Caribbean coral reefs could vanish in 20 years

Many of the Caribbean’s coral reefs could vanish in the next 20 years, according to a report published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Data from more than 35,000 surveys suggests that habitats have declined by more than 50% since the 1970s.

The report’s authors believe that over-fishing and disease is mainly to blame.

They say the trend could continue if nothing is done, but with protection the reefs could bounce back.

Read more… BBC News – Caribbean coral reefs could vanish in 20 years.

Rare snow leopards born at wildlife park.

Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, near Milnthorpe, said the cubs were born on 24 May and mum Tara had been “fiercely maternal” since their arrival.

The birth has only just been announced for fear the pair would not survive after a cub born last year lived for only 24 hours.

Director Jo Marsden said the baby leopards were “growing very well” and would be on public view in a few weeks.

Mrs Marsden said they did not yet know the sex of the cubs as the keepers and their father Pavan, had not yet met the young.

Read more: BBC News – Rare snow leopards born at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis.

Jamaicas rare wildlife – in pictures.

The Portland Bight protected area is home to the iconic Jamaican iguana and 20 other endangered species. It’s fragile coastal ecosystem and wildlife faces the risk of being lost forever as Jamaica approves a Chinese company to build a port.

The Jamaican iguaua, Cyclura collei, is a critically endangered species found in the Hellshire Hills of Portland Bight protected area, Jamaica. It was thought to have gone extinct in 1948, but in 1990, a hog hunter chanced upon a live individual in the limestone forests of Hellshire Hills. Further exploration revealed 50 survivors. Eggs and hatchlings brought from the wild were reared in captivity and released back into the wild once they are big enough to ward off predators.

Read more: Jamaicas rare wildlife – in pictures | Environment | theguardian.com.

Giant rainforest buffer zone planned to protect Indonesian wildlife

Asian Pulp and Paper, one of the world’s biggest paper companies, is to support the conservation of 1m hectares of rainforest in Indonesia, as a way of reducing its impact on the habitats of endangered species such as orangutan, elephants and tigers.

However, green experts said the plans would be difficult to make work and would not solve the problem of loggers depleting the animals’ natural habitat.

APP’s project will involve creating and protecting “wildlife corridors” for species, allowing them to move between areas without having their habitats cut off by logging activities, and “buffer zones” so that habitats are less encroached on by loggers, in at least nine areas across Indonesia. The 1m hectare figure represents an area roughly equivalent to the area of land the company exploited for sourcing pulp last year alone.

Giant rainforest buffer zone planned to protect Indonesian wildlife | Environment | theguardian.com.

Indonesian clerics issue fatwa to protect wildlife.

Indonesias top Islamic clerical body has issued a religious fatwa against the illegal hunting and trade in endangered animals in the country, which the WWF hailed on Wednesday as the worlds first.

The fatwa by the Indonesian Ulema Council declares such activities “unethical, immoral and sinful”, council official Asrorun Niam Sholeh told Agence France-Presse AFP.

via Indonesian clerics issue fatwa to protect wildlife | Environment | theguardian.com.

New species of river dolphin discovered in Brazil

Scientists in Brazil have discovered the first new river dolphin species since the end of World War One.

Named after the Araguaia river where it was found, the species is only the fifth known of its kind in the world.

Writing in the journal Plos One, the researchers say it separated from other South American river species more than two million years ago.

There are believed to be about 1,000 of the creatures living in the Araguaia river basin.

River dolphins are among the world’s rarest creatures.

via BBC News – Brazil dolphin is first new river species since 1918.

10 places where the wild things are

10 places where the wild things are - CNN.com

Moscow-born zoologist Vladimir Dinets (the author of “Dragon Songs: Love and Adventure Among Crocodiles, Alligators and Other Dinosaur Relations) reveals his unusual list of the 10 best places to spot wildlife around the world:

  1. Everglades National Park, Florida
  2. Monterey Bay Peninsula, California
  3. Eastern Quebec, Canada
  4. Ranch Karanambu, Guyana
  5. Etosha National Park, Namibia
  6. Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar
  7. Chukchi Peninsula, Russia
  8. Karakoram Highway, China/Pakistan
  9. Afar Desert, Ethiopia
  10. Democratic Republic of Congo

10 places where the wild things are – CNN.com.