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In photos:

In photos: A helping hand

12 Feb 2019

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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

A pygmy possum in Innes National Park, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia © WWF-Aus / David Crisante

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 turtle hatchlings in hand, Papua New Guinea © Ange Amon / Lissenung Island Resort / WWF-Aus

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

Unknown species of frog on a person’s fingertip © Mac Stone / WWF-US

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

Woylie (brush-tailed bettong, Bettongia ogilbyi) in hands. Upper Warren, Western Australia © Sabrina Trocini / WWF-Aus

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

A western heath dragon (Ctenophorus adelaidensis) in hands, Western Australia © WWF-Aus / Mick Davis

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

An orphan koala joey held by koala carer, Clare in Brisbane © WWF-Aus / Patrick Hamilton

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

Black-flanked rock-wallaby safe in the hands of scientist Craig Pentland, Nangeen Hill © Craig Pentland

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!

Two eastern quoll joeys at Trowunna Wildlife Park, Tasmania © WWF-Aus / Madeleine Smitham

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

Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) butterfly in hand © Ola Jennersten / WWF-Sweden

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

Hands holding a baby pigeon chick © Ola Jennersten / WWF-Sweden

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.

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