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Stories by John Platt

Hawaii to pay farmers to grow endangered native species

Thanks to its status as the world's most isolated island chain, Hawaii boasts hundreds of species that don't exist anywhere else on Earth. But because of that isolation, and the threat caused by invasive species, Hawaii is also the endangered species capital of the world, with "more endangered species per square mile on these islands than any other place on the planet," according to the web site of Honolulu's Bishop Museum.State and federal officials are hoping to change that with a new program -- the first of its kind -- that will pay Hawaii farmers over the next 20 years to plant native species on unused portions of their land...

March 18, 2009 — John Platt

Radio tagging to track Nepal's endangered gharials

One of the world's largest crocodilian species is also its rarest. With just a few hundred individuals left, the critically endangered gharial ( Gavialis gangeticus) faces an uncertain future in its remaining river habitats in India and Nepal...

March 12, 2009 — John Platt

Last 100 Balkan lynx face possible extinction

Cat species don’t get much rarer than the Balkan lynx ( lynx lynx martinoi ). At most, 100 members of this critically endangered subspecies of the Eurasian lynx ( lynx lynx ) remain in the wilds of Macedonia and Albania, according to extensive surveys organized* by the Coordinated Research Projects for the Conservation and Management of Carnivores (KORA), based in Switzerland...

March 4, 2009 — John Platt

Could the financial crisis mean more danger for elephants?

The number of African elephants ( Loxodonta africana and Loxodonta cyclotis ) poached in Kenya's Tsavo National Park more than doubled last year, from 48 in 2007 to 98 in 2008, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service -- numbers the likes of which have not been seen since the poaching crisis of the 1980s garnered the international support that made a 1989 ban possible...

March 3, 2009 — John Platt

Big win for a tiny endangered species, the American pika

The rabbit-like American pika ( Ochotona princeps ) got lucky this week. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, responding to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and Earthjustice, has agreed to assess whether the increasingly rare animal qualifies for protection under the Endangered Species Act...

February 13, 2009 — John Platt

Salamanders slipping away, global warming may be to blame

Biologists report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week that they were unable to find  a pair of previously common Guatemalan salamander species -- Pseudoeurycea brunnata and Pseudoeurycea goebeli -- and  say they are apparently extinct...

February 12, 2009 — John Platt

Coral reefs: Vital to the oceans, vital to humans

Coral reefs are dying off at record rates, thanks to pollution, disease and global warming. Scientists worldwide are trying to come up with new ideas to conserve and protect not just the coral reefs, but also the biodiversity and human economies that depend upon  them for their survival...

February 11, 2009 — John Platt
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The Essential Guide to the Modern World

The Essential Guide to the Modern World