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Posts Tagged "overharvesting"

Extinction Countdown

First Wild Beaver in 800 Years Confirmed in England? [Video]

eurasian beaver

Few species recoveries have ever been as dramatic as that of the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber). Once overhunted to near extinction, only 1,200 beavers remained by the year 1900. Today, after more than a century of intense management and reintroductions, the beaver population stands at more than one million (pdf), which can now be found [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Yarsagumba: Aphrodisiac Fungus Faces Extinction in Nepal

Climate change and overharvesting have put a Himalayan fungus valued for its purported aphrodisiac qualities at risk of extinction. Known variously as yarsagumba, yarchagumba, yartsa gunba, yatsa gunbu and, more colloquially, “Himalayan Viagra,” the parasitic caterpillar fungus Cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) grows on and kills Tibetan ghost moths during their larval phase underground. A tiny mushroom [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Artificial Beaks Helping to Save Hornbills from Extinction in India

hornbill

For centuries the tribal Nyishi people in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh have worn the magnificent beaks of hornbill birds as a part of their traditional headgear, called pudum, which are considered a sign of manhood and tribal identity. Hornbills are the state birds of Arunachal Pradesh, but overhunting for pudum threatened all five [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Bad News for Christmas: Frankincense Faces Uncertain Future

frankincense tree

Frankincense—that aromatic staple of the original Christmas story—could soon be “doomed” to near-extinction, according to research published December 21 in the Journal of Applied Ecology. Frankincense is an aromatic resin used in perfumes and incense. It comes from trees of the Boswellia genus, which grow mostly in the Horn of Africa and Arabian Peninsula. The [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Amazing Neptune’s Cup Sponge Rediscovered in Singapore

More than 100 years after it was last seen, the giant Neptune’s cup sponge (Cliona patera) has been rediscovered off the coast of southern Singapore. First discovered in 1822, the sponges grew so large—a meter or more in both height and diameter—that their cup-like structures were sometimes used as tubs for babies. But their size [...]

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Extinction Countdown

The Denver Zoo is helping to save Peru’s critically endangered Lake Titicaca frog

Lake Titicaca frog

A small success is being hailed as a big step forward for conservation efforts to protect the world’s largest aquatic frog, the critically endangered Lake Titicaca frog (Telmatobius culeus). For the first time, frogs in captivity in their native country of Peru have laid fertile eggs, and although the resulting tadpoles did not survive, scientists [...]

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