Ryan W. Miller USA TODAY Published 12:38 PM EST Feb 21, 2019 A rare species of giant tortoise was feared extinct after over 100 years without any sightings on the Galápagos Islands. But now, officials say they've found one. An adult female Fernandina Giant Tortoise, or Chelonoidis phantasticus, possibly older than 100, was found on Fernandina Island, Ecuador's Ministry of the Environment said in a statement Wednesday. The species is unique to Fernandina Island, one of the more than a dozen islands in the famous archipelago known for its biodiversity that helped fuel Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in the 1800s. Officials with the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative, a collaboration between the Galápagos National Park Directorate and Galápagos Conservancy, a U.S. non-profit dedicated to conservation on the islands, and Animal Planet's "Extinct or Alive" series said they made the discovery Sunday. The animal was found in good … [Read more...] about Galápagos rare tortoise species considered all but extinct – until now
Iucn red list of endangered species
For 10 years, the world’s last known Sehuencas water frog, named Romeo, lived alone in captivity in a Bolivian museum. Repeated expeditions by biologists into the nation’s cloud forests, the only place the amphibians exist, had turned up no new specimens. The once-plentiful frogs had been all but wiped out by a killer fungus, widespread habitat loss and an invasive trout that dines on frog eggs. Even Romeo seemed to have given up on ever finding a Juliet. Researchers last heard the frog perform his mating call at the end of 2017.But this month, scientists with the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny and Global Wildlife Conservation announced a discovery that seemed to end this Shakespearean ecological tragedy. Five Sehuencas water frogs – three males and two females – were found at the foot of a small waterfall, offering the possibility that Romeo and his new crew would breed in captivity, and that one day Sehuencas water frogs might be released … [Read more...] about Romeo was the last known frog of his species. Enter 2 possible Juliets.
Scientists credit human-induced global warming with causing many marine and terrestrial wildlife species — such as the chamois mountain goat of the Italian alps — to become scrawnier with each successive generation. Credit: Fulvio Spada, FlickrCC Dear EarthTalk: Could global warming really already be a factor in the evolution of wildlife species? - Vince Dominick, Camden, NJ No doubt the quickly changing climate is already triggering various evolutionary shifts in a wide range of species. And while we can’t be sure just how different wildlife species will adapt (or not), scientists are already noticing some surprising changes as a result of warming surface and ocean temperatures thanks to human-induced global warming. To wit, a recent study published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Global Change Biology, by scientists from the University of British Columbia, found that the body size of larger fish species decreases 20 to 30 percent for every one-degree … [Read more...] about Could global warming really already be a factor in the evolution of wildlife species?
The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo will celebrate World Giraffe Day with a variety of activities 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday at the zoo, 3411 Sherman Blvd. in Franke Park. (News-Sentinel.com file photo) The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo will celebrate World Giraffe Day on Thursday to educate visitors about this threatened species. At the same time, the zoo continues to work on changes to prevent one of the younger members of the species, the zoo’s Thabisa, from making any other escape from the zoo’s giraffe exhibit in the African Journey area, said Bonnie Kemp, zoo director of communication. The inquisitive Thabisa, now 7 months old, surprised zoo staff in late April when she found a way to escape while walking for the first time down the chute from the giraffe barn to the animals’ outdoor exhibit. Before being guided back to the giraffe barn, the youngster ran around a fenced-in area used for zoo staff parking. There were no zoo visitors near the area where the escape … [Read more...] about Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo to celebrate World Giraffe Day on Thursday as species faces threats in the wildCOMMENTSLatest NewsNewsletter
An iconic amphibian that is believed to have inspired the yin-yang design -- and dates back to the time of the dinosaurs -- has been driven to the brink of extinction by demand for luxury cuisine, according to a new study. The animal, the Chinese giant salamander, faces threats from widespread poaching. It is the world's largest amphibian. "The overexploitation of these incredible animals for human consumption has had a catastrophic effect on their numbers in the wild over an amazingly short time-span," study co-author Samuel Turvey, from the Zoological Society of London's Institute of Zoology, said in a news release about the study. "Unless coordinated conservation measures are put in place as a matter of urgency, the future of the world's largest amphibian is in serious jeopardy," he added. The study, published Monday in Current Biology, a scientific journal, found that illegal poaching of the species is widespread and that populations are "critically depleted or extirpated" in all … [Read more...] about Human demand pushes Chinese giant salamander to brink of extinction, study says