Progress from one of my favorite conservation charities, the Turtle Survival Alliance. They help save rare turtles through working with governments and property owners. Very well designed system with many successes.
Great news from Burma! It is the first captive hatching of the Arakan Forest Turtle at the Rakhine Turtle Center in Gwa. Built with funding support from the TSA, and managed in cooperation with the Myanmar Forest Department and Wildlife Conservation Society, this represents the first captive breeding for this critically endangered turtle in Myanmar. The species has been reproduced previously in the US and Europe.
Incredible story of the first cloned endangered species. An endangered Asian ox called a gaur was born to a domestic cow. Even more mind-blowing is that the science team used an 8-year old frozen cell for the experiment, proof that cloning can be successful for species management.
On January 8, 2001, a healthy baby gaur—a large ox-like animal whose populations are now threatened throughout much of their native range from India to Southeast Asia—was born. In Sioux Center, Iowa. To a cow named Bessie. The baby bull, named Noah, was a clone: the first clone of a threatened species, and the first animal ever created by inserting the DNA of one species into the egg of another.
The mosquito plague of summer is fast approaching and with it comes the threat of diseases, such as St. Louis encephalitis and West Nile virus. Not just human picnickers and campers have to worry about mosquito-borne disease. Even the largest of captive creatures is in danger from the tiny pests.
“I think it is safe to say that no one would have thought of the risks that mosquitoes might pose to orcas in captivity, but considering the amount of time they unnaturally spend at the surface in shallow pools at these facilities, it is yet another deadly and unfortunate consequence of the inadequate conditions inherent to captivity,” said Courtney Vail, campaigns manager for WDCS.
"Mark Dumas, 60, is the only man in the world who can touch a polar bear. And as these incredible pictures show the fearless bear handler from Abbotsford, British Columbia, even goes for dip in his swimming pool where he and 16-year-old polar bear Agee enjoy a watery cuddle together. Mark and wife Dawn, 60, train the 60-stone (800lb) friendly beast - the world’s largest land predator - to star in high-budget TV adverts. She has even performed in movies like ‘Alaska’ in 1995 when she was just a few weeks old. With his incredibly intimate bond Mark wrestles on the grass with Agee, kisses her, puts his head in her huge jaws, and even bear hugs her as she rears up on her hind legs to over seven feet. Mark and Dawn have owned Agee since she was six weeks old and the colossal mammal even lived in their home as a cub where she played with the family dogs and was bottle fed."
Rescue Planned for World’s Most Endangered Turtles
"The Wildlife Conservation Society today announced that it would "take direct responsibility" for the survival of some of the world’s most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles.
So many of these animals are being collected, traded, eaten and used for medicine that they are being pushed into extinction. In addition, their habitats are being fragmented, destroyed, developed, and polluted.
Based at New York’s Bronx Zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Society has developed a new strategy to prevent the extinction of at least half of the species in a 2011 report by WCS and other groups that lists the world’s 25 most endangered turtles and tortoises”
Zoos: the environmentalist’s conundrum. On the one hand, they’re great for educating the public and the animals are treated OK. And from a conservation standpoint, they give species a last chance at survival. The Hellabrunn Zoo seems particularly humane. On the other hand, there’s just no way to shake the gut feeling that zoos are rotten to the core. Here’s an activist argument in three pages. It argues that zoos are a Victorian concept modified to seem like conservation/educations centers. The American Veterinary Medical Association (which has a financial interest in zoo operations) argued that zoos and aquariums are in fact ethical.
A herd of elephants say goodbye to Lola the dead elephant calf at Hellabrunn Zooin Munich, Germany. A baby elephant who tragically died at a German zoo was brought back to her herd so they could say goodbye. Lola, a three month old elephant, died on 21 January during a CT scan ahead of an operation to fix a serious heart defect. Lola’s body was brought back to the herd so that her mother, Panang (22), could say farewell. Afterwards the herd gently nuzzled the lifeless body with their trunks and took their leave of her.