Support the Build Back Better Act

Contact Congress and Spread the Word

There's a flurry of activity in Congress right now, and while everyone has the infrastructure bill on their minds, there's also action for wildlife we can take right now to help reduce emissions, help fight climate change and ensure a healthier world not just for humans, but for the animals we share the planet with. Many endangered species are specifically at-risk due to climate change, and the Build Back Better Act is something we can support to change this.

The Build Back Better Act would help safeguard habitat, restoring it to its safe place for animals to live and raise their young. It would ensure better protection against damage from pollution and oil spills while promoting clean water and energy that would benefit us all. Everyone alive on this planet needs a clean, healthy place to live and stands to benefit from pieces of legislation like this as we face climate change head-on.

Support the Build Back Better Act above and be sure to share it with friends and family. Share any other great pieces of legislation for the environment or animals in general in the chat. 

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Your Most Incredible Animal Experience

Share it in the chat!

Every time I see this video of a diver petting a seal, it makes me rethink my entire existence. As a child I wanted to be a vet, decided I couldn't stand seeing animals in pain, and changed career paths several times since. But working with animals was always something I wanted to do, and when I see this incredible video, I cry and think about how if I had the chance to start over as a kid, that might be something I'd want to do.

Since then I've had a lot of incredible animal experieces, from the loving kindness given by my pets to seeing wild animals in their own habitats. Seeing a fox in the wild is a really special experience, and I still get excited over anything from deer to turkeys to groundhogs around our neighborhood. Some people have had even more amazing experiences, as is evidenced in the link above.

What is the most amazing animal experience you've ever had? Share it in the chat!

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Happy Bat Week

How are you celebrating?

The Wildlife Conservation Society is celebrating Bat Week right now, a time to not only give bats the respect and honor they deserve but also to raise awareness about bat conservation and donate to help keep the efforts to protect bats going. The Wildlife Conservation Society points out that bats are the only mammals that can really fly, making them extra special.

We've talked before about how bats really help with pest control, and how a bunch of bats can nest in a single bat house. A single bat can eat hundreds of mosquitos a day and really be beneficial to your home, but did you know they also help us through pollination like birds and bees do? Agave plants in particular are pollinated by bats, so they are an important part of the plant's life cycle.

You can learn more bat facts, about how they are being protected and how you can help or give at the Wildlife Conservation Society. Are you a bat fan? Do you already give or act to help bats? Share your actions in the chat.

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Benefits Of Bats

Do you have any bat boxes?

Bats are pretty awesome creatures, and not just because they look like cute, flying puppies. As someone who lives near water, I always want more bats where I live. The mosquito population is ridiculous, but bats can consume over 1,000 of them an hour! They are also helpful creatures to have around for lots of other reasons.

Like birds, bees and butterflies, bats help pollinate our plants and flowers. They just aren't usually given the credit like birds and bugs are. They eat other pests, too, like moths and beetles. While I love both, I can't deny how much they do tear into the garden. Bat boxes are an easy way to attract bats to your home and give them a place to sleep, but did you know they also love roosting in old trees?

How do you attract bats to your yard? Do you have any especially cute bat boxes? Share them in the chat.

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Animals of Instagram

Who is your favorite?

I'd be lying if I said that animals weren't my #1 thing to look at on Instagram. We're all guilty of it, right? It's fine, science says looking at cute animals together brings you closer together, so if you're going to look at something, it might as well be adorable critters.

Cats are my favorite animals to look at, but baby goats, llamas, bats and moths are other favorites. I also love to look at frogs and bunnies, as well as big cats. I'm not sure how I feel about having a big cat as a companion, but the caracals are especially incredible to look at. Since my partner loves sphinx cats, I also follow them to show him, as well as dobby cats.

What are your favorite animal instagram accounts to follow? Which ones are the cutest, the funniest or just the strangest? Share them in the chat for us to follow!

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New Species Declared Extinct

More than 20 species are gone forever

Each year we witness more and more species declared extinct, but this year's 23 animals are especially sad as we witness such glaring declines in species numbers. The ivory-billed woodpecker is one of the species that has really broken people's hearts, but what is really heartbreaking is the cause of these species' extinction, which is mainly us.

Human development and pollution are to blame for most of these animals' deaths, but some were also overrun by invasive species... which are also often brought upon them by humans. Human logging and humans capturing animals for their "collections" or their feathers are also to blame, which is just gut-wrenching. We have seen over 900 species go extinct now and the rates only seem to be climbing as we can't even protect them from ourselves.

It certainly looks bleak, but scientists do remind us that it's always possible to see a species or two make a comeback or be spotted, proving them wrong. Unfortunately that's usually not the case but we can hope. What other animal news have you read this week? 

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Gator in the Garbage

A Florida man is going viral for catching an alligator

A Florida man is going viral today after catching an alligator in his garbage. The footage is incredible to witness as he approaches the animal with his garbage can and uses both his strength as well as all parts of the can to capture the alligator. Having had snakes, raccoons and other smaller critters on my property, I can't imagine what I'd do if I encountered an alligator in my yard! 

My teen asked why anyone would want to capture an alligator. I replied that some yards in Florida get them like we get occasional deer here! It would definitely be a panic-inducing moment for us. Hopefully this man got some help from a wildlife professional shortly after dealing with this harrowing moment.

What other incredible animal videos have you seen this week? Share them in the chat.

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More Whale Sightings

Some Good News From the British Antarctic Society!

The British Antarctic Society has some fantastic news to share! They've spotted 55 different blue whales recently, which is an incredible increase from the two blue whales they spotted in 2018. How exciting to think that these majestic creatures may be increasing, and how inspiring to think that there's hope for any species to grow in 2021. So many things seem so bleak lately that it's been difficult to feel hopeful for many of us sometimes, so this is such a lovely story.

The Happy News Instagram that shared the story is a great place to get more uplifiting animal news stories on the regular, too. I learned that Nepal's rhino population is also increasing via the site! I am definitely following this one to see more happy news.

Have you read any other uplifting animal stories lately? Share them in the chat.

 

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Be A Voice For Manatees

Help restore protections for manatees

When Biden was elected, America knew that the majority of his first year in office would be spent restoring the many things that the previous administration had destroyed. Many pieces of flotsam and jetsom in Trump's wake remain wrecked, waiting to be restored, including the manatees that Trump's U.S Fish & Wildlife Service removed from the Endangered Species list.

There are only a few thousand Florida manatees left today, and what's even more disturbing is that human attacks of the creatures are on the rise. Someone even carved the word "Trump" in a manatee. There have been almost 900 of the animals killed this year alone. At this rate, they will be gone before we know it. We need those protections reinstated to protect them from--well, us.

Click here to tell the USFWS to reinstate the Florida manatee's status on the Endangered Species list.

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Animals Adapting to Climate Change

Why does this feel both bad and good?

Animal adaptations are always fascinating. Who isn't astounded by the kinds of adaptations cave animals experience to adjust to their environments over time? But the fact that animals are adapting in real-time to adjust to climate change is both impressive and worrisome. Scientists are discovering that warm-blooded animals are already shifting for this rapidly changing world.

The majority of these changes appear to help with temperature regulation. Changes in beak, leg and ear size are all being witnessed in these "shape-shifting" animals. It's heartbreaking to remember that these changes are all due to our own involvement in heating up the globe. At least the changes might help them survive. Scientists say that we have no idea what even these small adaptations could have as repercussions for the species or their food chains over time.

What other animal news have you read this week? Share it in the chat. 

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