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A document created by : 5 countries engaged in the COMENIUS PROJECT « OUR PLANET IN OUR HANDS » >>>See the end for credits !


Honey bees range map :

FAST FACTS Name in Latin: Apis Mellifera Name in French: abeille Name in Latvian: Medus bite Name in Polish: pszczoła Name in Romanian: albina Name in Turkish: Bal arılar Size: 0.4 to 0.6 in (5 to 15 mm) (Workers) Lifespan: Up to 5 years


Honey bees feed on nectar and pollen from flowers. Worker bees feed the larvae royal jelly first, and later offer them pollen. Behavior

Honeybees are social insects. In the wild, they create elaborate nests called hives containing up to 20,000 individuals during the summer months. (Domestic hives may have over 80,000 bees.) They work together in a highly structured social order. Each bee belongs to one of three specialized groups called castes. The different castes are: queens, drones and workers. Reproduction

The great majority of female A. mellifera in a hive are sterile workers. Only queens mate and lay eggs. Normally there is only a single reproductive queen in a hive. She is mother to all or nearly all members of the colony. Threats

In France, since 1995, almost 30% of honey bees colonies disappear every year. In 10 years, more than 15, 000 beekeepers had to stop their activity. This colony collapse disorder exists all over the world.

There have been a number of possible explanations for CCD including urbanization, disease, water pollution and parasitic mites. Many researchers and beekeepers however, now suspect the introduction of systemic neonicotinoid pesticides as a possible catalyst for the vanishing bees. We rely on pollinators like honey bees for much of our food supply. Honeybees alone pollinate around 30% of the food we eat. You hear a lot about the growing world population and food shortages on the horizon. While things might look dire, they will be much, much worse if we don’t act now to save the bees. Defenders at work

You can plant bee-friendly plants in your home garden. Don’t have a yard? You can still help save the bees! Even just a few beefriendly flowers or food plants in a window box can help.

Limiting or eliminating pesticide use in and around the home can make a big difference, too.

Bonelli Eagle

Range :

The largest populations of Bonelli's eagles in Europe are found in the Iberian Peninsula and south-west France. FAST FACTS Name in Latin: Aquila fasciata) Name in French: aigle de Bonelli Name in Latvian: Svītrainais ērglis Name in Polish: orzeł Bonelli Name in Romanian: vulturul Bonelli Name in Turkish: Tavşancıl Size: from 60 to 70 cm, wingspan from Weight: From 1,500 to 2, 000 grammes Lifespan: up to 30 years

150 to 170 cm


The Bonelli eagle is a bird of prey and it feeds on small mammals. As it is quite powerful, it can even feed on preys as large as itself. It mostly eats rabbits, but also squirrels, rodents, other birds‌ Population

There is now estimated to be only between 938 and 1039 breeding pairs remaining in Europe. Around French mediterranean sea, there were only 30 breeding pairs left in 2010. Behavior

Bonelli’s eagle tends to live in warm, mountainous regions, nesting on cliff edges and sometimes on trees. Typically, vegetation in these areas is dominated by scrub, but Bonelli’s eagle also inhabits more densely covered areas and almost completely bare areas. It tends to live at low and medium altitudes, but has also been found to live as high as 2,000 metres above sea level in Africa


Like other raptors, mating pairs build between one and six nests next to each other, utilising different nests in different years. Each year the pair works on the nests and over time they become larger and larger, eventually measuring up to an incredible 1.8 metres in height and 2 metres in diameter. The female will typically lay two eggs between January and March. Bonelli’s eagle reaches maturity at about 3.5 years of age. Threats

Whilst the global population of Bonelli’s eagle covers an extremely large range and has not declined enough for it to warrant a threatened status, in certain areas, declines in Bonelli’s eagle populations have been worrying. In Europe, this species is considered Endangered; the nesting population in Spain declined by 25 percent during the period 1980 to 1990. An increase in adult mortality rate seems to be the main cause of population decline in southern Spain, which is one of the last strongholds in Europe. These population declines are the result of several threats, the most serious ones in Europe being hunting, electrocution or collision with power lines, and the loss

or disturbance of suitable habitat. Bonelli’s eagle is also being affected by a shortage of food; diseases such as myxomatosis have considerably reduced the number of rabbits in the region, one of the eagle’s favourite prey. They can also be disturbed by outdoor activities such as rock climbing, hiking, free flight or motobikes. Defenders at work

In Europe, where Bonelli’s eagle is considered endangered, an action plan was created with the short term aim of maintaining the existing populations in Europe, and the longer term aim of increasing the population size and encouraging the bird to recolonise parts of its former range. To achieve these aims, numerous measures were proposed including the enforcement of existing hunting regulations, modification of those powerlines that have caused eagle deaths, and the protection of areas that hold important breeding sites. Hopefully such measures will prevent this magnificent eagle from disappearing from Europe altogether.

Pyrenean frog

Geographical range Only found in a very small area in the western Pyrenees, there is a French part and a Spanish part to their range. The French part is much smaller to the spanish side.

FAST FACTS Name in Latin: Rana pyrenaica Name in French: Grenouille des Pyrénées Name in Latvian: Pireneju varde Name in Polish: żaba pierenejska Name in Romanian: broasca pireniană Name in Turkish: Pyrenean Kurbağa Size: Males grow measure about 30 to 45 mm long,

females reach a size of up to 50 mm long. Lifespan: About 7 years


They feed on a large proportion of insects such as wasps, earwigs and other... spiders, slugs...


Found only between 800 to 1700 m in altitude. They live in the forests on slopes, they are often seen in and around small mountainous streams and small water holes, characterised by fresh clear water. These streams are also characterised by a rocky habitat. They often share these areas with Calotriton asper. Reproduction

Their breeding activities start as early as February but vary according to altitude and climate. Metamorphoses occur in September due to the cold

water slowing the development of the tadpoles. The way in which the breeding happens is not well known. Threats

Threats include stream eutrophication (through intensification of agricultural practices), drought, potential introduction of trout and other predatory fishes, and habitat loss due to the development of tourism and transport infrastructure. Logging and associated activities may threaten the species' habitat, and it is likely to be vulnerable to climate change. Defenders at work

It is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention and is included in the regional catalogues of Navarra and Aragón. It is present in Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park (Huesca) and Lizardoia Integral Reserve (Navarra). It is also protected in the Natural Park of Pyrénées. Its natural environment is now under protection.

Blue Whale Range map :

FAST FACTS Name in Latin: Balaenoptera musculus Name in French: Baleine bleue Name in Latvian: Zilais valis Name in Polish: Płetwal błękitny Name in Romanian: Balena albastră Name in Turkish: Gök balina Size: Length: 24 - 27 m Weight: 100 - 120 tonnes Lifespan: Blue whales have a life expectancy of 35-40 years, but the normal, un-hunted lifespan of a blue whale is estimated to be 80 years.


The blue whale is thought to feed almost exclusively on small, shrimp-like creatures called euphausiids or krill. During the summer feeding season the blue whale gorges itself, consuming an astounding 4 tons (3.6 metric tons) or more each day. This means it may eat up to 40 million krill a day. Behavior

The blue whale usually occurs alone or in groups of two or three, but occasionally large groups of up to 60 may form in areas of high food abundance. The blue whale produces louder calls than any other animal on earth. Communication occurs via a variety of low frequency sounds and clicks. The male blue whale is capable of producing particularly long calls, which have been well studied and appear to have functions in sensing the environment, prey detection, communication and male display. Reproduction

The blue whale reaches sexual maturity at 7 to 10 years of age, when it will mate with several partners during winter

and early spring. A single calf is produced after a gestation period of 10 to 11 months and weaned at the summer feeding grounds, when it is approximately seven months old. During the nursing period, the calf consumes around 100 gallons of the mother’s fat rich-milk and grows an incredible one and a half inches in length each day, with a weight gain of 90 kilograms per day. The inter-birth period for female blue whales is probably two to three years, although this may have decreased recently in response to the low population densities . Threats

Because of its enormous size and speed, the blue whale was largely safe from early whalers, who could not pursue it in open boats with hand harpoons. However, the advent of the exploding harpoon gun in 1868 allowed for the commercial exploitation of this species, with the whaling industry particularly focusing on the blue whale after 1900. The slaughter peaked in 1931, when over 29,000 were killed in one season. After that, blue whales became so scarce that the whalers turned to other species. More than 360,000 blue whales were taken by whaling fleets in the Southern Hemisphere from 1904 to 1967, and the Antarctic and North Atlantic populations were probably depleted to the low hundreds by the time whaling ceased. The total global blue whale population has declined by at

least 70 percent, and possibly as much as 90 percent, over the last three generations, with the formerly very large Antarctic population declining over the same period by as much as 97 percent. Although commercial whaling of the blue whale is now banned, its population is so small that any further mortalities may severely impact on the survival of the species. It is still subject to a number of threats including ship strikes, noise and chemical pollution, and net entanglement. The remote distribution of some blue whale populations probably makes them less vulnerable to human impacts than some other cetacean species, but local populations that inhabit waters with significant levels of human activity, such as the Gulf of St. Lawrence, may be particularly vulnerable to these threats. Defenders at work

Hunting of the blue whale was banned in 1966, although some illegal soviet whaling persisted for several years after. No blue whales have been deliberately caught since 1978. However, this protection almost came too late for the blue whale, and recovery has been extremely slow.

Only in the last few years have there been signs that numbers may be increasing. Today, there are an estimated 10,000 to 25,000 blue whales surviving worldwide, which represents around 2 to 11 percent of the total pre-commercial exploitation population . All international trade in the blue whale is further prohibited by its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and on Appendix I of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS or the Bonn Convention) . The blue whale occurs in a number of Marine Protected Areas throughout its range that are aimed at protecting the whole marine ecosystem, as well as whale sanctuaries in the Antarctic, Indian and Southern Oceans. Several countries have also implemented research and conservation programmes for this species, much of which is coordinated by the International Whaling Commission, and these include identifying areas of critical habitat, investigating species abundance and distribution, and mitigating the threats to the species.


Range map : This species is found along the coasts of Peru and Chile within the reaches of the Humboldt Current. Some birds have been recorded as vagrants northwards off Columbia. There are also isolated colonies further to the south on the Punihuil Islands. FAST FACTS Name in Latin: Spheniscus humboldti Name in French: Pingouin de Humboldt Name in Latvian: Humbolta pingv朝ns Name in Polish: pingwin Humboldta Name in Romanian: pinguinul Humboldt Name in Turkish: Humboldt pengueni Size: 65 cm Weight:4 kg Lifespan: up to 30 years in captivity


Humboldt penguins exploit the cold waters off the South American west coast for food. The Humboldt Current flows northwards from Antarctica, and provides a rich harvest of fish, particularly anchovies, but the birds also feed on other fish species, krill and squid. Population

In 1998, a survey established that with a world population of between 3,300 and 12,000 breeding pairs, the species was likely to become extinct within the next century Behavior

Humboldt penguins nest on rocky coasts and islands with suitable terrain for constructing nest burrows Reproduction

These penguins are monogamous and can be found in their breeding colonies throughout the year although the main breeding seasons are from March to April and September to October, depending on the location. The

birds dig burrows into the sand or guano cliffs, or find small crevices in which to lay the eggs. Two eggs are laid over a period of two to four days, incubation taking between 40 and 42 days, with both adult birds sharing nest duties. The chicks usually hatch two days apart and are fed by both adults once they have acquired their first thick downy coats. Chicks rarely leave their nest scrape until they are fledged at about 12 weeks. They then fend for themselves along the coast for several months before returning to establish their own nests, often within the same colony where they were reared. They reach maturity at the age of two years. Threats

Penguins have historically been heavily hunted for meat, oil and skins and suffered from unsustainable egg collecting. Currently, the principal risks to Humboldt penguins come from human over-harvesting of the fish stocks, especially anchovies, and exploiting the birds’ guano beds, using the mineral-rich guano for fertiliser. Removal of the guano deprives the birds from constructing nest burrows and leaves the eggs and chicks vulnerable to weather and predators. On the mainland nesting sites, wild dogs take eggs, chicks and even adult birds. Natural predators on land include foxes and caracaras (a large native hawk), whilst in the

water the penguins fall prey to fur seals, sharks and whales. A more alarming trend over recent decades has been the effects of El NiĂąo-related events. This is known to affect penguin numbers in two ways; by displacing the Humboldt Current with warmer, less food-rich water, and raising severe storms that can wash out the nesting colonies. There are also a large number of birds caught as by-catch, and they are constantly at risk from marine pollution. Defenders at work

Legislation to assist the recovery of the Humboldt penguin has been passed in Chile, including a 30 year moratorium on killing or capturing the birds, and protection of the four principal breeding colonies, although enforcement is low. In Peru, the major colonies are also protected and the extraction of guano is managed by government. Further proposed conservation targets to save this species include the creation of marine nature reserves around the main breeding grounds, greater care over the extraction of guano, reducing the fish harvests and setting up ‘awareness’ programmes to limit the hunting of penguins and accidental entanglement (by-catch) in fishing nets.

Przewalski’s horse Range : Wild horses (Equus ferus) lived in Europe and Asia 10 to 15 thousand years ago before being pushed back to the furthest limits of their range. Przewalski's horse ended up in Asia and the final abode of the subspecies was in southwest Mongolia where the last wild specimen was recorded in 1968. Subsequently, captive-bred individuals have been released in Mongolia, causing the IUCN to reassess the status of this species from Extinct in the Wild to Critically Endangered.

FAST FACTS Name in Latin: Equus przewalskii Name in French: Cheval de Przewalski Name in Latvian: Prževaļskas zirgs Name in Polish: koń Przewalskiego Name in Romanian: calul


Name in Turkish: Prezewalski yaban atı Size: Head-body length: 210 cm / Tail length: 90 cm Weight: 350 kg Lifespan: up to about 25 years in captivity


They are herbivores. Przewalski's horse feeds on grasses and other plants, while in captivity it also takes hay and grain . Most of the day is spent foraging, as it feeds on food with a low nutritional content. Population

1,500 found worldwide live in captivity, with about 250 in the wild. Behavior

First described scientifically in the late 19th century by Russian explorer N. M. Przewalski, for whom the horse is named, the horse once freely roamed the steppe along the Mongolia-China border. Never again seen in the wild, Przewalski’s horses have since been kept and bred in captivity and have recently been reintroduced in Mongolia. While extant in the wild, these horses ate grasses and other vegetation on the steppe, shrublands, and plains of western Mongolia and northern China. Herds observed at reintroduction sites appear to be affectionate.


In the wild, Przewalski's horse occurs in family groups led by a dominant stallion, juveniles were ousted and the males formed their own bachelor groups before attempting to take over a band of females. In captivity, births occur in April/May but in the wild the season is later and more likely to be May/June. Gestation takes between 11 and 12 months and foals are able to stand as soon as one hour after birth. A week after giving birth, females come into heat and will mate again . Threats

Habitat degradation, human activities including hunting and conflict, along with competition with domestic livestock for water and forage were all thought to be responsible for driving the extinction of Przewalski's horse in the wild in the 1960s. Thankfully, it has been possible to reintroduce this unique survivor into the wild. However, those reintroduced populations still face threats; primarily that of hybridisation with domestic horses, along with competition with domestic horses for resources . A loss of genetic diversity is one of their greatest threats today.

Defenders at work

After the subspecies became Extinct in the Wild, it clung on in a number of small populations in various zoos around the world. In 1977, there were around 300 horses in zoos and parks and their breeding was managed in order to prevent inbreeding . In the 1990s, The Mongolian Association for Conservation of Nature and the Environment (MACNE) and the FPPPH collaborated to reintroduce a number of individuals in small herds into the Hustai National Park in central Mongolia . The national symbol was a welcome return to the area and part of an important drive to save the steppe biotope . Today, more than 120 Przewalski's horses live in Hustai and a further conservation programme run by the International Takhi Group (a consortium of European takhi breeding institutions) together with the Mongolian Commission for Endangered Species has introduced a further 50 horses to an area in the Dzungarian Gobi in Southwest Mongolia. The return of the Przewalski's horse to its natural environment is a success story for conservation and, despite ongoing problems, it is hoped that at least two large, self-sustained populations will soon be a reality.

Eirāzijas lūsis Geographic distribution. Eurasian lynx are found throughout Europe and Siberia in forested areas with sufficient population of ungulates.

Latin: Lynx lynx English: Eurasian lynx French: Lynx Turkish: Avrasya vaşağı Romanian: râs Polish: ryś

Natural environment Eurasian lynx live in forests and mountainous regions far from dense human settlements. The new age of lynx most of the time spent on trees. In winter, when many animals are migrating or winter sleep, these cats become active. Their large, furry feet act as skis. Their fur becomes thicker and paler. Only in extremely bad weather lynx seeking refuge in caves, tree cavities or in trees.

Behaviour Eurasian lynx is a shy, mysterious cat. Their life span may reach 10-12 years, although it is usually shorter. They are vienpatnīgi animals. Females hunt with their children to teach them the correct techniques.

Physical description These medium-sized cats are endowed with a strong body, long legs and large paws blunt tails. All these features allow them to move quickly for short distances. Their soft, thick coat is mostly yellowish or grayish brown. Often it is covered with tacit, pale lines or spots. Their white whiskers form a frame around the muzzle. Most are like a longer mane of hair around the neck and chin. Lynx have ear tufts made - long, black hairs on the ear tips.

Eating habits Eurasian lynx are highly carnivorous, reliance primarily on small mammals and ground-dwelling birds. Mammalian prey may be a deer, mountain goats,

hares, marmots, foxes and squirrels. Like other cats, the Eurasian lynx are skilled hunters and spend a great deal of time searching for.


Appearance and characteristics

Otters have slender, long bodies and relatively short legs, the feet are flipper. The majority are sharp claws and all, except for Kalana, has a long, muscular tail. Otters coat is double, the undercoat is soft and thick, but it protects the water a long beard hair.

Lutrinae – Latin Otter - English Loutre – French Vidră – Romanian Su samuru – Turkish Wydra - Polish


Otters feed mainly on aquatic animals and is based on fish and shellfish. But they also eat insects, frogs, birds and other small animals.

Otters are found in almost all continents, except Australia and Antarctica. And they are both freshwater and saltwater animals.

Otters live in water based on the shores, and it enters the water just to hunt. The rest of the time when not hunted otters living on the coast, to wet their fur coats. However, Kalana most of his life spent at sea.

When the water temperature is 10 째 C, then every hour otter caught 100 grams of fish to survive. Most otter hunting day devote 3-5 hours, but female nursing pups, 8 hours.

English: The Eagle Owl Latvian: Ūpis French: Eagle Owl Turkey: Puhu kuşu Polish: Puchacz Turkey: Kartal baykuş

The Eagle Owl is a large and powerful bird, smaller than the Golden Eagle but larger than the Snowy Owl. It is sometimes referred to as the world's largest owl, but this is actually the Blakiston's Fish Owl, which is slightly bigger on average. The great size, ear tufts and orange eyes make this a distinctive species. The ear tufts of males are more upright than those of females.

The upperparts are

brown-black and tawnybuff, showing as dense freckling on the forehead and crown, stripes on the nape,

sides and back of the neck, and dark splotches on the pale ground colour of the back, mantle and scapulars. It mainly feeds on small mammalssuch as voles, rats,

mice and hares. However, prey can be killed up to the size of foxes, marmots and young deer. Common avian prey include corvids, grouse, woodpeckers, other raptors and, especially near coastal areas, ducks, seabirds and geese.

many years ago was caught in the wild and brought to the zoo. Nest built on the ground or rock wells, or a large bird nesting site for an artificial tree.

the day & the owls at night.


Owl is the largest Latvian Owl. Latvian it is rare, so in the specially protected species list. Riga Zoo in Latvia exposition of owls live in the river a few. Them asbabies

The Eurasian Eagle Owl hunts predominantly at dusk & into the early night. They have occassionally been found sharing territories with Golden Eagles, with the eagles hunting during

They are able to hunt in woods & forests, but due to the large size, especially the wingspan, they prefer more open spaces. A deep, monotonous "oohu-oohuoohu". The female's call is slightly higher than the male's. When threatened, they may bark and growl. They live in North Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East

Gepards - Latvian Acinonyx jubatus - Latin Cheetah- English GuÊpard- French Ghepard- Romanian Çita- Turkish Gepard- Polish

Usually it is able to outrun a speed of approximately 460 meters and 100 km / h Cheetah is able to get three seconds, which beats most sports cars. Cheetahs live in Africa and south. Cheetahs like open spaces: semi-deserts, prairie, savanna and scrub land. They are to be found in mountainous areas.

Food Cheetah is a typical predator, and eats only meat. Cheetah unlikes other large predators are hunted only during the day, early in the morning or evening, when not so hot, but it is bright.

Females Unlike the males and females are avoid species brothers and sisters, even though it has been observed that sometimes the mother of daughters staying with a certain amount of time and then, when other young families have left. Cheetah females and pups brought up alone.

Behaviour Also, unlike the big cats, cheetah can not roar, but it can purr as a domestic cat.

Appearance and characteristics An adult cheetah weighs from 40-65 kg. Its total body length of 115-135 cm and tail may be as high as 84 centimeters long. Cheetah males are usually larger than females. Believed that the cheetah can not retract the nails, it is mistaken. Although the nail pull mechanism works the same as other cats, it lacks the same outer layer of skin around the nails, so the Cheetah has withdrawn the nails, the tips are still out. Black coat on the cheeks helps to better see the cheetah victims by absorbing sunlight visual field area. Cheetah is a good distant vision.

Males Cheetah males hold together until his death. Cheetah males are very social animals. Most males live in small groups (2-4), which are called coalitions. Coalition members live, hunt and eat together, and never remain in isolation for a long time.

To be able to run quickly, cheetahs have large nostrils that allow running to inhale large quantities of oxygen. It has a big heart and enlarged lungs, the whole system is designed to expeditiously eliminate the oxygen in the body. Cheetah can accelerate the breathing of 60-150 breaths per minute. Running at high speed in order to maintain balance and the ability to rapidly maneuver, cheetah uses its claws and long tail.

Reproduction Cheetah females reach sexual maturity at 20-24 months of age. They usually do not breed until it reaches 3 years of age. Mating can occur anytime throughout the year. Gestation period is 90-98 days, usually born 3-5 pups, but there have been cases that are born nine cheetahs.

Cūkdelfīns Latin: Phocoena phocoena English: Common porpoise French: Dauphin Latvian: Cūkdelfīns Turkish: Domuz balığı Romanian: Delfin Polish: Morświn Pospolity

Description The Common porpoise is one of the smallest vales. Typically 1.5 to 1.8 m long. Weight 50-60 kg. His body is shape, rounded head. Pectoral fins short and rounded dorsal fin short, triangular. The back, sides and finsdark, belly white or light gray.

Like all mammals, porpoise brea thing atmospheric air (the lungs), sogetting fishermen networks it is fatal.

Food Adults porpoises feed on a variety of fish - both the flounder and the herring, small mackerel and cod. Young animals feed mainly on small marineminnow.

Migration Migrating to the breeding, feeding and wintering sites or following fish over long distances, small whales face a variety of manmade threats. Dolphins, porpoises family seem to use words like human beings. Each harbor porpoise is itself characteri stic sound, which is used by an individualat a young age.

Distribution Harbor Porpoise is found in coastal areas of the North Atlantic, Arctic, and North Pacific Oceans and also the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions. They are found in bays, estuaries, river mouths, and sometimes ascend further up rivers.

Nīlas krokodils Nili crocodilus – Latin Nile crocodile – English crocodile du Nil – French Nile crocodil – Romanian Nil timsah - Turkish Krokodyl nilowy - Polish

These crocodiles prefer larger rivers, lakes and swamps, but also found in estuaries, hot days tend to come ashore, to warm oneself in the sun.

Female shore well above sea level, digging up the beer and lay 16-80 eggs. This nest site she used all his life. She protects, to hatch fry. When it's time to hatch,the fry scroop, the mother of them digging up, carefully taken into the mouth and in groups to carry water. The Nile crocodile. It has a dark olive brown to gray body with dark crossbar.

Babies cling with their mother 6-8 weeks, then gradually disperse. The first 4 or 5 years they live in caves 3m long. The Nile crocodile has long jaws and teeth are visible even when mouth is closed.

Like other crocodiles, they can bite, but can not chew the food it is a problem, when divided the big game as a zebra or buffalo.

Feed on fish, antelope, zebras and even buffalo. Although the nature of these crocodiles are loners, they tend to join together in small groups to exorcise shallowfish schools.


Euroasian Beaver


Castor fiber


B贸br europejski


Eski D眉nya kunduzu


GENERAL INFO. The Eurasian beaver or European beaver (Castor fiber) is a species of beaver, which was once widespread in Eurasia, where it was hunted to near extinction both for fur and for castoreum, a secretion of its scent gland believed to have medicinal properties. Beaver are a keystone species helping support the ecosystem of which they are a part. They create wetlands which increase biodiversity and provide habitat for many rare species such as water voles, otters and water shrews. They coppice waterside trees and shrubs so that they re-grow as dense shrubs which provide cover for birds and other animals. Beaver dams trap sediment and improve water quality; recharge groundwater tables and increase cover and forage for trout and salmon. A recent study in Poland, found that beavers increased abundance and diversity of bats apparently because they create gaps in forest cover making it easier for bats to navigate in. The Eurasian (or European) beaver is recovering from near extinction, after depredation by humans for its fur and castoreum decimated populations to an estimated 1,200 by the early 20th century. In many European nations, the beaver went extinct but reintroduction and protection has led to gradual recovery to approximately 639,000 individuals by 2003. DESCRIPTION. The fur colour of Eurasian beavers varies geographically. Light, chestnut-rust is the dominant colour in Belarus. In Russia, the beavers of the Sozh River basin are predominantly blackish brown, while beavers in the Voronezh Reserve are equally distributed between brown and blackishbrown. Eurasian beavers on average weigh 18 kg, the largest specimen on record having weighed 31.7 kg. The length of the body: 70-100 cm. The tail’s length: 3-28 cm. The weight 15-30 kilos. They can live 10-15 years (freedom) and about 50 (captivity). The beavers have got small eyes and ears, short legs and their toes are linked by membrane. The tail is wide, flat and covered by scales, it is a water ruder. The Eurasian (or European) beaver is recovering from near extinction, after depredation by humans for its fur and castoreum decimated populations to an estimated 1,200 by the early 20th century. In many European nations, the beaver went extinct but reintroduction and protection has led to gradual recovery to approximately 639,000 individuals by 2003.Their teeth are very strong.

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT. Re-introduced through much of its former range, it now occurs from the British Isles to China and Mongolia. They live close to rivers and streams. FOOD. In the summer beavers eat mainly water plants and coastal plants, in the winter – parts from branches – wood fibres of leaves trees, especially poplars and willow trees, which they accumulated in the summer. BEHAVIOUR. Beavers live in families. Beavers dig the holes on river banks, against flood mounds or on lakes banks. They both build the house – the burrow called ‘żeremia’, it’s made from branches. They sometimes use branches and silt. They cut down trees grown near the rivers very easy in this case that the tree fall down into the river. The entrance to the burrows are under water. Beavers build together dams on small streams. They are cause of the higher level of the water and flooded many forest and meadow areas. Beavers are very important in the environment because the results of their works are positive influence on the level of underground and ground water. REPRODUCTION. Eurasian beaver have one litter per year, coming into estrus for only 12 to 24 hours, between late December and May but peaking in January. Unlike most other rodents, beaver pairs are monogamous, staying together for multiple breeding seasons. Gestation averages 107 days and they average three kits per litter with a range of two to six kits. Most beaver do not reproduce until they are three years of age, but about 20% of two year old females reproduce.


Authors: Justyna Snopkowska, Justyna Warchoł Joanna Sieradzka, Aleksandra Skorupa

English Latin

Bielik-the eagle Haliaeetus albicilla

Pygargue à queue blanche

Orzeł Bielik

Jūras ērglis

Bayağı deniz kartalıDev

Vulturul Bielik

Light Green: nesting area Blue: wintering area Dark green: all year

The Bielik-the Eagle or White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) also known as the Sea Eagle, Erne (sometimes Ern), or White-tailed Sea-eagle, is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which includes other raptors such as hawks, kites, and harriers. It is considered a close cousin of the Bald Eagle and occupies the same ecological niche, but in Eurasia. The White-tailed Eagle is believed to be the White Eagle shown in the Polish Coat of Arms but also in the Serbian Coat of Arms.The sea eagle is often blazoned holding a fish (usually a pike) on his talons, distinguishing him from an ordinary eagle. White-tailed Eagles are apex predators. Therefore, they tend to experience bioaccumulation from environmental pollutants that are present in their prey, and also suffered intensive persecution by GENERAL INFO.

shepherds and gamekeepers who considered them (usually wrongly[13]) to be a threat to their livestock and gamebirds. During the period 1800-1970, White-tailed Eagles in most of Europe underwent dramatic declines, and became extinct in many regions of western, central, and southern Europe. Bielik-the Eagle is a very large bird. It measures 69–95 cm (27–37 in) in length with a 1.82–2.44 m (6.0–8.0 ft) wingspan. Females, typically weighing 4–6.9 kg (8.8–15 lb), are slightly larger than males, which weigh 3.1– 5.4 kg (6.8–12 lb). The record weight was 7.5 kg (17 lb) for a specimen from Scotland, while a more recent huge female from Greenland reportedly spanned 2.53 m (8.3 ft) across the wings. Bielik is sometimes considered the fourth largest eagle in the world. It has broad "barn door" wings, a large head and a thick "meat-cleaver" beak. The adult is mainly brown except for the paler head and neck, blackish flight feathers, distinctive white tail, and yellow bill and legs. In juvenile birds the tail and bill are darker, with the tail becoming white with a dark terminal band in sub-adults. Some individuals have been found to live over 25 years, 21 years on average. The World population in 2008 stands at only 9,000 - 11,000 pairs. DESCRIPTION.

This large eagle breeds in northern Europe and northern Asia. The largest population NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.

in Europe is found along the coast of Norway. The Eagle's diet is varied, including fish, birds, carrion, and, occasionally, small mammals. Many birds live almost wholly as scavengers, regularly pirating food from otters and other birds, but this eagle can be a powerful hunter as well. FOOD.

They are mostly resident, only the northernmost birds such as the eastern Scandinavian BEHAVIOUR.

and Siberian population migrating south in winter. The territory of the White-tailed Eagle ranges between 30 and 70 km², normally in sheltered coastal locations. Sometimes they are found inland by lakes and along rivers. The territory of eagles can overlap with the territory of the Golden Eagle, and competition between the two species is limited. Golden Eagles prefer mountains and moorland, while the Bielik prefers the coast and the sea. In adulthood, the White-tailed Eagle has no natural predators and is thus considered an apex predator. Bielik are sexually mature at four or five years of age. They pair for life, though if one dies replacement can occur quickly. A bond is formed when a permanent home range is chosen. They have a characteristic aerial courtship display which culminates in the pair locking talons mid-air and whirling earthwards in series of spectacular cartwheels. White-tailed Eagles are much more vocal than Golden Eagles, particularly during the breeding season and especially the male when near the eyrie. Calls can sometimes take on the form of a duet between the pair. The nest is a huge edifice of sticks in a tree or on a coastal cliff. Being faithful to their territories, once they breed, nests are often reused, sometimes for decades by successive generations of birds; one nest in Iceland has been in use for over 150 years. In Scandinavia, trees have been known to collapse under the weight of enormous, long established nests. Mated pairs produce one to three eggs per year. The eggs are laid two to five days apart in March or April and are incubated for 38 days by both parents. Once hatched, chicks are quite tolerant of one another, although the first hatched is often larger and dominant at feeding times. The female does most of the brooding and direct feeding, with the male taking over now and then. Young are able to feed themselves from five to six weeks and they fledge at eleven to twelve weeks, remaining in the vicinity of the nest, dependent on their parents for a further six to ten weeks. The sex of nestlings can be identified using field methods, or using DNA. Surplus chicks are sometimes removed from nests to use in reintroduction programs in areas where the species has died out. If left in the nest, they are often killed by the first-hatched sooner or later, as in most large eagles. In such programs, the birds are raised in boxes on platforms in the tree canopy and fed in such a way that they cannot see the person supplying their food, until they are old enough to fly and thus find their own food. REPRODUCTION.

Authors: Justyna Snopkowska, Justyna Warchoł Joanna Sieradzka, Aleksandra Skorupa

English Latin

Ĺťubr (Polish bison) Bison bonasus




Avrupa bizonu

Bizon polonez

GENERAL INFO. Żubr, also known as the European bison or European wood bison, is a species of Eurasian bison. It is the heaviest surviving land animal in Europe. They are now forest-dwelling. They have few predators (besides humans), with only scattered reports from the 19th century of wolf and bear predation. Żubr were first scientifically described by Carolus Linnaeus in 1758. Some later descriptions treat the żubr as conspecific with the American bison. It is not to be confused with the aurochs, the extinct ancestor of domestic cattle. In 1996 the IUCN classified the żubr as an endangered species. It has since been downgraded to a vulnerable species. In the past it was commonly killed to produce hides and drinking horns, especially during the Middle Ages. DESCRIPTION. A typical żubr is about 2.1 to 3.5 m (7 to 10 ft) long, not counting a tail of 30 to 60 cm (12 to 24 in) long, and 1.6 to 2 m (5 to 7 ft) tall. Weight typically can range from 300 to 920 kg (660 to 2,000 lb), with an occasional big bull to 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) or more. It averages slightly lighter in weight that the American Bison (Bison bison), and has shorter hair on the neck, head and forequarters, but longer tail and horns. Żubr have lived as long as 30 years in captivity, although in the wild their lifespan is shorter. Productive breeding years are between four and 20 years of age in females, and only between six and 12 years of age in males. Żubr occupy home ranges of as much as 100 km2 (40 sq mi) and some herds are found to prefer meadows and open areas in forests. NATURAL ENVIRONMENT. Żubr were hunted to extinction in the wild, but they survived in Białowieża Forest, straddling the border between Belarus and Poland, until the 1920s and have since been reintroduced from captivity into several countries in Eastern Europe, all descendants of the Białowieża or lowland żubr. FOOD. Żubr feed predominantly on grasses although they will also browse on shoots and leaves; in summer months, an adult male can consume 32 kilograms of food in a day. Żubr in the Bialowieza Forest in Poland have traditionally been fed hay in the winter for centuries, and vast herds may gather around this diet supplement. Żubr need to drink every day and in winter can be seen breaking ice with their heavy hooves. Despite their usual slow movements, żubr are surprisingly agile and can clear three metre wide streams or two metre high fences from a standing start.

BEHAVIOUR. The żubr is a herd animal, which lives in both mixed and solely-male groups. Mixed groups consist of infants, young aged 2–3 years, calves and young adult bulls. The average herd size is dependent on environmental factors, though on average, they number 8-13 animals per herd. Herds consisting solely of bulls are smaller than mixed ones, containing two individuals on average. Żubr herds are not family units. Different herds frequently interact, combine and quickly split after exchanging individuals. Territory held by bulls is correlated by age, with young bulls aged between 5–6 tending to form larger home ranges than older males. The żubr does not defend territory, and herd ranges tend to greatly overlap. Core areas of territory are usually sited near meadows and water sources. REPRODUCTION. The rutting season occurs from August through to October. Bulls aged 4–6 years, though sexually mature, are prevented from mating by older bulls. Cows usually have a gestation period of 264 days, and typically give birth to one calf at a time. On average, male calves weigh 27.6 kg (60.8 lb) at birth, and females 24.4 kg (53.8 lb). Body size in males increases proportionately to the age of 6 years. While females have a higher increase in body mass in their first year, their growth rate is comparatively slower than that of males by the age of 3–5. Bulls reach sexual maturity at the age of two, while cows do so in their third year.

Authors: Justyna Snopkowska, Justyna Warchoł Joanna Sieradzka, Aleksandra Skorupa





Orang Outang





GENERAL INFO. Orangutans are the only exclusively Asian genus of extant great ape. The largest living arboreal animals, they have proportionally longer arms than the other, more terrestrial, great apes. They are among the most intelligent primates and use a variety of sophisticated tools, also making sleeping nests each night from branches and foliage. Their hair is typically reddish-brown, instead of the brown or black hair typical of other great apes. The word "orangutan" comes from the Malay words "orang" (man) and "(h)utan" (forest); hence, "man of the forest". Orangutans can use tools. DESCRIPTION. An orangutan's standing height averages from 4 to 5 ft (1.2 to 1.5 m). On average, an orangutan weighs between 73 to 180 pounds (33 to 82 kg). Males can weigh up to 250 lb (110 kg) or more. Orangutan hands are similar to humans' hands; they have four long fingers and an opposable thumb. Their feet have four long toes and an opposable big toe. Orangutans can grasp things with both their hands and their feet. The largest males have an arm span of about 7.5 ft (2 m). Orangutans have a large, bulky body, a thick neck, very long, strong arms, short, bowed legs, and no tail. They are mostly covered with long reddish-brown hair, although this differs between the species: Sumatran Orangutans have a more sparse and lighter coloured coat. The orangutan has a large head with a prominent mouth area. Adult males have large cheek flaps (which get larger as the ape ages) that show their dominance to other males and their readiness to mate. The age of maturity for females is approximately 12 years. On average, orangutans may live about 35 years in the wild, and up to 60 years in captivity (though it is unknown what the typical lifespan of the orangutan in the wild is and many would certainly live much longer). Both sexes have throat pouches located near their vocal chords that make their calls resonate through the forest, although the males' pouches are more developed. There is significant sexual dimorphism: females can grow to around 4 ft 2 in or 127 cm and weigh around 100 lb (45 kg) while flanged adult males can reach 5 ft 9 in or 175 cm in height and weigh over 260 lb (118 kg). The arms of orangutans are twice as long as their legs, and an adult orangutan's arms can be well over seven feet from fingertip to fingertip. Much of the arm's length has to do with the length of the radius and the ulna rather than the humerus. Their fingers and toes are curved, allowing them to better grip onto branches. Orangutans have less restriction in the movements of their legs than humans and other primates, due to the lack of a hip joint ligament which keeps the femur held into the pelvis. Unlike gorillas and chimpanzees, orangutans are not true knuckle-walkers, and are instead fist-walkers.

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT. Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are currently found only in rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, though fossils have been found in Java, the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Vietnam and Mainland China. FOOD. Fruit makes up 65–90 percent of the orangutan diet. Fruits with sugary or fatty pulp are favored. Ficus fruits are commonly eaten, because they are easy to harvest and digest. Lowland dipterocarp forests are preferred by orangutans because of their plentiful fruit. Bornean orangutans consume at least 317 different food items that include young leaves, shoots, bark, insects, honey and bird eggs. Orangutans are opportunistic foragers, and their diets vary markedly from month to month. Bark is eaten as a last resort in times of food scarcity; fruits are always more popular. Geophagy, the practice of eating soil or rock, has been observed in orangutans. There are three main reasons for this dietary behavior; for the addition of minerals nutrients to their diet; for the ingestion of clay minerals that can absorb toxic substances; or to treat a disorder such as diarrhea. Orangutans use plants of the genus Commelina as an anti-inflammatory balm. BEHAVIOUR. Orangutans live a more solitary lifestyle than the other great apes. Most social bonds occur between adult females and their dependent and weaned offspring. Adult males and independent adolescents of both sexes tend to live alone. The society of the orangutan is made up of resident and transient individuals of both sexes. Resident females live with their offspring in defined home ranges that overlap with those of other adult females, who may be their relatives like mothers and sisters. One to several resident female home ranges are encompassed within the home range of a resident male, who is their primary breeder. Transient males and females range broadly. They usually travel alone, but as sub-adults they may travel in small groups. However this behavior does not extend to adulthood. The social structure of the orangutan can be best described as solitary but social. As the ranges of males and females overlap, they commonly encounter each other while traveling and feeding and brief social interactions may occur. Interactions between adult females range from friendly, to avoidance to antagonistic. Resident males may have overlapping ranges and interactions between them tend to be hostile. During dispersal, females tend to settle in home ranges that overlap with their mothers. However, they do not interact with them any more than the other females and they do not seem to form social bonds. Males disperse much farther from their mothers and enter into a transient phase. This phase lasts until a male can challenge and displace a dominant, resident male from his home range. There are dominance hierarchies between adult males that regularly encounter each other with the most dominant males being the largest and having the best body conditions. Adult males dominate sub-adult males. Both resident and transient orangutans aggregate on large fruiting trees to feed. The fruits tend to be abundant, so competition is low and

individuals may benefit from social contacts. Orangutans will also form travelling groups in which members coordinate travel between food sources for a few days at a time. These groups tend to be made of only a few individuals. They also tend to be mating consortships, each made of an adult male and female traveling and mating. REPRODUCTION. Male orangutans exhibit arrested development. They mature at around 15 years of age by which they have fully descended testicles and can reproduce. However they do not develop the cheek pads, pronounced throat pouches, long fur or long-calls of more mature males until they gain a home range, which occurs when they are between 15 and 20 years old. These sub-adult males are known as unflanged males in contrast to the more developed flanged males. The transformation from unflanged to flanged can occur very quickly. Unflanged and flanged males have two different mating strategies. Flanged males use long calls to advertise their location which attract estrous females. Unflanged males wander widely in search of estrous females and upon finding one, will force copulation on her. Both strategies are successful, however females prefer to mate with flanged males and will seek them out for protection from unflanged males. Resident males may form consortships with females that can last days, weeks or months after copulation. Female orangutans experience their first ovulatory cycle between 5.8 and 11.1 years. These occur earlier in larger females with more body fat than in thinner females. Like other great apes, female orangutans have a period of adolescent infertility which may last for 1–4 years. Female orangutans also have a 22-30 day menstrual cycle. Gestation lasts for nine months with females giving birth to their first offspring between 14 and 15 years old. Female orangutans have the longest interbirth intervals of the great apes, having eight years between births. Male orangutans play almost no role in raising the young. Females are the primary caregivers for the young and are also instruments of socialization for them. A female often has more than one offspring with her, usually an adolescent and an infant, and the older of them can also help in socializing their younger sibling. Infant orangutans are completely dependent on their mothers for the first two years of their lives. The mother will carry the infant during traveling, as well as feed it and sleep with it in the same night nest. The infant doesn’t even break physical contact with its mother for the first four months and is carried on her belly. The amount of physical contact soon wanes in the following months. When an orangutan reaches the age of two, its climbing skills are more developed and will hold the hand of another orangutan while moving through the canopy, a behavior known as "buddy travel". Orangutans are juveniles from about two to five years of age and start to exploratory trips from their mothers. Juveniles are usually weaned at about four years of age. Adolescent orangutans seek peers and play and travel with peer groups while still having contact with their mothers. Infanticide has not been recorded in the two orangutan species like it has in other primate species. Paternity uncertainty, the range patterns of female dispersals and the fact that the ovulation of females depends on food availability may make infanticide by males ineffective. Authors: Eryk Bogdanowicz, Brajan Szatkowski, Joanna Sieradzka, Aleksandra Skorupa


Giant panda


Ailuropoda melanoleuca




Dev Panda


GENERAL INFO. The giant panda, or panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, literally meaning "black and white cat-foot")is a bearnative to central-western and south western China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. While the dragon has historically served as China's national emblem, in recent decades the panda has also served as an emblem for the country. Its image appears on a large number of modern Chinese commemorative silver, gold, and platinum coins. In 2006, there were 40 panda reserves in China. The giant panda is among the world's most adored and protected rare animals, and is one of the few in the world whose natural inhabitant status was able to gain a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. DESCRIPTION. The giant panda has a black-and-white coat. Adults measure around 1.2 to 1.8 meters (4 to 6 ft) long, including a tail of about 13 cm (5.1 in), and 60 to 90 centimeters (1 ft 10 in to 2 ft 10 in) tall at the shoulder. Males can weigh up to 160 kilograms (350 lb). Females (generally 10–20% smaller than males) can weigh as little as 75 kg (170 lb) but can also weigh up to 125 kilograms (280 lb). Average adult weight is 100 to 115 kilograms (220 to 250 lb). The giant panda's tail, measuring 10 to 15 centimeters (4 to 6 in), is the second longest in the bear family. The longest belongs to the Sloth Bear. The giant panda typically lives around 20 years in the wild and up to 30 years in captivity. The recorded age of the oldest captive giant panda, a female named Ming Ming, is 34. Cubs weigh only 90 to 130 grams (3.2 to 4.6 ounces), which is about 1/800 of the mother's weight. The giant panda has a body shape typical of bears. It has black fur on its ears, eye patches, muzzle, legs, arms and shoulders. The rest of the animal's coat is white. Although scientists do not know why these unusual bears are black and white, some speculate that the bold coloring provides effective camouflage in its shade-dappled snowy and rocky surroundings. The giant panda's thick, wooly coat keeps it warm in the cool forests of its habitat. The giant panda has large molar teeth and strong jaw muscles for crushing tough bamboo. The giant panda's paw has a "thumb" and five fingers; the "thumb" is actually a modified sesamoid bone, which helps the giant panda to hold bamboo while eating. NATURAL ENVIRONMENT. The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. Due to farming, deforestation and other development, the panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived. The panda is a conservation reliant endangered species. A 2007 report shows 239 pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country. Wild population estimates vary; one estimate shows that there are about 1,590 individuals living in the wild, while a 2006 study via DNA analysis estimated that this figure could be as high as 2,000 to 3,000. Some reports also show that the number of pandas in the wild is on the rise. However, the IUCN does not believe there is enough certainty yet to reclassify the species from Endangered to Vulnerable.

FOOD. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the panda's diet is 99% bamboo. Pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared feed. BEHAVIOUR. In the wild, the giant panda is a terrestrial animal and primarily spends its life roaming and feeding in the bamboo forests of the Qinling Mountains and in the hilly Sichuan Province. Giant pandas are generally solitary, and each adult has a defined territory and females are not tolerant of other females in their range. Pandas communicate through vocalization and scent marking such as clawing trees or spraying urineThe giant panda is able to climb and take shelter in hollow trees or rock crevices but does not establish permanent dens. For this reason, pandas do not hibernate, which is similar to other subtropical mammals, and will instead move to elevations with warmer temperatures. Pandas rely primarily on spatial memory rather than visual memory. Social encounters occur primarily during the brief breeding season in which pandas in proximity to one another will gather. After mating, the male leaves the female alone to raise the cub. Though the panda is often assumed to be docile, it has been known to attack humans, presumably out of irritation rather than predation. REPRODUCTION. Giant pandas reach sexual maturity between the ages of four and eight, and may be reproductive until age 20. The mating season is between March and May, when a female goes into her estrous cycle which lasts for two or three days and only occurs once a year. The gestation period ranges from 95 to 160 days. If twins are born, usually only one survives in the wild. The mother will select the stronger of the cubs, and the weaker will die. It is thought that the mother cannot produce enough milk for two cubs since she does not store fat. The father has no part in helping raise the cub. The cubs are able to eat small quantities of bamboo after six months, though mother's milk remains the primary food source for most of the first year. Giant panda cubs weigh 45 kg (100 pounds) at one year, and live with their mothers until they are 18 months to two years old. The interval between births in the wild is generally two years.

Authors: Eryk Bogdanowicz, Brajan Szatkowski Joanna Sieradzka, Aleksandra Skorupa


Polar bear


Thalarctos maritimus

Ours Polaire

Niedźwiedź polarny


Kutup ayısı

Urs polar

GENERAL INFO. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a bear native largely within the Arctic Circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. The U.S. Geological Survey predicts two-thirds of the world's polar bears will disappear by 2050, based on moderate projections for the shrinking of summer sea ice caused by climate change. The bears would disappear from Europe, Asia, and Alaska, and be depleted from the Arctic archipelago of Canada and areas off the northern Greenland coast. By 2080, they would disappear from Greenland entirely and from the northern Canadian coast, leaving only dwindling numbers in the interior Arctic archipelago. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the polar bear is important as an indicator of arctic ecosystem health. Polar bears are studied to gain understanding of what is happening throughout the Arctic, because at-risk polar bears are often a sign of something wrong with the arctic marine ecosystem.

DESCRIPTION. It is the world's largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak Bear, which is approximately the same size. An adult male weighs around 350–680 kg (770–1,500 lb), while an adult female is about half that size. Although it is closely related to the brown bear, it has evolved to occupy a narrower ecological niche, with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time at sea. Their scientific name means "maritime bear". Large furry feet and short, sharp, stocky claws giving it good traction on ice are evolutionary adaptations to this environment. Compared with its closest relative, the brown bear, the polar bear has a more elongated body build and a longer skull and nose. As The legs are stocky and the ears and tail are small. However, the feet are very large to distribute load when walking on snow or thin ice and to provide propulsion when swimming; they may measure 30 cm (12 in) across in an adult. The pads of the paws are covered with small, soft papillae (dermal bumps) which provide traction on the ice. The polar bear's claws are short and stocky compared to those of the brown bear, perhaps to serve the former's need to grip heavy prey and ice. The claws are deeply scooped on the underside to assist in digging in the ice of the natural habitat. Polar bears can swim 6 mph (9.7 km/h). When walking, the polar bear tends to have a lumbering gait and maintains an average speed of around 3.5 mph (5.6 km/h). When sprinting, they can reach up to 25 mph (40 km/h). Polar bears rarely live beyond 25 years. The oldest wild bears on record

died at the age of 32, whereas the oldest captive was a female who died in 1991 at the age of 43.

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT. The polar bear is found in the Arctic Circle and adjacent land masses as far south as Newfoundland Island. Due to the absence of human development in its remote habitat, it retains more of its original range than any other extant carnivore. While they are rare north of 88°, there is evidence that they range all the way across the Arctic, and as far south as James Bay in Canada. They can occasionally drift widely with the sea ice, and there have been anecdotal sightings as far south as Berlevåg on the Norwegian mainland and the Kuril Islands in the Sea of Okhotsk. It is difficult to estimate a global population of polar bears as much of the range has been poorly studied; however, biologists use a working estimate of about 20,000–25,000 polar bears worldwide. The polar bear is often regarded as a marine mammal because it spends many months of the year at sea. Its preferred habitat is the annual sea ice covering the waters over the continental shelf and the Arctic inter-island archipelagos. These areas, known as the "Arctic ring of life", have high biological productivity in comparison to the deep waters of the high Arctic. The polar bear tends to frequent areas where sea ice meets water, such as polynyas and leads (temporary stretches of open water in Arctic ice), to hunt the seals that make up most of its diet. Polar bears are therefore found primarily along the perimeter of the polar ice pack, rather than in the Polar Basin close to the North Pole where the density of seals is low.

FOOD. The long muzzle and neck of the polar bear help it to search in deep holes for seals, while powerful hindquarters enable it to drag massive prey. The polar bear is the most carnivorous member of the bear family, and most of its diet consists of ringed and bearded seals. In some areas, the polar bear's diet is supplemented by walrus calves and by the carcasses of dead adult walruses or whales, whose blubber is readily devoured even when rotten.

BEHAVIOUR. The polar bear is the largest terrestrial carnivore, being more than twice as big as the Siberian tiger. It shares this title with the Kodiak Bear. Adult males weigh 350–680 kg (770–1500 lbs) and measure 2.4–3 m (7.9–9.8 ft) in length. Adult females are roughly half the size of males and normally weigh 150–249 kg (330–550 lb), measuring 1.8– 2.4 metres (5.9–7.9 ft) in length. When pregnant, however, they can weigh as much as 499 kg (1,100 lb). The polar bear is among the most sexually dimorphic of mammals, surpassed only by the pinnipeds. The largest polar bear on record, reportedly weighing 1,002 kg (2,210 lb), was a male shot at Kotzebue Sound in northwestern Alaska in 1960. The shoulder height of the polar bear is 130–160 cm (51–63 in). The white coat usually yellows with age. When kept in captivity in warm, humid conditions, the fur may turn a pale shade of green due to algae growing inside the guard hairs. Males have significantly longer hairs on their forelegs, that increase in length until the bear reaches 14 years of age. The male's ornamental foreleg hair is thought to attract females, serving a similar function to the lion's mane. The polar bear has an

extremely well developed sense of smell, being able to detect seals nearly 1 mi (1.6 km) away and buried under 3 ft (0.91 m) of snow. Its hearing is about as acute as that of a human, and its vision is also good at long distances.

REPRODUCTION. Polar bears have a generally polygynous mating system; recent genetic testing of mothers and cubs, however, has uncovered cases of litters in which cubs have different fathers. Partners stay together and mate repeatedly for an entire week; the mating ritual induces ovulation in the female. After mating, the fertilized egg remains in a suspended state until August or September. During these four months, the pregnant female eats prodigious amounts of food, gaining at least 200 kg (440 lb) and often more than doubling her body weight. Between November and February, cubs are born blind, covered with a light down fur, and weighing less than 0.9 kg (2.0 lb), but in captivity they might be delivered in the earlier months. On average, each litter has two cubs. The family remains in the den until midFebruary to mid-April, with the mother maintaining her fast while nursing her cubs on a fatrich milk. By the time the mother breaks open the entrance to the den, her cubs weigh about 10 to 15 kilograms (22 to 33 lb). For about 12 to 15 days, the family spends time outside the den while remaining in its vicinity, the mother grazing on vegetation while the cubs become used to walking and playing. Then they begin the long walk from the denning area to the sea ice, where the mother can once again catch seals. Depending on the timing of ice-floe breakup in the fall, she may have fasted for up to eight months. Cubs may fall prey to wolves or to starvation. Female polar bears are noted for both their affection towards their offspring and their valiance in protecting them. One case of adoption of a wild cub has been confirmed by genetic testing. Adult male bears occasionally kill and eat polar bear cubs, for reasons that are unclear. In most areas, cubs are weaned at two and a half years of age, when the mother chases them away or abandons them. The western coast of Hudson Bay is unusual in that its female polar bears sometimes wean their cubs at only one and a half years. After the mother leaves, sibling cubs sometimes travel and share food together for weeks or months. Females begin to breed at the age of four years in most areas, and five years in the Beaufort Sea area. Males usually reach sexual maturity at six years; however, as competition for females is fierce, many do not breed until the age of eight or ten.

Authors: Eryk Bogdanowicz, Brajan Szatkowski Joanna Sieradzka, Aleksandra Skorupa





Tigris Tigru


Range map :

The tiger is a species


of mammals part of the feline family and can been countered in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and north of North Tīģeris

Korea. Tigers inhabit various landscapes: tropical forests,


thickets of cotton, savannahs, semi-deserts, rocky areas and taiga. It does not inhabit mountainous areas with altitudes above 3000 meters.

Diet In the wild, tigers usual feed on ungulates: deer, wild pigs, elk, Indians buffalo etc. Occasionally they hunt “exotic” animals, for them, like: monkeys, pheasants, rabbits and even fish. Tigers can also kill other pray animals like: wolves, leopards, boa snakes, crocodiles and brown bears.

Tibetan and brown bears make up 58% of the Siberian tiger’s diet. At a typical meal the tiger can eat around 30 to 40 kg of meat and even 50 kg if famished.

Reproduction Mating takes place between December and January. Most females give birth for the first time at 3-4 years and the period between two births is 2-3 years. Gestation lasts 97-112 days, an average of 103 days. The cubs are born 2-4 at a time can weight around 1.3 to 1.5 kg and start to see around of the 7th day. The first six weeks they feed only on breast milk. The father dose not approaches the cubs since there is a danger that it will not recognize and eat them. At 8 weeks they are able to get out of the litter and to follow they’re mother. They become independent at 18 months but remain with their mother until the age of 2-5 years.

Characteristic There were established nine subspecies of tiger, of which three are already extinct due to anthropogenic factor. The body’s length ranges from 1.4 to 3.5 meters, the tail’s length is between 60-90 cm and its height can reach up to 1.5 meters. An adult male weighs around 180 to 250 kg. Females are smaller than males, 120-140 kg. An adult tiger, like most other cats has 30 teeth. The teeth are sufficiently developed, and their length can reach about 8 cm. The incisors serve to separate meat from bone. The fur color varies from brown to reddish brown and the abdomen and chest are light. The head is covered with dark streaks of brown to black. Most tigers have over 100 stripes.

Status and protection

The number of tiger’s decreases continuously and the area shrinks. It is assumed that the tiger population has fallen in comparison with the last century by 95%. Currently it is believed that only 4500 - 6000 remain.

WOLF English Latin

Wolf Lupus Lupul




Range map : Kurt

The wolf is the largest

extant wild member of the Canidae family. They can be found in Canada, Alaska, Eastern Europe, Scandinavian Peninsula, Russia, Middle East and Central Asia and

Siberia, their number are generally reduced due to widespread destruction of its territory. Wolves can be found in plain and mountains. In Romania wolves can be found in the Danube Delta and in subcarpathian regions. They prefer forests of the Subcarpatian Mountains but also hills and deep mountain gaps. The wolf is a nomad animal which constantly changes his shelter.


The wolf is usually a carnivore but when necessary they willingly eat fruits and/or tree bark. He acts both as a hunter but also as a necrophagous having an essential role in the ecosystem maintaining the natural balance. Wolves will prey on almost everything from lizards, snakes, frogs, rarely toads , large insects but also on dears, sheep and even bears. In search of food they can travel up to 100 km a night.

Reproduction Breeding takes place from February to March, after which the wolf remains with the she wolf in order to raise their cubs together. After a gestation of 62-63 days the she-wolf gives birth to 4 or 6 cubs, blind for about 2 weeks and is nursed for 6 weeks. At 3 weeks the cub’s milks teeth start to show

and at 15-18 weeks they’re milk teeth are replaced with

permanent ones. After 2-3 mounts the cubs go out with the pack. They no longer need to stay in the den and remain with their parents for many years. During this time they learn how to hunt and finally leave they’re pack to start one of they’re own. The she-wolf reaches sexual maturity after 2 years and the mail wolf at the age of 3. Wolves live up to 15 years but the first signs of aging can be noticed at the age of 10-12.


Wolves are slender, powerfully built animals with large, deeply descending ribcages and sloping backs. The head is similar to that of a large dog and has a long triangular snout with long thick whiskers. The eyes are diagonal with round pupils. The ears are sharp and smaller compared to other canines and very well developed. The neck is strong with fur color in the winter. The tail is bushy relatively short and thick. Its legs are powerful and muscular covered by a short hair. The fur is white or light brown depending on the subspecies or region. There are also two types of fur: a thick woolly one and a soft one, which is usually greywhite, or a brown overcoat which is long. The fur in the summer usually has a darker coloration and is short, while in the winter it is whiter and longer with a thick undercoat. Romanian wolves are gray, have a gray fur, measures approximately 1,5 meters from snout to tail and ways around 30-50 kg reaching as heavy as 70 kg. Wolves are nocturnal animal. They are extremely cautious around humans

and don' attack unless they are threatened, injured or rabid. Hunting usually takes places in packs. These animals mark they're territories, which can be large or small and communicate with each other through different sounds (howling, barking or whining) or through different position of their body and tail. For example keeping their tails vertically means that that wolf is the leader of the pack and where they're tail is horizontally announces they're intention to attack.

The wolf's senses are extremely well developed, especially his sigh and sense of smell, this way the wolves can hunt both day and night. The wolves have a high tolerance to pain and are fearless in battle, proving to be highly intelligent creatures. It manages to detect and avoid traps and its speed can go over 60 mil-h.

Status and protection

Like most wild animals the wolves have also have been affected by the global economical growth, few countries in Europe have a high number of wild wolves and these can be found in the mountains, away from civilization and the

illegal hunters. At the global level there are few organizations that fight for this species preservation. In European countries there are laws that forbid wolf hunting, unless they attack the farms situated at the edge of forest to prevent extinction some organizations prefer to indemnify the farmers. Although there are very strict laws poaching are still a major problem since wolf's fur is very expensive.



Black rhino


Nigrum rhinoceros Rinocerul negru

Rhinocéros noir

Czarnego nosorożca Melns rhino

Range map :



rhino is a member of the Pachyderm family and are massive herbivore mammals. It lives in

Siyah gergedan

the East and South of Africa, also being called the African Rhino. The rhino prefer the open field (savanna)

with bushes. Usually somewhere between savanna and tropical forests of Africa.

Diet Unlike the white rhino, the black rhino doesn’t graze but feeds from the trees and bushes using its upper lip to gather food.

Reproduction The rhinos breed in captivity and are later released into the wild. The female rhino gives birth to only one young how stays with his mother between 3 to 5 years.

Characteristic The rhino has a huge body, a large head, and a very thick grey skin and only has hair on his eyelashes, tip of his ears and tip of his tail. It also has 2 horns one long (50 cm) and one short. The rhino has a length of 3 to 4 meters a height of 1.3 meters and weighs between 1-2 tons. The rhino’s dark color comes from the dried mud on his skin that protects him from the sun and insects, a lot of the times birds can be seen on this mammal’s back helping it get rid of all the insects.

The Black Rhino is the most aggressive of his kind and touring his attack it can reach a speed of 48 mil/h. It is very agile and can move very quickly in a restricted place, it can also carry 830 times its own weight and has a poor sight. He doesn’t have any real enemies the biggest threat to him however is the human.

Status and protection Unfortunately the rhino is one of the mammals that will be extinct very soon. The main reason for this specie’s decreasing being pouching, the rhino’s are killed for their ivory horn which can be sold for 60.000 $/kg, the horn weight at 3 to 4 kg. Poaching is the equivalent to the disappearance of 2 rhinos per day.

Guards were hired to protect these animals from pouching and another method would be to inform the people that the horns are useless, medically speaking.





Rupicapra Capra neagra

Chevre noire

Czarna koza

Melna kaza

Range map :

The black goat is an

animal that is part of the bovine family. It lives in the Siyah keรงi

higher rocker regions of the Alps, regions in the South of France, Dalmatia, Greece and in the north in Anatolia, Caucasus Mountains, Carpathian mountains,

Slovakia. The black goat can be found in the mountains usually in places inaccessible for humans and on the alpine fields at an altitude over 1800 m( in the summer).

In winter it goes at an altitude lower than 1100 m where they take shelter in the woods, but they remains close to the mountains.

Diet Their food consist in Alpine rosehip, buds and leafy or conifer shoots, different fruits plant, and in the winter they prefer lichen or moss.

Reproduction The breeding season is in November. The gestation period of the black goat can take 6 months, the young’s are fully mature when they are 3 years old and a black goat can live up to 15-25 years.

Characteristic The animal has a height of 110-130 m, short tail (maxim 8 cm) weigh at 30-50 km. It has a relatively short body, muscular legs, a relatively long neck and a short head. Both males and females have a pair of curled horns. Behind their forms there are 2 glands that emit unpleasant smelling liquid during the mating season. In the summer the black goat has a light brown-red color and the inferior part of the body is yellowish-white and it has a black on his neck. In the winter the goat is dark brown and white on its abdomen and legs. The head is yellowish-white and on its forehead it has a dark color line.

The goat's horns can reach 32 cm in length. The older the goat, the bigger the horns. They are extremely resistant and agile and can travel up to 50 km-h one step land. When it is in danger is warned by its comrades and the goat flees rapidly to inaccessible places, it jump reaching 2 m in high and 6 m in length.

The black goat is a vigilant and gifted with a well developed sense of smell being capable of detect movements from the distance.

Status and protection The black goat is protected by law in our country one of the most important species can be found in Romania. Dangers that threaten the black goat are falling of rocks, other wild animals like: the fox, the wolf, eagle and hunts organized by men.



Carpathian bear


Ursus arctos carpatian

Ursul carpatin Ours des Carpates niedナコwiedナコ karpacki Karpatu lト…is

Range map :

Although widely

spread in all the regions of the Carpathian Mountain, the Romanians consider it a pure Bozayトア

Romanian animal because Romania has the largest number of Carpathian bears. The brown

Bear it can also be encountered in north America (Alaska Canada) and in Europe Russia, Poland, Slovakia, France and Spain. The Brown Bear lives in the Carpathian Mountains especially in the forest regions, inaccessible, with rocks where it can make his shelter but also in the hill full of fruit trees.


The Carpathian Bear is an omnivore mammal although it prefers meat. He feeds with plants (acorns, chestnuts, berries, insects, snails, fish and birds). A large part of his diet is made up of roots, grains and herbal. It is known as a predator of the cereal, potatoes and cabbage fields. It is crazy about barriers and other fruits, but what he loves the most is honey. If it is starving it attacks moose and dears. When it cannot find food in the woods it goes down near the cities and villages, roaming throw garbage and it cal leave a lot of damages on farms. He can travel up to 100 km in search of food but it always returns to his main territory for hibernation.

Reproduction Although solitary animals they become more sociable during the mating season, between April -Mai or May-July. The female gives birth once every 2 years and gestation usually takes place between 7 to 8 mouths. It gives birth at 1-3 cubs in January-March. The cubs are born blind and they weight between 400 to 500 grams and they’re length is around 20-25 cm. They’re eyes open after 25-30 days from they’re birth and the cubs get out of the shelter when they are around 2 to 3 months. If the bear always lives alone, the female never abandon its cubs until the age of 2-3 year, making a family. When the cubs abandon their mother, they go in searching of their own territory.

Characteristic The brown bear impresses by it s aspect. It center of gravity is in it s foot. It s a muscled animal with a round massive head, a short conical nose, round ears and small eyes. It s neck is short and muscular, the tail is short and strong and it s feet are long and powerful (the foot has about 30 cm). The fur is thick and much longer on the front and on the inside of it s extremities. Hair length varies from 8-9 cm in December, April and May and in July and September being shorter. The younger’s have a narrow white collar which became yellow and then brown. The fur can be tan or even black. It s sense of hearing and smell are well developed but his sense of sight is deficient.

The bear are taller (1, 9-2, 5 cm) and heavier than the female (140-320850 kg)-(100-200-450). The bear goes slowly and he looks down. It can climb trees and he rolls downhill. In cold months lair to hibernate in places inaccessible for people. Each individual has it s own shelter and their bed is made up of moss. The bear usually attacks victim s head but is important to know that it attacks only when he feels threatened. A bear can live 30-35 years and the female only 20-25 years.

Status and protection The main enemy of this species is the men. Even hunting is forbidden there are months when hunting is allowed because of overpopulation or because they have done some considerable damage. They are usually hunted for their fur or head. It is known that in our days in the Carpathian Mountains lives 2510 brown bears, but in 1989 lived 8000.


African elephant


Loxodonta africana Elefantul african

Eléphant d'Afrique

Słoń afrykański

Āfrikas zilonis

Range map :

Also known as The

Savanna Elephant, "Loxodonta Africana" or African Afrika fil

elephant lives in Africa south of Sahara. It is part of the Proboscides Order (animals with a trunk), the "Elephantidae" family.

Although the African elephant is originally a savannas animal, giving its ability to adapt it can be found in various regions, located south of the country, Sahara: forests, swamps, scrub and semi-arid areas. It can only be seen near water and bathing places.


The elephant is exclusively an herbivore, consuming various types of grass/herbs, fruits and branches, which it gathers in bundles using its trunks and places in its mouth. It has relatively few teeth which it uses to chew/grind its food. If the elephant looses all its teeth it will most likely die of starvation; this usually happens when the elephant reaches the age of 70. It is not surprising that the elephant has an extremely well developed appetite, since it needs large amounts of food. The elephant prefers to eat and drink water during the night early in the morning and evening but it can also eat while moving, ripping bundles of grass or leaves.

Reproduction The elephants breed for the first time when they are around 14- 15 years old. There is a whole wowing ritual in which the elephant’s expresses they’re attraction to one another by teasing each other with they’re trunks. After a gestation of 22 months a single young is born which can measure around 85 cm and weight around 110 kg?

The young is nursed for 2 years and remains with its family even another young is born. The female gives birth once every 4 years so a lot of the times an elephant can be seen surrounded by several young’s and if one of them is attacked the female will try to protect it’ young .


The elephant is a huge mammal (3-4 height and 6-7 length), heaving 3-4 tones and a very slow step. The nous is grown together with the upper lip and extends into a mobile trunk. The dip of the trunk has two holes used for smell and two other lips whit which the elephant grasps it's food, usually leaves. The skin is very thick, harsh and hairless. The superior teeth are very long slightly curved up and are called ivory.

These animals cal live up to 80 years, the oldest elephant died at the age of 83. The African Elephant has a skull made up of thick bones, and they're large

ears are constantly moving. It has powerful legs ending with 3-5 powerful hooves like fingers. The most interesting feature of the elephant is its trunk which is used to pluck grass, rip branches etc. Elephants can absorb in their trunks up to 12 l of water which they drink it or use it to bath. The elephant’s ivory fangs develop from pair of incisors which they use to dig for roots or in battles which take place during the breeding season or to defend them. The ivory fang may weigh between 23-46 kg and reach a length of 1, 5-2, 4 m. The elephant live in a very well social structure-family group, is made up of up to 10 female and they're young’s.

If the elephants searching for food can't see its comrades, it announces them through different sounds that he is safe. Once an elephant senses danger it warns his comrades by staying silent.

Status and protection Some African governments allow elephant hunting and since this animal needs a lot of time to develop and reproduce, it is an endangered species. Another enemy beside the human is the lion. Poaching as well as legal hunting has a dramatic effect on the animal's anatomy. For example hunters kill an elephant only for his ivory, so it is possible that in the future elephant’s whit ivory ceased to exist. Because of the large quantities of food that they consume, elephant can have a massive impact on the environment. The future of the African Elephants is a complex problem that needs to be solved in order to balance the overpopulation or under population in some arias.

Did you know? ďƒź Elephants are highly intelligent animals that have a complex social structure and interesting ways of communication and acting. ďƒź Elephants also seem to have a high interest in other dead animal's fangs, which they examines, but the myth according to which the elephant takes those remains to a special place, has yet to be confirmed.


Range map : The Apollo butterfly is found throughout Europe, including Mountains of Spain, France, Italy, Alps, Carpathians, S Germany and Balkans. Also S Scandinavia (not Denmark), S Poland and Slovakia. Widespread in many places but can be rare in some of the less extensive mountain ranges.

FAST FACTS Name in Latin:

Parnassius Apollo

Name in Turkish: Apollo Kelebeği Name in French:


Name in Polish:

Niepylak Apollo

Name in Romanian: Fluturele Apollo Name in Latvian: Laimiņu dižtauriņš (or Apollons) Size: 1.3 inches long and 0.15 inches wide Wingspan: 7 - 8.4 cm Weight: 0.41 grams. Lifespan: a few weeks.

Diet Apollo has a long, thin sucking tube which works like a straw. The butterfly uses it to stick into flowers and suck the nectar from the base of the petals. A preference for the Apollo is the flowers of thistles. Their diet in drinking usually consists of flower nectar, fruit, and manure piles gathering different nutrients. They only time butterflies eat is when they are in their caterpillars, and their diet usually consists of leaves, sometimes seeds, and a minority of butterflies don't visit flowers; they pick from tree sap, rotting animal matter, and other organic material.

Habitat The Apollo butterfly inhabits mountain meadows and pastures, up to 2,000 metres above sea level, where there are plenty of nectar-providing flowers. Apollo caterpillars require stonecrop (Sedum species)and houseleek plants (Sempervivum species) which grow on barren rocky outcrops or gravel. Research has shown that it is vital for this species that the rocky outcrops, (with stonecrops and houseleek plants), are situated in close proximity to meadows and other nectar-rich areas.

Behavior The Apollo butterfly is a beautiful white butterfly, decorated with large black spots on the forewings and red eye-spots on the hindwings This large white butterfly that flaps lazily over meadows. It will crash into flowers before starting to feed avidly. Can often be easily approached when feeding, even to the point of being pushed around the flower head with one finger, apparently without disturbing its meal. Mature Apollos are most often seen in July and August. They prefer natural, open mountain sides, covered with plenty of flowering plants. Obviously, due to human encroachment, these territories become more and more rare, which is why the number of the butterflies is shrinking and in many territories they’ve been confirmed as protected species.


Apollo Butterflies mate in July and June. The female lays multiple hundred eggs on thick leaves. The caterpillars hatch in spring and immediately start feeding on the leaves of the plant they hatched on. As the caterpillars have an external skeleton, they have to “drop their skin” multiple times, because it doesn’t grow. While developing, the caterpillars drops skin for a total of five times, after which they come down to ground and digs itself in the soil. A cocoon develops and two months later a butterfly emerges. The total time required for a newly hatched Apollo to become a butterfly is about 3 months. That is why, the caterpillar has to eat a lot of food to develop quickly and store energy for cocoon phase. Usually, the plants they hatch on are not very nutritious, and the caterpillar replaces quality with quantity – it eats large quantities of food, not resting until they are ready to create a cocoon. Mature specimen, however, feed on nectar, which they suck out of flowers using their straw-like mouth apparatus.

Threats The beautiful Apollo butterfly has long been prized by collectors, who aim to possess as many of the variants as possible. While over-collecting is believed to have caused populations to decline in some areas, such as in Spain and Italy, habitat change is thought to be a far more significant threat to this species’ survival. Plantations of conifers, the succession of suitable habitat to scrubland, agriculture, and urbanization have all reduced the habitat of the Apollo butterfly. Climate change and acid rain have also been implicated in this species decline in Fennoscandia. In addition, motor vehicles have been cited as a cause of Apollo butterfly mortalities.

Defenders at work The Apollo is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. It is protected in other states: the Principality of Liechtenstein, Czech Republic, Turkey and Poland. Laws exist to protect the Apollo butterfly in many countries, and it is also listed on Appendix II on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which restricts trade in this species. However, these laws focus on the protection of individuals, rather than their habitat, and so may do little to mitigate the greatest threat that populations face. Fortunately, there are a number of projects specifically working to save this Vulnerable insect. A conservation programme in Pieniny National Park saved a subspecies of the Apollo butterfly that had declined to just 20 individuals in the early 1990s, through a combination of captive breeding and habitat protection. In south-west Germany, conservationists are working with shepherds to ensure favourable conditions for the butterfly, which share their grassland habitat with sheep. For example, grazing periods have been shifted to avoid the Apollo butterfly larvae stage, which is vulnerable to being trampled.


Range map :

FAST FACTS Name in Latin:

Coragyps atratus

Name in Turkish: Kara Akbaba Name in French:

Vautour moine

Name in Polish:

Sęp kasztanowy

Name in Romanian: Vulturul negru Name in Latvian: Melnais grifs Size: 56-68 cm in length Weight: 1.6 to 2.75 kg. Wingspan : 1.37–1.67 m Lifespan: 25 years

Diet In natural settings, the Black Vulture eats mainly carrion. In areas populated by humans, it may scavenge at garbage dumps, but also takes eggs and decomposing plant material and can kill or injure newborn or incapacitated mammals. Like other vultures, it plays an important role in the ecosystem by disposing of carrion which would otherwise be a breeding ground for disease. The Black Vulture locates food either by sight or by following New World Vultures of the genuse. Their heightened ability to detect odors allows them to search for carrion below the forest canopy. The Black Vulture also occasionally feeds on livestock or deer. It occasionally harasses cows which are giving birth, but primarily preys on new-born calves. In its first few weeks, a calf will allow vultures to approach it. The vultures swarm the calf in a group, then peck at the calf's eyes, or at the nose or the tongue. The calf then goes into shock and is killed by the vultures. The Black Vulture mainly eats carrion, but may also kill and eat small animals including reptiles and birds.

Population The Black Vulture is classified as Near-threatened at world level and Vulnerable at European level. It has a discontinuous distribution in Europe, where it is present in the Caucasus mountains (190 pairs shared among Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan), Greece (20), Spain (1,000), Turkey (100-500) and Ukraine (6). Populations are considered to be increasing in Spain and Greece, stable in Turkey and declining in Ukraine and the Caucasus.

Behavior It soars high while searching for food, holding its wings horizontally when gliding. It flaps in short bursts which are followed by short periods of gliding. Its flight is less efficient than that of other vultures, as the wings are not as long, forming a smaller wing area. Like all New World Vultures, the Black Vulture often defecates on its own legs, using the evaporation of the water. Because it lacks a syrinx, the Black Vulture, like other New World Vultures, has very few vocalization capabilities. It is generally silent, but can make soft hisses and grunts. The Black Vulture is gregarious, and roosts in large groups. In areas where their ranges overlap, the Black Vulture will

roost on the bare branches of dead trees The Black Vulture generally forages in groups. This vulture is often seen standing in a spread-winged stance. The stance is believed to serve multiple functions: drying the wings, warming the body, and baking off bacteria.

Reproduction The timing of Black Vultures' breeding season varies with the latitude at which they live. In the United States, birds in Florida begin breeding as early as January, for example, while those in Ohio generally do not start before March. Pairs are formed following a courtship ritual which is performed on the ground: several males circle a female with their wings partially open as they strut and bob their heads. They sometimes perform courtship flights, diving or chasing each other over their chosen nest site. The Black Vulture lays its eggs on the ground in a wooded area, a hollow log, or some other cavity, seldom more than 3 metres above the ground. While it generally does not use any nesting materials, it may decorate the area around the nest with bits of brightly colored plastic, shards of glass, or metal items such as bottle caps. Clutch size is generally two eggs, though this can vary from one to three. The egg is oval and on average measures 7.56 by 5.09. The smooth, graygreen, bluish, or white shell is variably blotched or spotted with lavender or pale brown around the larger end. Both parents incubate the eggs, which hatch after 28 to 41 days. Upon hatching, the young are covered with white down. Both parents feed the nestlings, regurgitating food at the nest site. The young remain in the nest for two months, and after 75 to 80 days they are able to fly skillfully.

Threats Because of the degradation and destruction of its breeding habitats, direct persecution and poisoning, abandoning of extensive livestock economy and rarefaction of wild ungulate populations, this species has considerably declined all over its breeding area.

Defenders at work In September 2009 the Black Vulture Conservation Foundation (BVCF) and the Foundation for Conservation of Bearded Vultures (FCBV) merged into a single new entity: the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF). The VCF will continue with the successful work of its two founding organizations and strives to coordinate actions for all four European vulture species: the Black vulture (Aegypius monachus), the Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) and the Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus). The Black Vulture Conservation Foundation (BVCF) is a non-profit organisation that has been working to preserve the Black Vulture and other birds of prey throughout Europe since 1986. Its sphere of action is Mediterranean Europe and the Balkans. To date, it has carried out projects in several countries, such as Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece. In recent years, the Foundation has included eco-development initiatives in its work with a view to contributing to sustainable development and the eradication of poverty. The BVCF’s eco-development activities are concentrated mainly in rural areas in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. The BVCF began its work in Mallorca in the early 1980s, when the island´s Black Vulture population had been reduced to only 20 individuals. Thanks to the work of the BVCF’s intervention, the Mallorcan population now stands at 110 individuals and 14 reproductive pairs. In addition to the recovery of the Black Vulture in Mallorca, the BVCF has developed various other activities, including: programmes of breeding in captivity; introduction of vultures from the Iberian peninsula into the wild in the Balkans; protection of the environment; environmental education; and organisation of activities involving European volunteers. Since 1997, another aspect of its work is the campaign against the illegal use of poison in the wild, which has recently been reinforced by the creation of the Antidote Programme European Secretariat. The BVCF is also responsible for the SOS POISON HOTLINE, a free telephone service whose purpose is to enable cases of poisoned fauna to be reported from all over Spain.


Range map :

FAST FACTS Name in Latin:

Dama dama

Name in Turkish: Alageyik Name in French:

Daim européen

Name in Polish:

Daniel płowy

Name in Romanian: Căprior Name in Latvian: Dambriedis Size: 70 - 95 cm in height Shoulder Height : 50–95 cm Weight: 40 - 100kg Antlers:- 60 - 95cm Lifespan: 12–16 years


They typically graze on grasses and rushes, but they may also browse browse herbs, leaves, acorns, young deciduous shoots, and crops like sugar beets. Additionally, they take cereals, berries, foliage, nuts, strips of bark, holly and fungi. Most of the water they need, they get from what they eat.

Population Most introduced populations in Europe are stable. However, in its native range in Turkey, this species has suffered severe declines and has disappeared most of its former distribution. There is only one surviving population of Dama dama that is considered to be an original native population. This population is restricted to Telmessos National Park in Turkey and numbers fewer than 30 individuals, with apparently fewer than ten animals remaining outside the fended area. It has declined by over 50% in the last ten years and is genetically distinct from Dama dama occurring elsewhere . The population of D. dama on Rhodes has not been subject to any systematic research on population size. The distribution range of fallow deer on Rhodes is about 550 km², and a subjective estimate of the population size ranges between 400 – 800 individuals. It is estimated that there were 400-500 animals on Rhodes.

Behaviour The species has great variations in the colour of their coats, with four main variants, "common", "menil", "melanistic" and "white" - a genuine colour variety, not albinistic. The white is the lightest colored, almost white; common and menil are darker, and melanistic is very dark, sometimes even black. Fallow deer can run up to a maximum speed of 28 mph (45 km/h) over short distances in case of danger. Fallow deer can also make jumps up to 1.75 metres high and up to 5 metres in length. Fallow deer are herd deer. They usually live in small herds.They don't have territories, but will have a home range over which they will travel, foraging for food. Ranges will overlap those of other herds. The make-up of the herd varies according to the season. For most of the year Fallow deer live in two different herds, adult females with fawns and yearlings, and bucks living alone, or in bachelor herds of three to five animals. The female herd is led by a dominant female. The two groups will come together during mating season.

Reproduction The breeding season, known as 'rut' occurs between October and November; Males hold 'rutting stands' to defend groups of females. Rutting behaviour involves displaying, including groaning contests and parallel walks, escalating to physical contests in which the males lock antlers and push each other. One calf is usually produced during June or July. The bucks will join the female herds, looking for a female in estrus, or ready to mate. When they find a ready female, they will keep other males from getting near her by locking horns and engaging in pushing matches. A buck reaches sexual maturity at 18 months, at which time they leave the female herd. They won't be ready to mate however for another 5 or 6 years, when the reach physical maturity, and can challenge other mature males for rights to a female. Does can breed at a year and a half. Pregnancy lasts 33 weeks with single fawns born in May and June. The newborn fawn weighs about 4.5 kg at birth. It doesn't follow its mothers around for about 2 weeks after its birth, but lies in hiding while she feeds nearby. Fawns will suckle until the next fawn is born.

Threats There are no major threats to this species in Europe. In the species' native range, hunting and habitat conversion for agriculture caused massive declines in the past. The tiny remaining population in the native range in Turkey is at risk from inbreeding and hunting. The Rhodian population is also at risk form poaching and from the incidence of large fires. In the future there might be the threat of outbreeding depression, as there is a tendency people on Rhodes to keep fallow deer of European origin in fenced areas, which, if they escape, could breed with the wild animals . Furthermore, damage to summer crops on Rhodes, attributable to fallow deer, has been recorded, and as there is no compensation system for damage caused by deer damages, persecution of animals could take place. Also, there is a reduction in water resources on the island due to climatic change, and this could affect the animals.

Defenders at work As a result of introductions by the Phoenicians, Romans, and Normans, it is a widespread and abundant species in Europe, hence is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. However, in its Turkish native range this species is under serious threat. It occurs in a large number of protected areas. The main conservation priority for this species is to protect the surviving native population in the Dßzlerçami Game Reserve in the Termessos National Park in southern Turkey. This will require strong anti-poaching measures, recovery management, captive breeding and reintroductions.The population on Rhodes is also very important genetically and should also be the focus of conservation programmes. The free-ranging animals on Rhodes are protected by Greek law. Although poaching is still taking place, this is to a much lesser extent than was the case in the past. Thanks to more effective control of poaching, as well as the reduced number of large fires on the island, the fallow deer population seems to have recovered and regained much of its former range.


Range map :

FAST FACTS Name in Latin:

Geronticus eremita

Name in Turkish: Kelaynak Name in French:

Ibis chauve

Name in Polish:

Ibis grzywiasty

Name in Romanian: Ibis pleşuv Name in Latvian:


Size: 70–80 cm long with a 125–135 cm wingspan. Weight: 1.0–1.3 kg Lifespan: 20–25 years (oldest recorded male 37 years, oldest recorded female 30 years).

Diet This gregarious species commutes in flocks from the cliff breeding sites or winter roosts to its feeding areas, flying in a V-formation. The flocks may contain up to 100 birds in winter. During the breeding season, the ibises regularly forage up to 15 km from the colony, and, although steppe not in current cultivation is preferred for feeding, they will also use fallow ground, and occasionally even actively cultivated fields. The Northern Bald Ibis has a broad diet, feeding on any available animal-life including insects, arachnids, scorpions, earthworms, snails and vertebrates such as fish, amphibians, lizards and snakes, small rodents and small birds, whether alive or dead. It will also feed on vegetation including berries, shoots, duckweed, and rhizomes of aquatic plants.


At a zoo in Strasbourg

Part of a flock in the Souss Massa stronghold

The Northern Bald Ibis was once widespread across the Middle East, northern Africa, southern and central Europe, with a fossil record dating back at least 1.8 million years. It disappeared from Europe over 300 years ago, and is now considered critically endangered. There are believed to be about 500 wild birds remaining in southern Morocco, and fewer than 10 in Syria, where it was rediscovered in 2002. The Turkish ibis population was centred near the small town of Birecik in the south east of the country. According to the researches, its population is estimated as about 100 in Turkey . To combat this ebb in numbers, recent reintroduction programs have been instituted internationally, with a semi-wild breeding colony in Turkey, as well as sites in Austria, Spain, and northern Morocco.

Behavior The small Syrian population is migratory, but the larger western population is dispersive. Breeding occurs in colonies of up to 40 pairs, beginning in mid-February, and eggs are laid in March-April. Colonies are vacated in late June or early July, but migration and dispersal do not commence until August, with birds recorded on the breeding grounds as late as November. Movements appear to be to some extent determined by rainfall. Migrating birds from the Syrian population do not arrive in their Ethiopian winter quarters before December. All return to their breeding colonies in February and March. Breeding performance is highly variable from one year to the next, but does not appear to be related to rainfall in the vicinity of the colonies.

Reproduction This ibis starts breeding at 3–5 years of age, and pairs for life. The male chooses a nest site, cleans it, and then advertises for a female by waving his crest and giving low rumbling calls. Once the birds have paired, the bond is reinforced through bowing displays and mutual preening. The nest is a loose construction of twigs lined with grass or straw. Geronticus. eremita normally lays 2–4 rough-surfaced eggs, which weigh an average of 50.16 g and are initially blue-white with brown spots, becoming brown during incubation. The clutch is incubated for 24–25 days to hatching, the chicks fledge in another 40–50 days, and the first flight takes place at about two months. Both parents incubate and feed the chicks.

Threats The Northern Bald Ibis has declined for several centuries, at least partly as a consequence of unidentified natural causes. The more rapid decline in the past hundred years, with a loss of 98% of the population between 1900 and 2002, is the result of a combination of factors. These include significant human persecution, especially hunting, and also the loss of steppe and non-intensive agricultural areas (particularly in Morocco), pesticide poisoning, disturbance, and dam construction. In Turkey, a major historical threat was poisoning and reduced breeding success

caused by pesticides used against locusts and mosquitoes. The Birecik population has also suffered from losses to predation in some years. At Souss-Massa NP, the most recent causes of breeding failure have been loss of eggs to predators and, more importantly, poor chick survival as a result of starvation and predation.

Defenders at work The species is now officially critically endangered according to the IUCN scale, with an estimated population in 2008 of around 500 in the wild and over 1,000 in captivity. The Northern Bald Ibis is one of the key species to which the draft Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies, and it has a detailed, internationally agreed conservation action plan under the agreement. As a species that is threatened with extinction, it is listed on Appendix 1 of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), which means that trade in wild-caught birds is illegal, and may be licensed only in exceptional circumstances.


Range map :

FAST FACTS Name in Latin:

Caretta Caretta

Name in Turkish: Deniz Kaplumbağası Name in French:

Tortue caouanne

Name in Polish:

Zółw morski

Name in Romanian: Broască ţestoasă Name in Latvian: Logerheds (or kareta) Size: 70 to 95 cm Weight: 80 to 200 kg and the maximum weight is 545 kg. Lifespan: 47–67 years.

Diet The loggerhead sea turtle is omnivorous, feeding mainly on bottom dwelling invertebrates, such as gastropods and bivalves. The loggerhead has a greater list of known prey than any other sea turtle. Other food items include sponges, crabs, mussels, corals, sea pens, polychaete worms, sea anemones, cephalopods, insects, sea urchins, sand dollars, sea cucumbers, starfish, fish (eggs, juveniles, and adults), wrasses, hatchling turtles (including members of its own species), algae, and vascular plants.During migration through the open sea, loggerheads eat jellyfish, sea weed,sea grass, floating egg clusters, squid, and flying fish.


The loggerhead sea turtle has a cosmopolitan distribution, nesting over the broadest geographical range of any sea turtle. The loggerhead inhabits the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. In the Atlantic Ocean, the greatest concentration of loggerheads is along the southeastern coast of North America and in the Gulf of Mexico.Very few loggerheads are found along the European and African coastlines. Florida is the most popular nesting site, with over 67,000 nests built per year. In the Indian Ocean, loggerheads feed along the coastlines of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and in the Arabian Sea. The largest Indian Ocean nesting site is Oman, on the Arabian Peninsula, which hosts around 15,000 nests, giving it the second

largest nesting population of loggerheads in the world. Western Australia is another notable nesting area, with 1,000-2,000 nests per year. The Mediterranean Sea is a nursery for juveniles, as well as a common place for adults in the spring and summer months. Greece is the most popular nesting site along the Mediterranean, with more than 3,000 nests per year.

Behavior Loggerhead sea turtles observed in captivity and in the wild are most active during the day. In captivity, the loggerheads' daily activities are divided between swimming and resting on the bottom. While resting, loggerheads spread their forelimbs to about mid-stroke swimming position. They remain motionless with eyes open or half-shut and are easily alerted during this state. At night, captive loggerheads sleep in the same position with their eyes tightly shut and are slow to react. Loggerheads spend up to 85% of their day submerged, with males being the more active divers than females. The average duration of dives is 15–30 minutes, but they can stay submerged for up to four hours. Juvenile loggerheads and adults differ in their swimming methods. Water temperature affects the sea turtle's metabolic rate. The loggerhead takes on a floating, cold-stunned posture when temperatures drop to approximately 10 °C (50 °F). However, younger loggerheads are more resistant to cold and do not become stunned until temperatures drop below 9 °C (48 °F). The loggerheads' migration help prevent instances of cold-stunning. Higher water temperatures cause an increase in metabolism and heart rate. A loggerhead's body temperature increases in warmer waters more quickly than it decreases in colder water.

Reproduction Caretta caretta reaches sexual maturity at 12-35 years. Copulation occurs at sea at no particular time of day or night. Nesting occurs throughout the summer, predominately at night on ocean beaches with well drained sand dunes. Females use their flippers to dig nests in the soft sand, and deposit clutches of approximately 100-120 eggs into the

nests. After nesting, females cover the eggs with sand and return to the water. Eggs require up to 60 days to develop before hatching. Females may nest 2 - 4 times per season. Several factors affect the sexual determination of the hatchlings but much of it can be accounted for by nest sand temperature. The pivotal temperature for this species is approximately 29.0 째C. Lower temperatures encourage male development, while warmer temperatures influence the development of females.


Loggerhead sea turtles were once intensively hunted for their meat and eggs; consumption has decreased, however, due to worldwide legislation. Despite this, turtle meat and eggs are still consumed in countries where regulations are not strictly enforced. Fishing gear is the biggest threat to loggerheads in the open ocean. They often become entangled in longlines or gillnets. Loggerhead populations in Panama, Mexico, the Bahamas, Cuba, Honduras, Colombia, Israel, Turkey, Greece, and Japan, have been declining in recent years, and can be primarily attributed to human impacts. Coastal development, increased human use of nesting beaches, and pollution cause the most severe impacts to loggerhead nest sites, while shrimp trawling negatively impacts loggerheads in open waters. Shrimping is thought to have played a significant role in the worldwide population declines observed for the loggerhead.

Defenders at work Since the loggerhead occupies such a broad range, successful conservation requires efforts from multiple countries. Loggerhead sea turtles are classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and are listed in Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, making international trade illegal. In the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) classify them as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Loggerheads are listed as endangered under both Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Queensland's Nature Conservation Act 1992. The Convention on Migratory Species works for the conservation of loggerhead sea turtles on the Atlantic coast of Africa, as well as in the Indian Ocean and southeast Asia. Throughout Japan, the Sea Turtle Association of Japan aids in the conservation of loggerhead sea turtles. Greece's ARCHELON works for their conservation. The Marine Research Foundation works for loggerhead conservation in Oman. Conservation organizations worldwide have worked with the shrimp trawling industry to develop TEDs to exclude even the largest turtles. These devices are mandatory for all shrimp trawlers. In many places during the nesting season, workers and volunteers search the coastline for nests and researchers may also go out during the evening to look for nesting females for tagging studies, gather barnacles, and tissues samples. Volunteers may, if necessary, relocate the nests for protection from threats, such as high spring tides and predators, and monitor the nests daily for disturbances. After the eggs hatch, volunteers uncover and tally hatched eggs, undeveloped eggs, and dead hatchlings. Any remaining live hatchlings are released or taken to research facilities. Typically, those that lack the vitality to hatch and climb to the surface die. Hatchlings use the journey from nest to ocean to build strength for the coming swim. Helping them to reach the ocean bypasses this strength building exercise and lowers their chances of survival.


Range map :

FAST FACTS Name in Latin:

Monachus monachus

Name in Turkish: Akdeniz Foku Name in French: Phoque moine de Méditerranée Name in Polish: Mniszka śródziemnomorska Name in Romanian: Foca călugăr din Mediterana Name in Latvian: Size:

Vidusjūras mūku ronis

2.4 m in length


250-300 kg. (The maximum weight is about 400 kg)

Lifespan: 20-30 years

Diet The Mediterranean Monk Seal mostly eats fish and octopus. Some fish species it eats such as: eel, carp, whiting, sarding, and bonito. Mediterranean Monk Seals get there food in the water about 30 meters deep.

Population The Mediterranean monk seal is the most endangered pinniped species in the world, with an estimated total population size of 350-450 animals, with 250-300 in the eastern Mediterranean within the largest subpopulation, of which about 150-200 are in Greece and about 100 in Turkey. Approximately 130 seals currently inhabit the Cabo Blanco area (Western Sahara-Mauritania); in the early 1990s this subpopulation was estimated at about 317 seals but a mass mortality event in 1996 reduced numbers to nearly a third. Approximately 20-23 inhabit the Desertas Island, Madeira. The subpopulation at Cabo Blanco is the only large extant aggregation of the species and is unique in that it still preserves the structure of a colony; the other subpopulations are composed of loose groups of extremely reduced size (usually less than 5 individuals). A recent review of monk seal occurrences reported from 1999-2005 suggests that at all other locations and countries about 14 additional seals can be accounted for (10 of the 14 in Algeria, plus an unspecified number of vagrants.

Map: Historical range and current distribution of Monachus monachus within the northeastern Atlantic, Mediterranean, Marmara, and Black Seas.

Behavior The Mediterranean monk seal spends most of its time in a limited range, and never migrate long distances. There can be up to 20 individuals in a colony of Mediterranean monk seals. On land, the seal is a solitary species. In the water, they more gregarious and are excellent divers and swimmers. They swim so well that they can outmaneuver a shark. When communicating with each other they make very high pitched sounds. This vocalisation is accomplished mainly while in the water, to let each other know if something is wrong or if danger is approaching.

Reproduction Mediterranean monk seals mate during the months of September to November, with mating chiefly taking place in the water. They reproduction rate is slow, eith sexual maturity not commencing until age of four or six. The time interval between births is 13 months, and the gestation period is 11 months. Pups are born about 80-100 centimetres long and weigh 17-24 kg. Prior to females giving birth, they haul out onto a beach or seek refuge in caves. A female will usually remain on the beach or in the cave nursing and protecting the pup for up to six weeks. During this time, the female must live off of stored fat because she never leaves the pup, not even to feed herself. The pup may remain with its mother for as long as three years after weaning.

Threats The main threats facing the Mediterranean monk seal are:

19th century seal hunt in Tunisia

Habitat deterioration and loss by coastal development, including disturbance by tourism and pleasure boating; deliberate killing by fishermen and fish farm operators, who consider the animal a pest that damages their nets and ‘steals’ their fish, particularly in depleted coastal

fishing grounds; accidental entanglement in fishing gear leading to death by drowning; decreased food availability due to over-fishing pressures; so-called stochastic events, such as disease outbreaks.

Defenders at work Throughout the range of the species, widespread action has been taken to sensitize the local human population towards monk seal conservation, to restrict fishing gear and relocate the most adverse fishing practices, to develop monitoring programs and intervention protocols and to increase on-site capability to rehabilitate sick and injured individuals, particularly pups. Numerous agreements, conventions, and treaties are in force to protect monk seals internationally, and many workshops and conferences have brought together scientist and managers to discuss monk seal conservation issues and problems. Currently, there is in force a UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan (issued first in 1978 and revised in 1988) for the conservation and management of monk seals in the Mediterranean and a CMS plan for the recovery of the monk seal in the eastern Atlantic (issued in 2005). In the Aegean Sea, only Greece has allocated a large area for the preservation of the Mediterranean monk seal and its habitat. The Greek Alonissos Marine Park, that extends around the Northern Sporades islands, is the main action ground of the Greek MOm organisation. MOm is greatly involved in raising awareness in the general public, fund raising for the helping of the monk seal preservation cause, in Greece and wherever needed. Greece is currently investigating the possibility of declaring another monk seal breeding site as a national park, and also has integrated some sites in the NATURA 2000 protection scheme. The legislation in Greece is very strict towards seal hunting, and in general, the public is very much aware and supportive of the effort for the preservation of the Mediterranean monk seal. One of the largest groups among the foundations concentrating their efforts towards the preservation of the Mediterranean monk seal is the Mediterranean Seal Research Group operating under the Underwater Research Foundation in Turkey.


FRANCE : Mrs Euriel Bienvenu and her school team LOCAL animals P2 : bee P 5 :Bonelli eagle P 9 :Pyrenean frog

Animals in the WORLD P 12 :Blue whale P 17 :Humboldt penguin P 21 :Przewalski horse

LATVIA : Mrs Ilze Smate and her school team LOCAL animals P 25 :Eurasian lynx P27 : otters P29 : the Eagle owl

Animals in the WORLD P31 : Cheetah P33 : common porpoise P35 : Nile crocodile

POLAND : Mrs Aleksandra Skorupa and her school team LOCAL animals P37 : Euroasian beaver P40 : Eagle P 43 : Polish bison

Animals in the WORLD P46 : Orangutan P50 : Giant Panda P 53 : Polar bear

ROMANIA : Mrs Aurelia Popescu and her school team LOCAL animals P60 : wolf P 69 : black goat P73 : Carpathian bear

Animals in the WORLD P57: tiger P66 : black rhino P78 : African elephant

TURKEY : Mrs Gรถnul Demirkaya and her school team LOCAL animals P85 : Apollo butterfly P89 : black vulture P93 : fallow deer

Animals in the WORLD P97: Hermit ibis P101 : Loggerhead sea turtle P106 : Monk seal

Endangered species  

A guide to local and world endangered species. the 5 partners of the Comenius project "Our planet in our hands" made files on different enda...