raise vital awareness about the conservation status of this beautiful species. It is organised by Polar Bears International to put a spotlight on the impact of global warming and a reduction of sea ice on polar bear populations.

Polar Bears, like many other species, are under threat as a result of climate change. The Arctic is warming roughly twice as fast as the global average, causing the ice that polar bears depend on to melt away. The sea ice is melting earlier and forming later each year. Polar bears require the sea ice to hunt seals, which are their main prey. Because a significant amount of sea ice reduction takes place, it affects their survival and breeding success because they have to fast for longer periods at a time.
Source: Polar Bear World

Source: Telegraph
So please join us in celebrating the white giants of the North.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016


Wetlands are the most biologically diverse and rich ecosystems on Earth. Because of wetlands’ variation in size and location, it is often difficult to define the concept. Nonetheless, wetlands are transition zones between land and aquatic systems where the water table is usually near or at the surface, or the land is covered by shallow water. According to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; “Wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres." Wetlands occur where the landform (topography) or geology slows down or obstructs the movement of water through a catchment causing the surface soil layers in the wetland area to be temporarily, seasonally, or permanently waterlogged.

Source: Geo41
A wetland is a distinctive ecosystem. The wetland biome consists of any body of water (either fresh or salt) that stands still and lies low. Wetlands are normally located near a river, lake, or stream. It is a land area saturated with water, which can be both permanent and seasonal. Examples of wetlands are marshes and ponds, the edge of a lake or ocean, the delta at the mouth of a river, and low-lying areas that frequently flood.

Differences in wetlands exist because of regional and local variances in soils, topography, climate, hydrology, water chemistry, vegetation, and other factors, including human disturbance. Wetlands support aquatic and terrestrial species. Water saturation (hydrology) ultimately determines how the soil develops and the types of plant and animal communities that occur here.

The growth of specially adapted plants and the promotion of the development of characteristic wetland (hydric) soils are possible because of the prolonged presence of water that creates favourable conditions.
In a wetland the water level varies throughout the year. The growth of specially adapted plants and the promotion of the development of characteristic wetland (hydric) soils are possible because of the prolonged presence of water that creates favourable conditions.
Wetlands are distributed all over the world and occur in every climatic zone, from the polar regions to the tropics. They are found in areas wherever climate and landscape cause groundwater to discharge to the land surface or prevent rapid drainage from the land surface so that soils are saturated for some time.

A wetland is a vitally important environment asset. A high number of plant and animal species are abundantly found in wetlands.



      ·         The wetland biome includes swamps, bogs, and marshes. 

·         Alarmingly, 64 % of the world’s wetlands have disappeared since 1900.

·         Freshwater species populations declined by 76 % between 1970 and 2010.

·         The wetlands that do still remain are often so degraded that the people who directly rely on them for fish, plants, and wildlife – often the very poor – are driven into even deeper poverty.

·         Some birds remain at a particular wetland all year long while other birds migrate from wetland to wetland.

·         Many wetlands serve as a reservoir for excessive rainfall to prevent flooding.   

·         Wetlands can be made of freshwater, saltwater, or a combination of the two. 

·         Wetland biomes typically remain humid and moist at all times making it the perfect home for many animals. 

·         There is more animal diversity in the wetland biome than any other biome type. 

·         Wetland biomes are responsible for keeping rivers at a normal level. They hold water and then release it to the river as needed. 

·         We depend on wetlands to supply freshwater for our daily needs, but more than one billion people around the world depend directly on wetlands to earn an income.

·         Coastal, marine, and inland wetlands are declining fast. Approximately 40 % have been degraded in just over 40 years and is continuing at an accelerated rate of 1.5 % annually.


World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually on 2 February. It falls specifically on this day because it marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on the shores of the Caspian Sea, on 2 February 1971. World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997.

This is an important day on every environmentalist’s calendar because it raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits for humanity and the planet. It is also important as it fervently promote the conservation and wise and sustainable use of wetlands. Government agencies, non-government organisations, and community groups have all participated in raising important environmental awareness and the Ramsar Convention in particular.

Each year, World Wetlands Day focuses on a different theme and putting the spotlight on a vital function of wetlands. The theme for 2016 is Wetlands for our Future: Sustainable Livelihoods. This was chosen based on the fact that wetlands play a vital role for not only the current but also the future wellbeing of humanity. It also emphasis the promotion of the wise use of all wetlands. Also it will look specifically at their relevance towards achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, it is about drawing attention to urgently acting towards slowing, stopping, and reversing wetland degradation. We can’t achieve sustainable development without healthy wetlands.
This year, you too can spread the green word by visiting which is running a photography competition for people aged 15 to 24. The prize is a flight to any wetlands destination anywhere in the world, courtesy of Star Alliance Biosphere Connections. Please do your bit to counteract the loss and degradation of wetlands. Let’s raise awareness of protecting wetlands, not only on World Wetlands Day, but also beyond, so that future generations can also experience the beauty that is wetlands.
Source: UN.
Because wetlands work for us, we need to work for wetlands!