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Stories by John R. Platt

Sunday Species Snapshot: Visayan Warty Pig

Sunday Species Snapshot: Visayan Warty Pig

This delightfully ugly, hairy, toothy pig has disappeared from most of its original range. But a few zoos are helping to save it from extinction.

December 29, 2013 — John R. Platt
Fish Found: The Greatest Conservation Success Story of 2013?

Fish Found: The Greatest Conservation Success Story of 2013?

Seven months ago things looked pretty bleak for the Mangarahara cichlid (Ptychochromis insolitus). The only habitat for this rare Madagascar fish species had been destroyed and the cichlid was down to its last three known individuals, all of which were males...

December 23, 2013 — John R. Platt
Sunday Species Snapshot: Alaotran Gentle Lemur

Sunday Species Snapshot: Alaotran Gentle Lemur

A primate that lives only in wetlands? That alone makes the Alaotran gentle lemur unique. But this tiny lemur lives in incredibly limited constrained habitat, which continues to shrink around it...

December 22, 2013 — John R. Platt
Good News for One of the World’s Rarest Monkeys

Good News for One of the World’s Rarest Monkeys

You know that a species is in rough shape when a population increase of just 20 animals is cause for celebration. But that’s the case in northern Vietnam this month, where one of the few remaining groups of critically endangered Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus avunculus) has grown from just 90 individuals in 2006 to between [...]..

December 17, 2013 — John R. Platt
Sunday Species Snapshot: Cuban Crocodile

Sunday Species Snapshot: Cuban Crocodile

These small, aggressive crocodiles once dominated their habitats. That is no longer the case. Species name: Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer) Where found: The Cuban crocodile once existed on quite a few Caribbean islands...

December 15, 2013 — John R. Platt
Lawsuit to Remove Plant from Endangered Species List Completely Backfires

Lawsuit to Remove Plant from Endangered Species List Completely Backfires

Oh what a difference a few years makes. Just four years ago, the rare California shrub known as the Indian Knob mountain balm (Eriodictyon altissimum) was poised to drop off the endangered species list after the threats to its existence had mostly been abated...

December 12, 2013 — John R. Platt

Sunday Species Snapshot: Fijian Monkey-Faced Bat

This rare bat is only known from a handful of collected animals on a single mountain on a single Polynesian island. Species name: Fijian monkey-faced bat (Mirimiri acrodonta), the only member of its genus and the only mammal endemic to the Republic of Fiji...

December 8, 2013 — John R. Platt
Sunday Species Snapshot: Daggernose Shark

Sunday Species Snapshot: Daggernose Shark

These small sharks pose no threats to humans. The opposite, however, cannot be said. Species name: Daggernose shark (Isogomphodon oxyrhynchus).

December 1, 2013 — John R. Platt

Sunday Species Snapshot: Rothschild’s Giraffe

Fewer than 700 of these endangered giraffes remain in the wild. Species name: Rothschild’s giraffe, a.k.a. the Baringo or Ugandan giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), one as many as nine giraffe subspecies...

November 24, 2013 — John R. Platt
Conservation’s Holy Grail: ‘Asian Unicorn’ Sighted in Vietnam

Conservation’s Holy Grail: ‘Asian Unicorn’ Sighted in Vietnam

One of the rarest creatures in Asia has been spotted in the wild for the first time in nearly 15 years. A camera trap in Vietnam has captured three fleeting images of a single saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) walking next to a stream in the rainforests of the Annamite Mountains...

November 18, 2013 — John R. Platt
Sunday Species Snapshot: Jackass Penguin

Sunday Species Snapshot: Jackass Penguin

These popular penguins have faced a lot of threats in recent years that have put them on a dangerous path. Species name: African penguin (Spheniscus demersus), a.k.a.

November 17, 2013 — John R. Platt
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