Extinction News -- ScienceDaily Extinction of animals and plants. Read scientific research on the dinosaur extinction, future mass extinctions, and endangered species. What can be done?

  • Tiger bones? Lion bones? An almost extinct cycad? On-the-spot DNA checks at ports of entry
    on November 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Wildlife species are going extinct faster than humankind can reliably keep track of. Meanwhile, wildlife crime evolves quickly, with new tricks fueling a lucrative illegal global trade. As a result, customs and other port-of-entry officials confronted with unidentifiable bits of animals and plants need to make rapid decisions based on reliable information. LifeScanner LAB-IN-A-BOX, a portable DNA barcoding lab can serve as a new tool for rapid on-site species identification, adding to law enforcement's arsenal. […]

  • Using eDNA to identify the breeding habitat of endangered species
    on November 17, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Using wide-ranging eDNA analysis combined with traditional collection survey methods, researchers have identified the breeding site of critically endangered fish species Acheilognathus typus in the mainstream of Omono River in Akita Prefecture, Japan. […]

  • Passenger pigeon genome shows effects of natural selection in a huge population
    on November 16, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    The passenger pigeon is famous for the enormous size of its historical population and for its rapid extinction in the face of mass slaughter by humans. Yet it remains a mystery why the species wasn't able to survive in a few small populations. One theory, consistent with the findings of a new study, suggests that passenger pigeons were well adapted to living in huge flocks, but poorly adapted to living in smaller groups. […]

  • Pacific Island countries could lose 50 -- 80% of fish in local waters under climate change
    on November 15, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Many Pacific Island nations will lose 50 to 80 percent of marine species in their waters by the end of the 21st century if climate change continues unchecked, finds a new study. This area of the ocean is projected to be the most severely impacted by aspects of climate change. […]

  • Saving endangered African penguins
    on November 15, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    A first-of-its-kind study on prognostic health indicators in the endangered African Penguin provides invaluable information to preserve and rehabilitate this seabird. Competition with fisheries, oil spills, climate change, diseases and predators are all contributing factors in their dramatic population decline, which has been as high as 80 percent in some South African colonies. Until now, limited data existed on the factors contributing to their successful rehabilitation. […]

  • Microbiome transplants provide disease resistance in critically-endangered Hawaiian plant
    on November 14, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    A team of researchers transplanted microbes to restore the health of a critically endangered Hawaiian plant that, until now, had been driven to extinction in the wild and only survived in managed greenhouses under heavy doses of fungicide. […]

  • 'Black box' methods used by biologists probably overestimate number of new species
    on November 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    New research demonstrates the misuse and abuse of methods scientists commonly use to place boundaries between different species. […]

  • Combating devastating amphibian disease
    on November 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by infection with the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus, is the most devastating vertebrate disease on record. […]

  • Parasitic plants rely on unusual method to spread their seeds
    on November 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Three species of non-photosynthetic plants rely mainly on camel crickets to disperse their seeds. […]

  • Geologists uncover Antarctica’s fossil forests
    on November 13, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Prehistoric polar forests were built for survival, but were not hardy enough to live in ultra-high concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. A geologist is studying the tree fossil record in Antarctica from a mass extinction 250 million years ago, looking for clues to how greenhouse gases affected plants -- then and now. […]

  • First wild alligator snapping turtle in Illinois since 1984
    on November 13, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Researchers report the first sighting in 30 years of a wild alligator snapping turtle in Illinois. The discovery may be a sign of hope for this state-endangered species, or the animal could be the last of its kind to have survived in Illinois without human intervention, the researchers say. […]

  • Not all milkweed is equal for egg-laying monarchs, study reveals
    on November 9, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Milkweed plants in agricultural areas have 3 1/2 times more monarch butterfly eggs than milkweed growing in urban gardens, natural areas and roadsides, according to a new study. The researchers also found monarchs prefer small patches of the plant to larger ones. These findings have implications for current initiatives underway that involve planting milkweed to help the survival of this endangered butterfly. […]

  • Seagrass biodiversity is both a goal and a means for restoration
    on November 8, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Planting multiple seagrass species, rather than a single species, could be better for restoring damaged coastal ecosystems in Indonesia's Coral Triangle. […]

  • Impact of coral bleaching on Western Australia's coastline
    on November 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    The 2016 mass bleaching event on Western Australia's coastline is the most severe global bleaching event to ever be recorded. New research records the impact of this event to the rugged reefs of Western Australia. […]

  • Bringing back large herbivores to the steppes
    on November 7, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    On 24th October 2017, the first group of nine kulan (Asiatic wild ass) was released into an acclimatization enclosure on the edge of the Altyn Dala protected area in central Kazakhstan. The animals had been transported 1200 km by helicopter from Altyn Emel National Park in the southeast of the country. They will be released in early spring. This is the first step in a multi-year project that aims to restore the full range of large herbivores to this unique area of steppe habitat. […]

  • Caribbean islands reveal a 'lost world' of ancient mammals
    on November 6, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    An analysis of the incredibly diverse "lost world" of Caribbean fossils includes dozens of ancient mammals, a new study reports. The study reveals that the arrival of humans throughout the islands was likely the primary cause of the extinction of native mammal species there. […]

  • Saving seagrasses from dredging as new research finds solutions
    on November 6, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Timing of dredging and finding an 'ecological window' is the key to helping preserve one of the world's most productive and important ecosystems -- seagrass meadows, a new study has found. […]

  • Resisting alien invasions
    on November 2, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Invasive species are can be hugely detrimental to marine ecosystems. Take Caulerpa taxifolia as an example, suggest investigators. […]

  • Newly discovered orangutan species is 'among the most threatened great apes in the world'
    on November 2, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Scientists have long recognized six living species of great ape aside from humans: Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, eastern and western gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos. But researchers have now made it seven, based on a collection of evidence showing that an isolated population of orangutans living in Sumatra is actually its own unique species. They've named the new species the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis). […]

  • Can corals adapt to climate change?
    on November 1, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Cool-water corals can adapt to a slightly warmer ocean, but only if global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, a study has found. Some corals in the normally cool waters of the Cook Islands carry genetic variants that predispose them to heat tolerance. This could help the population adapt more quickly to rising temperatures. But they may not adapt quickly enough to outpace climate change. […]

  • Winners and losers of forest fragmentation
    on November 1, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Breaking up the rainforest into small, isolated patches is forcing more species to live at the forest edge and putting those that are dependent on the forest core at risk. Eighty-five percent of species are now being impacted by this forest fragmentation. […]

  • Newly described giraffid species may help trace evolution of giraffe ancestors
    on November 1, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    A new giraffid species from Spain may extend the range and timespan of the ancestors of giraffes, according to a new study. […]

  • Zebra scat science improves conservation efforts
    on November 1, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    How can zebra excrement tell us what an animal's response to climate change and habitat destruction will be? That is what scientists have been investigating in South Africa. Together the team have been using zebra stools to understand how challenges or 'stressors', such as the destruction and breakup of habitats, impact on populations of South Africa's Cape mountain zebra. […]

  • Ensuring the survival of elephants in Laos: A matter of economics
    on November 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Asian elephant populations in Laos, which are under a process of commodification, have dropped by half in the last 30 years. According to researchers, the dynamics of elephant populations depend heavily on the socioeconomic practices of the country and elephant owners. The setting-up of a 'maternity leave' system to compensate owners for their losses of income during breeding period would contribute to the species' long-term survival. […]

  • Spooky conservation: Saving endangered species over our dead bodies
    on October 31, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    The secret to the survival of critically endangered wildlife could lie beyond the grave. A reseacher suggests revenue from human burials could fund nature reserves and parks for threatened species, effectively amounting to dead humans protecting living creatures. […]

  • Research provides unique insight into extinction dynamics in late Triassic
    on October 31, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    A team of scientists and students is inching closer to revealing how a group of animals from the Late Triassic went extinct. […]

  • Dinosaur-killing asteroid impact cooled Earth's climate more than previously thought
    on October 31, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    The Chicxulub asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs likely released far more climate-altering sulfur gas into the atmosphere than originally thought, according to new research. […]

  • Right whales, already an endangered species, may face a dim future
    on October 30, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Researchers show that right whales, already an endangered species, may face a dim future. […]

  • How environment plays key role in changing movement behavior of animals
    on October 30, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Mathematicians have developed a theory which helps to unravel long-standing mysteries of animal movement. […]

  • Tropical forest reserves slow down global warming
    on October 27, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    National parks and nature reserves in South America, Africa and Asia, created to protect wildlife, heritage sites and the territory of indigenous people, are reducing carbon emissions from tropical deforestation by a third, and so are slowing the rate of global warming, a new study shows. […]