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The Rediscovered
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Divine Wind
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PostPosted: 06-10-2004 02:31    Post subject: The Rediscovered Reply with quote

Some are newly discovered:

and some are rediscovered:

Ancient creatures found in firth

A species of what is thought to be one of the oldest living creatures on the planet has been discovered in the Solway Firth.

A small colony of tadpole shrimps has been identified in a pool at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust nature reserve at Caerlaverock near Dumfries.

The crustaceans, which were found in a pool on the reserve, were thought to have been extinct in Scotland.

They were last seen north of the border over 50 years ago.

The last Scottish colony, further along the Solway from Caerlaverock, was thought to have been lost through sea encroachment just after the Second World War.

Older than dinosaurs

The only known UK population has been in the New Forest in England until the new discovery, which was made by a researcher, Larry Griffin, looking for natterjack toads.

Mr Griffin told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "When I dipped my net in I pulled out some of these beasties which I hadn't seen before.

"They look like a small form of the little horseshoe crabs, so I knew I was onto something different, but I didn't know at that time that they were this living fossil."

It is not yet known where the creatures came from or how long they have been at Caerlaverock.

They were thought to have been extinct in Scotland since the middle of the last century, so it's a major discovery
Brian Morell

Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
But experts say it is possible that eggs have been dormant in the mud for decades, waiting for the right conditions to come to life.

Fossilised remains prove tadpole shrimps were around 220 million years ago in the Triassic period - pre-dating the dinosaurs.

Experts say they do not appear to have changed in appearance since that time.

Brian Morell, of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Caerlaverock, said: "They were thought to have been extinct in Scotland since the middle of the last century, so it's a major discovery.

"We'll have to do some DNA analysis just to see if they are linked to that population."

Samples of the find will now be sent to the British Museum for study.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2004/10/05 09:16:48 GMT

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PostPosted: 26-10-2004 15:09    Post subject: Martens Not extinct Reply with quote

'Extinct' pine marten in comeback

'Credible' sightings have prompted efforts to track the pine marten

The pine marten - declared extinct in England a decade ago - is making a comeback in North Yorkshire, wildlife experts believe.
New sightings on the edge of the North York Moors have prompted the Forestry Commission to set out feeding tubes to collect hair samples for DNA analysis.

They hope that bait - including the mammal's favourite jam sandwiches - will lure the animals into the tubes.

Once common in England, the animals were driven away by Victorian trappers.

The Forestry Commission has teamed up with the Moors National Park, Hull University and local conservationists to find conclusive evidence that pine martens have ventured south from their refuge in the Scottish highlands.

Brian Walker, Forestry Commission biodiversity officer, said: "My gut feeling is that we do have pine martens in this part of North Yorkshire.

"Over the years we've had many sightings, some cases of mistaken identity, but others very convincing.

"One of these came in July when an experienced ornithologist and wildlife photographer saw a creature matching the description of a pine marten."

If their presence in Yorkshire is confirmed, forestry workers will attempt to manage woodland to suit the ferret-like animals' needs.

Clearly numbers are small and the creature may be clinging onto existence

Wildlife trust spokesman Johnny Birks

As well as 100 feeding tubes, they have erected 10 den boxes in an area of forest near Osmotherley to encourage breeding.

The efforts have been prompted by what the Forestry Commission say are "highly credible recent sightings" by local wildlife experts.

It is believed the animals have returned because large areas of forest planted after the First World War have now reached maturity, providing new habitats which had been lost.

Johnny Birks, of the Vincent Wildlife Trust, said: "I'm reasonably confident we do have martens in the Moors, but it is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

"Clearly numbers are small and the creature may be clinging onto existence."

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Not So Old
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PostPosted: 26-10-2004 15:49    Post subject: Jam sandwich traps for pine martens Reply with quote

A hundred jam sandwiches have been hidden in remote forests in an attempt to catch a mammal believed to have been extinct in England for 100 years.

Scientists will discreetly monitor the traps, squashed into plastic feeding tubes, for hairs and other DNA traces of pine martens.

Local naturalists have logged 35 suspected marten sightings on the densely-wooded fringes of the North York Moors since 1990.

None were conclusive but an experienced wildlife photographer has given an accurate description of a marten which triggered the new move.

"We think that most of the 35 reports were probably mistaken identity, but some were very convincing," said Brian Walker, of the Forestry Commission.

"It could be that there's always been a presence in this area, but we feel it's more likely that they are recolonising from Scotland, where colonies are well-known.

"They often travel up to 20 miles a day while foraging and they could have easily worked their way back south."

The traps, which also contain a pine marten dietary favourite, shredded chicken wings, have been devised by biologists at Hull University and local wildlife groups.
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PostPosted: 27-10-2004 09:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmm. I live quite close to North Yorkshire (Lancashire) and I was aware that Marten numbers had declined over recent years but I wasn't aware that they had been declaired extinct.
Anyway, I can confirm that they were not made extinct in England 10 years ago at all because I saw one about 4 years ago.

Last edited by Guest on 27-10-2004 09:17; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: 27-10-2004 09:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pine marten threads merged.
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hc for life
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PostPosted: 27-10-2004 09:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have a pair of cherry red martens.
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PostPosted: 27-10-2004 09:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martens are reported to be very rare in Ireland, being confined to the Sliabh Bloom mountains in Laois, the Burren in Co Clare and parts of Kerry. I'm not sure about this at all as in the past few years I have heard reports of two in the Westmeath area, one which was shot by accident (mistaken for a fox) and another found dead on a road. Very elusive creatures, could well be there for years and not seen. Hadn't heard of the jam sandwiches bait before though Smile
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PostPosted: 27-10-2004 10:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder what caused their numbers to drop so dramatically.
Theoretically, they should do better that their relatives, stoats and weasils because of their larger size (like grey squirrals compaired to red ones) and badgers because they can move a damn sight quicker.
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Justified and Ancient
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PostPosted: 27-10-2004 18:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

For one insane moment I actually thought this thread was about Martians.

I can imagine some baffled hikers wondering why the forest is suddenly full of jam sandwiches!
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moomin hunter !
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PostPosted: 27-10-2004 19:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stoats and weasels move very quick,not many people see them but there are plenty about (often see them),martens I would think move about the same speed,but because of their larger size would need a bigger territory so would be covering a larger area and thus not seen so much,I've said it before that most people walk around with their eyes half closed.
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PostPosted: 11-11-2004 17:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Researcher tries to thrash out story of bird's fate


Philadelphia Inquirer

PHILADELPHIA - (KRT) - For a 1971 movie about 16th-century Spanish explorers in the Caribbean, filmmakers brought a few boa constrictors to the Mexican island of Cozumel to add some exotic flavor.

But according to biologists at Villanova University and in Mexico, they may have brought something else instead: environmental calamity.

Boas multiplied out of control on the small island off the Yucatan peninsula, biologists say, and are accused of decimating a bird found nowhere else in the world: the Cozumel thrasher.

A cousin of the mockingbird, the thrasher has not been documented since 1995 and was thought by some to be extinct - until now.

In June, a team led by Villanova's Robert L. Curry finally saw the brownish, long-billed creature in the forest after three unsuccessful missions during the previous year.

The bird's saga is only the latest illustration of the role that islands can play in the rise of new species - a phenomenon first described by Charles Darwin in the Galapagos - and in their demise.

Curry has not proved that the boa wiped out the bird, but research leads him to call it his "primary hypothesis." Others had pointed the finger at Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, but most species have bounced back from that storm. Not the thrasher, whose population has crashed from thousands to probably less than 100, Curry said.

"Something is very wrong," he said.

When a bird is blown onto an island from the mainland, it can take as little as 10,000 years before the creature evolves into a distinct species. Yet the very isolation that gives rise to new species can play a role in their downfall.

Island species are particularly vulnerable to introduced predators for two reasons, said Princeton University ecology professor David Wilcove. They can evolve to lose their natural defenses because they are not needed - unless predators arrive. And islands are often small places, meaning there are no "backup populations," said Wilcove, who has been following the work on Cozumel.

The allegation that boas were released on the island after their use in a movie was made in 1999 by Mexican biologist Alfredo Cuaron, whose team interviewed islanders. The constrictors were blamed for eating rare raccoons and coatis, as well as household pets. Additional research last year prompted Curry to tie the snakes to the bird's downfall.

Felipe Cazals - who directed "El Jardin de Tia Isabel," the 1971 film with the boas - declined to be interviewed. In a statement e-mailed by an intermediary, he said the allegation that boas were released was "a legend."

"There were snakes involved, but they were handled by professional wranglers," Cazals said.

Curry, an associate biology professor whose bird-hunting tools range from basic nets to his iPod music player, aims to learn the truth.

Three times he traveled to the island - a hunk of limestone that draws more than two million tourists a year - in search of the birds, and failed to find one. But in June, his Mexican graduate student, Juan Martinez Gomez, finally saw the bird four times. The trip was sponsored by American Bird Conservancy and Conservation International.

Curry plans to return to Cozumel next year in hopes of capturing, tagging and releasing the bird. He also wants to record its call on his iPod, and use the recording to locate other birds.

If he finds a nest, he will station a video camera nearby in hopes of proving the boa theory, as the snakes would be likely to eat eggs or fledglings. Other researchers already have proved that boas eat a related bird on the island of St. Lucia.

Curry's ultimate dream: to put tourism dollars to work. He proposes a 25-cent tax per visitor to pay for bird conservation. A similar program exists in the Galapagos.

"The idea of a species going extinct right in front of everyone's face, with all this money floating around, that's just horrifying," Curry said. "If we can't do that, we might as well just give up and pave over the rest of the planet."

Another example of nonnative snakes posing a threat to birds occurred on the island of Guam, where brown tree snakes wiped out several species before zoos, including Philadelphia's, began an effort to save other species at risk.

Doug Wechsler, an ornithologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences, said the loss of species has the potential to send shocks up and down the food chain. And at the very least, a little bit of history is lost forever.

"The world is a poorer place each time we wipe out some little jewel," Wechsler said. "The world will go on, but we'll be slightly more impoverished as a result."

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PostPosted: 07-12-2004 11:25    Post subject: Back from the dead, the mountain mouse not seen for 40 years Reply with quote


Back from the dead, the mountain mouse not seen for 40 years,3604,1367986,00.html
Luke Harding in Berlin
Tuesday December 7, 2004
The Guardian

It was last seen 42 years ago and was believed to be extinct. But the Bavarian short-eared mouse - a unique species of rodent that lives in a remote part of the Alps - has made a surprise comeback.

A German zoologist last spotted the extremely rare mouse in 1962, after discovering the species in Bavaria. Zoologists have been fruitlessly searching for the mouse, known as Microtus bavaricus, ever since.

Yesterday, however, it emerged that the species was not extinct after all but was still alive and well and living in the Austrian mountains. An Austrian scientist, Friederike Spitzenberger, stumbled upon the species in one of her "living traps".

Yesterday Dr Spitzenberger, who works at Vienna's Natural History Museum, said the mammal looked very similar to other rival kinds of mouse. But it was, in fact, a unique species that had evolved 10,000 years ago at the time of the last ice age, after becoming stranded in the Rofan mountains, just across the border from the German Alps.

"Technically it's not a mouse at all but a vole," Dr Spitzenberger explained.

"All the voles look like sausages with four legs. They all have tiny ears and short tails. You have to look at their teeth to tell them apart. But the only real way to tell is to examine the genetics."

She added: "The mouse is extremely rare. Probably only a few hundred of them exist. We now have to make sure that they don't die out."

Dr Spitzenberger said she found the mouse in August in an isolated spruce forest full of brooks. But it was only after examining its chromosomes and comparing its DNA with that of a stuffed museum specimen that she was able to identify it as the lost species.

There were only a handful of indigenous species living in central Europe, most of them "remnant" populations that got separated from the evolutionary mainstream.

"We have a very diverse number of mammals and birds," the scientist said. "But because of the intense management of forests, several of them are in danger."

What were the mouse's prospects now? "I'm optimistic," she said.

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Great Old One
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PostPosted: 08-03-2005 09:52    Post subject: Return of the wren-babbler Reply with quote

"For nearly 60 years it has been the world's least-known bird - until now. The rusty-throated wren-babbler, a small stub-tailed ball of feathers the size of a mouse, has been seen only once, when a specimen was captured in the Mishmi Hills of north-east India in 1947.

But now two American ornithologists have found and photographed a new example ofSpelaeornis badeigularis - by playing its own call back to it."
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PostPosted: 28-04-2005 15:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn. The Holy Grail of modern US orinthology/birding!!!! Spiny yeay


Experts: Woodpecker feared extinct found
Ivory-billed woodpecker last confirmed 60 years ago

Thursday, April 28, 2005 Posted: 10:36 AM EDT (1436 GMT)

It's just the most exciting report in my lifetime.
-- Ornithologist Frank Gill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The ivory-billed woodpecker, long feared extinct, has been rediscovered in a remote part of Arkansas some 60 years after the last confirmed U.S. sighting, bird experts said Thursday.

Several people have seen and heard an ivory-billed woodpecker in a protected forest in eastern Arkansas near the last reliable sighting of the bird in 1944, and one was captured on video last year.

"The ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis), long suspected to be extinct, has been rediscovered in the 'Big Woods' region of eastern Arkansas," researchers wrote in the journal Science in an article hastily prepared for release.

"Visual encounters during 2004 and 2005, and analysis of a video clip from April 2004, confirm the existence of at least one male."

Drumming sounds made by the birds have also been heard, the researchers said.

"This is huge. Just huge," said Frank Gill, senior ornithologist at the Audubon Society. "It is kind of like finding Elvis."

Gill said there is little doubt the sightings are genuine. The experts were expected to display some of the evidence at a news conference at the Department of the Interior later Thursday.

"The ivory-billed woodpecker is one of six North American bird species suspected or known to have gone extinct since 1880," wrote the researchers, led by John Fitzpatrick of the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology in New York.

"The others are Labrador duck (Camptorhynchus labradorius), Eskimo curlew (Numenius borealis), Carolina parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis), passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), and Bachman's warbler (Vermivora bachmanii)."

Big but shy

A large, dramatic-looking bird, the ivory-billed woodpecker was known to be shy and to prefer the deep woods of the U.S. Southeast.

"Its disappearance coincided with systematic annihilation of virgin tall forests across southeastern United States between 1880 and the 1940s," the researchers wrote.

People claimed to have seen it but the bird closely resembles the pileated woodpecker, which is noisy, less shy and quite common.

More reliable sightings were reported in Cuba as late as the 1980s.

"There have been lots and lots of reports and many of them have been off but others have been possible," Gill said in a telephone interview. "But this time we got it."

The ivory-billed woodpecker was known to be shy and to prefer the deep woods of the U.S. Southeast.

Gill said the bird was seen just over the border from Louisiana where the last documented ivory-bill was seen in 1944. "As a woodpecker flies it's not far," he said.

The birds only live about 15 years so the sightings mean they must be breeding somewhere.

"There has got to be a pretty serious lineage," Gill said. "It's got to be more than a few."

People are likely to flock to the area to try to see the birds themselves but it will be difficult, Gill said.

"It is not something you just go down and see. Your odds are very low," Gill said. "It is remote, difficult country. This time of year it is getting very buggy and very snakey and there is a lot of foliage."

But the discovery may help get protection for a larger area of the Big Woods, the nonprofit Nature Conservancy said.

"This area was once the largest expanse of forested wetlands in the country, originally consisting of 21 million acres of bottomland hardwood forests. Today, only 4.9 million acres remain, mostly in scattered woodland patches," it says on its Internet Web site.

"It's just the most exciting report in my lifetime. I think we will move ... to make this a globally important bird wildlife area," Gill said.

Copyright 2005 Reuters. All rights reserved.
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PostPosted: 28-04-2005 17:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that is very exciting news
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