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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

Almost Extinct Brazilian Bird Observed in Nest for the First Time [Video]

Stresemann

Two Brazilian researchers doing some recreational bird-watching have made an amazing discovery: the first nest ever found for the critically endangered Stresemann’s bristlefront (Merulaxis stresemanni). One of the world’s rarest birds, the bristlefront has an estimated population of just 15 individuals, all at the 600-hectare Mata do Passarinho Reserve run by Fundação Biodiversitas in the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Logging Could Doom Tiny Australian Possum to Extinction, but One Zoo Offers Hope

leadbeater's possum

Scientists and conservationists this week said they will petition the Australian government to change the status of the Leadbeater’s possum from “endangered” to “critically endangered,” a designation shared by only four other Australian mammals. The tiny marsupial (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) is one of two faunal emblems of Australia’s State of Victoria, but it has suffered badly [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Survey of Critically Endangered Pygmy Sloths Finds Just 79 Animals Remain

pygmy three toed sloth

In May 2011, after months of preparation, Jakob Shockey and two fellow biology students from Evergreen State College in Washington State found themselves on a tiny Panamanian island staring at one of the rarest mammals in the world: the pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus). “I felt humbled to finally stand knee-deep in the mud of [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Eye in the Sky: Drones Help Conserve Sumatran Orangutans and Other Wildlife

drone launch

What better way to study the world’s largest arboreal animals than by putting an eye in the sky? A team of scientists working in Indonesia has done just that by launching inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicles (aka drone airplanes), to study critically endangered Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) from above the treetops. The technology is already being [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Guerrilla Marketing to Save Mountain Gorillas: Renewable Energy to the Rescue

gorilla marketing virunga national park

How does dressing up in a really bad gorilla costume help to save endangered mountain gorillas? Well, it’s not actually the costume itself that’s important; it’s what the man inside the costume is also carrying. Take a look at the photo to the left. In one hand, the costumed gorilla holds an energy-efficient stove. In [...]

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Extinction Countdown

World’s Largest Butterfly Threatened by Shrinking Habitat and Deforestation

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing 2

Counting butterflies in the wild is not an easy task, even when you are looking for the largest butterfly in the world, the Queen Alexandra’s birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae) of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Females of the species have an impressive and eye-catching 30-centimeter wingspan, 50 percent larger than the more colorful males. But the Queen [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Endangered Australian Cockatoo Loses One Third of Population in Just 1 Year

Carnaby

It’s been a rough year for Western Australia’s iconic but endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus latirostris), which are endemic to the state and live nowhere else in the world. Their population has dropped 37 percent in the past year, from 12,954 roosting birds in 2010 to just 8,365 in 2011, according to the third Great [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Illegal Deforestation Threatens the Last 23 Hainan Gibbons [Video]

The world’s final 23 Hainan black-crested gibbons (Nomascus hainanus) are making what may be their last stand in China, where their jungle habitat is being wiped out at a rate of 200,000 square meters a day, according to a new report from Greenpeace International. Hainan gibbons are the world’s rarest primates. Sixty years ago they [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Poaching, habitat loss taking toll on Bornean clouded leopard

When the Bornean clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) was first identified as its own species in 2006, it was almost instantly added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as “vulnerable” to extinction. Just four years later evidence out of Brunei, one of the three countries [...]

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