Saturday, February 28, 2009

Welcome to "Walk on the Wild Side"

Melbourne, Florida. Welcome to Walk on the Wild Side, a blog dedicated to the exploration and conservation of wilderness. Wilderness - in all its forms - has captivated my imagination and passions throughout my life. And the importance of understanding and conserving wilderness, particularly those few remaining large wilderness areas of the world, is paramount to human survival. This blog intends to bring you regular updates on expeditions, fun facts and emerging issues and news on wilderness areas of the world. It will also serve as a forum for narrating some of my personal sojourns into our planet's wild corners.

The idea behind this blog has been a long time coming. A good buddy of mine, Trevon Clow, has been encouraging me to write regularly on subjects close to my heart. And, recently, posts from my personal blog (Where is Arlo Now??) have become increasingly focused on conservation, exploration and wilderness themes. This has been so much so that I had considered reformating that site as a wilderness blog. However, in the end I opted for making a fresh start. In doing so, I asked my friends to chime in with idea for a good blog name. The name chosen - Walk on the Wild Side - came from Mr. Ted Kahn, a talented herpetologist and scientific illustrator.

As a first taste of the type of wilderness content to be hosted, a couple recent news clips from National Geographic are highlighted here. First, a jaguar has been captured and collared in the U.S. for the first time in a century. Jaguars, once common in the southern United States, have all but vanished in recent decades. This individual was found to the southwest of Tucson, Arizona, indicating that jaguars are extending further into the U.S. than was thought. Previous sitings of jaguars in the U.S. in recent years have all occurred very close to the Arizona-Mexico border. As a top predator, the return of jaguars is a strong step towards restoring lost biological function to North American wilderness.
While it has taken us centuries to appreciate the value of having large predators such as the jaguar in our terrestrial environments, we are only beginning to understand the dynamics of life in the deep sea.
The video here shows a newly discovered fish off California's central coast. The Pacific barreleye fish has highly sensitive, barrel-like eyes--topped by green, orblike lenses. It is indicative of the the many amazing life forms we risk losing before discovery if our oceans are not better cared for.
Thanks for stopping by to check out Walk on the Wild Side. Please join Team Wilderness as a blog follower and check back regularly for more wild news!

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