Nov 082017
 
POLL: Should the keeping of reptiles and amphibians as pets be banned?

Over the past few decades, more and more households have decided to forego adopting a cat or dog and instead have opted to take in a reptile companion. However, vets are split on whether this is a good idea for both humans and the animals themselves. A group of editorials appearing online in the BMJ’s […]

Oct 022017
 
For Species At Risk of Extinction, Size Matters

Scientists have been warning about a sixth mass extinction, and when it comes to species at risk of disappearing, size is going to matter a lot, according to a new study. For the study, which was just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an international team of scientists from the U.S., […]

Feb 012017
 
POLL: Should the use of exotic animal skins for fashion be banned?

From Balenciaga’s £845-a-pair high-top black python trainers for men to a full-length trenchcoat sported by Rihanna, snakeskin – or python in particular – is having something of a fashion moment. Demand for the luxury patterned leather is riding so high that Kering – the company behind big brands including Gucci, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen […]

May 122016
 
POLL: Should the trade in rare lizard species be banned?

Europe has moved to close a loophole that allows wildlife smugglers to trade in several endangered lizard species, after revelations by the Guardian about the scale of the problem. An EU proposal to strictly regulate the trade in arboreal alligator lizards (Abronia), backed by Mexico, will be debated at the Convention on international trade in […]

Sep 092014
 
Saving the Atlantic Forest would cost less than 'Titanic'

Want to save the world’s most imperiled biodiversity hotspot? You just need a down payment of $198 million. While that may sound like a lot, it’s actually less than it cost to make the film, Titanic. A new study published today in Science finds that paying private landowners to protect the almost-vanished Atlantic Forest would […]

Jan 312014
 
One lizard, four species: the collared treerunner

Now, that’s a horse of a different color. Or, in this case, a lizard of another species – four species. Recent research suggests that the collared treerunner (Plica plica), previously thought of as one widespread species, is actually four distinct species inhabiting diverse geographical areas east of the Andes in northern South America. “The four […]

Jun 072013
 
Monitor lizards vanishing to international trade in pets and skins

The world’s monitor lizards remind us that the world was once ruled by reptiles: this genus (Varanus) includes the world’s biggest lizards, such as the stunning Komodo dragon and many other island kings. A large number beautifully-colored and patterned, these lizards are known for their intelligence and their apex role in many island food chains. […]

May 162013
 
Photo: Stunning new pit-viper discovered in Honduras

A stunning new species of pit-viper has been discovered in the cloud forest of Honduras. The venomous snake is described in the journal ZooKeys. The species is named Bothriechis guifarroi in honor of Mario Guifarro of Olancho, a conservationist who was gunned down in 2007 as he was working to set up a reserve for […]

May 112013
 
Baby Birds and Cave Arms

Why hello there friends, hello. Not to be one of those talk-about-the-weather-all-the-time types, but crapballs! May 2nd and I was decked out in long underwear, gloves and hat again today. So confusing.(Above: Black-and-white Warbler with a caterpillar), below: Painted Bunting hunkering down in some thistle) Black-capped nestlings-they’ve hatched. Golden-cheeked Warblers have fledgies. This season is […]

Apr 082013
 
Madagascar's chameleons came from African mainland

Madagascar’s color-changing chameleons originated in Africa and crossed over to the island some 65 million years ago, concludes a study published this week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The research, which is based on genetic analysis of 174 chameleon species, found that the ancestors of today’s chameleons crossed channel between the African […]

Mar 292013
 
Scientists discover two new remarkably-colored lizards in the Peruvian Amazon (photos)

Scientists have discovered two new species of woodlizards from the Peruvian Amazon. Woodlizards, in the genus Enyalioides, are little-known reptiles with only 10 described species found in South and Central America. Described in a new paper in ZooKeys, both new woodlizards were found in Cordillera Azul National Park, the nations third-largest. “These species were discovered […]

Mar 222013
 
Endangered or Not, but at Least No Longer Waiting

Perhaps it does not seem cause for celebration that the Oregon spotted frog, a four-inch-long amphibian that prefers the Pacific Northwest’s dwindling marshy spots, is to be considered this year for federal protection as an endangered species. Tell that to the frog. It has been languishing for 22 years — since 1991 — awaiting its […]