Label: Conservation

March 2, 2012

One of the really special things about being a children’s author is that you receive many letters and notes from readers who love your books. Yesterday I received a note that was so sweet and wonderful, I decided to publish it here for others to read. Thank you, Lilly in third grade!

Hi. i’m Lilly. I am nine and in third grade. I love your non-fiction books especially BIG CATS. My favorite animal is a big cat, it is the cheetah. I am kind of obsessed with cheetahs. I would love if you could answer some questions I ask you…what’s your favorite animal, How many pets do you own, What city do live in. Could you please send me a few pictures of animals. Have you ever encountered a cheetah? You are so inspiring to me… you inspire me to do what i love. You say we should protect wildlife which i agree. I have an acrostic just for you…




You have a beautiful heart


On my mind every time I see an animal

U r awesome

Rescuing animals in words


Somebody to know



One of my favorite authors

Notice how wonderful you are at writing


Thank you SO much for your lovely letter and wonderful acrostic. I’m so touched and pleased at what you wrote, Lilly. Cheetahs are great big cats and they are fascinating. I’ve only seen cheetahs in zoos and I’m afraid that I don’t have pictures of the animal to send to you. I only use photos of wild animals that are taken in the wild (not in zoos) in my books, so I get the photos from scientists who study the animals in nature.

I’m not sure I have a single favorite wild animal, but I do enjoy reading and writing about them. The first book I wrote and that was published when I was an adult was a book about animal behavior and I’ve written dozens of books about all kinds of animals since then. 

I live near New York City, and although I don’t have pets any more, I do miss my dog Nova and my two cats, Mittens and Newty Fruity. In fact, I have been reading about aquariums all week. I always used to keep and breed fish, and I think I’m going to start again because I miss it!

Thank you, again, Lilly, for making my day very happy, indeed. 


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(7) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Animal Books, Cats, Kids Write, Conservation   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 28, 2012

Today’s "Cool Photo of the Week" shows the caretaker at a crocodile breeding center in Nepal brushing the teeth of a narrow snouted crocodile. This endangered species is bred in captivity and released into the wild once they can live on their own.


Photo: Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(10) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, Cool Photo, Conservation   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 3, 2012


Yosemite National Park, in Northern California, is one of nature’s most spectacular sights. John Muir, the great American environmentalist, explorer and "father of our national parks," wrote of Yosemite:

"It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter."


Yosemite has been officially declared a World Heritage Site, because of its gorgeous granite cliffs, wild rivers, waterfalls, and giant sequoia groves.

  Yosemite’s sprawling wilderness covers nearly 1,200 square miles - that’s five times bigger than the city of Chicago! The park is a very diverse habitat, providing homes for many plants, insects, birds and other wild animals, including bobcats and gray foxes.

Yosemite National Park is a place that everyone should have the opportunity to see…..but not everyone can travel to Northern California. That is why I was so excited to discover this magnificent, 4-minute-long, high definition video of Yosemite National Park, by filmmakers Sheldon Neill and Colin Delehanty. They used time lapse photography - which means that you film the same scene over a period of time. When it is all strung together into a film, it seems to ‘speed up’ time.

So, this is our "Cool Video of the Week." Enjoy your visit to Yosemite!



Bobcat Photo: U.S. Park Service 


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(7) Comments  •   Labels: Video, Conservation   •  Permalink (link to this article)

December 13, 2011

Today’s Cool Photo of the week is of Avie, a tiny two-toed sloth. She is being raised at the Aviarios Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica, a place for baby sloths who lost their mothers to power lines or road traffic or other accidents. She is an omnivore, and eats both leaves and fruits. 

Sloths spend most of their time in the rainforest canopies of Americas, sleeping up to eighteen hours a day. Perfectly adapted to living in the trees, sloths are also strong and graceful swimmers. The mother bears one infant at a time, and carries it clinging to her belly for up to a year as they move through the trees, learning the ways of the sloth.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Cool Photo, Conservation   •  Permalink (link to this article)

November 16, 2011

Update for readers who were interested in our recent story, Rescued Spider Monkeys, about wild animals that are being illegally captured and sold. Nick News just did a half-hour special related to this subject, called DANGEROUS CROSSROADS: In a world where humans keep expanding their habitat, what happens when wild animals inhabit that same space? The special is now available online, so that you can watch it whenever you want to.

Click here to see some excellent reporting on this important topic for animal lovers.

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Animals, Video, Conservation   •  Permalink (link to this article)

November 8, 2011

The Federal Wildlife Conservation Center outside of Mexico City is the home to many rare and endangered species that have been rescued from illegal smugglers. These spider monkeys are being raised by the center’s specialists after they were found inside an abandoned canvas bag, along with three who didn’t survive.

The black rattlesnake below, seen inside a plastic tube, was also rescued from illegal traffickers. 

According to Mexico’s Federal Wildlife Conservation Department, at least 2,500 different animals are rescued there every year.

If you are interested in wildlife conservation and learning more about what you can do to help stop illegal wildlife trading, the website of The Wildlife Conservation Society is a good place to start. They started in the early 1900’s when they successfully helped the American bison recover on the Western Plains; today, they manage about 500 conservation projects in more than 60 countries. 

As our human population grows, we impact more animal habitats and use more of their resources. By learning more about our impact on nature, we can all help to protect endangered animals.

Photos: Carlos Jasso/Reuters


Posted by: Liz Nealon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Conservation, snakes   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 27, 2011

Our Cool Photo of the Week is of a group of giant panda cubs sleeping in their nursery in the research base of the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, southwest China.

These babies are part of the breeding program at the Chengdu Panda Base, a non-profit organization is dedicated to saving the endangered giant panda through wildlife research, captive breeding and conservation education. The Base was established in 1987 with six giants pandas rescued from the wild, and today the breeding program has increased their captive population (who live in a huge wildlife park) to 83.

China has also just begun its panda census. Every ten years the researchers try to take a count and determine how many of the endangered animals live in the wild, check on their living conditions, and record any changes in habitats.

Students or classes who are interested in helping to save the giant panda can get involved by going to their website and joining the Giant Panda Club.


Photo: MSNBC "Animal Tracks"

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Cool Photo, Conservation   •  Permalink (link to this article)

August 31, 2011









For the past twenty years, a rare group of spiders in Britain have been in danger of becoming extinct. Their natural habitat had become endangered due to the development of towns and the conversion of their environment to farm land. These beautiful spiders are called ladybird spiders in England – because the males have bright red bodies with 4 big black spots on them (much like the insect that we call the ladybug here in the U.S).









When British wildlife experts realized their local population had dwindled to just 56 spiders, they realized it was time to find them a new home! They started by collecting the spiders and allowing them to mate in captivity, so that their numbers could grow. Now, they’ve started introducing the spiders back into the wild. They’ve placed the spiders in a site that’s already home to 240 other species of spiders and hundreds of other insects. What’s interesting is that they’ve introduced the ladybird spiders to this area by placing them in recycled plastic bottles! These bottles are filled with heather and moss to resemble the spiders’ past environment and when the spider is ready to move out, it can crawl out of the bottle and find a suitable new home. Here’s hoping their group gets bigger and we get to see many more of these beautiful spiders in the future!

 Would YOU like to see one? I would!


Read lots more about spiders in these Seymour Simon books:

  Animals Nobody Loves








Photo Credits:

Image 1: Maarten Bos/Flickr 

Image 2: Ian Hughes 




Posted by: Liz Nealon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Animals, Conservation, Insects, Spiders   •  Permalink (link to this article)

June 13, 2011

Welcome to week one of SUMMER VACATION SCIENCE!

Frogs live all over the world. About twenty different kinds are in the United States including bullfrogs, including bullfrogs (Rana cateseiana), leopard frogs (R. pipiens) and green frogs (R. clamitans). Frogs can live almost anywhere if there is enough water.

Summer time is too late in the year to collect frogs’ eggs, but you can certainly collect tadpoles. Tadpoles will grow into frogs in a home aquarium or in a large wide-mouthed jar. But keep in mind that it’s important for you to be able to return the baby frogs to their natural environment after you’ve kept them.

Click here to download today’s unit: FROM TADPOLES TO FROGS, to learn not only how to do this yourself, but also how to help protect frogs and their habitats. 

This summer, our goal is to get kids outdoors, exploring and enjoying the world around them. Check back here throughout the summer for new installments of Summer Vacation Science.


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Summer Vacation Science, Conservation, Frogs   •  Permalink (link to this article)

May 17, 2011

This is a Three-Toed Sloth (Bradypus tridactylus). Sloths are arboreal, which means that they live in trees. They are built to hang, using those long claws to get a good grip on branches.

They are among the slowest moving creatures on Earth, spending about 18 hours a day hanging from a branch, sleeping. In fact, sloths move around so little that green algae grows on their furry coats! The algae works as camouflage because when a sleeping sloth is hanging from a branch, it looks like a bunch of leaves.

Sloths even mate and give birth while hanging in the trees, and their babies travel by hanging onto their mothers for the first nine months of their lives.

The three-toed sloth is an herbivore (a plant-eater) that eats at night, and it is about the size of a cat. They are endangered, due to the destruction of their tropical rainforest habitats in Central and South America.


You can read more about Tropical Rainforests in my latest book, which is now also available as an eBook for the Nook Color and iPad.

Photo: Christian Mehlführer


READERS: Are you wondering how to add your own "comment" to this blog? Click here for exact directions on how to add a comment so you can become one of our Seymour Science writers! We also want you to be safe and not share too much information when you write on this blog, so please take a minute to read about how to stay safe on the Internet. We love to hear from you, so give "comments" a try! 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Cool Photo, Conservation, Tropical Rainforests   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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