rhamphotheca:

Science and Conservation Groups Seek Endangered Status for the Monarch Butterfly
This morning (8/27/14), the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation joined the Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety (co-lead petitioners) and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower to file a legal request with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch butterfly.  The number of monarchs has declined by more than 90 percent in less than two decades. The population has declined from a recorded high of approximately 1 billion butterflies in the mid-1990s to only 35 million butterflies last winter, the lowest number ever recorded, a drop that Lincoln Brower describes as “a deadly free fall.”  During the same period it is estimated that these butterflies have lost more than 165 million acres of habitat—an area about the size of Texas—including nearly a third of their summer breeding grounds…
(read more: The Xerces Society)

rhamphotheca:

Science and Conservation Groups Seek Endangered Status for the Monarch Butterfly

This morning (8/27/14), the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation joined the Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety (co-lead petitioners) and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower to file a legal request with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch butterfly.

The number of monarchs has declined by more than 90 percent in less than two decades. The population has declined from a recorded high of approximately 1 billion butterflies in the mid-1990s to only 35 million butterflies last winter, the lowest number ever recorded, a drop that Lincoln Brower describes as “a deadly free fall.”

During the same period it is estimated that these butterflies have lost more than 165 million acres of habitat—an area about the size of Texas—including nearly a third of their summer breeding grounds…

(read more: The Xerces Society)

rhamphotheca:

Zoo releases captive-bred endangered frogs back to wild
by Aldergrove Star staff
In continuing their scientific work and conservation efforts for the endangered Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa), last week the Greater Vancouver Zoo, BC, Canada, released more frogs back into the wild.
This is the second release of the year. The 127 frogs were bred in a captive environment while studying and marking them before finally releasing them back into their natural wetland environment.
For over a decade, animal care staff from the Greater Vancouver Zoo have worked on this important conservation project. Working alongside the wildlife biologists from the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team, staff have helped with monitoring, research, habitat management and restoration of this endangered species.
The frogs were released into their natural wetland environment near Aldergrove, in an area specifically modified and enhanced to meet the Oregon spotted frogs’ habitat needs…
(read more: Aldergrove Star)

rhamphotheca:

Zoo releases captive-bred endangered frogs back to wild

by Aldergrove Star staff

In continuing their scientific work and conservation efforts for the endangered Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa), last week the Greater Vancouver Zoo, BC, Canada, released more frogs back into the wild.

This is the second release of the year. The 127 frogs were bred in a captive environment while studying and marking them before finally releasing them back into their natural wetland environment.

For over a decade, animal care staff from the Greater Vancouver Zoo have worked on this important conservation project. Working alongside the wildlife biologists from the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team, staff have helped with monitoring, research, habitat management and restoration of this endangered species.

The frogs were released into their natural wetland environment near Aldergrove, in an area specifically modified and enhanced to meet the Oregon spotted frogs’ habitat needs…

(read more: Aldergrove Star)

dendroica:

90 percent of Earth’s species are overlooked in conservation

One of the biggest problems for conservation today is that it ignores 95% of all known species on Earth. Could a company ignored that proportion of its clients or a government so many of its voters? So why does this problem exist in conservation?
Some 90% of all of the Earth’s species are either invertebrates or micro-organisms, and the folly of ignoring the latter is encapsulated by UK Professor Tom Curtis writing in Nature Reviews Microbiology:

I make no apologies for putting micro-organisms on a pedestal above all other living things, for if the last blue whale choked to death on the last panda, it would be disastrous but not the end of the world. But if we accidentally poisoned the last two species of ammonia-oxidisers, that would be another matter. It could be happening now and we wouldn’t even know […]

Ammonia oxidisers are naturally occurring bacteria that are essential for maintaining the most economically valuable nutrient in soil: nitrogen. They are good examples of the other millions of mostly tiny soil species, either microbial or invertebrate, upon which all agriculture and forestry depends.
Their astonishing genetic, chemical, metabolic and population properties are those that generate the essential processes, such as nitrogen cycling, that drive all the primary industries. This being so, the primary industries are obviously biodiversity-based industries.
Yet we are confronted every day with a wide range of opinion that agriculture and forestry are the greatest threats to biodiversity. So how bad is this disconnect?

dendroica:

90 percent of Earth’s species are overlooked in conservation

One of the biggest problems for conservation today is that it ignores 95% of all known species on Earth. Could a company ignored that proportion of its clients or a government so many of its voters? So why does this problem exist in conservation?

Some 90% of all of the Earth’s species are either invertebrates or micro-organisms, and the folly of ignoring the latter is encapsulated by UK Professor Tom Curtis writing in Nature Reviews Microbiology:

I make no apologies for putting micro-organisms on a pedestal above all other living things, for if the last blue whale choked to death on the last panda, it would be disastrous but not the end of the world. But if we accidentally poisoned the last two species of ammonia-oxidisers, that would be another matter. It could be happening now and we wouldn’t even know […]

Ammonia oxidisers are naturally occurring bacteria that are essential for maintaining the most economically valuable nutrient in soil: nitrogen. They are good examples of the other millions of mostly tiny soil species, either microbial or invertebrate, upon which all agriculture and forestry depends.

Their astonishing genetic, chemical, metabolic and population properties are those that generate the essential processes, such as nitrogen cycling, that drive all the primary industries. This being so, the primary industries are obviously biodiversity-based industries.

Yet we are confronted every day with a wide range of opinion that agriculture and forestry are the greatest threats to biodiversity. So how bad is this disconnect?

Anolis cusuco
Endangered on the IUCN Red List
Anolis cusuco is endemic to Cusuco National Park, Honduras. Its range is approximately 314 square kilometres and is under threat due to deforestation for agriculture. Further research into the habitat and threats to this species are needed.
Photo: Andrew M. Snyder on ARKive.

Anolis cusuco

Endangered on the IUCN Red List

Anolis cusuco is endemic to Cusuco National Park, Honduras. Its range is approximately 314 square kilometres and is under threat due to deforestation for agriculture. Further research into the habitat and threats to this species are needed.

Photo: Andrew M. Snyder on ARKive.

ecosapienshow:

Are we in the midst of a sixth mass extinction? 

Source -  NYT graphics editor Bill Marsh

libutron:

Tomas’ Worm Salamander - Oedipina tomasi
Definitely salamanders of the genus Oedipina are one of my favorites, don’t you think they look charming with her long body, its very short limbs, and tiny webbed feet?. Besides, as all other plethodontids, they lack lungs and breathe through their skin. Top it off, they lack aquatic larvae and hatch as miniature adults from eggs laid on land or terrestrial vegetation.
This is Oedipina tomasi (Plethodontidae), a Critically Endangered species only known from The Cusuco National Park in Honduras.
References: [1] - [2] - [3]
Photo credit: ©Andrew Snyder | Locality: Cusuco National Park, Honduras (2010)

libutron:

Tomas’ Worm Salamander - Oedipina tomasi

Definitely salamanders of the genus Oedipina are one of my favorites, don’t you think they look charming with her long body, its very short limbs, and tiny webbed feet?. Besides, as all other plethodontids, they lack lungs and breathe through their skin. Top it off, they lack aquatic larvae and hatch as miniature adults from eggs laid on land or terrestrial vegetation.

This is Oedipina tomasi (Plethodontidae), a Critically Endangered species only known from The Cusuco National Park in Honduras.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Andrew Snyder | Locality: Cusuco National Park, Honduras (2010)

Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii)
Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Tapirus bairdii is the largest native mammal of Central America, and is found from southern Mexico to northern Colombia. Little is known about this elusive species, but they are believed to live in pairs or small family groups. Its diet consists of vegetation, seeds, and fruit, and it often forages in forest clearings at night. When threatened, it will escape to water, where it is an adept swimmer. 
Habitat loss and hunting are the main threats to T. bairdii. The slow generation rate of this species means that any impact can be severe and population recovery is slow. Fewer than 500 are estimated to remain in Honduras. 
Although there a laws restricting hunting throughout the range of T. bairdii, these laws are poorly enforced. The Tapir Specialist Group have published a Species Action Plan outlining potential conservation measures including habitat protection and monitoring. 
Photo: Gerard Lacz on ARKive.

Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii)

Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Tapirus bairdii is the largest native mammal of Central America, and is found from southern Mexico to northern Colombia. Little is known about this elusive species, but they are believed to live in pairs or small family groups. Its diet consists of vegetation, seeds, and fruit, and it often forages in forest clearings at night. When threatened, it will escape to water, where it is an adept swimmer. 

Habitat loss and hunting are the main threats to T. bairdii. The slow generation rate of this species means that any impact can be severe and population recovery is slow. Fewer than 500 are estimated to remain in Honduras. 

Although there a laws restricting hunting throughout the range of T. bairdii, these laws are poorly enforced. The Tapir Specialist Group have published a Species Action Plan outlining potential conservation measures including habitat protection and monitoring. 

Photo: Gerard Lacz on ARKive.

Plectrohyla exquisita
Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Plectrohyla exquisita is a frog endemic to Cusuco National Park in Honduras. It lives in and around streams in montane forest. As well as habitat loss, the fungal disease chytridiomycosis poses a significant threat to this species. 

Plectrohyla exquisita

Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Plectrohyla exquisita is a frog endemic to Cusuco National Park in Honduras. It lives in and around streams in montane forest. As well as habitat loss, the fungal disease chytridiomycosis poses a significant threat to this species. 

libutron:

Guifarro’s palm-pitviper - A lethal beauty
Bothriechis guifarroi (Viperidae) is a species of palm-pitviper just described in 2013 from Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat in northern Honduras.
This viper has a bright green dorsal coloration with pale blue trim on anterior edges of dorsal scales, and pale blue postocular stripe with green along the keels in center of stripe. The iris is pale green, pale gray, or pale tan.
The specimen shown is a juvenile of the species, which was photographed and collected in one of two expeditions in 2010, which provided the individuals from which this taxon was described.
This beautiful but venomous snake represents the 15th endemic species occurring in the Texiguat Wildlife Refuge in Honduras.
Although due to the recent description of the species its venom has not yet been characterized, it is highly probable to present similar characteristics and toxicity to the venom of other species of pit vipers of the genus Bothriechis.
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©Josiah Townsend | Locality: Cerro El Chino, above La Liberacion, Reserva de Vida Silvestre Texiguat, Honduras (2010)

libutron:

Guifarro’s palm-pitviper - A lethal beauty

Bothriechis guifarroi (Viperidae) is a species of palm-pitviper just described in 2013 from Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat in northern Honduras.

This viper has a bright green dorsal coloration with pale blue trim on anterior edges of dorsal scales, and pale blue postocular stripe with green along the keels in center of stripe. The iris is pale green, pale gray, or pale tan.

The specimen shown is a juvenile of the species, which was photographed and collected in one of two expeditions in 2010, which provided the individuals from which this taxon was described.

This beautiful but venomous snake represents the 15th endemic species occurring in the Texiguat Wildlife Refuge in Honduras.

Although due to the recent description of the species its venom has not yet been characterized, it is highly probable to present similar characteristics and toxicity to the venom of other species of pit vipers of the genus Bothriechis.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Josiah Townsend | Locality: Cerro El Chino, above La Liberacion, Reserva de Vida Silvestre Texiguat, Honduras (2010)

Resplendent quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)
Endangered on the US Endangered Species Act
Pharomachrus mocinno is found in cloud forest throughout Central America, including Honduras. The male has beautiful metallic green plumage and extremely long tail feathers, which are used in breeding displays. Both the male and female take care of the young, which are fed on insects and small vertebrates. The adult diet consists mainly of fruit, particularly avocados. 
Deforestation of cloud forest for agriculture and hunting are the main threats to P. mocinno. 
P. mocinno is not protected in Honduras, but is protected in other Central American countries. However, enforcement is poor is remote areas. Costa Rica has effective conservation strategies in place, although these only protect breeding grounds, and not the lowland feeding grounds.
Photo: Kevin Schafer on ARKive.

Resplendent quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)

Endangered on the US Endangered Species Act

Pharomachrus mocinno is found in cloud forest throughout Central America, including Honduras. The male has beautiful metallic green plumage and extremely long tail feathers, which are used in breeding displays. Both the male and female take care of the young, which are fed on insects and small vertebrates. The adult diet consists mainly of fruit, particularly avocados. 

Deforestation of cloud forest for agriculture and hunting are the main threats to P. mocinno. 

P. mocinno is not protected in Honduras, but is protected in other Central American countries. However, enforcement is poor is remote areas. Costa Rica has effective conservation strategies in place, although these only protect breeding grounds, and not the lowland feeding grounds.

Photo: Kevin Schafer on ARKive.

unknown-endangered:

Utila spiny-tailed iguana (Ctenosaura bakeri)
Critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Ctenosaura bakeri lives only on the island of Utila off the coast of Honduras. It gets its name from the enlarged spiny scales on its tail. Unlike many reptiles, males are bigger than females, and are also distinguished by the dewlap on the throat. It spends most of its time in mangroves, but females move to the beach to lay their eggs. 
The mangroves that C. bakeri inhabits are being cleared for construction and also being covered with waste. As it lives on a single tiny island, this iguana is extremely vulnerable to extinction. Despite being illegal, it is also sometimes hunted for meat.
A project aiming to conserve C. bakeri has been in effect since 1994, by promoting sustainable development and environmental awareness on Utila. A captive breeding programme was set up in 1998 in the Iguana Station on the island. Further programmes have been carried out by London Zoo. 
Photo: Antoine Motte dit Falisse on Wikipedia.

unknown-endangered:

Utila spiny-tailed iguana (Ctenosaura bakeri)

Critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Ctenosaura bakeri lives only on the island of Utila off the coast of Honduras. It gets its name from the enlarged spiny scales on its tail. Unlike many reptiles, males are bigger than females, and are also distinguished by the dewlap on the throat. It spends most of its time in mangroves, but females move to the beach to lay their eggs. 

The mangroves that C. bakeri inhabits are being cleared for construction and also being covered with waste. As it lives on a single tiny island, this iguana is extremely vulnerable to extinction. Despite being illegal, it is also sometimes hunted for meat.

A project aiming to conserve C. bakeri has been in effect since 1994, by promoting sustainable development and environmental awareness on Utila. A captive breeding programme was set up in 1998 in the Iguana Station on the island. Further programmes have been carried out by London Zoo. 

Photo: Antoine Motte dit Falisse on Wikipedia.