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African penguins are monogamous as pairs return to the same breeding sites year after year.

African penguins are monogamous as pairs return to the same breeding sites year after year.

Adult African penguins generally remain within 400 kilometers of their breeding locality, although they have been recorded up to 900 kilometers away.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Cooper, 1978; Crawford, et al., 2006, 2008; Hockey, Dean, & Ryan, 2005; Pearce, 2011; Shannon & Crawford, 1999)
Image: WilliamsJonathan69

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Juvenile African penguins initially have dark slate gray-blue feathers that darken with age in about 3 years.

Juvenile African penguins initially have dark slate gray-blue feathers that darken with age.

In the penguin’s second year, the plumage begins to turn brown and in the third year, it shows varying amounts of adult facial pattern. The change from juvenile plumage to adult plumage takes around 3 years.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Cooper, 1978; Pearce, 2011; Stefoff, 2005)
Image: Ayca Wilson

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African penguins can swim up to 20 km/h and can travel up to 110 km during each hunting trip, depending on where they forage.

When on the hunt for prey, African penguins can reach a top speed of close to 20 kilometers per hour.

The distance that African penguins have to travel to find food varies regionally, temporally, and spatially. On the west coast of Africa, a typical foraging trip could range from 30 to 70 kilometers for a single trip. On the south coast, foraging birds can cover an average of 110 kilometers per trip.

Sources: (Crawford, et al., 2001, 2008; Frost, Siegried, & Cooper; 1976; Pearce, 2011)
Image: Imtiaz Ahmed

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African penguins are also called jackass penguins because they emit loud donkey-like brays, yells, and haws to communicate.

African penguins are also called jackass penguins because they emit a loud, braying, donkey-like call to communicate. There are three types of calls used: bray, yell, and haw.

The yell, or contact call, is used to defend a territory from another colony member. The bray, or display call, is used to attract mates and is used between partners in a colony. Penguins also perform displays that are used to establish nesting areas, help with partner/hatchling recognition and defense against intruders. The haw is used by partners when one is on land and the other is in the water.

Sources: (Cunningham, Strauss, & Ryan, 2008; Frost, Siegfried, & Burger, 1976; Pearce, 2011; Thumser & Ficken, 1998)
Image: Y Nakanishi

Kirsty Dillon (Clarrydoll)

Favorite Animal  Birds, many birds.

Kirsty Dillon, also known as “Clarry” or “Clarrydoll,” is a full-time British artist and broadcaster currently working and residing in Manitoba, Canada. With a love of tea, dolls, and creativity, in general, she finds inspiration from nature, wildlife, and even mental health. Especially interested in birds and insects, her portfolio is filled with feathered, flapping subjects, such as blackbirds, owls, bees, butterflies, and even bats. About four times a week, Kirsty shares her creative passions on Twitch Creative with the goal of building a friendly community and making beautiful things for her viewers to enjoy.

While mostly specializing in watercolor, Kirsty isn’t afraid to utilize alternate materials and has been frequently working in pen and ink. She also enjoys working with dolls and considers herself a doll modder. Always experimenting and allowing her artistic style to change and develop, she enjoys spending time exploring her subjects and fine-tuning her techniques and artistic expression. “I am at that point in my art journey where I’m trying to find my style,” she remarks. “I often get lost in the minute details but I’m also learning a lot right now.” Kirsty’s favorite moment in the creative process is completing a piece and reflecting on her own personal growth. She finds it rewarding to witness improvement in her skills from learning something new. “My artistic style is always changing,” she reflects. “How I feel about my art changes all the time.”

At the age of 30, Kirsty has always harbored a passion for art. When young, she found inspiration from animal reference books, particularly those featuring birds. “I’ve always been inspired by nature,” she realizes. “I think it’s my love for birds that had me drawing them all the time when I was young.” From these books, she developed a casual hobby of drawing avians, studying the intricate features displayed within the illustrations and copying the technical drawings to improve her illustrative abilities. “I really enjoy the fur and feather textures, as well as interesting colors,” she explains. Now a college-educated adult, Kirsty has allowed her passion of illustrating birds and other natural elements to become her full-time work.

Kirsty first became involved with FaunaFocus in June 2017 while working on a vibrantly colored ocellated turkey in watercolor displaying an array of varied feathers. Although her piece was not completed in time to enter into the Free-For-All that month, she was incredibly eager to participate in future FaunaFocus events.

In September 2017, Kirsty offered her creative and streaming abilities to partake in the FaunaFocus Charity Host Train. This 24-hour event hosted 11 different artists and broadcasters in order to raise funds for the World Wildlife Fund’s endeavor to help the endangered tiger species by doubling the diminishing population by the year 2020. During this event, Kirsty illustrated a curious tiger in Staedtler ink, framed within an irregular circle. With bold, striking stripes and delicate wisps of whiskers, this piece captures the beauty of the tiger in an elegant manner.

While reflecting on her own personal growth, Kirsty encourages others to follow their creative passions, as well. “Draw as much as possible,” she recommends. The more an artist practices, the more opportunities he has to learn and improve his work. Even when casually sketching or putting in a minimal amount of time or effort, one’s skill will evolve. Practice remains one of the most effective ways to grow as an artist, however, there are many facets of the art community to be utilized. “Make friends with other artists,” Kirsty advises. “Find good artists to follow on YouTube or Twitch Creative, so you can learn from them.” Just as Kirsty broadcasts her own creative work, many others share their creative journeys, too. It’s much easier to grow when you surround yourself with other supportive individuals following a similar path.

             

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Cape fur seals, sharks, kelp gulls, sacred ibises, mongooses, genets, leopards, and even feral cats and dogs prey on African penguins and their eggs.

Natural threats of the African penguin include competition with Cape fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus.) The seals compete with penguins for food, displace them from breeding sites and impose significant mortality at some colonies.

African penguins also face predation of eggs and chicks by avian predators such as kelp gulls (Larus dominicanus) and sacred ibises (Threskiornis aethiopicus), while natural terrestrial predators, such as mongooses (Cynictis penicillata), genets (Genetta tigrina), caracals (Caracal caracal), and leopards (Panthera pardus) are also present at mainland colonies. In the water, African penguins need to fear sharks looking to take birds at sea.

Feral cats and dogs are also present along the coastlines and mainlands of Southern African and have posed a problem with some African penguin colonies.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Crawford, David, Williams, & Dyer, 1989; Crawford, et al., 2001; Makhado, Crawford, Waller, & Underhill, 2013; Pearce, 2011; Pichegru, 2013; Randall and Randall, 1990; Stefoff, 2005; Underhill, et al., 2006; Weller, et al., 2014, 2016)
Image: JvdMteo

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The African penguin is endangered and is undergoing a population decline, as a result of commercial fisheries, oil pollution, and shifts in prey populations.

The African penguin is listed as “Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

This species is classified as Endangered because it is undergoing a very rapid population decline, probably as a result of commercial fisheries and shifts in prey populations. This trend currently shows no sign of reversing, and immediate conservation action is required to prevent further declines.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Crawford, et al., 2001; Pearce, 2011; Randall and Randall, 1990; Stefoff, 2005)
Image: Joel Herzog

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The black and white markings of the African penguin help to camouflage it from both, aquatic and aerial, predators.

Adult African penguins stand at 45-60 centimeters and weigh an average of 3.1 kilograms.

Black-footed penguins have black plumage on their backs and white feathers with variable amount of black spotting on the breast and belly. They can be recognized by the broad, black breast-band that straps across the top of the chest and frames the stomach. These penguins also have a horseshoe-shaped white band that travels from the bird’s neck and around the back of the head to the beak. White, bare skin resides over the eyes in a horseshoe-shape that becomes bright pinkish-red in very hot conditions.

These achromatic markings serve as camouflage to predators as the white of the belly blends in with the light coming in from the surface of the water when viewed by aquatic predators from below and the dark of the back obscures the penguin into the darkness of the ocean depths when viewed by aerial predators from above.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Cooper, 1978; Pearce, 2011; Stefoff, 2005)
Image: JamesDeMers

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African penguins are the most common penguin found in zoos due to their size and temperature requirements.

African penguins are the most common penguin found in zoos due to their size and temperature requirements, which are easy to maintain.

Black-footed penguins can be found on display at zoos such as the San Diego Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, Toronto Zoo, and Dallas Zoo.

Sources: (Crawford, et al., 2006; Frost, Siegfried, & Cooper, 1976; Pearce, 2011; Shannon & Crawford, 1999; Stefoff, 2005)
Image: Matthieu Joannon

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Male African penguins are distinguishable from females due to their colors and deeper, more robust bills.

During breeding, male and female African penguins are most distinguishable from one another due to their patterns of colors. Males also have deeper, more robust bills.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Pearce, 2011; Shannon & Crawford, 1999)
Image: Paul Mannix

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African penguins have a longevity of 10-27 years and live longer in captivity than in the wild.

The average lifespan of the African penguin, or Spheniscus demersus, is 10 to 27 years in the wild, whereas an African penguin living in captivity generally has a longer lifespan.

Other penguin species live for about 15 to 20 years.

Limits to aging are predation, human impact, and storm systems.

Sources: (Crawford, et al., 2001; Pearce, 2011; Shannon & Crawford, 1999)
Image: Shauking

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African penguin populations have decreased 50% since 1978, due to nesting and guano collection disturbance, habitat alteration, oil pollution, and competition with fisheries for food.

Since the early 1900s, the African penguin population has been in decline. The population in Namibia declined from 12,162 pairs in 1978 to an estimated 5,800 pairs in 2015. The South African population declined from c. 70,000 pairs in 1978/79 (Shelton et al. 1984) to 19,300 pairs in 2015. In that year, the overall number of pairs was about 25,000 pairs, or 50,000 mature individuals. This roughly equates to about 80,000 individuals in adult plumage based on the conversion factor of 3.2 for pairs to individuals. Decreases in both countries amount to over 50% in three generations.

Initially, their decline was due to the disturbance of nesting birds and exploitation and commercial sale of their eggs for food. Also, habitat alteration and disturbance associated with guano collection at breeding colonies contributed to their decline.

These factors have now largely ceased, and the major current threats include oil pollution and competition with commercial fisheries for pelagic fish prey. Mortality also occurs in fishing nets when gill-nets are set near colonies.

There are no real negative economic effects of the African penguin on humans, however, as they do not eat enough fish to be detrimental to the local fishing industry.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Crawford & Boonstra, 1994; Crawford, et al., 2001; Frost, Siegfried, & Cooper, 1976; Hagen, 2014; Kemper, 2015; Pearce, 2011; Randall and Randall, 1990; Shannon & Crawford, 1999; Shelton, Crawford, Cooper, & Brooke, 1984; Stefoff, 2005)
Image: Kym Ellis

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African penguins can no longer nest in guano due to over harvesting by humans and have begun nesting in open areas and artificial nest-burrows.

In the past, African penguin nests were usually built in burrows dug in guano or sand. Guano collection has historically been a major cause of disturbance at many penguin colonies and today, the removal of guano has deprived penguins of nest-burrowing sites. This has caused the birds to start nesting on open ground where they are more vulnerable to heat stress resulting in the abandonment of nests, flooding of nests by rain, and increased predation.

African penguins will usually dig shallow burrows under rocks, in sand, or under sparse vegetation. At some sites, artificial nest-burrows made from pipes and boxes sunken into the ground, and shelters shaped from dry vegetation have been regularly used by the species.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Frost, Siegfried, & Burger, 1976; Frost, Siegfried, & Cooper, 1976; Hockey, Dean, & Ryan, 2005; Kemper, 2015; Kemper, et al., 2007; Pearce, 2011; Pichegru, 2013; Shannon & Crawford, 1999; Shelton, Crawford, Cooper, & Brooke, 1984; Sherley, Barham, Barham, Leshoro, & Underhill, 2012)
Image: Isabella Jusková

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African penguins feed on up to 18 species of crustaceans, primarily on small shoaling pelagic fish.

Up to 18 species of crustaceans are prey to the African penguin.

Adult African penguins feed primarily on small schooling pelagic fish of 50-120 millimeter length, such as anchovies (Engraulis encrasicolus), sardines (Sardinops sagax), bearded goby (Sufflogobius bibarbatus), pilchards (Sardinops sagax), horse mackerel (Trachurus capensis), and round herrings (Etrumeus teres), supplemented by squid and crustaceans. In some localities, cephalopods represent an important food source.

Juveniles are thought to prey on fish larvae.

Sources: (Connan, Hofmeyr, & Pistorius, 2016; Crawford, Cruickshank, Shelton, & Kruger, 1985; Crawford, et al., 2006, 2011; Ludynia, Roux, Jones, Kemper, & Underhill, 2010; Randall & Randall, 1990; Pearce, 2011; Wilson, 1985)
Image: Jean Wimmerlin

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African penguins are largely resident, but some movements occur in response to prey movements.

Adult African penguins are largely resident, but some movements occur in response to prey movements.

The distance that African penguins have to travel to find food varies regionally, temporally, and spatially. On the west coast of Africa, a typical foraging trip could range from 30 to 70 kilometers for a single trip. On the south coast, foraging birds can cover an average of 110 kilometers per trip.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Crawford, et al., 2001, 2008; Frost, Siegried, & Cooper; 1976; Hockey, Dean, & Ryan, 2005; Pearce, 2011)
Image: Savannah Koomen

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African penguin courtship involves visual and auditory displays, such as head-swinging, neck extensions, harsh vocal calls, and bowing.

African penguin courtship rituals typically begin with the male projecting visual and auditory displays to attract a mate.

Head-swinging motions usually refer to ownership of nest site, attracting females, and can be used as a warning for other males. The next stage is used to ensure a mutual bond is formed; which involves a harsh vocal call released while extending the neck and head upward. The final stage includes bowing, where one or both penguins duck the head while the bill points at the nest or at the other bird’s feet.

Sources: (Cooper, 1978; Crawford, et al., 2006, 2008; Pearce, 2011; Shannon & Crawford, 1999)
Image: Paul Mannix

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African penguins are marine and usually found within 40 km of the coast, but can remain at sea for up to 4 months.

African penguins are marine and usually found within 40 kilometers of the coast, coming ashore on islands or at non-contiguous areas of the mainland coast to breed, moult, and rest .

They usually feed within 20 kilometers of the colony, when breeding, although at some colonies the distance is greater.

They can remain out at sea for up to four months at a time.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Crawford, Kemper, & Underhill, 2013; Ludynia, Kemper, & Roux, 2012; Pearce, 2011; Petersen, Ryan, & Gremeillet, 2006; Pichegru, et al., 2009, 2012; Waller, 2011; Wilson, Wilson, & Duffy, 1988)
Image: Adam

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At 2-4 months, juvenile African penguins leave the colony and later return to breed at 4-6 years.

Once an African penguin develops its juvenile plumage at about 2-4 months of age, it will leave the colony. On gaining independence, juvenile African penguins disperse up to 2,000 kilometers from their natal colonies, with those from the east heading west, and those from the west and south moving north.

Most birds that survive, later return to their natal colony to moult and breed, although the growth of some colonies has been attributed to the immigration of first-time breeders tracking food availability. The average age at first breeding is thought to be 4-6 years.

Adult African penguins generally remain within 400 kilometers of their breeding locality, although they have been recorded up to 900 kilometers away.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Cooper, 1978; Crawford, Kemper, & Underhill, 2013; Crawford, et al., 2006, 2008; Hockey, Dean, & Ryan, 2005; Pearce, 2011; Randall, et al., 1987; Shannon & Crawford, 1999; Sherley et al., 2014; Whittington, Klages, Crawford, Wolfaardt, & Kemper, 2005)
Image: Selbe Lynn

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African penguins breed throughout the year with peak months varying locally.

African penguin breeding takes place throughout the year with peak months varying locally.

In the northwest part of the African penguin’s range, in Namibia, peak laying occurs during the months of November to January. In the southern section of the penguin’s range, in South Africa, nesting happens within March and May. In the Southwest, it occurs between May and July, and in the East, the penguins breed between April and June.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Cooper, 1978; Crawford, Kemper, & Underhill, 2013; Crawford, et al., 2006, 2008; Pearce, 2011; Shannon & Crawford, 1999)
Image: Angela Hobbs

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African penguins gather in breeding areas, called “rookeries,” that range from flat, sandy islands with varying degrees of vegetation to steep, rocky islands with little foliage.

African penguins gather in breeding areas called “rookeries.”

They prefer flat, sandy islands with varying degrees of vegetation cover or steep rock islands with little vegetation for their breeding grounds. They can sometimes be found close to the summit of islands and may move over a kilometer inland in search of breeding sites.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Hockey, Dean, & Ryan, 2005; Pearce, 2011; Shannon & Crawford, 1999)
Image: Patrizia08

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African penguins have white, bare skin over their eyes that becomes bright pinkish-red in very hot conditions.

African penguins have a distinguishable bit of white, bare skin that resides over the eyes in a horseshoe-shape. This skin can become bright pinkish-red in very hot conditions.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Cooper, 1978; Pearce, 2011; Stefoff, 2005)
Image: Willis Walk

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While foraging for food, African penguins leave their hatchlings in crèches, characteristic groups common to birds that breed in colonies.

African penguin hatchlings are left alone in crèches, or groups, a characteristic common to bird species that breed in large colonies, while their parents forage for food.

Sources: (Cooper, 1978; Crawford, et al., 2006, 2008; Pearce, 2011; Shannon & Crawford, 1999)
Image: Bernard DUPONT

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Fighting between African penguins occurs occasionally and involves the beating of wings and biting.

Fighting between African penguins occurs occasionally and involves the beating of wings and biting. Often, a penguin can be observed chasing throughout the colony while clutching an opposing penguin’s back with his beak while beating the bird with his wings.

Sources: (Crawford, et al., 2001, 2006; Frost, Siegfried, & Burger, 1976; Frost, Siegfried, & Cooper, 1976; Pearce, 2011)
Image: Y Nakanishi

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African penguins are susceptible to four types of blood parasites.

Four types of blood parasites, Plasmodium relictum, Plasmodium elongatum, Plasmodium cathemerium, and Leucocytozoon tawaki have been recorded in African penguins, or Spheniscus demersus.

Sources: (Crawford, et al., 2001, 2006, 2008; Cunningham, et al., 2008; Jones & Shellam, 1999; Randall and Randall, 1990)
Image: Selbe Lynn

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African penguins are diurnal and spend much of the day feeding in the water.

African penguins are diurnal and spend much of the day feeding in the water. They also dive into the water on warmer days to keep cool.

Throughout the night, these penguins spend their time gathered together on shore.

Sources: (Crawford, et al., 2001, 2006; Frost, Siegfried, & Burger, 1976; Frost, Siegfried, & Cooper, 1976; Heath & Randall, 1989; Pearce, 2011)
Image: Bart Hiddick

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African penguins are social creatures that live in large colonies of up to 2,000, on the rocky coastlines of southwest Africa.

African penguins are social creatures that live in large colonies on the rocky coastlines of southwest Africa.

Adults generally nest colonially, but may also nest in isolation. At sea, black-footed penguins forage singly, in pairs, and sometimes cooepratively in small groups of up to 150 individuals.

The primary viewing site of African penguins at False Bay in Simons Town, South Africa has over 2000 penguins.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Crawford, et al., 2006; Frost, Siegfried, & Cooper, 1976; Heath & Randall, 1989; Kemper, et al., 2007; Pearce, 2011; Ryan, Edwards, & Pichegru, 2012; Shannon & Crawford, 1999; Stefoff, 2005; Wilson, Wilson, & McQuaid, 1986)
Image: Jeanine_BrandedWeb

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African penguins cannot easily preen their own heads and necks, and as such, participate in allopreening, or the preening of each other.

African penguins cannot easily preen their own heads and necks, and as such, participate in allopreening, or the preening of each other. This practical behavior allows for cleaning and rearranging of feathers and aids in the removal of parasites, such as ticks.

Black-footed penguins often bathe within a few meters of the shoreline while shaking their bodies around wildly and preening themselves with their beaks and feet. When a penguin is by himself, using the foot to preen is the only option for reaching his head.

Sources: (Crawford, et al., 2001, 2006; Frost, Siegfried, & Burger, 1976; Frost, Siegfried, & Cooper, 1976; Pearce, 2011)
Image: einszweifrei

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The African penguin is the only penguin species found on the African continent.

Spheniscus demersus, commonly known as African, black-footed, or jackass penguin, is the only penguin species found on the African continent.

This species is endemic to southern African where it breeds in 28 localities in Namibia and South Africa. They also inhabit the Benguela and western Agulhas ecosystems and form colonies near a chain of islands between Hollamsbird Island, Namibia, and Bird Island in Algoa Bay, South Africa.

At sea, their distribution is mainly restricted to the greater Benguela Current region.

African penguins have been recorded as far north as Gabon and Mozambique.

Sources: (Crawford, et al., 2001; 2013; Frost, Siegried, & Cooper; 1976; Kemper, 2015; Kemper, Underhill, Crawford, & Kirkman, 2007; Pearce, 2011; Williams, 1995)
Image: fiverlocker

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African Penguin: Spheniscus demersus

World Penguin Day takes place on April 25th, and to honor this special day, FaunaFocus will be featuring the African penguin throughout the month of April 2018. This achromatic bird is the only penguin found in Africa and is listed as an endangered species by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

 

FAUNAFOCUS

Create art inspired by the African penguin and share it in the FaunaFocus Discord Server or on social media with #faunafocus. Learn about more ways to get involved with FaunaFocus and this month’s featured animal!

 

FAUNAFRIDAY

This month, FaunaFocus is starting a new tradition, FaunaFriday! FaunaFridays are special Fridays, dedicated to FaunaFocus! Join the FaunaFocus community for special livestream events on the FaunaFocus Twitch Stream Team while you learn, create, and share with each other! Share your progress on the FaunaFocus Discord Server and on social media with #FaunaFocus. Contact FaunaFocus to add your own FaunaFriday event.

This month’s FaunaFridays will take place on April 13th, with Sketch Studies, and April 27th, with a CreateAlong teaching participants to use charcoal pencils to create an achromatic, realistic portrait of an African penguin.

 

FREE-FOR-ALL

Entries for this month’s Free-For-All are due at 12:00pm (Noon) CDT on Friday, April 27th and will be critiqued on the FaunaFocus Twitch Stream Team at 9:00pm CDT on Saturday, April 28th. FaunaFocus needs 2 guest judges! If interested, apply to judge the Free-For-All.

Image: Bernard DUPONT

Judges
Noelle M. Brooks SilverCrossFox Stephen Scott (BlindCoyote)
Date March 2018 Theme Dhole
Entries 11 Winner Shane S. (Yodeldog)

 

Spring has begun and the March 2018 FaunaFocus Free-For-All has ended. There were so many outstanding artworks submitted this month, making March 2018 one of our most successful Free-For-All competitions yet! With a variety of media, styles, and personal perspectives, the entries impressed the judges and made the decision of selecting a winner difficult. Several of the artists decided to portray the social habits of the dhole, opting to illustrate more than one within their compositions. Every single entry offered a unique interpretation of the Asian wild dog.

Congratulations to March 2018’s FaunaFocus Free-For-All Winner, Shane S. (Yodeldog), with an ecstatic and vibrant depiction of a dancing dhole loving life and surrounded by a rainbow of colors. Inspired by the Hopi Festival that takes place in India, a natural habitat for the Indian wild dog, this piece highlighted the culture that surrounds this animal in a pleasing and stylized fashion. With neon hues and graphic shapes, this piece was skillfully composed and clearly demonstrated joy.

Shane has chosen the FaunaFocus for the month of May 2018, which will be announced at the end of April’s Free-For-All judging livestream. April is coming and the TheMissFox’s FaunaFocus is about to begin! The African Penguin will be highlighted for April’s FaunaFocus, perfect for the month containing World Penguin Day.

 


FaunaFocus Calendar | Free-For-All | Free-For-All Archives

Dhole

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Researchers are utilizing GPS collars to track movement patterns and population trends of wild dholes.

Little is known about dhole ecology as they’re extremely difficult to study. Outside of India, dholes remain primarily in pockets of remote areas in Southeast Asia and China. In these areas, they tend to occur in low densities in thick forests that cover mountainous or rugged terrain.

There is almost no quantitative information on Dhole population trends through their distribution. Population estimates of Dholes are not available for any country and the size of subpopulations of Dholes has not been reported anywhere. The only estimates of local Dhole densities come from a few protected areas in India.

In order to better understand territorial requirements for packs, researchers rely on GPS collaring of wild dholes. Understanding the dholes’ space helps in estimating the number of packs that live in protected areas. The collars are linked to satellites, giving scientists an exact location of each collared dhole. Collaring any wild carnivore is problematic but dholes may be among the trickiest.

Sources: (Durbin, Venkataraman, Hedges, & Duckworth, 2004; Hance, 2015; Kamler, et al., 2015)
Image: Pistol Peet

Dhole

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People from the jungles of Asia will follow hunting dholes and steal their captured prey as a food source.

Dholes have become an indirect food source for the residents of the jungles in Asia.

Dholes do not attack human beings and usually retreat at the sight of a person. They are super-sensitive skittish, docile, animals. Taking advantage of this fact, human residents of the jungle follow dholes when they are hunting in order to steal their kills. After a dhole has taken down its prey, humans will scare it away and steal the carcass.

Sources: (Carmignani; Chacon, 2000)
Image: Ramatp30

Dhole

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Dholes use body language to communicate, such as wagging their tails or greeting each other by snapping at one another.

Dholes communicate with each other using body language and vocal sounds.

Dholes can be quite vocal, calling to keep in touch over short or long distances, which is handy when they are cooperatively hunting. They also communicate in the form of whistles, barks, growls, alarm calls, and chatter.

The dhole’s greeting includes snapping at each other—an expression of endearment for them, but not so endearing for humans. Just as domestic dogs, they also wag their tails.

Sources: (Carmignani; Chacon, 2000)
Image: Cloudtail the Snow Leopard