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Extinction Countdown

This Rare White Possum Could Soon Be a Ghostly Memory

white lemuroid ringtail possum

A ghost lives in the Daintree Rainforest in northeastern Queensland, Australia. There, on a single mountain range located 1,100 meters above sea level, scientists have recently found what may be the last few white lemuroid ringtail possums (Hemibelideus lemuroides), a species that was all but wiped out by a heat wave in 2005. They may [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Flower Power: Collaboration Keeps Rare Plant off the Endangered Species List

Georgia aster

Fifteen years ago the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) acknowledged that a rare plant called the Georgia aster (Symphyotrichum georgianum) deserved and needed protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Unfortunately, a lot of other species also needed protection—some of them much more urgently. As such, the Georgia aster was determined to be a [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Lawsuit to Remove Plant from Endangered Species List Completely Backfires

Indian Knob

Oh what a difference a few years makes. Just four years ago, the rare California shrub known as the Indian Knob mountain balm (Eriodictyon altissimum) was poised to drop off the endangered species list after the threats to its existence had mostly been abated. This week, however, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decided [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Rare Tree, Dependent on Fire, to Leave Endangered Species List

Santa Cruz cypress

Natural forest fires were once an important part of the life cycle of the Santa Cruz cypress, a rare tree that today exists in just five mountainous groves in California. Fires cleared out competing plants from around the trees and, crucially, the heat caused their cones to release their seeds—the main way the species reproduces. [...]

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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

Texas Wildfires Devastate Last Habitat for Endangered Houston Toad

Devastating fires that swept through eastern Texas this month have left dozens of people dead or missing and destroyed more than 1,500 homes. The fires have also dealt a horrible blow the endangered Houston toad (Bufo houstonensis), which had already been suffering due to years of drought that preceded the flames. Houston toads started disappearing [...]

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Observations

Major Flooding Inundates Drought-Stricken Colorado Cities

colorado flooding

LONGMONT, Colo.—Three days of soaking rain in Colorado have unleashed damaging floods in and around Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs and isolated some towns in the foothills of the Rockies. An additional several inches of rain overnight swelled mountain creeks sending runoff from the mountains and into the populated areas downhill. Along the Front Range, [...]

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Plugged In

Update on the Bastrop, TX fires

Quick update on the Bastrop, TX fires. According to local news outlets, the wildfires are 70 percent contained. Of the 34,000 acres burned by the wildfire, 6,400 acres were in Bastrop State Park. In addition to the many homes lost or damaged by the fires, two historic Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) structures have been damaged. [...]

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