White-nose syndrome still devastating bats and challenging scientists

In an effort to conserve and research the endangered Virginia big-eared bat, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo took in 40 bats in November 2009. The goal was to establish a security population and to scientifically develop husbandry practices in a subspecies that researchers have not attempted to conserve before.

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New spider species an homage to David Bowie

Here’s an interesting tidbit for your Friday. A new species of sparassid spider (pictured) from Malaysia has been named after David Bowie. Peter Jäger, an arachnologist at the Senckenberg research institute in Germany, says he named the spider —  Heteropoda davidbowie — after the English rock star in an effort to raise awareness about endangered spiders. Bowie’s 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust...

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New love for the endangered uglies?

The California Condor has enjoyed a comeback despite its relative ugliness. So-called charismatic megafauna have traditionally captured the attention of the public, becoming the poster children for zoos, aquariums and conservation organizations. This public affection for attractive animals has also translated into legislation: Cuddly and economically important animals get more money under the Endangered Species Act, regardless of...

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A blow to endangered species

Today the Bush administration confirmed legislation changes that will eliminate the need for federal agencies to consult with scientists on projects that might cause harm to endangered species. Under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S.  Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service provided advice on whether government projects would pose a threat to endangered species. Today’s rule change eliminated this...

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