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Extinction Countdown

Extinction Countdown

News and research about endangered species from around the world

The Sciences

Scientists want politics kept out of endangered species decisions

Some 1,293 scientists sent a letter (pdf) this week to each and every U.S. senator urging them not to support any endangered species legislation that is based on politics rather than science."As scientists with expertise in biological systems," the letter reads, "we are writing to urge you to vote against any legislation that would undercut the use of best available science as the basis for adding or removing any particular species from the protection of the Endangered Species Act."The letter, sent under the aegis of the Union of Concerned Scientists, follows recent political moves to remove the gray wolf ( Canis lupis ) from the endangered species list as well as other similar actions making their way through the legislative process...

April 1, 2011 — John Platt

Rare Costa Rican birds captured, tagged for study for the first time

A rare bird species that has never been adequately studied by science will now have that situation corrected. Scientists trapped three endangered yellow-billed cotingas ( Carpodectes antoniae ) last month, fitted them with tracking devices and released them unharmed back into the Costra Rican wilderness.The researchers used a nearly invisible nylon mist net to capture the birds—one female and two males—near the town of Rincon on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula...

March 10, 2011 — John Platt

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