Endangered Spotlight: Dhole

Dhole / Cuon alpinus
Current conservation status: Endangered
Population (as of 2015): 4,500-10,500

Siddhesh S. Nimkar / Wikimedia Commons

We hope more people will learn about these endangered animals that urgently need help. For the dhole, we decided to name our Dhole Backpack and Rolling Dhole Backpack after this furry predator.

About

Indian wild dog, whistling dog, mountain wolf — these canids are called many obscure names, but they are more commonly referred to as the dhole (pronounced “dole”). Some first impressions of this animal might be that it is cute and very much resembles a domestic dog, but the truth is dholes are highly social pack hunters that actually compete for food with larger predators such as tigers and leopards.

The dhole is an endangered canid species native to eastern and southern Asia. First recognized by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Vulnerable in 1986, they have recently been classified as Endangered since 2004. A key factor in the dhole’s decline has been the the loss of prey as a result of habitat loss. Farmers in India have also contributed by hunting dholes as sport or to protect their livestock until the species was guarded under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

Threats

  • Hunting – People began to take up dhole hunting as a sport and would actually poison carcasses in hopes that a dhole pack would feed on the contaminated meal and be wiped out.
  • Loss of prey – Dholes mainly feed on ungulates such as deer and pig, but their populations have declined due to overhunting by humans.
  • Habitat loss – As more land is logged or industrialized, both dholes and their prey base lose their homes.

Conservation Efforts

  • Protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II
  • India’s Wildlife Protection Act of 1972
  • Indian government is working to reserve protected areas for dhole populations to regrow, but it has been difficult because of the amount of land required for dhole packs.

What Can You Do

As a relatively unknown species, there are not many dedicated organizations to the protection of dholes, but research is still being conducted on what can be done to assist in conservation efforts. Some organizations are accepting donations toward dhole research.

David V. Raju / Wikimedia Commons

Endangered Spotlight: Black Rhinoceros

Black rhinoceros / Diceros bicornis
Current conservation status: Critically endangered
Population (as of 2015): 5,000-5,500

Yoky / Wikimedia Commons

Our bags are named after endangered animals to bring attention to their struggles. The Black Rhino Laptop Bag was named after the resilient animal that was once hunted to the brink of extinction but has been making a steady recovery.

About

Despite being called the black rhinoceros, these creatures are far from being black in color but rather they are light to dark grey like their counterpart, the white rhinoceros. The one major difference between the two species is actually the shape of their upper lip. While white rhinos are more square-lipped, black rhinos have a hook lip to help them with their browsing feeding habits.

The black rhino is a critically endangered species native to eastern and southern Africa with eight recognized subspecies, of which three have already been driven to extinction. They were first listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 1986 as Endangered, but have been classified as Critically Endangered since 1996. Between 1970 and 1992, the black rhino population was decimated by illegal poaching and the rhino horn trade as the number of black rhinos remaining in the wild fell below 2,400. However, laws and conservation efforts have helped to steadily increase the population to between 5,000 to 5,400.

Threats

  • Poaching – Because rhino horns have been highly sought after as jewelry, medicine and decorative pieces, the high price they fetch also attract interested poachers.
  • Habitat loss – As humans move into the black rhinos’ natural environment, the animals are pushed out and are more susceptible to potential poachers.

Conservation Efforts

  • Protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I
  • Local legislation to combat illegal rhino horn trades
  • Rhinos are kept under strict supervision in sanctuaries and conservancies.

What You Can Do

As long as there is a black market for rhino horns, it is impossible to stop the sale of existing poached rhino horns, but there are many global organizations dedicated to preserving rhinos and their natural habitats. These groups appreciate donations, but if you would like to become directly involved, volunteering is another great option.

Brocken Inaglory / Wikimedia Commons

Brite Buddies Backpacks Now On Pre-order

Introducing the latest dazzling backpacks for your kids…

Brite Buddies backpacks are our newest additions to the EcoZoo series! Made of soft plush fabric, these backpacks are a fun way for your kids to carry their important belongings while lighting up the way on their adventures.

These light-up backpacks feature:


• Bright LED lights with 3 glow settings

• Fun rainbow zipper

• Comfortable padded shoulder straps

• Internal zip pocket for extra storage

• Dual side mesh pockets

 

And like our other bags, they are built from REPREVE materials made from recycled water bottles, so you can rest assure that your kids are not only being fashionable, but also environment-friendly too!

Brite Buddies are now available for pre-order for $19.99 in three playful animal designs: panda, puppy and pig. The last day to pre-order is December 4, 2017.

Orders will be shipped out in early December. Prices will increase after the pre-order run, so don’t wait to get your Brite Buddies!

Tips To Green Your Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and kids (and adults) are preparing for a night of creative costumes and delectable treats. However, Halloween can also be one of the most unfriendly days for the environment. Fortunately, there are some ways to green your Halloween this year.

Make your own costumes: Store-bought costumes can contain toxic PVC plastic parts or toxic dyes that are dangerous not only to yourself but also the environment. Instead, go to a thrift store or find secondhand clothes to make your own spooky costumes. Not only will you help to recycle clothing, but it’s a great DIY project too!

Use safe face makeup: Costume makeup can contain lead and other harmful chemicals. Choose paints that are made from all natural and organic materials. Go Green and and Natural Earth have non-toxic face paints that are also eco-friendly!

Try healthier alternatives to the traditional Halloween candy: Some candies might have artificial dyes and chemicals that are really unhealthy. However, some companies like YumEarth make candy that are actually organic and healthier. There are also non-candy options like dried fruits or roasted pumpkin seeds.

Don’t use those plastic pumpkin buckets: Although they’re popular, plastic pumpkin buckets can be made from plastics that contain harmful BPA or PVC. They also fill up landfills after Halloween since most people throw them away after one day. There are plenty of safer methods of carrying your treats such as a pillow case or reusable grocery bag.

Use all parts of your jack-o-lantern: If you’re carving pumpkins this year, don’t throw away the seeds! Roast them to make a yummy snack for yourself or trick-or-treaters, or use them for compost.

Walk, don’t drive: When trick-or-treating, walk around your neighborhood instead of driving. Not only do you save gas and get exercise, but you also reduce harmful car emissions in the environment.

Donate your costumes after Halloween: Some places can use your costume parts if you don’t plan on reusing them. Your local theater or school might be able to use a vampire cape for an upcoming play, so check with them before you throw your costumes away.

We hope you and your family and friends have a fun and safe Halloween this year!

EcoGear Roadtrip 2017 – Portland

Take a roadtrip with EcoGear! Our friends, Jared and Brandon, took EcoGear to 4 amazing cities along the West Coast and showed us some beautiful sights. Check out the video above to see some of them now!

First stop on our trip is Portland, Oregon. Here’s what Jared thought about his time in one of the coolest, weirdest, hippest cities around:

Growing up in Seattle I’ve always heard of Portland being described as “Seattle’s little brother”. My visit here in September certainly changed that perspective. The waterfront, the bridges, and the food trucks stole my heart very quickly. The people were very friendly, and the public transportation was fantastic. Even while visiting during the Gorge fire and having ash fall on the city, it definitely had me wanting to come back soon.

Jared

Featuring: Pika Backpack, Bighorn 17 Backpack

We are EcoGear

Photo by Jared Gunderson

Welcome to the EcoGear blog!

We started this blog to tell EcoGear’s story and the stories of planet Earth. Since 2006, our mission has been to help maintain a cleaner planet using our bags, designed carefully with the environment in mind. Our bags and backpacks are constructed with recycled fabrics, such as REPREVE fabric made from recycled water bottles, and natural materials.

Did you know that many of our bags are named after endangered species? We want to bring awareness to the critical status of these animals that may soon disappear from the planet we all share. We put the Earth first and we hope that others can join us in preserving the environment and creatures that make this planet beautiful.

Look forward to upcoming posts about green living, travel, endangered animals, and how EcoGear plans on making a positive impact on the world!