Friday, December 6, 2013

Join in these penguin games ...

Learning about endangered wildlife can be lots more fun and educational when it's played as a game. The endangered African penguin is a cute critter that deserves attention. Help the next generation learn to care about this rare bird by acting like it as they play three silly games, here.

Dick Daniels / Wikimedia

One of the world's cutest rhino species is on the brink of extinction.

Unlike the burly, sharp-horned rhinos of the African plains, the little Sumatran rhino looks soft and cuddly. Native to the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo, small populations cling to survival in the face of constant danger from humans and genetic depletion. Learn more about these rhinos here.

International Rhino Foundation / Wikimedia

Making a comeback in Florida ...

The green sea turtle, long hunted for its meat and eggs, is endangered worldwide. But, biologists in Florida are seeing an exciting increase in numbers of nests and hatchlings on the beaches. Learn more about them here.


Do "ugly" species stand a chance?

A recent study suggests that anthropomorphism can be used as a tool to help endangered species. Find out more here.

Jmiksanek / Wikimedia

Friday, November 22, 2013

Say What?

Learn what famous people like Bruce Babbitt, below, have said about endangered species from these quotes.

Why the Bobwhite Might be in Trouble

Northern bobwhite quail may seem like common birds, but their numbers have been dropping for years. Find out more about this quintessential American bird here.

Photo by cuatrok77 via Wikipedia

Save a Stream!

Restoring and protecting a local stream may be easier than you think. Find out how here.

How Many Mammals are Endangered in China?

Visit this list to find out.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Has the ESA Been a Success?

Critics say that the ESA has failed because so few listed species have actually "graduated" and been de-listed due to recovery. See what you think by reading this

Hint ...
Jon Sullivan / Wikimedia Commons

Do Lawsuits Impede the ESA?

You and I could file a lawsuit against the Endangered Species Act if we feel somehow violated buy it, or if we feel the USFWS is falling down on the job ... but should we?

Brian Turner / Wikimedia Commons
Find out more about it here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Frog Species on the Verge of Extinction

You'll be shocked to learn that over 400 species of frog are listed as critically endangered, which means that they are facing imminent extinction. One species, the Rabbs' fringe-limbed treefrog, is down to one known individual. Learn about the others here

Photo by Brian Gratwicke / Wikimedia Commons

Friday, August 9, 2013

Welcome, Baby!

After years of unsuccessful attempts to propagate the rare Przewalski's horse in captivity via artificial insemination, scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute were finally able to celebrate on July 27, 2013, when a Przewalski's horse named Anne gave birth to a healthy female foal.  

Aren't they a gorgeous pair? Read more about the effort here.

Photograph courtesy Smithsonian National Zoo

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Endangered Whale Meat in Dog Food?

You read it right. Despite a nearly unanimous anti-whaling sentiment throughout the world, Iceland continues to kill whales commercially and export them to Japan. While human consumption is gradually falling, new markets continue to emerge--like pet food (think: endangered fin whale jerky for dogs). No kidding. Find out more here.

Rare Fish Seeks Mate

There are only three known Mangarahara cichlid fish left in the world, and they're all male. This is a big problem (worst case scenario: extinction). So, the London Zoo, which houses two of the trio, is desperately seeking a female to help carry on the species. Learn more about how you might be able to help here

ZSL London Zoo

Monday, July 29, 2013

Malasian Rainforests in Peril

The rainforests of Malaysia and Southeast Asia are thought to be the most ancient and perhaps the most diverse forests in the entire world. Like most rare gems, though, they are the object of irrepressible human greed. Land clearing for multiple industries is decimating this unique ecosystem and the many amazing creatures that inhabit it. Learn more about the threats and what you can do to help here.

Photo by Shahnoor Habib Munmun / Wikimedia Commons

Small Superstars Make a Comeback

In case, like me, you didn't know that there is a species of fox native to the wild, craggy Channel Islands of California, you'll be surprised by two aspects of this post:

1. The island fox (a cute, tiny fox that resembles the gray fox) nearly dropped from the face of the earth 13 years ago. Yet another example of a precarious link in nature, the decline of Channel Island bald eagles (due to DDT exposure) opened a door for golden eagles--and golden eagles had a penchant for foxes. 

2. In the course of a decade, these resilient little foxes have rebounded and now number close to what they did before the eagle crisis. 

Learn more about this sweet success story here

Photo by the National Park Service

Friday, June 28, 2013

Wait, little porcupine, don't go extinct!

Scientists have just identified a "new" species of tree-dwelling porcupine in Brazil, but its habitat is disappearing in the blink of an eye, and the coandu-mirim porcupine may soon disappear too. Learn more here. Photo by Antonio Rossano Mendes Pontes. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Could captive chimps survive in the wild?

Captive chimp release is controversial because many scientists worry that releasing chimps into the wild could pose a variety of serious risks to the released individuals and wild populations as well.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Captive Chimpanzees to be Declared Endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposal on Tuesday to list captive chimpanzees in the United States as endangered.

Photo by Aaron Logan,, via Wikimedia Commons

The new status would restrict medical experiments on chimpanzees as well as their exploitation by the entertainment industry.

Learn more about the proposed ruling here

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fossil Frog Found Alive

The Hula painted frog of Israel was declared extinct in 1996, five decades after the last frog was spotted in the drained wetlands that were once its home. But, in 2001, a Hula frog was found alive, kindling hope that the species, which is the only living species within the Latonia genus, can be restored to greater numbers. Learn more about the Hula painted frog here.

Photo by Mickey Samuni-Blank via Wikimedia Commons  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The World's Most Endangered Tortoise

A couple of months agp, smugglers were caught transporting 54 live angonoka (or ploughshare) tortoises--nearly 13 percent of the entire remaining population--through the Thailand Airport. Mind you, this is the world's rarest tortoise species. Tortoise advocate Eric Goode told CBS last year that the tortoise "has an incredibly high price on its head. Asian countries love gold and this is a gold tortoise. And so literally, these are like gold bricks that one can pick up and sell."

Photo by Hans Hillewaert via Wikimedia

Learn more about the angonoka tortoise and efforts to save it from extinction here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Who knew?

More than ten animals have gone extinct in the 21st century, two of which disappeared this year. Do you know what they were? Perhaps more importantly, will our children know (or care) enough to try and save the species we have left? 

Photo courtesy of via Wikimedia

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cheetah's Best Friend?

Man's best friend is proving to be a great companion for cheetahs as well. Stray dogs are employed by the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to help cheetahs relax and enjoy captivity. Get the full scoop here.  

Photo courtesy of USFWS  

Friday, May 3, 2013

The ESA Turns 40

This year is the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, and it only seems natural to celebrate by talking about species that have benefited from the protection this vital legislation has offered. 

The gray wolf is a notable ESA success and is up for complete de-listing in the near future. Photo courtesy of USFWS.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Help Kids to Love a Stream

One of the best ways to help endangered animals is by protecting their habitat, and one of the best ways to inspire the next generation to protect habitat is by helping them learn to love it. Find ideas for exploring a stream with kids here

A Simple Way to Help Stream Habitat

There are many ways that we can help improve the quality of our nation's streams, but one of the simplest methods for landowners is promoting the growth of lush, healthy riparian vegetation along stream banks. Learn how here.

In the Arctic, Cold is a Good Thing

We all perceive the arctic as a harsh and formidable scape of land and sea. All that ice is daunting, making survival of any kind seem like a miracle. But for the species that have adapted to life at the top of the world, a warm-up is far from comforting. Learn why the habitat of the Arctic is threatened by climate change, and discover a handful of Arctic animals that are already considered endangered.

Why does all that ice matter? Photo courtesy of NOAA

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Foreign Species Listed by the ESA

Did you know that over 500 species of wildlife are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act? While the jurisdiction is limited to the affairs of U.S. citizens in other countries, this protection does help to raise awareness of these species' survival needs and also helps provide funding for conservation efforts. If you'd like to see a list of these species, click here.

Foreign endangered species like this slow loris can benefit from the Endangered Species Act.
Photo by Dan Bennett via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ice Age: The Animals Behind the Movies

The three main characters we all know from the movie Ice Age and its sequels are based on animals that actually lived during the glacial age that began during the Pleistocene epoch. Manny, of course, is a wooly mammoth, Diego is a smilodon (commonly called a saber-toothed tiger), and Sid is a peculiar creature known as a giant ground sloth. However, the identity of the acorn-obsessed saber-toothed squirrel named Scrat turned out to be a scientific surprise. Read more here.

Wooly Mammoth photo by Tracy O via Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

De-extinction in Action

The magnificent Pyrenean ibex, which fell into the abyss of extinction in 2000, is the one and only animal to have been recreated by means of cloning ... if only for a few moments. 

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
"Celia," the last ibex in the world, died after being rescued from beneath a fallen tree in the wild. Before she died, though, scientists collected DNA from her skin and preserved it in hopes of cloning her. Using these cells, researchers attempted cloning in 2009. After more than 50 attempts to implant Celia's cloned embryo in a living domestic goat, one embryo survived and was carried to term and born. 

This event marked the first de-extinction of all time. However, the newborn clone died just seven minutes after its birth as a result of lung defects.

Find out more about the ibex and efforts to bring it back from the land of the lost here


Make Way for Maleos

What is a maleo?

It is one of those rare and beautiful birds that lives in a distant corner of the globe and is at risk of disappearing before most of us even learn what it is.

Photo by Stavenn via Wikipedia
Recently, maleos made the news when three chicks hatched at the Bronx Zoo, which is the only place other than their native Indonesian homeland that maleos can be found.
To learn a bit more about the mysterious maleo, click here.