Friday, December 31, 2004

WEBSITE - OBIS-SEAMAP

Couple of very detailed pages from a site new to me. OBIS-SEAMAP:
[...] the website for project OBIS-SEAMAP (Ocean Biogeographic Information System - Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations). Marine mammal, seabird and sea turtle data are being organized into a spatially referenced database.
Here's the Juan Fernandez Fur Seal and the Baiji Dolphin.

AYE-AYES - Madagascar's poor await benefits of conservation

This report from CNN.com dicusses the effect of generations of "slash-and-burn" in Madagascar.
The people of Mahatsara village do not understand why they are forbidden from burning down the wild forests of eastern Madagascar.

For centuries, the Mahatsara villagers have followed the traditions of their ancestors, chopping down trees and setting the forests ablaze to clear the land for rice cultivation.

But environmentalists say traditional 'slash-and-burn' farming -- where forests are cleared for planting subsistence crops -- has decimated the Indian Ocean island's rainforests, endangering around 200,000 plant and animal species, most of which exist nowhere else in the world.

Monday, December 27, 2004

KOMODO DRAGON Dies of Blood Vessel Rupture at National Zoo

Sad news from WTOPNEWS.com
Washington -- Some more bad news for the National Zoo. One of the Zoo's Komodo dragons died in its exhibit at the Reptile Discovery Center.

The rare female lizard died Christmas day after a blood vessel ruptured in its abdomen. A growth in an ovary apparently caused a blood vessel to rupture. The official cause of death won't be known for several weeks when all tests have been completed.

The 12-year-old lizard was one of a dozen born at the Zoo in 1992, the first litter ever born outside their native Indonesia.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

OFF TOPIC - GMail invites available

Nothing to do with endangered animals visited by Douglas Adams, but if you would like a GMail (Google eMail) account, please do send me a request through my profile's email address. I have 6 invitations available from my personal account, so first come, first served.

Monday, December 20, 2004

MOUNTAIN GORILLAS - Baby gorilla poachers arrested

CNN.com is one of a number of sites reporting the theft of a baby Mountain Gorilla from the Congo.
Rwandan police have arrested four suspected poachers and recovered a baby mountain gorilla that was stolen from its family in the forests of neighboring Congo, a police spokesman said Monday.

Police detained the men Saturday following a tip-off that they had smuggled a 3-year-old mountain gorilla into the border district of Mutura, in Rwanda's northwestern Gisenyi province, said Dismas Rutaganira, who led the police operation.

The baby gorilla was hidden in a sack and was being taken to buyers in Kenya, Rutaganira said. The police have not determined the identity of the buyers.

Friday, December 17, 2004

MOUNTAIN GORILLA NEWS

The Davis Enterprise
Ever since the age of 12, Amy Schilling knew that she was going to save the mountain gorillas.

'In my seventh-grade science class, we had to do a report on an endangered species,' Schilling said. 'I chose the mountain gorilla because I'd never heard of it. I went over to the library and when I saw my first picture, that was it.'

Schilling is now spearheading a move to start a West Coast chapter of Partners in Conservation, a group founded in 1991 and dedicated to education about the 'people, cultures and mountain gorillas of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic of Congo,' according to their Web site. Originally founded by concerned members of the Columbus, Ohio Zoo, Partners in Conservation has spread to include zoos and volunteers around the country.

BAIJI DOLPHIN NEWS - Animal Planet

Quicky...

Another chance to read more about the Baiji dolphin's proposed new home.
Visit this page at Discovery Channel's Animal Planet for more information.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

KAKAPO NEWS - Paul Jansen's position axed

Tragic news for the Kakapo Recovery Programme in this article from The New Zealand Herald.
The man who led the programme to save New Zealand's native parrot, the kakapo, has been sidelined into a technical desk job in a drastic Conservation Department cost-cutting exercise that will axe 13 jobs.

The $2.1 million cuts involve disbanding the biodiversity recovery unit.
...
Kakapo recovery programme leader Paul Jansen has been assigned to writing standard operating procedures.

The scientist in the kakapo team has been shifted to a 'site management' unit and the vet in the team has been moved into other work.
Also of note this week, a Maori cloak made of Kakapo feathers is to remain in Scotland.
Preserved Maori heads and rare feather cloaks are in storage in a Scottish museum, despite the efforts of a Lower Hutt doctor to bring them home.

Stewart Reid emigrated to New Zealand from Scotland almost 30 years ago. On a visit back to Scotland in the 1980s he came across an 18th-century kakapo feather cloak on display in Perth Museum and Art Gallery. He was told by museum staff it was the only one of its kind in the world.

BAIJI DOLPHIN NEWS - New home receives preliminary approval

China View has this report about the "White-flag dolphin" or Baiji.
...[the] animal ... may soon have a secure and relatively permanent home.

China plans to resettle its fewer than 100 white-flag dolphins into an exclusive wetland nature reserve named Tian'ezhou islet inShishou, central China's Hubei Province, according to zoologists from the province.

The plan has obtained preliminary approval from the state.

The zoologists believe that relocation will protect the dolphins from water pollution and busy navigation in other sections of the Yangtze River.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

ZOO NEWS - New Gorilla statue

The Seattle Times has this article about "a new life-size bronze statue of an adult male silverback gorilla", newly installed in Woodland Park Zoo.
The newest statue and the two others are the works of Whidbey Island artist Georgia Gerber. The piece is a donation from the family of James Foster, the zoo's veterinarian from 1971 through 1987 and acting zoo director from 1974 to 1975.

Foster was instrumental in establishing the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Center in Rwanda, Africa, where he developed a health plan for mountain gorillas and remained active until his death in 1997 at age 67.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

WEBSITE - ARKive Revisited

This is a re-post of an earlier article, updated with a few more GREAT links added.

Welcome to ARKive - Images of Life On Earth - Creating a lasting audio-visual record of life on Earth.

I found pages for most of the of "Last Chance To See" animals, and, joy of joys, many of them have GREAT video clips. Seeing a Kakapo wandering through the forest is WONDERFUL! Go there NOW!

Here's some helpful links...
Kakapo Parrot
Aye-Aye Lemur
Amazonian Manatee
Komodo Dragon
Rodrigues Fruitbat
Baiji Dolphin (NEW)
Mountain Gorilla (NEW)
Pink Pigeon (NEW)
Mauritius Kestrel (NEW)

Still nothing yet for the White Rhino or the Juan Fernandez Fur Seal. If you locate anything, do let me know!

Friday, December 03, 2004

RADIO - Mountain Gorillas, Komodo Dragons and Peter Jones

See below for a few streaming audio files from BBC Radio's Listen Again. It would be remiss of me not to mention my new techno combination which brings shows like this to my car radio in the USA. I use Replay Radio to record the shows to MP3 files, and then I play them in the car on my IRiver MP3 player with my I-Rock FM transmitter.

Record Internet radio. Click here to find out how!
  

If you get that all going, first up is a programme from April 2003 - Gorillas Are My Patients
The mountain gorillas of Central Africa are some of the most famous animals in the world. They live in the remote forests where Uganda, Rwanda and Congo meet. They are few in number and constantly under threat from poaching and habitat destruction.
...
Presenter Jim Clarke joins the vets and park rangers as they patrol the forests looking for patients. How do they control the spread of infection in such a huge area? And just what does it take to vaccinate a fully grown male silverback gorilla?
Next, here's an episode of Nature featuring a visit to Indonesia and the Komodo Dragons.
Yvonne Ellis undertakes a personal quest to find an unforgettable collection of lizards. On Rinca Island in Indonesia, she comes face to face with the Komodo Dragon the world’s largest lizard, whose breath can be fatal, but whose lifestyle contains some surprisingly tender moments.
Also, until December 7th, 2004, visit this Listen Again page, go the the letter "R" section, and listen to Radio Roots, this week about the legendary Peter Jones, voice of the Book, and also narrator of the Last Chance To See radio series.

KOMODO DRAGONS - Not your usual roadside attractions

CNN Money has this article about Komodo Dragons and the effect they have on Indonesian tourism.
Ron Magill, communications director for Miami Metrozoo, is one of the few human beings ready, willing, and able to pick up and carry a seven-foot, zoo-raised Komodo dragon around, but he wouldn't advise getting too close to a wild one. 'We've raised him from an egg,' says Magill, and 'even though he's not aggressive he's still hard to control. It's difficult to comprehend how strong he is.'