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Extinction Countdown

10 Years of Extinction Countdown: A Lot of Good in the Face of Mass Losses

mountain gorilla

Ten years. Nearly 1,200 articles. I have no idea how many species. I have no idea how many tears. *** When I started what was then called “Extinction Blog” on August 19, 2004, I didn’t know what it would become, let who I would be a decade later. To be honest, I didn’t set out [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Killifishes Killed Off: 2 Fish Species May Be Extinct in the Wild

extinct

Is it time to add two more species to the list of recent extinctions? New research indicates that two critically endangered fish species may now be extinct in the wild following the destruction of their only habitats. The species in question were both killifishes, an order of thumb-size fishes that live in small bodies of [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Tiny Ohio Catfish Species, Last Seen in 1957, Declared Extinct

scioto madtom

Here’s the thing about extinctions: They are very rarely witnessed. The last members of a species in the wild tend to go quietly into the night with no one to witness their deaths. All too often, humans don’t even notice that a species has disappeared until years—if not decades—after the fact. Even then, conservationists tend [...]

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Extinction Countdown

4 Extinct Species That People Still Hope to Rediscover

thylacines

There’s nothing like the scientific thrill of discovering something for the very first time—or, in rare cases, rediscovering something that most people had presumed forever lost. Take the Cuban solenodon (Solenodon cubanus), for example. Unseen after 1890 and long presumed extinct, it unexpectedly showed up again in 1974. Sightings after that were few and far [...]

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Extinction Countdown

3 British Moths Extinct; Most Other Species in Decline

Orange Upperwing - A Spalding, Butterfly Conservation

Three moth species have disappeared from the U.K. in the past decade and two thirds of the species that remain have suffered dramatic population crashes according to new research from the organizations Butterfly Conservation and Rothamsted Research. The news is published in the new report “The State of Britain’s Larger Moths 2013″ (pdf), which covers [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Cost to Prevent All Future Extinctions: $11 per Person?

forest owlet

A global effort to prevent all future species extinctions would cost about $80 billion a year, or $11.42 annually from every person on the planet, according to a study published last week in Science. The study, released in conjunction with eleventh meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) currently underway in Hyderabad, India, is [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Japanese River Otter Declared Extinct

Japanese river otter

After not being seen for more than 30 years, the Japanese river otter (Lutra lutra whiteleyi) has been declared extinct by the country’s Ministry of the Environment, which also last week declared several other species extinct. Once numbering in the millions, Japanese river otters—a subspecies of the European or Eurasian otter (L. lutra)—were overhunted for [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Citizen Scientists and Social Media Aim to Help Prevent Frog Extinctions

Panamanian golden frog

Around the world, frogs and other amphibians are disappearing due to habitat loss, climate change, pollution and the deadly chytrid fungus, which has already driven a few dozen species into extinction. But with critical information on many species still lacking, scientists can only go so far when trying to help save those in crisis. To [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Can Google’s page-rank algorithm help save endangered species and ecosystems?

Google HP on Earth Day 2008

When users seek information from Google, the search engine relies on a proprietary algorithm called PageRank™ to determine the order of the sites that show up in search results. Now, two researchers say a similar algorithm can be used to determine which species are critical to the preservation of ecosystems, allowing scientists to focus conservation [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Pandas’ newest threat–economics–threatens extinction in 2 to 3 generations

giant panda

As if pandas didn’t have it bad enough already, now comes a new report that predicts China’s blossoming economy poses such a great threat to giant pandas that the species could be extinct in two to three generations. The report comes from animal conservationist Fan Zhiyong, species program director at the Beijing office of the [...]

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