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]