Skip to main content

Stories by John Platt

Rabbit season? Duck season? In Florida, it's time to hunt pythons

Florida has set March 8 through April 17 as a special python-hunting season in an attempt to control several species of invasive reptiles, which are wreaking havoc on the south Florida ecosystem.Species to be targeted include Indian and Burmese pythons ( Python molurus and P.m...

March 2, 2010 — John Platt

U.K. zoo builds a "love shack" for critically endangered frogs

What does it take to encourage endangered species to breed? In the case of two frog species living at Bristol Zoo Gardens in England it takes creating a very special environment, and not just one that plays romantic music.Bristol Zoo just finished building AmphiPod, a high-tech facility that "will allow us to adjust the temperature, humidity and day length to create the perfect conditions to encourage the frogs to breed," said Tim Skelton, the zoo's curator of reptiles, in a prepared statement.In addition to mimicking the frogs' natural habitat, AmphiPod will also help to protect them against disease, including the deadly chytrid fungus that is rapidly devastating frog populations around the world.The frogs taking up residence in the new "love shack" are the lemur leaf frog ( Hylomantis lemur ) from Panama and Costa Rica and Madagascar's golden mantella frog ( Mantella aurantiaca )...

February 26, 2010 — John Platt

Is the great white shark slowly slipping into extinction?

It's not exactly easy to study the great white shark ( Carcharodon carcharia s) in the wild, but new evidence suggests that while we've been worrying about tigers, gorillas and other obviously rare species, the great white has been quietly disappearing from the oceans...

February 25, 2010 — John Platt

Bad news for bats: Deadly white-nose syndrome still spreading

The bat-killing fungal infection known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) has spread into Tennessee for the first time. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has confirmed that infected bats were found in Worley's cave in Sullivan County, where they had been hibernating.Most Tennessee caves were closed to visitors last spring to try to prevent WNS from reaching the state's bats...

February 20, 2010 — John Platt

Downcast: Critically endangered bahaba caught and sold for $500,000

A critically endangered fish whose swim bladder is believed to cure illnesses has been caught and sold for more than $500,000 in China.

The 135-kilogram Chinese bahaba ( Bahaba taipingensis ), the first fish of its species caught in at least a year, was thought to be more than 50 years old...

February 16, 2010 — John Platt

Stay otter there: California sea otters cross over to the forbidden zone

Few things in my life have brought me as much joy as watching sea otters play in the waters near Monterey, Calif. So when I heard this week that the frisky yet endangered critters may be slightly expanding their habitat, I figured everyone would think that was good news.Silly me.Once hunted into near-extinction for their fur, the southern, or California, sea otter ( Enhydra lutris nereis ) now numbers around 2,600 to 2,700 animals, all of which live in a fairly small habitat range off the central California coast...

February 3, 2010 — John Platt

Wildlife Organization Offers a Thousand Green Reasons to Help Save Endangered Species

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can win $1,000 or more by locating and helping to conserve endangered species.

It's all part of the Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year, a yearlong contest where participants can seek out 36 endangered species, including mammals, fish, plants and insects within the confines of the 88,000-square-acre park system...

January 11, 2010 — John Platt
Scroll To Top