Wednesday, November 08, 2006

ENDANGERED ANIMALS NEWS - A brief roundup

Here's a brief round-up of some endangered animals news stories that caught my eye recently with three articles from the BBC.

Hugh O'Shaughnessy went to Peru to visit the territory of the Spectacled Bears, the creatures that Stephen Fry visited for his Last Chance To See-esque book "Rescuing the Spectacled Bear". The bears are being threatened by aggressive economic development in the region.
For me, the exchange with Captain Sutcliffe high in the mountains perfectly encapsulated a situation which in one form or another is becoming ever more common in Peru.

This country is a genuine treasure trove of mineral riches.

It is the world's largest producer of silver and there is lead, copper, zinc, molybdenum - known as "Molly" in the trade - and much more.

I was saddened to hear about the fate of 1,000 or so endangered Orang-Utans in Borneo which have perished as a result of the forest fires that have been burning there for months.
Fires on the island of Borneo may have killed up to 1,000 orangutans, say animal protection workers in Indonesia.

The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation says the animals are facing severe problems as their natural habitat is burnt away.

Rescue workers have found several dead orangutans in burnt-out areas, but have no way of reaching animals still trapped in the burning forests.

Prince Charles has spoken out on behalf of the beautiful Albatross.
[...]he believes the world has a duty to save the endangered albatross from extinction.

The heir to the British throne said the demise of the iconic sea-bird would be "such an appalling commentary on the way we treat the world".

Campaigners say about 100,000 birds drown each year after becoming caught on longline fishing hooks.

The Prince of Wales made his comments in TVE's Earth Report programme, to be broadcast on BBC World this weekend.

Another recent BBC News article has highlighted yet another big game poaching problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo - The Hippopotamus.

Hippos in the country are now within a few months of extinction. Zoological Society of London researchers have said that the population has dropped by 50% in just two weeks!
They say the Mai Mai militia has set up camp in Virunga National Park and catches the animals for meat and ivory.

The hippo entered the Red List of Threatened Species this year, and is declining in many parts of Africa.

ZSL says the militia killed hundreds of hippos in a two week period, and numbers now are below 400.

Its scientists warn the entire population may disappear before the end of the year without urgent action.

Finally, I came across this marvellous animal slide-show at MSNBC.com. Some of the animals are rare, some not so rare, but most of these pictures are superb. Click each animal picture to move onto the next one.

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