Thursday, February 27, 2014

Making rice noodles in Vietnam

Here's a post we did for The Wilderness Classroom about making rice noodles in Vietnam.  It is a combination of text, photos, and a couple of 1 minute videos where you can see machines used to take the hulls off rice and how they convert rice into rice noodles.

Click here to see the post, and from the post you can see the videos.  You can also go to our youtube channel to see the videos.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Rescuing Vietnamese Turtles

Here's a post we did on The Wilderness Classroom about rescuing endangered Vietnamese turtles.  During our visit to Vietnam's Cuc Phuong National Park, we visited the Turtle Conservation Center (TCC).  They currently house 650 turtles!

An endangered Vietnamese pond turtle

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Interview with

Mongabay is a fantastic environmental science and conservation news site, with great sections for kids. Mongabay aims to raise interest in wildlife and wildlands while promoting awareness of environmental issues.

We recently did an interview with Jeremy Hance of Mongabay.  He titled the story, "Two kids, one year, from the Amazon to the Arctic: the environmental adventure of a lifetime."

Video summary of Vietnam and other posts from our kids

Jamie decided to do a video post about our time in Vietnam.  She wrote the script and we added in photos and some video clips.  Here's her video which can also be found on our kids' blog.

And if you haven't checked out their blog lately, Jamie did a post on dolphins (there's a short video in that post showing dolphins racing along the front of a boat we were on) and Jason just did a post on box turtles.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Langurs and Lorises: Endangered Primates in Vietnam

Here is a post we did on The Wilderness Classroom site about our visit to the Endangered Primate Rescue Center at Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam.

Red-shanked douc langur

Slow loris - nocturnal primates that move VERY slowly, like a sloth

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Vietnam's Emptying Forests

In Vietnam, we wanted to learn about an important issue:  why is there poaching, or illegal killing, of certain endangered animals? 

To find out, we went to ENV (Education for Nature Vietnam).  Animals are trafficked (bought and sold) illegally in Vietnam.  Many animals are also hunted in Vietnam, and sent to China because there is demand there. 

Why would people buy and sell animals illegally?  Here are some examples:
  • Many animals -- such as rhinos, macaques, or tigers -- are killed and used to make traditional medicines
  • Wildlife restaurants” serve exotic dishes to locals and tourists – such as porcupines, mouse deer, monitor lizards, civets, snakes and even bears
  • Animals are kept illegally as pets – monkeys, for example.
  • Some animals are stuffed or hung on the wall as trophies, or status symbols – like shiny lacquered marine turtle shells, or stuffed tigers.
  • Some animals are kept in cages as attractions to bring tourists into restaurants or hotels.
Vietnam’s Rhino:  Extinct
The impact of this illegal demand for animals and animal products is huge.  One example is the Javan rhino, which has been extinct in Vietnam since 2010 (a small population of only 50 Javan rhinos still exists, in Sumatra). 
Indian Rhino (closest known relative to Javan Rhino).
Photo from Jo Oh on Wikipedia
It’s bad enough to kill a rhino, but the really sad thing is that the rhino is just left there – it isn’t even eaten or used for any other purpose except its horn.