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Extinction Countdown

Extinction Countdown

News and research about endangered species from around the world
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    John R. Platt Twice a week, John Platt shines a light on endangered species from all over the globe, exploring not just why they are dying out but also what's being done to rescue them from oblivion. Follow on Twitter @johnrplatt.
  • After 400 Million Years, Coelacanth at Risk of Extinction

    coelacanth sq

    It may have hidden in the ocean for millions of years, but life today poses numerous challenges for the West Indian Ocean coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae), the “living fossil” fish that was famously rediscovered off the coast of South Africa in 1938. The few areas in which the fish still swim face destruction from new port [...]

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    Critically Endangered Plant with Brilliant Purple Flowers Discovered in Hawaii

    Cyanea konahuanuiensis

    Here’s the crazy thing about living in Hawaii: Even though the islands are home to more than 18,000 unique species that live nowhere else on Earth, the people of Hawaii rarely see those native plants and animals. In no small part, that’s because Hawaii is the site of an ongoing extinction crisis. Thousands of species [...]

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    Amur Leopard Population Booms—to 57

    amur leopard

    The world’s rarest big cats have become ever-so-slightly less rare over the past decade. According to a census released this week, there are now at least 57 Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis) in Russia. That may not seem like a lot but the subspecies only had about 30 cats there in 2007, so this number [...]

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    Species Snapshot: Sunda Pangolin [Video]

    sunda pangolin

    Today is World Pangolin Day, an occasion to recognize the rapidly impending extinction of the eight species of scaly anteaters from Africa and Asia. Let’s take this as an opportunity to get a glimpse of one of the most endangered of these wonderful and barely understood creatures. Species name: Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica), also known [...]

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    Look Out Lemurs: Climate Change Is Taking Your Land

    hubbards sportive lemur

    As if rampant deforestation and poaching weren’t bad enough, climate change will have a devastating effect on the majority of Madagascar’s lemur species, most of them already imperiled, according to a paper published this week in Ecology and Evolution. The threat will vary by species but the paper—by researchers Jason Brown and Anne Yoder from [...]

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    Critically Endangered Tarantula Links India and Sri Lanka

    Poecilotheria hanumavilasumica

    For thousands of years a thin bridge of sand and rock connected mainland India with the island of Sri Lanka. The 30-kilometer stretch known as Rama’s (or Adam’s) Bridge disappeared centuries ago—probably after a cyclone in the year A.D. 1480—but its legacy remains today. Nowhere is that more evident than on one of the few [...]

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    Gorgeous Blue-Eyed Lemur Faces Extinction in 11 Years

    blue-eyed black lemur

    One of the most recently discovered lemur species of Madagascar could also be one of the first to disappear. The striking blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons), which was only identified as a species in 2008, faces extinction in as little as 11 years due to rapid deforestation in its only habitat, according to research published [...]

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    Endangered Species and the Global Society: A Discussion with 360 Magazine

    [View the story "360 Magazine Twitter Chat" on Storify]

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    Tiger Populations in Nepal Can’t Grow without More Food and Space

    tigers nepal

    Nepal has a lofty goal: The country wants to have at least 250 Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) within its borders by the year 2022. They’ve already made pretty amazing progress, growing the population from 121 in 2009 to 198 in 2013. Earlier this week conservation groups praised Nepal for its efforts to reduce poaching, [...]

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    Rarely Seen Saharan Cheetah Revealed in Incredible Photos

    Saharan cheetah

    It’s not easy to get a glimpse of the critically endangered Saharan cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus hecki), the rarest of the six cheetah subspecies. Only about 200 to 250 of these nocturnal cats are thought to survive in remote pockets of Algeria, Niger, Togo, Mali, Benin and Burkina Faso, making them the rarest—and at the same [...]

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