Now very little is missing for Valentine’s Day, e WWF Italy proposes to give to those you love the adoption of an endangered species. From koalas to pandas, from polar bears to dolphins, through panthers, giraffes and toucans, there are many animals that need protection, and this link find both the complete list and all the information relating to the digital initiative.

The donated amount will be used to support the work of the organization around the world, for example, it could save gorilla or tiger cubs who have been orphaned by humans.

And always on the occasion of the Valentine’s day, the WWF wants tell about the courtship techniques used by animals. There are those who must prove to be the strongest, those who perform a dance, those who build a nest, those who give gifts or, again, those who change color. Discover some of these rituals below.

COMBATS

THE bison males that inhabit the American prairies and European forests fight each other with the aim of conquering a group of females. Only after proving to be the best can the winner begin the true flirting phase.

Even the males of noble deer they fight each other, but before confronting each other they show their strength and conviction to the other contenders through their bells. These verses serve precisely to identify which specimens are in excellent health.

Male deer © F. Cianchi

EXHIBITIONS AND GIFTS

The gardening birds males create striking “architectural structures” and decorate them with colors and objects. The females then examine both the “nests” and the plumage of the contestants, who to convince them can throw themselves into a dance and offer fruit, berries or stones as wedding gifts.

In the courtship of the peacocks it occurs in specific areas, called leks, where males gather to flaunt their colorful tails and dance. However, it is the females who decide who to mate with.

Peacock © Ola Jennersten – WWF Sweden

DANCE IN TWO

During the reproductive period, the pairs of tower crane they call each other in unison with a typical verse and begin to dance with their wings outstretched, alternating the “two-step” immersions in the water.

The courtship ceremony of the great grebe it involves the exchange of a symbolic gift between male and female, and a “ballet”. The two birds face each other and begin the greeting ritual by rhythmically moving their heads, and raising and lowering the feathers of their heads. After a dive, the partners come closer to each other and, placing chest to chest, with a tuft of plants in their beak, they do the so-called “penguin dance”, scurrying quickly on the water while maintaining an upright position.

Instead, the male and female of the Seahorse they cross tails and snouts, and can even change color, going from a faded orange to a brighter one.

But that’s not all, because WWF Italy wants raise public awareness of the difficulties that some animals encounter during courtship and mating due to human actions.

Deforestation, for example, affects the life oforangutan, typically solitary species, in which the male actively seeks females only in the breeding season. The rainforests, which are their habitat, are being destroyed at an increasingly rapid rate due to the growing demand for valuable wood and land to be converted to palm oil production. These monkeys, therefore, find it increasingly difficult to move and move in search of a partner in a fragmented and degraded environment.

Orangutan © naturepl.com – Anup Shah – WWF

Global warming has serious consequences for the health of people cheetahs: recent studies show that the increase in ambient temperature causes a net reduction in male fertility. This has a direct impact on the reproductive rates of the species, and consequently on its chances of survival.

Cheetahs © Michel Gunther – WWF

To directly affect the reproduction of elephants on the other hand, it is poaching, which mainly kills males and some adult females, because their massive tusks guarantee better profits on the ivory black market. Due to this “selection”, specimens with smaller tusks or even without them live longer on average and are more likely to reproduce. More and more animals are born, therefore, without fangs within wild populations.

Elephants © Shutterstock – John Carnemolla – WWF Sweden

The sex of the sea ​​turtles it depends on the incubation temperature of the eggs from which they are born and which the mothers bury in holes dug in the sand. Warm nests are synonymous with females, fresh nests of males. Global warming could cause the total disappearance of males, and among other things, this species is already threatened by habitat loss, unregulated fishing and plastic pollution.

Caretta caretta turtle © Michael Gunter

Finally, new studies explain that pollution is at the root of hormonal problems that affect the reproductive success of killer whales: those in which high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were found showed a high rate of sterility.

Killer whales © William W. Rossiter – WWF

Opening: a photo by Fritz Pölking – WWF.

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