It looks like axolotls are gone forever. This may not mean much to you if you aren't into amphibians, but if you read Mad Magazine back in the day the word might conjure up some memories, or even a poem. [more inside]
Marguerite Humeau is an artist who has made reconstructions of extinct creatures' vocal tracts, extrapolating from extant species and fossil remains. The Extinction Orchestra. [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
The Caribbean Monk seal is officially extinct. It's the first seal extinction attributed to human activities, though it may not be the last.
The forest preserve of Białowieza is considered to be the last primeval forest in lowland Europe. Because of its unique position on the border of the temperate and boreal climate zones, it contains a unique mixture of trees, such as Norway Spruce and oaks. It also contains an interesting mix of fauna, including the European Bison, beaver, wolves, and the Nazi re-creation of an extinct species. [more inside]
Death of a goddess Another first for China? The yangtze dolphin may be the first cetacean to be made extinct by man. Mentioned by Douglas Adams and Mark Cawardine in 'Last Chance to See' in 1989 when there were still sightings, the mammal may now be extinct. Two weeks into an international expedition to locate the last dolphins there have been no sightings. Fresh water porpoises seem to be incompatible with modern China's economic boom and accompanying environmental destruction. Attempts at conservation seem to be coming a bit late for this 20 million year old species.
"The onslaught of destruction wrought upon the thylacine by the early settlers of Tasmania came about largely as a result of fear, ignorance, and misunderstanding." An extinct carnivorous marsupial.
Animals thought extinct found in remote Cambodian jungle: British scientists have found a wilderness in the Cardamom region of Cambodia where exotic species, some though to be extinct, have been found. These include the Siamese crocodile, the wolf snake (a new species so named because of its dog-like fangs), large populations of tigers and Asian elephants, and the gower, a forest cow. Ironically, the habitat was protected from significant human intrusion because it was a longtime Khmer Rouge stronghold and also because routes lead to and from it are landmined.