Wildlife Roundup: The Good News, June 2011

marsh fritillary (Department of the Environment, Northern Ireland)

There’s a lot of good news about wildlife conservation efforts around the world to share this month.  Enjoy!

  • Although butterfly populations in the United Kingdom are generally in decline, efforts to recover some of the UK’s most endangered butterflies seems to be getting results.  According to new data, many endangered butterfly populations are rebounding.  The good news includes the wood white, whose population has increased by 600% since 2009 and the marsh fritillary, whose population has more than doubled.
  • Wolves are making a comeback in a remote area of Germany, according to Kai  Elmauer.  In an email circulated earlier this month, Mr. Elmauer reports: “In eastern Germany a remote camera captured a wolf crossing through the protected area Koenigsbruecker Heide. Although this is not the first wolf in Germany it is a newcomer to a region that has not seen them for generations. Generally speaking wolves and bears have been extirpated for roughly 150 years in Germany. Only in the last years they are making a slow come-back. Most wolves probably come from eastern populations, bears are coming from populations to the south.”  You can check out pictures of Germany’s newest wolf and get more details, if you read German, here.
  • Mountain pygmy possums (Burramys parvus) are a highly fragmented species, found only in Australia.  Last month scientists reported that they had successfully bred possums from two genetically distinct, but severely inbred, populations.  The breakthrough is giving scientists new hope that they can save the imperiled possums.  
  • I often note the discovery of new species here at Good News. Well, the University of Arizona has compiled a list of the “top ten” new species discovered in the past year.  Not to be missed: a glow-in-the-dark mushroom.  (Hat tip: Scientific American.)
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