New research suggests the extinction crisis may be even worse than we thought. More than half of species that have so far evaded any official conservation assessment are threatened with extinction. Some species that are not yet classified and are “data deficient” make up around 17% of the nearly 150,000 species currently assessed. according to predictions by researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
The answers to preventing future zoonotic diseases are staring us right in the face: we should stop eating animals and consuming animal products and we should stop destroying rainforests for palm oil, soy and other crops! Many research papers and books have been written about the connection between the relentless capitalist growth imperative of multinationalContinue reading “What is causing the latest outbreak of Ebola in Uganda?”
OK, Ok…I know this is quite a scary photo but hear me out. Caecilians are legless, eyeless creatures live secretive, strange lives underground and underwater. Not quite snakes, not quite worms and not quite amphibians either.
Once you know more about them they may still come to you in dreams, but you might just love them too.
They belong to the same group of animals that includes frogs and salamanders. But unlike other amphibians, caecilians lack legs. Some caecilians are as short as a pencil, while others grow as long as a child. Their eyes are tiny and hidden beneath skin and sometimes bone. And they have a pair of tentacles on their face that can sniff out chemicals in the environment.
Indonesia manage to conserve two of the world’s five rhinoceros species. Both the Javan rhino Rhinoceros sondaicus and the Sumatran rhino Dicerorhinus sumatrensis still exist today, uniquely only in the country. Extractive industries and large-scale palm oil plantations have transformed the landscape of Sumatra. As a result, the Sumatran rhino’s populations were driven to theContinue reading “Celebrate #WorldRhinoDay by leaving the forests alone and #Boycottpalmoil to save imperilled Sumatran & Javan Rhinos”
Although #WorldOrangutanDay falls on the 19th of August, in our opinion, every day deserves to be World Orangutan Day! So here is an infographic that you can download, print and share however you please.
All three species of orangutan are classified as ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’ in S.E. Asia. Their main threat is palm oil deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia
By Anne Pinto-Rodrigues Originally published by Science News. A new study has found that fragmentation of forests in Malaysian Borneo due to palm oil and mining has pressured two species of monkey (the Proboscis Monkey and Silvered Leaf Monkey/Silvery Lutung) to mate causing an unusual hybrid offspring. This has scientists worried as it indicates the animalsContinue reading “A ‘mystery monkey’ in Borneo may be a rare hybrid between a Proboscis Monkey and Silvery Lutung”
The reintroduction of pangolins has not been easy. But it’s vital to prevent this shy, mysterious creature from being lost forever. Pangolins are one of the most illegally trafficked animals on the planet and are suspected to be linked to the current coronavirus pandemic. Pangolins are also one of the world’s most threatened species butContinue reading “Back from extinction: a world first effort to return threatened pangolins to the wild”
Most people probably think that the rainforest of central and west Africa, the second largest in the world, has been around for millions of years. However recent research suggests that it is mostly just 2,000 or so years old. The forest reached roughly its modern state following five centuries of regeneration after it was massivelyContinue reading “Chimpanzees once helped African rainforests recover from a major collapse”
Although conservation efforts have historically focused attention on protecting rare, charismatic, and endangered species, the “insect apocalypse” presents a different challenge. In addition to the loss of rare taxa, many reports mention sweeping declines of formerly abundant insects [e.g., Warren et al. (29)], raising concerns about ecosystem function.
71 environmental and human rights groups from around the world – wrote to the EU Commission warning that certification schemes and ecolabels were not sufficient to prevent human rights abuses and deforestation from entering the European Union. Meanwhile industry lobbyists are attempting to weaken the proposed EU laws with these ineffective and corrupt certification schemesContinue reading “10 reasons why ecolabels & commodity certification are not a solution to stop the EU importing tropical deforestation”
Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Environment recently nominated Finima Nature Park in River State as a Ramsar site: a wetland of international importance. Tajudeen Amusa, University of Ilorin These sites are designated under the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental environmental treaty established in 1971 by UNESCO. It aims to protect representative, rare or unique wetlands, or thoseContinue reading “Nigeria’s nature reserves need more help to protect biodiversity”
From lemurs to orangutans, tarsiers to gorillas, primates are captivating and sometimes unnervingly similar to us. So it’s not surprising that this group of more than 500 species receives a great deal of research and conservation attention. But despite this effort, more than 60% of primate species are threatened with extinction mainly due to humanContinue reading “Primates are facing an impending extinction crisis – but we know very little about what will actually protect them”
With only 74 individuals left, the remarkable and beautiful Javan Rhino is on the brink of extinction and can be found on one of the most densely populated islands in the world – Java. Boycotting palm oil is how you can help them. Sunarto, Universitas Indonesia The Javan rhino was once found throughout many partsContinue reading “How do we protect the rapidly disappearing Javan Rhino?”
In a court in rural Indonesia, an environmental group recently filed a lawsuit of global importance. Their case is against a zoo in North Sumatra that it’s alleged illegally exhibited threatened species, including Komodo dragons and critically endangered Sumatran orangutans. Images by Craig Jones Wildlife Photography. Jacob Phelps, Lancaster University The illegal wildlife trade isContinue reading “Conservation activists suing Indonesian zoo could inspire global action on endangered species trade”
David Williams, University of Leeds and Michael Clark, University of Oxford Scientists know that biodiversity is declining across much of the world although less universally and dramatically than we feared. We also know that things are likely to get worse in the future, with a combination of habitat loss, climate change and overexploitation set toContinue reading “Almost 90% of the world’s animal species will lose some habitat to agriculture by 2050”
Research by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission found that although oil palm cultivation represents an important source of income for many tropical countries, its future expansion is a primary threat to tropical forests and biodiversity. In this context, and especially in regions where industrial palm oil production is still emerging, identifying “areasContinue reading “Research: Small room for compromise between oil palm cultivation and primate conservation in Africa”
African forest elephants roam the dense rainforests of West and Central Africa where they subsist largely on a diet of fruit. They shape forests by dispersing fruit and seeds, browsing, and creating an extensive trail network. John Poulsen, Duke University and Christopher Beirne, University of British Columbia But because it’s difficult to track animals inContinue reading “How forest elephants move depends on water, humans, and also their personality”
Lowland tapir populations in the Atlantic Forest in South America are at risk of almost complete disappearance, scientists have estimated. Weighing up to 250 kg, the animal can adapt to most habitats in South America—but its populations continue to decline across its range. Today, its survival is seriously threatened: it can be found in justContinue reading “In the Atlantic Forest, the lowland tapir is at risk of extinction”
Euan Ritchie, Deakin University “Dad, the world is missing amazing animals. I wish extinction wasn’t forever”. Despite my wife and I working as biologists, our five-year-old son came to make this statement independently. Euan Ritchie, Deakin University He is highlighting what I and many others consider to be society’s biggest challenge, and arguably failure: theContinue reading “Species Extinction: just how bad is it and why should we care?”
Martin Sullivan, University of Leeds; Oliver Phillips, University of Leeds, and Simon Lewis, UCL Around 2 million km² of Africa is covered by tropical rainforests. They are second only in extent to those in Amazonia, which cover around 6 million km². Rainforests are home to vast numbers of species. For example, the world’s tropical rainforestsContinue reading “Africa’s rainforests are different. Why it matters that they’re protected”