DNA analysis has confirmed the death, by poaching, of the last Javan rhino in Vietnam. This marks the official extinction of the Vietnamese subspecies of Javan rhinoceros. The entire species is now represented by just 35 individuals from the Indonesian subspecies, all of whom reside in Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia.
"Priceless or Worthless?" is a handsomely photographed report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature identifying the 100 most endangered animals, plants, and fungi (9 MB PDF) on the planet and what needs to be done to save them. [more inside]
The red-crested tree rat (Santamartamys rufodorsalis), not seen in over a hundred years, made an unexpected, nonchalant appearance at the El Dorado Bird Reserve in Colombia a couple of weeks ago. Witnesses are unavailable for comment, being too busy with squeals of "Awwwwwww" to respond to questions. Press release here; high-res photos heEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
"Bryn the pygmy rabbit died in 2008, marking the end of her genetic line. This subpopulation lost its sagebrush habitat as the land was developed for agriculture ... In an off-exhibit room at the Oregon Zoo, the staff was quiet, even reverent, as they brought in Bryn. She was one of two Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits left, and since both were old females, this was a solemn occasion." Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species
Attenborough's Pitcher, an "Udderly Weird Yam," a two-inch phallic mushroom already immortalized on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, and the "Bombardier Worm" ("Chaff worm" would seem a more accurate name) are just four of the newly described species making the International Institute for Species Exploration's totally arbitrary Top 10 New Species list. [more inside]
Amphibian Extinction Crisis: "For the first time in modern history, because of the way that humans are impacting our natural world, we're facing the extinction of an entire class of organisms....This is not the extinction of just a panda or a rhino, it's a whole class of organisms." Original declaration of the Amphibian Conservation Summit (pdf). More details in the BBC and San Francisco Chronicle. Previously.
What animals are endangered? (2006, updated from 2004) One in four mammals. One in three amphibians. Raw data and photos behind what others call the mass extinction crisis. Polar bears expected extinct in 25 years. In a little good news, Great Apes may be granted human rights in Spain (like the mountain gorilla -- all 660 that remain). In other news, without salmon, widespread bankruptcy expected in California's fishing industry. Me? I can only afford an electric sheep.
The Endangered Species Act marked its 30th anniversary this December. Some say we need it while others say we need to change it. Whatever its faults, many species have benefited from it.
Species on the brink of Extinction: The Forgotten HoJo. Once numbering in the thousands during the 1970s, the recent death of the Times Square HoJo nyt leaves the world with only 10 of these endangered habitats. Check out this extensive gallery of the tragic empty carcasses that was once as abundant on the American landscape as the noble buffalo. Here is a good retrospective of the history from the earliest to its glory years. If you fancy a pilgrimage, eschew your crappy SXSWs and festivals this summer and embark on HOJOPALOOZA. I'll see you there with a single tear running down my cheek.
20 species we might lose in the next 20 years. From discover.com and the other "20's" articles on the main page are especially good too.