Endangered Articles - PawNation

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Endangered giant tortoises have staged a remarkable population comeback on Espanola Island in the Galapagos. Credit: Getty Creative A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE reports that giant tortoises on the island now number about 1,000 self-sustaining creatures, after nearly disappearing in the 1960s, when just 15 were counted. "The population is secure," said James P. Gibbs, professor of vertebrate conservation biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and lead author of the paper, in a press release. "It's a rare example of how biologists and managers can collaborate to recover a species from the brink of extinction." PHOTOS: Lonesome George and Animals...

WASHINGTON - Loss of habitat and prey are putting African lions in danger of extinction, and the majestic creatures need protection in order to save their species, the US government said Monday. Credit: Martin Pettitt/Flickr "Following a review of the best available scientific information, the US Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed listing the African lion as threatened under the Endangered Species Act," the FWS said in a statement. "The agency's analysis found that lions are in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future." Such protection would allow US authorities to toughen enforcement and monitoring of imports and international trade, the FWS said. Listing an animal under...

PRAGUE - One of the last northern white rhinos on the planet has died in a reserve in Kenya, leaving the sub-species on the verge of extinction, experts said Saturday. Credit: Getty Creative The male, called Suni, "was probably the last male capable of breeding," according to Dvur Kralove zoo in the Czech Republic, where the rhino was born in 1980. There are only six of the very rare rhinos left, having been hunted by poachers in central and east Africa for their horns, which are highly prized for traditional Chinese medicine. The Czech zoo is the only one in the world to have succeeded in breeding the sub-species in captivity. Suni -- who is thought to have died from natural causes in...

JOHANNESBURG - Thousands marched in Africa and around the world Saturday to pressure governments to do more to stop the poaching industry that many fear is driving rhinos and elephants to the brink of extinction. Credit: Getty Editorial The protests, dubbed the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, took place in 136 cities and towns across six continents, from Soweto to Nairobi, and Paris to New York and Tokyo. In South Africa, which is struggling to stem a rhino poaching crisis, demonstrators gathered across 17 cities. "We are protesting against the political leaders of the world, who do not have the guts and political will to make changes in their laws," Dex Kotze, one of the march...

PARIS - National parks and other protected areas offer hope for threatened species at a time of plunging wildlife numbers, conservationist group WWF said Tuesday, but their success has not been universal. Credit: Getty Editorial While the headcount of land-dwelling animals declined an estimated 39 percent overall from 1970 to 2012, that of species in protected areas dropped at the lower rate of 18 percent, the organisation said in its 2014 Living Planet Report. Some animals, like Nepal's tigers and the mountain gorillas of central Africa, even increased. "Populations in protected areas are faring better than terrestrial populations as a whole," said the biennial WWF update on the state...

PARIS - A survey of over 3,000 species has found that animal numbers have plunged by more than half in just 40 years as Earth's human population has nearly doubled, conservationists said Tuesday. Credit: Getty Creative From 1970 to 2010, there was a 39-percent drop in numbers across a representative sample of land- and sea-dwelling species, while freshwater populations dropped 76 percent, the green group WWF said in its 2014 Living Planet Report. All told, "the number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish across the globe is, on average, about half the size it was 40 years ago," it said. The 52-percent decrease confirms mankind is chomping through nature's bounty much faster...