Earlier this month, for the first time in the history of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, a fish has been proposed recovered. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Oregon chub (Oregonichthys crameri) is no longer meeting the requirements to be considered endangered or threatened under the act. The proposal states that threats to the species have been “eliminated or reduced and populations are stable”.
The Oregon chub was first listed as endangered in 1993. In 2010, the species had progressed enough to be reclassified as threatened. Introduction of the fish into areas of it’s historical range played a major role in it’s reclassification, in addition to researchers finding more and more unknown populations.
Source: USFWS Proposal
A female grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus) was found off the coast of Sydney, Australia with an elastic cord around its head. A veterinarian and team from the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary and Aquarium was brought out by boat and divers began the tricky task of capturing the shark and bringing it to the surface. Once the shark was trapped in a “sleeve” and brought to the surface, the elastic was removed and the wound was inspected. An antibiotic injection was then administered, and the shark was sent on her way. Without intervention, this shark would likely have died.
Grey nurse sharks are classified as a threatened species in Australia with only about 1,500 left off it’s coast. Both males and females max out at a length of about 12 feet and they only reproduce every couple of years.
The Olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina) is the first carnivore to be discovered in 35 years! This little guy looks like a cuddly teddy bear and is thought to max out at a weight of 2lbs. They were discovered to live in Columbia and Ecuador in the cloud forests. Olinguito are related to raccoons and are actually now the smallest known member of that family. While they have only recently been named and identified, museum specimens show that they were found and lumped in with a similar species for years until Kristofer Helgen noticed there was something different. After conducting a 10 year study from 2003 to 2013, he found they were a completely different species, and also have four subspecies within their range. It is very rare anymore to discover new mammals, and even rarer to discover new carnivorous mammals.
It was announced last week that a 1 week old panther kitten was found alone, frail, and dying in Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge in Collier County back in January. A group of researchers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida found the kitten very lethargic and weighing just 1 pound. They knew this little one wouldn’t survive without intervention.
“We want to give any panther kitten the best opportunity to survive in the wild, but clearly this kitten was in poor condition and almost certainly would have died without intervention.” – Dr. Mark Cunningham, FWC news release
The kitten was taken to Naples for triage care at Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida, and then, once strong enough, moved to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa for longer term care and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, because the kitten was just 1 week old when found, he will be completely raised by humans and will not be releasable. He won’t have the benefit of his mother teaching him to hunt and survive. In the wild, a young panther would stay with its mother for a year and a half to two years. This means that the kitten will never gain the skills to survive in the wild. There are only around 80 to 100 Florida panthers remaining, making them one of the most endangered mammals.
Check out this video of his progress. Such a cutey!
Rickina is a baby orangutan who was lucky enough to be rescued by the Ketapang Orangutan Rescue Center in West Kalimantan, Borneo. The man who had Rickina claimed that when he came across her and her mother in the forest, the mother ran off, abandoning Rickina. This is a little hard to believe. Orangutans, like other great apes, have strong bonds and maternal instincts. She wouldn’t just run off leaving her baby because she was startled. It would take a lot more than that. She would have fought for her baby. There’s not much way of knowing what really happened.
Unfortunately, orangutans are critically endangered in the wild. Instances like this don’t help their situation. Lucky for Rickina, she was confiscated and is now being looked after by people who care and with members of her own species.
To support rescue and conservation of orangutans, visit the Orangutan Outreach Website.
This was meant to be posted last week and for some reason never went through so I guess it will have to work for this week. Sorry about that!
The Tarsier, a small primate, are so stinkin’ adorable with their fluffy faces, huge round eyes, and large ears. It’s a shame that they are endangered.
Tarsiers are found on the densely forested islands of Malaysia, Indonesia, and southern Philippines. The social aspects of their behavior are not very well known, although studies have found that some Tarsier species aren’t solitary like once believed. The Tarsiers are named for their long tarsal bone which enables them to leap far distances. They spend most of their time in the trees, resting and checking out their environment for food. The life span of Tarsiers can range anywhere fro 12 – 20 years depending on the species. As small carnivores, they eat little reptiles, insects, and birds.
Like most other species, habitat loss is a main threat for these guys. Unfortunately, captive breeding programs are relatively unsuccessful.
In honor of Discovery’s Shark Week, this Weird Wildlife Wednesday will cover the elusive and rarely seen Megamouth Shark (Megachasma pelagios). This shark has earned its name by its size, reaching lengths of 5 meters! Not a lot is known about them because they were only recently discovered in 1976. Megamouths are thought to prefer warm to temperate waters and have been spotted in several areas of the Pacific Ocean. Though they are large and might seem menacing, they are gentle giants, filter feeding small shrimp and plankton. Unfortunately, their conservation status is listed as data deficient because they were only recently discovered and are rarely seen.