World Cup Threat To Rare Vulture

One of Africa’s largest birds of prey is being taken to the edge of extinction by South African gamblers who believe that smoking its brains will give them supernatural powers to predict results in this month’s football World Cup. Mark Anderson, of BirdLife South Africa, said he feared that belief in “muti” magic would accelerate the decline in rare Cape vultures. “Many vulture species across the world are in trouble. Our own species in southern Africa is declining sharply for a number of reasons, including reduced food availability, deliberate poisoning and electrocution from electricity pylons.

“The harvesting of the birds’ heads by followers of muti magic is an additional threat these birds can’t endure.”
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Japan Sends Rare Turtles To Singapore For Release

Thirteen endangered sea turtles bred in captivity in Japan have been given to a Singapore aquarium to prepare them for release into a natural habitat later this year, scientists said Friday.The hawksbill turtles, listed as a highly endangered species, were brought to Singapore by their Japanese caretakers Tomomi Saito and Yoshihiko Kanou from the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium.

The five one-year-old turtles and eight three-year-olds were turned over on Thursday to the Underwater World Singapore, which is collaborating with the Nagoya aquarium to release the animals.They are the offspring of hawksbill turtles donated by the Underwater World Singapore to the Nagoya aquarium in 1997 and 2002.

As part of the preparations, staff from the Singapore aquarium will monitor and conduct checks on the turtles to determine their fitness for the release scheduled in September.”With the success of their breeding… we would want to have some of these captive-bred turtles return to the wild,” said Anthony Chang, curator of the Underwater World Singapore.
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Rare 'Alligator Snapping Turtle' Caught In Chinese Lake

A fisherman in China was surprised after catching this striking creature, which looks like a cross between a turtle and a dinosaur. The man discovered the alligator snapping turtle, which is not native to the country, in Weishan Lake, in southern China’s Anhui province.

The species is only native to North America and was probably someone’s pet before being dumped in the lake, the local fishing department said. The creature’s alien status meant that it could have posed a danger to the local ecological system, they added.
Fisherman Sun Yongcheng said he was surprised when he netted the alligator turtle, which measures 76cm long and 30cm wide and weighs 7kg.
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New Species Of Dinosaur Found In Eastern Utah Rock

Dinosaur Discovery

Fossils of a previously undiscovered species of dinosaur have been found in slabs of Utah sandstone that were so hard that explosives had to be used to free some of the remains, scientists said Tuesday. The bones found at Dinosaur National Monument belonged to a type of sauropod — long-necked plant-eaters that were said to be the largest animal ever to roam land.

The discovery included two complete skulls from other types of sauropods — an extremely rare find, scientists said.The fossils offer fresh insight into lives of dinosaurs some 105 million years ago, including the evolution of sauropod teeth, which reveal eating habits and other information, said Dan Chure, a paleontologist at the monument that straddles the Utah-Colorado border.

“You can hardly overstate the significance of these fossils,” he said.Of the 120 or so known species of sauropods, complete skulls have been found for just eight. That’s mostly because their skulls were made of thin, fragile bones bound by soft tissue that were easily destroyed after death.
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Ecologists Spot Rare Wild Cat In UAE

A never-seen-before wild cat has been spotted in the protected zone of Wadi Wurayah on the eastern Coast of the UAE.Camera traps set up by the ecologists working in the mountainous area have captured an image of a rare breed of wild cat (Felis silvestris lybica) whose presence was, until now, just assumed thanks to some elusive tracks, WAM news agency quoting Gulf News daily reported yesterday.Wadi Wurayah is a 129 sq km area that was declared UAE’s first protected mountainous area in March 2009, the report added.

The discovery of the wild cat demonstrates the high ecological value of the area to the ongoing preservation efforts of the UAE and Middle East’s wildlife.”The discovery underpins the importance of protecting the Wadi Wurayah area. We have not seen a wild cat for many years and it is vital that we do our utmost to protect the area, allowing the wildlife residing there to flourish,” said Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, the director of Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wildlife Fund for Nature.
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Bramble Park Zoo Has New Baby Pallas' Cat Kittens

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Topping off the trifecta of cute and cuddly kitty cats are the rare and spectacular Pallas’ Cats. These three were born in July at the Bramble Park Zoo in Watertown, South Dakota. The Zoo is especially proud of these curious little creatures because it has been trying to breed them for years. Well, congratulations!

Can I have one?Pallas’ cats are small brown-spotted cats a little larger than a large house cat. They are found in Central Asian Steppes at elevations of up to 13,000 ft. The cats are highly endangered and are very difficult to breed in captivity, and have young survive, due to disease. “After several years, we have done it and have three viable offspring that are soon to go on to another zoo.”
These offspring are then scheduled to breed once they are mature. The zoo has been participating in a global Species Survival Plan program for this species for about 4 years. This past year, the female gave birth in April, but neither of the offspring survived.

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Bramble Park Zoo Has New Baby Pallas' Cat Kittens

1

Topping off the trifecta of cute and cuddly kitty cats are the rare and spectacular Pallas’ Cats. These three were born in July at the Bramble Park Zoo in Watertown, South Dakota. The Zoo is especially proud of these curious little creatures because it has been trying to breed them for years. Well, congratulations!

Can I have one?Pallas’ cats are small brown-spotted cats a little larger than a large house cat. They are found in Central Asian Steppes at elevations of up to 13,000 ft. The cats are highly endangered and are very difficult to breed in captivity, and have young survive, due to disease. “After several years, we have done it and have three viable offspring that are soon to go on to another zoo.”
These offspring are then scheduled to breed once they are mature. The zoo has been participating in a global Species Survival Plan program for this species for about 4 years. This past year, the female gave birth in April, but neither of the offspring survived.

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