Friday, August 14, 2009

Weekly Dose of Cute: Chirp, Chirp!

I find it harder and harder to top the amazing cuteness provided by ZooBorns (a must-follow if you come here for cuteness!). They had these two youngsters there this week:

On the left may look like a common duckling, but this little Meller's Duck is highly endangered. You won't find it flapping around the ponds and lakes around home - that is, unless your home is Madagascar, where the ducks are endemic to. At first conservation for the species was hindered because, outwardly, it looks very similar to the extremely common Mallard. Thinking the ducks in the area were nothing unique, people didn't protect their habitats or the animals themselves. Thankfully, they realized their mistake before the birds were wiped out, and captive specimens like this little one's parents give the species fresh hope.

On the right is a little bird you might not recognize, though, Allie, you should. It's a baby piping plover. Once prized for its feathers, this shoreline bird was almost driven to extinction by hunting and habitat loss. But their conservation story is one of success. Once on the verge of destruction, piping plover populations have been on the rise, and the species is now listed as near-threatened rather than endangered. Conservation and protection are still very important for the little plovers, since their native home is the sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast that beachgoers covet most, but so long as we keep up our efforts this species is likely to be just fine.


Allie said...

Of course I recognize the piping plover chick! In fact, I have a picture of one of these little guys being made....bow chicka wow wow!