To continue our theme of learning about endangered animals, we turned our attention to Senegal (our next country in Around the World in 12 Dishes) and began to study the African manatee. There are three species of manatees, but the African (or West African) manatee is perhaps the least known of the three and the most endangered.
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These animals are known locally as “Mamiwata”, an African name (unfortunately I wasn’t able to discover which African language) for the spirit believed to be embodied by the manatee. The gentle manatees are marine mammals, which means they must surface periodically to breathe. Most manatees are primarily herbivores, but now there is evidence that the African manatee actually eats fish, mollusks, and clams.
The African manatee can be found in the shallow coastal waters, rivers, and estuaries of West Africa and is under threat from poaching, fishing (because of getting caught in fishing nets), and habitat loss from construction of dams. While firm numbers are difficult to come by, it is clear that the African manatee is under grave threat and its population is in danger of disappearing from several of the countries – including Senegal – where it has traditionally lived.
To learn more about the African manatee, I created a word search and word puzzle, which you can download and print here:
Additional Resources on African Manatees:
From Save Our Species
From Save Our Seas
From IUCN Red List
Title image via http://currencewiki.wikispaces.com
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Earth Day Books and Music Giveaway
To inspire earth-friendly practices with your family, I’m so excited to be taking part in an awesome Earth Day giveaway with several other kid bloggers. Several publishers have offered earth-themed books and music prizes for your Earth Day celebrations. Hopefully, these wonderful resources will inspire a love of nature in your children and motivate them to make a difference in the world. Amazon affiliate links are below for your convenience.
The Earth Day Giveaway co-hosts are:
EARTH DAY GIVEAWAY
PRIZE PACK #1
Water Rolls, Water Rises, by Pat Mora
Celebrate the wonders of the water on planet Earth with this poetic and illustrative bilingual book.
Call Me Tree, by Maya Christina Gonzalez
Act out this beautiful bilingual story following a young child mimicking the growth of a tree.
Kings & Queens of the Forest CD, by Kira Willey
Act out a journey to the forest with Kira Willey’s enchanting yoga-inspired music.
Imaginations 2, by Carolyn Clarke
Use guided imagery to explore nature while learning to calm the mind and body with these relaxation stories.
Sophia’s Jungle Adventure, by Giselle Shardlow
Join Sophia and her family on a jungle adventure while learning to appreciate jungle life and doing yoga along the way.
Every Day is Earth Day Kids Yoga Lesson Plan PDF, by Next Generation Yoga
Create an earth-themed yoga session with this kids yoga lesson plan.
Compost Stew, by Mary McKenna Siddals
Dig into composting with this engaging rhyming text.
Too Much Junk song, by Elska
Get inspired to enjoy nature and simplify your life with this new musical adventure.
Backyard Garden CD, by Earthworm Ensemble
Celebrate nature, green living, and gardening with this uplifting new music.
EARTH DAY GIVEAWAY
PRIZE PACK #2
Change the World Before Bedtime, by Mark Kimball Moulton, Josh Chalmers, and Karen Good
Find out how the simple things in life that can inspire huge differences that change the world.
Picture a Tree, by Barbara Reid
Discover new ways to experience trees in this book with stunning imagery.
This Tree Counts, by Alison Formento and Sarah Snow
Practice counting with animals that live in trees.
Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green, by Eileen Spinelli and Anne Kennedy
Join Miss Fox as she teaches her forest animal students how to go green.
In the Garden with Dr. Carver, by Susan Grigsby and Nicole Tadgell
Step into the historical world of Dr. Carver as he teaches children about gardening.
What’s So Special About Planet Earth?, by Robert E. Wells
Learn how planet Earth is different from other planets.
Polar Bear, Why is Your World Melting?, by Robert E. Wells
Learn why and how the world is getting warmer and what we can do about it.
PRIZE PACK #3
Earth Day CD and Recycled Musical Activities eBook, by Daria Marmaluk Hajioannou
Sing and dance to catchy folk music to celebrate our beautiful rainbow world.
Nature Anatomy, by Julia Rothman
Take a look at nature in a new way with this book that explains all about the nature with sketches.
Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun, by Michael J. Caduto
Learn about renewable energy with 22 activities on producing and using it.
Ecology eBook – Ecology Explorations, by Eva Varga
Explore your local ecosystems with this hands-on ten-week life science curriculum.
When the Animals Saved Earth, by Alexis York Lumbard
Read a tale about how animals teach humans to restore balance in nature.
Just Like Me, Climbing a Tree, by Durga Yael Bernhard
Explore trees all over the world and see what a child sees when climbing those trees