The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) is one of the more prehistoric-looking animals that is still around today. These ancient creatures – dating back 170 million years – are amphibians that can grow up to six feet long and weigh 140 pounds. They’ve been depicted in Chinese culture for thousands of years, but have now become a highly coveted delicacy amongst the country’s wealthy. As a result, they have all but disappeared from their freshwater habitats.
Conservationists are sounding the alarm about turtles in Ontario, warning all eight species in the province are now in trouble. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), a body of wildlife agents from governments, Indigenous and non-profit entities, designated the midland painted turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) as a special concern in April. The designation means these types of turtles may soon become threatened or endangered.
Bird protection organisation Vogelbescherming has named 2018 the Year of the House Martin in an effort to call attention to the dramatic decline of this migratory bird in the Netherlands, public broadcaster NOS reports. Together with bird research group Sovon, Vogelbescherming has mobilised a group of volunteers to find the cause of the dwindling numbers of house martins (Delichon urbicum). Since 1970 some 80% fewer house martins have been spotted in this country and it is thought that since 1920 the decline could be as much as 95%.
For many people in Hong Kong, talk of endangered species conjures up images of wildlife whose natural habitats are “out there”, somewhere far away – such as giant pandas in the bamboo forests of Sichuan province, polar bears in the Arctic and miniature monkeys in the Brazilian rainforest. If, like me, you are a birdwatcher, however, the list of threatened species feels far closer to home.
Synthetic fungicides are pesticides widely used in agriculture to control phytopathogenic fungi. The systemicity, persistency and intense application of some of these fungicides, such as boscalid, leads to long periods of exposure for honeybees via contaminated water, pollen and nectar. We exposed adult honeybees in the lab to food contaminated with boscalid for 33 days instead of the standard 10-day test. Most of the toxic effects were observed after 10 days.
Of the four subspecies of willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii), three have breeding grounds in California and are listed as endangered by the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife. Because the southwestern subspecies, one of those three subspecies, is listed as endangered by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, ecologists and conservation biologists have studied the birds closely for decades.
Scientific research commissioned by Natuurmonumenten shows that the number of insects is declining dramatically in the Netherlands. Measurements and analyses in recent decades show a decline of 54 percent (ground beetles) and 72 percent (ground beetles) in nature reserves. This represents a dramatic fall in these groups of insects, which is in line with the results of recent German, French, English and Dutch studies. And this is bad, as it has a huge impact on the cycle of life.
Once in the running to become India’s national bird, the great Indian bustard (GIB) is now fluttering for survival. Earlier found across several states of India, it is now on the brink of extinction and in absence of a strong political will to reverse the declining population trend, its revival looks near impossible.
Irish bumblebee populations recorded in 2017 were at the lowest since monitoring began six years ago, with marked losses in critical native species, according to the latest monitoring figures. The declines are confirmed by the All-Ireland Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme co-ordinated by Dr Tomás Murray, senior ecologist at the National Biodiversity Data Centre in Co Waterford.
The blood parasites that infect songbirds with avian malaria are far more diverse in Southwest Michigan than scientists knew, raising troubling questions about the spread of the disease and its impact on dozens of species of birds in the Great Lakes region. "Parasitism is a widely occurring interaction that drives ecological and evolutionary processes and has profound impacts on biological systems,” according to a newly published study by scientists at Western Michigan University.