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Posts Tagged "hunting"

Extinction Countdown

Somali Ostrich and 360 Other Newly Discovered Birds Added to List of Threatened Species

somali ostrich

Did you know there are two species of ostrich? Don’t worry if this is news to you—scientists didn’t know that for sure either until this year, when the Somali ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) of Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and Kenya was declared a separate species from the common ostrich (S. camelus). Previously considered a subspecies, the Somali [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Why Is Namibia Killing Its Rare Desert Elephants?

desert elephant

On Saturday, June 21 one of the Republic of Namibia’s rare desert elephants was felled by a hunter’s rifle. Unlike most of the other elephants that die on any given day in Africa, this particular elephant was slain legally. Namibia has reportedly sold nine hunting permits to foreign hunters for undisclosed amounts. Two of the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

New Crocodile Species Discovered in West Africa

slender-snouted crocodile

Studying crocodiles in some of the world’s most remote and inaccessible places isn’t easy, but it’s all in a day’s work for researcher Matthew Shirley. It is also, as he says, a “crazy amount of fun”—even on the days when catching and studying crocodiles leaves him covered in his own blood. “I love cruising through [...]

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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

Sunday Species Snapshot: Visayan Warty Pig

Visayan Warty Pig

This delightfully ugly, hairy, toothy pig has disappeared from most of its original range. But a few zoos are helping to save it from extinction. Species name: Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons) Where found: Just two islands in the Philippines. They used to be found on six islands, but that’s the way the habitat crumbles. [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Alaotran Gentle Lemur

gentle lemur

A primate that lives only in wetlands? That alone makes the Alaotran gentle lemur unique. But this tiny lemur lives in incredibly limited constrained habitat, which continues to shrink around it. Species name: Boy, this one has a lot of names, including the Alaotran gentle lemur, Alaotra reed lemur, Lac Alaotra bamboo lemur and Lake [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Conservation’s Holy Grail: “Asian Unicorn” Sighted in Vietnam

saola

One of the rarest creatures in Asia has been spotted in the wild for the first time in nearly 15 years. A camera trap in Vietnam has captured three fleeting images of a single saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) walking next to a stream in the rainforests of the Annamite Mountains. The species, considered one of conservation’s [...]

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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

Does Controversial Decision Pit California Condors against Wind Turbines?

california condor

Talk about a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. The U.S. needs to generate more renewable energy if we hope to stave off the effects of climate change. At the same time, critically endangered California condors (Gymnogyps californianus)—which today number 417 birds after the last 22 members of their species were put [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Hunter Allowed to Import Rhino Trophy into U.S. for First Time in 33 Years

black rhino

For the first time in more than 30 years an American hunter has been allowed to import a trophy from a black rhino he shot in Africa back into the country. Animal-rights groups argue that this is a precedent-setting setback for efforts to preserve the endangered species. Hunters, on the other hand, argue that this [...]

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Observations

Why Florida’s Giant Python Hunting Contest Is a Bad Idea

Burmese python

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has announced that it will hold a month-long competition starting January 12, 2013,  “to see who can harvest the longest and the most Burmese pythons” from designated public lands in southern Florida. The goal is to raise awareness about the threat this invasive species poses to the [...]

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Observations

Fish Shoots Down Prey with Super-Powered Jet [Video]

archer fish water jet

With a juicy insect dinner perched on a leaf above the water, what is a hungry little archer fish down below to do? Knock it down with a super-powered, super-precise jet of water that packs six times the power the fish could generate with its own muscles, according to new findings published online October 24 [...]

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Observations

DNA Fingers Real-Life Captain Ahabs for Precipitous Decline of Gray Whales

gray whale drawing

Tens of thousands of whales were slaughtered each year for decades from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s, in the service of lighting city streets, painting ladies’ lips and providing multitudinous other modern conveniences. This monomaniacal hunt led many species to the brink of extinction. But recent research has suggested that gray whale (Eschrichtius [...]

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Observations

Sophisticated stone tools and piles of bones identify early bird hunters in coastal California

stone tools california channel islands early seafaring human bird hunters

A collection of delicate stone tools discovered on California’s Channel Islands indicates that early humans in the Americas were hunting local waterfowl some 11,200 to 12,200 years ago. "The points we are finding are extraordinary," Jon Erlandson, director of the University of Oregon’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History, who has been working on the [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Scrawny Wonderpus Puts Stranglehold on Mightier Mimic Octopus

octopus

Earlier this week, we learned that female octopuses sometimes strangle—and then possibly eat—their male mates. For a cannibalistic animal with long arms, perhaps we—and the male—should have seen that one coming. (Especially since the female apparently had already gotten what she needed out of the rendezvous.) But an additional report finds that octopus strangulation is [...]

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Symbiartic

A DIY Fossil Hunting Activity for Pre-K Classrooms

14-019FEATURE

The following project constitutes a half-hour activity for 3-, 4-, or 5-year olds. It includes the entire process from finding fossils to putting the recovered pieces together like a puzzle to drawing our best guess at what it looked like in life. The details of the project are based on my experience working in Neil [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

How Trophy Hunting Actually Benefits Croatian Brown Bears

Brown_bear_(Ursus_arctos_arctos)_running

Shoot a bear in Croatia, and you can skin it and turn the hide into a rug to adorn the floor of your living room. Or, if you wanted, you could hack off its head, stuff it, mount it, and hang it above your fireplace. Or you could butcher it, store the ursine bounty in [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

How Anteaters Decide What To Eat

giant anteater

The Giant Anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla, only eats ants and termites, as its name suggests. Since the giant anteater and its evolutionary ancestors have been feasting on ants and termites for nearly 60 million years, a researcher named Kent Redford hypothesized that, over time, ants and termites may have evolved various defenses to avoid predation. In [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Guest Post! The Right Stuff: What It Takes To Be The Ocean’s Top Predator

Editor’s Note: While I’m on vacation, I’ve arranged a series of guest posts from other writers who routinely cover animal behavior and cognition. Today’s post, about attack behavior and social communication in great white sharks, comes from David Manly, who blogs at The Definitive Host. Follow him on twitter: @davidmanly. In 1975, Steven Spielberg’s thriller [...]

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