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Extinction Countdown

Extinction Countdown

News and research about endangered species from around the world


Study: High Arctic's biodiversity down 26 percent since 1970

Mammals, birds and fish living in the High Arctic experienced an average 26 percent drop in their populations between 1970 and 2004 due to the loss of sea ice, according to a new report from The Arctic Species Trend Index, "Tracking Trends in Arctic Wildlife." The 2010 report, commissioned and coordinated by the Whitehorse, Yukon–based Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP), was presented Wednesday at the State of the Arctic Conference in Miami...

March 18, 2010 — John Platt

Report: Climate change is taking a toll on U.S. bird populations

North American bird species are "facing a new threat—climate change—that could dramatically alter their habitat and food supply, and push many species towards extinction," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on Thursday when he announced the new report, "The State of the Birds: 2010 Report on Climate Change."According to the report, climate changes will have "an increasingly disruptive effect on bird species in all habitats." Oceanic migratory species and birds living in Hawaii will face the greatest threats, according to the report.The report was a collaborative effort between the U.S...

March 14, 2010 — John Platt

Endangered in a Dangerous Land: Afghanistan expands its protected species list, including the "world's least-known bird"

Nine months after it created its first list of protected endangered species, the government has added 15 more to the list, including what has been billed as "the world's least-known bird."

The bird, the large-billed reed warbler ( Acrocephalus orinus ), had only been observed in nature twice—once back in 1867—before its nesting habitat was found in Afghanistan in 2006...

March 6, 2010 — John Platt

U.K. zoo builds a "love shack" for critically endangered frogs

What does it take to encourage endangered species to breed? In the case of two frog species living at Bristol Zoo Gardens in England it takes creating a very special environment, and not just one that plays romantic music.Bristol Zoo just finished building AmphiPod, a high-tech facility that "will allow us to adjust the temperature, humidity and day length to create the perfect conditions to encourage the frogs to breed," said Tim Skelton, the zoo's curator of reptiles, in a prepared statement.In addition to mimicking the frogs' natural habitat, AmphiPod will also help to protect them against disease, including the deadly chytrid fungus that is rapidly devastating frog populations around the world.The frogs taking up residence in the new "love shack" are the lemur leaf frog ( Hylomantis lemur ) from Panama and Costa Rica and Madagascar's golden mantella frog ( Mantella aurantiaca )...

February 26, 2010 — John Platt

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