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In the News: Mekong dolphins on brink of extinction
August 18, 2011 09:42 AM - Liz Shaw, ARKive.org
The population of Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River numbers just 85 individuals and may be on the brink of extinction, according to research by WWF. The researchers also found that calf survival was very low and that the overall population is in decline. A small population living on the border of Cambodia and Lao People's Democratic Republic may be in an even more perilous situation, with just 7 or 8 individuals. This is the only area in Lao PDR where dolphins remain.
In the News: Third of freshwater fish threatened with extinction
August 2, 2011 08:48 AM - Helen Roddis, ARKive.org
More than a third of freshwater fish are threatened with extinction, according to interim results from an IUCN Red List assessment. The preliminary results, revealed by scientists at the annual conference of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles at Bournemouth University, suggest that along with amphibians, freshwater fish may now be considered one of the most threatened groups of species in the world.
International Bog Day 2011
July 31, 2011 10:09 AM - Eleanor Sans and Lauren Pascoe, ARKive.org
To celebrate the 20th International Bog Day on Sunday 31st of July, our Affiliate Arkive is highlighting some of the amazing species that call the beautiful bog their home, and why they are such important habitats to preserve. They may have a bit of a bad reputation, but bogs are important ecological sites sustaining a unique array of species. Bogs are often low oxygen, high carbon dioxide environments leading to acidic conditions. High acidity prevents nutrients being available to plants in a useful form and this has led to plants turning to more grisly methods to get the nutrients they need. These plants are able to break down and absorb nitrogen and other nutrients from animals, usually invertebrates such as insects. Also found in boggy areas, the fanged pitcher plant (Nepenthes bicalcarata) produces nectar which attracts invertebrates to the brim of its pitcher. When stepping on the slippery, waxy surface the invertebrates will often fall into the depths of the pitcher. Unable to escape, they drown in the pitcher fluid and their bodies are broken down by digestive enzymes.
Largest population of rare gibbon discovered in Vietnam
July 19, 2011 11:09 AM - Liz Shaw, ARKive Species Text Author, ARKive.org
The largest known remaining population of the northern white-cheeked gibbon has been discovered in Vietnam, bringing new hope for this Critically Endangered primate. Scientists from Conservation International made the discovery in Pu Mat National Park, near the Vietnam-Laos border, in an area of remote, dense forest that has been largely isolated from human activity. By recording the gibbons' loud, territorial 'songs', the team were able to confirm a population of 130 groups, or 455 gibbons in total. Previous work by Conservation International in other parts of north-central Vietnam had found no population of the northern white-cheeked gibbon larger than a dozen groups. The newly discovered population at Pu Mat National Park is therefore all the more important, as it represents over two thirds of the total population of this species in Vietnam and may be the only viable population left in the world.
In the News: Pig-nosed turtle populations in decline
July 12, 2011 08:49 AM - Helen Roddis, ARKive.org
A unique reptile, the pig-nosed turtle has become an international conservation icon due to its unusual evolutionary history, morphology, ecology and behaviour. The sole survivor of a once widespread family of turtles called the Carettochelyidae, the pig-nosed turtle has a restricted global distribution, being only found in north Australia and New Guinea Island. However, despite its uniqueness, this species is highly prized as food, and the demand for its eggs and meat in Papua New Guinea has led to the species being dramatically over-harvested by indigenous people. Both turtle and eggs are collected for trade or consumption by local villagers.
In the News: Serengeti highway cancelled
June 24, 2011 08:44 AM - Alex Royan, ARKive.org
In what is being hailed as a victory for conservationists and the wildlife of the Serengeti, the Tanzanian government has cancelled plans for a controversial highway that would have dissected the Serengeti National Park.
International Surfing Day — 20th June 2011
June 20, 2011 08:35 AM - Shelley Alingas, Wildscreen USA, ARKive.org
June 20, 2011 marks the 7th annual International Surfing Day (ISD), a day where surfers and surf enthusiasts alike from across the globe join together to celebrate this world-renowned sport. Since its founding, ISD has grown into over 200 separate events in 25 different countries with an emphasis on giving back to the world's oceans and beaches that provide us humans with such awe-inspiring experiences.
In the News: Latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species released
June 17, 2011 07:34 AM - Editor, ARKive.org
Released today, the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species shows that a staggering 19,265 species are currently threatened with extinction. Over 900 new species have been classified as threatened — that is, considered to be Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable — since the last update in 2010, showing that there is no let up in the extinction crisis threatening the world's biodiversity. Although more species are thought to be threatened than ever before, the IUCN are keen to highlight that there have also been major conservation success stories.
Spotlight on: Living Fossils
June 13, 2011 08:44 AM - Shelley Alingas, Wildscreen USA, ARKive.org
Living fossils can be a foreign concept to some, as well as an oxymoron, but they do exist! Living fossils describe living species that look similar to ancient species that have only been seen through fossil records. Many of these living fossils have survived major extinction events and have ancestral lineage that can date back millions of years. Living fossils are fascinating creatures to learn about...
World Oceans Day is today, June 8th
June 8, 2011 07:05 AM - Editor, ENN, ARKive.org
The 8th of June is World Oceans Day, our annual chance to celebrate all things marine! Coordinated by The Ocean Project and The World Ocean Network, World Oceans Day encourages us to consider everything that the oceans provide us with — from oxygen to climate regulation, food to pharmaceuticals and of course, the breath taking beauty of this underwater wonderland. By raising awareness of the resources that the oceans provide, World Oceans Day hopes to encourage us to do our bit to protect this valuable environment, especially in these challenging times when factors like climate change, plastic waste, over-fishing and environmental disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill all threaten to damage our oceans beyond repair.