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Posts Tagged "critical habitat"

Extinction Countdown

Flower Power: Collaboration Keeps Rare Plant off the Endangered Species List

Georgia aster

Fifteen years ago the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) acknowledged that a rare plant called the Georgia aster (Symphyotrichum georgianum) deserved and needed protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Unfortunately, a lot of other species also needed protection—some of them much more urgently. As such, the Georgia aster was determined to be a [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Cuban Crocodile

cuban crocodile

These small, aggressive crocodiles once dominated their habitats. That is no longer the case. Species name: Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer) Where found: The Cuban crocodile once existed on quite a few Caribbean islands. Today it can only be found in two small areas of Cuba: Zapata Swamp on mainland Cuba and Lanier Swamp on the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

The 5 Biggest Myths about the Endangered Species Act

bald eagle

This December will mark the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), a vital piece of legislation that has been called one of the world’s most effective environmental laws. But despite four decades of successes, the ESA remains poorly understood. Here are five of the biggest myths and misconceptions surrounding the law. Myth [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Researchers Capture Fleeting Images of Incredibly Rare Sumatran Rabbit [Video]

Blink and you might miss it. A team of researchers studying leopards and other cats on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has instead captured a few seconds worth of video of the Sumatran striped rabbit (Nesolagus netscheri), a species so rare and elusive that it has only been photographed three times previously, in 1998, 2000 [...]

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Extinction Countdown

The Last 400 Asiatic Lions Need More Room to Grow–but Where Will They Go?

iMG_6457

They are mostly forgotten today, but Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica) once roamed in vast numbers across the Indian subcontinent, Mediterranean and Middle East until overhunting brought them to within a hair’s breadth of extinction. By 1907, when an Indian prince finally banned hunting and protected the last lions, only 13 members of the subspecies [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Hellbender Salamander Gets Endangered Species Designation, but No Habitat Protection—and That May Be a Good Thing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) this week granted the Ozark hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi) protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) but made the unusual decision not to declare critical habitat for the rare, giant salamanders because, it said, doing so could open it to threats from those who would illegally collect the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

More polar bear news than you can shake a rapidly melting icicle at

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) got a long-awaited boost on November 23 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) finally designated more than 485,000 square kilometers of “critical habitat” for the species, which is listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The critical habitat was first proposed in October 2009, and a ruling [...]

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