Entries in wildlife (137)

Monday
Oct172011

AFRICA FOCUS: KENYA

In a week focusing on Africa, today we take you on a whistle-stop tour of beautiful Kenya and all it has to offer the curious traveller.

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Thursday
Sep292011

TOP FIVE: FRONTIER PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES

Continuing our week-long theme of wildlife photography, today we are looking at the top five photo opportunities on Frontier’s own projects.

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Wednesday
Sep282011

A Brief Lesson in Wildlife Photography

Following this week's theme of wildlife photography, we will today be giving you a few pointers in achieving those memorable and amazing shots like we've been seeing from the wildlife photographer profiles earlier in the week.

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Tuesday
Sep272011

Wildlife Photography – Day 2

Continuing this week’s wonderful theme of wildlife photography, today we profile the work of another Frontier favourite: Roger Hooper.

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Monday
Sep262011

A Week of Wildlife Photography

This week’s blog theme is wildlife photography. For many, including several of us here at Frontier HQ, becoming a wildlife photographer would be a dream job. Anything that incorporates travel and wildlife is right up our street. So we thought we’d dedicate a week to this beautiful and inspirational art-form.

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Wednesday
Aug312011

Into the Wild meets: Simon Watt

Channel 4’s BAFTA winning ‘Inside Nature’s Giants’ is a truly exciting and eye-opening series. As the name suggests, it takes a look inside some of the animal world’s most amazing creatures. Today, Frontier speaks to one of the shows presenters, Simon Watt, about all things animals and travel. The third series of the show is now on Channel 4, and the first episode aired last night.  

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Friday
Aug262011

Great Migrations of the Animal Kingdom: Part Three

In the third and final part of this week’s look at incredible animal journeys, it is today the turn of those down to earth creatures with their feet firmly on the ground, as Frontier considers terrestrial migrations of the animal world.

Wildebeest - Southern Serengei (Tanzania) to Masai Mara (Kenya)

No feature on great animal migrations could be complete without looking at this amazing spectacle made famous by countless natural history documentaries and wildlife photographers. Everyone is familiar with images of this mass movement, which often focus on the various predators gorging themselves as the millions of wildebeest make their annual voyage.

The migration begins in the lush, short grasses of the southern Serengeti, where the herds gather in November. It is here that the animals calve, giving birth to their young at the beginning of February. The heard remain in this location until around April, leaving only when the calves have gained enough strength for the journey ahead. This period sees many predators taking advantage of the vulnerable calves. As the long rains move westwards through the central Serengeti, the wildebeest head north-west in search of the fresh pastures these rains bring. This brings them into the Western corridor and towards the Grumeti River, the crossing of which in June brings about the herd's first contact with the well-documented crocodiles lying in wait for their arrival. July sees the drying of the grasslands, forcing the herds to move north in search of food. The wildebeest will face another croc-infested river crossing as they head for the grasses of the Masai Mara throughout August and September. After grazing in the lush Mara grasslands, the herds eventually begin to move south again during late October and November. A final crossing of the perilous Mara River is made en route to the southern short-grass plains of the southern-Serengeti where the cycle begins once more.        

Christmas Island Red Crabs – Forest to Coast

Despite their association with the sea, the annual migration of red crabs on Christmas Island is very much a terrestrial affair. Like all of the migrations covered in this feature, this must be an incredible thing to witness. At some point during October and November, approximately 120 million adult red crabs begin an amazing journey from the forests in which they normally reside. Streams of crabs must climb down steep inland cliffs to reach their destination. Having reached the coast, these adult crabs mate and release eggs into the sea. Each female lays approximately 120,000 fertilized eggs. After about a month in the sea, the eggs develop through various larval stages, before eventually forming into tiny crabs. The surviving individuals then move onto land and begin their journey back to the island’s inland forest.

By Alex Prior

Wednesday
Aug242011

Great migrations of the animal kingdom: part two

Continuing this week’s theme of amazing animal migrations, today it is the turn of those winged wonders that cover some incredible distances year in, year out. Migration is often associated with flight, and it is no surprise when you consider that birds hold some of the most incredible records when it comes to annual voyages around the world.

Arctic Tern Between Greenland and Antarctica

Currently the record holder of the longest migration of any creature on the planet, this tiny bird has been found to travel distances up to 44,000 miles ever year in its journey between Greenland and Antarctica. Previously too small to be recorded accurately, this illustrious title was thought to belong to the Sooty Shearwater, which is not far behind with a recorded migration of about 40,000 miles. The Arctic Tern can live for up to 30 years, meaning that over its lifetime an individual probably travels a total of about 1.5 million miles, equivalent to three trips to the moon and back. A truly out of this world, head-terning traveller.

Monarch ButterflyBetween Canada/USA to Central Mexico

Not all migrations by air are those of birds: the journey of the Monarch butterfly is one of the most amazing and interesting occurrences in the natural world. A normal Monarch butterfly only lives for between 4-5 weeks. However, once a year, a special Methuselah generation of individuals is born. This individual is remarkably able to live for up to eight months, the equivalent of a human living to the age of 525. The reason for this unbelievable phenomenon is the need to migrate. This special generation must fly between 1,200-2,800 miles south from their breeding grounds in Canada and the USA, to Central Mexico, to avoid the harsh winter. Guided by the sun’s orbit, the butterflies have been known to cover distances of up to 80 miles per day, an amazing feat for such a small creature.

The arrival of the butterflies in the forests between the states of Mexico and Michoacan is a true natural wonder. Here they hibernate from mid-November to mid-February, when they begin the journey back. However, the Methuselah generation cannot make the return journey on its own, eventually dying on the way. In another incredible twist to the journey, a succession of normal generations take over the flight, gradually making their way north. The individuals that return to the original breeding grounds have never been there themselves, with a sense of orientation thought to be passed on genetically from the great, great grandparents that first set out on the migratory trip. Wow. 

By Alex Prior

Monday
Aug222011

Great Migrations of the Animal Kingdom

This week we’re looking at some of the most incredible mass migrations in the natural world. With so many amazing journeys to choose from, deciding which ones to explore was far from easy.

Kicking things off today with the marine world, be sure to stay tuned this week to learn more about some of the most iconic and awe-inspiring voyages undertaken by land and air.

Pacific Salmon Run – North America and Canada
 
All five species of Pacific salmon migrate between freshwater and saltwater during their life cycle. Having made the journey from the freshwater streams in which they are born to the sea, they then return to these freshwater sites to lay their own eggs. Different ‘runs’ exist within the different species of Pacific salmon, with the Adams River sockeye run being one of the most famous. During their strenuous and lengthy spawning mission, the salmon face many different dangers, such as starvation (they do not feed once they leave their saltwater habitat) and hunting by humans, bears, otters and eagles. Man-made dams are increasingly posing a problem to the salmon. As if this was not enough to contend with, the salmon then fight one-another once they arrive at the breeding grounds.

Sardine Run – Southern Africa
 
This annual extravaganza is one of nature’s most impressive spectacles. The ‘run’ begins in the cool waters south of the African continent, where large shoals of sardines form before moving north into the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean. This mass migration of hundreds of millions of sardines is brought about by the movement of their main food source, plankton. As a cold-water current moves to the north, the sardines have no choice but to follow. This in turn attracts a vast array of predators to the area such as dolphins, sharks, sea birds and the immense Bryde’s whale, creating what has been dubbed ‘the greatest shoal on Earth’. The BBC’s incredible footage of the phenomenon is a truly amazing watch.

By Alex Prior

Friday
Jul152011

The evolution of the wildlife documentary: part two

Following on from Wednesday’s look back at the early days of natural history television, today we're going to take a look at the state of wildlife documentaries in recent years.

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Wednesday
Jul132011

The evolution of the wildlife documentary: part one

This week Frontier takes a look at the ongoing relationship between wildlife and film. In this feature, we explore the history of the wildlife documentary from its humble beginnings in the late 19th century through to the big-budget offerings we see on our screens today.

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Friday
Jul082011

10 interesting discoveries this decade

Thursday
Jul072011

Discover threatened species with Frontier pt. 2

Wednesday
Jul062011

Fighting for Survival – Endangered Animals

Monday
Jul042011

10 Significant Extinctions this Decade