Saturday, September 10, 2011

Two Kakapo Found Dead

Sad news from New Zealand. Scoop has the full details.
Two young female kakapo have been found dead – one on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island, off Stewart Island, the other on Anchor Island in Fiordland.

Kakapo Recovery programme manager Deidre Vercoe Scott said the two birds were discovered by rangers doing transmitter changes during the weekend. The first, Purity, hatched during the bumper 2009 breeding season. It was estimated she had been dead around ten days.

The other, Monoa, which hatched in 2002, was found Sunday on Anchor Island. She had been dead for quite some time, indicating the two deaths were not linked.

Kakapo overcrowding may force return to Resolution island

In this article from July, Kakapo Recovery programme scientist Dr Ron Moorhouse has concerns over possible Kakapo overcrowding, particularly on Codfish Island. Otago Daily Times has the full article.
Overcrowding may force the endangered kakapo to be returned to Resolution Island, more than 100 years after a pioneer conservationist first attempted the move.

The population of the flightless parrot stands at 131, and they are largely housed on two southern offshore islands - Codfish Island, off Stewart Island, and Anchor Island, near Dusky Sound.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Northern white rhinos set for stem cell test-tube babies

Article in the MailOnline on an interesting approach to saving the species that does not involve cloning.
The northern white rhino, one of the planet’s most endangered animals, could be saved by pioneering stem cell research.

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, also hope their work will save other animals teetering on the edge of extinction.

The team have managed to create stem cells from the majestic animals and hope they will eventually be able to produce ‘test tube babies’, too.