Category Archives: Animal Intelligence

The Hundred-Year-Old Whale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hundred-Year-Old Whale, produced by Tony Wosk of Middle Child Films and narrated by actress Laura Vandervoort screens in New York City.

The WCFF informs, engage and inspires wildlife conservation through the power of film. Join us for our eight year anniversary in New York, NY, October 18-28, 2018. Ten days of film screenings, panel discussions, receptions, field trips, networking, Virtual Reality and more. There is no other film festival on the planet that is dedicated to wildlife conservation

Contact: info@wcff.org to join the planning committee. Sponsor the film festival, advertise on the big screen during the outdoor summer series and the October festival. Take a page in the full color program book to be distributed in USA and other countries.

Christopher J. Gervais, FRGS
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
http://www.WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: @wcff_org
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LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

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Borneo Orangutans Disappearing FAST

A new IUCN study reveals the island of has lost 150,000 between 1999-2015, largely as a result of & . The last Census in 2012 reports 104,700 of the critically left. If current trends continue with habitat loss and killing another 45,00 could die by 2050.
The WCFF informs, engage and inspires wildlife conservation through the power of film. Join us for our eight year anniversary in New York, NY, October 18-28, 2018. Ten days of film screenings, panel discussions, receptions, field trips, networking, Virtual Reality and more.
 
Contact: info@wcff.org to join the planning committee. Sponsor the film festival, advertise on the big screen during the outdoor summer series and the October festival. Take a page in the full color program book to be distributed in USA, China and other countries

 

Christopher J. Gervais, FRGS
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
http://www.WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: @wcff_org
Vimeo.com/wcff
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

End to Dancing Bears

The last two known “dancing bears” in Nepal have been rescued from lives of misery, thanks to World Animal Protection. Two sloth bears, Rangila & Sridev had their teeth removed when they were cubs, then a hot rod pierced their nose so a chain would run through which their captors could control them through fear & pain. These two bears, 19 and 17 years of age have endured a life that few can imagine. This barbaric practice has been outlawed in India, Greece, Nepal but continues in Pakistan.

Learn more about wildlife conservation and the protection of global biodiversity through the power of film. Join us for our eight year anniversary in New York, NY, October 18-28, 2018. Ten days of film screenings, panel discussions, receptions, field trips, networking events, virtual reality programs and more.

Contact: info@wcff.org to join the planning committee Sponsor the film festival, advertise on the big screen during the outdoor summer series, the October festival or take a page in the full color program distributed in New York and China.

Christopher J. Gervais, FRGS
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
http://www.WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: @wcff_org
Vimeo.com/wcff
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

Cure for White-Nose Syndrome?

White-nose syndrome, a disease that affects insect-eating bats, is one of the most devastating wildlife diseases on record. But there may be a relatively simple way to stop it, according to new research: UV light.

A new study from a team of scientists from U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of New Hampshire has found that the fungus is highly sensitive to UV light. Only a few seconds of exposure to ultraviolet light destroys the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, Pseudogymnoascus destructans.

P. destructans can only infect bats during hibernation because it has a strict temperature growth range of about 39-68 degrees Fahrenheit. However, treating bats for the disease during hibernation is challenging, so any weakness of the fungus may be good news to managers trying to develop treatment strategies.

Some estimates have over 7 million bats from multiple species to have been killed by this fungus. Some bat colonies have been totally destroyed and have not recovered.

Read more:

https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/

https://sciencebulletin.org/archives/18996.html

http://outbreaknewstoday.com/white-nose-syndrome-p-destructans-fungus-highly-sensitive-uv-light-49767/

Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
http://www.WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: @wcff_org
Vimeo.com/wcff
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

 

 

“Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?”

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…This is the intriguing question biologist and ethicist Frans de Waal poses in the title of his new book, which examines humans’ perceptions of animal intelligence. Scientists have long rejected the once-popular belief in a moral hierarchy in the animal kingdom, one which frames “highly intelligent” humans as holding court over “lesser species”, from more humanlike apes and “noble” wild beasts down to lowly insects. Still,this “ladder of nature” belief remains fiercely embedded in our culture and our notions of the limits of other species’ intelligence.

Within the last hundred years, animal cognition researchers have been fiercely divided into two camps. “Scoffers” refuse to acknowledge animals can think at all, instead purely believing that behaviorism (a series of responses to various stimuli) shapes all animal actions. In contrast, “boosters” believe animals think and act with intelligence, but they lean too heavily on anecdotes and anthropomorphism rather than data in their eagerness to shed light on animal intelligence.

De Waal argues instead for the study of “evolutionary cognition,” or the measure of other species’ intelligence based on different standards from the way we would measure a human’s. This involves shifting the ways scientists have traditionally designed animal cognition studies and would likely force them to empathize with specific species to understand the parameters along which intelligence would have practical implications. For instance, squirrels don’t need to be good at counting to ten, but geospatial intelligence is critical for their understanding of where they’ve buried their nuts. Similarly, chimps have tested poorly at human facial recognition, but test very well on telling fellow chimps’ faces apart, as do sheep, who can remember up to 25 sheep faces and retain that information for two years.

In addition to focusing the discussion around how animal intelligence can be judged more effectively, de Waal cites numerous examples of animal behavior that are typically thought of as exclusive to humans. It turns out that rats may feel regret, octopi and crows create elaborate tools, whales communicate in regional dialects, and elephants have complex social hierarchies similar to our webs of Facebook friends.

Just like us, animals have shown vast capacities for cultural transmission, self-awareness, understanding others’ emotions, and imagining the future. So why do we continue to underestimate their abilities to learn from and explore the world we all share? As de Waal makes clear, animal cognition experts still have a lot to learn about the unique and profound skills of species as varied as bonobos, turtles, beavers, and bees.

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Sources: Cahalan, Susannah. “We may not understand how intelligent animals are.” New York Post. 24 April 2016; Gopnik, Alison. “How animals think.” The Atlantic. May 2016 issue.

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
Biodiversity & Wildlife Crime Conference
Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Founder & CEO
Christopher@WCFF.org
www.WCFF.org

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