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Posts Tagged "elephants"

Extinction Countdown

Slaughtered for Ivory: 65 Percent of Forest Elephants Killed Since 2002

forest elephants

It just gets worse and worse. Last year a shocking study revealed that 62 percent of the world’s forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) had been killed by poachers between 2002 and 2011. Now a new update adds data from 2012 and 2013, finding that a total of 65 percent of the species has now been slaughtered [...]

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Extinction Countdown

U.S. to Destroy 6 Tons of Confiscated Ivory, Sending Message to Poachers

confiscated ivory

Whole elephant tusks. Carved ivory figurines and statues. Ivory knives, jewelry, chopsticks and trinkets. Six tons of this stuff, all of it illegal, sits in a secure warehouse where box after cardboard box rests alongside wooden pallets that overflow their bloody bounty onto the floor. No, this isn’t in China or South Africa or Japan. [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Philippines Cancels Planned Burn of Confiscated Elephant Tusks after Clean-Air Groups Object

elephant with tusks

This Philippine government this weekend cancelled plans to burn $10 million worth of seized elephant tusks after several clean-air groups cried foul. The Philippines isn’t the only country trying to destroy its ivory stockpiles. Gabon conducted a massive ivory burn last year—an act that  their government said sent a message to poachers in that country [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Diseased Tigers, Wounded Rhinos and Other Links from the Brink

sumatran tiger

Diseases, poachers, smartphones, sewage and animal psychology are in the news this weekend. Temper Tantrum: Evidence of canine distemper has been found in Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) in Indonesia, according to a recent report from BBC News. Distemper has previously been found in Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) in Russia, where it proved to [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Massacred Elephants, Found Frogs and Other Links from the Brink

Dzanga Bai elephants

Elephants, turtles, grizzly bears and some of the world’s rarest frogs are among the endangered species in the news this week. Worst News of the Week: Armed gunmen entered the Dzanga Bai World Heritage Site in the violence-plagued Central African Republic this week and slaughtered at least 26 elephants. The site is known as the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Poachers Have Killed 62 Percent of Forest Elephants in the Past Decade

forest elephant ivory

Central Africa has become increasingly inhospitable to forest elephants, according to a study published March 4 in PLoS One that found that 62 percent of the species was killed by poachers between 2002 and 2011. The study—by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and more than a dozen other institutions—also found that 30 percent [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Leopards, Tortoises, Harlequin Frogs and other Links from the Brink

amur leopard

Last year I wrote somewhere around 150 articles about endangered species. I could have easily written closer to 1,000. One blog simply can’t cover all of threatened species around the world, as hard as I try. But I hate letting news items (not to mention species) fall through the cracks. And so, here is the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

What Happens When Forest Elephants Are Wiped Out in an Ecosystem?

forest elephant family

As go the elephants, so go the trees. That’s the message of a new study published in the May 2013 issue of Forest Ecology and Management that found more than a dozen elephant-dependent tree species suffered catastrophic population declines in new plant growths after forest elephants were nearly extirpated from their ecosystems. The fruit-bearing trees [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Was Palm Oil to Blame for the Poisoning of 14 Pygmy Elephants?

pygmy elephant baby

When wildlife officials in Borneo first encountered a three-month-old pygmy elephant on January 25, he was surrounded by death. Four members of his herd lay on the ground around him, their bodies cold and bloody. The baby was nudging his dead mother with his trunk, trying to get her to rise and feed him. Tragically, [...]

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Extinction Countdown

South Africa Invests in Elephant Birth Control [Video]

elephant family

African elephants face two terribly contradictory threats: In some parts of the continent the animals are being hunted into extinction for their valuable ivory tusks, but in other countries elephants are so heavily overpopulated that they pose a threat not just to themselves but to entire ecosystems. South Africa faces the latter problem. There are [...]

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Observations

How China’s Pet Dogs Might Save Wild Tigers

tiger

On the streets of Beijing, little old ladies coax even littler dogs to do their business. Some even bear the little plastic bags carried by civically conscious urbanite pet-lovers everywhere. Yet in cities across China one can also still find dog on the menu, as I can personally attest. This divide between a growing middle [...]

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Observations

A Proposal to Introduce Elephants to Australia: Really?

elephants

Why not bring elephants to Australia? That’s the proposal made by biologist David Bowman of the University of Tasmania in a comment published February 2 in Nature. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.) The pachyderms could help to polish off gamba grass, introduced from Africa to Australia in the 1930s as fodder for [...]

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Observations

Attempt to allow sale of elephant ivory fails

African elephant

The illegal trade in elephant ivory is booming. African elephants are being slaughtered at rates exceeding the former peak in the late 1980s, before Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES (pronounced SITE-ees), banned all trade in elephant products. The ban—as well as a worldwide public outcry against the slaughter—helped to stabilize the [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Crocodiles attack elephants

Way back in November 2010 a remarkable photo appeared online, showing an adult Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus biting the trunk of an adult female African bush elephant Loxodonta africana (a plague upon those bloggers and others who identified the crocodylian as an… alligator. Duh). You’ve almost certainly seen the photo already: it was widely features [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

The Best Animal Stories of 2012

Allen's swamp monkeys. San Diego Zoo.

By Jason G. Goldman and Matt Soniak Humans have a complicated relationship with our non-human cousins. Some animals we invite into our homes, and treat as members of our families. Indeed, in November of this year singer Fiona Apple made headlines when she announced that she would cancel the South American segment of her tour [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

The WEIRD Psychology of Elephants

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

In 1976, psychologists John and Sandra Condry of Cornell University had 204 human adults view videotaped footage of an infant boy named David and infant girl named Dana, and asked them to describe the infants’ facial expressions and dispositions. They described their findings in an article in the journal Child Development. In the video, infants [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Elephants Say “Bee-ware!”

ResearchBlogging.org

What information is contained in the call of a mammal? Some calls might reflect the internal emotional state of the animal, like fear or anxiety, or they can refer to an external object, agent, or event, like the presence of a predator. Rhesus monkeys, lemurs, baboons, and guinea pigs, for example, will produce calls when [...]

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