South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere in the Southern Hemisphere, with a small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas; the reference to South America instead of other regions has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics. It is bordered on the west on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean, it includes twelve sovereign states, a part of France, a non-sovereign area. In addition to this, the ABC islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Tobago, Panama may be considered part of South America. South America has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers, its population as of 2016 has been estimated at more than 420 million. South America ranks fourth in fifth in population. Brazil is by far the most populous South American country, with more than half of the continent's population, followed by Colombia, Argentina and Peru. In recent decades Brazil has concentrated half of the region's GDP and has become a first regional power.
Most of the population lives near the continent's western or eastern coasts while the interior and the far south are sparsely populated. The geography of western South America is dominated by the Andes mountains. Most of the continent lies in the tropics; the continent's cultural and ethnic outlook has its origin with the interaction of indigenous peoples with European conquerors and immigrants and, more locally, with African slaves. Given a long history of colonialism, the overwhelming majority of South Americans speak Portuguese or Spanish, societies and states reflect Western traditions. South America occupies the southern portion of the Americas; the continent is delimited on the northwest by the Darién watershed along the Colombia–Panama border, although some may consider the border instead to be the Panama Canal. Geopolitically and geographically all of Panama – including the segment east of the Panama Canal in the isthmus – is included in North America alone and among the countries of Central America.
All of mainland South America sits on the South American Plate. South America is home to Angel Falls in Venezuela. South America's major mineral resources are gold, copper, iron ore and petroleum; these resources found in South America have brought high income to its countries in times of war or of rapid economic growth by industrialized countries elsewhere. However, the concentration in producing one major export commodity has hindered the development of diversified economies; the fluctuation in the price of commodities in the international markets has led to major highs and lows in the economies of South American states causing extreme political instability. This is leading to efforts to diversify production to drive away from staying as economies dedicated to one major export. South America is one of the most biodiverse continents on earth. South America is home to many interesting and unique species of animals including the llama, piranha, vicuña, tapir; the Amazon rainforests possess high biodiversity, containing a major proportion of the Earth's species.
Brazil is the largest country in South America, encompassing around half of the continent's land area and population. The remaining countries and territories are divided among three regions: The Andean States, the Guianas and the Southern Cone. Traditionally, South America includes some of the nearby islands. Aruba, Curaçao, Trinidad and the federal dependencies of Venezuela sit on the northerly South American continental shelf and are considered part of the continent. Geo-politically, the island states and overseas territories of the Caribbean are grouped as a part or subregion of North America, since they are more distant on the Caribbean Plate though San Andres and Providencia are politically part of Colombia and Aves Island is controlled by Venezuela. Other islands that are included with South America are the Galápagos Islands that belong to Ecuador and Easter Island, Robinson Crusoe Island, Chiloé and Tierra del Fuego. In the Atlantic, Brazil owns Fernando de Noronha and Martim Vaz, the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, while the Falkland Islands are governed by the United Kingdom, whose sovereignty over the islands is disputed by Argentina.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands may be associate
An endangered species is a species, categorized as likely to become extinct. Endangered, as categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, is the second most severe conservation status for wild populations in the IUCN's schema after Critically Endangered. In 2012, the IUCN Red List featured 3,079 animal and 2,655 plant species as endangered worldwide; the figures for 1998 were 1,102 and 1,197. Many nations have laws that protect conservation-reliant species: for example, forbidding hunting, restricting land development or creating preserves. Population numbers and species' conservation status can be found at the lists of organisms by population; the conservation status of a species indicates the likelihood. Many factors are considered; the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the best-known worldwide conservation status listing and ranking system. Over 50% of the world's species are estimated to be at risk of extinction. Internationally, 199 countries have signed an accord to create Biodiversity Action Plans that will protect endangered and other threatened species.
In the United States, such plans are called Species Recovery Plans. Though labelled a list, the IUCN Red List is a system of assessing the global conservation status of species that includes "Data Deficient" species – species for which more data and assessment is required before their status may be determined – as well species comprehensively assessed by the IUCN's species assessment process; those species of "Near Threatened" and "Least Concern" status have been assessed and found to have robust and healthy populations, though these may be in decline. Unlike their more general use elsewhere, the List uses the terms "endangered species" and "threatened species" with particular meanings: "Endangered" species lie between "Vulnerable" and "Critically Endangered" species, while "Threatened" species are those species determined to be Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered; the IUCN categories, with examples of animals classified by them, include: Extinct no remaining individuals of the species Extinct in the wild Captive individuals survive, but there is no free-living, natural population.
Critically endangered Faces an high risk of extinction in the immediate future. Endangered Faces a high risk of extinction in the near future. Vulnerable Faces a high risk of endangerment in the medium term. Near-threatened May be considered threatened in the near future. Least concern No immediate threat to species' survival. A) Reduction in population size based on any of the following: An observed, inferred or suspected population size reduction of ≥ 70% over the last 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, where the causes of the reduction are reversible AND understood AND ceased, based on any of the following: direct observation an index of abundance appropriate for the taxon a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence or quality of habitat actual or potential levels of exploitation the effects of introduced taxa, pathogens, competitors or parasites. An observed, inferred or suspected population size reduction of ≥ 50% over the last 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, where the reduction or its causes may not have ceased OR may not be understood OR may not be reversible, based on any of to under A1.
A population size reduction of ≥ 50%, projected or suspected to be met within the next 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, based on any of to under A1. An observed, inferred, projected or suspected population size reduction of ≥ 50% over any 10 year or three generation period, whichever is longer, where the time period must include both the past and the future, where the reduction or its causes may not have ceased OR may not be understood OR may not be reversible, based on any of to under A1. B) Geographic range in the form of either B1 OR B2 OR both: Extent of occurrence estimated to be less than 5,000 km², estimates indicating at least two of a-c: Severely fragmented or known to exist at no more than five locations. Continuing decline, observed or projected, in any of the following: extent of occurrence area of occupancy area, extent or quality of habitat number of locations or subpopulations number of mature individuals Extreme fluctuations in any of the following: extent of occurrence area of occupancy number of locations or subpopulations number of mature individuals Area of occupancy estimated to be less than 500 km², estimates indicating at least two of a-c: Severely fragmented or known to exist at no more than five locations.
Continuing decline, observed or projected, in any of the following: extent of occurrence area of occupancy area, extent or quality of habitat number of locations or subpopulations number of mature individuals Extreme fluctuations in any of the following: extent of occurrence area of occupancy number of locations or subpopulations number of mature individualsC) Population estimated to number fewer than 2,500 mature individuals and either: An estimated continuing decline of at least 20% within five years or two generations, whichever is longer, OR A continuing decline, projected
Bolivia the Plurinational State of Bolivia is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The capital is Sucre; the largest city and principal industrial center is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, located on the Llanos Orientales a flat region in the east of Bolivia. The sovereign state of Bolivia is a constitutionally unitary state, divided into nine departments, its geography varies from the peaks of the Andes in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon Basin. It is bordered to the north and east by Brazil, to the southeast by Paraguay, to the south by Argentina, to the southwest by Chile, to the northwest by Peru. One-third of the country is within the Andean mountain range. With 1,098,581 km2 of area, Bolivia is the fifth largest country in South America, the 27th largest in the world and the largest landlocked country in the Southern Hemisphere; the country's population, estimated at 11 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans and Africans.
The racial and social segregation that arose from Spanish colonialism has continued to the modern era. Spanish is the official and predominant language, although 36 indigenous languages have official status, of which the most spoken are Guarani and Quechua languages. Before Spanish colonization, the Andean region of Bolivia was part of the Inca Empire, while the northern and eastern lowlands were inhabited by independent tribes. Spanish conquistadors arriving from Cuzco and Asunción took control of the region in the 16th century. During the Spanish colonial period Bolivia was administered by the Royal Audiencia of Charcas. Spain built its empire in large part upon the silver, extracted from Bolivia's mines. After the first call for independence in 1809, 16 years of war followed before the establishment of the Republic, named for Simón Bolívar. Over the course of the 19th and early 20th century Bolivia lost control of several peripheral territories to neighboring countries including the seizure of its coastline by Chile in 1879.
Bolivia remained politically stable until 1971, when Hugo Banzer led a coup d'état which replaced the socialist government of Juan José Torres with a military dictatorship headed by Banzer. Banzer's regime cracked down on leftist and socialist opposition and other forms of dissent, resulting in the torture and deaths of a number of Bolivian citizens. Banzer was ousted in 1978 and returned as the democratically elected president of Bolivia from 1997 to 2001. Modern Bolivia is a charter member of the UN, IMF, NAM, OAS, ACTO, Bank of the South, ALBA and USAN. For over a decade Bolivia has had one of the highest economic growth rates in Latin America, it is a developing country, with a medium ranking in the Human Development Index, a poverty level of 38.6%, one of the lowest crime rates in Latin America. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing and manufacturing goods such as textiles, refined metals, refined petroleum. Bolivia is rich in minerals, including tin and lithium. Bolivia is named after Simón Bolívar, a Venezuelan leader in the Spanish American wars of independence.
The leader of Venezuela, Antonio José de Sucre, had been given the option by Bolívar to either unite Charcas with the newly formed Republic of Peru, to unite with the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, or to formally declare its independence from Spain as a wholly independent state. Sucre opted to create a brand new state and on 6 August 1825, with local support, named it in honor of Simón Bolívar; the original name was Republic of Bolívar. Some days congressman Manuel Martín Cruz proposed: "If from Romulus comes Rome from Bolívar comes Bolivia"; the name was approved by the Republic on 3 October 1825. In 2009, a new constitution changed the country's official name to "Plurinational State of Bolivia" in recognition of the multi-ethnic nature of the country and the enhanced position of Bolivia's indigenous peoples under the new constitution; the region now known as Bolivia had been occupied for over 2,500 years. However, present-day Aymara associate themselves with the ancient civilization of the Tiwanaku culture which had its capital at Tiwanaku, in Western Bolivia.
The capital city of Tiwanaku dates from as early as 1500 BC when it was a small, agriculturally based village. The community grew to urban proportions between AD 600 and AD 800, becoming an important regional power in the southern Andes. According to early estimates, the city covered 6.5 square kilometers at its maximum extent and had between 15,000 and 30,000 inhabitants. In 1996 satellite imaging was used to map the extent of fossilized suka kollus across the three primary valleys of Tiwanaku, arriving at population-carrying capacity estimates of anywhere between 285,000 and 1,482,000 people. Around AD 400, Tiwanaku went from being a locally dominant force to a predatory state. Tiwanaku expanded its reaches into the Yungas and brought its culture and way of life to many other cultures in Peru and Chile. Tiwanaku was not a violent culture in many respects. In order to expand its reach, Tiwanaku exercised great political astuteness, creating colonies, fostering trade agree
Skunks are North and South American mammals in the family Mephitidae. While related to polecats and other members of the weasel family, skunks have as their closest Old World relatives the stink badgers; the animals are known for their ability to spray a liquid with a unpleasant smell. Different species of skunk vary in appearance from black-and-white to brown, cream or ginger colored, but all have warning coloration; the word "skunk" is an Americanism from the 1630s, the Massachusetts reflex of proto-Algonquian squunck, from a southern New England Algonquian language seganku, from Proto-Algonquian */šeka:kwa/, from */šek-/ "to urinate" + */-a:kw/ "fox." "Skunk" has historic use as an insult, attested from 1841. Skunk cabbage is attested from 1751. In 1634, a skunk was described in the Jesuit Relations: The other is a low animal, about the size of a little dog or cat. I mention it here, not on account of its excellence. I have seen four of them, it has black fur, quite beautiful and shining. The tail is well furnished with hair, like the tail of a Fox.
It is more white than black. But it is so stinking, casts so foul an odor, that it is unworthy of being called the dog of Pluto. No sewer smelled so bad. I would not have believed it. Your heart fails you when you approach the animal. I believe. Skunk species vary in size from about 15.6 to 37 in long and in weight from about 1.1 lb to 18 lb. They have moderately elongated bodies with short, well-muscled legs and long front claws for digging. Although the most common fur color is black and white, some skunks are brown or grey and a few are cream-colored. All skunks are striped from birth, they may have a single thick stripe across back and tail, two thinner stripes, or a series of white spots and broken stripes. Some have stripes on their legs. Skunks are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal material and changing their diets as the seasons change, they eat insects, earthworms, rodents, salamanders, snakes, birds and eggs. They commonly eat berries, leaves, grasses and nuts. In settled areas, skunks seek garbage left by humans.
Less skunks may be found acting as scavengers, eating bird and rodent carcasses left by cats or other animals. Pet owners those of cats, may experience a skunk finding its way into a garage or basement where pet food is kept. Skunks dig holes in lawns in search of grubs and worms. Skunks are one of the primary predators of the honeybee, relying on their thick fur to protect them from stings; the skunk scratches at the front of the beehive and eats the guard bees that come out to investigate. Mother skunks are known to teach this behavior to their young. In addition, in California, skunks dig up yellow-jacket nests in summer, after the compacted soil under oak trees dries out and cracks open, which allows the yellow-jackets to build their nests underground. Skunks are crepuscular and solitary animals when not breeding, though in the colder parts of their range, they may gather in communal dens for warmth. During the day they shelter in burrows. Males and females occupy overlapping home ranges through the greater part of the year 2 to 4 km2 for females and up to 20 km2 for males.
Skunks do den up for extended periods of time. However, they remain inactive and feed going through a dormant stage. Over winter, multiple females huddle together; the same winter den is used. Although they have excellent senses of smell and hearing, they have poor vision, being unable to see objects more than about 3 m away, making them vulnerable to death by road traffic, they are short-lived. In captivity, they may live for up to 10 years. Skunks mate in early spring and are polygynous, meaning that successful males mate with more than one female. Before giving birth, the female excavates a den to house her litter of four to seven kits, they are placental, with a gestation period of about 66 days. When born, skunk kits are blind and covered in a soft layer of fur. About three weeks after birth, their eyes open; the kits are weaned about two months after birth, but stay with their mother until they are ready to mate, at about one year of age. The mother is protective of her kits, spraying at any sign of danger.
The male plays no part in raising the young. Skunks are notorious for their anal scent glands, they are similar to, though much more developed than, the glands found in species of the family Mustelidae. Skunks have one on each side of the anus; these glands produce the skunk's spray, a mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals such as thiols, which have an offensive odor. A skunk's spray is powerful enough t
Felidae is a family of mammals in the order Carnivora, colloquially referred to as cats. A member of this family is called a felid; the term "cat" refers both to felids in general and to the domestic cat. The Felidae species exhibit the most diverse fur pattern of all terrestrial carnivores. Cats have slender muscular bodies and strong flexible forelimbs, their teeth and facial muscles allow for a powerful bite. They are all obligate carnivores, most are solitary predators ambushing or stalking their prey. Wild cats occur in Africa, Europe and the Americas; some wild cat species are adapted to forest habitats, some to arid environments, a few to wetlands and mountainous terrain. Their activity patterns range from nocturnal and crepuscular to diurnal, depending on their preferred prey species. Reginald Innes Pocock divided the extant Felidae into three subfamilies: the Pantherinae, the Felinae and the Acinonychinae, differing from each other by the ossification of the hyoid apparatus and by the cutaneous sheaths which protect their claws.
This concept has been revised following developments in molecular biology and techniques for analysis of morphological data. Today, the living Felidae are divided in two subfamilies, with the Pantherinae including seven Panthera and two Neofelis species; the Felinae include all the non-pantherine cats with 34 species. The first cats emerged during the Oligocene about 25 million years ago, with the appearance of Proailurus and Pseudaelurus; the latter species complex was ancestral to two main lines of felids: the cats in the extant subfamilies and a group of extinct cats of the subfamily Machairodontinae, which include the saber-toothed cats such as the Smilodon. The "false sabre toothed cats", the Barbourofelidae and Nimravidae, are not true cats, but are related. Together with the Felidae, Viverridae and mongooses, they constitute the Feliformia. All members of the cat family have the following characteristics in common: They are digitigrade, have five toes on their forefeet and four on their hind feet.
Their curved claws are protractile and attached to the terminal bones of the toe with ligaments and tendons. The claws are guarded except in the Acinonyx, they protract the claws by contracting muscles in the toe, they passively retract them. The dewclaws do not protract, they have 30 teeth with a dental formula of 188.8.131.52.1.2.1. The upper third premolar and lower molar are adapted as carnassial teeth, suited to tearing and cutting flesh; the canine teeth are large. The lower carnassial is smaller than the upper carnassial and has a crown with two compressed blade-like pointed cusps, their nose projects beyond the lower jaw. They have well developed and sensitive whiskers above the eyes, on the cheeks, on the muzzle, but not below the chin. Whiskers help to capture and hold prey, their skull is foreshortened with large orbits. Their tongue is covered with horny papillae, which rasp meat from aid in grooming, their eyes are large, situated to provide binocular vision. Their night vision is good due to the presence of a tapetum lucidum, which reflects light back inside the eyeball, gives felid eyes their distinctive shine.
As a result, the eyes of felids are about six times more light sensitive than those of humans, many species are at least nocturnal. The retina of felids contains a high proportion of rod cells, adapted for distinguishing moving objects in conditions of dim light, which are complemented by the presence of cone cells for sensing colour during the day, their external ears are large, sensitive to high-frequency sounds in the smaller cat species. This sensitivity allows them to locate small rodent prey, they have flexible bodies with muscular limbs. The plantar pads of both fore and hind feet form compact three-lobed cushions; the penis is boneless. Relative to body size, they have shorter bacula than canids, they can not detect the sweetness of sugar. Felids have a vomeronasal organ in the roof of the mouth; the use of this organ is associated with the Flehmen response. The standard sounds made by all felids include meowing, hissing and growling. Meowing is the main contact sound, they can purr during both phases of respiration, though pantherine cats seem to purr only during oestrus and copulation, as cubs when suckling.
Purring is a low pitch sound of less than 2 kHz and mixed with other vocalization types during the expiratory phase. Most felids are able to land on their feet after a fall due to the cat righting reflex; the colour and density of their fur is diverse. Fur colour varies from light brown to golden and reddish brown, fur pattern from distinctive small spots, stripes to small blotches and rosettes. Most cat species are born except the jaguarundi, Asian golden cat and caracal; the spotted fur of lion and cougar cubs change to a uniform fur during their ontogeny. Those living in cold environments have thick fur with long hair, like the snow leopard and the Pallas's cat; those living in tropical and hot climate zones have short fur. Several species exhibit melanism with all-black individuals. In the great majority of cat species, the tail is between a third and a half of the body length, although with some exceptions, like the Ly
The short-tailed chinchilla —also called the Bolivian, Peruvian, or royal chinchilla—is an endangered species of South American rodent, one of two species in the genus Chinchilla. Their original native range extended throughout the Andes Mountains of Argentina, Chile and Bolivia; these animals were exploited for their luxurious fur. The other species of chinchilla is endangered. Short-tailed chinchillas’ bodies measure between 28 to 49 centimetres long and weigh around 38 to 50 ounces. By comparison, wild long-tailed chinchillas have body lengths up to 26 cm. Male long-tailed chinchillas weigh 13.0–17.4 ounces and females weigh 13.4–15.9 ounces. Domesticated animals are larger: the female weighs up to 800 g and males up to 600 g, they have long, powerful hind legs that aid in climbing and jumping. Short-tailed chinchillas have thicker necks and shoulders, have shorter tails than their long-tailed relatives by a little over one inch. Domestic chinchillas have tails measuring 3 to 6 inches long. In the wild, chinchillas burrow in the ground for shelter.
They live in colder climates, for which they are well-adapted because of their dense fur. They feed upon vegetation, they are social animals living in herds. Many chinchillas are bred in captivity for their fur, fine and dense, is in high demand in the fur industry. Commercial hunting began in 1829 and increased every year by about half a million skins, as fur and skin demand increased in the United States and Europe: “he continuous and intense harvesting rate was not sustainable and the number of chinchillas hunted declined until the resource was considered economically extinct by 1917."Hunting chinchillas became illegal in 1929, but those laws were not enforced until 1983. Domestic chinchillas come from 11 specimens obtained by Mathius F. Chapman in 1923 for the purposes of breeding for the fur trade; because of an impending extinction of short-tailed chinchillas, conservation measures were implemented in the 1890s in Chile. However, these measures were unregulated; the 1910 treaty between Chile, Bolivia and Peru brought the first international efforts to ban the hunting and commercial harvesting of chinchillas.
This effort led to great price increases, which caused a further decline of the remaining populations. The first successful protection law, passed in Chile, was not until 1929. Today, both the short-tailed and long-tailed chinchillas are listed as “endangered” by Chile and by the IUCN; because of successful reproduction in captive environments, chinchillas are less hunted in the wild