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Posts Tagged "critically endangered"

Extinction Countdown

Butt-Breathing Turtle Now Critically Endangered

butt-breathing turtle

Few reptiles can breathe underwater. Australia is home to one of the exceptions, the white-throated snapping turtle (Elseya albagula), which can extract oxygen from water through its backside via a process called cloacal respiration. This unusual technique, shared by a handful of other turtle and fish species, gave the turtles an evolutionary advantage for millennia, [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Life on the Volcano Is Increasingly Tough for These Hawaiian Birds

palila

You have to hike a pretty long distance if you hope to see the critically endangered bird known as the palila (Loxioides bailleui), but if you’re lucky and work hard, you can walk their entire habitat in a single day. That’s because these beautiful yellow-headed birds live in just one place on Earth: the upper [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Bluefin Tuna, Chinese Cobra and Others Added to Red List of Threatened Species

Bluefit tuna

The latest update to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was published Monday and, as you can imagine, it wasn’t good news. The Red List, the global inventory of species, now identifies 22,413 species as threatened with extinction around the world. Some of the most notable of the 310 additions to the Red List [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Critically Endangered Gecko Discovered in Madagascar

Paroedura hordiesi

The island of Madagascar is home to a pretty amazing and diverse collection of geckos, with nearly 70 species from 10 different genera. Now you can add one more species to the list: Paroedura hordiesi, a highly camouflaged nocturnal gecko that was recently discovered in northern Madagascar. It was described this week in Zoosystematics and [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Chinese Sturgeon Give Up, Stop Breeding in Polluted Yangtze River

chinese sturgeon

When an endangered species stops breeding, you know its days are probably numbered. In China the countdown has apparently begun for the critically endangered Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis). According to a report issued this week by the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, only about 100 of the massive fish remain in the heavily polluted and [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Vaquita Porpoise about to Go Extinct, Only 97 Remain

vaquita

Millions of dollars and two decades of conservation efforts have failed to protect the Gulf of California’s critically endangered vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus). Two years ago this species’s population was estimated at 200. Today it has plummeted to just 97. Fewer than 25 of those that remain are thought to be females capable of reproducing [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Nearly Extinct Mussel Gets One Last Chance at Survival

purple cat's paw mussels

Freshwater mussels have a particularly unusual system of reproduction. Males release their sperm into the water with the hope that a nearby female will siphon them up to fertilize her eggs. Once fertilization occurs, the female produces larvae called glochidia, which she then releases back into the water. At this point the mother is out [...]

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Extinction Countdown

First-Ever Video of Critically Endangered Myanmar Snub-Nosed Monkeys

myanmar snub-nosed monkey

Here’s something you don’t see every day: video footage of the critically endangered Myanmar snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus strykeri), a species that was only discovered in 2010. You can count at least 23 of the rare monkeys, out of a total population estimated to range from 260 to 330 individuals for the entire species, in the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Puerto Rican Parrot

Puerto Rican Parrot

The only native parrot species still living in the U.S., these birds nearly went extinct in the second half of the twentieth century. By 1975, only 13 parrots remained. Intense conservation efforts over the past few decades have helped to turn that around, but the species still has a long way to go. Species name: [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Microjewels: Stunningly Beautiful Snails Going Extinct as Soon as They Are Discovered

microjewel

You need to have pretty good eyesight to see the tiny snails from the genus Plectostoma. These almost impossibly small gastropods from Malaysia and Thailand only reach a millimeter or two in width, but they make up for their lack of size with their stunning beauty. The 31 Plectostoma species described in a new paper [...]

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