Search Results for Tag: species
Madagascar’s New Species
For scientists looking to discover new species, Madagascar is the treasure trove: according to a new World Wildlife Fund study, scientists have found more than 600 new types of plant and animal life in the last decade alone! Why is Madagascar such a breeding ground for diverse creatures? The island is pretty isolated, and it’s stayed that way for centuries. Plus, the landscape is varied: there’s mountains, rainforest, and everything in between.
Researchers have discovered everything from the 10 cm-long Berthe’s mouse lemur to the “Glam Rock” chameleon in the picture above. National Geographic has some great shots of the new species, from tiny and furry to scaly and thorny.
But the report is also a reminder that some of these very special – and unique – creatures are under threat due to climate change and the practice of clearing forests in Madagascar for wood and other natural resources.
The WWF says the only way to protect all those species is for the locals themselves to get involved.
DateJune 7, 2011
Extinction in Europe
Biodiversity is important to protect, especially in the world’s rainforests, oceans and mountain ranges where we often find rare species. But biodiversity is important in “ordinary” places, too – like continental Europe. The region boasts a lot of its own unique species, like the Iberian lynx in Spain (pictured above) and the Bavarian pine vole in the Alps. But those animals might not be around much longer.
A new report from the European Union shows that hundreds of species in Europe are now facing extinction. In fact, that assessment includes about up to a quarter of the species native to the continent. All types of animals and plants could vanish, including birds, reptiles, mammals and butterflies.
The problem stems from a variety of factors, including pollution and climate change. The EU has set forth some targets to protect Europe’s biodiversity, like restoring ecosystems. But there is no funding to back those proposals, so some critics don’t believe anything will change.
DateMay 19, 2011