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Extinction Countdown

Extinction Countdown

News and research about endangered species from around the world


African lion may be added to U.S. endangered species list to curb American trophy hunters

A coalition of conservation groups filed a petition Tuesday to list the African lion ( Panthera leo ) as a protected species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), citing the American appetite for sports hunting and lion products—such as lion-skin rugs—as major factors in the big cat's decline.The petition was filed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Humane Society International (HSI), Born Free USA, Born Free Foundation and Defenders of Wildlife."The king of the jungle is heading toward extinction, and yet Americans continue to kill lions for sport," Jeff Flocken, IFAW's Washington, D.C., office director, said in a prepared statement...

March 1, 2011 — John Platt

Turtles in trouble: New report identifies the 25 most endangered turtle species

Asian appetites are rapidly driving the world's tortoises and freshwater turtles toward extinction, and some species might only be savable through costly and labor-intensive conservation efforts, according to both a new report and speakers at a workshop about conserving Asian turtles."It's going to take some intense management, both to protect wild populations and manage captive populations as a hedge against extinction," says Rick Hudson, president of the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), who contributed to the report.The report, "Turtles in Trouble," provides details on the 25 most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles, 17 of which live in Asia, but almost all of which are threatened by demand from Asian markets...

February 25, 2011 — John Platt

Large ocean fish could be gone by 2050, study says

Overfishing large predators such as shark, tuna and cod in the past 40 years has left the oceans out of balance, and could result in the disappearance of these fishes by 2050, according to Villy Christensen of the University of British Columbia's Fisheries Center.Christensen made this prediction at a panel, "2050: Will There Be Fish in the Ocean?" on February 19 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.With the disappearance of these large fishes, populations of smaller, plankton-eating fishes such as sardines, anchovies and capelin have doubled, Christensen reported...

February 24, 2011 — John Platt

Deforestation may have killed off rare bat in Ireland

The Emerald Isle used to be home to 10 bat species. Now there appear to only be nine. Brandt's bat, a species not identified by science until 1970 and not seen in Ireland since 2003, has been declared probably extinct in that country by researchers at the Center for Irish Bat Research (CIBR), a research partnership between University College Dublin (U.C.D.) and Queen's University Belfast, which spent the past two years looking for the animal.Brandt's bat still exists in nearby England, Europe and throughout Asia, but its disappearance from the Irish countryside presents a cautionary tale about that country's bats and the fate of these animals around the world.Brandt's bat escaped scientific classification for a long time because they look almost identical to another species, the whiskered bat ( M...

February 9, 2011 — John Platt

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