Posts Tagged ‘extinct’

Nature Ramble

And now for something completely different.

We’re off to Mongolia.

Most wild horses today are feral descendants of domesticated ancestors. However, the Mongolian wild horse has never been domesticated and is the only remaining truly wild horse on Earth.

Mongolian Wild Horses

Ancient cave paintings show that humans hunted these creatures as far back as 20,000 years ago. However, since then the climate has naturally warmed as we move into an interglacial period. This has caused their habitat to shrink and the horses have had a decreasing population for millennia.

After the Second World War, all wild Mongolian wild horses died indirectly due to wartime habitat destruction or directly through being hunted for food by desperate German soldiers.

The existing zoo populations also diminished, and by 1945 only 31 horses remained. Of these, 9 were able to be bred and we have carefully brought their population up to 1800 today. Of these, 300 have been reintroduced to nature reserves in Mongolia and China at the places where they were last seen in the wild.

They are now fastidiously protected and the species is expected to recover.

Source: Listverse

Nature Ramble

Yes, I know, it’s Monday again. No excuses today for yesterday. I realised that it was Nature Ramble at 11:25pm and my head was already threatening to hit the keyboard.

I hate it when I wake up and look in the mirror to find “QWERTY” imprinted on my forehead.

On with our post:

I saw this headline on BBC News

Pine marten sightings in Wales investigated

Pine martens are thought to exist in parts of Wales, including Snowdonia and areas near Aberystwyth

The animal, part of the weasel family, was once common in the UK, but persecution and a loss of habitat led to its decline.

The Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT) has received more than 40 unconfirmed sightings of pine martens, one of the UK’s rarest animals, in the past week.

The VWT’s work was touched on by BBC’s Springwatch earlier this week.

Pine martens are about the size of a domestic cat, and are a protected species.

The BBC’s Springwatch, which is based at Ynys Hir Nature Reserve in Ceredigion, has been following up sightings of the animal.

The VWT said it was going through reports of 50 sightings, 40 of them in Wales, in light of the programme’s coverage of the animal.

The trust said pine marten numbers had grown in Scotland in recent years, but they had not recovered in Wales and England.

But it believes the animal does exist in Wales in Snowdonia, the Cambrian Mountains, in areas around Aberystwyth, and parts of Carmarthenshire.

The VWT’s Lizzie Croose said research by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species in the 1990s concluded that the pine marten was extinct in Wales.

“We’ve been working on pine martens in England, Wales and Scotland for about 15 years,” she said.

“More recently, we’ve been working on a project called mammals in a sustainable environment, which has been examining why they are not recovering in Wales like they are in Scotland.

Pine martens were thought to be extinct in Wales

“We’ve no idea how many there are in Wales, but there is evidence they are persisting in small parts of Wales.

“Research by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species in the 1990s couldn’t find evidence of pine martens in Wales and declared them extinct in the country.”

Source: BBC News Read more


Martes martes

Well, there’s an animal that I had only heard about in the vaguest sense before, and the little beast has been thought to be extinct in some parts and very rare in others.

Quite a pretty little animal, I discovered (from Wikipedia) that they belonging to the mustelid family, which also includes mink, otter, badger, wolverine and weasel.

Their enemies are eagles, red foxes and, of course, man.  They have been hunted for their fur, poisoned because they threaten game bird species and there is the loss of habitat through urban development.

Man’s Finest Hour

Javan rhino ‘now extinct in Vietnam’

Genetic analysis of rhino dung samples revealed that there was only one individual left in Vietnam

A critically endangered species of rhino is now extinct in Vietnam, according to a report by conservation groups.

The WWF and the International Rhino Foundation said the country’s last Javan rhino was probably killed by poachers, as its horn had been cut off.

Experts said the news was not a surprise, as only one sighting had been recorded in Vietnam since 2008.

Fewer than 50 individuals are now estimated to remain in the wild.

“It is painful that despite significant investment in Vietnamese rhino conservation, efforts failed to save this unique animal, ” said WWF’s Vietnam director Tran Thi Minh Hien.

“Vietnam has lost part of its natural heritage.”

The authors of the report, Extinction of the Javan Rhino from Vietnam, said genetic analysis of dung samples collected between 2009-2010 in the Cat Tien National Park showed that they all belonged to just one individual.

Shortly after the survey was completed, conservationists found out that the rhino had been killed. They say it was likely to have been the work of poachers because it had been shot in a leg and its horn had been cut off.

Source: BBC News

Cát Tiên National Park , a diverse landscape

Possibly the rarest large mammal on earth

The Javan Rhinoceros (Sunda Rhinoceros to be more precise) or Lesser One-horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) with only one known population in the wild, and none in zoos. It is possibly the rarest large mammal on earth.

Cát Tiên National Park Bau Sau (Crocodile Lake)


This post has been posted simultaneously on Tomus Arcanum

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