Tag Archives: animal

Animal Tracking in the Serengeti


In today’s blog, Julian Omidi discusses animal extinction and how we can get involved in stopping it.

Animal extinction is a global issue that doesn’t get discussed enough. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, literally dozens of species are going extinct every day—and it’s mostly our fault. Human activities over the past century have caused a shocking number of consequences for animals, the most significant being global warming and habitat loss. It’s even more important than ever to raise awareness and involvement in order to slow these alarming rates of extinction.

One group found a rather creative way to do this– through photography.

Between June 2010 and May 2013, a research team led by Alexandra Swanson set up over 200 cameras in Serengeti Park of Tanzania. Their goal was to capture the lives of endangered species that would be difficult to photograph in the presence of humans, so the cameras were mounted on trees or other still objects. They incorporated both motion and heat sensors so that when an animal was near, the camera would be triggered automatically.

As a result, more than 1.2 million sets of photos were captured during this time. The research team was obviously quite overwhelmed by the sheer volume of images they’d have to start sorting through, so they asked an online “citizen science” portal called Zooniverse to help.

Here’s how it works: anyone, even without a background in science or zoology, can log on to this website and register to help with the Snapshot Serengeti project—or a number of others, which cover nature, wildlife, climate, humanities, and even space! Zooniverse uses an algorithm to narrow down the species of the animal photographed based on a number of characteristics that the user can select.

With the help of Zooniverse and 28,000 citizen volunteers from all over the world, Swanson’s team was able to make successful identifications of 48 different species as of last week, many of which are classified as endangered. The project is still open, so I encourage you to try making some identifications of your own! It’s a fun way to make a difference and learn about rare species of animals.

Be good to each other,

Julian Omidi

Julian Omidi is a philanthropist and co-founder of the non-profit organization, Animal Support.


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Gallup poll Finds Americans want more Protection for Animals

In today’s entry, Julian Omidi discusses a new Gallop poll that suggests Americans are increasingly favoring equal rights for animals.

Gallup recently released a poll that showed citizens in the US want more protection for animals. The company began asking a series of three statements to rate how people responded in 2003:

  • Animals deserve the same rights as people
  • Animals deserve some protection
  • Animals don’t need much protection

From 2003 to 2015, those that stated “animals don’t need much protection” remained consistent at only 3%. However, the response “animals deserve the same rights as people” has increased over the years. In 2008, those that felt animals should have equal rights as humans was at 25%. That response has increased to 32% making the national opinion a 7% increase. That means, more people believe that animals should have equal rights as humans.

The findings showed that this response crossed gender, age and political orientation. From 2008 to 2015, there was a rise in the number of men, women, democrats, republicans and ages 18 to 50+. Meaning, Americans as a whole want better rights for animals.

The poll also addressed environments where animals should have better treatment. This included amusement parks, research facilities, sporting events as well as others. A majority of the people were either somewhat concerned or very concerned about the treatment of animals in professional settings.

This shift is a small victory in the treatment of animals. It is good to see that Americans are becoming increasingly concerned with the rights of animals. The more the majority opinion can transform, the more likely animals will obtain more protection and better treatment by society as a whole.

If you are concerned about the well-being of animals, do your part. Advocate for better treatment of animals by joining groups, writing your representatives and voicing your stance online. The more we can share information and reach other people the further we can advance the wellness of animals throughout our country and the world.

Be good to each other,

Julian Omidi

Julian Omidi is the co-founder of Animal Support. He advocates for the fair treatment of animals around the world.

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The Best Career Choices for Animal Lovers

julianIn today’s entry, Julian Omidi takes a look at career paths for people who want to help animals.

Have you ever thought of becoming a zoologist or veterinarian? Perhaps you’d rather be involved with animal training or marine biology. Whatever your particular animal-related field of interest, there is a career for you. Like any other avocation, the choices diverse and most require at least a college degree in a specific subject area. Here’s a quick rundown, from Study.com, of the most common career choices for those who truly love animals and want to spend their lives helping them:

Veterinarian: This is perhaps the best-known and most difficult career path for animal enthusiasts. It’s essentially a doctoral degree program where candidates spend as much money and time as they would in a traditional medical school. You’ll need a solid college transcript to get into vet school. Spots in most schools are limited and highly competitive, so it pays to plan ahead. If you want to become a vet, take as many science courses as possible in college, get part-time jobs at animal clinics or shelters and keep your grades up. The average veterinarian in the U.S. earns close to $100,000 annually as of 2014. (Yes, all that hard work is worth it!)

• Animal care worker: This field is broad and the educational requirements for jobs depend largely on what you do. Growth is expected to continue and jobs are plentiful. Anyone with at least a high school diploma can enter as a staff member at a shelter or an assistant at a veterinary clinic. Many people work as animal groomers during high-school summer breaks.

• Zoologist/biologist: You’ll need at least a college degree to enter this field, but the career choices are wide and well-paying. If you have good observation skills, hold a degree in biology (even marine biology), zoology or a related discipline, you’re good to go. There are also Ph.D. paths for zoologists and biologist which would allow you to teach at the college level. Pay is very good and those willing to travel to remote areas have the best opportunities for advancement.

• Animal massage therapist: This is a relatively new field. Entry requires a high school diploma and massage therapy license in the U.S. Specialized courses in horse, dog and cat massage are a big plus. Some states are now beginning to certify equine (horse) and canine (dog) massage therapists. Many equine therapists work with race horses and top breeders around the world. You won’t get rich, but pay is better than average and you’ll also be able to sell your services to humans as a traditional masseuse/masseur.

Be good to each other, and consider a career in an animal-related field,
Julian Omidi
Julian Omidi, along with his brother Dr. Michael Omidi and mother Cindy Omidi, are advocates and co-founders of numerous non-profit organizations, including Civic Duty and many others.

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