tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/endangered_species1 endangered species news from mongabay.com 2014-04-17T15:45:19Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13095 2014-04-17T15:37:00Z 2014-04-17T15:45:19Z Okapi-killing warlord shot dead in the Democratic Republic of the Congo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/deadokapi.okapi.unesco.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The head of an informal militia and poaching group, Paul Sadala a.k.a. 'Morgan,' was killed on Monday after surrendering himself to the army in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A well-known elephant poacher and terrorist, Morgan became most famous for leading an attack on the Okapi Wildlife Reserve station in 2012. Jeremy Hance 1.402597 28.573283 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13074 2014-04-14T13:32:00Z 2014-04-14T13:46:05Z Riddled with tumors: another blow to the Sumatran rhino species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0414.sumatranrhino.Pict4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservation for Sumatran rhinos suffered another blow last week, only days after Suci&#8212;one of only ten rhinos in captive breeding efforts&#8212;died at Cincinnati Zoo. Scientists in the Malaysian state of Sabah revealed that a newly captured female, Iman, suffers from an assortment of tumors in her uterus, hugely complicating reproduction efforts. Jeremy Hance 5.171292 118.639881 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13066 2014-04-10T16:00:00Z 2014-04-13T14:32:24Z Giant ibis, little dodo, and the kakapo: meet the 100 weirdest and most endangered birds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0410.Philippine-Eagle-3_ALAIN-PASCUA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The comic dodo, the stately great auk, the passenger pigeon blotting out the skies: human kind has wiped out nearly 200 species of birds in the last five hundred years. Now, if we don't act soon we'll add many new ones to the list: birds such as the giant ibis, the plains-wanderer, and the crow honeyeater. And these are just a few of the species that appear today on the long-awaited EDGE list. Jeremy Hance -21.538109 165.761064 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13031 2014-04-03T21:11:00Z 2014-04-05T04:17:32Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Connecting deforestation to disease <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0403.gillespie.portait.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Thomas Gillespie is concerned with the connections between conservation and disease, with a particular emphasis on primates. Much of his research examines the places where humans and animals are at a high risk of exchanging pathogens, and how human-caused disturbances, such as deforestation, can change disease dynamics and impacts. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13014 2014-04-01T15:24:00Z 2014-04-01T16:23:25Z Death of young Sumatran rhino shouldn't discourage captive breeding efforts say conservationists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0331.Terri-and-Suci-2009.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Just over two weeks ago, conservationists in the Malaysian state of Sabah managed to finally catch a wild Sumatran rhino female after months of failed attempts. But following such hopeful events, comes bad news thousands of miles away: a young female rhino, named Suci, died over the weekend at the Cincinnati Zoo. Jeremy Hance 39.142873 -84.508063 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12992 2014-03-27T15:49:00Z 2014-03-30T18:54:23Z Kala: the face of tigers in peril <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0327.kala.Image-4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1864, Walter Campbell was an officer in the British Army, stationed in India when he penned these words in his journal: "Never attack a tiger on foot&#8212;if you can help it. There are cases in which you must do so. Then face him like a Briton, and kill him if you can; for if you fail to kill him, he will certainly kill you." In a stroke of good fortune for the tiger, perceptions in India have changed drastically since Campbell's time. Tiger hunting is now banned and conservationists are usually able to rescue the big cats if they become stranded while navigating increasingly human-occupied areas. But is this enough to save the tiger? Jeremy Hance 21.168602 79.645198 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12982 2014-03-25T19:43:00Z 2014-03-25T20:42:19Z Europe approves vet drug that killed off almost all of Asia's vultures <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0325.cinereous_vulture-01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Europeans first arrived in North America, they exterminated three to five billion passenger pigeons (<i>Ectopistes migratorius</i>) in the short span of a century through a combination of habitat destruction and hunting. In 1914, the last living passenger pigeon perished at the Cincinnati Zoo. Despite the staggering scale of this extinction event, three species of vulture from Southeastern Asia retain the dubious distinction of having had the most rapid population crash of any avian fauna. They might not have begun with numbers as large as the passenger pigeon, but within the space of a single decade, their populations were reduced by 96 to 99 percent. Jeremy Hance 25.365863 78.632792 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12977 2014-03-24T19:31:00Z 2014-03-24T19:59:04Z Over 9,000 primates killed for single bushmeat market in West Africa every year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0324.bushmeat.tcs.monkeys.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the past 25 years, West Africa's primates have been put at risk due to an escalating bushmeat trade compounded with forest loss from expanding human populations. In fact, many endemic primates in the Upper Guinea forests of Liberia and Ivory Coast have been pushed to the verge of extinction. To better understand what’s happening, a recent study in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science investigated the bushmeat exchange between these neighboring countries. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12974 2014-03-24T18:43:00Z 2014-03-24T19:04:51Z Bizarre, endangered bird discovered in high densities The turkey-sized, noisy, fruit-feasting guans are arguably one of the strangest wildlife sightings in the tropical forests of Central and South America. Ancient animals, these birds are members of the Cracidae family&#8212;which also include equally-odd currasows and chachalacas&#8212;and are actually distantly related to megapode, or mound-building, birds of Australiasia. A new study in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science looks at a particularly endangered guan: the Cauca gaun (<i>Penelope perspicax</i>). Jeremy Hance 3.291219 -76.752808 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12973 2014-03-24T13:29:00Z 2014-03-24T14:33:53Z Meet Iman: the Sumatran rhino's newest hope for survival <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0323.iman.Picture2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hopes for one of the world's most imperiled megafauna rose this month when wildlife conservationists succeeded in catching a female Sumatran rhino named Iman in the Malaysian state of Sabah. The female, which experts believe to be fertile, has since been successfully transferred via helicopter to the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary where experts plan to mate her with the local male, Tam. Located in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary is an uncompleted semi-wild enclosure and home to one of several last-ditch efforts to save the vanishing species from extinction. Jeremy Hance 4.936987 117.673531 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12958 2014-03-21T00:45:00Z 2014-03-27T22:01:55Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Offer health care for forest protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0320.health.Danzer_027545.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Kinari Webb has a superpower: the ability to provide high-quality health care in a remote and rural landscape. And she uses her power not only to save lives, but also to protect the remaining Bornean rainforests. Twenty-one years ago, Kinari Webb traveled to Borneo to work with orangutans. She witnessed the faltering health of both the people and the environment and saw that the two issues were inseparable. When families must choose between the health of their children and the health of the forest that supports them, everyone loses. But in the region of Gunung Palung National Park &#8212; where an estimated 10 percent of the world's orangutans live &#8212; illegal logging and slash and burn farming methods paid the bills and locals saw few alternatives. Kinari vowed to study medicine and return with more to offer. Jeremy Hance -0.961310 109.975687 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12957 2014-03-20T15:06:00Z 2014-03-20T15:20:59Z Panda lemur making a comeback <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0311.Andriantantely-greater-bamboo-lemur-%C2%A9-Hery-Randriahaingo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's biggest populations of greater bamboo lemurs (<i>Prolemur simus</i>)&#8212;sometimes known as the panda lemur&#8212;has doubled in just three years, giving conservationists new hope that the species can be kept from extinction. With the recent arrival of twenty babies, a community conservation project run by the Aspinall Foundation has boosted the local population to over 100 individuals in Andriantantely, one of Madagascar's only surviving lowland rainforests. Greater bamboo lemurs are currently categorized as Critically Endangered, though they were once believed extinct until hidden populations were uncovered in the 1980s. Jeremy Hance -18.700073 48.801227 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12952 2014-03-19T20:35:00Z 2014-03-19T21:04:28Z Scientist discovers a plethora of new praying mantises (pictures) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0319.mantises.70197.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite their pacific name, praying mantises are ferocious top predators with powerful, grasping forelimbs; spiked legs; and mechanistic jaws. In fact, imagine a tiger that can rotate its head 180 degrees or a great white that blends into the waves and you'll have a sense of why praying mantises have developed a reputation. Yet, many praying mantis species remain little known to scientists, according to a new paper in ZooKeys that identifies an astounding 19 new species from the tropical forests of Central and South America. Jeremy Hance -12.970571 -69.553499 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12925 2014-03-14T14:04:00Z 2014-03-21T13:35:23Z A Turtle's Tale: researchers discover baby turtles' kindergarten (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0314turtle150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Kate Mansfield, at her lab in the University of Central Florida, is holding a baby loggerhead turtle, smaller than her palm, painting manicure acrylic on its shell. When the base coat dries out, she glues on top a neoprene patch from an old wetsuit with hair extensions adhesive. Finally, she attaches a satellite tracker on top, the size of a two "party cheese" cubes, with flexible aquarium silicone, powered by a tiny solar battery. Now the little turtle is ready to be released back into the ocean. Jeremy Hance 27.785146 -65.912109 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12918 2014-03-12T18:09:00Z 2014-03-23T15:00:00Z Conservationists catch wild Sumatran rhino, raising hope for world's most endangered rhinoceros <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0312.crop.sabah_407.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservationists have succeeded in catching a wild Sumatran rhino in the Malaysia state of Sabah in Borneo, according to local media reports. Officials are currently transferring the rhino, an unnamed female, to a rhino sanctuary in Tabin National Park where experts will attempt to mate it with the resident male, Tam. The Sumatran rhino (<i>Dicerorhinus sumatrensis</i>) is one of the world's most imperiled species with less than 100 individuals left. Jeremy Hance 4.964906 117.690075 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12892 2014-03-07T15:15:00Z 2014-03-07T15:30:44Z Local knowledge sheds light on some of the world's strangest mammals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/jlh/dominican-republic/150/DR-jlh-092.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the difficulties of studying rare and endangered species is that they are, by definition, hard to find. Scientists attempting to understand their distributions and the threats to their survival can spend hundreds of hours in the field while collecting little data, simply because sightings are so few and far between. Tiffany Roufs 18.145869 -71.731010 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12876 2014-03-05T17:05:00Z 2014-03-05T19:06:25Z Rhino with bullet in its brain and hacked off horn wanders for days before being put down <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0405.poachedrhino.kruger.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last week, visitors in Kruger National Park came on a horrifying sight of the poaching trade: a rhino, still alive, with its horn and part of its face chopped off. The gruesome photo of the young rhino went viral and sent South African authorities scrambling. Five days after the sighting, South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced they found the rhino and put it out of its misery. Jeremy Hance -25.041240 31.488159 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12851 2014-02-28T17:20:00Z 2014-02-28T17:37:21Z Palm oil plantations allegedly poison seven Critically Endangered elephants in Sumatra Wildlife officials suspect foul play in the deaths of seven Sumatran elephants on the outskirts of Tesso Nilo National Park. Officials stumbled on the corpses of one female elephant, five young males, and one male calf in mid-February. Although the males had their tusks hacked off, the officials suspect the elephant were poisoned in revenge for disturbing illegal palm oil plantations inside the park. Jeremy Hance -0.252685 101.712685 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12822 2014-02-25T01:58:00Z 2014-02-25T02:01:37Z Borneo monkeys lose a tenth of their habitat in a decade Four species of langurs monkeys that are endemic to Borneo lost more than a tenth of their habitat in just ten years, finds a study published in the journal <i>Biodiversity and Conservation</i>. Rhett Butler -2.163792 114.064495 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12815 2014-02-23T00:08:00Z 2014-02-24T23:58:07Z If Indonesia can't protect its orangutans, why doesn't it just 'sell' them? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0922.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It is obvious that at the moment Indonesia neither has the political commitment nor ability to safeguard its dwindling populations of orangutans. Despite its Presidentially supported Action Plan to stabilize all remaining wild populations by 2017, orangutan habitats in Sumatra and Borneo are disappearing as rapidly as ever. Rhett Butler 0.727825 111.834898 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12793 2014-02-20T19:14:00Z 2014-02-20T19:57:27Z The lemur end-game: scientists propose ambitious plan to save the world's most imperiled mammal family <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0220.madagascar_0066.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Due to the wonderful idiosyncrasies of evolution, there is one country on Earth that houses 20 percent of the world's primates. More astounding still, every single one of these primates&#8212;an entire distinct family in fact&#8212;are found no-where else. The country is, of course, Madagascar and the primates in question are, of course, lemurs. But the far-flung island of Madagascar, once a safe haven for wild evolutionary experiments, has become an ecological nightmare. Overpopulation, deep poverty, political instability, slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal logging for lucrative woods, and a booming bushmeat trade has placed 94 percent of the world's lemurs under threat of extinction, making this the most imperiled mammal group on the planet. But, in order to stem a rapid march toward extinction, conservationists today publicized an emergency three year plan to safeguard 30 important lemur forests in the journal <i>Science</i>. Jeremy Hance -18.659257 48.441009 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12796 2014-02-20T16:02:00Z 2014-02-20T17:02:46Z Shoot to conserve: Corey Knowlton's rhino hunt escalates the debate over trophy hunting and environmentalism <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0113.800px-Black_rhinos_in_crater.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'After a long conversation with the FBI I have decided to temporarily suspend my activity on this page. I want to thank all of you who have commented [on] this important issue of Black Rhino Conservation.' – Corey Knowlton, Feb 3, 2014. This was the last post on Corey Knowlton's Facebook page. Knowlton is the hunter who won the Dallas Safari Club auction on January 11th to kill a Critically Endangered black rhino. All the money&#8212;$350,000&#8212;will go to a fund to protect rhinos. The plan is that sometime soon&#8212;once the paperwork clears the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service&#8212;Knowlton will go to Namibia on a "trophy hunt" (accompanied by a park service official), shoot the designated rhino, and bring the old bull's hide back home to Texas. Jeremy Hance -19.103648 16.610412 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12783 2014-02-17T19:05:00Z 2014-02-17T19:45:39Z Scientists discover new gecko hanging-on in single forest fragment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0217.newgecko.srilanka.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have identified a new species of day gecko that is the largest in its genus (<i>Cnemaspis</i>) to be found in Sri Lanka. To date, it has been observed only within the Rammalakanda Reserve in southern Sri Lanka, an area spanning just 1,700 hectares, raising questions about the viability of this population and hence the species' long-term prospects. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12773 2014-02-13T16:53:00Z 2014-02-20T19:09:43Z Featured video: camera traps catch jaguars, anteaters, and a sloth eating clay in the Amazon rainforest These are sights that have rarely been seen by human eyes: a stealthy jaguar, a bustling giant armadillo, and, most amazingly, a sloth slurping up clay from the ground. A new compilation of camera trap videos from Yasuni National Park in the Ecuadorean Amazon shows a staggering array of species, many cryptic and rare. Jeremy Hance -0.636851 -76.147327 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12761 2014-02-11T16:29:00Z 2014-02-11T16:37:52Z Incredible encounter: whales devour European eels in the darkness of the ocean depths <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0211.eel.68473.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Critically Endangered European eel makes one of the most astounding migrations in the wild kingdom. After spending most of its life in Europe's freshwater rivers, the eel embarks on an undersea odyssey, traveling 6,000 kilometers (3,720 miles) to the Sargasso Sea where it will spawn and die. The long-journeying eels larva than make their way back to Europe over nearly a year. Yet by tracking adult European eels (Anguilla anguilla) with electronic data loggers, scientists have discovered that some eels never make it to their spawning ground, but instead are swallowed-up in the depths by leviathans. Jeremy Hance 48.341646 -34.643556 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12752 2014-02-10T18:48:00Z 2014-02-10T18:56:04Z Cambodia protects forest for giant ibis Cambodia has set aside an area of forest just slightly smaller than Singapore to protect the country's national bird: the giant ibis (Thaumatibis gigantea). Listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List, the giant ibis is down to just a few hundred birds. Jeremy Hance 14.616807 107.505112 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12750 2014-02-10T14:44:00Z 2014-02-17T08:17:15Z On edge of extinction, could drones and technology save the Little Dodo? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0206.Manumea-painting.-Full-sized-color-adjusted-%C2%A9-Rothman-2013-copy.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Almost nothing is known about the little dodo, a large, archaic, pigeon-like bird found only on the islands of Samoa. Worse still, this truly bizarre bird is on the verge of extinction, following the fate of its much more famous relative, the dodo bird. Recently, conservationists estimated that fewer than 200 survived on the island and maybe far fewer; frustratingly, sightings of the bird have been almost non-existent in recent years. But conservation efforts were buoyed this December when researchers stumbled on a juvenile little dodo hanging out in a tree. Not only was this an important sighting of a nearly-extinct species, but even more so it proved the species is still successfully breeding. In other words: there is still time to save the species from extinction so long as conservationists are able to raise the funds needed. Jeremy Hance -13.572577 -172.504807 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12735 2014-02-06T15:24:00Z 2014-02-10T13:31:22Z Proposed rail and road projects could devastate Nepal's tigers and rhinos <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0206.chitwan.rhino.DSC03514.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Chitwan National Park is a conservation success story. Since its establishment in 1973 the park's populations of both Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) and one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis) have quintupled, a success achieved during a time when both species have been under siege globally by poachers. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the park is also a vital economic resource for locals: last year the park admitted over 150,000 tourists who brought in nearly $2 million in entry fees alone. But all this is imperiled by government plans for a new railway that would cut the park in half and a slew of new roads, according to a group of international conservationists known as the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers (ALERT). Jeremy Hance 27.474161 84.628944 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12719 2014-02-04T14:30:00Z 2014-02-06T09:46:55Z How hunters have become key to saving Bulgaria's capercaillie <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0204.Cap2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Surprising clatter cuts through the silence in the snowy forest shortly before sunrise. The powerful clicking sounds like a dropping Ping-Pong ball before culminating in a loud pop resembling the opening of a champagne bottle. This sound is heard clearly and far. Propped on a thick pine tree branch, with a peacock-fanned tale, relaxed wings and head pointing skyward, a western capercaillie is singing. The song terminates with a low-frequency sound similar to scraping a fork to the bottom of a frying pan. It's exactly during those last few moments of singing that something unusual happens: the male bird goes temporarily deaf. Hence the species' common name in Bulgarian&#8212;deaf bird. Jeremy Hance 41.491607 24.710598 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12708 2014-01-30T15:35:00Z 2014-01-30T15:51:49Z Scientists discover new eagle ray imperiled by Japanese pest program (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0130.neweagleray.head.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have described a new species of eagle ray in the northwest Pacific Ocean, which they have named "narutobiei" (Aetobatus narutobiei) after its local name in Japan. While the new species has long been known by scientists, it was clumped together with the longheaded eagle ray (Aetobatus flagellum) for over two hundred years. Splitting the two species has large-scale conservation impacts, according to the paper describing the new species in PLOS ONE. Jeremy Hance 32.62781 130.077667 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12692 2014-01-28T04:44:00Z 2014-02-20T19:10:56Z 287 amphibian and reptile species in Peruvian park sets world record (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0128Ameerega-macero_photo_Alessandro-Catenazzi_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It's official: Manu National Park in Peru has the highest diversity of reptiles and amphibians in the world. Surveys of the park, which extends from high Andean cloud forests down into the tropical rainforest of the Western Amazon, and its buffer zone turned up 155 amphibian and 132 reptile species, 16 more than the 271 species documented in Ecuador's Yasuní National Park in 2010. Rhett Butler -12.012458 -71.765871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12675 2014-01-22T19:31:00Z 2014-01-24T01:33:13Z One quarter of sharks and rays threatened with extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_hermanus_1165.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One quarter of all shark and ray species are threatened with extinction, according to a new study published in the open-access journal eLife. The paper analyzed the threat and conservation status of 1,041 species of chondrichthyans—the class of fish whose skeletons are made of cartilage instead of bone which includes sharks, rays, skates and chimaeras—and found this group to be among the most threatened animals in the world. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12645 2014-01-16T20:26:00Z 2014-01-16T20:45:42Z Snow leopards and other mammals caught on camera trap in Uzbekistan (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0116.CAM43590-2013-11-16_14-31-13.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists knew that snow leopards (Panthera uncia) still survived in the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan, but late last year they captured the first ever photos. Camera traps in the Gissar Nature Reserve took photos of the big cats, along with bear, lynx, ibex, wild boar, and other mammals. The camera trap program was led by biologists Bakhtiyor Aromov and Yelizaveta Protas working with Panthera, WWF's Central Asia Program, and Uzbekistan's Biocontrol Agency. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12632 2014-01-14T16:40:00Z 2014-01-14T16:47:19Z German government gives tigers $27 million At a summit in 2010, the world's 13 tiger range states pledged to double the number of tigers (Panthera tigris) in the wild by 2020. Today, non-tiger state Germany announced its assistance toward that end. Through its KfW Development Bank, the German government has pledged around $27 million (20 million Euro) to a new program run by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Jeremy Hance -0.870633 102.386627 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12626 2014-01-13T14:01:00Z 2014-01-13T14:20:33Z Trophy hunters auction off life of Critically Endangered black rhino The Dallas Safari Club has auctioned off a permit to shoot-and-kill a Critically Endangered black rhino in Namibia for $350,000. The club says the proceeds from the auction will aid rhino conservation, but the move has upset many wildlife organizations and attracted protestors outside the closed-door auction. In fact the issue has become so contentious that the FBI is currently investigating purported death threats against the Dallas Safari Club members over the issue. Currently, less than 5,000 black rhinos survive in the wild today, a drop of 90 percent since 1960 as the species has been decimated by poaching and habitat loss. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12621 2014-01-10T16:00:00Z 2014-01-10T16:14:49Z Not seen in over 130 years, 'extinct' frog rediscovered in Sri Lanka <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0110.rediscoveredfrogsrilanka.2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1876&#8212;the same year that the first telephone call was made&#8212;the British scientist Albert Günther described a new species of frog from Sri Lanka, but the species, known as the webless shrub frog (<i>Pseudophilautus hypomelas</i>), was never seen again. Having disappeared into history, scientists considered the species extinct&#8212;that is until a 2010 expedition stumbled on 40 mystery frogs. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12614 2014-01-09T19:01:00Z 2014-01-10T07:14:16Z Over 75 percent of large predators declining <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/ripple1HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's top carnivores are in big trouble: this is the take-away message from a new review paper published today in Science. Looking at 31 large-bodied carnivore species (i.e those over 15 kilograms or 33 pounds), the researchers found that 77 percent are in decline and more than half have seen their historical ranges decline by over 50 percent. In fact, the major study comes just days after new research found that the genetically-unique West African lion is down to just 250 breeding adults. Jeremy Hance 44.42906 -110.589648 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12610 2014-01-08T22:03:00Z 2014-01-09T19:47:45Z Lions face extinction in West Africa: less than 250 survive <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0108.Henschel_Lion_Niokolo-Koba_NP_SenegalCREDIT.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The lions of West Africa, which may represent a distinct subspecies, are on the precipice of extinction. A sober new study in PLOS ONE reports that less than 250 mature lions survive in the region. Scientists have long known that West Africa's lions were in trouble, but no one expected the situation to be as dire as it was. In fact, in 2012 scientists estimated the population at over 500. But looking at 21 parks, scientists were shocked to find lions persisted in just four with only one population containing more than 50 individuals. Jeremy Hance 11.248102 1.598455 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12611 2014-01-08T14:46:00Z 2014-01-09T11:18:52Z Requiem or recovery?: the Sumatran rhino 200 years after its description <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0108.Sumatran-Rhino-Skull-Bell-1793.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1893, William Bell, a surgeon in the service of the Dutch East India Company stationed in Bencoolen, Sumatra, examined the body of a dead rhinoceros. The animal, a male, was relatively small as rhinoceroses go, measuring only four feet four inches at the shoulder and eight feet five inches from its nose to the tip of its tail. Dr. Bell noted that the animal resembled a large hog and judged it to be a young individual based upon the condition of the bones and teeth. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12602 2014-01-07T14:34:00Z 2014-01-07T14:48:43Z Scientists uncover new crocodile in Africa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0107.slender.croc1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists working in Africa have uncovered a new crocodile species hiding in plain site, according to a paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Looking at the molecular data of the slender-snouted crocodile, the researchers discovered two distinct species: one in West Africa and another in Central Africa. Although mostly lumped together as one species (Mecistops cataphractus) for over a hundred and fifty years, the scientists found that the two species have actually been split for at least seven million years, well before the evolution of hominins. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12593 2014-01-02T18:49:00Z 2014-01-02T20:01:53Z Good news: Refuge for last blue-throated macaws doubles in size in Bolivia A reserve that is home to the world's largest population of the critically endangered blue-throated macaw (<i>Ara glaucogularis</i>) has been more than doubled in size, reports the American Bird Conservancy (ABC), a group that helped fund the expansion. Rhett Butler -14.051331 -65.188236 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12562 2013-12-23T18:13:00Z 2013-12-23T18:13:48Z Jaguars in Argentine Chaco on verge of local extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1216jaguar150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The majestic jaguar (<i>Panthera onca</i>), the largest of the New World cats, is found as far north as the southern states of the US, and as far south as northern Argentina. In the past jaguars ranged 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) further south, but their range has shrunk as habitat loss and human disturbance have increased. Overall, jaguars are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN, but the level of risk facing jaguars varies by region. Populations in Argentina, at the present-day southern range limit, have previously been identified as some of the most threatened of them all. Tiffany Roufs -26.667096 -60.959474 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12566 2013-12-23T05:32:00Z 2014-01-08T22:33:52Z Biggest new animal discoveries of 2013 (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1223newsp.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Thousands of species were scientifically described for the first time in 2013. Many of these were 'cryptic species' that were identified after genetic analysis distinguished them from closely-related species, while others were totally novel. Below are some of the most interesting "new species" discoveries that took place or were formally announced in 2013. Rhett Butler -3.447625 -70.127335 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12561 2013-12-22T10:10:00Z 2013-12-27T15:09:10Z Unraveling the secrets of one of the world's most mysterious big cats <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1226sundaleopard150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Sunda clouded leopard has always been shrouded in mystery. Only declared a separate species from its mainland cousin, the Borneo clouded leopard, in 2006, the IUCN lists the cat as Endangered. The distinction between the Borneo clouded leopard (<i>Neofelis nebulas</i>) and the Sunda clouded leopard (<i>Neofelis diardi</i>) was made by ground-breaking molecular coding technologies and anatomy studies of the two species. Although it is Borneo's largest predator, very little is known about the Sunda leopard. As a medium-sized, well-camouflaged and mostly nocturnal animal, the leopard has evaded researchers since its discovery eight years ago. Tiffany Roufs 5.238657 118.325043 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12551 2013-12-20T04:08:00Z 2013-12-20T04:12:12Z Conservation Hail Mary works: Mate for near-extinct fish found! Researchers are celebrating after an urgent global search turned up a female mate for a fish that is on the brink of extinction. Rhett Butler -15.858481 48.877804 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12540 2013-12-19T15:01:00Z 2013-12-27T03:54:13Z Top 10 HAPPY environmental stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1101olinguito.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China begins to tackle pollution, carbon emissions: As China's environmental crisis worsens, the government has begun to unveil a series of new initiatives to curb record pollution and cut greenhouse emissions. The world's largest consumer of coal, China's growth in emissions is finally slowing and some experts believe the nation's emissions could peak within the decade. If China's emissions begin to fall, so too could the world's. Jeremy Hance 39.906576 116.413665 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12539 2013-12-18T17:35:00Z 2013-12-18T17:49:47Z Madagascar's most famous lemur facing big threats <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1218.MakiMom.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The ring-tailed lemur (<i>Lemur catta</i>), perhaps the most well-known of Madagascar’s endemic animals, is facing a "very high" risk of extinction in the wild. The Madagascar Section of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group reassessed the Red List status of ring-tailed lemurs and upgraded the species from Near-Threatened (2008) to Endangered (2012). Ring-tailed lemurs are facing extinction in some parts of Madagascar because of continued habitat loss, and more recently, species exploitation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12528 2013-12-16T22:30:00Z 2014-01-19T03:05:14Z Scientists make one of the biggest animal discoveries of the century - a new tapir <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1216.newtapir.SUNP0052.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In what will likely be considered one of the biggest (literally) zoological discoveries of the Twenty-First Century, scientists today announced they have discovered a new species of tapir in Brazil and Colombia. The new mammal, hidden from science but known to local indigenous tribes, is actually one of the biggest animals on the continent, although it's still the smallest living tapir. Described in the Journal of Mammology, the scientists have named the new tapir Tapirus kabomani after the name for 'tapir' in the local Paumari language: Arabo kabomani. Jeremy Hance -4.609278 -69.810333 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12522 2013-12-16T21:17:00Z 2014-02-20T19:15:58Z A bird's eye view of hornbills in northeast India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1216.4HBs_Shreya.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hornbills are as peculiar, as they are magnificent. Their calls especially, can sound rather strange to the uninitiated - some grunt, some growl, and some cackle maniacally. These queer birds, with their large brightly-colored curved beaks, and a distinctive cavity-nesting habit, are also totem animals for many tribes in India. Jeremy Hance 27.454389 96.540694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12511 2013-12-12T16:25:00Z 2013-12-12T16:49:16Z Big data shows tropical mammals on the decline <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1212.ci_34523868_Full.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's largest remote camera trap initiative&#8212;monitoring 275 species in 17 protected areas&#8212;is getting some big data assistance from Hewlett-Packard (HP). To date, the monitoring program known as the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network has taken over 1.5 million photos of animals in 14 tropical countries, but conservationists have struggled with how to quickly evaluate the flood of data. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12496 2013-12-10T14:09:00Z 2013-12-27T03:35:31Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_1126.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>1. Carbon concentrations hit 400ppm while the IPCC sets global carbon budget: For the first time since our appearance on Earth, carbon concentrations in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million. The last time concentrations were this high for a sustained period was 4-5 million years ago when temperatures were 10 degrees Celsius higher. Meanwhile, in the slow-moving effort to curb carbon emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) crafted a global carbon budget showing that most of the world's fossil fuel reserves must be left untouched if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12494 2013-12-09T18:39:00Z 2013-12-09T18:54:27Z New mountain porcupine discovered in Brazil (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1209.Coendou-baturitensis---Foto-Hugo-Fernandes-Ferreira.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In Brazil's Baturite Mountains, scientists have uncovered a new species of prehensile-tailed porcupine, according to a new paper in Revista Nordestina de Biologia. Dubbed, the Baturite porcupine (Coendou baturitensis), the new species was discovered when scientists noticed significant differences between it and its closest relative, the Brazilian porcupine (Coendou prehensilis). The name prehensile-tailed refers to these porcupines long, mobile tail which they use as a fifth limb to adroitly climb trees. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12492 2013-12-05T22:06:00Z 2013-12-05T23:50:20Z Like ancient humans, some lemurs slumber in caves <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar/150/madagascar_5761.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>After playing, feeding, and socializing in trees all day, some ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) take their nightly respite in caves, according to a new study in Madagascar Conservation and Development. The findings are important because this is the first time scientists have ever recorded primates regularly using caves (see video below). Jeremy Hance -23.680687 44.583492 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12481 2013-12-04T19:46:00Z 2013-12-04T21:24:49Z Microsoft founder funds Africa-wide elephant survey to measure ivory poachers' toll Beginning next year, light planes and helicopters will undertake the first ever continent-wide aerial survey of Africa's vanishing elephant populations. The hugely ambitious initiative, which will count elephant herds in 13 countries, is being funded by Microsoft founder, Paul Allen, through his Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12480 2013-12-04T16:39:00Z 2014-02-20T19:18:12Z Sky islands: exploring East Africa's last frontier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1204.Taveta-two-horned-chameleon-(Kinyongia-tavetana),-South-Pare-Mts.-Tanzania.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The montane rainforests of East Africa are little-known to the global public. The Amazon and Congo loom much larger in our minds, while the savannas of East Africa remain the iconic ecosystems for the region. However these ancient, biodiverse forests&#8212;sitting on the tops of mountains rising from the African savanna&#8212;are home to some remarkable species, many found only in a single forest. A team of international scientists&#8212;Michele Menegon, Fabio Pupin, and Simon Loader&#8212;have made it their mission to document the little-known reptiles and amphibians in these so-called sky islands, many of which are highly imperiled. Jeremy Hance -12.077428 37.631686 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12479 2013-12-03T22:10:00Z 2013-12-03T23:27:40Z Sri Lankan elephant amnesty will lead to poaching, warn conservationists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/elephant150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmentalists have responded with alarm to a proposed amnesty permitting the registration of illegally captured elephants in Sri Lanka. Recent reports in Sri Lankan media have outlined the proposal, stating that during the amnesty period it would be possible to register elephant calves for a fee of about $7,600. Elephants are closely linked with Sri Lankan history and culture, and are considered sacred in both Buddhism and Hinduism. But the situation for elephants in the country is complicated. Tiffany Roufs 7.656553 80.703735 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12478 2013-12-03T21:42:00Z 2013-12-03T22:07:53Z 86 percent of big animals in the Sahara Desert are extinct or endangered <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1203.addax_termit_niger_0512-copyright-Thomas-Rabeil-and-Sahara-Conservation-Fund_150-.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bigger than all of Brazil, among the harshest ecosystems on Earth, and largely undeveloped, one would expect that the Sahara desert would be a haven for desert wildlife. One would anticipate that big African animals&#8212;which are facing poaching and habitat loss in other parts of the world&#8212;would thrive in this vast wilderness. But a new landmark study in Diversity and Distributions finds that the megafauna of the Sahara desert are on the verge of total collapse. Jeremy Hance 22.411029 12.235107 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12476 2013-12-03T15:32:00Z 2013-12-10T14:29:57Z Animal Earth: exploring the hidden biodiversity of our planet <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1203.piper.P248.tif.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Most of the species on Earth we never see. In fact, we have no idea what they look like, much less how spectacular they are. In general, people can identify relatively few of their backyard species, much less those of other continents. This disconnect likely leads to an inability in the general public to relate to biodiversity and, by extension, the loss of it. One of the most remarkable books I have read is a recent release that makes serious strides to repair that disconnect and affirm the human bond with biodiversity. Animal Earth: The Amazing Diversity of Living Creatures written by Ross Piper, a zoologist with the University of Leeds, opens up the door to discovery. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12468 2013-12-02T16:51:00Z 2013-12-02T17:44:22Z Reversing local extinction: scientists bring the northern bald ibis back to Europe after 300 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1202.baldibis.thumb.IMG_3381.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The northern bald ibis (Geronticus eremita), also called the hermit ibis or waldrapp, is a migratory bird. Once, the bald ibis lived in the Middle East, northern Africa and southern and central Europe, but due to hunting, loss of habitat and pesticide-use, the birds disappeared from most of these areas and is currently considered Critically Endangered. It became extinct in Europe 300 years ago; the bird is almost gone in Syria, with only a single individual recorded at the country's lone breeding site in 2013; and the only stronghold left is a small population of around 500 birds in Morocco. But now, a team of scientists from Austria is working to reestablish a self-sustaining, migratory population of bald ibis in Europe. Jeremy Hance 42.433593 11.225853 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12473 2013-12-02T15:28:00Z 2013-12-02T16:57:13Z 22,000 elephants slaughtered for their ivory in 2012 As the African Elephant Summit open in Botswana today, conservationists released a new estimate of the number of African elephants lost to the guns of poachers last year: 22,000. Some 15,000 elephants killed in 42 sites across 27 countries on the continent, according to newly released data from the CITES program, Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE). But conservationists estimate another 7,000 went unreported. The number killed is a slight decrease over 2011 numbers of 25,000. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12466 2013-12-02T13:37:00Z 2013-12-02T17:37:38Z New project works to raise the profile of the world's littlest bear <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1127.sun_bear_closeup.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's least-known bear also happens to be the smallest: sun bears (Helarctos malayanus), so called for the yellowish horseshoe mark on its chest, are found across Southeast Asia. But despite their telltale markings, super-long tongues, and endearing cuteness, sun bears remain little-studied and little-known compared to many of the region's other large mammals. Now, a new project is working to raise the profile of the sun bears of Borneo&#8212;Survival of the Sun Bears&#8212;which are a smaller subspecies of the mainland animals. Jeremy Hance 5.867777 117.94748 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12461 2013-11-27T16:58:00Z 2013-11-27T17:24:45Z Scientists discover new cat species roaming Brazil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1126.L-guttulus-08-TGO_med_res2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a family, cats are some of the most well-studied animals on Earth, but that doesn't mean these adept carnivores don't continue to surprise us. Scientists have announced today the stunning discovery of a new species of cat, long-confused with another. Looking at the molecular data of small cats in Brazil, researchers found that the tigrina&#8212;also known as the oncilla in Central America&#8212;is actually two separate species. The new species has been dubbed Leopardus guttulus and is found in the Atlantic Forest of southern Brazil, while the other Leopardus tigrinus is found in the cerrado and Caatinga ecosystems in northeastern Brazil. Jeremy Hance -25.697226 -48.620796 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12462 2013-11-27T15:52:00Z 2013-12-03T14:45:45Z 28 percent of potential bonobo habitat remains suitable <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1127.bonobo.1.-PICT0017.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Only 27.5 percent of potential bonobo habitat is still suitable for the African great ape, according to the most comprehensive study of species' range yet appearing in Biodiversity Conservation. 'Bonobos are only found in lowland rainforest south of the sweeping arch of the Congo River, west of the Lualaba River, and north of the Kasai River,' lead author Jena Hickey with Cornell told mongabay.com. 'Our model identified 28 percent of that range as suitable for bonobos. This species of ape could use much more of its range if it weren't for the habitat loss and forest fragmentation that gives poachers easier access to illegally hunt bonobos.' Jeremy Hance 0.852954 20.71641 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12453 2013-11-26T18:50:00Z 2014-01-27T15:10:40Z Camera traps reveal Amur leopards are breeding in China (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1126.amurleopards.1.1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Good news today about one of the world's rarest mammals: camera traps in China's Wangqing Nature Reserve have captured the first proof of breeding Amur leopards in the country, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The photos show a mother Amur leopard with two cubs. A recent survey by WWF-Russia estimated the total wild population of Amur leopards at just 50 individuals, but that's a population on the rise (from a possible nadir of 25) and expanding into long-unused territory. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12445 2013-11-26T13:56:00Z 2013-11-26T14:19:14Z Over 350 species added to the IUCN Red List's threatened categories in the last six months <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1125.Island-Fox_Urocyon-littoralis_Guy-Incognito.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The number of threatened species on the IUCN Red List has grown by 352 since this summer, according to an update released today. Currently, 21,286 species are now listed as threatened with extinction out of the 71,576 that have been evaluated. The new update comes with both good and bad news for a number of high-profile imperiled species, but only covers about 4 percent of the world's described species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12443 2013-11-26T00:18:00Z 2013-11-26T14:07:35Z Leatherback sea turtle no longer Critically Endangered <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1125.Leatherback-Turtle_Dermochelys-coriacea_Guy-Marcovaldi.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The leatherback sea turtle&#8212;the world's largest turtle and the only member of the genus <i>Dermochelys</i>&#8212;received good news today. In an update of the IUCN Red List, the leatherback sea turtle (<i>Dermochelys coriacea</i>) has been moved from Critically Endangered to Vulnerable. However, conservationists warn that the species still remains hugely endangered&#8212;and in rapid decline&#8212;in many parts of its range. Jeremy Hance 11.415418 -66.361084 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12444 2013-11-26T00:00:00Z 2013-11-26T14:07:52Z Elusive giraffe-relative - the okapi - now listed as Endangered <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1125.Okapi_Okapia-johnstoni_Bob-Jenkins.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The discovery of the okapi shocked the world in 1901. African explorer, Henry Stanley, called it 'donkey-like,' while others thought it a new species of zebra, given the stripes. However, this notoriously-secretive rainforest ungulate proved to be the world's only living relative of the giraffe, making it one of most incredible taxonomic discoveries of the Twentieth Century as well as one of the last large-bodied mammals to be uncovered by scientists. But the future of the okapi (Okapia johnstoni) is increasingly in doubt: a new update of the IUCN Red List released today has raised the threatened level for the okapi from Vulnerable to Endangered. Jeremy Hance 1.748851 28.482653 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12440 2013-11-25T14:18:00Z 2013-11-28T00:26:45Z New children's book celebrates the rich wildlife of Kibale National Park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1125.Kibale-Cover.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are many ways in which people practice conservation. The most well-known are working to save species in the field or setting up protected areas. But just as important&#8212;arguably more important for long-term conservation success&#8212;is conservation education, especially with children. Anyone who grew up watching David Attenborough documentaries, reading Gerald Durrell books, or simply exploring ecosystems on their own can tell you how important it is to encounter the wonders of wildlife at a young age. And for many of us most of our first encounters with wild animals are in illustrated books. Eric Losh's new book, <i>The Chorus of Kibale</i>, not only provides an educational opportunity for children to become acquainted with the many animals in Kibale National park in Uganda&#8212;through wonderful pictures and sounds&#8212;but proceed also go directly to two conservation groups working in the region, U.N.I.T.E. for the environment and the Primate Education Network (PEN). Jeremy Hance 0.486407 30.38822 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12426 2013-11-21T06:40:00Z 2013-11-21T17:20:07Z Strange mouth-brooding frog driven to extinction by disease <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1121-Rhinoderma-darwinii-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An unusual species of mouth-brooding frog was likely driven to extinction by the fungus <i>Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis</i> (Bd), making an unusual example of 'extinction by infection', argue scientists writing in the open-access journal <i>PLOS ONE</i>. <i>Rhinoderma rufum</i> has not been seen in the wild since 1980. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12364 2013-11-12T17:53:00Z 2013-11-12T18:44:30Z Asia's 'unicorn' photographed in Vietnam <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1112.Female_saola5.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1992, scientists made a spectacular discovery: a large, land mammal (200 pounds) that had somehow eluded science even as humans visited the moon and split the atom. Its discoverers, with WWF and Vietnam's Ministry of Forestry, dubbed the species the saola (<i>Pseudoryx nghetinhensis</i>). Found in the Annamite Mountains in Laos and Vietnam, the saola is a two-horned beautiful bovine that resembles an African antelope and, given its rarity, has been called the Asian unicorn. Since its discovery, scientists have managed to take photos via camera trap of a wild saola (in 1999) and even briefly studied live specimens brought into villages in Laos before they died (in 1996 and again in 2010), however the constant fear of extinction loomed over efforts to save the species. But WWF has announced good news today: a camera trap has taken photos of a saola in an unnamed protected area in Vietnam, the first documentation of the animal in the country in 15 years. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12345 2013-11-11T15:59:00Z 2013-11-18T21:06:09Z Bangladesh plans massive coal plant in world's biggest mangrove forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1110.Sundarbans_MM7666_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On October 22nd Bangladeshi and Indian officials were supposed to hold a ceremony laying the foundation stone for the Rampal power plant, a massive new coal-fired plant that will sit on the edge of the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest. However, the governments suddenly cancelled the ceremony, instead announcing that the project had already been inaugurated in early October by the countries' heads of state via a less-ornate Skype call. While the governments say the change was made because of busy schedules, activists contend the sudden scuttling of the ceremony was more likely due to rising pressure against the coal plant, including a five-day march in September that attracted thousands. Jeremy Hance 22.648235 89.651756 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12337 2013-11-08T15:41:00Z 2013-11-08T15:47:04Z Critically Endangered Jamaican iguana imperiled by port development <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1101iguana150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The story of the Jamaican iguana (<i>Cyclura collie</i>) is one of adversity and resurgence. Once believed extinct, the species has made a remarkable comeback over the last two decades. However, according to concerned scientists, a new plan to build a massive port in the iguana's habitat could push the species back to the edge of extinction. Tiffany Roufs 18.216307 -77.338715 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12324 2013-11-07T15:54:00Z 2014-02-22T01:56:15Z Could camera trap videos galvanize the world to protect Yasuni from oil drilling? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1107.Mosquera-Jaguar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Even ten years ago it would have been impossible to imagine: clear-as-day footage of a jaguar plodding through the impenetrable Amazon, or a bicolored-spined porcupine balancing on a branch, or a troop of spider monkeys feeding at a clay lick, or a band of little coatis racing one-by-one from the dense foliage. These are things that even researchers who have spent a lifetime in the Amazon may never see. Now anyone can: scientists at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Ecuador's Yasuní National Park have recently begun using camera trap videos to take movies of animals few will ever view in their lifetimes. The videos&#8212;following years of photo camera trapping&#8212;provide an intimate view of a world increasingly threatened by the oil industry. Jeremy Hance -0.638117 -76.149784 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12305 2013-11-04T22:23:00Z 2013-11-05T15:28:35Z World's most cryptic feline photographed in logging concession <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1104baycat150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The bay cat is arguably the world's least-known member of the cat family (Felidae). Although first described by scientists in 1874, no photo existed of a living specimen until 1998 and a wild cat in its rainforest habitat wasn't photographed until five years later. Given this, scientists with Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Imperial College London were taken aback when their remote camera traps captured numerous photos of these elusive cats hanging out in a commercial logging concession in Sabah, a state in Malaysian Borneo. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12288 2013-10-30T18:04:00Z 2013-10-30T18:17:41Z DNA tests reveal new dolphin species (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1030.3.-New-species_dolphin_image_3-(small).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With the help of DNA tests, scientists have declared a new dolphin species that dwells off the coast of northern Australia. The discovery was made after a team of researchers looked at the world's humpback dolphins (in the genus <i>Sousa</i>), which sport telltale humps just behind their dorsal fins. While long-known to science, the new, as-yet-unnamed species was previously lumped with other humpback dolphins in the Indo-Pacific region. Jeremy Hance -11.243062 133.853759 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12278 2013-10-29T20:50:00Z 2013-10-29T21:10:24Z Scientists identify individual lizards by their irises <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1030.Tarentola-boettgeri-bischoffi---photo-by-Ricardo-Rocha.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Institutions and governments have been scanning human irises for years to verify one's identity&#8212;Google has been using this method since 2011&#8212;but could iris-scanning be employed on other species as well? According to a new study in <i>Amphibia-Reptila</i>, the answer is 'yes.' Scientists have recently employed iris scanning to visually distinguish individuals of an imperiled gecko subspecies (<i>Tarentola boettgeri bischoffi</i>) found on Portugal's Savage Islands off the coast of Western Sahara. l. Jeremy Hance 30.145944 -15.864179 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12273 2013-10-29T17:40:00Z 2013-10-29T17:51:11Z New campaign: hey China, stop killing the 'pandas of Africa' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1029.Do-you-want-to-own-ivory-dripping-with-blood_-When-the-buying-stops-the-killing-can-too.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new public-service campaign in China will ask potential ivory and rhino horn buyers to see the victims of these illicit trades in a new light: as the "pandas of Africa." The posters are a part of WildAid's 'Say No to Ivory and Rhino Horn' campaign, which was launched earlier in the year. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12271 2013-10-29T13:43:00Z 2014-02-22T01:55:48Z 'Lost' bird rediscovered in New Caledonia along with 16 potentially new species (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1029.ci_17999250_Small.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In early 2011, Conservation International (CI) dubbed the forests of New Caledonia the second-most imperiled in the world after those on mainland Southeast Asia. Today, CI has released the results of a biodiversity survey under the group's Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) to New Caledonia's tallest mountain, Mount Panié. During the survey researchers rediscovered the 'lost' crow honeyeater and possibly sixteen new or recently-described species. Over 20 percent larger than Connecticut, New Caledonia is a French island east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean. Jeremy Hance -20.594625 164.777055 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12261 2013-10-28T13:40:00Z 2013-10-29T16:09:16Z First study of little-known mammal reveals climate change threat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1028.mortlock.Bat.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's least-known flying foxes could face extinction by rising seas and changing precipitation patterns due to global warming, according to a new study in <i>Zookeys</i>. The research, headed by Donald Buden with the College of Micronesia, is the first in-depth study of the resident bats of the remote Mortlock Islands, a part of the Federated States of Micronesia. Jeremy Hance 5.32344 153.73558 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12249 2013-10-24T15:25:00Z 2013-10-28T13:53:50Z Armored giant turns out to be vital ecosystem engineer <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1024.Schafer.Tatu.099.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) is not called a giant for nothing: it weighs as much as a large dog and grows longer than the world's biggest tortoise. However, despite its gigantism, many people in its range&#8212;from the Amazon to the Pantanal&#8212;don't even know it exists or believe it to be more mythology than reality. This is a rare megafauna that has long eluded not only scientific study, but even basic human attention. However, undertaking the world's first long-term study of giant armadillos has allowed intrepid biologist, Arnaud Desbiez, to uncovered a wealth of new information about these cryptic creatures. Not only has Desbiez documented giant armadillo reproduction for the first time, but has also discovered that these gentle giants create vital habitats for a variety of other species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12208 2013-10-16T18:24:00Z 2013-10-16T19:47:05Z Mammal-watching: one man's obsession to see the world's mammals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1016mammals150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are more than 5,000 different mammal species across the globe, but with this number being dwarfed by the 10,000 bird species, it is little wonder that bird-watching has become the most common wildlife watching hobby in the world. While there are thousands of websites dedicated to ornithology enthusiasts, with information detailing the best places to see particular species and how to find them, similar resources about mammals remain scarce. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12207 2013-10-16T17:59:00Z 2013-10-16T18:18:53Z Advertising campaign changing minds in China on ivory trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1016elephant150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For three years, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has been running advertizing campaigns in Chinese cities to raise awareness on the true source of ivory: slaughtered elephants. A recent evaluation of the campaign by Rapid Asia found that 66 percent of those who saw the ads said they would "definitely" not buy ivory in the future. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12200 2013-10-15T19:07:00Z 2013-10-15T20:36:11Z Featured video: 22-year-old produces documentary on the Peruvian Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1015.otter.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Spending a year on the Tambopata River in Peru's deep Amazon, allowed 22-year-old Tristan Thompson, to record stunning video of the much the region's little seen, and little known, wildlife. Thompson, a student at the University of the West of England, has turned his footage into a new documentary <i>An Untamed Wilderness</i> that not only gives viewers an inside look at the world's greatest forests, but also records the secretive behavior of many species, including howler monkeys, aracaris, leaf-cutter ants, hoatzin, and giant river otters. Jeremy Hance -12.998035 -69.601545 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12198 2013-10-15T16:07:00Z 2013-10-15T20:09:23Z Key European species make 'refreshing' comebacks Beaver, bison and eagles are among the species that have made a successful comeback in Europe in the past 50 years, according to a major survey published by a coalition of conservation groups on Thursday. The report selected 37 species that have showed signs of recovery, studied changes in their numbers and range since 1960, and examined the reasons driving their comeback. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12194 2013-10-14T14:34:00Z 2013-10-15T15:19:57Z Meeting the mammal that survived the dinosaurs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/Hispaniolan_Solenodon_crop.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>So, here I am, running in a forest at night over 2,000 miles from home. This forest&#8212;dry, stout, and thorny enough to draw blood&#8212;lies just a few miles north of a rural town in the western edge of the Dominican Republic on the border with Haiti. I'm following&#8212;or trying to keep pace with&#8212;a local hunter and guide as we search for one of the world's most bizarre mammals. It's an animal few people have heard of, let alone actually seen; even most Dominicans don't readily recognize its name or picture. But I've been obsessed with it for six years: it's called a "solenodon," more accurately the Hispaniolan solenodon or its (quite appropriate) scientific name, Solenodon paradoxus. Jeremy Hance 18.052704 -71.726671 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12182 2013-10-10T13:19:00Z 2014-02-22T02:04:15Z Tapirs, drug-trafficking, and eco-police: practicing conservation amidst chaos in Nicaragua <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/jordan.PICT0021.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nicaragua is a nation still suffering from deep poverty, a free-flowing drug trade, and festering war-wounds after decades of internecine fighting. However, like any country that has been largely defined by its conflicts, Nicaragua possesses surprises that overturn conventional wisdom. Not the least of which is that the Central American country is still home to big, stunning species, including jaguars, giant anteaters, pumas, and the nation's heaviest animal, the Baird's tapir (<i>Tapirus bairdii</i>). Still, not surprisingly given the nation's instability, most conservationists have avoided Nicaragua. But tapir-expert Christopher Jordan, who has worked in the country for over four years, says he wouldn't have it any other way. Jeremy Hance 13.982629 -83.465123 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12181 2013-10-09T15:53:00Z 2013-10-09T15:59:52Z Tanzania should implement shoot-to-kill policy for poachers, says government minister A government minister in Tanzania has called for a "shoot-to-kill" policy against poachers in a radical measure to curb the mass slaughter of elephants. Khamis Kagasheki's proposal for perpetrators of the illicit ivory trade to be executed 'on the spot' divided opinion, with some conservationists backing it as a necessary deterrent but others warning that it would lead to an escalation of violence. Jeremy Hance -2.254362 34.600983 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12180 2013-10-09T12:54:00Z 2013-10-09T16:43:41Z WWF risking Sumatran rhinos by releasing camera trap images, says scientist <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1009.02_wwf_video_badak_sumatera_kutai_barat.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On October 2nd, WWF released camera trap videos of Sumatran rhinos surviving in Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. The conservation organization had already announced in April that they had evidence of at least one Sumatran rhino in the province, but the new images confirmed what is likely to be a small surviving population. While this is good news for an animal on the edge of extinction, Erik Meijaard, a researcher who has worked in Indonesia for over 20 years, says WWF has made a mistake publicizing the news around the world, noting 'the last thing those rhinos need is publicity.' Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12176 2013-10-08T14:22:00Z 2013-10-10T16:40:26Z No place like home: scientists discover that male crested penguins head home earlier than females <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1008penguin150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Male crested penguins are hard workers - especially when it comes to their elaborate breeding ritual. After gathering in massive colonies to mate, they find and establish a nesting site, help incubate the eggs females lay, and then guard the chicks after they hatch. Male crested penguins have also been known to arrive at their breeding locations long before the females. But the reasons for this have been largely speculative. Do the males start swimming back to their breeding grounds earlier than the females? Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12160 2013-10-03T16:51:00Z 2013-10-03T18:17:44Z Governments should respond to ocean acidification 'as urgently as they do to national security threats' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_0110.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The oceans are more acidic now than they have been for at least 300m years, due to carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, and a mass extinction of key species may already be almost inevitable as a result, leading marine scientists warned on Thursday. An international audit of the health of the oceans has found that overfishing and pollution are also contributing to the crisis, in a deadly combination of destructive forces that are imperiling marine life, on which billions of people depend for their nutrition and livelihood. Jeremy Hance 22.268764 -152.285163 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12158 2013-10-02T18:57:00Z 2013-10-03T17:23:35Z Unlikely success: how Zimbabwe has become a global leader in rhino conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1002.LRT-rhino-monitor,-Hence,-tracking-a-black-rhino-cow.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With its collapsed economy, entrenched poverty, and political tremors, one would not expect that a country like Zimbabwe would have the capacity to safeguard its rhinos against determined and well-funded poachers, especially as just across the border South Africa is currently losing over two rhinos a day on average. And indeed, without the Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT), rhinos in Zimbabwe would probably be near local extinction. But the LRT, which is centrally involved in the protection of around 90 percent of the country's rhinos in private reserves along with conservancy members, has proven tenacious and innovative in its battle to safeguard the nation's rhinos from the poaching epidemic. Jeremy Hance -20.541387 32.08162 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12152 2013-10-01T14:29:00Z 2013-10-04T17:13:05Z Bornean elephant meets palm oil: saving the world's smallest pachyderm in a fractured landscape <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/09._DSC2466.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the Malaysian state of Sabah, where most conservation students are still foreigners&#8212;either European or American&#8212;Nurzahafarina Othman stands out: not only is she Malaysian, a Muslim, and a mother of a young daughter, but she's rapidly becoming a top researcher and champion for the world's smallest elephant: the Bornean elephant (<i>Elephas maximus borneensis</i>). Although sometimes described as a pygmy elephant, they still weigh 2,000 kilograms (4,400 pounds). The origin of these 'tiny' elephants in Malaysian Borneo have baffled scientists for decades. Jeremy Hance 5.515952 118.2988 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12149 2013-09-30T16:55:00Z 2013-10-02T13:38:17Z African manatee hanging on in Cameroon In the Lower Basin of the Sanaga River in Cameroon, near Lake Ossa and the Douala-Edea National Parks, manatees swim and float about like round, potato-shaped mermaids. This region is home to the West African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis), an aquatic mammal facing a decline in population. Classed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List, the West African manatee is threatened by excessive kills, habitat loss, and habitat degradation. Given this, and the dearth of information about manatees, a group of Cameroon scientists have taken an ethnobiological approach (i.e. the interaction between people and wildlife) by employing skilled, knowledgable locals to collect data on the manatees. Jeremy Hance 3.874531 9.696693 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12146 2013-09-30T16:19:00Z 2014-02-22T02:01:30Z Camera-traps reveal surprising mammals at remote site in Honduras (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0930.honduras.giantarmadillo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A camera trap survey along the Sikre River in Honduras has discovered that the region is home to a menagerie of rare mammals, including giant anteaters. The survey, published in mongabay.com's open access journal, Tropical Conservation Science, recorded five cat species in 70 square kilometers. Jeremy Hance 15.738067 -84.682331 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12143 2013-09-30T15:03:00Z 2014-04-03T16:51:50Z New prioritization for Brazil's threatened mammals pushes little known primates and rodents to the top <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0927brazil150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have applied a species prioritization scheme to Brazil's diverse mammals to deduce which species should become the focus of conservation efforts over the next few years in a new paper published in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science. Jeremy Hance -9.968851 -53.100588 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12147 2013-09-29T17:19:00Z 2013-09-29T20:40:20Z Worst rhino poaching year on record for South Africa At least 688 rhinos have been poached in South Africa this year, surpassing last year's record of 668 with more than three months remaining in 2013, reports the country's top environmental official. Rhett Butler -23.991271 31.568413 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12136 2013-09-27T16:52:00Z 2013-09-27T17:01:47Z Clinton Global Initiative pledges $80 million to combat elephant poaching Hillary and Chelsea Clinton on Thursday deployed their mother-daughter star power to help the effort to save African elephants, brokering an $80m effort to stop the ivory poaching which threatens the animals with extinction. Jeremy Hance 40.761638 -73.979783 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12134 2013-09-27T15:24:00Z 2014-02-22T01:57:50Z Forgotten species: the nearly extinct primate that can be shot on sight <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0926.Ppepieni9.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The attention paid to charismatic popular primates&#8212;such as gorillas, chimps, orangutans, lion tamarins, and even some lemurs&#8212;could make one suppose that conservationists have the protection of our closest relatives well in hand; the astounding fact that no primate species is known to have gone extinct in the last hundred years (despite large-scale destruction of their habitats) seems to confirm this statement. However, looking more closely at the data, one finds that not only are many of the world's primates slipping toward extinction, but a number of them have received little conservation attention. According to the IUCN Red List, a staggering 48 percent of the world's primates are threatened with extinction: that's a worse percentage than amphibians which have been ravaged by a global epidemic. And although a handful of the world's 600-plus primates have garnered conservation adoration, many remain obscure. Jeremy Hance 5.226349 6.29631 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12112 2013-09-23T17:11:00Z 2013-09-23T17:30:49Z Rihanna poses with endangered primate stolen from the wild <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0923.rihanna24f-1-web.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Friday R&B singer, Rihanna, posed in Thailand with a slow loris, an endangered primate that is often illegally touted on the streets of Southeast Asia by pet dealers. The picture, which the celebrity shared on instagram, went viral, and over the weekend Thai police arrested two men&#8212;one 20 and one 16&#8212;who allegedly provided the slow loris to the Rihanna for the impromptu photo. Jeremy Hance 7.874945 98.392754 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12111 2013-09-23T15:39:00Z 2013-09-23T15:56:38Z Not far from Rome, Italy's distinct bear faces down extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0923.Francesco_Culicelli_1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Marsican brown bear is on the brink of extinction. Despite authorities spending millions of Euros on its conservation, high human-caused mortality is menacing the survival of this distinct subspecies. The Marsican brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus) is only found in the Italy's Central Apennines, less than 200 kilometers from Rome. The last reliable research carried out in 2011 by the University La Sapienza in Rome estimated a population of around 49 bears. Not surprisingly, the Marsican bear is at extremely high risk of extinction and is considered Critically Endangered on the Red List of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Jeremy Hance 41.823014 13.769588