Arabian Magpie

The taxonomic position of Arabian Magpie Pica asirensis is certainly uncertain, although it is generally regarded as a subspecies of Eurasian Magpie. Gill & Donsker (2016) regard it as such, though there is a caveat “MtDNA phylogeny suggests that Eurasian Magpie comprises several potential species including Korean Magpie P. sericea, Mahgreb Magpie P. mauritanica and […]

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The long journey to saving the Sumatran rhino, via Borneo (commentary)

In 1982, an orangutan researcher working in Indonesian Borneo wrote to a colleague at the biology department at the National University in Jakarta. He told of meeting a traditional-medicine trader at the market in Pangkalan Bun, a city in Central Kalimantan province. “A whole Sumatran rhino head is immersed in coconut oil in a basin,” […]

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‘Death by a thousand holes’: Scientists race to avert a salamander crisis

Any day now. That’s when Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), the “salamander-eating” fungus, is expected to arrive in the United States, home to more than a third of the world’s species of these slippery amphibians.It all began in 2008, when Bsal traveledsome through the pet trade from Asia to northern Europe. There, it escaped into the wild […]

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Where are they now?

Everyone seems to be pretty well informed about the migrations of monarch butterflies in North America. Long distance southbound fliers end up in southern states in the east and in refuges in California and Mexico in the west. In spring, northbound females lay eggs that hatch into butterflies that fly north and lay eggs, reaching […]

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