Mission blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides missionensis)
by Scott Hoffman Black and Mace Vaughan, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Formerly relatively widespread on the San Francisco and Marin peninsulas of northern California, the mission blue is now restricted to only a few sites.
Preservation of existing butterfly populations relies on many factors common to butterfly conservation programs: replanting of the hostplant, removal of introduced plants, and protection from excessive recreational use and development.
Probably the most important single location is San Bruno Mountain (San Mateo County), where two thousand acres of habitat are being managed by the county department of Parks and Recreation. A habitat conservation plan was developed for rare butterflies, including the Mission Blue, that occur at San Bruno Mountain.
Much of the habitat of the mission blue occupies private lands that are slated for housing developments in the City of Pacifica General Plan…
Today, all five species of rhinos are perilously close to extinction. The rate of their decline is truly astounding: in the decade of the 1970s alone, half the world’s rhino population disappeared. Today, less than 15 per cent of the 1970 population remains, an estimated 10,000 to 11,000 worldwide.
The black rhino has not fared so well. As recently as 1970, an estimated 65,000 black rhinos could be found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. But in eastern Africa, 90 percent of them were killed in the 1970s. Now there are fewer than 2,500 left, in pockets in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, and Tanzania.
Unlike most large mammals, habitat loss has not been a significant factor in the decline of rhinos. Rather, poaching for their horn has decimated rhino populations. The value of rhino horn made it enormously profitable to poach rhinos and sell them on the black market. For example, in 1990, the two horns from a single black rhino brought as much as $50,000. Just like poaching for elephant ivory, poaching for rhino horn is simply too profitable for many subsistence farmers and herders to resist.
Rhinos live in some of the same African parks and reserves that provide habitat for elephants. Protection of elephant habitat was not enough. Rhinos were killed in protected areas because governments could not afford to patrol the parks to stop poachers.
Now, there are so few left that many rhinos are literally kept under armed guard. They forage during the day, accompanied by guards with rifles, and they are locked up at night under armed guard. Rhino horn is so valuable though, that poachers have killed guards to get at the rhino.
The rhino’s plight has become so desperate that in some places conservation officials tranquilize rhinos and saw off their horns so poachers will have no cause to kill them. It is not known whether removing the horn impairs the rhino’s ability to survive or reproduce. It is known, however, that in some areas, a mother rhino uses her horn to defend her young from attacks by cats and hyenas.
The incredible biodiversity of the Philippines is seriously threatened by the country’s burgeoning population and resulting loss of forest and general environmental deterioration. The Philippine Eagle is the conservation symbol for the country. Many Filipinos feel if the eagle is lost, so is the hope for their natural heritage. The Philippine Eagle is also one of the largest eagles in the world, one of the most spectacular of all birds of prey, and a global symbol for biodiversity and the rainforest. At most, only a few hundred eagles may remain. Considerable research has been accomplished on the eagle but many needs remain, especially regarding the species’ status in the wild and environmental needs.
In 2010, the IUCN listed the Philippine Eagle as critically endangered. It is believed that there are only 180-500 remaining in the wild. The Philippine Eagle may soon no longer be found in the wild, unless direct intervention is taken.
We’re deeply saddened to report that Angalifu passed away at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on Sunday due to complications from old age. With Angalifu’s passing, only 5 northern white rhinos are left on the planet, including Nola, the Safari Park’s elderly female. Angalifu’s genetic material has been stored in the San Diego Zoo Global Frozen Zoo with the hope that new reproductive technologies will allow recovery of the species. This is a tremendous loss, and we invite you join us in our commitment to work harder to end extinction. Please re-blog this to spread the word about the plight of rhinos, and take action now.
On September 30th, the Taipei Zoo welcomed the birth of a female Pangolin, named “Gung-wu”.
The tiny Pangolin, born with eyes half open, began crawling, within an hour of birth, in search of nourishment from her mother. Although the Pangolin mother was a willing participant, she was unable to provide an adequate supply of milk for the new baby.
Zoo staff were patient with the new mother, but when the baby began to lose weight, the decision was made to intervene on behalf of the newborn. Now, zoo keepers provide 24 hour care and feeding for “Gung-wu”, and her weight and health have stabilized…
Read more: ZooBorns
Everyone who can please take some time and report this to Florida fish and wildlife commissions (FWC) This guy killed a protected eastern indigo (drymarchon couperi) in the state of Florida. Which can lead to him serving jail time. Conservation can’t work if we got idiots like him killing indigos. The website to report him is http://m.myfwc.com/contact/wildlife-alert/ Or google FWC report.