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The Rediscovered
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evilsproutOffline
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PostPosted: 29-11-2006 22:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Madagascar Pochard, thought extinct since 1992, has been rediscovered.

http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2006/11/madagascar_pochard_redisc.html

Quote:
Diving duck resurfaces
20-11-2006

The Madagascar Pochard, a diving duck last sighted in 1991 and feared ‘Possibly Extinct’, has been rediscovered during a survey in remote northern Madagascar.

Conservationists from The Peregrine Fund Madagascar Project, discovered nine adults and four recently-hatched young on a remote lake, and have since revisited the site for further observations and data.

“This is an exciting discovery that strengthens our conviction that putting well-trained biologists into the field to learn about species is critical for conservation success,” said Rick Watson, International Programs Director for The Peregrine Fund.

“With better knowledge about the habitat requirements of the Madagascar Pochard comes greater hopes for protecting the species and this area of marshland – a habitat on which many other threatened species may depend.” —Vony Raminoarisoa, Director of BirdLife International Madagascar Programme

The Madagascar Pochard Aythya innotata was until recently listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct). The last pochard sighting was on Lake Alaotra in the Central Plateau of Madagascar in 1991 when a male was captured and kept in Antananarivo Zoological and Botanical Gardens until its death one year later. The lack of subsequent records despite intensive searches, and the intensity of threats to the species, had led to it being tagged as Possibly Extinct.


The last record of multiple birds dates back to June 1960 when 20 birds were sighted on Lake Alaotra.


“After so much searching, and so long without a sighting, hope seemed to be fading for this species." said Vony Raminoarisoa, Director of BirdLife International Madagascar Programme. "With better knowledge about the habitat requirements of the Madagascar Pochard comes greater hopes for protecting the species and this area of marshland – a habitat on which many other threatened species may depend.”

The decline of the Madagascar Pochard is thought to have started in the mid-20th century and has been linked with degrading lake and marshland habitat from introduced plant and fish species, conversion to rice paddies, and burning. Little is known about the pochard, an extremely secretive and often solitary bird that prefers shallow and marshy habitat.

"The finding encourages us to consider more seriously the possibly that Madagascar's other 'Possibly Extinct' waterbird, the Alaotra Grebe, may not have been restricted to Lake Alaotra (where it no longer occurs); perhaps it occurred elsewhere, and perhaps it still does" said Roger Safford, Programme & Projects Manager, BirdLife International.


Last edited by evilsprout on 09-12-2006 18:03; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: 08-12-2006 14:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Endangered Turtle Found in Vietnam

(AP) -- Researchers in Vietnam announced Friday they have caught one of the world's most endangered turtles in the wild, a development which could bolster efforts to protect the species from hunters and collectors.

The Vietnamese Pond turtle, found only in lowland areas of Vietnam - was caught in late November in Quang Nam province, according to the Asia Turtle Program.

While the turtles are still found in markets and pet shops, it was the first time researchers have caught one in the wild in 65 years.

The World Conservation Union has classified the turtle known as Mauremys annamensis as "endangered" and conservationists say it is also on a list of the world's top 25 endangered turtle species.

http://www.physorg.com/printnews.php?newsid=84779272
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evilsproutOffline
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PostPosted: 10-12-2006 12:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Brazillian woodpecker has been rediscovered after 80 years

Quote:
One of Brazil’s most enigmatic birds has reappeared after an absence of 80 years. The news of the rediscovery of Caatinga Woodpecker Celeus obrieni has delighted conservationists in the region and gives hope for other ‘lost’ birds feared extinct in South America.

Caatinga Woodpecker was found by a Brazilian ornithologist Advaldo do Prado whilst surveying in the Tocantins region of Central Brazil. This enigmatic species had not been observed since its initial discovery in 1926.

“Rediscovering birds is what many conservationists dream about,” said Pedro Develey IBA Coordinator of SAVE Brasil (BirdLife in Brazil), “There is something truly special about finding a bird that many of us considered ‘lost’ for so long.”

The woodpecker was previously known only from a single specimen collected in Brazil and deposited in the American Museum of Natural History, New York. The specimen was traditionally considered a subspecies of Rufous-headed Woodpecker C. spectabilis also from South America. It wasn’t until a recent review by ornithologists involved with the South American Classification Committee of the American Ornithologists' Union concluded that dramatic differences in the plumage of Caatinga Woodpecker warranted full species status.

The new discovery was found approximately 200 miles east of the area where the previous specimen was taken in 1926, suggesting to conservationists that other individuals may lie in similar habitats in the eastern part of Central Brazil. BirdLife International, the official Red List Authority for birds for the IUCN Red List, are to formally propose that Caatinga Woodpecker be listed as Critically Endangered.

“Rediscoveries like this allow us crucial opportunities for understanding behaviour, ecology and for gauging conservation status with a view to creating protected areas within the Tocantins, a region that has suffered in recent years with expansion of agriculture and new road projects.” said Pedro Develey.

The new finding comes in the wake of a number of recent bird rediscoveries in Brazil including Golden-crowned Manakin, Rufous-fronted Antthrush, White-winged Potoo, Kaempfer’s Tody-tyrant and most recently, Cone-billed Tanager.

“Caatinga Woodpecker and rediscoveries like it provide hope for other South American birds currently missing and feared extinct, some of which haven’t been seen for over 150 years.” said Stuart Butchart, Global Species Coordinator, BirdLife International and co-author of ‘Lost and Found: a gap analysis for the Neotropical avifauna’, a recent article on the rediscovery of ‘lost’ birds.

Data from BirdLife International’s Global Species Programme states that Brazil has more globally threatened birds than any other country on earth. Of the 111 species at risk of extinction in Brazil, 98 live in the Atlantic forest, which has been reduced by more than 90% of its original extent.

For more information on other ‘lost’ bird species in South America download a copy of ‘Lost and Found: a gap analysis for the Neotropical avifauna’ (PDF), extracted from ‘Neotropical Birding 2006’


http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2006/12/caatinga_woodpecker_redisc.html
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PostPosted: 25-02-2007 16:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is really cool:

Quote:
1st Beaver Spotted in NYC in 200 Years

NEW YORK Feb 23, 2007 (AP)— Beavers grace New York City's official seal. But the industrious rodents have not been seen in the flesh here for as many as 200 years until this week.

Biologists videotaped a beaver swimming up the Bronx River on Wednesday. Its twig-and-mud lodge had been spotted earlier on the river bank, but the tape confirmed the presence of the animal itself [...]


ABC news

(the NYC official seal can be seen here)
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rynner
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PostPosted: 19-03-2007 08:41    Post subject: Re: Extinct bird found in Arkansas Reply with quote

krobone wrote:
A woodpecker thought to be extinct for 60 years is re-discovered:

Quote:
A group of wildlife scientists believe the ivory-billed woodpecker is not extinct. They say they have made seven firm sightings of the bird in central Arkansas. The landmark find caps a search that began more than 60 years ago, after biologists said North America’s largest woodpecker had become extinct in the United States.

..or maybe not:
Quote:
Woodpecker's existence questioned

Further doubt has been cast on the claim that a bird long-thought extinct is alive in North America.
Fleeting video footage of what many experts believed to be an ivory-billed woodpecker was captured in 2004 in an Arkansas swamp.

But since then, searches have failed to find any hard evidence for the bird.

Now, Aberdeen University's Dr Martin Collinson has told the journal BMC Biology that the video may simply show a pileated woodpecker in flight.

Dr Collinson has re-analysed the footage and says the bird in the pictures appears to have black trailing wing edges rather than the unique white features associated with the ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis).

The videoed bird also appears to flap its wings at the rate a pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) would - 8.6 times per second.

Format fooling

"A poor quality video of pileated woodpeckers can look like ivory-billed woodpeckers - and in that respect it can catch an observer out; and a mistake can be made. And in this case, I think a mistake has been made," Dr Collinson told BBC News.

The Aberdeen researcher also argues that the missing bird's large size and colourful plumage would surely have been seen by now in the many follow-up surveys.

"The ivory-billed woodpecker isn't some small brown bird that can only be identified by one in a thousand; it's an enormous black and white bird with a red head," argued Dr Collinson.

"OK, these swamps are pretty remote, but there are hundreds of people in there, right now, looking for the ivory-billed woodpecker. Eventually these birds would turn up."

But others still hold to the idea that the video did indeed show an ivory-billed woodpecker.

John Fitzpatrick, a director of Cornell University's Laboratory of Ornithology, said that different formats of the footage resulted in "comparing apples to oranges".

He told the Associated Press that Dr Collinson's evidence about similarities in the birds' colouring, wing patterns and flight patterns were skewed as a result.

When the 2004 video was released, it stunned ornithologists worldwide, with some comparing the discovery to finding the dodo.

It ignited hope that other extinct birds might be clinging on to survival in isolated places.

The last confirmed sighting was in 1944.

Researchers hope robot bird-watchers may yet have the final say. Automated cameras have been set up in the Big Woods refuge of Arkansas to continue to spy for the elusive creature.

"I am happy to be proved wrong; a good photo would end this debate," said Dr Collinson.

"I would be delighted; I would love to see an ivory-billed woodpecker."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6458591.stm
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rynner
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PostPosted: 19-03-2007 08:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

However, this little bug seems for real:
Quote:
Beetle re-emerges after 60 years

A beetle thought to be extinct in the UK since the 1940s has been rediscovered in south Devon.
The short-necked oil beetle was found by an amateur entemologist during a wildlife survey on National Trust (NT) land between Bolt Head and Bolt Tail.

The beetles were last recorded at Chailey Common, Sussex in 1948.

Up to 40 of the insects, which survive by hitching rides on miner bees as larvae and then eating the bees' eggs, were found at the Devon site.

The beetle, which gets its name from the highly toxic oil secretions it produces when threatened, is also known as Meloe brevicollis.

The adult beetles, which live for about three months, lay up to 1,000 eggs in a burrow in soft or sandy soil and eggs hatch in the following spring.

Once they have hatched the young larvae crawl up on to vegetation, often lying in wait in flowers, where they hitch a ride on mining bees and are involuntarily taken back to the bee's nest.

SHORT-NECKED OIL BEETLE
Adult beetles are flightless, large and slow moving
The bodies (especially of females) are swollen
The wing cases are short and rudimentary
The young larvae are known as triungulins after their three claws
They then devour the bee's egg and also the protein rich pollen stores the bee intended to provide for its own larvae.

But the flightless creature's natural habitats and the populations of bees they rely on have been decimated by intensive farming practices.

The NT said the coastal strip of land where the oil beetle was discovered by Bob Beckford had been managed less intensively as farmland, creating a habitat where the beetle could survive undisturbed.

This site will now be monitored and the lifecycle of the beetle examined in more detail so the land is managed in a way that helps the insect flourish.

David Bullock, head of nature conservation at the NT, said: "The discovery of a beetle that was thought to be extinct for nearly 60 years is an amazing story of survival, particularly for a species with such an interdependent lifecycle.

"It's great that this oil beetle, with its fascinating lifestyle, has survived against all the odds and is back in business on the south Devon coast."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/devon/6464531.stm
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PostPosted: 19-03-2007 13:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ivory-bill is real, too. The video is not great evidence, frankly, because it's so fuzzy you can find anything you're looking for in it. It's not the evidence that convinces me. We're talking multiple sightings by experienced birdwatchers and ornithologists who were, though hyped up to see it, also continually second-guessing themselves, and recordings of calls, made over an extended period. Also, when you go back over the unconfirmed sightings - including photographs - since 1944, you find a lot of damning of data that would be considered good had the bird not been declared extinct.

One of the most convincing tidbits to be found in The Grail Bird, Tim Gallagher's write-up for the lay audience, is that the birdwatcher who persuaded people to undertake this search didn't see it during that field season. This guy knew, knew, knew that he'd seen it, was desperate to prove it, was out looking every day, and had chances on top of chances to confabulate a sighting - but he didn't. Other people saw it, people who didn't really believe him or their own eyes and kept trying to turn what they saw into a pileated, but couldn't.

I'm a confabulating birdwatcher myself. I know all the dodges. I know the state of mind. These people are not guilty. Either there was an ivorybill in that swamp, or there was a fairy masquerading as an ivorybill. (The second, alas, is a necessary caveat to all cryptozoological stories that don't result in a bird in the hand.) The evidence against them amounts to nitpicking of the "I didn't see it so it doesn't exist" variety.

I don't believe things very often. The ivorybill evidence convinces me.
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PostPosted: 02-04-2007 13:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Pig-footed Bandicoot Rises From the Dead
By David Grimm
ScienceNOW Daily News
1 April 2007

A kitten-sized Australian marsupial thought to have gone extinct over a century ago appears to be alive and well. The pig-footed bandicoot was last spotted in 1901, but today researchers provided fresh evidence of its existence. "It's a miracle," says Jared Watson, a conservation biologist at the University of Brunswick in Melbourne. "I thought we'd seen the last of this 8-teated, posteriorly pouched creature."
Known for its rabbity ears, thin legs, and hooflike nails, the pig-footed bandicoot (Chaeropus ecaudatus) was once widespread throughout inland Australia. Its name literally means "tailless pig-foot", a misnomer applied to a specimen that--unbeknownst to first describer--had lost its long, orange-brown tail in a taxidermic mishap. European encroachment in the latter half of the 19th century permanently altered the bandicoot's habitat, setting the creature on the path to extinction. Famed Australian naturalist Gerard Krefft is thought to have recovered two of the last specimens, but tired of subsisting on meager field rations, he ate them both. "I am sorry to say that my appetite overruled my love for science," Krefft wrote in his journal.

Now, a medley of multimedia may make up for Krefft's hasty stomach. In today's issue of Nature Zoology: Australia and Surrounding Islands, a team led by biologist Peter Shadbolt of the University of Queenstown in New Zealand documents three dramatic pieces of evidence for the pig-footed bandicoot's continued existence. The first is a photo taken by an American tourist on a walkabout. Although her thumb obscures most of the shot, a toe with a tiny, hooflike nail can clearly be seen in the lower right-hand corner. Then there's the audio evidence: At the end of a track entitled "Get Off My (Out)Back" from Australian rock band AC/DC's most recent album, Rockin' the Wilderness, there is the faint sound of two squeals quickly followed by a high-pitched yowl. "The band recorded the album outdoors," Shadbolt explains. "They must have caught a pig-footed bandicoot mating call during one of their sessions."

But the most convincing evidence, says Shadbolt, is a grainy video that showed up on YouTube in December. The clip, apparently intended to document the humiliation one man suffers after being hit in the groin by his own boomerang, catches a rabbit-sized creature fleeing with the pig-footed bandicoot's characteristic awkward gallop. "I snerked my Guinness when I saw the boomerang thwack the guy," Shadbolt says. "I almost missed the bandicoot footage."

In total, the evidence is so persuasive, says conservationist Terry Shaw of Canada's National Wildlife Alliance, that Australian game officials should set up a perimeter around the center of the continent and begin searching for more bandicoots. Korean stem cell researcher Woo Suk Hwang has offered to clone the animal should any of its DNA be found.

But not everyone is convinced. "I'd say the creature in that video is more young-cat-sized than kitten-sized," says marsupial expert Langston Buckwalter of St. Elizabeth College in Oxford, U.K. "And its gait is clumsy rather than awkward." But most troubling, says Buckwalter, is the fact that Shadbolt's team published a nearly identical study on this date last year. "Something about the first of April tends to bring the dodos out of the woodwork," he says.


http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2007/401/1
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PostPosted: 03-04-2007 11:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two caveats: I've not so much as googled any of the names in the above article and it is 7:30am here and I'm still on my first cup of coffee...but, umm, that piece (also appears on today's breaking news page) is an April Fools put-on...isn't it?
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PostPosted: 03-04-2007 12:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

lopaka3 wrote:
Two caveats: I've not so much as googled any of the names in the above article and it is 7:30am here and I'm still on my first cup of coffee...but, umm, that piece (also appears on today's breaking news page) is an April Fools put-on...isn't it?


Yeah, I also noted it on the April Foll thread yesterday.
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PostPosted: 05-04-2007 19:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Striped rabbit spotted in Sumatra
One of the rarest species of rabbit in the world has been spotted for only the third time in the last 35 years.
The Sumatran striped rabbit was photographed in late January on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the Wildlife Conservation Society said.

The species is listed as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union, due to loss of habitat.

The rabbit was previously photographed in 2000, with the last sighting by a scientist back in 1972.

Habitat risk

The 30cm-long rabbit was photographed by a camera trap in Bukit Barisan National Park, said Colin Poole, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Asia Program.

The sighting also highlighted the need to protect the habitat of the species, also known as nesolagus netscheri, from threats such as farming, he said.

"This rabbit is so poorly known that any proof of its continued existence at all is great news, and confirms the conservation importance of Sumatra's forests," Mr Poole said.

Back in 1999, researchers discovered another species of striped rabbit in the Annamite Mountains between Laos and Vietnam, and named it the Annamite striped rabbit.

Genetic samples revealed the species were distinct, though closely related, most likely diverging about 8 million years ago.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/6530365.stm

Published: 2007/04/05 15:54:58 GMT

© BBC MMVII
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PostPosted: 26-06-2010 20:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Experts rediscover plant presumed extinct for 60 years

Page last updated at 23:37 GMT, Thursday, 24 June 2010 00:37 UK

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By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News Anagramma fern The tiny fern was clinging to a precarious existence on a mountain ridge

In a small, noisy laboratory, tucked away in London's Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, a tiny plant is growing.

It looks just like a very small parsley bush, but it is actually a very special little plant indeed.

Clean air has to be constantly circulated in the lab to protect it from any bacteria.

This precious specimen is the Anogramma ascensionis fern, commonly known as the parsley fern. Since the 1950s, botanists believed it to be extinct.

It is native to Ascension - an island in the South Atlantic, which is one of Britain's overseas territories. And a small project supported by Kew's overseas territories programme has rediscovered and rescued it - a timely success story, as this year has been dubbed International Year of Biodiversity.
Continue reading the main story

Plants are such an important component of our lives... and extinction is forever

Colin Club Kew overseas territories programme leader

Kew botanist Phil Lamden and local conservation officer Stedson Stroud found the plucky little plant clinging to a precarious existence on a mountainside in the harsh volcanic landscape.

"We were down the back of Ascension's Green Mountain, which has very, very steep slopes. You have to be really careful because if you slip you're a goner," Mr Stroud recalled.

"And we came across this beautiful little fern and immediately knew it was the lost Anogramma that had been extinct for the last 60 years."

Ascension is covered by bleak, forbidding lava flows, and only 10 plant species are known to be truly "endemic" - found nowhere else in the world.
Stedson Stroud and Matti Niisato on Ascension Island's Green Mountain Stedson Stroud (left) scrambled down the mountain to tend the plants

According to Kew scientists, goats that were released on to Ascension by Portuguese explorers in the 1500s, ate their way voraciously through the island's greenery for 350 years before any of the flora was even described to science.

The introduction of more invasive herbivores - rabbits, sheep, rats and donkeys, together with over 200 species of invasive plants, further squeezed out the island's original plant inhabitants. The rediscovery of Anogramma boosts to seven the number of surviving endemic plant species on the island.

Mr Stroud said that, in the excitement, both of the researchers "forgot where they were".

"We were scrambling around, looking to see if there were more, and then we realised, we should really have safety ropes and stuff around us," he said.
24-hour rescue

There were more plants - four in total. But as far as the researchers knew, these were all that remained of Anogramma. So with the help of his colleague, Olivia Renshaw, Mr Stroud mounted a rather perilous effort to protect them.
Olivia Renshaw tending the Anagramme ferns The tiny fern plants had to be drip-fed

"We had to keep the plants alive - they were on a bare rock face and it was a really dry period, so Olivia and I went down twice a week carrying water and we set up a drip feed," said Stedson.

After a few weeks of tending the plants, the next part of their plan was even more risky. They had to get pieces of the ferns back to Kew so that more plants could be grown in the safety and sterility of the lab.

Stedson climbed down the ridge one again - this time to collect a few small cuttings of the spore-forming or reproductive parts of the plants.

Once harvested, the spores were vulnerable to drying and contamination, and the team had just 24 hours to transfer the precious cargo to the laboratory in Kew's Conservation Biotechnology Unit (CBU).
Satellite image of Ascension Island Ascension island is a forbidding, volcanic landscape

The samples were placed in a sterile container and rushed to the nearby airfield. From there, they were flown to a military airport in the UK, where a car was waiting to race them to Kew. Fortunately, the dust-like fern spores survived the journey intact.

Dr Viswambharan Sarasan is head of the CBU. He explained that their arrival was not the end of the challenge.

The spores had to be bleached to eliminate any bacteria, before the plants could be grown in culture.

"That is the really risky part," he said. "If you bleach them for too long, you could kill the spores, but if you don't treat them for long enough, there could be remaining bacteria that will grow in culture and kill them."
Continue reading the main story

It's so satisfying, bringing a plant back from the brink of extinction

Stedson Stroud Conservation officer, Ascension Island

And Dr Sarasan had only a one-pence-piece-sized clipping of fern to work with - the smallest sample he had ever cultured from.

After another nervous period of waiting, he was relieved to discover that the process had left the spores intact and viable.

He and his colleague Katie Baker, a botany undergraduate student working at Kew, have now succeeded in growing 60 new Anogramma plants in culture - all from four tiny plants on a cliff face in Ascension.

The team hope eventually to restore Anogramma to its former wild habitats on Ascension's Green Mountain.

And Mr Stroud has even managed to grow some of the plants in a shade house on the island itself.

"Each and every day, you're there, tending and looking, and hoping that something will happen," he said.

"Then one day you see something and - watching the plants grow - you can't ask for anything more."
Anagramma fern growing in culture Kew scientists have successfully grown more than 60 Anogramma plants

Colin Clubbe, who leads the UK overseas territories programme at Kew, says that this rescue effort was a small but vital part of a much wider goal to protect native plants in Britain's overseas territories before they are lost forever.

Plants are such an important component of our lives," he said. "And if we lose them, we lose them - extinction is forever.

He says that "holding on to our natural environment" could help us protect many of the plants we depend on.

"We do exploit species - we're reliant on plant products. We use them as a source of genes and, in these extremely dry habitats, like Ascension, plants that are naturally adapted may hold some answers to things like plants' responses to climate change."

This is actually the third extinct plant that Mr Stroud has rediscovered and, for him, it is an ongoing and very personal mission.

"There's never a time that I'm not actually looking fort these species because, we say they're extinct, but I believe they are there," he said.

"It's so satisfying, bringing a plant back from the brink of extinction."

Hear more from the researchers on Science in Action on the BBC World Service on Friday 25 June.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science_and_environment/10402534.stm
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PostPosted: 02-09-2011 14:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
'Extinct' ladybird found breeding in Devon
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-14761809

The ladybird larva was found during a survey of the wetlands in the Axe Estuary

Related Stories

Wasp turns ladybird into 'zombie'
Study shows ladybirds declining

A species of ladybird that was considered extinct in the UK in 1952 has been found breeding in east Devon.

In the past 60 years the 13-spot ladybird - Hippodamia tredecimpunctata - has "occasionally" been sighted in the UK, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said.

Now a single ladybird larva has been discovered by a University of Exeter student in wetlands in the Axe Estuary.

The organisation said it was the first breeding record since 1952.

'Significant discovery'
PhD student Richard Comont found the larva while he surveyed the area for wildlife.

He said: "As soon as I saw the larva I was fairly sure it was a 13-spot - it's something I've dreamt of finding.

"It's such a significant discovery that I took it back to rear it to adulthood, to make absolutely sure.

"When it finally hatched into an adult I could confirm it as the first native 13-spot for 60 years."

Andrew Whitehouse, from Buglife, a charity dedicated to maintaining sustainable populations of insects, said: "Many of Britain's invertebrate populations are declining at a drastic rate.

"It is great to have some good news."
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PostPosted: 20-06-2012 21:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Researchers rediscover toad thought to be extinct
June 20th, 2012 in Biology / Plants & Animals

Image (c) Zootaxa.

(Phys.org) -- Researchers working for the Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka have obtained a specimen of the Kandyan dwarf toad (Adenomus kandianus) near a stream in a sanctuary in the island nation of Sri Lanka. Prior to its find the toad had been thought to be extinct as no reports of its existence had been published since its initial description in 1872 with further details added in 1876. The researchers describe their find in a paper published in the journal Zootaxa.

The team came upon the toad by accident, believing it to be a torrent when it was captured on a night expedition. The two species closely resemble one another and the team believes it’s likely that the group of toads from which the Kandyan was taken were likely a mix of both. The Kandyan can be distinguished from the torrent by its froglike webbed feet and dark warts on its back.

Prior to the discovery the Kandyan had been listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as extinct, primarily because it had not been seen in over a hundred years. The research team believes its status will be changed to “Critically Endangered” once updated on the list due to the threats to its environment by logging. The found specimen was definitively identified by comparing it with two specimens held in British museums since the 1800’s.

The team was in the area to perform a survey on indigenous amphibians because they say not much is known about the diversity of the populations there. The region is remote, the weather generally bad and the terrain difficult to cross, and as a result few researchers have ventured into the area to find out what sorts of animal life exists there. The Kandyan sample was in fact found back in 2009, but its existence has only come to light now due to the team publishing their paper.

Sri Lanka has the highest proportion of amphibians listed as extinct by any nation with some sixty percent of those recorded at one time or another as gone forever. The research team who found the Kandyan dwarf toad suggest that more surveys in the remotest parts of the island would likely prove some of those other listings to be incorrect as well.

More information: L. J. MENDIS WICKRAMASINGHE, DULAN RANGA VIDANAPATHIRANA & NETHU WICKRAMASINGHE (Sri Lanka): Back from the dead: The world’s rarest toad Adenomus kandianus rediscovered in Sri Lanka, Zootaxa, 3347: 63–68. http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/list/2012/3347.html (can be accessed here)
Abstract

Adenomus kandianus Günther (1872) was previously known only from two specimens both deposited in the British Museum, the holotype BMNH1947.2.20.63, and the syntype of A. kelaarti BMNH1947.2.20.62. The only record of A. kandianus since the initial description in 1872 was by Ferguson in 1876, who mentions two specimens resembling Bufo kandianus in his collection, making A. kandianus the world’s rarest toad. The species had not been reported since, and was considered extinct. Here we report on its rediscovery.

© 2012 Phys.Org

"Researchers rediscover toad thought to be extinct." June 20th, 2012. http://phys.org/news/2012-06-rediscover-toad-thought-extinct.html
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