COLONY OF HEALTHY Tasmanian devils is about to get a new island refuge as part of an attempt to beat the deadly facial tumour depleting the species.

Fourteen devils will this week be the first to move to Maria Island, off the east coast of Tasmania, in the hope they will be quarantined from the disease.

The aim is to establish a self-sustaining population of healthy devils on the island, listed as a national park, where the species is not found naturally.

The move is part of the joint state and federal Save the Tasmanian Devil Program funded with $10 million over five years by Canberra.

"We are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to protecting the Tasmanian devil," federal Environment Minister Tony Burke said in a statement. "Translocation is one of the methods of last resort and it has to be done carefully with good scientific oversight. It’s part of making sure the Tasmanian devil never goes the way of theTasmanian tiger.”

1 year ago 12 notes

Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) babies. Mothers carry the babies for 21 days, giving birth to up to 40 young - which are about the size of a grain of rice. Only the strongest four make it to suckle the four teats in the pouch.

Photo Credit: Andrew Gregory
2 years ago 31 notes

"Rhino Wars", Tugela Private Game Reserve, Colenso, Natal, South Africa, 9 November 2010 A female rhino in Natal, South Africa, that four months earlier survived a brutal dehorning by poachers who used a chainsaw to remove her horns and a large section of bone in this area of her skull. The female rhino survived the dehorning and has joined up with a male bull who now accompanies her. Rhino horn is now worth more than gold on the international market. South Africa alone has lost more than 400 rhinos to illegal poaching incidents in 2011. The demand for rhino horn is fueled by a wealthy Asian middle and upper class and used overwhelmingly as medication. Photo Credit: Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic magazine

2 years ago 12 notes

PLATYPUS ARE SHY, elusive creatures that are highly dependent on freshwater ecosystems. As their habitats are depleted, these iconic animals are increasingly threatened. Throughout the eastern states, stream and river flows have contracted during the past decade due to drought, damming and water extraction. This, along with discarded fishing nets and traps, erosion of riverbanks and feral animals, has played a major role in reducing platypus numbers. Did you know? *The platypus is one of only a handful of monotremes, or mammals that lay eggs. The eggs are 15-18mm long and have a whitish, papery shell like those of lizards and snakes. *A platypus’s coat consists of two layers of fur - the inside layer to keep them warm and the outside which is water resistant. *The platypus is the only Australian mammal known to be venomous. Adult males have a sharp, curved spur on each hind leg that can inject poison.


2 years ago 4 notes

WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S iconic, endangered black cockatoos are being decimated by land clearing, logging and human population growth, according to government figures showing a 35 per cent fall in numbers in just one year.

These alarming statistics are based on an annual survey, known as the ‘Great Cocky Count’, conducted in WA’s southwest by volunteers and the Department of Environment and Conservation.

Last year’s results, published on Thursday, showed the number of endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoos had fallen by more than a third, from 12,954 roosting birds in 2010, to just 8365.

There have been three Great Cocky Counts so far - in 2006, 2010 and 2011 - but the 2006 results were based on different criteria, so can’t be compared to other years.

While conservationists agreed it was still too early to confirm a trend based on two years’ worth of data, it was still an “awful” result.

"To lose more than a third of an endangered species in just one year is a devastating result and shows that current conservation measures are failing," Conservation Council of WA spokesman John McCarten says.

read more

2 years ago 1 note

Tarzan’s chameleon
Named after the town of Tarzanville in Madagascar, Tarzan’s chameleon is one of the most colourful of the 61,900 species on this year’s updated Red List, released by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is critically endangered and one of 22 terrestrial reptiles listed as threatened in Madagascar, mainly due to the tropical forests that are being cleared.

2 years ago 4 notes


Lost Rainbow Toad Found After 87 Years

Mark Brown, Wired UK, July 14, 2011 -

"Herpetologists at Conservation International have rediscovered the exotic Sambas stream toad (aka Borneo rainbow toad, aka Ansonia latidisca) after 87 years of evasion, and released the first ever photographs of the brightly colored amphibian.

The spindly-legged species was last seen in 1924 and European explorers in Borneo only made monochrome illustrations of it. A decade or so later, the CI and the SSC Amphibian Specialist Group added the species to its World’s Top 10 Most Wanted Lost Frogs campaign.”

[full story]

Thanks for the heads-up, Mom!

(via the-monster-dance)

3 years ago 32 notes

Snubfins are estimated to have a lifespan of about 30 years, breeding from age nine and producing one calf every two or three years. According to Lydia Gibson, WWF’s tropical marine species manager, this slow rate of reproduction, combined with the dolphins’ scarcity, makes them susceptible to extinction.

"If you lose just one individual in a population per year due to human activity, it could lead to the extinction of that local population," she says.

WWF warns human activities could lead to the dolphins’ extinction in the next 30 years.

One of the main threats to snubfins is bycatch, or accidental capture by fishing nets. WWF estimates bycatch has killed hundreds of dolphins. Gillnets in coastal net fisheries are particularly problematic, because they tend to be set in the inshore estuarine habitats snubfins prefer.

Many snubfins have been found with scars resulting from boating accidents, indicating that accidental run-ins with watercraft are probably responsible for some deaths.

The dolphins are also threatened by habitat destruction resulting from increased commercial development along the Australian coast.

3 years ago 3 notes