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Stories by John Platt

Zimbabwe's rhinos face poaching crisis

More than 80 critically endangered black rhinos ( Diceros bicornis ) have been poached for their horns in Zimbabwe in the past 12 months, double the number killed in the previous year, a situation that the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) has now decided to disucss at its next meeting...

May 7, 2009 — John Platt

Iranian indifference could doom rare bear to extinction

A rare subspecies of the Asian black bear may soon disappear from its native Iran, according to reports from the country's Mehr News Agency.

Known as the Baluchistan bear ( Ursus thibetanus gedrosianus ), the critically endangered subspecies exists only in Iran and Pakistan...

April 29, 2009 — John Platt

World's frogs disappearing: Save the Frogs Day calls for action

Save the frogs! That's the call going out from the scientific community today on the first annual Save the Frogs Day. Frogs (and all amphibians) around the world are in dire straits, with nearly one-third of the world's 6,317 species on the brink of extinction, according to the Save the Frogs Foundation, headquartered in Centreville, Va...

April 28, 2009 — John Platt

Rare discovery indicates hope for Yangtze alligators

Just 120 Yangtze alligators ( Alligator sinensis ) remain in the wild in China, making them the world's most endangered crocodilian species.

But now field researchers have higher hopes for the survival of the species, after finding that it is not only extending its habitat but also successfully breeding...

April 20, 2009 — John Platt

Will Canada ban polar bear trophy hunting?

Last year, amid much media hoopla, polar bears ( Ursus maritimus ) received protected status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. One aspect of that protection is that American hunters, who often travel to Canada to hunt polar bears, can no longer  bring their trophies into the U.S...

April 17, 2009 — John Platt

The Obamas' Portie: a breed that almost went extinct

The Obamas talked about rescuing a dog from a shelter. They ended up getting pup Bo as a gift from friend Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., but it turns out the First Family has become part of a 70-year journey to save an entire breed by bringing home a Portuguese water dog to become the nation's First Dog...

April 14, 2009 — John Platt

Bye-bye to Britain's butterflies?

Butterfly populations in the United Kingdom have plunged to a 25-year low, threatening many species with extinction, according to the latest annual survey by the U.K.

April 9, 2009 — John Platt

The "bunny" hop: Resurrecting the Easter bilby

Rabbits aren't exactly popular in Australia, where invasive European rabbits have wreaked havoc on the country's ecology. And so, with Easter just days away, many Australian children will be celebrating not with the traditional Easter bunny, but with the Easter bilby, as the nation uses the holiday to to celebrate—and raise funds to protect—one of its most endemic, and most endangered species, the greater bilby ( Macrotis lagotis )...

April 7, 2009 — John Platt

Seven Hawaiian bees risk extinction

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation last week petitioned the U.S. Department of the Interior to protect seven Hawaiian bee species under the Endangered Species Act.

March 31, 2009 — John Platt

Stay out of caves, save a bat

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service this week advised people to stay out of caves in the Northeast to hopefully slow the spread of white-nose syndrome (WNS), a deadly fungal infection blamed for the deaths of as many as half a million bats over the past two years...

March 27, 2009 — John Platt

Four seal species in danger of slipping away

As Canada kicks off its controversial seal hunting season this week, several species of seals around the world face uncertain futures.

In Finland, the Saimaa ringed seal ( Pusa hispida saimensis ), one of the world's few freshwater seals, is likely to become extinct in a few years, according to the Finnish natural resources agency, Metsähallitus...

March 25, 2009 — John Platt
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