“A few viral particles that are still infectious may be enough… If we are not careful, and we industrialize these areas without putting safeguards in place, we run the risk of one day waking up viruses such as smallpox that we thought were eradicated.”
1. Ivory-billed woodpecker - so rare that it is currently thought to possibly be extinct.
2. Amur leopard - 40 remaining.
3. Javan rhinoceros - 60 remaining.
4. Northern Sportive Lemur - may be as few as 20 remaining.
5. Western lowland gorilla - currently ~125,000 remaining, but disease, poaching, and habitat loss are wiping out gorilla populations at an alarming rate.
6. Saola - less than 750.
7. Leatherback sea turtle - approximately 50,000 Atlantic Leatherback sea turtles remain, but only about 5,000 Pacific Leatherback sea turtles are left, making it the world’s mot endangered marine turtle.
8. Tiger - fewer than 5,000 remain of every tiger species in the world.
9. Northern wright whale - only 350 remain, having been hunted to near-extinction.
10. Kakapo - only about 112 of these birds remain, all in captivity. They’re so rare that all the remaining ones have names.
(I apologize for the poor quality of the some of the pictures - most of these animals don’t have any good pictures of them at all, since they’re so rare.)
Academic journals have begun withholding the geographical locations
of newly discovered species after poachers used the information in
peer-reviewed papers to collect previously unknown lizards, frogs and
snakes from the wild, the Guardian has learned.
In an age of extinctions, scientists usually love to trumpet the
discovery of new species, revealing biological and geographical data
that sheds new light on the mysteries of evolution.
But earlier this year, an announcement in the Zootaxa academic journal that two new species of large gecko had been found in southern China contained a strange omission: the species’ whereabouts.
“Due to the popularity of this genus as novelty pets, and recurring
cases of scientific descriptions driving herpetofauna to near-extinction
by commercial collectors, we do not disclose the collecting localities
of these restricted-range species in this publication,” the paper said.
Goniurosaurus kwangsiensis, is a new species of gecko discovered in China.
Photograph: Yang Jian-Huang and Bosco Chan Pui-lok/Kadoorie Conservation China
It was Remembrance Day for Lost Species on 30 November. So I sketched an extinct/endangered animal for every hour from 10am to midnight. Its a bit startling to see so many creatures that disappeared in our lifteime, some less than 10 years ago.
Sad news from The Turtle Survival Alliance. It’s been confirmed that one of the four remaining Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtles (Rafetus swinhoei) has died. Details are incoming but the cause of death is likely due to pollution in the lake he lived in. This leaves the only known members of the species one in a protected lake in Vietnam and a male-female pair living in a zoo in China.
The Turtle Survival Alliance has confirmed that one of the world’s four known remaining Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtles (Rafetus swinhoei), has died in Vietnam. This turtle – believed to be a male - was highly revered in Vietnam and was a long-time occupant of Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of downtown Hanoi. Sightings of the turtle attracted large crowds, as well as visitors from around the world. This turtle made global news back in 2011 when health concerns prompted officials to capture the turtle for medical treatment and mount a massive cleanup effort for the polluted lake.
The death of this Rafetus reduces the known number of living animals to three: one in a protected lake in Vietnam and a pair at the Suzhou Zoo in China. Since 2008, this pair has been the subject of intensive efforts to encourage them to reproduce in captivity as a last ditch effort to save the species, currently recognized as the most endangered turtle in the world.
We will bring you more information as this story develops….
Has anyone heard of this guy ? Well if you have you would know this is the largest ever recorded seawater crocodile who happened to be unearthed in the deserts of Tunisia.
Now relax, it was just the remains, sadly not the real thing :*(
This big fella was on average around 30 feet long and to give you that indication I am short fellow at 5 foot 6, that’s a lot of azzventura’s stacked up on each other , and weighing a monstrous 3 tons! The second picture displays a saltwater crocodile , a human and the Machimosaurus skull to scale!
The fossils, including a skull and a smattering of other bones, were discovered by Federico Fanti of the University of Bologna in Italy and colleagues with support from the National Geographic Society.
Now sadly that 30 feet long is the current best estimate and scientists are now waiting to unearth more complete skeletons to get an even better idea on how big this croc grew!
I should note, that Machimosaurus was the biggest ever seawater crocodile, however standing at an impressive 40 feet and weighing up to eight metric tones, was the freshwater Sarcosuchus imperator who lived on 10 million years ago!
I am certain there is something I am not seeing here, and probably after I clear my mind I will think of it, but why , why were freshwater crocodiles the biggest ever recorded crocodiles but only the smaller , more placid ones remain whilst the Saltwater crocodiles are now the main big intimidating boys ! Anyone have any idea?
This weekend, the TED-Ed Animators spent a day creating animation with some high school students in Ottawa, Canada as part of the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Using stop-motion, we set out to animate four of the most critically endangered species on our planet. In the workshop, we led the students through the production process from start to finish: We researched the animals, designed and storyboarded visuals of their habitats and that which threatens them, and then used cut-out animation bring them to life. Check out their incredible results below.
1. Ivory-billed Woodpecker
The ivory-billed woodpecker is the most critically endangered species on this list. In fact, it may already be extinct. This beautiful bird, which was native to the Southeastern United States and Cuba, was considered extinct until 2004, when a few sightings were reported in Arkansas and Florida. If these birds are still out there, they are likely a very small population and incredibly vulnerable. The main reasons for their extinction are habitat loss (logging) and human hunting – these birds were killed for their feathers.
2. Javan Rhinoceros
The Javan rhinoceros is the most endangered of the world’s five rhinoceros species, with an estimated 40-60 rhinos remaining on the Island of Java (Indonesia) in Ujung Kulon National Park. The last member of another tiny population in Vietnam’s Cat Tien National Park was killed by poachers in 2011. While this rhino used to be at large in Southeast Asia and Indonesia, it has been hunted to near-extinction for its horn, which is used to make folk medicines.
3. The Tiger
Four subspecies of tiger—the Caspian, Javan, Balinese, and South China tigers—have already gone extinct due to habitat loss and relentless hunting by humans. Five subspecies are left: the Amur, or Siberian, tiger, the Bengal tiger, the Indochinese tiger, the Malayan tiger, and the Sumatran tiger. All of these tigers live in parts of Asia, with fewer than 3,000 remaining in total, and illegal hunting claiming more on a weekly basis. The main driver of this extinction is the market for tiger bones, skins, eyes, and other body parts in China and Vietnam, where tiger organs are used to make an array of traditional folk medicines.
4. Northern Right Whale
The most endangered of all the world’s whale species, the northern right whale (Eubalena glacialis) numbers around 350 individuals that travel the Atlantic coasts of Canada and the US. During the whaling days of the 19th century, this whale got its name because whalers considered it the “right” whale to kill, as it not only was full of valuable whale oil, but it floated after it was dead, which made it easy to handle and process. As a result, it was driven to near extinction. Although the right whale is now protected, its small remnant population continues to suffer losses due to entanglements in commercial fishing gear and global climate change, which can affect the availability of the tiny crustaceans on which right whales feed.
The facts on the endangered animals featured in this blog post were sourced from AllAboutWildlife.com.
Shout out to the 16 Ottawa high-schoolers that helped us bring this content to life including ghadahadilsyrvahazelnut1313 and our fabulous student assistant, Bella!
As shoals of anchovies and sardines have migrated south into cooler waters, the population of African Penguins that feeds on the fish has plummeted by 90 per cent since 2004 along South Africa’s west coast, once the stronghold of Africa’s only penguin species.
In the 1930s, South Africa’s largest penguin colony had 1 million African Penguins, and there were many other colonies. Now, only 100,000 of the birds remain.
This decline, recorded by South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs, led to four key fishing grounds being declared off limits seven years ago in an experiment to see if the measure could help save the penguins. But scientists are still debating whether fishing has helped push the species to the brink of extinction.
The debate has gotten so acrimonious that the Island Closures Task Team, which oversaw the experiment and determined management actions, disbanded last year. Meanwhile, the fishing bans remain in place.
If effective management of the situation is not carried out, the black-and-white seabirds could soon disappear, experts say.
Photo: AP Photo / Schalk van Zuydam & Stephane De Sakutin / AFP / Getty Images
This diagram shows an interlinked system of
animals that carry nutrients from ocean depths to deep inland – through
their poop, urine, and, upon death, decomposing bodies. A new study in
the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that – in
the past–this chain of whales, seabirds, migratory fish and large land
mammals transported far greater amounts of nutrients than they do today.
Here, the red arrows show the estimated amounts of phosphorus and other
nutrients that were moved or diffused historically – and how much
these flows have been reduced today. Grey animals represent extinct or
reduced densities of animal populations.
Credit: Diagram from PNAS; designed by Renate Helmiss
Christopher E. Doughty, Joe Roman, Søren Faurby, Adam Wolf, Alifa Haque,
Elisabeth S. Bakker, Yadvinder Malhi, John B. Dunning Jr., and
Jens-Christian Svenning. Global nutrient transport in a world of giants. PNAS, October 26, 2015 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1502549112
We’re so self-important. So arrogant. Everybody’s going to save something now. Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save the snails. And the supreme arrogance? Save the planet! Are these people kidding? Save the planet? We don’t even know how to take care of ourselves; we haven’t learned how to care for one another. We’re gonna save the fuckin’ planet? … And, by the way, there’s nothing wrong with the planet in the first place. The planet is fine. The people are fucked! Compared with the people, the planet is doin’ great. It’s been here over four billion years … The planet isn’t goin’ anywhere, folks. We are! We’re goin’ away. Pack your shit, we’re goin’ away. And we won’t leave much of a trace. Thank God for that. Nothing left. Maybe a little Styrofoam. The planet will be here, and we’ll be gone. Another failed mutation; another closed-end biological mistake.