GALLERY

Through the visual art of drawing, one of the oldest forms of communication, Jane curated the Where Did All the Animals Go? 2019 exhibition of North East school children’s portraits drawn in Biro, depicting some of the world’s most endangered species. Over 400 children from nine schools participated in Jane’s workshops, where they used her working method, and created drawings in Biro with no pencil guidelines.

Each portrait in the exhibition, supported by international wildlife charity Born Free, presented an emotional connection between the young artists and their subjects. Evocative and uninhibited, the art of children, in its purity, not only expresses an honest depiction of subject matter but also portrays the unique characteristics of the inner child. Drawings of vulnerable species not only depict individual beings that live their own lives according to their needs, each portrayal contemplates what their eyes have seen, and represents a species facing extinction. 

The exhibition provided an opportunity to experience the beauty of child art as well as form connections with each vulnerable species, through the creative response of a generation of young people.

Isaac Year 5 Jarrow Cross Primary School with his colour Biro drawing Chimpanzee at Where Did All the Animals Go? exhibition Thought Foundation

On display also, were Jane’s original Biro drawings and large format prints of her drawings exploring loss generated by human destruction and representational of both life’s beauty and brutal reality, creating memorials of lives lived, both human and animal and ways of life and environments lost. Her intricate drawings take several months to research and make and incorporate complex and symbolic drawing layers, which also encompass her love of film, bringing a cinematic quality to her art.

Image top: Polar Bear Chloe Yr 6 Bexhill Academy
Image below: Hiroshima Unicorn Pinup 2017 green Biro drawing, WAR series Jane Lee McCracken

 

EXHIBITION DRAWINGS

Workshops for the 2019 exhibition were delivered from January - March to children from nine North East Schools. Born Free Education Officer David Bolton's original idea of allocating a continent of species to each school, was utilised with great effect.

The following is a selection of children's exhibition drawings accompanied by species information including conservation status and population:

AFRICA
Jarrow Cross CE Primary School

Working with Linda Peacock Art Co-ordinator at Jarrow Cross, Jane chose iconic and beloved African species for children to learn about and draw including the reticulated giraffe, one of 9 species of giraffe that are struggling for survival due to poaching and habitat loss:

BIOLOGY

Many people, including conservationists, remain unaware that the world’s tallest animal is experiencing a silent slide towards extinction

Giraffe numbers plummeted by a staggering 40% in the last three decades, and less than 100,000 remain today. There are nine subspecies of giraffe. Three subspecies are Critically Endangered or Endangered (IUCN Red List). Those subspecies in East, Central, and West Africa are faring particularly poorly: the Kordofan and Nubian giraffes, with respectively 2,000 and 2,645 individuals remaining, are now just one stage from extinct in the wild. There is reason for hope. In the past few decades, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation pulled the West African giraffe back from the brink of extinction.

THREATS

Habitat loss and fragmentation due to human population growth are the main threats to giraffes in the wild, although civil conflict, hunting for their meat, pelt and tails, and environmental conditions like severe drought can also pose risks. Giraffes are also exploited in zoos and circuses. Wild giraffes are specialised herbivores, roaming over large expanses, so being confined in small enclosures can lead to extreme frustration and boredom. Captive giraffes often exhibit abnormal behaviours such as repeatedly twisting their necks or licking the bars of their cage. Information credit: Born Free Foundation

 

BIOLOGY

African elephants are the largest land mammal on earth

Their trunks are used to pick up food, draw water, breathe, and greet other elephants, and their large ears help them keep cool and communicate a range of emotions.  Adult African elephants have two tusks, which are used to peel bark off trees, ‘mine’ for minerals and defend against predators. African elephants are keystone species and play a crucial role in maintaining their ecosystems. They assist with plant dispersal and alter their landscape by uprooting trees and digging for water during the dry season. These foraging behaviours can also help other animals survive in harsh environmental conditions. Elephants live in family groups, presided over by a dominant female, called a matriarch. Bull elephants depart the matriarchal herd when they reach sexual maturity, then move alone or in ‘bachelor herds’. Herds can consist of 100 individuals or more, and they can move huge distances in search of food and water; for example, elephants in the deserts of Mali migrate across an area of 12,355 square miles.

THREATS

African elephants face a risk of extinction in the near future due to illegal killing for the ivory trade, habitat destruction through human population expansion and agriculture, and subsequent persecution for raiding crops and destroying buildings. Elephants also experience considerable physical suffering and psychological distress from being kept in captivity for human entertainment, exhibiting uncharacteristic behaviour, higher infant mortality and reduced life spans. Information credit: Born Free Foundation

  

BIOLOGY

The hooded vulture is an Old World vulture. It has a grey hood and its head turns red when it is agitated

Vultures are scavengers who feed on carrion and waste. They fly over the Savannah looking for carcases to feed on or human habitations where they often feed in waste tips. Vultures congregate in flocks and are not shy of humans. Hooded vultures are a relatively small vulture species. In recent years the species has seen a sharp decline in numbers and has been up-listed on the IUCN Red List from endangered to critically endangered.

THREATS

The main threats to hooded vultures are poisoning, capture for bushmeat and traditional medicine as well as, habitat loss.

 

BIOLOGY

Lions are the only large cats that live and hunt in groups, or ‘prides’, with the females doing the majority of the hunting  

Lions, with their powerful bodies and excellent senses, are formidable hunters.  Prides vary greatly in size, but can include up to three males, around a dozen females, and their young, which are raised cooperatively.  Typically, the lionesses in the pride will be related to one another, with the female cubs staying with the group for life. Young males leave the pride, often in small cohorts, and live a wandering existence until they may succeed in establishing a pride of their own by driving out and replacing other males. Females have litters of between one and four cubs

THREATS

Lion populations face a risk of extinction from numerous threats, including habitat loss due to encroachment by humans. Livestock farmers may use poisons, rifles and snares to remove lions from their land. In addition, prey species have been depleted by the bushmeat trade, and lion populations have become increasingly fragmented as a consequence. In some countries it is still legal to shoot lions for ‘sport’. Lions also suffer in captivity and unfortunately, we often encounter lions that have been bred in captivity or captured from the wild for use in zoos, circuses or as ‘pets’. Information credit: Born Free Foundation

  

MADAGASCAR
Thought Foundation Drawing Workshop Group, Jane Lee McCracken

In a special workshop held for five talented children from schools across the North East, who attend Jane's Drawing for Endangered Species workshops at Thought Foundation, the children were allocated species unique to the island of Madagascar including the island's largest predator, the fosa as well as the islands iconic lemur species whose populations are dwindling through habitat loss and poaching:

BIOLOGY

The fosa or fossa is the largest carnivore on the island of Madagascar and although cat-like is related to the mongoose family

Mainly solitary, the fosa is active both arboreally and on the ground. Its diet is known to include many animals in the forests it inhabits, including lemurs, rodents and reptiles. Lemurs are frequently caught in trees. Between two and four young are born; because infants remain with the mother for the first year, females only breed every other year. The maximum known age in captivity is more than 20 years. 

THREATS

The major threats to fosa are hunting for bushmeat, habitat loss and fragmentation of forests largely caused by the conversion of forested areas to agricultural land and pasture; selective logging degrades the habitat.  Information credit: IUCN Red List

 

 

BIOLOGY

The ring-tailed lemur is the most iconic of lemurs. Lemurs are primates and are only found on Madagascar

Ring-tailed lemurs are extremely ecologically flexible allowing this species to colonize a diverse range of habitats in southern, south-west, and south-central Madagascar including dry deciduous forests, spiny bush, brush and scrub, high-altitude ericoid bush and rocky outcrop vegetation. It encounters the most extreme climatic conditions on the island from the hottest and driest to the coldest. It has a varied diet and does not seem to be constrained by available water sources.

THREATS

Habitat loss and hunting are the greatest threats. The ring-tailed lemur has a strong preference for gallery forests and for Euphorbia bush, but these habitats are already restricted in southern Madagascar and continue to diminish due to annual burning practices that help create new pasture for livestock. Subsequent over-grazing and the felling of trees for charcoal production further impact wild populations. This species is also hunted as bushmeat and frequently kept as pets. Information credit: IUCN Red List 

 

BIOLOGY

Ocean sunfish bask in the sun horizontally, under the ocean surface and are one of the heaviest bony fish in the ocean.

Ocean sunfish or common mola, occur in subtropical waters between depths of 30 and 480m. It resembles a large swimming fish head with flattened bodies, large eyes, tail and fins. It is an active swimmer capable of highly directional movements and horizontal movements independent of the current; it uses its dorsal fins as a pair of wings. It feeds on fishes, molluscs and jellyfish. Females are larger than males. The maximum total length is 333 cm and maximum weight is 2.3 t. They live up to 20-23 years and have few predators other than sealions, killer whales and sharks.

THREATS

Ocean sunfish populations are vulnerable to fishing activity because of the high levels of bycatch by many fisheries, including through long lines, drift gillnets and midwater trawls. They are also considered a delicacy in Japan, Taiwan and Korea and are caught to supply the demand in these markets. Information credit: IUCN Red List 

 

 

BIOLOGY

The panther chameleon derived its name from its panther-esque spots and like all chameleon’s its colour changes according to mood, temperature and light

Although this species is not threatened at present, all wildlife on Madagascar is becoming increasingly vulnerable due to human activity and change of land use.

This species is abundant in lowland degraded scrub and forest habitats, where it uses trees of up to 10m in height. Panther Chameleons are found in sites associated with forest or in areas that have been highly disturbed by people. This species has rapid growth, a relatively short life span and could probably withstand increased levels of exploitation as long as degraded forest cover does not diminish.

THREATS

Habitat degradation is unlikely to represent a major threat to this species given its apparently adaptability to, and indeed preference for, degraded habitats. Although this is the most sought-after Madagascan chameleon in the international pet trade, current levels of exploitation are not thought to represent a threat. Information credit: IUCN Red List

 

BIOLOGY

The diademed sifaka is a type of lemur, with beautiful markings and large eyes and also one of the largest species of lemur

Diademed sifakas are found in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar. Their diet consists mainly of ripe fruits, seeds, flowers, and young leaves. Diademed sifakas 

THREATS

Rain forest habitat loss in eastern Madagascar due to slash-and-burn agricultural practices and timber extraction is the principal threat to this sifaka’s survival, although hunting as bushmeat also can have a very serious impact on remaining populations, even within existing protected areas. Furthermore, illegal rum production, necessitating the planting of sugar cane fields and destructive utilization of sifaka food trees, is also a threat to populations. Information credit: IUCN Red List

 

EUROPE
St Mary Magdalen RCVA Primary School, Seaham

Working with Sara Pushon, Arts Co-ordinator at St Mary's Primary, Jane allocated endangered European species for children to learn about and draw, including vulnerable UK wildlife such as the Atlantic puffin whose population is dwindling due to the climate crisis and overfishing:

BIOLOGY

Iberian Lynx are one of the most endangered wild cats on earth

Iberian Lynx are only about half the size of the Eurasian lynx. They are found only in two small areas of southwest Spain on the Iberian Peninsula, west of the Pyrenees mountains. Despite extensive surveys, they have not been detected in Portugal since the 1990’s. Closely related to the Eurasian Lynx, their ranges used to meet at the Spanish-French border along the Pyrenees Mountains. More recently, the range of the Iberian Lynx has significantly contracted, and now consists of a series of small islands of suitable natural habitat, such as national parks and reserves.

THREATS

Between 1985 and 2001, their range declined by 87%. By 2010, they existed in two small populations: 70-80 cats in the south of Andalusia and 170-180 individuals in the Sierra Morena (2010). Their numbers were decimated by rapid habitat loss. Human development such as dams, highways and railways also encroached on their native habitat. While losing their habitat, humans were also over-hunting the cats main prey species, the European rabbit. In 2001, when the Iberian lynx population was less than 100 animals, the Life Lince conservation project was launched. A captive breeding program was part of the project, and by 2009 their efforts had increased the number of captive Iberian lynx from zero to 78 (2010). There are now four breeding centres in Spain and Portugal. The second aim of the project was working in the field, restoring habitat and increasing rabbit numbers with a view towards reintroduction, and the first lynx from the captive breeding project were reintroduced into a new area in Andalusia in 2009. Information credit: Wild Cat Conservation

BIOLOGY

The grey long-eared bats is one of the rarest mammals in the UK

Grey long-eared bats are medium-sized bats found only in a few places in southern England. It can be very difficult to distinguish the rare grey long-eared from the more common brown long-eared bat. A grey long-eared bat’s ears are nearly as long as the body, but are not always obvious; when at rest they curl their ears back like rams horns, or tuck them away completely under their wings leaving only the pointed inner lobe of the ear, the tragus, visible.

The most reliable distinguishing features between brown and grey long-eared bats are the face colour which is pinkish-brown in the brown long-eared bat, and grey long-eared bats have a longer and darker muzzle. Since the northern edge of the grey long-eared bat’s distribution is 53°N, bats found above this latitude are more than likely brown long-eared bats, which are far more common and widespread in Britain.

THREATS

Severe winters and timber treatment at roost sites. Information credit: Bat Conservation Trust

 

BIOLOGY

Puffins are often known as parrots of the sea

Puffins are unmistakable birds with their black back and white underparts, distinctive black head with large pale cheeks and their tall, flattened, brightly-coloured bill. Its comical appearance is heightened by its red and black eye-markings and bright orange legs. Used as a symbol for books and other items, this clown among seabirds is one of the world's favourite birds. With half of the UK population at only a few sites, it is a Red List species. They eat fish, especially sandeels.

To see puffins in the UK, it is best to look for a breeding colony. Try the RSPB's Bempton Cliffs (N Yorks) and South Stack (Anglesey) reserves, the Farne Islands and Coquet Island (Northumberland), the Isle of May (off the Fife coast) and the Shetland and Orkney Islands.

THREATS

The greatest threats to Atlantic puffins are all man-made. These include over-fishing in puffin breeding grounds, pollution, such as oil spills, and the introduction of predators on the ground, rats and mink. These threats put puffins at risk because of their low reproductive rates and the fact that they breed in concentrated colonies. Information credit: RSPB

  

BIOLOGY

The European bison is Europe’s largest land mammal

Its origins have long been a mystery. Hunted for millennia and pushed into the wild corners of Europe as agriculture expanded, the bison — also known as wisent — were reduced to just a few zoo specimens by the late 1920s. Today, a semi-wild population roams Białowieża Forest, near the Poland-Belarus border, where they slip between hornbeams and mighty oaks, their curly coats and horns lending an aura of the Pleistocene to the ancient forest.

THREATS

Threats to the European Bison include habitat loss, hunting, war and civil unrest. Information credit: IUCN Red List & Nature Magazine

  

NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA
Bexhill Academy, Sunderland

Working with Sandi Letton, Arts Co-ordinator at Bexhill Academy, Jane allocated endangered species from across North and South America for children to learn about and draw including one of the most critically endangered species on earth - the red wolf:

 

BIOLOGY

The red wolf is one of the world's rarest canids with less than 30 left in the wild

Red wolves are smaller than their relative, the grey wolf and have longer legs and shorter fur. Their coat is a tawny red with grey and black touches. Males are typically larger than females. Red wolves formerly ranged throughout the southeastern USA, from the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, north to the Ohio River Valley and central Pennsylvania, and west to central Texas and southeastern Missouri. Following a massive decline during the 20th Century, the species was declared extinct in the wild in 1980 after the last 17 wild red wolves were taken into captivity to begin a captive breeding program. A highly successful recovery programme reintroduced the red wolf to a remote, five-county area of northeastern North Carolina, As of 2003, the free-ranging red wolf population numbered around 100 individuals in 20 family groups. However, the population has dwindled to just 24 individuals.

THREATS

Red wolves suffered as a result of persecution and habitat loss as mature woodlands were cleared to make way for agriculture. Red wolves were extensively trapped and shot.  Hunting is now the biggest threat to the last remaining 24 wild red wolves alongside hybridisation. The Wolf Conservation Center, New York, works tirelessly to conserve red and Mexican grey wolves: www.nywolf.org Information credit: Arkive

BIOLOGY

The jaguar is the largest cat of the Americas and a formidable predator

Its common name comes from the native name ‘yaguara’, meaning ‘a beast that kills its prey with one bound’. It has a muscular build and strong jaws. This remarkable cat possesses a visually striking coat of large black rosettes, mostly enclosing dark spots, set against golden brown to yellow fur. Melanistic forms are also relatively common, often called ‘black panthers’ in the Americas. Jaguars vary considerably in size in different regions, but genetic studies indicate that there are no subspecies. Jaguars found in the densely forested areas of the Amazon Basin are generally smaller and darker in colour than those found in more open terrain. Jaguars are solitary animals. The female gives birth to a litter size of one to four cubs. Young are dependent on their mother for up to two years. Life span in the wild is not known, but jaguar specialist Alan Rabinowitz estimated that few jaguars in Belize lived more than 11 years. Although the jaguar has been characterised as nocturnal, it is more often active around dawn and dusk. Like most cats, jaguars are opportunistic hunters. Relative to their size, they have the most powerful bite of the ‘big cats’ and are the only big cat to regularly kill by piercing the skull.

THREATS

Prolifically hunted for its pelt in the 60s and 70s, this practice has declined as a result of anti-fur campaigns although hunting by cattle ranchers is an ongoing problem. Primary threats today come from habitat loss through deforestation, which is having a drastic impact on the jaguar’s prey base. Information credit: Arkive

 

BIOLOGY

Pygmy three-toed sloths are confined to a single tiny island off the coast of Panama

As its name suggests, this recently discovered species is a dwarf compared with its mainland relatives. In addition to its small size, the pygmy three-toed sloth is characterised by a distinctive dark band across the forehead and shaggy hair hangs over the face. Sloths have an unusual means of camouflage to avoid predation; their outer fur is often coated in algae, giving the pelage a greenish tint that helps hide them in their forest habitat. Three-toed sloths can be distinguished from their distant relatives, the two-toed sloths, by the three digits on their forelimbs, blunter muzzle, and peg-like teeth. Very little is known about the biology of the pygmy three-toed sloth, although much can be inferred from what is known about three-toed sloths generally. Three-toed sloths are arboreal flolivores that eat the leaves of a variety of trees. This is an energy-poor diet, and these animals have a very low metabolic rate. Their main defences are camouflage, stealth and stillness, whereby they avoid predation largely by avoiding detection. However, should they be attacked, sloths also have a remarkable capacity to survive due to their tough hides, tenacious grips and extraordinary ability to heal from grievous wounds.

THREATS

The pygmy three-toed sloth has an extremely restricted range on one very small island. Although the island is uninhabited, fishermen and local people are all seasonal visitors and are thought to hunt the sloths illegally. The growing tourism industry is also a potential threat to the species, by degrading habitat. Information credit: Arkive

BIOLOGY

The bizarre-looking bald-headed uakari has a bright crimson bald face

For South American primates they have particularly short tails and broad, flat faces. Malaria is an important disease in some parts of the Amazon rainforest and it is thought that these monkeys may have evolved bright red faces as a symbol of a healthy individual; monkeys who have contracted the disease are noticeably paler. Bald-headed uakaris are found in large multi-male-multi-female groups, which may number up to 100 individuals although these larger troops are themselves composed of smaller, mixed groups. Females give birth to a single offspring; infants are initially carried on their mother's front before being transferred to her back to be transported through the treetops. Fruit makes up the majority of the uakari diet, although they will also consume buds, leaves, and insects. These monkeys are active during the day and spend most of their time in the trees, only alighting on the ground to search for food in the leaner times of the dry season. The bald-headed uakari is found in the Amazon basin in Brazil, Peru and Columbia.

THREATS

Habitat destruction and hunting are the main causes of the decline in bald-headed uakari numbers. These monkeys are hunted in many parts of Peru and Brazil, either for meat or as bait; their riverine forest habitat makes them particularly vulnerable to hunting from canoes. Information credit: Arkive

BIOLOGY

The great white shark is often mistakenly thought of as the most voracious predator of the seas, and even has a reputation as a ferocious man-eater, something that sadly has been hugely exaggerated by the media

Supported by a cartilaginous skeleton, these sharks are streamlined for efficient movement through the water, with pointed snouts, large triangular first dorsal fin and sharply pointed teeth. They have an acute sense of smell and are able to sense electric fields through sensors in the snout. Despite its worldwide notoriety, very little is known about the behaviour of the great white shark. They are usually solitary or occur in pairs, although it is apparently a social animal that can also be found in small aggregations of 10 or more, particularly around a carcass. Great white sharks are particularly slow-growing and despite their large size, survival of young is thought to be low. Great whites are at the top of the marine food chain and are skilled predators.

THREATS

Fishing is the main threat to great white sharks either as bycatch or for their fins for shark-fin soup. The teeth and jaws of great white sharks are particularly valuable. Game fishing has increased in popularity recently and the great white shark is something of a holy grail for enthusiasts due to its great size and reputation as the most dangerous fish in the sea. Unfortunately, its inquisitive nature and tendency to investigate human activities makes this shark vulnerable to capture. Habitat degradation, depletion of prey species, negative attitudes towards the shark, and shark fences to protect bathers further affect population numbers. Unwarranted fear of these sharks throughout much of its range makes conservation efforts difficult to initiate. Information credit: Arkive

 

ASIA
Royal Grammar School, Newcastle

Working with Christine Egan-Fower, Artist Teacher and Samantha McCulloch Year 6 teacher at RGS, children were given endangered species from Asia to learn about and draw including critically endangered orangutans, and the beautiful and elusive snow leopard:

BIOLOGY

Giant Pandas have evolved to specialize on a diet of bamboo

Bamboo is a poor food source, low in protein thus, to meet their daily energy requirement, giant pandas must consume a large amount of bamboo. Pandas have large, muscular jaws, with its famous “pseudothumb” which is used to hold and manipulate bamboo for processing. However, compared with other herbivores, the panda has very low digestive efficiency because its digestive tract still resembles that of its carnivorous ancestors. The panda’s feeding strategy emphasizes volume, requiring it to allocate much of its time to foraging. While morphological and behavioural adaptations provide some compensation for poor digestive efficiency, the Panda’s ability to survive on such a low-quality food source remained mysterious for decades. Dietary specialization is often seen as an extinction risk factor, but this may not be the case for the Panda, which specializes on widespread and abundant bamboo. Thus, pandas are well-adapted to their environment and have reproductive rates sufficiently high to explain the recovery of populations once bans on poaching and habitat restoration efforts commenced.

THREATS

Habitat loss and fragmentation remain the gravest threats to the survival of the species. A large proportion of the panda's habitat has already been lost: logged for timber and fuel wood, or cleared for agriculture and infrastructure to meet the needs of the area's booming population. Rapidly increasing numbers of tourists in the forests is causing significant disturbance to pandas and their habitats. Some poaching of pandas still occurs. Hunting the animals for their fur has declined due to strict laws and greater public awareness of the panda’s protected status. Information credit: IUCN Red List 

BIOLOGY

Horsfield tarsiers have extraordinarily large golden eyes

Also known as the western tarsier, it is native to Southeast Asia including Borneo, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Tarsiers reside in a wide variety of habitats and Horsfield’s tarsier seems to prefer the edge of secondary forests. They live to 15 years in the wild. Alongside their large eyes, they have thin, almost translucent, scalloped ears. Horsfield’s tarsiers have short forelimbs and greatly elongated hind limbs that allow them to jump up to 16.5 ft (5 m), about 40 times their body length, between branches. Long, thin skeletal-looking fingers and toes are fitted with large pads at the tips that allow tarsiers to tightly grab branches and prey. Fingernails and toenails are flattened, except for the second and third toe digits, which function as grooming claws used to remove dead skin and parasites. These nocturnal primates patiently wait for prey to approach. Tarsiers have keen hearing and locate their prey primarily by sound. Their ability to rotate their head 180 degrees in each direction allows them to easily spy, and then ambush, potential dinner victims. From a fixed position, Horsfield’s tarsiers can reach out and grab a bird or bat, sometimes mid-flight; or they might choose to leap upon their intended target.

THREATS

Habitat loss is the primary threat facing Horsfield’s tarsier. Although they tolerate a measure of habitat disturbance and do well in secondary habitats, Horsfield’s tarsiers do not migrate over long distances. Deforestation, therefore, poses a seriously adverse effect on the population. The species also suffers from the toxic effects of agricultural pesticides. Horsfield’s tarsier is threatened by the illegal pet trade, usually dying within days of capture. Information credit: New England Primate Conservancy

 

BIOLOGY

The Malay word orangutan means “person of the forest”

These long-haired, orangish primates, found only in Sumatra and Borneo, are highly intelligent and are close relatives of humans. Orangutans have an enormous arm span. A male may stretch his arms some 7 feet from fingertip to fingertip—a reach considerably longer than his standing height of about 5 feet. When orangutans do stand, their hands nearly touch the ground. Orangutans' arms are well suited to their lifestyle because they spend much of their time in the trees of their tropical rain forest home. They even sleep aloft in nests of leafy branches. They use large leaves as umbrellas and shelters to protect themselves from the common rains. These cerebral primates forage for food during daylight hours. Most of their diet consists of fruit and leaves gathered from rain forest trees. They also eat bark, insects and, on rare occasions, meat. Orangutans are more solitary than other apes. Males are loners. As they move through the forest they make plenty of rumbling, howling calls to ensure that they stay out of each other's way. The “long call” can be heard 1.2 miles away. The animals are long-lived and have survived as long as 60 years in captivity.

THREATS

Habitat loss for the palm oil and logging industry is one of the main threats to orangutans. Because orangutans live in only a few places, and because they are so dependent upon trees, they are particularly susceptible to logging in these areas. Unfortunately, deforestation and other human activities, such as hunting, have placed the orangutan in danger of extinction. They are also susceptible to the illegal pet trade. Information credit: National Geographic

 

BIOLOGY

Malayan tigers are found only in Peninsular Malaysia and are one of the most endangered wild cats on earth

The Malayan tiger is a symbol of bravery, strength and grandeur in Malaysia. The Malayan tiger is smaller than the Indo-chinese sub-species, and closer in size to the Sumatran tiger. In 2004, genetic analysis revealed that Malayan tigers were a distinct sub-species and reclassified as Panthera tigris jacksoni.

THREATS

Illegal trade in high-value tiger products including skins, bones, meat and tonics is a primary threat to tigers, which has led to their recent disappearance from broad areas of otherwise suitable habitat and continues at unsustainable rates. Asia is a densely populated and rapidly developing region, bringing huge pressures to bear on the large wild areas required for viable tiger populations. Conversion of forest land to agriculture and silviculture, commercial logging, and human settlement are the main drivers of tiger habitat loss. With their substantial dietary requirements, tigers require a healthy large ungulate prey base, but these species are also under heavy human subsistence hunting pressure and competition from domestic livestock. Tiger attacks on livestock and people can lead to intolerance of tigers by neighbouring communities and presents an ongoing challenge to managers to build local support for tiger conservation. Information credit: IUCN Red List

 

BIOLOGY

The smallest living rhinoceros species, Sumatran rhinos are covered in long hair, have two horns and are also closely related to the extinct woolly rhinos

Sumatran Rhinoceros inhabit the tropical rainforest. Males are primarily solitary. Its life-history characteristics are not well known, with longevity estimated at about 35-40 years. Adults are very traditional in the use of their ranges and will not move away unless severely disturbed. Water is never very far away in the habitats occupied by the Sumatran rhino.

THREATS

The two principal threats are poaching and reduced population viability. Hunting is primarily driven by the demand for the supposedly medicinal properties of rhino horns and other body parts for which there is no scientific evidence of benefits to humans. Many centuries of over-hunting has reduced this species to a tiny percentage of its former population and range. The species is now so reduced that there are very small numbers in each locality where it still survives. As a result, breeding activity is infrequent, successful births are uncommon in many populations, and there is a severe risk of inbreeding depression. The species is frequently stated to be sensitive to habitat disturbance, but timber extraction is of little or no significance to the species, as it is robust enough to withstand more or less any forest condition. Information credit: IUCN Red List    

  

BIOLOGY

Snow leopards are one of the world’s most elusive cats, perfectly equipped to thrive in extreme, high-elevation habitats

These rare, beautiful gray leopards live in the mountains of Central Asia. They are insulated by thick hair, and their wide, fur-covered feet act as natural snowshoes. Snow leopards have powerful legs and are tremendous leapers, able to jump as far as 50 feet. They use their long tails for balance and as blankets to cover sensitive body parts against the severe mountain chill. Snow leopards prey upon blue sheep or bharal of Tibet and the Himalaya, as well as the mountain ibex found over most of the rest of their range. Though these powerful predators can kill animals three times their weight, they also eat smaller fare, such as marmots, hares, and game birds.

THREATS

Snow leopards are in dramatic decline because of poaching driven by illegal trade in fur and in body parts used for traditional Chinese medicine. Habitat loss and the decline of the cats' large mammal prey are also contributing factors. Information credit: National Geographic

BIOLOGY

Golden snub-nosed monkeys have a broad, short face with wide-set eyes and a short, flat nose with forward-facing nostrils

Golden Snub-nosed monkeys are large and unusual leaf monkeys found in highland forests of central China and northern Vietnam. The golden snub-nosed monkey lives in the coniferous montane forests of central China at elevations of 1,800–2,700 metres where the temperature drops below freezing in winter and rises only to about 25 °C in summer. They have rich golden brown to golden red fur, and the tail is about the same length as the body. Females are slightly smaller. The trefoil-shaped face of the golden snub-nosed monkey is pale blue, and adult males develop strange red swellings at the corners of the mouth. The scientific name refers to Roxellana, consort of the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, who had reddish-gold hair and, by some accounts, a snub nose. Information credit: Encyclopedia Britannica

THREATS

Habitat loss and degradation are the main threats to the golden snub-nosed monkey. Commercial logging represents a clear threat to species as it destroys their habitat, causes them to move elsewhere and alters their ecology. Even the sound of chainsaws and other logging machinery disturbs the species. Forests are also often cleared for agriculture and pastoralism. Even logging of dead wood adversely affects the golden snub-nosed monkey as the species prefers dead trees as sources of lichens. Hunting has also been called a significant threat to the species. Golden snub-nosed monkeys are also hunted for their fur and trapped by poachers. Also, while not the target of such devices, golden snub-nosed monkeys are sometimes killed in wire snares aimed at capturing musk deer. Information credit: Primate Information Net

 

OCEANIA
Mortimer Primary School, South Shields

Working with Katie Lawrenson, Arts Co-ordinator at Mortimer Primary, children were allocated endangered species from Oceania including some surprising little known creatures including the critically endangered red handfish and the coastal peacock spider a recently discovered species:

BIOLOGY

Koala’s are native to Australia

The Koala is an arboreal folivorous marsupial. It is a native species of Australia and occurs in forests and woodlands, typically dominated by eucalyptus species. The Koala has a specialist diet, mostly limited to foliage of Eucalyptus species, with occasional intake of leaves of other plants. At high population densities, Koalas can defoliate preferred tree species, causing tree death and subsequent Koala population crashes. The Koala is mostly solitary, but individuals have extensive overlap in home ranges.

THREATS

Current threats to this species include continued habitat loss, destruction, fragmentation, bushfires, and disease, as well as drought associated mortality in habitat fragments. Public concern for the species is high. There are management problems with many populations; remnant populations living at high densities in isolated patches of habitat are at greatest risk. The overall distribution of Koalas has been reduced since European settlement. Climate change is likely to have severe consequences for this. Information credit: IUCN Red List

 

BIOLOGY

The dingo is legendary as Australia's wild dog

The Australian animals may be descendants of Asian dingoes that were introduced to the continent some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. These golden canids live alone or in packs of up to ten animals. They roam great distances and communicate with wolf-like howls. Dingo hunting is opportunistic. Animals hunt alone or in cooperative packs. They pursue small game such as rabbits, rodents, birds, and lizards. These dogs will eat fruits and plants as well. They also scavenge from humans, particularly in their Asian range. Dingoes breed only once a year. Females typically give birth to about five pups, which are not independent until six to eight months of age. In packs, a dominant breeding female will kill the offspring of other females.

THREATS

Cross-breeding with domestic dogs represents a significant threat to the long-term persistence of dingoes. Hybrids exist in all populations worldwide and the proportion of hybrids is increasing. Hunting for dingo skin and scalps exist in some regions of Australia. Dingoes are also sold in human food markets in several Asian countries. They are also bred by private individuals and companies in Australia and USA and sold as pets. Information credit: National Geographic

 

BIOLOGY

Humpback whales occur across most of the South Pacific

The diet of these humpback whales consists mainly of krill, which they consume while in Antarctic waters. They are not known to feed while in tropical breeding grounds. During the last two centuries, humpback whales have been hunted intensively, especially in the southern hemisphere, where it was estimated that populations were reduced to a few percent of their pre-exploitation abundance.

THREATS

Threats to humpback whales include entanglement in fishing gear, ship strikes, climate change, toxic contamination and habitat degradation Information credit: IUCN Red List

BIOLOGY

Hawksbill turtles are found throughout the tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans

They avoid deep waters, preferring coastlines where sponges are abundant and sandy nesting sites are within reach. Not particularly large compared with other sea turtles, hawksbills grow up to about 45 inches in shell length. While young, their carapace, or upper shell, is heart-shaped, and as they mature it elongates. Their strikingly coloured carapace is serrated and has overlapping scutes, or thick bony plates. Their tapered heads end in a sharp point resembling a bird’s beak, hence their name. A further distinctive feature is a pair of claws adorning each flipper. Male hawksbills have longer claws, thicker tails, and somewhat brighter colouring than females. They are normally found near reefs rich in the sponges they like to feed on. Hawksbills are omnivorous and will also eat molluscs, marine algae, crustaceans, sea urchins, fish, and jellyfish. Their hard shells protect them from many predators, but they still fall prey to large fish, sharks, crocodiles, octopuses, and humans.

THREATS

Like many sea turtles, hawksbills are a critically endangered species due mostly to human impact. Hawksbill eggs are still eaten around the world despite the turtle’s international protected status, and they are often killed for their flesh and their stunning shells. These graceful sea turtles are also threatened by accidental capture in fishing nets. Information credit: National Geographic

 

BIOLOGY

Peacock spiders are 5mm long and the tail of each of the 44 species of peacock spiders (Maratus) is unique and so is the choreography of each species’ dance

The male peacock spider has black and white stripy legs and when he encounters a female, he initiates courtship by waving his legs like semaphore flags. If this is accepted, he launches his trump card, unwrapping from around his abdomen a disk of brilliant shining and metallic colours and holding this vivid artwork vertically he dances back and forth. All but one of the peacock spider species live in Australia, usually in dry scrubby habitats, the one overseas relative lives in China.  The first peacock spider was described by British arachnologist Octavius Pickard-Cambridge in 1874, and their enchanting dances and displays have only been widely appreciated very recently indeed. While the dancing of one Maratus species had been noted, this was not widely known and dancing had not been seen, or even apparently suspected, in any of the other species. In 2011 a naturalist Jürgen Otto changed all this, he filmed and released an amazing video of the dancing courtship of one species, Maratus volans.  Since 2011 the profile and study of peacock spiders has taken off, 16 new species being described, each beautiful and unique, with Jürgen involved in many of the discoveries. 

THREATS

Due to lack of data threats to Maratus species are unknown although it is possible that many of the species are restricted to small areas which could make them susceptible to habitat loss. Information credit: peacockspider.org

BIOLOGY

Red handfish are considered one of the world’s rarest fish

Endemic to Tasmania’s eastern coast, the red handfish is so named because of its apparent use of its fins as hands, even using a type of walking motion on the seafloor. It’s a benthic fish, preferring to hang around the sandy and rocky bottoms of the seafloor. They’ve been observed eating small crustaceans and worms. There are two colour varieties – one with red embellishments and the other red all over. It grows from about 6cm to about 13.5cm long. The red handfish was first discovered in the 1800s around Port Arthur. In the 1980s a small population was found on the Actaeon Islands, south of Hobart, and the biggest population to date was found on a reef off Primrose Sands around Hobart, 10 individuals, in the 1990s. However, in a survey in 2005, no handfish were found in those areas. They may be hanging on, because in 2010, three individuals were found in the Primrose Sands location. Though the species hasn’t had a full, systematic survey of its numbers, it seems that populations are few and far between, and there’s likely to be not more than 1000 individuals in the wild, and likely only hundreds.

THREATS

Threats to red handfish include poaching for use as pets. Its low reproductive rate and low dispersal rate make is a challenge for the species’ survival. Fragmentation of the populations is also a challenge for reproductive success. Information credit: Australian Geographic

BIOLOGY

Of three species of cassowaries in the world, only the southern cassowary, is found in Australia

Like the emu and ostrich, the southern cassowary is a ratite, a large flightless bird with unusual feathers and other features that distinguish it from all other birds. A striking bird with glossy black plumage, the adult southern cassowary has a tall, brown casque or helmet on top of its head, a vivid blue and purple neck, long drooping red wattles and amber eyes. The purpose of the tall helmet or casque is unknown but it may indicate dominance and age, as it continues to grow throughout life. Cassowaries prefer fallen fruit, but will eat small vertebrates, invertebrates, fungi, carrion and plants. Cassowaries play an important role in maintaining the diversity of rainforest trees. They swallow the fruit whole.

THREATS

A number of factors affect southern cassowary survival. The major threats include habitat loss, fragmentation and modification of habitat, vehicle strikes, dog attacks, human interactions, pigs, disease and natural catastrophic events. Southern cassowary habitat, particularly on the coastal lowlands, has been seriously reduced by land clearing for farming, urban settlement and other development. In recent years, cyclones have damaged large areas of southern cassowary habitat, causing temporary food shortages. Information credit: Queensland Government

 

EXHIBITION POSTERS

Posters featuring original colour Biro drawings of vulnerable species by children for Where Did All the Animals Go? exhibition were designed by Jane to raise funds for Born Free, WCS Malaysia and Save Wild Tigers

 

The official A2 exhibition poster above features drawings by children from Jarrow Cross Primary School, RGS Newcastle, St Mary Magdalen RCVA Primary School, Seaham, Bexhill Academy and Mortimer Primary School and raises funds for the Born Free Foundation 

 

Orangutan A3 poster was created in support of WCS Malaysia for the orangutans of Sarawak. Children of Jarrow Cross CE Primary School produced these splendid colour Biro drawings in a special orangutan drawing workshop held by Jane in April. 

Tiger A3 poster featuring a detail from Jane'soriginal neon orange and black Biro drawing Butterfly Lover above, created in 2014 for Save Wild Tigers and auctioned at their 'Inspire' event in London is sold in support of Save Wild Tigers.
There are a small number of posters still available which can be purchased here

PRINTS

Open edition A4 signed prints of every child's drawing, a selection of which can be seen in the image above, have been made available to purchase for just £10 with profits going directly to Born Free. Order prints here

 

 

Jane would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all participating children, teachers, Head Teachers, and schools, for their commitment and dedication towards making Where Did All the Animals Go? 2019 exhibition such a success. To the many talented children who communicated so brilliantly through their astonishing drawings, the unique beauty of each species, keep drawing! 

The complete catalogue of drawings is available to view in the following video: