Friday, January 29, 2010

Year of the Saiga

Its been awhile since I wrote a blog about something that really mattered to me. The other night I was watching Animal Planet. I do like that channel, ever since I was in elementary school. I used to watch it everyday after school when I was a wee lass.

It was an episode from the Wild Russia series. It was about the Caucasus region, it was really interesting. The part that really caught my eye and made my blood boil was a segment on the Saiga Antelope. They are different looking antelopes.. Their snout is unique. Its over-sized and flexible. It looks similar to an aardvark. Their nose warms up the air in the Winter and filters out dust in the Summer so that's cool. See?

Saiga Antelope

I think they are awesome. But their numbers have PLUMMETED! Now, you can only find them in parts of Russia, Kazakhstan, and western Mongolia. During the Ice Age, they ranged from the British Isles to Central Asia, the Bering Strait into Alaska, and the Yukon! They were almost exterminated into extinction in the 1920s. They recovered in 1950 to have 2 million in the USSR but now there are only approximately 50,000 left! The Saiga are Critically Endangered. For those of you that aren't aware, there are levels of the Conservation Status of a species.

This is what it looks like for the Saiga.

I haven't told you why their numbers are dwindling so fast.. Take a guess. Its the same reason why Tigers numbers are falling. They are being poached for traditional Chinese medicine for what else? Their horns. Also, their loss of habitat. And if you like facts and figures.. The Saiga's numbers have dropped by 95% in 15 YEARS! That's horrible!
The main threats to the saiga antelope are hunting and habitat loss. The break up of the former USSR led to uncontrolled hunting. Increased rural poverty means the saiga is hunted for its meat. Demand for the horn used in traditional Chinese medicine skewed the sex ratio so dramatically leading to a catastrophic drop in birth rates. - WWF
Some links for you:
Saiga Conservation Alliance and WWF Saiga Antelope

President of Russia's Kalmykia Republic Kirsan Ilyumzhinov announced year of 2010 in Kalmykia as Year of Saiga
Its the Year of Saiga! So show your support! :) Have a nice weekend. I'm seeing the film Bhutto tonight downtown for Sundance. I am excited!

"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?" ~ Robert Redford, Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985

Monday, January 25, 2010

Favorite Movie Monday

The Incredibles.

I love this movie. Its one of my favorite new Disney movies. Its funny and creative.

Bob: Want to catch a robber?
Lucius: No. To tell you the truth, I'd rather go bowling. Look, what if we actually did what our wives think we're doing... just to shake things up?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Favorite Movie Monday

Failed. again. Favorite Movie Thursday today. :)

Avatar starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver

I saw this movie last weekend and it was so amazing! I love it! I'm definitely going to have to buy it when it comes out. Its a beautiful movie not only in its images but the story as well. It does remind me a bit of Pocahontas and Dances with Wolves on another planet in the modern world. I saw it in 3D and that was cool. James Cameron is awesome. :)

"I see you."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Favorite Movie Monday

Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Marion Cotillard

So I watched this about a week ago for the first time and I really enjoyed it. I don't think I would have liked it as much if Johnny Depp was not in it. :) I think the story was portrayed very well and Christian Bale's accent was pretty great--although I prefer his own accent. But you know, I love these kind of movies.

"I like baseball, movies, good clothes, whiskey, fast cars... and you. What else you need to know?" - John Dillinger

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Favorite Movie Monday

I missed it again. Oops. I suck. Which movie will make the list today...?

Grease starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, and Stockard Channing

My sister and I used to watch this show so many times when we were younger. And my cousin Josh would hate it because he would be over at our house while we were watching it. We knew every word, it drove him nuts. Its a classic. And I really do not like Grease 2 - that has been on TV lately, which especially influenced Grease to make the cut today. :)

"Grease is the word."
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