Okinawa Rail

True Wild Life | Okinawa Rail | The Okinawa Rail is a flightless bird that only lives on the main island of Okinawa. It is endemic to Okinawa Island in Japan where it is known as the Yanbaru Kuina. Its existence was only confirmed in 1978 and it was formally described in 1981 although unidentified rails had been recorded on the island since at least 1973 and local stories of a bird known as the agachi kumira may refer to this species.

It is a medium-sized and almost flightless rail with short wings and tail, olive-brown upperparts, black underparts with white bars and a red bill and legs. It occurs in subtropical moist forests and in neighbouring habitats. It nests and feeds on the ground but usually roosts in trees. It is classified as an endangered species and is threatened by habitat loss and introduced predators.

The Okinawa Rail  is a poor flyer but it can run rapidly. It spends most of its time on the ground but usually roosts in trees, climbing up to sleep on a branch or sloping trunk. In the morning, it preens and stretches before dropping straight to the ground. It is usually found in dense cover but comes into the open to bathe. It bathes for short bouts of 2-4 minutes before preening for 4-20 minutes. It feeds on lizards, amphibians, snails and large insects such as locusts. Food is mainly taken from the forest floor but may also be taken from shallow water.

The Okinawa Rail is in great danger of disappearing for other reasons: forests clearing and traffic accidents. But the conservation activities have not progressed much. One reason is that nobody really understands how the Okinawa Rail lives. Without knowing well about the creature, like where the Okinawa Rail lives, what it eats, or how it raises its children, and how far it travels, people cannot move forward with the conservation activities. Besides the Okinawa Rail, there are many other kinds of flightless birds that are suffering from the outside animals in which human have brought in.

Great Spotted Kiwi

True Wild Life | Great Spotted Kiwi | The Great Spotted Kiwi, is a species of kiwi endemic to the South Island of New Zealand.  It is the largest of the kiwi.  There are about 22,000 Great Spotted Kiwis in total, almost all in the more mountainous parts of northwest Nelson, the northwest coast, and the Southern Alps. A minority live on islands.

Great Spotted Kiwi are nocturnal, and will sleep during the day in burrows. At night, they feed on invertebrates and will also eat plants. Great Spotted Kiwi breed between June and March. The egg is the largest of all birds in proportion to the size of the bird. Chicks take 75 to 85 days to hatch, and after hatching, they are abandoned by their parents.

Because adult Great Spotted Kiwis are large and powerful, they are able to fend off most predators that attack them, such as stoats, ferrets, weasels, pigs, brushtails and cats, all of which are invasive species in New Zealand. However, dogs are able to kill even adults. Stoats, ferrets, possums, cats and dogs will feed on the eggs and chicks, meaning most chicks die within their first five months of life. Once the Great Spotted Kiwi was also preyed upon by the Haast's Eagle, which is now extinct.

Yellow-margined Box Turtle

True Wild Life | Yellow-margined Box Turtle | The Chinese box turtle is a species of Asian box turtle with several names. Its common names include Chinese box turtle, 食蛇龜 Snake-eating turtle, Yellow-margined box turtle, and Golden-headed turtle. Taxonomically, it has been called Cistoclemmys flavomarginata, Cuora flavomarginata, and Cyclemys flavomarginata. The Integrated Taxonomic Information System uses Cuora flavomarginata.

Yellow-margined Box Turtle has a highly domed shell, the carapace and plastron of which are a dark brown, excepting a cream-yellow stripe on the vertebral keel. The edge of the plastron is lightly pigmented due to the marginal scutes' and plastral scutes' lighter pigmentation near their edges. The skin on the limbs is brown in color while the top of the head is a pale green. Each side of the head has a yellow line extending from behind the eye backward. The skin beneath the head and between the limbs is a lighter pink-ish color.

The name box turtle refers to C. flavomarginata's ability to bring the plastron to the edges of the carapace. This is enabled by a hinge on the plastron and ligaments connecting the carapace and plastron, which allows for limited movement. The forefeet have five claws, while the rear have four.

The external difference between male and female Yellow-margined Box Turtle is slight. Males have a broader tail than females; it is almost triangular in shape.

Painted Batagur

True Wild Life | Painted Batagur | The Painted Batagur is the largest turtle living in fresh water. They are in danger of extinction because people take them as pets or to eat, and because of the deteriorating environments in and around the rivers they live in. Painted Batagurs live on the Malaysian peninsula, Sumatra Island, and Kalimantan Island.

Painted Batagurs live in rivers and sometimes go near the ocean where the seawater mixes with the fresh water. They also lay eggs in sandy beaches like Green Turtles. Young Painted Batagurs eat other animals and plants. Once they become adults, their diet changes to mainly leaves and other plants.

The number of Painted Batagurs is declining because people capture them to eat, in addition to river water pollution and deteriorating surrounding environments. In Thailand, where the Painted Batagur is on the brink of extinction, there are strict restrictions against their capture, sale, or purchase. Additionally, there are efforts to increase their number by breeding. Although there are international restrictions against the sale and purchase of Painted Batagurs, there are still many efforts that need to be made to recover their numbers, such as making river environments safe for living in.

Ryukyu Black-breasted Leaf Turtle

True Wild Life | Ryukyu Black-breasted Leaf Turtle | The Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle or Ryukyu leaf turtle, Geoemyda japonica, is a species of turtle in the family Geoemydidae (formerly Bataguridae). It is endemic to the Ryukyu Islands in Japan. In 1975 the species was designated a National Natural Monument of Japan. It grows to approximately 5–6 inches long. In captivity it feeds on worms, snails, insects, and fruit. Due to its rarity and very attractive appearance, this species is highly coveted by turtle collectors worldwide.

The Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle  has a flattish brown, chestnut, mahogany or tan carapace that is serrated front and rear, with three keels. The plastron is black or dark brown with yellow or yellow-cream rings. The skin of the Black-breasted Leaf Turtle is dark with colored spots or mottles, and females have a yellowish-cream stripe down each side of the head. Its feet are only semi-webbed, and it has large bulging eyes with white irises.

At first it was considered a subspecies of Geoemyda spengleri, and named Geoemyda spengleri japonica. It was redescribed as a separate species and given its current binomial name in 1992.

Pancake Tortoise

True Wild Life | Pancake Tortoise | Pancake tortoises are small and flat with a thin, flexible shell. The shell is normally 6 to 7 inches long and an inch or so high. On the legs, they have bigger scales with points that project downward and outward. Usually the shell has radiating dark lines on the carapace (upper part of the shell). The plastron (bottom part of shell) is also pale yellow but with dark brown seams and light yellow rays. Juveniles have pale yellow top shells with black seams and yellow rays. Some may have brown spots on their back. The carapace of juveniles is more domed than that of adults. Males can be distinguished from females by their larger and longer tails. However they are smaller than the females and have less distinctive patterns on their shell.

The pancake tortoise is adapted to fitting into tight crevices. Even larger individuals are less than 2 inches high. The shell is so thin and flexible that the plastron moves in and out when the animal breathes. Since the tortoise ould easily be torn apart by predators, it relies on its speed and flexibility to escape from dangerous situations. With the reduced weight of the shell, it can move much more quickly than other species.

It was once thought that it could puff its body up with air to wedge itself in place, but this has been found not to be true. Instead, it orients its spiky legs outward so that it is almost impossible to dislodge. Also this animal can also climb vertically. Because they are so light they can turn themselves over with ease if they fall on their backs.

In the wild breeding is in January-February with nesting in July-August.They lay eggs that are about two inches long. The eggs can incubated at about 30 degrees Celsius for 140 to 190 days. Combat between males prior to breeding can lead to better reproductive success.  In captivity breeding can be any time of the year. Captive animals can live 25 years and perhaps longer.

Burmese Starred Tortoise

True Wild Life | Burmese Starred Tortoise | The Burmese star tortoise (Geochelone platynota) is becoming extinct in its native Myanmar (Burma). Burmese Starred tortoises look like another land turtle called Indian Starred tortoise. But if you look closely, you will see the Burmese Starred Tortoise's shell is thinner and flatter than the Indian Starred tortoise.

Burmese Starred Tortoises are omnivorous as they eat both plants and animals. But we are still not sure what they eat in the wild. The Burmese Starred Tortoise sticks to his name. His shell's pattern is beautifully star-studded. It is said that in the early 20th century, the Burmese Starred Tortoise was high in number. However, soon after, they were caught for food. Their woods were clear-cut and now they are endangered.

And the greatest problem today is they are being caught as pets. In Myanmar, it is illegal to capture and export the Burmese Starred Tortoise. Despite this, large numbers of Burmese Starred Tortoise are being sold in Japan, China, and Thailand. The first step is to severely punish lawbreakers and smugglers.

Chacoan Peccary

True Wild Life | Chacoan Peccary | The Chacoan peccary or Tagua  is a species of peccary found in the dry shrub habitat or Chaco of Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. About 3000 exist in the world. It is believed to be the closest living relative to the extinct genus Platygonus. The Chacoan peccary has the unusual distinction of having been first described in 1930 based on fossils and was originally thought to be an extinct species. In 1975 the animal was discovered to still be alive and well in the Chaco region of Paraguay. The species was well known to the native people, but it took a while for scientists to rediscover its existence. It is known locally as the tagua.

Chacoan peccaries have received the nickname "pigs from green hell" because of their wild, impenetrable habitats.[citation needed] The Chacoan peccary is confined to hot, dry areas. Dominated by low-lying succulents and thorny bushes, the Gran Chaco is approximately 140,000 square kilometers. There are a few scattered giant trees, but the majority of the vegetation is thorny scrub vegetation. The Chacoan peccary has developed adaptations like well-developed sinuses to combat dry, dusty conditions. The feet are also small, which allows maneuverability among spiny plants.

Chacoan peccaries often travel in herds of up to twenty individuals. They are active during the day, especially in the morning when they are most apt to travel. Herds display a general travel cycle within the homerange of 42 days. This allows the individuals to monitor and show ownership over their areas. These social mammals communicate by various sounds ranging from grunts to chatters of the teeth. Even though individuals may occasionally exhibit aggressive behavior like charging and biting, this species is not as aggressive as others.

As a defensive strategy, members of a herd may line up in a defensive wall; this makes the herds easy targets for hunters. The Chacoan peccary produces a milky, odorous substance that is used for marking trees, shrubs and similar. The substance is secreted from glands located on the back, and is dispersed by rubbing. Frequently bathing in mud or dust, Chacoan peccaries also defecate at particular "stations".


True Wild Life | Kowari | also known as the Brush-tailed Marsupial Rat, Kayer Rat, Byrne's Crest-tailed Marsupial Rat, Bushy-tailed Marsupial Rat and Kawiri, is a small carnivorous marsupial native to the dry grasslands and deserts of central Australia. It is monotypical of its genus.  The Kowari is a ground dwelling carnivorous marsupial, living either in its own dug burrow or in the hole of another mammal. The Kowari is a solitary animal and marks its territory with secreations from a scent gland and leaving scats and urine at certain places throught their home teritory When approached, Kowari are very aggressive with much hisssing and chattering and thrashing of its tail.

Sexual maturity in a Kowari is reached in the first year of life but breeding seldom takes place until the second year between May and December. The female Kowari (who may produce 2 litters per season) carries up to six young on her teats for about eight weeks and suckles them in a nest (of soft materials) for a further eight weeks. Young Kowaris may ride on their mothers side or back (2-3 months old). The young become independant 100 days after birth.

The Kowari is well adapted to life in the central desert and does not need to drink, as it derieves needed moisture from its food. When cold and food supply is scarce, the Kowari may become torpid (a form of hibernation). By day, it sleeps in a burrow (sometimes can be seen "Sunbaking"), and at night it is a fierce predator on insects, the larger arthropods, and small vertebrates (eg birds, rodents, lizards) The Kowari can stalk like a cat and uses a direct neck bite when killing large prey.

Its range seems to have contracted considerably in recent decades but it is not clear whether this is an indication of its impending endangerment or of cyclical changes in the density of an opportunistic species, self regulating its numbers to survive in a harsh enviroment. So at this stage its Status is listed as Vulnerable Distribution: 100,000-300,000 square kilometres