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Posts Tagged "traditional asian medicine"

Extinction Countdown

All 8 Pangolin Species Being Eaten into Extinction

ground pangolin

A few days ago customs officials in Vietnam raided a cargo ship from Sierra Leone and seized an astonishing 1.4 tons of dried pangolin scales. The grisly discovery came from the bodies of as many as 10,000 dead pangolins, the scaly anteaters of Africa and Asia that are being hunted into extinction for their meat [...]

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Extinction Countdown

How the Western Black Rhino Went Extinct

western black rhino

Oh what a difference a century makes. At the beginning of the 20th century, an estimated one million black rhinoceroses from four different subspecies roamed the savannas of Africa. By 2001 that number had dropped to about 2,300 black rhinos and just three subspecies. This is the tale of how we lost one of those [...]

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Extinction Countdown

22 Links for World Rhino Day as Poaching Levels Shoot Past 2012′s Deadly Record

southern white rhino

Statistically speaking, at least two rhinos will probably be killed by poachers today. The criminals will descend upon the fallen animals, chop off their horns and disappear. Those horns will then begin their long journey to China or Vietnam where they will be ground up and sold as “cures” for ailments ranging from cancer to [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Pangolins in Peril: All 8 Species of Scaly Anteaters Endangered by Illegal Trade

pangolin

Dan Challender remembers the first time he saw someone eat a pangolin. As part of his research into the consumer demand and illegal trade of the small mammals—often referred to as scaly anteaters—he found himself in a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City in 2012. To help his research Challender made friends with the restaurant [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Saiga Success: Critically Endangered Antelope Population Doubles in 5 Years

saiga

Well it’s about time I had some success to report about the saiga (Saiga tatarica), the critically endangered antelope species native to Kazakhstan and nearby countries in central Asia. Just a few decades ago saiga populations numbered in the millions. The fall of the Soviet Union brought uncontrolled poaching across the saiga’s range, and 95 [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Hammerhead Sharks, Houston Toads, Heavy Metal and Other Links from the Brink

great hammerhead shark

Rare sharks, toads, rhinos and bears are among the endangered species in the news this week. Hammer Time: David Shiffman offers 10 reasons why great and scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna mokarran and S. lewini) deserve Endangered Species Act protections and encourages people to take direct action in support of a move to do just that. [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Pygmy Elephants, Asiatic Lions and Other Links from the Brink

pygmy elephant baby

Pygmy elephants, Asiatic lions and Siamese crocodiles are among the endangered species in the news this week. Pygmy elephant update: Remember the 14 pygmy elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) that were poisoned in Borneo back in February? There’s both good and bad news about the case. The good news is that Baby Joe, the youngster that [...]

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Extinction Countdown

5 Turtles from Nearly Extinct Species Fly Home to Hong Kong

golden coin turtles

Asia’s turtles and tortoises are in an extinction crisis. Few species embody that more than the critically endangered golden coin turtle (Cuora trifasciata), which is so valued in the illegal pet trade and for its use in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that a single specimen can fetch $25,000 or more on the black market. The [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Rhino Poaching: An Extinction Crisis

white rhinoceros

In 2010 a black rhinoceros female named Phila survived two separate and brutal attempts on her life. In the first, poachers used a helicopter to attack the private game reserve where she lived in South Africa. Another rhino died in the assault. Phila escaped with two gunshot wounds. She was lucky, but her ordeal was [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Updates from the Brink: Dying Devils, Disappearing Vultures and a $473,000 Fish

When I last wrote about Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) this past December, the species was in pretty dire straits. A contagious cancer known as Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) had, at that point, wiped out at least 70 percent of devils in the wild, forcing scientists to resort to captive breeding, a sperm bank and [...]

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