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Stories by John R. Platt


Giant Pandas at Risk from New Chinese Forestry Policies

China's efforts to conserve and grow its populations of endangered giant pandas ( Ailuropoda melanoleuca ) are at odds with its own changing forestry policies, which could damage or destroy up to 15 percent of the pandas' habitat, according to conservationists writing in the February 1 issue of Science .At the heart of the matter is a long-brewing reform of China's collective forest tenure system, which since the 1950s has put control of plantations and second-growth forests under local governments known as village collectives...

February 13, 2013 — John R. Platt

New Zealand Farmer Helps Save Rare Penguin from Extinction

One of the world's smallest penguins has nearly doubled the size of its population in the past decade and much of the credit is due to the farmer who owns the land where many of the penguins breed.White-flippered penguins ( Eudyptula albosignata ), also known as korora, are endemic to the Canterbury region of New Zealand, where the birds have just two major breeding sites, remote Motunau Island and the volcanic headlands of the Banks Peninsula...

January 30, 2013 — John R. Platt

Three New Slow Loris Species Discovered in Borneo; Rare Venomous Primates Threatened by Illegal Pet Trade

Protecting the adorable but endangered slow loris—the world's only venomous primate—from the illegal pet trade suddenly got a little harder. According to a paper pending publication in the American Journal of Primatology , what was once recognized as one slow loris species and two subspecies is actually four different species.Lead author Rachel Munds, an anthropology doctoral student at the University of Missouri, Columbia, (MU), says the loris's nocturnal nature and relatively similar appearance hid these species from science until the animals were examined more closely...

December 15, 2012 — John R. Platt
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