Summer is here! And with summer, here are some more good news stories in the world of wildlife conservation:
- Madagascan pochards are world's most endangered duck. Once thought extinct, a tiny surviving population of twenty-two ducks was discovered in 2006. Now eighteen ducklings have been successfully hatched in a captive breeding facility in Madagascar, bringing the worldwide population to sixty. Check out the little guys, below:
- Meanwhile, across the world in Hawaii, Andrew Re
vkin’s blog brings us an update on the status of the short-tailed albatross, another bird once feared extinct that has seen its population increase, in part due to successful efforts to encourage albatross breeding at Midway Island.
Finally, rounding out our good bird news, the Giles-Fuertes’s Nature Reserve, established to protect the rare Fuertes’s parrot, recently doubled in size. Fuertes’s parrots once numbered only a dozen but their population has since grown to 250 individuals; twenty percent of the world’s remaining parrots are protected by the reserves. (Hat tip: Extinction Countdowns) Four new species of crabs, including a brilliant purple crab with bright red claws, have been discovered in the Philippine island of Palawan. The crabs are tiny--just and inch or two in diameter--but they sure do pop! The presence of bison (or American buffalo) is crucially important for maintaining healthy grassland and prairie ecosystems in North America. Now, thanks to the State of Montana and the Assiniboine and Sioux Nations, sixty bison have returned to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. It’s been over a century since bison roamed the Reservation’s plains. Hunters and conservationists are now working to return bison to the million acre Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge.
And finally, because it’s cool, a recent Journal of Zoology article found that native carnivores--everything from foxes and coyotes to mongoose and hyenas--are increasing their numbers in cities around the world. For some of these animals, coyotes for example, cities actually seem far friendlier habitats than rural areas.