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Posts Tagged "genetic diversity"

Extinction Countdown

First Major Genetic Study of Elusive South African Dolphin Reveals a Species in Peril

Heaviside-Dolphin

In 1828, in a short paper in the journal Spicilegia Zoologica, British zoologist John Edward Gray reported six “new and undescribed” marine animals, among them a small dolphin found off southern Africa’s Atlantic coast. The specimen had been brought to him by Thomas Haviside, a captain for the East India Company, who encountered the dolphin [...]

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Extinction Countdown

World’s Largest Owl Needs Equally Large Trees and Forests (But It’s More Complex Than That)

Blakiston's Fish owl

With a body the size of a small child and a wingspan of up to two meters, the Blakiston’s fish owl (Bubo blakistoni) is the largest owl in the world. It is also one of the rarest, shiest and least studied. But that didn’t stop a team of researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Egg Swap for Operatic New Zealand Birds a Success, but Invasive Predators Create Discord

kokako david cook sq

New Zealand used to be home to two subspecies of the rare birds known as kōkako (Callaeas cinereus). Today only one subspecies remains. The South Island kōkako was last seen in 1967 and was finally declared extinct six years ago. Conservationists are determined to save the remaining subspecies, which can still be found in the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

What Do Tigers and Kiwi Have in Common? The Answer Lies in Their Genes

bengal tiger

At first (and probably second) glance you wouldn’t think that tigers and kiwis have all that much in common. Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) live in India and the surrounding countries, where the predators can weigh more than 220 kilograms. Little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii) live exclusively in New Zealand, where the flightless birds weigh [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Just 35 Devils Hole Pupfish Remain—Does Extinction Loom?

devils hole pupfish

One of the world’s rarest fish species just got a lot rarer. The latest twice-annual count of tiny Devils Hole pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis) at their sole habitat in Nevada has revealed just 35 of the critically endangered fish remain, down from 75 this past fall. This is the lowest count since the species was federally [...]

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Extinction Countdown

De-Extinction: Can Cloning Bring Extinct Species Back to Life?

passenger pigeon

At some point in the next decade, if advances in biotechnology continue on their current path, clones of extinct species such as the passenger pigeon, Tasmanian tiger and wooly mammoth could once again live among us. But cloning lost species—or “de-extinction” as some scientists call it—presents us with myriad ethical, legal and regulatory questions that [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Fewer Manatee Deaths in 2012, but Threats Remain

manatee

Unlike a lot of other endangered species, the Florida manatee didn’t have all that bad a year in 2012. Only 392 manatees were found dead in Florida last year (pdf), according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This figure is a drop from 453 in 2011 (pdf) and well below the record high [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Brazil Plans to Clone Its Endangered Species

black lion tamarin

If scientists in Brazil have their way, the populations of eight endangered species could soon expand through a mass effort to clone them. The project is spearheaded by the Brasilia Zoological Garden in partnership with Embrapa, the Brazilian government’s agricultural research agency. The scientists have already spent the past two years collecting 420 genetic samples [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Last 500 Ethiopian Wolves Endangered by Lack of Genetic Diversity

ethiopian wolf

The last wolves in Africa face a difficult road if they are going to survive. Just 500 Ethiopian wolves (Canis simensis) remain in the mountains of the country for which they are named. The animals now live in six fragmented populations located hundreds of kilometers apart from one another; three of these populations have fewer [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Snow Leopard News: Climate Change, Radio Collars, Heart Troubles and a Video First

Wow, this is quite the week for snow leopards (Panthera uncia) with not one, not two, not three but four interesting stories coming out about these endangered big cats. Let’s start with the bad news. Climate change, as you might expect, could soon create trouble for snow leopards living in the Himalayas. According to a [...]

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