[...] 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.
Friday, December 31, 2004
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
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
Monday, December 20, 2004
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
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.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
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.Also of note this week, a Maori cloak made of Kakapo feathers is to remain in Scotland.
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.
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.
...[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
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
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...
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
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.Next, here's an episode of Nature featuring a visit to Indonesia and the Komodo Dragons.
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?
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.
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.'
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Here's another account of a visit with the Mountain Gorillas to wet your appetite for making the trip yourself.
My three-hour climb up the steep and slippery slopes of 12,006-foot Visoke was marked by verdant foliage, oozing mud and the hope that my shortness of breath was due to the altitude and not a lack of fitness. Just when I thought my heart couldn't beat any faster, we cautiously descended into the midst of a dozen gorillas. A 375-pound silverback sat 20 feet away and eyed us with suspicion as a youngster and a few females approached.
And also, here's an article about the Komodo Dragons.
Hilly, hot and dry (it has less rainfall than anywhere else in Indonesia), Komodo is 130 square miles surrounded by some of the bluest, clearest, warmest waters in the Indonesian archipelago. The island is about 250 miles east of Bali. Intrepid travelers can island-hop there via the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa. (With time to spare, you can also continue to the island of Flores, where the three different-colored crater lakes of the extinct volcano Keli Mutu are truly one of the world's unknown wonders. Flores has been in the news recently after traces of hobbit-size early humans were discovered on the island.)
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
In Rwanda, a team of BP Conservation Award winners studying two globally threatened warbler species have been busy in the northwestern part of the country. After preliminary surveys in the Albertine Rift region, the team found that the Endangered Grauer's Scrub-warbler Bradypterus graueri has a viable population but is unevenly distributed in the Rugezi swamp, which has a high amount of human interference. Sound recordings gave a very preliminary suggestion that there were about 370 singing males in the population.
Saturday, November 20, 2004
7.30pm, Thursday 10 March, 2005 at the Royal Institution, London, W1.
The talk will be given by conservation's favourite zoologist Mark Carwardine. Mark co-wrote the book ‘Last Chance to See’ with Douglas, after their world tour searching for endangered species and you can expect many tall-tales to be recited on the night.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Scientists have unearthed remains of a primate that could have been ancestral not only to humans but to all great apes, including chimps and gorillas.
The partial skeleton of this 13-million-year-old 'missing link' was found by palaeontologists working at a dig site near Barcelona in Spain.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Into the dragon's lair
A monster lizard with fearsome claws, a flickering forked tongue and a killer bite is proving an unlikely ally in Indonesia's efforts to revive a tourism industry shattered by the October, 2002, Bali bombing.
Though many travellers have been put off visiting the Southeast Asian nation in the wake of the attacks in which 202 people died, on a nearby island, the giant Komodo dragon has proved an enduring attraction to curious holidaymakers.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
It has been called the eighth continent because of its unique wildlife which has evolved in isolation for 165 million years. But Madagascar's biodiversity - including 50 kinds of lemur - is under acute threat from slash-and-burn agriculture in what is one of the poorest countries on Earth.
The island has already lost at least 80% of its original forest cover, with over half this loss in the last 100 years.
Now, Madagascar has moved to protect its priceless wildlife (three-quarters of the estimated 200,000 plant and animal species are found nowhere else) and has identified the additional forests and wetlands that will more than treble the area of nature reserves from 1.7 million hectares to 6 million ha by 2008.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Just the last couple of weeks it has slowed up a little, giving me a bit of time to take stock, make some adjustments to the layout that I've been wanting to do for ages, and generally tidy the place up a bit.
It is very gratifying to see many of my visitors return for another quick update, and I'd like to thank you personally for dropping by from time to time. I knew when I started this project that there had to be other fans of the book out there who'd like to know what had happened to all the creatures in the intervening years.
Thanks for visiting. Please do introduce yourself in the comments and tell us a little bit about yourself, why you enjoyed the book, and why it keeps you interested after all these years. And, if there anything else you think I should be covering on the site, do let me know. Contributions are always welcome.
Sunday, November 07, 2004
Dian Fossey returned to central Africa in nineteen sixty-six. She spent a short time observing Jane Goodall. Then she began setting up her own research camp in what was then the country of Zaire. Fossey sought help from the local native people who knew how to follow mountain gorillas in the wild.
A short time later, political unrest forced her to move to nearby Rwanda. She settled in a protected area between two mountains, Karisimbi and Visoke. There, she established the Karisoke Research Center. This would be her home for most of the next eighteen years. Much of that time, she worked alone.
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Here's the BBC Report
The three-foot (one-metre) tall species - dubbed "the Hobbit" - lived on Flores island until at least 12,000 years ago.
Details of the sensational find are described in the journal Nature.
The discovery has been hailed as one of the most significant of its type in decades.
...shared its island with a golden retriever-sized rat, giant tortoises and huge lizards - including Komodo dragons - and a pony-sized dwarf elephant called Stegodon which the "hobbits" probably hunted.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
...recently reported that the fencing of the 18,000 acres sanctuary will soon be completed and that the holding bomas for the new rhinos are also nearing completion. The first rhinos are expected by late 2004 and the official opening of the sanctuary is expected by mid 2005, when the relocated rhinos have settled in and overcome the relocation stress.You can find out more about the Rhino Fund Uganda at Save The Rhino and their own website, Rhino Fund Uganda.
In 1968 more than 100 Northern White Rhino lived in Uganda. The last rhino was seen in 1983. Today 41 Northern White Rhinos are known to exist in the entire world. The only wild population of 30 lives in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are about 11500 Southern White Rhinos living in Africa.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Join us for a unique series of talks, presentations, masterclasses and workshops from these renowned wildlife experts in one of the world's finest wildlife locations. The Galapagos Islands, off Ecuador's Pacific Coast, originated from undersea volcanic activity, six million years ago.
Hear John Craven talk about wildlife journalism, and Jonathan and Angela Scott recount tales of their travels and photographic trips. Learn about underwater photography and marine wildlife from Mark Carwardine, join award winning television producer Christopher Ralling for tips on wildlife film-making and hear about the life and travels of Charles Darwin.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
The Department of Conservation is failing to stop the slide to extinction of more than half of New Zealand's rare plants and wildlife.
Data revealed for the first time in the department's annual report to Parliament show DoC is fighting a losing battle.
Acutely threatened means at serious risk of imminent extinction and includes the kakapo, black stilt, takahe and orange-fronted parakeet.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
If there was a 'Guiness Book of Bird Records' the kakapo would be a star! The Kakapo is the ...They have a FULL LIST of ALL the Kakapo Names, and it is up-to-date, because it takes into account the three deaths in July 2004.
In 2001 there were 62 kakapo.Here's their page about Kakapo Booming.
But over the 2001/2002 summer 24 kakapo chicks were born.
Then there were 86 kakapo!
Sadly in July 2004 three kakapo girls died.
So now there are 83.
And then test yourself on what you've learnt with their Kakapo Quiz.
You can learn more about some of the individual Kakapos at the Kakapo Recovery Programme.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Interesting to note this....
They used to bring a goat with them to feed to the dragons on the river bank where the lizards gather, but this practice has been discontinued.The fate of the goat featured heavily in Douglas Adams' chapter on Komodo of course.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Wilson's optimism as well as his reverence for and delight in all wild organisms from invisible bacteria to the mountain gorilla can be linked to how he grew up.
Born in Alabama, Wilson began exploring nature when he was 8 or 9 years old. He couldn't help sloshing through woods, and peering with magnifying glass at all the tiny critters on top of and inside the soil. And when he was a mere 13 years old, he discovered the fire ant in Alabama, a non-native species that has since disturbed ecosystems in his home state.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
The bat has to be the all-time coolest pet you could have. With a rather impressive set of choppers in their tiny little gobs and the ability to sleep upside-down, well, you’ve gotta give ‘em some respect for that. Wouldn’t you love to have your own little Batfink? C’mon, get into the Halloween spirit this year and help the Zoological Society of London in their conservation of the Rodrigues Fruit Bat population by adopting one of these cute little critters.
Of course, when you adopt the bat, it’s not advisable that you keep it hanging in your back garden, so we’ll leave the experts to look after them at London Zoo. You’ll receive a free entrance ticket to London Zoo, so you can go along and visit your furry friends.
Pablo's group, one of the three mountain gorilla groups we monitor daily from the Karisoke Research Center, welcomed its 57th member in September, when female Ginseng gave birth to her fourth infant, a boy.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
They're also looking for a name, so pop over to www.buschgardens.com to vote! Choose from:
- Malaika meaning "angel"
- Naki meaning "first girl"
- Johari meaning "jewel"
- Uzuri meaning "beautiful"
Support for the Kakapo steps up a gear today with the launch of an active partnership between New Zealand Aluminium Smelters (NZAS) Ltd and the Kakapo Recovery Team.
NZAS employee Aaron Smith is the first of a series of volunteers who will trade in manufacturing aluminium for two weeks in the rugged bush of Codfish Island looking after kakapo.
Kakapo Recovery team leader Paul Jansen sees the inclusion of NZAS staff as providing many advantages for the kakapo recovery programme.
“Creating a stronger link with the Southland community, through local ownership of the programme, and having an even bigger team of dedicated supporters to assist with the birds and island equipment, is fantastic, ” Mr Jansen said.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
It’s a gorilla's life... at The Wildlife Experience. Get a close look at the fascinating and rare mountain gorillas.
[Dr Granfield will] also share what it's like to deliver life-saving medical care to these animals in their natural environment. No mountain gorillas live in captivity, so don't miss this glimpse into their world! The lecture will be held Saturday, October 23rd at 1:00pm at The Wildlife Experience. This is free with museum admission.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
The first of them is to The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, which has pages on the Rodrigues Fruitbat, and also the Mauritius Kestrel and the Pink Pigeon which had plenty of mentions in the book of course.
I've added these "extra animals" to the side-bar list so we can keep an eye on these important supporting characters from the book.
In 2000, the IUCN classified the Mauritius Kestrel as VU - Vulnerable.
This species has been downgraded from Endangered because it has sustained population increases, owing to intensive conservation efforts. However, it still has a very small population and is thus classified as Vulnerable. With an estimated carrying capacity of only c.1,000 on Mauritius, it is always likely to have a very small population and therefore remain threatened.In 2000, the IUCN classified the Pink Pigeon as EN - Endangered.
The population of this species has successfully been maintained at over 50 mature individuals since 1993, but over 250 only since 1996. It is therefore downlisted from Critically Endangered to Endangered, but not yet to Vulnerable. However, it seems doubtful that present populations could be maintained without the current intense management programme and, were management to cease, this species would stand a high risk of extinction. It still has an extremely small population, concentrated in just a few locations, and remains threatened by a continuing decline in the quality of suitable habitat.
A close and chilling encounter with what is believed to be a new breed of giant killer ape has rocked the science world.
The massive apes live in the darkest reaches of the jungles of the African Congo.
Friday, October 15, 2004
Experts have said that pollution and silt in the Yangtze River are so serious that it is in danger of becoming as bad as the Yellow River within ten years. With the forest on the banks shrinking severely, and with the native species of dolphin, sturgeon and saury probably extinct, life in the river is disappearing, according to experts, and the environment is facing crisis.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Two Waco philanthropists, Jim and Nell Hawkins, donated $1 million to the zoo Thursday.
It's the largest single donation in the zoo's history. Zoo officials say the money will be used for the Asian forest expansion and will build [an] orangutan [and komodo dragon] exhibit. Hawkins says he did it because it was the right thing to do.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Swaziland has 61 white rhinos - the second largest land mammal after the elephant - and space is an issue in the small developing country of one million people and rising.
"Our space is limited and our white rhino populations are reaching ecological carrying capacity for the species," Swazi delegate James Reilly said.
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Scientists believe they have discovered a new group of giant apes in the jungles of central Africa.
The animals, with characteristics of both gorillas and chimpanzees, have been sighted in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to local villagers, the apes are ferocious, and even capable of killing lions.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Five-year-old Tawnie Akasaki peered through a large plate glass window yesterday to get a good view of the Komodo dragons at the Honolulu Zoo.Here's the zoo's own page about Komodo Dragons which includes some FABULOUS video footage of their baby Komodo Dragons, hatched back in 2000.
'Look at the tongue,' said Tawnie to her grandmother Winona Arakawa of Salt Lake as she observed a dragon's forked tongue flick in and out of its mouth.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
The aroma of dung could be the ultimate aphrodisiac if you're a white rhinoceros.
Canterbury University masters student Volker Grun has begun a study of white rhinoceros excrement and the effect its smell has on sexual behaviour and attraction.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
In a world first, German scientists have successfully artificially inseminated a white rhinoceros, a highly endangered species, the Berlin-based Leibniz Institute of Zoology and Research for wild animals announced Monday.
If you've not paid a visit to their site yet, I recommend popping over to see what they're up to. They have some videos of Kakapo chicks which really show the dedication involved in this programme.
As part of Planet under pressure, a BBC News Online series looking at some of the biggest environmental problems humanity faces, Alex Kirby considers the current increase in extinction rates.Komodo Dragons are one of the answers in their tricky online quiz.
Sunday, October 03, 2004
An international conference on wildlife trade has opened in Thailand with calls for stronger curbs on illegal trafficking in rare animals and plants.They also have a video version of this report, located in the right column of their report.
Friday, October 01, 2004
The most powerful lizard in the world, the dragon can grow to 10 feet long and weigh over 200 pounds. “I’ve seen 101 pounds of this dragon eat a 90-pound pig in 20 minutes,” Magill said. They are considered an endangered species with only about 5,000 found on the small islands in Indonesia.Includes great video footage from The Early Show.
The Rhino Ball - October 10, 2004 - Houston, Texas
Save the Rhino has once again joined forces with Woburn Safari Park to bring you two challenging events, the Woburn Rhino 10km Run and a 4km Fun Run to be held on 17 October 2004.There's a 10km run round the Safari Park or a 4km single lap for the entire family to enjoy.
Thursday, September 30, 2004
You can hear more segments from the Last Chance To See radio series on this regular audio CD entitled "Douglas Adams at the BBC" (3 CDs). You can buy it from Amazon.co.uk.
And for "in-car" listening of the MP3 files, may I recommend...
Here's their page about Rhinos, plus pages about dolphins and primates.
More Articles"Where Have All The Rhinos Gone?"
"Brazilian Manatees that capture the imagination"
"Primates at risk as forests disappear"
"Why your mobile could be killing gorillas"
"Filming gorillas is a matter of faith"
"Gold threatens Madagascar"
"Learning from a baby gorilla called Gerri"
Interactive Challenges For Kids
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
August was a busy month for the male gorillas at Karisoke. Karisoke and national park staff witnessed no less than five interactions between groups, or between groups and lone silverbacks.If you'd like to sign up for their monthly newsletter, an email address is all they need.
Saturday, September 25, 2004
The Denver Gorilla Run is a charity fun run with a difference. Everyone who takes part wears a full gorilla costume - from fluffy head to furry toe - to raise funds for the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund, the international charity working to save the world's last remaining mountain gorillas and keeping Dian Fossey’s dream alive for the past 19 years.
Friday, September 24, 2004
"A lucky Steve Meacham sees eye to eye with an endangered family in Uganda."
What is it that impresses most when you finally spot your first mountain gorilla, peering up from its hiding place in the dense equatorial undergrowth? Is it the gorilla's immensity? Its sheer brute strength? Its vulnerability? No, nothing makes an impact like those dark, impenetrable eyes.
Meeting that sorrowful stare you realise how little we humans know about our universe. A mountain gorilla's eyes feel like those of a long lost ancestor, silently reproachful of what we have made of their world.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Cats kill millions of songbirds and small mammals annually! Is that statement (from the last Down to Earth) fact or hysterical fiction? Bryan Kortis, Executive Director of a group called Neighborhood Cats, claims it’s fiction, a wild extrapolation from small samples. Let’s see what light professionals can shed on the issue.
We report the abundance, patterns of distribution and physical characteristics of Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) nests
on Komodo Island in Indonesia. A total of 46 Komodo dragon nesting sites were identified, of these 26 nests were considered active
for the 2002/2003 season. The distribution of nests coincided with large coastal valleys in northern Komodo Island.
Also, here's a 2002 Progress Report on Komodo National Park.
Howard Buffett uses photography to communicate the harsh reality that billions face every day in the Third World.
Buffett is currently finishing a book titled "Threatened Kingdom" that focuses on mountain gorilla conservation in their habitat of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo while also incorporating African human rights issues such as genocide.
Buffett plans to donate the book to the International Gorilla Conservation Programme. He will also send 15,000 multilingual translations to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo so that children can learn about gorilla conservation and their own history while simultaneously learning English.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
I'm not sure whether I'd like cartoony or realistic looking drawings, but that's all open for discussion. So, as I say, drop me a line and maybe attach sample or two of your work.
If you're a budding illustrator, looking for some free exposure, or would just like to bring your own drawings to a world-wide audience, this is the place for you. All just for fun really, but I know there's a lot of talented people out there. Please do get in touch!
When New Zealand split away from the supercontinent Gondwana some 80 million years ago, its flora and fauna were left to develop in isolation.
The result was a virtual Noah's Ark of bizarre animals: Flightless, nocturnal parrots that hike several kilometers at a time; yellow-eyed penguins that nest in forests; and bad-tempered kiwis with skin as tough as shoe leather, poor eyesight, and a highly developed sense of smell.
Cameraman claims he had an affair with the naturalist, who was angry when he ended it.
Dian Fossey won international acclaim for her documentaries on the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, and was the first person to have been documented actively interacting with families of gorillas.
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Wikipedia's goal, for those who've never come across it before, is
to create a free encyclopedia -- indeed, the largest encyclopedia in history, both in terms of breadth and depth and also to become a reliable resource.Douglas Adams
Last Chance To See -- Ooh, we get a mention!
Juan Fernandez Fur Seal
Nothing so far about the Rodrigues Fruitbat, but the beauty of Wiki is that you can start and edit pages yourself. They have a "stub" for Rodrigues which we could expand with talk of the fruitbat.
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Friday, September 17, 2004
The Great Apes Survival Project is an innovative and ambitious project of UNEP and UNESCO with an immediate challenge - to lift the threat of imminent extinction faced by gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans.
Despite the Democratic Republic of Congo's shaky peace her five World Heritage site national parks and their wildlife and unique ecosystems remain endangered.
Donors at a Unesco conference in Paris have just pledged $40m to protect DR Congo's natural heritage, but for conservationists on the ground the parks remain a battle ground.
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Center for Protection of Aquatic Wild Animals in Yangtze River [which] has been established in Tongling City, east China's Anhui Province.
They're not yet 4 months old and already they've made history.
Twin mountain gorillas born at a national park in Rwanda in May are just the third set ever recorded and the first to survive more than a month. Visitors have been trekking through the dense forest to see the twins. Only 380 mountain gorillas are known to exist, none of them outside Africa.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Delicate habitats like those in the Yangtze basin, Rivers at Risk contends, are irreparably damaged by large dam construction. Species such as the Chinese alligator (the most threatened crocodile species in the world), the Yangtze River dolphin or baiji (the most threatened cetacean in the world), and the finless porpoise (the only freshwater-adapted porpoise in the world), will continue to see serious population declines and possibly become extinct as the Yangtze River continues to be dammed and modified.
Monday, September 13, 2004
REPOSTED REMINDER!Click here to GO APE, and become a gorilla for the day!
The Great Gorilla Run is a charity fun run with a difference. Everyone who takes part wears a full gorilla costume - from fluffy head to furry toe - to raise funds for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the international charity that's working to save the world's last remaining mountain gorillas.One of Viz magazine's staff members (Andy Tkaczyk) is competing in the run. You can make a donation or "alternatively stand at the side of the road and throw coins at him as he stumbles past".
Thanks to Iain (www.moshville.co.uk/Weblog) for this news.
Sunday, September 12, 2004
In Indonesia, survey of the Komodo dragon, the giant and endangered lizard, found about 5-6000 members on a few islands.
Aroha, Aurora and Vollie were just two years old when they died from an infection similar to the ebola virus.
In life, they would have played an important role in the kakapo recovery programme.
But in death, they could ultimately ensure the survival of the species.
Friday, September 10, 2004
Here's a couple that I enjoyed:
A Report on the Wildlife of Eastern Congo
Our Far Flung Correspondents (Madagascar)
Conserving this heritage is the goal set by UNESCO, the Belgian Government and the United Nations Foundation in organizing the first major international event in support of Congo's World Heritage in danger.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
Conservationists from around the world are gathering in Banff, Alta. to discuss how a wildlife corridor could help protect mountain ecosystems.Endangered species on the agenda include the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
If all goes to plan, London Zoo's remaining Komodo dragon will soon share its home with rare bumblebees and spiders. The Komodo's building is the latest to include an 'eco-roof', more commonly known as a 'green roof', which combines indoor comfort and outdoor habitat.You may remember that the other Dragon at the zoo tragically died in an accidental fall.
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
China regularly suffers storms and severe flooding in its summer rainy season, and more than 800 people have died due to severe weather this year.
More than 450,000 people have been evacuated and 127,000 homes destroyed or damaged, the China Daily reported.
Saturday, September 04, 2004
This species was thought to be the most numerically abundant species of fur seal, perhaps numbering over 3 million in the early 1600s before exploitation, and was soon after thought to be extinct. The species was ‘rediscovered’ in the mid-1900s and is now rapidly recovering.The link leads through to this paper (pdf).
Goldsworthy, S.D., Francis, J. Boness, D. and Fleischer, R. (2000) Variation in the mitochondrial control region in the Juan Fernandez fur seal (Arctocephalus philippii). Journal of Heredity. 91:371-377
National Geographic's Crittercam is a research tool designed to be worn by wild animals. It combines video and audio recording with collection of environmental data such as depth, temperature, and acceleration.
Thursday, September 02, 2004
Kakapo might require annual vaccinations to protect them against the bacteria that killed three of their number on Chalky Island, off the Fiordland coast, in July.
An infection that has killed three kakapo on a Fiordland island sanctuary was brought there by migratory sea birds, researchers said today.
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
And if you've STILL not read "Last Chance To See" yet, get it right here from
Saturday, August 28, 2004
In 1956 David travelled to Komodo to make a film about the Komodo Dragon. The site has a streaming video clip from the film. They have kindly given me permission to allow you to download the video here (364k).
Amazon.co.uk has Zoo Quest products available, and I STRONGLY recommend reading the book, or even better (because David Attenborough reads it), get the book on tape. It's a great adventure.
Zoo Quest books and tapes are also available in the US:
Zoo Quest stuff at Amazon.com
Friday, August 27, 2004
The page also links to this one about zoology which features a short video clip of Douglas Adams reading from "The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe" at one of the 1992 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.
Scientists fear new Ebola outbreak may explain sudden disappearance of scores of Western Lowland Gorillas.
More than 20,000 Western lowland gorillas could die within months if outbreak confirmed
'YOU couldn't have seen a kakapo,' accused a fellow backpacker. 'It's virtually extinct, nocturnal and can't fly to a tree. It must have been a forest pigeon.'
Asia, and their impact on people and wildlife, including the Baiji Dolphin.
The World Wide Fund (WWF) warned in June: 'China's Yangtze River faces a greater threat from dams than any other river in the world. China has 46 large dams planned or under construction on the Yangtze. The dams could destroy habitats of endangered species, including the Yangtze River dolphin, of which only a few dozen remain.'
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Dian Fossey spent the majority of her adult life in the mountains of east central Africa studying the shy and elusive mountain gorilla, one of our closest relatives. Thirty-four photographs, taken by Fossey and the National Geographic Society, explore Dian’s adventures living with and studying these amazing animals. Be sure to see this exhibit in the museum’s lobby.Museum is at 1931 First Avenue, Walnut Creek, CA 94597 - Tel: 925-935-1978
Monday, August 23, 2004
"Mr Muir said 93 Congolese guards have been killed in eight years, an average of almost one a month. "
Friday, August 20, 2004
A rare Komodo dragon fell to her death while scaling a wall at London Zoo. Six-feet-long Nina, who weighed 44lbs, died after scrambling up an eight foot dividing wall to reach her mate in the other side of the pen.
An anxious wait to see if Britain has lost its chance of breeding Komodo dragons in captivity now looms.
There are believed to be about 5,000 left in the wild.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
"Indian scientists have announced ambitious plans to use cloning technology to save the country's dwindling lion population from extinction and return Asiatic cheetahs's which disappeared from India half a century ago, to the wild."The Northern White Rhino and the Mountain Gorilla both get a mention.
By 2025 one-fifth of existing species could be extinct, the World Wildlife Fund fears.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
The island is situated 667 km from the continent, in front of the city of Valparaíso. Robinson Crusoe Island is part of one of the most beautiful natural reserves in the world, the wonderful Juan Fernández Islands. The fauna and flora found here are very unique. Neither time nor progress has been able to capture the magic and charm found here.
Monday, August 16, 2004
Like many of the attractions, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is no simple place to reach but like the other known destinations, is well worth the effort for the chance to see some of the only 700 mountain gorillas in existence in the world.
The rhino has existed five times longer than the average species. Trace the history of the rhino from its earliest relative, just four inches long, to a later one that stood over 33 feet high.Air Dates
- Aug 16 2004 @ 07:00 PM
- Aug 17 2004 @ 03:00 AM
- Aug 17 2004 @ 11:00 AM
Saturday, August 14, 2004
Rwanda's Volcano National Park is home to some of the world's last, wild mountain gorillas, which have become a source of hope for the country's damaged tourism industry. But encountering a silverback and his troop can be quite the journey.
Friday, August 13, 2004
"Last Chance To See" by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine
For further reading, there's lots more related books, DVDs and other stuff available at Amazon. Here's some relevant searches....
Traveling in China, I began to find that it was the sounds I was hearing that confused and disoriented me most...
It occurred to me...that the dolphins we had come to look for must be suffering from the same kind of problem. Their sense must be completely overwhelmed and confused.
It has a nice downloadable sound file called The Song of the Kakapo.
The text of the article itself comes from "Birds of South Westland" (c.1899) by Charles Edward Douglas, but it makes interesting (if not disturbing) reading, and might explain why the Kakapo is in such trouble today.
Kakapos are very good eating, whether old or young, but the old ones are too tough to roast, so the best way is to boil them over a slow fire for four or five hours, or cooking them in a Maori oven which is by far the quickest and best plan.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Glancing suspiciously in our direction, an endangered mountain gorilla turned her back to protect the rare treasure in her arms - the third-ever recorded set of twins born to these rare primates.
"Every birth is crucial to the genetic viability of the mountain gorillas, and the birth of twins is an exceptional event," said Fidelle Ruzigandekwa, head of the Rwanda Wildlife Agency. "It is like a miracle because the primates are threatened with extinction."
IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare) announced today that it will work with ICCN to reduce poaching in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
There are six species of great ape: two species of chimpanzee, two of gorilla and two of orang-utan. All are now endangered. All could face extinction in the wild within a few generations. In contrast human numbers have now passed 6 billion and are growing at the rate of 212,000 souls every day.
Monday, August 09, 2004
Durrell's last book, published in 1992 was "The Aye Aye And I", the account of a major collecting expedition in Madagascar, with the aim of establishing breeding colonies to save some of Madagascar's unique wildlife.
This PDF document talks about the success they have had with the Aye Aye.
Please read this fascinating article from CBC's Matthew Pace.
Inside our computers, and our cellular phones and pagers, is a metallic ore called coltan. It's hard, resistant to corrosion, and a good conductor of heat and electricity. Coltan is mined in only a few places in the world. The eastern Congo is one of them.
Coltan can be mined with just a shovel. So, during the technology boom a few years back, thousands of Congolese who lived nearby rushed into the park to mine the ore illegally. They had little to eat, until they started shooting the gorillas....
RIYAZ Kurji fought from eighth position to fourth to snatch a vital five ARC points in the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla rally yesterday. The lone flag bearer is bidding to become the second driver in Uganda to win the African title after Charles Muhangi who won it in 1999.Full Race Report and Championship Standings
Sunday, August 08, 2004
At the beginning of this decade a total census made in Selkirk Island gave a number of 6385 individuals.
This 2003-2004 season a series of playback experiments will be performed with the aim to test the vocal-auditory recognition ability between mothers and pups. At the same time, a similar to previous vocal sound recordings taken in past years by the author, will be obtained for fur seal pups that live close to a freshwater stream.
Saturday, August 07, 2004
Looking for a unique travel experience? Make a difference in some of the world’s most critical conservation and community projects with Global Vision International and selected partner organisations.Global Vision International have a large number of expeditions, projects, and courses you can join, from anywhere between 2 weeks and 2 years.
This list has a number of "Another Chance To See" related projects.
Friday, August 06, 2004
Also, this Bloomberg report talks with Kes Hillman-Smith of the Garamba National Park Project.
News Network article
The BBC is also reporting the same news.
Africa's Last Northern White Rhinos Decimated by Poaching Crisis in Garamba World Heritage Site: 50% Slaughtered in Last 14 Months
An intensive aerial survey of the Park, carried out 7-11 July
this year... counted a minimum population of only 17-22
animals, despite the birth of four calves in 2004. This represents
a loss of between 14-19 rhinos in just 14 months; over half
of the world's wild northern white rhinos have been lost in just over a year.
Download or stream the interview here.
This is the first time that pack animals have been a factor in the massacre, that exploded in intensity during 2003, of the last remaining northern white rhinos and unique elephant population of this World Heritage Site. Crucial in mid 2003 was the switch from commercial meat poaching to ivory and rhino horn and a sweep through the southern sector of the park focused on elephants and rhinos. The use of pack animals now implies yet another level of organisation, back up and distance in the poaching.
Here's their take on the latest Gorilla news about the loggers threatening their habitat.
EXTRA: History of John Craven's Newsround
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Rodriguans were used to their ways of farming and forestry. How were we going to persuade them to try other, less harmful ways? Enter Rodriguan, Mary Jane Raboude: Rodrigues' first environmental educator. Funded solely by grants from primarily zoo-based conservation organizations and donations, Mary Jane's job is to encourage and support positive environmental initiatives on Rodrigues to save the Rodrigues fruit bats from extinction. She works with entire villages as well as smaller groups conducting environmental education activities with adults and children.More information on Mary Jane Raboude and the project at the Philadelphia Zoo (2003 International Conservation Award), Oregon Zoo, and also the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.
Date 6th - 8th August - Kigali, Rwanda
RWANDA MOUNTAIN GORILLA RALLY
Rwanda Automobile Club will organize the 2004 event which starts from Kigali, the capital city . The rally is 350km of competitive sections run on gravel roads in hilly country side with the cooperation of the Government of Rwanda and local authorities. The event is organized by Dismas Kayibanda as the Chairperson and Benoit Daubie as clerk of the course.
The weather conditions during the event are dry and dusty. Rwanda has the only remaining sanctuary in the world for the mountain gorilla
Ugandan driver Riyaz Kurji rates his chances:
"We are confident we will win the rally because unlike in Zimbabwe and Zambia where recce is done in a convoy we will recce at our own pace. With good pace-notes, I don't think we will make mistakes," said Kurji who left for Kigali yesterday ahead of foreign drivers' route recce tomorrow.
This annual lecture is held in support of Save the Rhino International and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. Douglas was a Patron to both charities of course.
Nicky Springthorpe, the Fundraising and Communications Manager for Save The Rhino, tells me that the 2005 lecture will be given by Mark Carwardine, so "they're all very excited about that".
Please visit their Lectures And Talks page for more information on the 2005 lecture.
In celebration of the Life and Universe of Douglas Adams, late Founder Patron of Save the Rhino International. We host a lecture each year on (or as near as possible to) the day of Douglas's birthday to commemorate him and his achievements, on subjects that were of interest to him.
They also have a selection of Douglas Adams Books For Sale.
Specifically, here is the Mountain Mists Gorilla products available at Soundsprints Wild Habitats Collection, available as a book, cassette and stuffed animal.
In the Virunga's dense jungle, the call of a lone silverback male attracts a young female gorilla’s attention. But the silverback must best the dominant male of Gorilla’s group to win her. Can Gorilla’s young suitor prove himself and secure Gorilla for his mate?
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
For those in CAPS, I have added links to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Save The Rhino International and the Kakapo Recovery Programme. I will update the other animals once I find suitable links for them. For now, they remain a Google Images search.
I have also added each animal's IUCN (STATUS) and linked them through to their page on the IUCN Red List website.
(IUCN=International Union For Conservation Of Nature and Natural Resources)
It has lots and lots of information, including all their latest press releases. They have the names of the three Kakapos who died recently (Aroha, Vollie and Aurora, all two-year-old females).
There's also information on how you can get involved with the programme, either by donating, sponsorship or further reading.
And Tim Spalding's Komodo Dragon Central is a nice site with links to other zoos with Komodos, webcams and photo galleries.
Monday, August 02, 2004
The page does include a population breakdown by sub-species and here is the snippet about the Mountain Gorilla.
Late 1950's: 400 - 500
1981: About 250
1984: 360 - 370
2000: About 600
2002: Approximately 660
2004: At least 700
All of which seems to suggest that the population is at its strongest in 50 years.
For "Another Chance To See" we have the Juan Fernandez Fur Seal and the Gorilla, but there's also lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!
Oh, and did you ever wonder about Arthur Dent's brother? If you remember, he was "nibbled to death by an okapi".
If anyone has any success, don't forget to send us a photo!
Sunday, August 01, 2004
The dolphin is classified as CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Full Report.
Saturday, July 31, 2004
According to this article
The IWC has grown from 14 member states, when it was set up in 1946, to 55, and it is the only global body formally to address all threats to the existence of cetaceans.Six species are critically endangered and at least one, the Yangtze River Basin dolphin, is in immediate danger of becoming extinct.They have this PDF document from 2003 which explains the plight of the dolphin.
The baiji (Lipotes vexillifer) is the most endangered cetacean. Its range is restricted to the Yangtze River and its population size is probably only a few tens of animals.
Experts estimate only around 500 breeding females remain in the dragons' natural habitat in Indonesia.Here is the Zoo's own page on the arrival of the Dragons. Sir David Attenborough opened the exhibit on July 12th. I HEARTILY recommend getting hold of Zoo Quest For A Dragon. I have both the book and audio version and its a great story. All of Attenborough's audio books are a pleasure to listen to, and in the absence of the "Last Chance To See" radio series, it's nice to be able to enjoy such a similar trip.
Dobbie the kakapo was alive and well, Department of Conservation kakapo recovery team leader Paul Jansen reported last night.
Dobbie was the first Chalky Island kakapo to be inoculated against the deadly bacteria erysipelas, which has killed three of his comrades
Many of the rhino sub-species in some parts of Africa have reached the point of no return. The northern white rhino has been reduced to a population of 20 animals in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This quote from the final paragraph makes chilling reading:
"We could very well see the extinction of the nothern (sic) white rhino in the next six months"
Friday, July 30, 2004
As of 2003, the Aye-Aye is still classified as ENDANGERED.
The genesis of the project was a 1985 trip with Mark to visit the Aye-Aye Lemurs of Madagascar.
Here Be Chickens
A visit to a famous island in Indonesia and the Komodo Dragons.
Leopardskin Pillbox Hat
To Zaire, and the Northern White Rhinos and Mountain Gorillas.
Heartbeats in the Night
My favourites, the parrots of New Zealand which run up trees, jump out and fly like bricks. Yes, its the Kakapo Parrots!
To the mighty river Yangtze, and the blind Baiji Dolphin.
Rare, or Medium Rare?
To the southern Indian Ocean of Rodrigues to look for the world's rarest bat, the Rodrigues Fruitbat!
And lest we forget, not featured in the book, but visited for the original BBC radio series, were the Juan Fernandez Fur Seal and the Amazonian Manatee.
The online version of the "Guide" is hosted by the BBC and is called H2G2. Here's one entry about the original "Last Chance To See" radio series, as broadcast on Radio 4.
As I'd discussed with MJ Simpson, it seems that the series is somewhat hard to find, because its never been released commercially. Hopefully, with all this new interest in Hitchhikers, that will change. I do recall listening to it myself, and I know I taped some episodes at the time, but they're long gone. Anyone out there with a copy?
In July of 2004 I exchanged a couple of emails with MJ Simpson*, the author of Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams, and we got to chatting about Adams' other popular, if less well known, book Last Chance To See. The book (and BBC Radio series) described his travels around the world with naturalist and broadcaster Mark Carwardine and their visits with many endangered animals, such as the Mountain Gorilla, Northern White Rhino, Komodo Dragon, Kakapo Parrot and many more.
So many of the fascinating creatures they had described were teetering on the very brink of extinction back in the late 1980s, one had to wonder how they were doing now, some 15 years later. I thought a blog might be a good way to bring the stories up-to-date, and so Another Chance To See was born.
*Simpson's own site, Planet Magrathea, was a great resource for news about everything Hitchhikers, including the two new radio series and the 2005 Hitchhikers movie. Sadly, the site is now closed - [April 18, 2005]