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Extinction Countdown

Accidental Kakapo Death Lowers Population of Rare, Flightless Parrots to 127 Birds

kakapo

The death of an adult female kakapo (Strigops habroptila) on New Zealand’s Anchor Island this past weekend brings the population of these rare flightless parrots down to just 127 birds. The late kakapo, known as Sandra, was killed when her transmitter harness got entangled in a tree. All kakapos are outfitted with transmitters to help [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sperm Bank and Reproductive Research Could Help Save Tasmanian Devils from Extinction

Tasmanian devil

A diseased and emaciated Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) was found last week on a golf course in the town of Zeehan on Tasmania’s west coast. Like many of its kind, the animal suffered from the deadly, transmittable cancer known as Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), which has wiped out at least 70 percent and possibly [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Should Gay, Endangered Penguins Be Forced to Mate?

African penguins

What do you do when a species is rapidly disappearing in the wild and two of its most likely in-captivity studs decide to cuddle with each other instead of with eligible bachelorettes? That’s the problem Toronto Zoo is encountering this week as two endangered male African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) recently brought to the zoo for [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Please Don’t Feed the Endangered Eagles?

It’s a fairly common practice to help certain endangered species in the wild by providing them with extra food or prey. But could these activities actually end up harming the very species conservationists are trying to help? Researchers from Spain’s National Museum of Natural Sciences, the Doñana Biological Station and GIR Diagnostics asked that question [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Artificial insemination leads to rare breeding of endangered Chinese crane

There’s one more white-naped crane (Grus vipio) in the world today, thanks to an innovative breeding program at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Fewer than 5,000 of these rare Chinese cranes are believed to exist in the wild, and the birds that are left aren’t breeding very frequently. Making matters worse, very few [...]

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