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Extinction Countdown

Beautiful but Rarely Seen Cat Species Photographed in Borneo [Video]

bay cat

Every once in a while, scientists working in some remote corner of the globe catch sight of a creature so rare, so elusive and so amazing that you just need to sit up and say “whoa.” This is one of those times. The little-known and rarely studied bay cat (Pardofelis badia) of Borneo has only [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Habitat Running Out for Rare Primate in Cameroon

Mandrillus leucophaeus

Primates don’t get much more spectacular than the furry, short-tailed, long-faced, pink-rumped monkeys known as drills (Mandrillus leucophaeus). But despite their striking looks, drills—which are closely related to baboons and the even more wildly colored, blue-faced mandrills (M. sphinx)—have not fared well in the wild over the past few decades. Drills have become one of [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Gray Wolves Declared Recovered and Other Links from the Brink

gray wolf

Gray wolves, little penguins and rare birds in Fiji are among the endangered species in the news this weekend. Prepare for the Howls: In a not-unexpected move, this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Friday announced that it will propose to delist gray wolves (Canis lupus) from the Endangered Species Act (ESA), arguing that [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Starving Orangutans, Dead Bats and Other Links from the Brink (April 13, 2013)

bornean orangutan

Bornean orangutans, gray bats and Grauer’s gorillas are among the endangered species in the news this week. This Week’s Most Heartbreaking Story: A family of Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) was photographed clinging to the sole remaining tree in their former forest habitat after the rest of it had been chopped down for a palm oil [...]

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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

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

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

Indonesia’s Palm oil economy drives human fortunes–And orangutan misfortunes

The net worth of Indonesia’s 40 richest men has doubled to $42 billion in the past year, driven in no small part by the growing demand for palm oil, according to Forbes magazine’s annual examination of the country’s top richest people. Global demand for palm oil is now more than 40 million tons per year, [...]

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