New lizard species discovered in Cuba

Aristelliger reyesiFrom Wildlife Extra:

New Species of lizard discovered in Cuba

12/05/2009 12:01:29

May 2009. A new species of lizard has been discovered in Cuba. The lizard is found in the bushes and forest of a protected park and has been called “Aristelliger reyesi“.

The finding shows that Cuba’s biodiversity still holds surprises, for that reason inventories and biological monitoring actions should be further facilitated, said Luis M. Diaz, researcher with Cuba’s National Museum of Natural History.

The Aristelliger contain seven Caribbean species and, surprisingly, its closest relatives come from Africa, which means that its origin could be very ancient.

The Aristelliger reyesi grows up to 13 centimetres long, with males being larger than females. The head is crossed by a black stripe that reaches the forelegs.

Cuban Radio Rebelde on this: here.

Cuba – accidental Eden: The economic embargo has helped its natural environments and wildlife: here.

Ecotourism taking roots in Turquino-Bayamesa, Cuba: here.

New species discovered in 2007: here.

The International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University and an international committee of taxonomists – scientists responsible for species exploration and classification – today announce the top 10 new species described in 2008: here.

It’s amazing enough that lizards can shed their tails as a decoy for predators and entertainment for young boys. But a new study of geckos documents an incredible set of acrobatics that these severed tails perform: here.


Little terns in England

This video is about little terns in Australia.

From Wildlife Extra:

Great Yarmouth little terns get beach patrol

12/05/2009 23:08:16

Volunteers on the beach to help rare birds

May 2009. Volunteers will be busy on the beach at Great Yarmouth until mid-August, helping to protect the UK’s largest colony of little terns.

A team of volunteers and wardens from the RSPB and Natural England will be putting up a 700 metre fence on North Denes beach to protect the rare seabirds as they lay their eggs on the beach. The team will patrol the beach night and day to ward off predators and keep the eggs and chicks safe from harm.

23 years

This summer will be the 23rd year of the scheme to protect little terns at Great Yarmouth and Winterton Dunes. The joint efforts of the RSPB, Natural England and Great Yarmouth Borough Council help to protect the vulnerable birds from predators and disturbance while they raise their chicks.

300 pairs of little terns

Every May, around 300 pairs of little terns make the arduous journey from Africa to nest on the beach at North Denes and at Winterton Dunes National Nature Reserve. North Denes hosts the largest breeding colony of little terns in Britain, with around 10% of the UK population choosing to nest at this site.

There are now about 60 little terns in Langstone Harbour, many of which are exploring the new shingle areas, with some already sitting on nests: here.