1 Tahrcountry Musings: September 2005

Friday, September 30, 2005

Spider is 20 million years old

Dr David Penny of University of Manchester has described a spider, a species from family filistatidae,that was trapped and preserved in amber 20 million years ago. He used the droplets of blood in the specimen to determine the age. Dr Penny thinks the spider was climbing a tree when it was hit by flowing resin and got trapped. He first saw the fossil during a visit to Museo del Amber Dominicano , In Puerto Plato in Dominican Republic.

New Populations of Grauer's gorilla discovered

Grauer's gorilla the endangered ape, is found only in Congo. Estimates are between 5,500 and 28,000.
Patrick Mehlman, vice president of Atlanta-based DFGFI's Africa programmes,says they have discovered two important populations of Grauer's gorilla that were severely underestimated, neglected or thought not to exist. The discoveries were made in Tayna Gorilla Reserve and Maiko National Park, sanctuaries in Congo's lawless east where invading armies and Congolese rebels fought two wars during the past decade.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Black rhinos(Diceros bicornis minor) rehabilitation in progress

Rehabilitation of critically endangered Black rhinos (Diceros bicornis minor) is progressing well in South Africa. Four Rhinos were airlifted recently from Hluhluwe Reserve, to form part of founder population of 20 animals for Ezemvelo Black rhino range expansion project. They will be realeased in to Zululand Rhino Reserve. Black Rhino, once the most numerous Rhino species’ in the world, became critically endangered following a wave of poaching in 70s and 80s.

Arctic Ice disappearing fast

Scientists of the National Snow and Ice Data center (NSIDC),Boulder,Colorado have revealed alarming data about arctic. This month has seen the lowest extent of ice cover for more than a century. It is now 20% less than 78-02 averages. They shudder to think of what it would be like in during the summer of 2060. The scientists ascribe it to human enhanced increased green house effect.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wildlife News International

Japanese Scientists Capture Giant Squid on Camera

Tsunemi Kubodera of the National Science Museum and Kyoichi Mori of the Ogasawara whale watch association, have taken the first photographs of the mysterious giant squid in the dark cold waters of the North pacific. Giant squids measure up to 18 meters. Very little is known about this creature.

Whale-Rich Mexican Sea Named World Heritage Site

244 islands along with kilometers of mainland beaches in Mexico’BajaCalifornia, Sonora and Nayarit states(Sea of Cortez), a major breeding ground for Whales have been declared World Heritage Site by United Nations.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Danger Signals from China

China is thinking of reopening business in Tiger parts, based on farm bred animals.. Business groups are pressurizing officials. Domestic trade was banned in 1993 following international pressure. The new move has conservationists worried.
Susan Lieberman, head of WWFs Global species programme says” This could be the final step that drives the tiger towards extinction”. Global illegal trade in wildlife is worth $ 8 billion a year. Conservationists cutting across borders are working overtime to counter this new threat.