Eleven new species of rain frogs discovered in the tropical Andes

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  • August 2, 2019
  • Eleven new to science species of rain frogs are described by two scientists from the Museum of Zoology of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador in the open-access journal ZooKeys. Discovered in the Ecuadorian Andes, the species are characterized in detail on the basis of genetic, morphological, bioacoustic, and ecological features. On the one hand, the publication is remarkable because of […]

    Revolutionary method could bring us much closer to the description of hyperdiverse faunas

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  • July 25, 2019
  • A novel approach relying on a short sequence of mitochondrial DNA in conjunction with a lateral image of the holotype specimen was proposed to greatly accelerate species identification and description, especially when it comes to hyperdiverse taxa, such as parasitic wasps.

    Living room conservation: Gaming & virtual reality for insect and ecosystem conservation

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  • April 18, 2019
  • Gaming and virtual reality could bridge the gap between urban societies and nature, thereby paving the way to insect conservation by the means of education and participation. This is what an interdisciplinary team at Florida International University strive to achieve by developing a virtual reality game (desktop version also available) dedicated to insect and plant species. Focused on imperiled butterflies, their innovative idea: Butterfly World 1.0, is described in the open-access journal Rethinking Ecology.

    Tiger geckos in Vietnam could be the next species sold into extinction, shows a new survey

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  • April 1, 2019
  • The endemic reptiles are already proposed to be listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora While proper information about the conservation status of tiger gecko species is largely missing, these Asian lizards are already particularly vulnerable to extinction, as most of them have extremely restricted distribution. Furthermore, […]

    ‘Insectageddon’ is ‘alarmist by bad design’: Scientists point out the study’s major flaws

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Earlier this year, a research article triggered a media frenzy by predicting that as a result of an ongoing rapid decline, nearly half of the world’s insects will be no more pretty soon Amidst worldwide publicity and talks about ‘Insectageddon’: the extinction of 40% of the world’s insects, as estimated in a recent scientific review, a critical […]

    Newly discovered turtle species is facing extinction

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  • February 13, 2019
  • For decades, it has been assumed that the Chinese Softshell Turtles from East Asia all belonged to one and the same species, Pelodiscus sinensis. Widely distributed all the way from the Russian Far East through the Korean Peninsula to China and Vietnam, the species was said to vary substantially in terms of its looks across localities. […]

    Extraordinary treefrog discovered in the Andes of Ecuador

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  • January 3, 2019
  • A new treefrog species was discovered during a two-week expedition to a remote tabletop mountain at Cordillera del Cóndor, a largely unexplored range in the eastern Andes. “To reach the tabletop, we walked two days along a steep terrain. Then, between sweat and exhaustion, we arrived to the tabletop where we found a dwarf forest. […]

    Naming rights for 5 new snail-sucking snake species auctioned to save rainforests in Ecuador

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  • June 14, 2018
  • The existence of five delightfully weird snail-sucking snakes slithering through the forest floors of Ecuador was announced by a group of scientists in a study in the open access journal Zookeys. Believe or not, there is an entire group of snakes for which snails are number one on their menu. This is why their jaws […]

    Light at the end of the tunnel: Restored forest now shelters dozens of endangered species

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  • September 15, 2017
  • During the last twenty years, scientists worked hard to protect and restore the scattered patches of a dilapidated forest and its surroundings of agricultural and fallow vegetation in southern Benin. With the help of their locally recruited assistants, Peter Neuenschwander, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Benin, and Aristide Adomou, University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin, successfully thinned out […]

    Lion conservation requires effective international cooperation

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  • September 13, 2017
  • Lions belong to the world’s most charismatic megafauna. However, lion numbers and range have declined alarmingly over the last two decades. “To turn the tide, international cooperation is crucial,” says a team of lawyers, conservation biologists and social scientists. In their recently published review article in the journal Nature Conservation, they assess the current and potential […]