The Calendars

In 2018, I started illustrating one endangered species per month, to complete total of 12 illustrations for a non-for-profit calendar that I designed and printed. My goal was to raise awareness for these wonderful creatures, by showing everyone their beauty. In total we raised over 1000$, donated to various conservation groups that strive to further help these animals and therefore our ecosystem. 

In 2020, the series sought not only to capture 12 new endangered species, but also their vulnerable environments. I chose to use traditional media this time, so the pieces can be auctioned off Earth Day 2021(estimate) to raise more funds.

Stay tuned! :)

Our Vulnerable Earth 2021

The word ORANGUTAN is derived from the Malay phrase for “person of the forest”. Imagine, most female Orangutans never touch the ground in their lives. One of their favourite foods is figs. In some corners of the island those are so abundant, that whole groups of Orangutans come together for big feasts.

Habitat: Tropical rainforests of Indonesia

Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Organization: Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme

These sea snails live in jungles of gigantic brown algae (kelp) that can grow half a meter per day. ABALONE feed on kelp, but competition for food is high and heatwaves have led to a rapid decline of kelp forests. To protect them, California suspended the recreational fishing season for Red Abalone until 2021.

Habitat: Coastal waters of North American west coast

Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Organization: Get Inspired

POLAR BEARS’ fur is made of hairs that are hollow, which helps to insulate. Their outside body temperature is nearly as cold as the snow surrounding them. A female was recorded swimming over 680km in nine days without a break. Due to climate change and melting ice, they have to cover increasing distances to find stable sea ice, which they need to raise their cubs and go hunting for seals.

Habitat: Arctic

Status: Vulnerable (IUCN Red List)

Organization: Polar Bears International

BOLSON TORTOISE shells can be up to 40cm long, which is small in comparison to its ancient ancestors that were double that size. This engineer digs long tunnels in order to escape the heat and avoid predators. Adults spend 99% of their lives underground. Originally, this tortoise was also found in the USA, but hunting and habitat destruction lead to its disappearance.

Habitat: Chihuahuan Desert in central north Mexico

Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Organization: Turtle Conservancy

This TROUT was discovered in only four rivers of North Macedonia and Greece. It belongs to the large family of fish commonly referred to as salmon. It spends summers in the Great Prespa Lake and migrates upstream for spawning. Like in many places of the world, the construction of hydroelectric dam creates impassable barriers. 

Habitat: Four rivers in North Macedonia and Greece

Status: Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Organization: Balkan Foundation for Sustainable Development

KOALAS feed solely on Eucalyptus leaves. Due to the low nutrient content of those leaves, Koalas can sleep up to 18 hours a day. Nowadays, they spend an increasing amount of time moving between trees, because their habitat is fragmented by deforestation. This makes them more vulnerable to dog attacks and car accidents.

Habitat: Eucalyptus forests in Australia

Status: Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Organization: Australian Koala Foundation

This orange, fluffy insect can grow up to a size of 40mm and is sometimes called “flying mouse”. It is a key pollinator for many plants that only exist in its range, but the introduction of European bumblebees has led to a rapid decline in its population. Protecting the PATAGONIAN BUMBLEBEE means protecting nature at the most southern tip of the world.

Habitat: Forests of Patagonia in Chile and Argentina

Status: Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Organization: Bumblebee Conservation Trust

MATILDA'S HORNED VIPER was named after the daughter of one of the researchers who discovered it in 2009. It is only found in a small patch of montane rainforest. To protect the most recently described snake species in the world from illegal trade and trophy hunting, the exact location where it was discovered is kept a secret. 

Habitat: Montane rainforest in Tanzania

Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Organization: Wildlife Conservation Society, Tanzania

The last 250 individuals of the JAMAICAN FLOWER BAT prefer to roost in hot caves. They are highly social and sleep together in large colonies that also include bats of other species. They feed on fruits, nectar and pollen, which makes them important pollinators. Due to mainly human impacts, the number of their roosting caves has decreased to only two.

Habitat: Two caves in Jamaica

Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Organization: Bat Conservation International

BANDED GROUND-CUCKOO is a real secret agent. It is so rare that scientists rely on stories from local people to learn about its behaviour. The cuckoo follows swarms of army ants and catches insects that try to escape these ants. It inhabits one of the most biodiverse spots in the world and mostly relies on intact primary rainforest.

Habitat: Chocó region in Ecuador and Colombia

Status: Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Organization: Un poco del Chocó

The AMERICAN BURYING BEETLE is a recycling specialist that keeps our soils full of important nutrients. It eats decaying flesh, which promotes the transfer of nutrients into the soil. It can take more than 1,000 years and lots of hard work from insects like this one to form 2-3cm of fertile soil. 

Habitat: Grass, shrubland, forest edges

Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Organization: Centre for American Burying Beetle Conservation

Great whales are our allies in fighting climate change. By feeding on plankton, they store tons of carbon. After they die, they sink down to the bottom of the ocean, which makes their bodies one of the longest lasting carbon sinks. Many countries have banned whaling, but collisions with vessels or entanglement in fishing gear remain major threats. 

Habitat: Northern Atlantic Ocean

Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Organization: Marine Education and Research Society

Endangered Species 2019

This is the KAKAPO, the world’s only flightless owl parrot, whose entire small population live on islands of New Zealand. They are Critically Endangered due to human hunting and deforestation around early 19th century, it wasn’t until late in the century that the problem was finally beginning to be recognized. There is only about 151 of them currently in the world and they don’t mate very often, unless of course Stephen Fry is present. (Google this ;))

ASIAN ELEPHANTS are listed as endangered species and their habitat is shrinking fast in this day and age. Do not support camps that allow the poor treatment of elephants when you visit Asian countries. Considered reading more about them at WWF and Mahouts, and if you want have to see some (I don’t disagree with you, you SHOULD. They are so majestic they have moved me to tears), consider visiting sanctuaries such as Kindered Spirits , BEESBLES.

MALAYAN TIGER can only be found in Malaysia and Thailand’s southern tip. Dense tropical forests and areas close to rivers is where they most like to inhabit. Only about 250-340 of them left in the wild, they are considered critically endangered. Their strips are thinner compared to those of other tiger and are great camouflagers.

Keeping the populations of wild boars under control is just one of the reasons they are valuable to humans. They also like to eat deer, cattle and goats. Like other subspecies of tiger, their hunting style is stealthy and quick to kill. They can run up to 96km/h! Their coats are pretty but let’s leave it on them and not as hunting trophies.

SUNDA PANGOLIN is one of 8 species of pangolin, and these little guys are from Southeast Asia. Sunda Pangolin or Malayan Pangolin prefer forests and may burrow in trees like this one. Their unique scales, (which are made out of same protein as our hair and nails!) are great protection for them when they are feasting on ant colonies. Other than their large, curved claws, their super long tongue and super sticky saliva are great for digging into those trees and log to find their meal.

HAWKSBILL SEA TURTLES are so god damned beautiful. The fact that they are Critically Endangered makes me super sad. Especially the fact that one of their biggest thread is wildlife trading. I am no scientist, so I would refer you to the big wide world of internet to learn more about them and the WWF for more ways of how we can help. Look at these 5 simple things we can do to help.

COQUEREL’S SIFAKA is a type of lemur that can only be found in Madagascar. They are vegetarian creatures (like me!) that love eating leaves, but also like fruits, flowers, bark and deadwood sometimes. They can leap as high as 30 feet thanks to their powerful legs. Classified as endangered species, these Sifaks’ biggest threat is habitat lost from farming expansions, habitat fragmentation and hunting threats.

OKAPI is one of the most beautiful and elusive animal species that was brought to the Western world’s knowledge in 1901. Appearing to be a mix between a giraffe, zebra and a horse, they are also known as the Forest Giraffe, or Zebra Giraffe. Their closest relative is the giraffe and the only surviving members of the Giraffidae family. One interesting fact about these amazing animals, is that they were known in ancient Egypt! Carved images were found by excavators of the okapis.

AFRICAN WILD DOG also called “Cape hunting dog or painted dog” likes to roam the open plains of Africa. They live in packs and are usually lead by one monogamous breeding couple. As very social pack animals, they like to share food, and help the ill and weak out. One of the ways they communicate is through adorable little sneezes! It is used to vote on when to move on to the next hunt. 

This adorably freckled little bovine is called SAOLA, or Asian Unicorn, is a rarely seen creature since its discoveries two decades ago. It was then one of the first large mammal discovered in more than 50 years . None in captivity and only maybe few hundred or few dozen of them in the wild. Their horns can grow up to 20inches for both male and female. Cousins to cattle but most resemble an antelope. 

WHOOPING CRANE is the tallest bird in North America, and it got its name from the whooping sound their wings make when they flap. There were only about 22 of these majestic creatures left in 1942 and now there are about 280 birds and increasing due to conservation efforts. You can watch and learn about it here and here!! There are puppet cranes and pilots involved! How cool is that?!

AMUR LEOPARD is a rare subspecies of leopards that live in northern regions. Therefore their coat is usually paler compared to their other leopard siblings and have larger and more spaced out rosettes. The coat can grow up to 7.5cm in the winter and is soft and dense. Currently they are listed as critically endangered and there were less than 60 of them in the wild in 2016.

BLUE WHALE, one of the largest creatures ever known to roam the Earth and yet it dwarfs in size compared to its ancestors. It is crazy to think their diet really consist of tiny krills, and a day’s worth of them roughly weighs 4 tons. These heavy weight champs themselves weight about 200 tons, that is about 33 elephants!

Even though they are at the top of the food chain, heavy whaling before 1966, ship injuries and toxins in the ocean are among the top causes of its’ threatened population on top of climate change.