We can all use a helping hand every now and then.
The same can be said for our wonderful wildlife. In just over 40 years, the world’s global wildlife population has seen an average decline of 60%. But conservationists and wildlife carers around the world are working hand-in-hand to ensure that Earth’s species are given a chance to thrive in their natural habitats.
Get ready to squeal in delight as we present to you a gallery full of small animals in hands!
P.S. While it might be tempting to pick up wildlife, many animals can get quite stressed when held or touched, so best to leave the special handling to trained professionals. If you see an animal in the wild that’s in need of a hand, contact WIRES or your local wildlife rescue team.
PYGMY POSSUM IN HAND
Pygmy possums are climbing experts! Ranging from 5 to 12 cm in length these little marsupials can well and truly fit in the palm of your hand.
BABY HAWKSBILL TURTLES IN HAND
Hawksbill hatchlings look tiny, but they’ll grow to around one meter in length and weigh an average of 80 kg! Sadly, hawksbill turtles in the Asia-Pacific region are hunted for their unique shells (known as ‘tortoiseshell’) and turned into souvenirs to be sold to unsuspecting tourists.
That’s why WWF have partnered with Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) to highlight the plight of hawksbill turtles, urging holidaymakers to think before you buy and help stop the illegal trade of tortoiseshell.
TINY FROG ON FINGERTIP
This undescribed, and potentially unknown to science, species of frog lives in fire-prone scrubland in northern Mozambique. It mimics the colour of ash to hide from predators and, to avoid water loss, tucks its feet into a specialised pouch beneath its mouth.
WOYLIE IN HANDS
Measuring between 28-45 cm, woylies may be small but they do so much for our Aussie ecosystem. These little diggers improve the health of soil by spreading fungal spores and seeds around the landscape.
They’ll be the first of many species to be reintroduced on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia as part of Australia’s biggest rewilding project! Want to learn more about woylies? Check out these 10 facts.
SMALL DRAGON IN HANDS
The western heath dragon is a species of agamid lizard that’s only found along the lower west coast of Western Australia.
Unlike other Australian dragons, they bury themselves in the sand leaving only their noses poking through. It’s thought that this behaviour could help to adjust their body temperature.
ORPHAN KOALA JOEY IN HAND
This orphaned koala joey was left with nowhere to go when its mother fell victim to excessive tree-clearing. Thankfully, wildlife carer Clare from Return to the Wild Inc. was able to play the role of surrogate mother. Find out how you can help save koalas.
BLACK-FLANKED ROCK-WALLABY IN SAFE HANDS
You’d be lucky to spot a black-flanked rock-wallaby - they’re small, shy and extremely agile. WWF-Australia has been giving a helping hand to the the rock-wallaby population in WA by reintroducing them back into Kalbarri National Park where they were feared to be extinct. It’s been one Australia’s most successful conservation projects! Find out more about this amazing project here.
NOT ONE, BUT TWO EASTERN QUOLLS IN HAND!
Eastern quolls were once extinct on mainland Australia, but they’ve made a comeback with the help of WWF-Australia, our supporters and our partners. The two little quolls pictured above were pioneers, making a big move from Tasmania (where they were bred) to Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay.
NOT A LEAF, BUT A BRIMSTONE BUTTERFLY IN HAND
It might look like these hands are holding a leaf, but it’s actually holding the common brimstone butterfly. These vibrant green butterflies have a wingspan of about 6 cm and can be found in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
PIGEON CHICK IN HAND
A bird in the hand is worth two in a bush! It’s rare to spot a pigeon chick (also known as squabs), as they stay in their nests up to a month before they’re adult size.