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Extinction Countdown

Crisis in Madagascar: 90 Percent of Lemur Species Are Threatened with Extinction

lemur

Madagascar’s 101 lemur species are “the most threatened mammal group on Earth,” according to a new policy paper published last week in Science. The famous primates have suffered over the past five years, since the start of the country’s political crisis and resulting wave of violent unrest and environmental crime. “Since the 2009 political crisis [...]

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Extinction Countdown

New Crocodile Species Discovered in West Africa

slender-snouted crocodile

Studying crocodiles in some of the world’s most remote and inaccessible places isn’t easy, but it’s all in a day’s work for researcher Matthew Shirley. It is also, as he says, a “crazy amount of fun”—even on the days when catching and studying crocodiles leaves him covered in his own blood. “I love cruising through [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Shocking Study Finds Lions are Nearly Extinct in West Africa

west african lion

Physically and emotionally demanding. That’s how Philipp Henschel, Lion Program Survey Coordinator for the big-cat conservation organization Panthera, describes the six years he and other researchers spent combing the wilds of 17 nations looking for the elusive and rarely studied West African lion. The results of their quest were disheartening to say the least. Back [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Pangolins in Peril: All 8 Species of Scaly Anteaters Endangered by Illegal Trade

pangolin

Dan Challender remembers the first time he saw someone eat a pangolin. As part of his research into the consumer demand and illegal trade of the small mammals—often referred to as scaly anteaters—he found himself in a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City in 2012. To help his research Challender made friends with the restaurant [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Habitat Running Out for Rare Primate in Cameroon

Mandrillus leucophaeus

Primates don’t get much more spectacular than the furry, short-tailed, long-faced, pink-rumped monkeys known as drills (Mandrillus leucophaeus). But despite their striking looks, drills—which are closely related to baboons and the even more wildly colored, blue-faced mandrills (M. sphinx)—have not fared well in the wild over the past few decades. Drills have become one of [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Lion Meat Tacos (You Read That Right) Are the Latest Threat to Conservation

lion

Why do U.S. restaurants keep trying to sell lion meat? This month a Florida restaurant called Taco Fusion put $35 lion tacos on its menu, and a California restaurant called Mokutanya announced $70 lion skewers, its second such promotion in the past year. Public outrage rose up almost immediately, forcing both restaurants to remove the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

A Monkey with Human Eyes and Other Links from the Brink

lesula

A winning snail, an unusual monkey and abused manatees are among the endangered species in the news this week. Best News of the Week: The Magazine Mountain shagreen snail (Inflectarius magazinensis) has become the first invertebrate protected by the Endangered Species Act to fully recover. The snail has now been removed from the endangered species [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Great Apes in Crisis: Thousands Poached and Stolen from the Wild Annually

caged chimpanzee

Nearly 3,000 chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans are illegally killed or stolen from the wild each year, according to a new report (pdf) from the United Nations Environmental Programme’s (UNEP) Great Apes Survival Partnership (GASP). The report, released to coincide with this week’s meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild [...]

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Extinction Countdown

African Lions Move Closer to U.S. Endangered Species Act Protection

african lion

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week that African lions (Panthera leo leo) may deserve protected status under the Endangered Species Act. The decision, published November 27 in the Federal Register, comes in response to a petition (pdf) filed in March 2011 by five conservation groups that argued that American hunters pose a [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Habitat Loss, Misinformation Spur Chimpanzee Aggression

chimpanzee

As tens of thousands of refugees crowd into the area around Virunga National Park in the warn-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the animals that already lived there are getting squeezed out their native habitats. Some of them apparently aren’t too happy about it. Incidents of chimpanzee attacks on humans are reportedly on the [...]

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