Sumatran Rhino Deemed Extinct in Malaysia


Correction appended, Aug. 21, 2015

The Sumatran rhino—one of the rarest rhino species—is now considered extinct in the wild in Malaysia, according to a study published this month.

While two female Sumatran rhinos were captured for breeding in Malaysia in 2011 and 2014, no other rhinos have been spotted in the wild in the country since 2007, said a press release from the Natural History Museum of Denmark. The survival of the species now depends on fewer than 100 rhinos in Indonesia.

The Sumatran rhinos are going extinct because they’re losing their habitat, being poached for their horns and living too far apart from each other, researchers said. The researchers who wrote the paper recommended that Indonesia prioritize conserving the last few rhinos within the country’s borders.

Correction: The original version of this article misstated the rarity of the Sumatran rhino. It is one of the rarest rhino species.

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Republic of the Congo: Bouvier’s Red Colobus Monkeys Photographed – Not Extinct

The link below is to an article that just goes to show that good news stories are still out there. The Bouvier’s Red Colobus Monkey, which was thought to be extinct, has recently been photographed in the Ntokou-Pikounda National Park, in the Republic of the Congo.

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African Elephants Could Be Extinct Within 20 Years, Experts Say


Experts announced a jarring prediction at a conservation summit in Botswana Monday: Unless the illegal poaching trade is curbed, African elephants could be extinct in the next couple decades.

“This species could be extinct in our lifetime if the current trend continues…, within one or two decades,” said Dune Ives, a senior researcher at Vulcan, speaking at The Africa Elephant Summit, AFP reports. “In five years we may have lost the opportunity to save this magnificent and iconic animal.”

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, between 2006 and 2013, the African elephant population has decreased from 550,000 to 470,000, and the number continues to drop. The steep decline in population is largely attribute to illegal poaching and the ivory trade.

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Giant Galapagos tortoises, once extinct in the wild, retake island from invasive rats


For more than a century, ever since humans introduced them to the Galapagos, rats have ruled Pinzón Island. Just one year ago, 180 million rats lived on this island, hardly seven square miles of land. And because the rats were so hungry for turtle eggs and turtle hatchlings, for years the native giant tortoises — a subspecies called Chelonoidis nigra duncanensis — had to breed in captivity and were considered extinct in the wild.

But now, John R. Platt reports at Scientific American, 118 juvenile tortoises have been let free on the island. And they may just survive — because the rats are gone.

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China’s finless porpoises are going extinct


China’s got wayyyyyyy too many pigs in its rivers (16,000 dead pigs in the Huangpu at last count!), but it’s dangerously short on “river pigs,” the colloquial name for the finless porpoise. (My first thought was “they’re finless, of course they’re going extinct; how do they MOVE?” but the name comes from their lack of dorsal fin. They do have flippers.) In over 2,000 miles of the Yangtze river, the World Wildlife Fund found only 380 of these smiley critters. That’s 50 percent less than there were six years ago.

The WWF estimates that this means there are about 1,000 finless porpoises in the wild — fewer, in other words, than the wild population of giant pandas, which clocks in at around 1,600. They give the river pigs 15 years to extinction unless we do something.

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Taiwan: Formosan Clouded Leopard Extinct

The link below is to an article reporting on the official declaration that the Formosan Clouded Leopard is extinct.

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Australia: Western Australia – Western Long-Beaked Echidna May Still Exist in the Kimberley

The link below is to an article reporting on the possible existence of what was thought to be an extinct Echidna in Western Australia.

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