100 (threatened) species challenge- intro post

I was trying to think of a challenge I could start on the blog that would involve illustrating lots of different animal species to practice natural history illustration and wildlife art, when I came across the 100 species challenge started by pandemoniumfire on deviantart, through a wetcanvas member.

The challenge lists 100 different animal groups (all living, no extinct species) and you choose a species from each group to draw. I thought it would be fun to do this challenge, but I will be choosing all species that are threatened to some degree or another.

A quick search of the IUCN Red List of threatened species and (sadly) it appears that it will not be too hard to find one species in each of these groups.

I think I will start off with Chiroptera- bats. There are so many species to choose from!

File:Acerodon jubatus by Gregg Yan.jpg
Acerodon jubatus (golden-capped fruit bat) by Gregg Yan
Pteropus livingstonii (Livingstones Flying Fox)- the largest bat in the world-
copyright Jeff Goodman

Marianas flying fox videos, photos and facts – Pteropus mariannus – ARKive.

If you would like to do the threatened species challenge too- simply go to the IUCN Red List and search the animal group on the main search box, and a list of species will appear, each with the ‘status’ of the species listed under the name. The IUCN categorises threat to a species at various levels depending on severity of threat to the population, from “least concern” to “critically endangered”.

IUCN conservation statuses

Clicking on the species will give you lots more information about the species ecology and why they are threatened.

Another great website with lots of reference pictures is ARKive– a wonderful not-for-profit initiative that was started up to create a record of life on earth, of photos, film and information that can be preserved for future generations. Searching the species you are interested in yields lots of beautifully captured pictures and video. Definitely worth looking at!

Take a look at this Golden-capped fruit bat photo – Acerodon jubatus – G54734 – ARKive.

Art may be a good way to publicise the plight of these animals to a wider audience- so if you do the challenge, remember to share your artwork!

So, have a go and remember to link back to pandemoniumfire‘s challenge page to give credit for the work put into organising the challenge.

Next post on this topic, I hope to go into more details about the ways in which animals are represented in natural history illustration/wildlife art. And hopefully will have started on the bat!

Comment below if you are joining in!

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