tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/extinction1 extinction news from mongabay.com 2015-06-30T14:39:07Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15057 2015-06-30T14:36:00Z 2015-06-30T14:39:07Z U.S. to remove extinct cougar from Endangered Species Act The U.S. government has declared the Eastern cougar extinct more than 80 years after its a believed a hunter in Maine wiped out the last individual. Scientists still dispute whether the Eastern cougar was a distinct subspecies, but either way officials believe the original population that roamed much of the Eastern U.S. and Canada is gone&#8212;and has been for decades. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15012 2015-06-21T21:10:00Z 2015-06-22T03:44:52Z Study confirms what scientists have been saying for decades: the sixth mass extinction is real and caused by us <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/animals/150/animals_02560.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Humans are wiping species off the plant at a rate at least 100 times faster than historical levels, providing further evidence that we're in the midst of a sixth great extinction, concludes a new study based on 'extremely conservative' assumptions on past and current extinction rates. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14997 2015-06-19T12:58:00Z 2015-06-19T14:13:55Z Can we save the Sumatran rhino? Indonesia holds out hope <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0619.THUMB.Andatu-DCandra-DSC_0221.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'One percent of the world's population,' veterinarian Zulfi Arsan says as he nods towards Bina, a 714-kilogram, 30-year-old female Sumatran rhinoceros leisurely crunching branches whole. A gentle and easygoing rhino, pink-hued Bina doesn't seem to mind the two-legged hominids snapping pictures and awing at her every move at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Jeremy Hance -5.016160 105.758490 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14925 2015-06-08T20:01:00Z 2015-06-09T12:50:59Z Passenger pigeon redo? Superabundant bird collapses across Eurasia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0608.THUMB.trapped-YBB_China_Nov2012_Huang-Qiusheng-(3).jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1914 the world's last passenger pigeon died. Nicknamed, Martha, she was not killed by hunters, but simply old age. With her passing, the passenger pigeon fell into extinction. A hundred years before Martha's death, however, the passenger pigeon may have been the most populous bird in the world with a population often estimated in the billions. Now, conservationists warn history may be repeating itself. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14916 2015-06-05T14:36:00Z 2015-06-17T16:08:10Z Population of Maui's dolphins slips below 50 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0605_BKessler_MauisDolphin_Jump_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Maui's dolphins are edging closer to extinction. Strikingly marked, with a dark, rounded dorsal fin that has been likened to a Mickey Mouse ear, the dolphins max out at just four and a half feet long. New papers show their population has reached a new low, with fewer than 47 individuals remaining alive. Rebecca Kessler -38.853694 175.688381 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14881 2015-05-29T19:18:00Z 2015-06-16T21:55:25Z Invasive predators, deforestation driving Tasmanian parrot over the edge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0529-thumb-swift-juvs-Swift%20and%20Dee-1303.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the forests of Tasmania lives the swift parrot (Lathamus discolour), a highly threatened bird found nowhere else in the world. New research published recently in Biological Conservation finds they are more at risk of extinction than previously thought, with introduced sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) and logging dealing two big blows to their remaining numbers. Morgan Erickson-Davis -41.631093 148.212457 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14790 2015-05-12T19:03:00Z 2015-05-14T15:27:57Z The triumph of the bison: Europe's biggest animal bounces back a century after vanishing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0512.thumb.bison-bialowieza-forest-poland-42.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On a path flanked by thick woods, I first spied our quarry. When she appeared, far away between the long verticals of bare trees, I could hardly believe she was there. She was a ghost, a specter haunting this winter forest. Her horns were prettily curved, her face slender, her whole 400 kilogram (880 pound) mass framed by the trees. Jeremy Hance 52.706366 24.010810 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14732 2015-05-04T15:26:00Z 2015-05-04T15:31:22Z World on course to lose 1 in 6 species to climate change – South America, Australia, New Zealand face even more extinctions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/animals/150/z_00068.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Renowned biologist E.O Wilson, assessing Earth's sixth great extinction now underway, described the future as a shrinking keyhole through which all species must pass as humanity responds to, and hopefully averts catastrophe. A new study published in the journal Science shows that this keyhole could drastically narrow with each degree increase in global temperature due to climate change. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14725 2015-05-01T17:59:00Z 2015-05-01T18:03:05Z Ongoing overkill: loss of big herbivores leading to 'empty landscapes' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0501.ripple5HR.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ten thousand years from now, human historians&#8212;or alien ones&#8212;may view the current wave of biodiversity loss and extinctions as concurrent with the Pleistocene extinction. At that time, peaking around 11,000 years ago, many scientists argue that human hunters killed off the majority of the world's big species. According to a paper today in history may be repeating itself. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14681 2015-04-23T19:15:00Z 2015-06-10T18:31:55Z Officials: Sumatran rhino is extinct in the wild in Sabah <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0423_r_IMG_8536_Small.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are no Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in the Malaysian state of Sabah, confirmed Masidi Manjun, the Tourism, Culture and Envi­ronment Minister, over the weekend. In 2008, conservationists estimated there were around 50 rhinos in the state. Five years later, it dropped that estimate to just ten. Now, it's admitted the awful truth: the wild rhino is very likely gone. Jeremy Hance 5.194121 117.002418 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14539 2015-03-26T14:39:00Z 2015-06-17T00:40:33Z Mexico’s club mosses at risk of extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0325-thumb-club-moss.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>All nine species of the club moss genus Phlegmariurus found in the state of Veracruz in eastern Mexico are at risk of extinction, according to a new study published in the journal Tropical Conservation Science. One of these species, P. orizabae, has not been recorded in the wild since 1854. Morgan Erickson-Davis 18.483162 -95.035593 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14489 2015-03-12T23:56:00Z 2015-03-13T00:03:17Z Newly discovered Brazilian bird may number fewer than 10 individuals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0312-thumb-4-Cichlocolaptes%20mazarbarnetti%20photoart%20by%20Rolf%20Grantsau.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In October 2002, a team of ornithologists at Murici in northeastern Brazil observed and recorded the call of a bird. At that time, the team believed they had chanced upon a rare bird previously described by other researchers as the Alagaos foliage-gleaner (Philydor novasei). Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.191697 -35.932137 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14486 2015-03-12T16:31:00Z 2015-03-17T16:38:06Z Conservationists announce program to protect East Africa's largest elephant population <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0223_elephants_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Tanzanian government have launched an ambitious new initiative to protect East Africa's largest population of elephants (<i>Loxodonta Africana</i>). With funds from USAID, the plan aims to reduce poaching and protect biodiversity - including the area's 25,000 elephants- across an 115,000 square kilometer ecosystem. Tiffany Roufs -6.897289 31.171173 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14451 2015-03-04T16:32:00Z 2015-03-04T16:46:11Z Last ditch: Mexico finally gets serious about saving the vaquita <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0919-vaquita1-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are likely less than 100 vaquita on the planet. Found only in the northern pocket of the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, the vaquita is a tiny, shy porpoise that has been brought to the very edge of extinction due to drowning in gillnets used for shrimping. But after years of stalling, Mexico now appears to be making a final effort to save the world's most endangered cetacean. Jeremy Hance 31.107045 -114.150787 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14398 2015-02-19T15:52:00Z 2015-02-19T16:01:32Z Biodiversity may reduce the threat of disease <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0204_victor_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Biodiversity level changes can have consequences for species and habitats around the world. A new study published in the <i>Proceedings of the Royal Society B</i>, reaffirms previous findings that higher diversity in ecological communities may lead to reduced disease threat. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14375 2015-02-12T20:54:00Z 2015-02-12T21:03:51Z Scientists, NGOs race to save 'Millennium Trees' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0212-thumb-agathis-australis-gerus.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a tiny area of an isolated archipelago in the southwest Pacific lives a unique tree species on the precipice of extinction. Recent research has shown it is declining dramatically, and mature individuals may be completely gone in 100 years. In response, environmental organizations and scientists are coming together to try and save New Caledonia's Millennium Trees. Morgan Erickson-Davis -20.597506 164.775041 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14267 2015-01-15T22:32:00Z 2015-01-16T18:33:46Z Ocean's 15: meet the species that have vanished forever from our seas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/0115.Steller's-sea-cow-Labeled-Peter-Schouten.600.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the last 500 years, the oceans have suffered far fewer extinctions than on land&#8212;at least that we know of. According to a recent study in Science, 15 animals are known to have vanished forever from the oceans while terrestrial ecosystems have seen 514 extinctions. The researchers, however, warn that the number of marine extinctions could rise rapidly as the oceans are industrialized. Jeremy Hance 34.889942 -154.673320 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14265 2015-01-15T19:01:00Z 2015-01-16T18:35:14Z Empty seas? Scientists warn of an industrialized ocean <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/pink-skunk-anemonefish-(Amphiprion-perideraion)---Malin-Pinsky-300.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This is obvious, but still important: humans are not a marine species. Even as we have colonized most of our planet's terrestrial landscapes, we have not yet colonized the oceans. And for most of our history, we have impacted them only on the periphery. A new review in Science finds that this has saved marine species and ecosystems from large-scale damage&#8212;that is, until the last couple centuries. Jeremy Hance 32.139061 -78.793072 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14229 2015-01-07T15:49:00Z 2015-01-07T15:55:11Z Time for a checkup: researchers examine the health of lowland tapirs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1229_taiper_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Brazilian tapir may get a bad rap in Brazil, where referring to someone as a 'tapir' essentially equates to calling them an 'ass,' but history has shown that this species is deserving of a lot more respect. These hardy 'living fossils' have survived multiple extinction events since the Eocene, yet their ability to survive the ongoing Anthopocene extinction remains uncertain. Tiffany Roufs -12.193784 -57.985572 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14197 2014-12-26T14:00:00Z 2014-12-26T14:10:39Z Scientists rediscover Critically Endangered streamside frog in Costa Rica <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1224-montoro-rediscovered-frog-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the past 20 years, amphibian species around the world have experienced rapid decline due to climate change, disease, invasive species, habitat loss and degradation. Populations have decreased by approximately 40 percent with nearly 200 species thought to have gone extinct since 1980. However, despite these discouraging statistics, new research efforts are turning up lost populations of some vanished frogs. Brittany Stewart 8.351337 -83.129618 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14176 2014-12-19T18:11:00Z 2014-12-20T03:24:54Z Puerto Rico's only native toad bounces back from edge of extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1219-thumb-adult-pr-toad.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Once common on the islands of Puerto Rico and Virgin Gorda, the Puerto Rican crested toad declined by more than 80 percent over the past decade, leaving behind just some 200 individuals in the wild. But researchers have turned their fate around. Since 1992, they have successfully bred in captivity and re-introduced to the wild more than 300,000 of these threatened toads. Morgan Erickson-Davis 17.970266 -66.844313 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14168 2014-12-17T22:47:00Z 2014-12-18T16:10:23Z Saving the world's rarest primate: can it be done? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1217-thumb-hainangibbon.568.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Endemic to China’s southernmost province of Hainan, only around 30 Hainan gibbons survive today. Rapid island-wide deforestation and consequential loss of habitat, uncontrolled hunting, and failed captive breeding attempts have pushed this ape towards the precipice of becoming the first primate species to go extinct in the modern world. Will a multi-stakeholder conservation strategy be able to save it? Morgan Erickson-Davis 19.084163 109.149507 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14156 2014-12-15T18:46:00Z 2014-12-17T22:52:07Z Gibbon species pushed towards extinction as island loses its trees <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1215-thumb-gibbons-hainan-endangered-forests.568.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Only about 30 Hainan gibbons currently inhabit our world and all of them are confined to the 2,100-hectare Bawangling National Nature Reserve on the western part of Hainan Island. Endemic to this island, these gibbons primarily inhabited the lowland broadleaf and semi-deciduous monsoon forests that today are almost entirely deforested. Morgan Erickson-Davis 19.084163 109.149507 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14139 2014-12-10T19:30:00Z 2015-04-20T15:38:34Z To collect or not to collect? Experts debate the need for specimens <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/800px-Berlin_Naturkundemuseum_tote_Voegel.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1912, a group of intrepid explorers led by Rollo and Ida Beck, widely acknowledged to be the foremost marine bird collectors of their time, embarked on a most remarkable effort to catalogue South America's oceanic birds. Museums of the day held opportunistically collected specimens from scattered sources, but rarely did these include ocean-bound birds that spent little time near the coast. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14105 2014-12-03T16:29:00Z 2014-12-03T16:47:51Z Is captive breeding the final resort for the Sumatran rhino? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1113_rhino_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearing extinction, the Sumatran rhino is running out of options. A native of Indonesia and Malaysia, the Sumatran rhino has declined in the past 30 years from an estimated 800 individuals to no more than 75 remaining today. So far there have been three ad hoc meetings held in 1984, 1993, and 2013, each attempting to develop policies that would potentially save this critical species. Tiffany Roufs -0.461942 101.655880 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14092 2014-12-01T14:01:00Z 2014-12-01T14:18:24Z Egyptian art helps chart past extinctions of big mammals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1129.image-2.egypt.extinction.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Life in modern Egypt clings to the Nile River. This crowded green strip within the desert supports more than 2,300 people per square kilometer (6,000 per square mile). But 6,000 years ago, all of Egypt was green and vibrant, teeming with life much like the current Serengeti. Over time, this rich ecosystem fell apart. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14070 2014-11-25T19:33:00Z 2014-12-30T22:26:27Z Meet the world's rarest chameleon: Chapman's pygmy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1124.Rhampholeon-chapmanorum-Female---Colin-Tilbury.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In just two forest patches may dwell a tiny, little-known chameleon that researchers have dubbed the world's most endangered. Chapman's pygmy chameleon from Malawi hasn't been seen in 16 years. In that time, its habitat has been whittled down to an area about the size of just 100 American football fields. Jeremy Hance -16.904995 35.196914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14049 2014-11-19T23:06:00Z 2015-02-20T15:17:52Z Gone for good: world's largest earwig declared extinct <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1119.800px-F-auricularia_F_defensive_-_HngVolkstn20090519_46.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world has lost a giant: this week the IUCN Red List officially declared St. Helena giant earwig extinct. While its length of 80 millimeters (3.1 inches) may not seem like much, it's massive for an earwig and impressive for an insect. Only found on the island of St. Helena in the remote southern Atlantic, experts believe the St. Helena giant earwig was pushed to extinction by habitat destruction. Jeremy Hance -15.966195 -5.704836 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14009 2014-11-12T16:50:00Z 2014-12-30T22:27:27Z 'Guns kill trees too': overhunting raises extinction threat for trees <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1112.moonbear.BEAR2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new paper confirms what ecologists have long feared: hunting birds and mammals drastically raises the risk of extinction for tropical trees. Following the long-lifespan of a single canopy tree, Miliusa horsfieldii, researchers discovered that overhunting of animals could increase the chances of extinction for the species fourteen times over a century, from 0.5 percent to seven percent. Jeremy Hance 15.396805 99.164255 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13995 2014-11-10T15:17:00Z 2014-12-30T22:27:37Z It only took 2,500 people to kill off the world's biggest birds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0317.Giant_Haasts_eagle_attacking_New_Zealand_moa.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The first settlers of New Zealand killed off nine species of giant birds, known as moas, with a population no bigger than a few thousand people, according to new research published in Nature Communications. The biggest moas stood up to 3.6 meters (12 feet) tall, making these mega-birds the largest animals in the country and contenders for the biggest birds ever. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13981 2014-11-05T19:43:00Z 2014-11-05T21:20:57Z Perched on the precipice: India's vultures threatened by E.U. sale of killer drug <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1105-thumb-Vultures1Longbilled1WhitebackedNikitaPrakashBNHS.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Poisoned by cattle carcasses treated with Diclofenac, India’s vultures died by the millions in the 1990s. A captive breeding program is helping to save the once-ubiquitous birds, but the very drug that drove India’s vultures to the precipice of extinction has been given a green light in Italy and Spain. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.777961 77.255844 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13964 2014-10-30T19:23:00Z 2014-12-30T22:30:10Z Pet trade likely responsible for killer salamander fungus <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1029.martel5HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As if amphibians weren't facing enough&#8212;a killer fungal disease, habitat destruction, pollution, and global warming&#8212;now scientists say that a second fungal disease could spell disaster for dozens, perhaps hundreds, of species. A new paper finds that this disease has the potential to wipe out salamanders and newts across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Americas. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13963 2014-10-30T15:16:00Z 2014-10-30T16:16:40Z The Search for Lost Frogs: one of conservation's most exciting expeditions comes to life in new book <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/_MG_0205.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the most exciting conservation initiatives in recent years was the Search for Lost Frogs in 2010. The brainchild of scientist, photographer, and frog-lover, Robin Moore, the initiative brought a sense of hope&#8212;and excitement&#8212;to a whole group of animals often ignored by the global public&#8212;and media outlets. Now, Moore has written a fascinating account of the expedition: In Search of Lost Frogs. Jeremy Hance 9.559564 76.929016 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13934 2014-10-22T14:35:00Z 2014-10-22T14:45:04Z Saving the survivor: China scrambles to keep the finless porpoise from extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1017_chinafish35_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On the morning of July 14, 2002 Qi Qi ate breakfast as he always did. As the world’s only captive baiji – or Yangtze river dolphin – Qi Qi was something of a celebrity in China and his caretakers kept a close eye on his health. That care may explain why, after being injured by fishermen, he lived an impressive 22 years in the Freshwater Dolphin Research Center in Wuhan, China. Tiffany Roufs 30.584078 114.275665 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13928 2014-10-21T17:05:00Z 2014-11-06T17:55:34Z Top scientists raise concerns over commercial logging on Woodlark Island <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0428.woodlark.beach.IMG_0163.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A number of the world's top conservation scientists have raised concerns about plans for commercial logging on Woodlark Island, a hugely biodiverse rainforest island off the coast of Papua New Guinea. The scientists, with the Alliance of Leading Environmental Scientists and Thinkers (ALERT), warn that commercial logging on the island could imperil the island's stunning local species and its indigenous people. Jeremy Hance -9.1579 152.779 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13924 2014-10-20T14:46:00Z 2014-10-20T14:55:25Z With death of rhino, only six northern white rhinos left on the planet <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1020.Suni.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Rhino conservation suffered another tragic setback this weekend with the sudden death of Suni, a male northern white rhinoceros at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Suni's passing means there are only six northern white rhinos left in the world, and only one breeding male. 'Consequently the species now stands at the brink of complete extinction, a sorry testament to the greed of the human race,' wrote the Conservancy. Jeremy Hance 0.054521 36.947920 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13811 2014-09-22T13:36:00Z 2014-09-23T00:10:27Z Extinction island? Plans to log half an island could endanger over 40 species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/plullulaeopti.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Woodlark Island is a rare place on the planet today. This small island off the coast Papua New Guinea is still covered in rich tropical forest, an ecosystem shared for thousands of years between tribal peoples and a plethora of species, including at least 42 found no-where else. Yet, like many such wildernesses, Woodlark Island is now facing major changes: not the least of them is a plan to log half of the island. Jeremy Hance -9.038617 152.610839 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13807 2014-09-19T17:39:00Z 2014-09-19T21:50:59Z Is there hope for the vaquita? IUCN calls for action to save world's smallest, rarest porpoise <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0919-vaquita1-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since the baiji was declared extinct in the early aughts, the vaquita has taken its unenviable position as the world’s most threatened cetacean. The tiny porpoise currently numbers around 100, with accidental entanglement in gillnets primarily responsible for its decline. In response, the IUCN recently issued a statement calling for immediate action to curb vaquita bycatch and head off its extinction – which otherwise may lie just around the corner. Morgan Erickson-Davis 31.095548 -114.586877 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13758 2014-09-09T18:06:00Z 2014-09-09T20:02:18Z Thought wiped out by climate change, 'extinct' snail rediscovered in Seychelles <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0809-snail-sif-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Aldabra banded snail was declared extinct in 1997 as one of the world’s first recorded direct casualties of climate change. But last month, a monitoring team found a population on one of the atoll’s islands, surprising the team and giving hope that other species whose habitats are being degraded by climate change may still be able to cling to existence. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.373243 46.330556 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13733 2014-09-01T21:21:00Z 2014-09-02T17:22:59Z The last of her kind: centennial of the death of the world's last passenger pigeon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0901-pass-pigeon-audubon-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>They once numbered in the billions, flying 60 miles per hour in flocks that darkened the sky. But on September 1, 1914, one hundred years ago today, the last member of what may have been the most numerous bird species on the planet died in a cage in the Cincinnati zoo. Morgan Erickson-Davis 39.104330 -84.400978 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13710 2014-08-24T17:33:00Z 2014-12-20T01:31:17Z Scientists name new endangered species after the company that will decide its fate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0824.Quarry-at-Gn.-Kanthan,-Perak---Ong-Poh-Teck.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have discovered a new snail species near a cement quarry in Malaysia, which as far as they know lives nowhere else in the world. It lives on a limestone hill called Kanthan given as a concession to an international company Lafarge. The cement producer quarries the hill for raw materials. As a result, the scientists have named the species after the company that will decide if it goes extinct. Jeremy Hance 4.599012 101.093388 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13688 2014-08-19T21:58:00Z 2014-12-30T22:35:16Z Why conservationists need a little hope: saving themselves from becoming the most depressing scientists on the planet <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/Panda-wearing-GPS-collar-CREDIT-China-Academy-of-Sciences.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Here's a challenge: take a conservationist out for a drink and ask them about their work. Nine times out of ten&#8212;or possibly more&#8212;you'll walk away feeling frustrated, despondent, and utterly hopeless. Yet a few conservation scientist are not just trying to save species from extinction, but also working to save their field&#8212;their life's work&#8212;from slipping into total despair. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13680 2014-08-18T13:50:00Z 2014-12-30T22:35:28Z 13 newly-discovered birds declared extinct <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0817.800px-Coenocorypha_barrierensis.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a recent update of the IUCN Red List, scientists have identified 13 new bird species that have gone extinct since 1500. In total the list now finds that at least 140 bird species gone extinct in the past five hundred years, representing 1.3 percent of the world's total known birds. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13602 2014-07-29T20:30:00Z 2014-07-29T20:40:13Z 87 new bird species considered threatened with extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0729.Lilacine-Amazon-(Amazona-lilacina)-Endangered_copyright-Steve-Wilson.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have added 361 new bird species to the IUCN Red List following a major taxonomic review of non-passerine birds, i.e. non-perching or non-songbirds. Worryingly, 87 of these new birds are threatened with extinction, a percentage nearly double the overall threatened percentage for all birds, which currently sits at 13 percent. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13585 2014-07-24T20:50:00Z 2014-12-30T22:37:45Z It's not just extinction: meet defaunation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1520.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Get ready to learn a new word: defaunation. Fauna is the total collection of animals&#8212;both in terms of species diversity and abundance&#8212;in a given area. So, defaunation, much like deforestation, means the loss of animals in all its myriad forms, including extinction, extirpation, or population declines. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13584 2014-07-24T19:05:00Z 2014-07-25T15:32:26Z Desperate measures: researchers say radical approaches needed to beat extinctions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0724-kakapo-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, in the midst of what has been termed the “Sixth Great Extinction” by many in the scientific community, humans are contributing to dizzying rates of species loss and ecosystem changes. A new analysis suggests the time may have come to start widely applying intensive, controversial methods currently used only as “last resort” strategies to save the word’s most imperiled species. Morgan Erickson-Davis -42.231945 146.383773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13535 2014-07-14T17:04:00Z 2014-11-25T23:22:31Z Too much of a good thing: fertilizer 'one of the three major drivers of biodiversity loss this century' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0714-prairiedog-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world’s grasslands are being destabilized by fertilization, according to a paper recently published in the journal <i>Nature</i>. In a study of 41 grassland communities on five continents, researchers found that the presence of fertilizer weakened grassland species diversity. Morgan Erickson-Davis 42.941384 -103.590145 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13533 2014-07-14T16:07:00Z 2014-12-30T22:38:15Z Only 15 percent of world's biodiversity hotspots left intact <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0714.Atlantic-Rainforest-Intervales.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's 35 biodiversity hotspots&#8212;which harbor 75 percent of the planet's endangered land vertebrates&#8212;are in more trouble than expected, according to a sobering new analysis of remaining primary vegetation. In all less than 15 percent of natural intact vegetation is left in the these hotspots, which include well-known jewels such as Madagascar, the tropical Andes, and Sundaland. Jeremy Hance -24.263585 -48.415697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13500 2014-07-07T19:50:00Z 2014-12-30T22:39:34Z Booming populations, rising economies, threatened biodiversity: the tropics will never be the same <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1059.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For those living either north or south of the tropics, images of this green ring around the Earth's equator often include verdant rainforests, exotic animals, and unchanging weather; but they may also be of entrenched poverty, unstable governments, and appalling environmental destruction. A massive new report, The State of the Tropics, however, finds that the truth is far more complicated. Jeremy Hance 1.231376 14.923358 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13456 2014-06-26T16:44:00Z 2014-10-13T16:55:22Z Unrelenting population growth driving global warming, mass extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0626.strike-51212_640.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It took humans around 200,000 years to reach a global population of one billion. But, in two hundred years we've septupled that. In fact, over the last 40 years we've added an extra billion approximately every dozen years. And the United Nations predicts we'll add another four billion&#8212;for a total of 11 billion&#8212;by century's end. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13437 2014-06-24T16:19:00Z 2014-06-24T17:16:59Z 'Hope springs eternal': the anniversary of the death of Lonesome George <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0624-george-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today marks the two-year anniversary of the death of Lonesome George, the world’s last Pinta Island tortoise. The occasion calls attention to the declines of many turtle and tortoise species, which together form one of the most swiftly disappearing groups of animals on the planet. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.584888 -90.762241 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13423 2014-06-23T13:33:00Z 2014-12-30T22:43:04Z Broken promises no more? Signs Sabah may finally uphold commitment on wildlife corridors <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/HUTAN-Marc-Ancrenaz6.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five years ago an unlikely meeting was held in the Malaysian state of Sabah to discuss how to save wildlife amid worsening forest fragmentation. Although the meeting brought together longtime adversaries&#8212;conservationists and the palm oil industry&#8212;it appeared at the time to build new relationships and even point toward a way forward for Sabah's embattled forests. Jeremy Hance 5.531846 118.292569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13329 2014-06-03T16:02:00Z 2014-11-25T22:14:56Z Newly discovered snails at risk of extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0603-P.christae-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A team of Dutch and Malaysian scientists has recently completed one part of a taxonomic revision of <i>Plectostoma</i>, a genus of tiny land snails in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, according to their article published recently in <i>ZooKeys</i>, it seems that these animals may be going extinct as fast as they are being discovered. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.861126 102.680811 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13309 2014-05-29T18:01:00Z 2014-12-30T22:44:20Z Extinction rates are 1,000x the background rate, but it's not all gloomy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0529.frog.pimm5HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Current extinction rates are at the high end of past predictions, according to a new paper published today in <i>Science</i>, however conservation efforts combined with new technologies could make a big difference. New research led by Stuart Pimm of Duke University argues that humans have pushed the current extinction rate to 1,000 times the historical rate. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13248 2014-05-19T12:51:00Z 2015-05-20T13:12:30Z The quiet zoo revolution <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0518.zoos.Tara-Harris-tiger-hand-paw-photo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A quiet zoo revolution has also been occurring over the past twenty-five years. Rather than just stand by the sidelines as species vanish in the wild, many zoos have begun funding on-the-ground conservation efforts. This revolution signals a widening realization by zoos of the positive&#8212;and wholly unique&#8212;role they could play in combating global mass extinction. But are zoos doing enough? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13225 2014-05-14T13:04:00Z 2014-12-30T22:46:03Z Scientists uncover new marine mammal genus, represented by single endangered species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0514.hawaiianmonkseal.sullivan_-(48).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This is the story of three seals: the Caribbean, the Hawaiian, and the Mediterranean monk seals. Once numbering in the hundreds of thousands, the Caribbean monk seal was a hugely abundant marine mammal found across the Caribbean, and even recorded by Christopher Columbus during his second voyage, whose men killed several for food. Jeremy Hance 21.725869 -160.086787 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13084 2014-04-15T20:03:00Z 2014-11-25T22:21:21Z Long lives, big impacts: human life expectancy linked to extinctions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0415-wren-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since the arrival of <i>Homo sapiens</i>, other species have been going extinct at an unprecedented rate. Most scientists now agree that extinction rates are between 100 and 1000 times greater than before humans existed. Working out what is driving these extinctions is fiendishly complicated, but a new study suggests that human life expectancy may be partly to blame. Morgan Erickson-Davis -40.671256 173.995140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13066 2014-04-10T16:00:00Z 2014-12-30T22:48:44Z 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/13058 2014-04-08T17:44:00Z 2014-11-25T22:18:29Z Extinction crisis: rising sea levels will submerge thousands of islands <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0408-morgan-rmi-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sea levels are rising at the highest rate in thousands of years, putting at risk low-lying islands around the world. In a new study published in Nature Conservation, researchers found that projected rises in sea level stand to swamp more than 10,000 islands, displacing human communities and wiping many unique species off the face of the earth. Morgan Erickson-Davis -21.233771 165.338091 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13012 2014-03-31T17:37:00Z 2014-12-30T22:50:34Z Apocalypse now? Climate change already damaging agriculture, acidifying seas, and worsening extreme weather <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0331.Tacloban_Typhoon_Haiyan_2013-11-14.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It's not just melting glaciers and bizarrely-early Springs anymore; climate change is impacting every facet of human civilization from our ability to grow enough crops to our ability to get along with each other, according to a new 2,300-page report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The massive report states definitively that climate change is already affecting human societies on every continent. Jeremy Hance 35.463838 139.619164 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12941 2014-03-17T20:21:00Z 2014-03-24T12:56:05Z Blame humans: new research proves people killed off New Zealand's giant birds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0317.800px-Euryapteryx.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Moas were a diverse group of flightless birds that ruled over New Zealand up to the arrival of humans, the biggest of these mega-birds stood around 3.5 meters (12 feet) with outstretched neck. While the whole moa family&#8212;comprised of nine species&#8212;vanished shortly after the arrival of people on New Zealand in the 13th Century, scientists have long debated why the big birds went extinct. Some theories contend that the birds were already in decline due to environmental changes or volcanic activity before humans first stepped on New Zealand's beaches. But a study released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds no evidence of said decline, instead pointing the finger squarely at us. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12870 2014-03-04T14:03:00Z 2014-03-04T14:36:23Z Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record – book review Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record reaches into your imagination and draws you closer to the final days of a variety of extinct animals on Earth. Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record is filled with poignant and powerful first-hand accounts, photographic records, and illustrations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12793 2014-02-20T19:14:00Z 2015-02-24T21:05:22Z 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/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/12709 2014-01-31T14:59:00Z 2014-01-31T15:17:00Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Connecting forest fragments <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/cr/150/costa-rica-d_0183.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Stuart Pimm is an expert in extinctions: why they happen, how fast they happen, and how they can be prevented. Reconnecting forest fragments and avoiding fragmentation, according to Pimm, are among the most crucial things we can do to conserve global biodiversity. His organization SavingSpecies identifies areas at-risk for extinctions and helps local organizations fundraise so they can protect and restore habitats and safeguard biodiversity. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12700 2014-01-29T14:40:00Z 2014-02-19T15:28:02Z Predator appreciation: how saving lions, tigers, and polar bears could rescue ourselves <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0129.Christo_scan_46.150..jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the new book, In Predatory Light: Lions and Tigers and Polar Bears, authors Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Sy Montgomery, and John Houston, and photographers Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson share with us an impassioned and detailed appeal to appreciate three of the world's biggest predators: lions, tigers, and polar bears. Through lengthy discussions, combining themes from scientific conservation to local community folklore, In Predatory Light takes us step by step deeper into the wild world of these awe-inspiring carnivores and their varied plight as they facedown extinction. Jeremy Hance 78.80198 15.948486 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12670 2014-01-21T17:04:00Z 2014-01-21T17:21:19Z The smoothtooth blacktip shark and four other species rediscovered in markets <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0121rediscovered150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table><i>Scientific American</i>) magazine recently ran an article on the rediscovery of the smoothtooth blacktip shark (<i>Carcharhinus leiodon</i>) in a Kuwaiti fish market. Believed extinct for over 100 years, the smoothtooth had not been seen since the naturalist Wilhelm Hein returned from a trip to Yemen in 1902. With its reappearance, scientists scoured Kuwaiti markets and discovered an astounding 47 individual smoothtooth blacktips. Tiffany Roufs 29.305561 47.740173 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/12552 2013-12-20T13:19:00Z 2013-12-20T13:36:23Z Featured video: what would a world without wildlife look like? Greenpeace today released a clever video highlighting the global biodiversity crisis with a little help from a much-beloved Disney film. While it might seem unlikely the Africa's animals will vanish, this is exactly what's happening in parts of the continent due to poaching, unsustainable bushmeat trade, habitat loss, massive development projects that are often poorly planned, and a booming human population. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12507 2013-12-11T19:18:00Z 2013-12-17T22:55:01Z Bonobos: the Congo Basin's great gardeners <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1210bonobo1502.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The survival of primary forests depends on many overlapping interactions. Among these interactions include tropical gardeners, like the bonobo (<i>Pan pansicus</i>) in the Congo Basin, according to a new study in the Journal of Tropical Ecology. Bonobos are known as a keystone species, vital to the diversification and existence of their forests. Tiffany Roufs -2.723583 20.822753 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12478 2013-12-03T21:42:00Z 2015-02-11T23:58:51Z 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/12449 2013-11-26T16:23:00Z 2013-11-27T15:25:51Z Consumer report uncovers why people buy rhino horn <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://travel.mongabay.com/animals/sf/150/rhino_3081.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rhinoceros is one of the largest and most iconic animals to roam the earth. However, poaching for their horn, erroneously believed to have medicinal value, has led the IUCN Red List to classify three of the world's five species as Critically Endangered. But, a new consumer report by the wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC, finds that rhino horn consumers in Vietnam buy the illegal product as much to raise their social status as to attempt to treat a fever or hangover. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12441 2013-11-25T16:05:00Z 2015-02-11T23:55:54Z Microhabitats could buffer some rainforest animals against climate change As temperatures increase worldwide due to anthropogenic climate change, scientists are scrambling to figure out if species will be able to survive rapidly warming ecosystems. A new study in Global Change Biology offers a little hope. Studying reptiles and amphibians in the Philippines, scientists say some of these species may be able to seek refuge in cooler microhabitats, such as tree holes or under the soil, in order to stay alive during intensifying heatwaves. But, the scientists' stress, the shelter from microhabitats can only protect so far. Jeremy Hance 16.730907 121.001587 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/12397 2013-11-18T15:53:00Z 2013-11-18T16:09:42Z Nearly half a million seabirds die in gillnets every year, but solutions exist <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/jlh/dominican-republic/150/DR-jlh-593.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A recent study from the Biological Conservation journal brings shocking news: every year across the globe, an estimated 400,000 seabirds are killed by gillnets. Gillnets, a common term for any net used to entangle and catch fish, are used all over the world, and at any depth. These nets, whether used in subsistence or commercial fishing, trap anything that swims through them. When unintended marine wildlife, or "bycatch," is caught in these nets, the results can be significant. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12387 2013-11-15T16:20:00Z 2013-11-18T15:12:43Z New bat species discovered in Brazil leaves another at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1114bats150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A team of researchers has discovered a new species of bat in Brazil, which has put a previously known species, Bokermann's nectar bat (<i>Lonchophylla bokermanni</i>), at risk of extinction. Long thought to comprise one species, the bat populations of the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado – the tropical savannah of Brazil's interior - are in fact distinct from one another, according to a new study in <i>Zootaxa</i>. Scientists now say the Atlantic Forest's population represents a newly described species, which they have dubbed Peracchi's nectar bat (<i>Lonchophylla peracchii</i>). Tiffany Roufs -18.16673 -43.685303 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12306 2013-11-04T20:06:00Z 2015-02-11T23:46:46Z Giant turtle-devouring duck-billed platypus discovered <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1104.giantplatypus.63892.150.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>Based on a single tooth from Australia, scientists believe they have discovered a giant, meter-long (3.3 feet) duck-billed platypus that likely fed on fish, frogs, and even turtles, according to a new study in <i>Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology</i>. At least twice the size of a modern duckbilled platypus, the scientists say the extinct giant likely lived between 15 and 5 million years ago. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12312 2013-11-04T19:52:00Z 2013-11-05T19:00:59Z Thought-to-be-extinct 'halloween' frog rediscovered in Costa Rica <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1104-atelopus-varius-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A breeding population of a critically endangered harlequin toad thought to be extinct in Costa Rica has been discovered in a tract of highland forest in the Central American country, reports a paper published in <i>Amphibia-Reptilia</i>. <i>Atelopus varius</i>, an orange-and-black harlequin toad, was once relatively common from central Costa Rica to western Panama. But beginning in the 1980's the species experienced a rapid population collapse across most of its range. Rhett Butler 8.801449 -83.014439 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12261 2013-10-28T13:40:00Z 2015-02-11T23:47:36Z 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/12224 2013-10-22T17:42:00Z 2013-10-24T18:21:56Z Small invertebrates could be key to uncovering the mysteries of killer amphibian fungus <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1023bd150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2004, the first-ever Global Amphibian Assessment (GAA) reviewed all 5,743 amphibian species known to science and concluded that 32% were threatened with extinction - a number far exceeding corresponding figures for birds and mammals (12 to 23% respectively). In addition to the usual culprits of climate change and habitat destruction, a startling 92.5% of amphibians listed as Critically Endangered were found to be undergoing enigmatic declines linked to an unexpected perpetrator - the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Tiffany Roufs 37.961523 -91.168213 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12137 2013-09-27T16:57:00Z 2013-09-30T19:17:02Z Climate change pushing tropical trees upslope 'exactly as predicted' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/cr/150/costa_rica_la_selva_0483.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tropical tree communities are moving up mountainsides to cooler habitats as temperatures rise, a new study in Global Change Biology has found. By examining the tree species present in ten one-hectare plots at various intervals over a decade, researchers found that the proportion of lowland species increased in the plots at higher elevations. The study, which was undertaken in Volcan Barva, Costa Rica, adds to a growing body of evidence that climate change is having an impact on species range distributions. Tiffany Roufs 10.135172 -84.099855 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12131 2013-09-26T18:10:00Z 2015-02-11T23:42:35Z 'Ecological Armageddon': mammals vanish entirely from forest fragments after 25 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0926.gibson3HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As tropical forests worldwide are increasingly cut into smaller and smaller fragments, mammal extinctions may not be far behind, according to a new study in Science. Tracking native smalls mammals in Chiew Larn Reservoir, Thailand for over 25 years, scientists found a stunning and rapid decline in mammal populations, until most forests were almost completely emptied of native mammals. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12092 2013-09-18T16:44:00Z 2015-02-11T23:38:52Z Climate change could kill off Andean cloud forests, home to thousands of species found nowhere else <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0918.7063224263_2b4fec9cdc_c.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the richest ecosystems on the planet may not survive a hotter climate without human help, according to a sobering new paper in the open source journal PLoS ONE. Although little-studied compared to lowland rainforests, the cloud forests of the Andes are known to harbor explosions of life, including thousands of species found nowhere else. Many of these species&#8212;from airy ferns to beautiful orchids to tiny frogs&#8212;thrive in small ranges that are temperature-dependent. But what happens when the climate heats up? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12066 2013-09-12T00:13:00Z 2014-02-20T19:25:11Z Global warming may ‘flatten’ rainforests Climate change may push canopy-dwelling plants and animals out of the tree-tops due to rising temperatures and drier conditions, argues a new study published in <i>Proceedings of the Royal Society B</i>. The development may be akin to 'flattening' the tiered vegetation structure that characterizes the rainforest ecosystem. Rhett Butler 11.679135 125.20483 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11967 2013-08-27T18:41:00Z 2014-05-29T20:16:24Z Ground zero for endangered species: new program to assist animals on the brink across Southeast Asia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/sabah/150/sabah_407.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Organizations within the international conservation community are joining forces to minimize impending extinctions in Southeast Asia, where habitat loss, trade and hunting have contributed to a dramatic decline in wildlife. The coalition is aptly named ASAP, or the Asian Species Action Partnership. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11920 2013-08-15T20:11:00Z 2015-02-11T23:15:55Z Zoo races to save extreme butterfly from extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0815.Poweshiek-skipperling-front-Runquist-MN-Zoo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a large room that used to house aquatic mammals at the Minnesota Zoo, Erik Runquist holds up a vial and says, 'Here are its eggs.' I peer inside and see small specks, pale with a dot of brown at the top; they look like a single grain of cous cous or quinoa. Runquist explains that the brown on the top is the head cap of the larva, a fact that becomes more clear under a microscope when you can see the encased larva squirm. I'm looking at the eggs of a Poweshiek skipperling, a species that is more imperiled than pandas, tigers, or bluewhales. Once superabundant, only several hundred Poweshiek skipperlings may survive on Earth today and the eggs I'm looking at are the only ones in captivity. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11906 2013-08-13T18:17:00Z 2015-02-11T23:15:31Z Forest fragmentation leading to higher extinction rates <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/costa_rica/150/costa-rica-d_0183.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's species are in worse trouble than widely-assumed, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), which reevaluates how scientists estimate extinction rates. The new model takes into account the impact of forest fragmentation on extinction rates for the first time, filling in a gap in past estimates. Much of the world's tropical forests, which house the bulk of the world's species, have been whittled down to fragments: small forest islands that no longer connect to larger habitat. According to the paper, species confined to fragments have a higher likelihood of vanishing. Jeremy Hance -22.346682 -43.357739 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11903 2013-08-12T17:16:00Z 2015-02-11T23:15:23Z Nutrient deficiency in Amazon rainforest linked to megafauna extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/781px-Glyptodon_(Riha2000).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Around twelve thousand of years ago, the Amazon was home to a menagerie of giant creatures: the heavily armored glyptodons, the elephant-sized ground sloth, and the rhino-like toxodons among others. But by 10,000 B.C. these monsters were largely gone, possibly due to overhunting by humans or climatic changes. There's no question that the rapid extinction of these megafauna changed the environment, but a new study in <i>Nature Geoscience</i> posits a novel theory: did the mass extinction of big mammals lead to nutrient deficiency, especially of nitrogen, in parts of the Amazon rainforest? Jeremy Hance 0.966751 -52.214356 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11867 2013-08-01T22:25:00Z 2013-08-05T13:01:50Z Florida declares two butterfly species extinct as pollinator crisis worsens <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0801butterfly150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservationist’s faced a crushing blow last month as two butterfly species native to Florida were declared extinct. 'Occasionally, these types of butterflies disappear for long periods of time but are rediscovered in another location,' said Larry Williams, U.S. Fish and Wildlife state supervisor for ecological services. We think it’s apparent now these two species are extinct.' Tiffany Roufs 28.013801 -81.54419 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11865 2013-08-01T18:08:00Z 2015-02-11T23:13:14Z Climate could warm more rapidly than any time in the last 65 million years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0801.diffenbaugh1HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to a new review of 27 climate models, scientists say the global climate is likely to experience a warmth as great as any in the last 65 million years, only much, much faster. According to the study published today in <i>Science</i>, the Earth's land temperature will rise by 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels by 2100 if we continue on our current emissions trajectory. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11855 2013-07-30T04:19:00Z 2013-08-01T05:29:28Z Palm oil drives Malaysian rainforest tree to extinction Oil palm plantations have extinguished the last habitat of a rainforest tree in Malaysia. Last week the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), a state agency, announced that the last stands of keruing paya (<i>Dipterocarpus coriaceus</i>) in Peninsular Malaysia were wiped out when Bikam forest reserve in Perak was cleared for oil palm plantations. Rhett Butler 3.983194 101.266809 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11805 2013-07-22T20:56:00Z 2013-07-24T16:42:08Z Rare animal species and Buddhist monks in danger of losing their home to cement quarry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0722.temple.Kanthan_150.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An international cement company Lafarge, winner of a Green Initiative award, is considering quarrying a cave in Malaysia which is the sole home of a critically endangered species. The proposed operations also threaten a Buddhist monastery near the cave where monks are facing eviction. Kanthan cave in Peninsular Malaysia is located in a limestone hill, already extensively quarried for the production of cement by Lafarge. The cave, just as most karst caves in Southeast Asia, harbors a unique ecosystem. One of the rare endemic organisms is the Kanthan Cave trapdoor spider (<i>Liphistius kanthan</i>), which was just designated as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Jeremy Hance 4.599012 101.093388 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11803 2013-07-22T20:11:00Z 2015-02-11T23:12:30Z Losing just one pollinator species leads to big plant declines <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0722.Bumblebee-2009-04-19-01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A shocking new study finds that losing just one pollinator species could lead to major declines in plant productivity, a finding that has broad implications for biodiversity conservation. Looking at ten bumblebee species in Colorado alpine meadows, two scientists found that removing a single bee species cut flower seed production by one-third. Pollinators worldwide are in major trouble as they are hit by habitat loss, pesticides, disease and other impacts. In fact, the EU has recently banned several pesticides that have been linked to the global bee decline. Jeremy Hance 38.871233 -106.978027 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11802 2013-07-22T17:31:00Z 2013-07-22T18:37:42Z Madagascar occupied by humans 2,500 years earlier than previously thought <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar/150/madagascar_2934.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New research indicates that Madagascar was occupied some 2,500 years earlier than previously established. The findings, published in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>, suggests a more complex view of the human role in the extinction of the island's mega-fauna. A large body of research holds that village communities began to appear in Madagascar around 500 AD. These were established by people of Indonesian and East African heritage, according to past studies that found linguistic similarities between the Malagasy languages of southeastern Borneo as well as genetic markers tying modern-day Malagasy people to both Indonesia and East Africa. But there have been plenty of hints that people came to the world's third largest island well before 500 AD. Rhett Butler -13.371396 49.978112 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11773 2013-07-15T21:58:00Z 2014-08-21T21:58:09Z Losing our monarchs: iconic monarch butterfly down to lowest numbers in 20 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0715Monarch150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the next few months, the beating of fragile fiery orange and black wings will transport the monarch butterfly south. But the number of monarch butterflies (<i>Danaus plexippus</i>) reaching their final destination has steadily declined, dropping to its lowest level in two decades last winter, according to a recent survey. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11708 2013-07-02T20:05:00Z 2015-02-11T23:10:25Z Vocal-sac breeding frog possibly extinct <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0702.Rhinoderma-rufum-1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Somewhere in the wet pine forests of Chile, a male frog is gulping-up a bunch of eggs. No he's not eating them, he's just being a good dad. Darwin's frogs are known for their unique parenting-style: tadpoles are incubated in the vocal sac of the father. First recorded by Charles Darwin during his world famous voyage aboard the Beagle, the amphibians were common in the native Chilean pine forests until the last few decades. Now, scientists believe that one of the two species, the northern Darwin's frog (<i>Rhinoderma rufum</i>), may have vanished for good. And the other is hanging on by a thread. Jeremy Hance -41.689322 -73.592835 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11705 2013-07-02T15:35:00Z 2013-07-03T13:58:55Z Over 700 species added to the threatened categories on the IUCN Red List (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0702.10_GiantRiverPrawn_Macrobrachiumrosenbergii_ChrisLukhaup.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In another sign of the global biodiversity crisis, the IUCN Red List has added 715 species to its threatened categories of Vulnerable, Endangered, and Critically Endangered in this year's update. Some of these species were evaluated by the IUCN Red List for the first time while others saw their conditions deteriorate, such as the the white-lipped peccary (<i>Tayassu pecari</i>) which is now listed as Vulnerable due to overhunting, deforestation, and possibly disease. As of this year, the Red List has evaluated 70,923 of the world's species&#8212;including almost all mammals, birds, and amphibians&#8212;of which 20,934 are deemed threatened. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11580 2013-06-11T18:52:00Z 2015-02-11T23:07:05Z Syrian bald ibis may be down to a single bird The eastern population of northern bald ibises (<i>Geronticus eremita</i>) has likely fallen to a single breeding bird, reports conservationists monitoring the dwindling flock. The population had believed to be obliterated starting from 1989 until a small group was discovered in 2002 in Syria. However, it now appears that this last group is vanishing one-by-one despite efforts by conservation groups to sustain the distinct population. Jeremy Hance 34.559163 38.280115 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11538 2013-06-03T13:24:00Z 2013-06-09T20:44:28Z The comeback kids: the role of zoos in saving species from oblivion (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0603.Black-footed-ferret-(c-USFWS).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While many people may view zoos first and foremost as attractions, these institutions have a long history of supporting and instigating conservation work, including saving species from extinction that have vanished from their wild habitat. But such efforts require not just dedication and patience, but herculean organizational efforts. Enter, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), which works with zoos and aquariums to set up conservation programs and track endangered species in captivity. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11535 2013-05-31T18:21:00Z 2013-05-31T18:44:49Z Loss of big fruit-eating birds impacting trees in endangered rainforests The extinction of large, fruit-eating birds in fragments of Brazil's Atlantic rainforest has caused palm trees to produce smaller seeds over the past century, impacting forest ecology, finds a study published in the journal <i>Science</i>. Rhett Butler -25.131726 -47.966355