Category: Endangered

What happens to an ecotourism town when the wildlife doesn’t show?

Since the 90s, a town in the Philippines has based its economy around tourists viewing whale sharks. And while the sharks showed up in reliable numbers during the first decade of Donsol’s venture into tourism, their numbers have become highly unpredictable in the past decade for reasons still unknown.

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That Malagasy forest featured in Netflix’s ‘Our Planet’? It’s vanishing fast.

Viewers inspired by Netflix’s “Our Planet” to explore the stunning landscapes it captures may find one destination shockingly different from its lustrous on-screen depiction. Between shooting for the series in 2016 and its launch this month, there has been such rapid deforestation in Madagascar’s Kirindy Forest that large patches of the forest showcased in the series have disappeared forever.

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How the elusive otter has made its home in Goa’s mangroves

Human-dominated mangroves are far from what is considered an ideal environment for otters. And yet this estuarine island on India’s western coast is home to a thriving population of the threatened smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata). Recent studies of this elusive species living in the brackish waters of Chorao island—far from the freshwater sources that otters are typically believed to rely on—offer new insights into otter behaviour that could inform future conservation efforts.

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As Arctic ship traffic increases, narwhals and other unique animals are at risk

A recent study assessed the vulnerability of 80 populations of Arctic marine mammals during the “open-water” period of September, when sea ice is at its minimum extent, to understand the relative risks of vessel traffic across Arctic marine mammal species, populations and regions. The study found that more than half (53 percent) of these populations – including walruses and several types of whales – would be exposed to vessels in Arctic sea routes. This could lead to collisions, noise disturbance or changes in the animals’ behaviour.

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Can a scientific name save one of Earth’s most iconic freshwater fish from extinction?

The mahseers are an iconic group of fish found throughout the fast-flowing rivers of South and South-East Asia. Characterised by their large scales, attractive appearance and potentially vast size, the mahseers have long been afforded saintly status as “God’s fishes”. They are also known to anglers as some of the world’s hardest fighting freshwater game fish, earning them the reputation of “tigers of the water”.

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