In Japan, the tiger represents protection against evil spirits, wind, disease, and bad luck. The tiger is seen as the greatest earthly power. It chases away the so-called "three disasters": fire, thieves, and ghosts.
The largest member of the cat family, tigers’ beautiful orange and black striped coats provide camouflage when hunting prey at night when they can reach speeds of 40 mph.
Tigers are solitary and fiercely territorial. Unlike lions they do not live in social groups... Except under rare situations a tiger neither shares its territory nor its kill.
Like human fingerprints, each tiger’s stripe patterns are unique
Tigers have the ability to leap forward 20 - 30 feet in one jump.
The main reasons tigers are endangered—in most cases critically endangered—are illegal hunting for their pelts, meat and body parts (used in folk medicines) as well as habitat loss that results from logging and other forms of forest destruction.
#11 Blue Whale
In ancient China it was believed that a mythical creature by the name of Yu-kiang ruled the ocean--a large fish (whale) that was several thousand feet long and had human hands and feet. In the Old Testament of the Bible, Jonah was swallowed by a whale, and repenting in its belly, was redeemed.
The Blue Whale is the largest animal ever to have lived on earth. Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant - their hearts, as much as a car.
Despite being so massive, this giant of the ocean feeds on some of the smallest marine life – tiny shrimp like animals called krill; up to 36,000 kg a day.
Blue Whales are graceful swimmers & cruise the ocean at over 8km/h, and can reach speeds of over 30km/h.
The Blue Whale has been listed as endangered since 1970 and is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
#10 Black Rhino
Monoliths adorning the central courts of nineteenth-century Tswana towns, as well as the walls or courts of Zimbabwe and Venda, most probably signified rhino horns, thereby architecturally encapsulating the key qualities of power, danger and protection traditionally associated with African leadership.
Black Rhinos are not actually black, but grey in color, distinguished from their relative the White Rhino by lip shape and diet.
Rhinos run on their toes.
Rhino horns grow as much as three inches a year and have been known to grow up to five feet long.
Three sub-species are found throughout eastern and southern Africa. The population, which declined by 96% between 1970 and 1992, is critically endangered and at risk from illegal poaching. In 1995 only 2,410 individuals were left, but thanks to conservation efforts the population is starting to recover.
#9 Snowy Owl
The Snowy Owl can be found represented in cave paintings in Europe. In early Indian folklore, Aesop's fables and Greek myths Owls represent wisdom and helpfulness and have powers of prophecy.
The regal Snowy Owl is the largest (by weight) North American owl, showing up in winter--a pale shape with catlike yellow eyes.
Most owls are nocturnal; but not the snowy ones ... they hunt mostly during the day. Given that they spend their summers in the 24-hour sunlight north of the Arctic Circle, that’s good!
From a single Snowy Owl nest in the Canadian Arctic, one young bird went to Hudson Bay, one to southeastern Ontario, and one to the far eastern Russian coast.
Snowy Owls are endangered because when their main food source, lemmings, has a low population they fly south, where they are killed by cars, power lines and hunters who sell their eyes and claws to overseas markets.
#8 Sea Turtle
The turtle is a sacred figure in Native American symbolism as it represents Mother Earth. In many cultures, the Turtle symbolizes good health and long life—they live to about 100 years.
Sea Turtles have existed on Earth for a very, very long time—an estimated 110 million years, which means they once shared the planet with T-Rex and other dinosaurs.
They can hold their breath for five hours underwater. To accomplish this, they slow their heart rate to up to nine minutes in between heart beats. A sleeping turtle can remain underwater for 4-7 hours.
They have an excellent sense of direction. Sea turtles use the Earth's magnetic field as a compass.
Nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as Endangered. Slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin, and shells, sea turtles suffer from poaching and over-exploitation. They also face habitat destruction and accidental capture in fishing gear. Climate change has an impact on turtle nesting sites.
The orangutan represents strength and gentleness with its strong physical appearance and affectionate nature. he orangutan teaches solitude, gentleness, and moving above the fray.
Orangutans are among the most intelligent non-human primates. In the care of humans, they have been taught American Sign Language; one orangutan called Chantek learned to use over 150 different signs.
Orangutans are also very good observers of human behavior, in rescue centers they will often imitate the activities of their human caretakers such as washing clothes, hammering nails into wood, and rowing boats.
Orangutans have an enormous arm span with a potential reach of 8ft.
Orangutans appear as one of the 10 most critically endangered species in the world on most lists. While exact orangutan population counts are always a challenge – various estimates put current counts at between 50,000-65,000 orangutans left in the wild – we do know with certainty that 2,000 to 3,000 orangutans are killed every year.
Since ancient times, including the Cleopatra’s Egypt, elephants have been the symbol for Wisdom & Loyalty. Elephants are gentle giants, who show great care toward their herd, offspring and elders.
Of all animal grieving and funeral rituals, there is none as well documented as the elephant’s: Upon seeing the bones of another elephant, a family will stop and investigate them, even if the elephant was unrelated to the group. The ritual includes touching the bones gently with their trunks while remaining very quiet, covering the body with leaves and grass, and if the elephant belonged to their own, staying with the body for days or weeks at a time.
An Elephant’s trunk is so powerful and precise that it can carry calves and also be used for more delicate acts like picking flowers!
It is believed that years ago there were more than 300 species of Elephant, however, today there only remains two: the Asian and African species.
#5 Polar Bear
According to Inuit traditions, it was Polar Bear who first taught humans the art of seal hunting. Polar bears are greatly respected for their strength, courage, and spiritual power, and Inuit angakkuit (shamans) frequently call upon the spirit of the polar bear.
A polar bear’s paws measure up to 11.81 inches across, to help polar bears tread on thin ice. When the ice is very thin, the bears extend their legs far apart and lower their bodies to distribute their weight.
A polar bear asks another bear for something, such as food, through a nose-to-nose greeting. The guest bear will approach slowly, circle around a carcass, then delicately touch the feeding bear’s nose to ask for permission to share.
The majestic Polar Bear (Ursus Maritimus), a flagship for climate change awareness, is facing an uncertain future due to dwindling sea ice in its Arctic habitat.
#4 Monarch Butterfly
For millennia, many cultures have associated the butterfly with the human soul and the possibility of its transformation, and sometimes as a symbol of foreseeing the future.
Every spring, adult monarch butterflies head north from their winter respite in the southern forests of Mexico and California and return in the fall—a journey some 2,000-3,000-miles each way!
The monarch butterfly will continue to feed, fly, and reproduce throughout the U.S. and southern Canada, for several generations. It is the fourth generation of monarch butterflies that actually migrate to Mexico in fall.
Butterfly wings are not solely for flight; they also act as miniature solar panels, changing light to energy!
Habitat change, climate change and widespread use of insecticides and herbicides are causing monarch population declines.
Welcome to a Preview of Dennis Ludlow's & Prartho Sereno's Box for Gallery Route One's Celebrated Summer Box Show:
INTRODUCTION: Whatever we draw, we come to see more clearly and deeply.
This game was designed to bring you, your family and friends closer to 12 beloved endangered animals, several among the most precarious on the planet. It is our hope that each drawing adventure will create a joyous, playful connection between you and the mystery of life, that each animal will share a special secret with you as you draw.
For each animal, you will find notes on its cultural/ historical meanings, a few of its amazing qualities, its endangered status, and an image of the disc, hand-drawn & painted by Prartho Sereno
May all beings be happy and free.
Many ancient American cultures such as the Maya and Aztec, featured the jaguar in their mythologies as a symbol of strength.
Unlike most big cats, the jaguar loves the water; they are excellent climbers and swimmers.
Jaguars’ coats are covered in spots called “rosettes”. These rosettes are actually more like rings, and each has a smaller spot in the center.
Jaguars are only found in the Americas (the continents of North and South America combined) and are the region’s biggest cat.
Today, jaguars have been almost completely eliminated from the United States and are endangered throughout their range, which stretches down to Patagonia in South America. One of the biggest reasons is because humans have destroyed their habitat... Jaguars are tree-climbers, so cutting down their forests makes it hard for them to escape hunters.
In their native country, Australia, the koala is a symbol of dreams, intuition and magic. They are also symbolic of innocence. As a totem, the koala reminds us to approach life with childlike wonder.
Koalas are nocturnal marsupials famous for spending most of their lives asleep in trees. During the day they doze, tucked into forks or nooks in the trees, sleeping for up to 18 hours. This sedentary lifestyle can be attributed to the fact they have unusually small brains and survive on a diet of nutrient-poor leaves.
Koalas tend to smell strongly of eucalyptus and musk. This is thought to discourage fleas and other animals from living in its fur.
About 5,000 koalas in New South Wales are likely to have died in the bushfires, and their numbers may have dropped by as much as two-thirds in less than 20 years, a new report has found.
Conservation groups want the state government to make an emergency endangered species declaration for the koalas.
In Egypt the frog is the symbol of life and fertility, and in Egyptian mythology Heget is a frog-goddess who represents fertility.
Frogs don’t need to drink water as they absorb it through their skin.
A frog’s call is unique to its species—there are over 5,000 species of frog—and some frog calls can be heard up to a mile away.
Some frogs can jump over 20 times their own body length; that is like a human jumping 30m.
Due to their permeable skin, typically biphastic life (aquatic larvae and terrestrial adults), and mid-position in the food web frogs and other amphibians are excellent biological indicators of the wider health of ecosystems… There are 466 frog species assessed as critically endangered.