Back From Extinction

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#1
Rare species making a comeback like:

500 Rare Butterflies Discovered in Ore.

May 11, 2004, 8:53 AM EDT


CORVALLIS, Ore. -- About 500 rare butterflies were recently found thriving in the hills west of here, thrilling conservationists who hope the colorful Taylor's checkerspot will fight back from near extinction.

The new colony, along with roughly 1,000 butterflies on nearby private and county park land, account for about three-quarters of all Taylor's checkerspot known to exist. The rest are scattered across 10 sites in western Washington.

"It's extremely exciting, because this is the largest population we have on publicly managed land," said Scott Hoffman Black, executive director of the Xerces Society.

The Portland-based invertebrate conservation group has asked the federal government to declare Taylor's checkerspot an endangered species.

"We found the population where they're already trying to do habitat restoration," he said.

An ecologist found the latest population in some meadows at the county-owned Beazell Memorial Forest north of Philomath late last month.

Significant loss of upland prairie in the Willamette Valley over the past century and a half has nearly wiped out the butterfly, Hoffman Black said.

Scientists estimate less than 1 percent of this important habitat remains in isolated spots threatened by invasive weeds, encroaching fir trees and development.

"As the prairie habitat has gone, the butterfly has gone," Hoffman Black said.

The new population is a pat on the back for Benton County, which has worked to improve habitat and preserve pockets of native prairie. The butterflies feed on wild strawberry, hairy cat's ear, rosy plectritis and other native wildflowers.

"It's an excellent indicator that we're doing something correctly," county Parks Director Jerry Davis said. "This shows we have some really nice property and what we're doing is not messing it up."

The Xerces Society began working to protect the butterfly and its habitat four years ago. It has developed a close partnership with Benton County, which is trying to protect the largest population about 1,000 in and around the parks department's Fitton Green Natural Area, north of Philomath.

The plight of the butterfly persuaded the society to pursue its first-ever lawsuit. It recently filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to place Taylor's checkerspot on the endangered species list.

The agency lists Taylor's checkerspot as a candidate for the list, Hoffman Black said, but often it takes pressure from environmental groups to compel the agency to formally list a species.

Hoffman Black said the species occupied more than 70 sites as recently as the mid-1970s.

"We've lost at least 60 populations in the last 30 years," he said. "So we know this butterfly is endangered and needs to be protected. We do not want to sit on our hands."
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationw...59155.story?coll=sns-ap-nationworld-headlines
 

rynner2

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#4
Rare Spix's Macaw seen in Brazil for first time in 15 years

A rare blue parrot which was believed to be extinct in the wild has been spotted in Brazil for the first time in 15 years.
A solitary Spix's Macaw was caught on video flying through trees in the state of Bahia.

Pedro Develey, head of the Brazilian Society for the Conservation of Birds, said he believed it had been freed by a poacher trying to avoid arrest.
A search of the area had just been concluded.

A colony of Spix's Macaw - the breed made famous in the animated "Rio" films - is being bred in Qatar and Brazil plans to reintroduce some of them into the wild.

The latest sighting was made by residents in Curaca, Bahia.
Mr Develey said the news was "amazing".
"You should have seen the joy of the people when I got there, saying the macaw was back," he said.

However, since the initial sighting, the whereabouts of the bird is unknown, the newspaper Estadao de Sao Paulo reported.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-36628290
 

rynner2

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#5
Rare bog butterfly flutters back from brink
By Jonathan Webb Science reporter, BBC News
23 July 2016


Photo: Chester Zoo

A small bog in Lancashire is once again home to a rare species of butterfly, for the first time in 100 years.
The large heath butterfly has been disappearing from northern England, where it was once common.

But after three years of careful captive breeding, scientists from Chester Zoo say they have established a stable wild colony at Heysham Moss.
Only two other locations in Lancashire play host to this fluffy brown species, which thrives in low, damp boglands.
"They've not been at Heysham for at least 100 years," said Heather Prince, an invertebrate keeper at the zoo.
"They've found museum specimens that date back to the 19th Century, labelled Heysham, so we know they were there historically."

But in Lancashire and elsewhere, disruption of their peatland habitats saw numbers plummet, Ms Prince explained. Drainage is good for farming and housing, but bad for bog-based bugs like the large heath butterfly.
"They used to be so common that one of its names was the Manchester argus. But obviously now in Manchester, you'd probably never ever see it."

Back in 2004, Lancashire Wildlife Trust started re-wetting Heysham Moss: removing drainage ditches and birch scrub, and re-planting the heath caterpillar's favourite food: hare's-tail cottongrass.

Then four years ago, Chester Zoo commenced a project with the trust to bring back the butterflies themselves.
"Back in 2012 we collected the foodplants - we gave them a year to take root and get established at the zoo," Ms Prince told BBC News. "Then in 2013 we collected the first group of females, and released them into prepared breeding enclosures."

One year later, the first harvest of caterpillars was ready for their re-introduction.
"We actually rummaged through the enclosures and found all the pupae. We used non-toxic glue to attach them to sticks, which we hung on a sort of rack and carried them to Heysham Moss."

There, a netted enclosure was checked daily by guides from the wildlife trust, who noted how many males and females had emerged before setting them free - one by one.
Nearly 400 butterflies have been released over three summers, Ms Prince said, and the signs are good.

"We've seen the full life-cycle occurring. And we've definitely seen mating occurring while we've been releasing the butterflies. So they're happy in their habitat."

The Heysham population will now be monitored through to 2020, and Chester Zoo will keep its cottongrass enclosures in case further assistance is needed. Ms Prince hopes this won't be necessary.
"I'd be happy to work with them again, but if it has been a success then I'm absolutely overjoyed," she said. :)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36865426

More photos on page.
 

rynner2

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#6
Puffins thriving after rat cull
By WMNAGreenwood | Posted: August 11, 2016

The iconic puffin has come back from the verge of extinction to flourish on a British island - thanks to the eradication of predatory rats.
The popular bird has been a feature on Lundy Island for centuries but its numbers fell to just five ten years ago and it was feared it would be wiped out entirely.
But wildlife experts say they have just counted more than 300 individuals, of which around 100 are breeding.

The revival is being credited to the ridding of all rodents on the island, which lies 12 miles off the North Devon coast.
The turn-around in fortunes is the result of the Lundy Seabird Recovery Project.
It involved eradicating rats, which feast on the eggs and chicks of burrow-nesting birds like puffins, between 2002 and 2004.
The island was declared rat free in 2006 and the breeding puffin population has re-established itself over the last ten years.

The project was a partnership between the RSPB, the Landmark Trust, Natural England, and the National Trust.
National Trust general manager for Lundy, Rob Joules, said: "It's great to reach the 10-year milestone of Lundy being rat free and to see its wildlife thriving in direct response.
"This was an incredibly important and worthwhile project to be involved with and it's great to know the lessons learned are being implemented on other offshore islands around the UK."

The project was initially focused on boosting the population of Manx shearwater which at the time was a higher conservation priority than puffin.
RSPB senior conservation officer Helen Booker added: "We expected Manx shearwater would benefit from rat eradication, and we have certainly seen that, but we were much less optimistic about puffin.
"Ten years ago its population had reached such a low level we worried whether it would survive, to see that puffin is now doing so well really is exciting."

Despite the success on Lundy the puffin is continuing to struggle elsewhere.
The bird is in decline in northern Scotland, Orkney, Shetland, the Faroe Islands, Norway and Iceland after a plunge in the number of sandeels, its favourite food.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/puffins-thriving-after-rat-cull/story-29609328-detail/story.html
 

JamesWhitehead

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#7
"What do you give to a hungry fisherman?
What do you give to a hungry fisherman?
What do you give to a hungry fisherman?
Give him Puffin pilchards!"

Perhaps it was felt that naming your brand after a nearly-extinct boid was bad luck but Puffin Pilchards seem to have disappeared. Swallowed by Glenryck? I can't find that old ad. Here's how they sell tinned fish now:

If there's no fish in the sea, there's fish in a can! :eek:
 

rynner2

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#8
Vultures return to Italy with a vengeance after being pushed to verge of extinction
Nick Squires, Rome 13 February 2017 • 2:55pm

They were almost extinct thanks to shooting and poisoning, but vultures have returned to Italy.

Their habit of plunging their heads into the carcasses of dead animals and feeding off carrion may not endear them to the general public, but an alliance of conservation groups has succeeded in significantly boosting their numbers.
From being extinct or nearly extinct a few decades ago, all four species native to Italy are now bouncing back with the help of funding from the EU.
The renaissance has been brought about by deliberate reintroduction from neighbouring countries such as Spain and Austria, as well as a campaign to halt the shooting and poisoning of the big birds.

The griffon vulture was reduced to isolated strongholds in Sicily and Sardinia but there are now an estimated 135 breeding pairs across the country, from the Alps in the north to the Apennine mountains, which run the length of the country.

The lammergeier, renowned for dropping bones onto rocks in order to crack them open to reach the nutritious marrow inside, was declared extinct in 1912 but in the last decade has returned, with its population now estimated to be 230 individuals.
Also known as the bearded vulture, it is thriving in many parts of the Alps, including in the German-speaking South Tyrol region of northern Italy.
“The reintroduction of this bird into the Alps is proceeding positively,” Richard Theiner, a regional politician with responsibility for the environment, said last year.

The Egyptian vulture, once critically endangered in Italy, has also recovered, although numbers are still small. Around 10 pairs live in the far south of Italy and Sicily, but hope for the future growth of the colony was provided in December when a migratory bird from France turned up in Sicily’s Nebrodi national park.

“It’s really been a miracle, a big success story,” said Cristina Maceroni of WWF Italy. “The situation has improved dramatically in the last 10 years. Vulture species that were absent from Italy for many decades are returning to their old ranges.”
Where they were once ruthlessly persecuted, vultures have found a refuge in Europe. That contrasts with their situation in Africa and India, where populations were nearly wiped out by a chemical called diclofenac, a painkiller given to livestock. Vultures died in their millions when they fed on carcasses of animals that had been given the drug.

The black vulture, which was declared extinct in 1960, is also edging back into Italian territory, although in very small numbers. They have been spotted in the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, on the border with Slovenia, as well as down in Campania. Across Europe as a whole there are an estimated 2,000 breeding pairs, 90 per cent of them in Spain and Portugal.

Vultures still face threats, however. They inadvertently eat poisoned bait that farmers leave out for animals such as foxes, which are regarded as pests. “If a vulture sees a carcass, it will drop down from the sky, and very quickly many others will follow, just as you see in Africa,” said Ms Maceroni. “Vultures can get to a carcass so much quicker than a fox. If they eat the bait, they die.”

In some national parks in Italy, rangers are encouraging the return of vultures by leaving out the carcasses of dead domestic animals such as sheep and lambs.
“We should be very proud. Vultures have returned to parts of Italy where they have not been seen for a century,” said Fulco Pratesi, an environmentalist, writer and the founder of WWF Italy.

Farmers and landowners were generally tolerant of the return of the birds of prey because they feed only on carrion, rather than killing live animals. “Farmers tend not to disturb them. They are much more concerned with the return of the wolf, which causes more problems,” said Mr Pratesi.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/13/pushed-verge-extinction-vultures-return-italy-vengeance/
 

gerhard1

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#10
There are reports from Russia that wooly mammoths have have been seen in the 1920's. They were in the remoter areas of Siberia and the inhabitants seem to have known about them for ages.
 

Coal

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#11
There are reports from Russia that wooly mammoths have have been seen in the 1920's. They were in the remoter areas of Siberia and the inhabitants seem to have known about them for ages.
Ooh..cite your source, most interesting.
 

oldrover

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#12
Mammoths appear in BH's 'On the Track of Unknown Animals', pretty much all of the stories will be retellings of those anecdotes. The world is apparently full of unknown creatures, but there aren't that many accounts to go round.
 

gerhard1

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#14
No promises, but I'll see what I can do.
All right; there is a reasonably credible account from the book that I have mentioned elsewhere on this forum, Strange Stories of Alaska and the Yukon. The author or editor is Ed Ferrell. Sightings of a living mastodon or mammoth were reported in the Far North as late as the 1870's. But the ones from Siberia have been more recent.

I'll have to do a bit more digging on those.
 

hunck

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#15
This story was dissected on R4 Inside Science & declared to be a false news/fluff story without any basis in fact. They have sequenced mammoth DNA but apparently not in a complete structurally sound form & there's some way to go with this. In addition, the story was about gestating a mammoth embryo in an artificial womb, not in a living elephant. The problem with this is artificial wombs don't exist. If it was going to happen in 2 years there would be peer reviewable papers to examine. There aren't any.

One of the programme participants said it wouldn't happen within 10 years. That's not to say it won't eventually..
 

EnolaGaia

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#19
It appears the Lord Howe Island stick insect hasn't gone extinct after all ...

DNA confirms amazing Australian isle insect not extinct after all
... When black rats invaded Lord Howe Island after the 1918 wreck of the steamship Makambo, they wiped out numerous native species on the small Australian isle in the Tasman Sea including a big, flightless insect that resembled a stick.

But the Lord Howe Island stick insect, once declared extinct, still lives. Scientists said on Thursday DNA analysis of museum specimens of the bug and a similar-looking one from an inhospitable volcanic outcrop called Ball’s Pyramid 14 miles (23 km) away confirmed they are the same species. The finding could help pave the way for its reintroduction in the coming years. ...

The glossy-black insect that grow up to six inches (15 cm) in length is nicknamed the “land lobster.” Other stick insects are found around the world, so named because their appearance lets them blend in with trees and bushes to evade predators.

As adults, the wingless Lord Howe Island stick insects shelter in trees during daytime and come out at night to eat shrubbery. The bright-green babies are active during daytime. ...

By about 1930, they had vanished on Lord Howe Island, which was thought to be their only home. ...

A rock-climbing ranger made a curious discovery in 2001 on Ball’s Pyramid: a similar-looking insect. ...

Because of certain differences between the Ball’s Pyramid insects and the Lord Howe Island insect museum specimens, there was some question about whether they were the same species.

“We found what everyone hoped to find, that despite some significant morphological differences, these are indeed the same species,” said Mikheyev, who led the research published in the journal Current Biology.
FULL STORY (With Photos): http://www.reuters.com/article/us-s...le-insect-not-extinct-after-all-idUSKBN1CA2MM
 

EnolaGaia

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#20
This may be more a case of 'back from near-extinction' ...

A Tiny, 'Extinct' Marsupial Re-Emerges in the Australian Desert
A species of tiny, adorable marsupial that scientists thought had been locally extinct for more than 100 years has re-emerged in New South Wales, Australia.

The crest-tailed mulgara (Dasycercus cristicauda), which weighs just 5 ounces (150 grams), was once a common small carnivore in desert inland regions of the continent, according to a statement from the University of New South Wales (UNSW). But researchers in the modern era knew the mulgara lived in New South Wales only from fossilized bone fragments. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/61222-extinct-marsupial-rediscovered.html
 

EnolaGaia

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#23
That's right, it should be 'Mulgara found for the first time in a part of its known historic range', they were known from elsewhere, and have never been considered extinct.
Thanks for the clarification. The article wasn't clear on what was meant by 'local extinction'.
 

gerhard1

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#24
OK, maybe it's not as exciting as a mammoth, but the Great Auk is another candidate for being unextincted:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/...ntroduce-extinct-great-auk-to-british-shores/
Interesting. Your link mentioned wild pigs. Wild pigs in this state are a bloody nuisance. There are no bag limits and as I understand it, very few restrictions on taking them. Plus, they are good eating.

And it would be absolutely great if some species can be 'un-extincted'.
 

Yithian

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#27
It must be said, if it weren't for what it represented, it wouldn't be classed as a terribly good photograph.
 
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