Anneke van Leeuwen in the Netherlands made this video.
How old do blackbirds get? Here.
This 2011 is about a Bay Lycian salamander, an endangered species from Turkey.
From Wildlife Extra:
15 animal species have the lowest chance for survival
Climbing rats, seabirds and tropical gophers are among the 15 animal species that are at the absolute greatest risk of becoming extinct very soon. Expertise and money is needed to save them and other highly threatened species.
A new study shows that a subset of highly threatened species – in this case 841 – can be saved from extinction for about $1.3 billion a year. However, for 15 of them the chances of conservation success are really low.
The study published in Current Biology concludes that a subset of 841 endangered animal species can be saved, but only if conservation efforts are implemented immediately and with an investment of an estimated US $1.3 billion annually to ensure the species’ habitat protection and management.
Researchers, led by Assistant Prof. Dalia A. Conde from University of Southern Denmark and Prof. John E Fa from Imperial College, developed a “conservation opportunity index” using measurable indicators to quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation.
To estimate the opportunities to conserve these species the researchers considered:
1. Opportunities of protecting its remaining habitats, which are restricted to single sites. Important factors are costs, political stability, and probability of urbanization.
2. The possibility to establish protected insurance populations in zoos: Important factors are costs and breeding expertise.
The researchers computed the cost of, and opportunities for, conserving 841 species of mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians listed by the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) as restricted to single sites and categorized as Endangered or Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
“AZE sites are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites,” said Dr. Dalia A. Conde, lead author on the paper and Assistant Professor at the Max-Planck Odense Center at the University of Southern Denmark, adding:
“Conservation opportunity evaluations like ours show the urgency of implementing management actions before it is too late. However, it is imperative to rationally determine actions for species that we found to have the lowest chances of successful habitat and zoo conservation actions.”
While the study indicated that 39% of the species scored high for conservation opportunities, it also showed that at least 15 AZE species are in imminent danger of extinction given their low conservation opportunity index (see list below).
The estimated total cost to conserve the 841 animal species in their natural habitats was calculated to be over US$1 billion total per year. The estimated annual cost for complementary management in zoos was US$160 million.
“Although the cost seems high, safeguarding these species is essential if we want to reduce the extinction rate by 2020,” said Prof. Hugh Possingham from The University of Queensland, adding:
“When compared to global government spending on other sectors – e.g., US defense spending, which is more than 500 times greater, an investment in protecting high biodiversity value sites is minor.”
Prof. John E. Fa said, “Our exercise gives us hope for saving many highly endangered species from extinction, but actions need to be taken immediately and, for species restricted to one location, an integrative conservation approach is needed.”
The paper stated the importance of integrating protection of the places these particular species inhabit with complementary zoo insurance population programmes.
According to Dr. Onnie Byers, Chair of the IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, “The question is not one of protecting a species in the wild or in zoos. The One Plan approach – effective integration of planning, and the optimal use of limited resources, across the spectrum of management from wild to zoo – is essential if we are to have a hope of achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.”
Dr. Nate Flesness, Scientific Director of the International Species Information System, stressed “We want to thank the more than 800 zoos in 87 countries which contribute animal and collection data to the International Species Information System, where the assembled global data enables strategic conservation studies like this.”
Dr. Markus Gusset of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums added “Actions that range from habitat protection to the establishment of insurance populations in zoos will be needed if we want to increase the chances of species’ survival.”
The 15 species with the lowest chances for survival in the wild and in zoos are:
1. Bay Lycian salamander, Lyciasalamandra billae, Turkey.
2. Perereca Bokermannohyla izecksohni, Brazil.
3. Campo Grande tree frog, Hypsiboas dulcimer, Brazil.
4. Santa Cruz dwarf frog, Physalaemus soaresi, Brazil.
5. Zorro bubble-nest frog, Pseudophilautus zorro, Sri Lanka.
6. Allobates juanii, Colombia.
1. Ash’s lark, Mirafra ashi, Somalia.
2. Tahiti monarch, Pomarea nigra, French Polynesia.
3. Zino’s petrel, Pterodroma madeira, Madeira.
4. Mascarene petrel, Pseudobulweria aterrima, Reunion Island.
5. Wilkins’s finch, Nesospiza wilkinsi, Tristan da Cunha.
6. Amsterdam albatross, Diomedea amsterdamensis, New Amsterdam (Amsterdam Island).
Their low chance for survival is due to at least two of the following factors:
High probability of its habitat becoming urbanized
Political instability in the site
High costs of habitat protection and management.
The opportunity of establishing an insurance population in zoos for these 15 species is low, due to high costs or lack of breeding expertise for the species.
This is a video about a male smooth newt, preparing for the mating season which will start at the end of March.
Jos van Zijl from the Netherlands made the video.
Scientific breakthrough reveals evidence of ‘human fish’ locked away in cave system
By Shaun Hurrell, Mon, 09/02/2015 – 10:35
How do you find physical evidence of a rare species when most of its habitat (the subterranean waters of limestone cave systems in the Balkans) is inaccessible to humans? The ‘human fish’ is the largest cave animal in the world. Despite this, Proteus anguinus – a blind, entirely-aquatic salamander commonly known as the olm, and endemic to the Dinaric Alps – is incredibly difficult to find.
The answer was recently provided by the Society for Cave Biology (SCB; Društvo za jamsko biologijo) in a project funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) when they found the first physical evidence of the species in Montenegro using new techniques to sample its DNA.
In this region, activities such as water extraction, river damming and agriculture have increased the stress on Proteus and other aquatic cave animals. Limestone habitats like cave systems can be intricate and complex, having taken millions of years to form by natural processes. One wrong move can wipe out entire species, so urgent measures need to be taken in order to save them.
Nick-named the ‘human fish’ by locals because of its skin colour, Proteus are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and in some localities the species is already extinct. However the extent of the decline cannot be estimated without an extensive survey of its distribution – in habitat where access is easy for the human fish, but not so easy for human beings. The purpose of the CEPF project was to solve this problem: to test a scientific method that safely, effectively and accurately determines Proteus presence.
SCB, experts in speleological (cave and karst) research, designed a solution based on so-called ‘eDNA’. During the process of skin regeneration, Proteus shed fragments of epidermal cells which are carried away by water. DNA dissolved in water is called environmental DNA (eDNA), and SCB successfully tested and perfected the sensitive and inexpensive technique of identifying Proteus eDNA from samples of water.
After many hours in the field and thousands of water samples, the team have discovered new localities of Proteus in Montenegro and in Bosnia and Hercegovina. This ground-breaking research will give SCB and partners the evidence to appeal and counsel the nature conservation authorities in Montenegro to start all necessary legal actions to protect Proteus in their territories, and to guide the management planning of authorities in Bosnia and Hercegovina.
This video from England says about itself:
9 April 2013
I’ve finally set out herping. With all this cold weather we’ve been having I thought I would never see the day. But I turned out to have great success in Dorset. I found lots of newts, lots of lizards, and lots of snakes. This video shows you the two species of newt which I found on my trip: the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), and the palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus). Which turns out to be a new species for me. I also encountered some Italian crested newts along the way but was unable to get some footage. :( Maybe next time…
On 3 January 2014, Dutch RAVON herpetologists investigated amphibians in Aamsveen nature reserve in Overijssel province.
One should hope for them that the winter, relatively mild so far, will not become harsher.
Italian crested newts in the Netherlands: here.
This video says about itself:
An intimate glimpse at North America’s Eastern Hellbender, an ancient salamander that lives as much in myth as in reality…. and in many waters, myths are all that remain of these sentinel stream-dwellers.
From the Bites @ Animal Planet blog in the USA:
Meet the Hellbender
By: David Mizejewski
No, it’s not one of Satan’s minions or a CGI monster. It’s a type of salamander native to the streams and rivers of eastern North America. Despite its demonic-sounding name, this spectacular amphibian is completely harmless to people. Yet the species is rapidly declining due to human activity such as deforestation, erosion and chemical runoff into our streams–which is the real horror story.
Watch this video put out by the Forest Service and partners about one of North America’s most fascinating and little-known wild animals. …