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May, 2019

  • 15 May

    Farewell, Little Porpoise

    It is unusual to publish an obituary when the subject is not yet dead, but the situation for the vaquita, that little porpoise with a short and stocky build and panda-like markings, now appears hopeless. For decades, scientists have trekked down to Baja California, where the Sea of Cortez laps …

February, 2018

  • 8 February

    Saimaa Seal (Pusa hispida ssp. saimensis) – Around 310 individuals remain

    They are among the most endangered seals in the world, having a total population of only about 310 individuals. Saimaa Seals reside only in Lake Saimaa in southern Finland. Breeding success of Saimaa ringed seal depends on sufficient ice and snow cover to build the lairs where they give birth. …

  • 6 February

    Angelshark (Squatina squatina) – It is believed to be extinct across most of its former range

    Angelsharks are among the most threatened fish worldwide, facing regional and global extinction. In Europe, populations of the three Critically Endangered angel sharks (Squatina aculeata, Squatina oculata, and Squatina squatina) have been severely depleted. Angelsharks were once widespread throughout Europe’s seas, but are now extinct from much of their former …

  • 4 February

    Beluga Sturgeon (Huso huso) – Population decline of over 90% in the past three generations

    The Beluga sturgeon is native to the Black, Caspian, Azov and Adriatic Seas and can live in excess of 100 years. Based on catch data, and a number of recorded spawning individuals it is estimated that the species has seen a wild native population decline of over 90% in the …

  • 2 February

    Abbott’s booby (Papasula abbotti) – About 6,000 individuals

    This species breeds only in a few spots on the Australian territory of Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and it has a small population which has declined rapidly owing to the effects of past habitat clearance. The population is decreasing. Historically much of its former habitat was logged to make way …

  • 2 February

    Amsterdam Albatross (Diomedea amsterdamensis) – About 130 individuals, with 80 adults

    Diomedea amsterdamensis has an extremely small population confined to a tiny area on one island. Although numbers have recently been increasing, a continuing decline is projected owing to the impact of a disease which is probably already causing chick mortality. Amsterdam Albatross breeds only on Amsterdam Island in the southern …

  • 2 February

    Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) – Fewer than 2,000

    Galapagos penguin is endemic to the Galápagos archipelago, Ecuador. The species is undergoing severe fluctuations, primarily as a result of marine perturbations that may be becoming more extreme.  Contamination from oil spills poses another severe potential threat. Non-native predators like rats, cats, and dogs remain problems on many islands. Feral cats …

January, 2018

  • 30 January

    Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) – Between 50,000 – 90,000 remain

    Over 725,000 fin whales were reportedly taken from the Southern Hemisphere between 1905 and 1976, as of 1997 only 38,000 survived. Recovery of the overall population size of southern species is predicted to be at less than 50% of its pre-whaling state by 2100 due to heavier impacts of whaling …

  • 30 January

    Hector’s Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori) – Only 7,000 remain

    Hector’s dolphin is endemic to New Zealand and is found in shallow coastal waters. Hector’s dolphin has the most limited range of any marine cetacean other than the Vaquita (Phocoena sinus). The main cause of population decline is ongoing bycatch in fisheries and entanglement in gillnets.  Additional threats include pollution, …

  • 30 January

    African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) – Only 55,000 individuals remain

    Roughly 4 million penguins existed at the beginning of the 19th century. The African penguin is only found on the south-western coast of Africa, living in colonies on 24 islands between Namibia and Algoa Bay, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It is the only penguin species that breeds in Africa. …

  • 30 January

    Galápagos Sea Lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) – Only between 20,000 and 50,000 remain

    Recent genetic data support the classification as a separate species that separated from the California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) about 2.3 ± 0.5 million years ago. The Galápagos Sea Lion population declined by 60-65% from 1978 to 2001. Since then there is no evidence of further decline or increase. Introduced …

  • 30 January

    Indus River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica ssp. minor) – About 1,000-1,200 Indus river dolphins remain

    The Indus River dolphin is one of two subspecies of the Ganges river dolphin (Platanista gangetica). The dolphin is endemic to the rivers of the lower Indus basin in Pakistan and India. The most significant threat to dolphins in the Indus has been the construction of the Indus basin irrigation system …