Top Ten as of 11/6/17
Great White Shark
Octopus…smarter than ‘Man’
Others still knocking on the door… Crocodile, Gorilla, Leopard Seal, Hippo, Wolf, Rhino, Yak, Raven, Swift, Polar Bear, Mountain Lion, Wedge-tailed Eagle and Komodo dragon.
‘Man’ is No. 373
Recently Patrick Barkham of The Guardian had a story on the beaver and how it is making its move in the U.K., after hundreds of years ago being hunted to extinction.
Beavers were reintroduced in small numbers in Scotland in 2010, with amazing success, and now there is a secret project “in the rolling pasture of west Devon.”
Patrick Barkham: “Inside the enclosure, the tiny stream has been blocked by 13 dams, creating pools and half-meter-wide canals. These have been built by Britain’s newest wild mammal, the beaver, which uses its waterways like we do – to transport goods. And as the beavers have coppiced trees, the willow thicket has been replaced with sunny glades of wild flowers – marsh thistles, watermint, meadowsweet – which dance with dragonflies and butterflies.
“ ‘The beavers have transformed this little trickle of a stream into a remarkable, primeval wetland,’ says Mark Elliott, lead beaver project officer of Devon Wildlife Trust, which released two beavers here in 2011. ‘This is what the landscape would have looked like before we started farming, and it’s only six years old. That’s the amazing thing.’
“In Europe, beavers have stimulated ecotourism, but they may also benefit human communities in other ways. Scientific studies show that their dams remove pollutants from water – they are particularly effective at filtering out harmful phosphates – and reduce floodwater peaks. Enthusiasts proclaim these large herbivores could become 21st-century water engineers, protecting towns from flooding. But some farmers hate beavers because their dams can also flood productive land.”
Well, seeing as ‘Man’ stands No. 373 on the ASL, they don’t have a leg to stand on in this debate.
The experimental site in Devon is on farmland owned by retired beef and sheep farmer John M. “He sees the beavers’ impact on flooding in the real world. Before the enclosure, country lanes below this land used to flood in heavy rain; since the beavers came in, the roads haven’t flooded. ‘It proves that [using beavers as a form of flood defense] works,’ says John M.
Yes, again, there are problems with farmers, but the All-Species List High Court in Kazakhstan is ruling in favor of ‘Beaver’ and bumping him up one notch to No. 8! ‘Pig’ slips to 9.
–Finally, yet another tale that furthers the cause of ‘Dog,’ still No. 1, from during the time of the Sonoma and Napa County wildfires.
Tamar Lapin of the New York Post:
“A fearless, goat-herding dog that refused to leave his livestock behind during the raging California wildfires miraculously survived the deadly blaze, according to his owner.
“After evacuating last week, Roland Tembo Hendel and his daughter Ariel returned home, only to find their property destroyed – but discovered that their hero dog, Odin, had survived along with his sister, Tessa, and eight of their goats.
“ ‘Odin has lived up to his namesake,’ Hendel wrote in a Facebook post detailing his experience. ‘He is our inspiration. If he can be so fearless in this maelstrom, surely so can we.’
“In the post, Hendel recalled seeing the sky turned orange as the devastating Tubbs Fire approached Oct. 9.
“ ‘By 11:10 we could see the first of the flames across the valley. By 11:15 they were growing larger and the winds went mad,’ he wrote. ‘We had loaded up the dogs and cats, but Odin, our stubborn and fearless Great Pyrenees would not leave the goats.’
“ ‘Even under the best of circumstances it is nearly impossible to separate Odin from the goat,’ he continued. ‘I made a decision to leave him, and I doubt I could have made him come with us if I tried. We got out with our lives and what was in our pockets.’
“After outrunning the flames, Hendel said he cried for what he belied was his lost dog.
“When the family returned, trees in the forest surrounding their property were still burning but they were overjoyed to see their dogs and a handful of their goats alive.”
Odin, Tessa and the goats are now in a Sonoma County animal shelter and the volunteer vets said he is in remarkable health given what he went through.
Next ASL in a few weeks.