Pilot Whale Dies After Eating 80 Plastic Bags in Thailand

In another tragedy for marine mammals who are being increasingly harmed by our trash, a pilot whale has died in Thailand after consuming a shocking amount of plastic debris. He was found days ago in a canal near the border of Malaysia clearly in need of help. Rescuers used buoys to keep him afloat and […]

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Asian Elephants Are Now Being Killed for Their Skin

The smell was ghastly and the sight even worse. Twenty-five elephants lay dead in a riverbed in the Ayeyawady (Irrawaddy) delta in southwestern Myanmar. “The stench is what led villagers to the bodies in the first place,” says Aung Myo Chit, the Smithsonian Institution’s Myanmar country coordinator, who also leads a local NGO, Growth for […]

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Land reclamation in Malaysia puts endangered turtle at risk

Melaka – The expanse of sand stretches hundreds of meters in both directions, featureless and flat, its dusty monotony alleviated only by the excavators, trucks and dredgers that dump sand and rocks into the sea and smooth out the newly-created land. Billboards surrounding one site tout an aspirational dream of stylish apartments, luxury hotels and […]

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Black, white and unique: the Malayan tapir struggles for recognition

Two-month old Asahan sucks milk greedily from a bottle. The baby Malayan tapir — his spotty brown juvenile coat already morphing to the distinctive black and white of an adult — was rescued by local villagers who found the displaced animal wandering alone through an oil palm plantation and then handed him over to Malaysia’s […]

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Indochinese leopard has disappeared from 94% of its historical range

The Indochinese leopard is struggling to survive. Once widespread across southeast Asia, the leopard subspecies has been wiped out from much of its habitat, and now occurs only in six percent of its historical range, a new study published in Biological Conservation has found. “Nobody was expecting this,” co-author Jan F. Kamler, Southeast Asia Leopard […]

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Marooned in shrinking forests, Bornean orangutans hang on as disaster looms (Part I)

The great apes are among some of the most endangered species on Earth, the targets of poachers and the victims of deforestation. However, from time-to-time there comes news of hope. A study published recently in Oryx describes the dire situation faced by Bornean orangutans, as well as an ambitious project to help save them. The […]

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How “insect soup” might change the face of conservation

Much of what we know about patterns of biodiversity has come from extensive fieldwork, with expert researchers sampling and identifying species in a process that takes thousands of man-hours. But new technologies may revolutionize this process, allowing us to monitor changes in biodiversity at speeds and scales unimaginable just a decade ago. A new paper […]

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Sun bear sanctuary to save ‘forgotten species’

Like a proud dad, Siew Te Wong’s office walls and desk are covered in baby pictures, but unlike ordinary infants these possess four-inch claws and a taste for insects and honey. Wong, a leading sun bear researcher, has a heartfelt passion for the world’s smallest bear that is as big as the problems facing the […]

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Elephant deaths rise in Tanzania after shoot-to-kill poachers policy is dropped

Elephant deaths in Tanzania have risen dramatically since the government abandoned a shoot-to-kill policy against poachers, officials admit. Lazaro Nyalandu, the deputy minister of natural resources and tourism, said 60 elephants were “butchered” in November and December, compared with two in October. Soldiers, police, game rangers and forestry officers had been involved in a month-long […]

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World’s most cryptic feline photographed in logging concession

The bay cat is arguably the world’s least-known member of the cat family (Felidae). Although first described by scientists in 1874, no photo existed of a living specimen until 1998 and a wild cat in its rainforest habitat wasn’t photographed until five years later. Given this, scientists with Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Imperial […]

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