Vienna Zoo Breeds Endangered Batagur Turtle

The Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna said on Tuesday it has successfully bred one of the most endangered species of turtle, the Batagur baska, for the first time in captivity.Two baby Batagur turtles were hatched in the zoo’s reptile house at the beginning of May, the zoo said in a statement.

The Batagur baska — which is listed as “critically endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature — is a river terrapin that can grow to up to 60 centimetres (24 inches).At home in the rivers of Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, India and Bangaldesh, its meat and eggs were long considered a delicacy.
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11 Big Cats Are Found Starving To Death In China Zoo

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This painfully emaciated tiger is the shocking face of China’s illegal trade in tiger bones.The image of the caged animal emerged after11 Siberian tigers were found starving to death in a scandal-plagued Chinese zoo.The Shenyang Forest Wildlife Zoo, which has been closed down by police, has been accused of illegally supplying tiger bones to local doctors who use them to brew traditional medicines.

But it is not the only place where tigers in China are in danger.The image of the tiger above was taken in the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Park in Guilin City, China, where 1,400 tigers are kept in a space the size of Regents Park.A source said that tigers there are slowly starving as food rations are slashed to pay to run refrigerators keeping the animal’s body parts fresh to sell on the black market.Trade in the bones is banned – but the parts from one tiger can fetch up to £50,000 on the black market.
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India May Have Lost Siberian Cranes For Ever

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For the tenth consecutive year, the majestic Siberian Cranes – among the most endangered birds in the world – have skipped India this winter, say experts.They apprehend that the Siberian Cranes are unlikely to ever come to the Bharatpur region of Rajasthan again as they have apparently changed their centuries-old migratory route from Siberia to India.

“These birds have not been sighted in the famous Keoladeo National Park of Bharatpur or any other place in northern India. It is clear that their route has undergone a change owing to a variety of reasons,” Dilawar Mohammed, ornithologist with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), said.The last time a pair of Siberian Cranes (Grus leucogeranus) was spotted in this park was way back in 2001.

“After that it has been a disappointment for bird lovers, ornithologists and tourists who used to go there for a glimpse of these royal birds,” Mohammed said.He explained that the Siberian Cranes’ route to India was through Afghanistan. The adult birds stand as tall as 91 inches and can weigh over 10 kg.Dodging the bombings by US fighter jets which tried to root out the erstwhile Taliban regime in October 2001 and after the 9/11 strikes in the US, the Siberian Cranes managed to reach India for the last time.
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China Says It Has 6,000 Captive Tigers

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China said Tuesday it had nearly 6,000 tigers in captivity and could breed 1,000 more every year, amid international controversy over the benefits of farming the endangered species.The numbers were announced by Yin Hong, vice head of the State Forestry Administration, according to a spokesman at the agency who refused to be named.”There are close to 6,000 tigers that have been artifically bred and raised in China,” the official China News Service quoted Yin saying.

“These tigers can breed over 1,000 baby tigers every year.”Yin’s comments came as China prepares to ring in the Year of the Tiger, which begins February 14, amid mounting worldwide concern over dwindling numbers of the great cats.Yin said there were just 50 to 60 wild tigers left in China. Conservation groups have said recently fewer than 50 still roam the country.

There are four varieties of wild tigers in China, and one of them — the South China tiger — has not been spotted in the wild since the late 1970s. In the 1950s, there were around 4,000 of the subspecies.Degradation of the animal’s habitat and poaching of the tiger and its prey are blamed for its rapid disappearance.In the 1980s, China set up tiger farms to try and preserve the big cats, intending to release some into the wild.But experts warn it will be difficult for captive tigers to re-adapt to the wild, and the sheer number of the endangered animals kept in farms now poses a challenge.
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Endangered Species Found In DMZ Between Koreas

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Dozens of endangered species almost extinct elsewhere in South Korea have been found in the South Korean part of the Demilitarized Zone, a 248-kilometer-long and 4-km-wide belt separating the country from North Korea, according to new research reported by Yonhap News Agency.

According to Yonhap, the research conducted last month by South Korea’s Environment Ministry and its National Institute of Environmental Research in the mid-DMZ area, less than 90 kilometers north of Seoul, confirmed the presence of eight near-extinct mammals, including the small-eared cat and elk, and 24 endangered birds such as the red-crowned crane.
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