Posts Tagged by Rachel Nuwer

The Freshwater Giants Are Dying – By Rachel Nuwer – The New York Times

Credit…Zeb Hogan, UNR Global Water Center

By 

“Some of the most astonishing creatures on Earth hide deep in rivers and lakes: giant catfish weighing over 600 pounds, stingrays the length of Volkswagen Beetles, six-foot-long trout that can swallow a mouse whole.

There are about 200 species of so-called freshwater megafauna, but compared to their terrestrial and marine counterparts, they are poorly studied by scientists and little known to the public. And they are quietly disappearing.

Following an exhaustive survey throughout the Yangtze River basin, researchers this month declared the Chinese paddlefish officially extinct. The paddlefish, last seen alive in 2003, could grow up to 23 feet long and once inhabited many of China’s rivers, but overfishing and dams decimated their populations.

The paddlefish may be a harbinger for many other giant fish. According to research published in August in Global Change Biology, freshwater megafauna have declined by 88 percent worldwide in recent years.”

Source: The Freshwater Giants Are Dying – The New York Times

Posted in: Southeast Asia, The Sixth Extinction of Species

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How to Stop Poaching and Protect Endangered Species? Forget the ‘Kingpins’ – by Rachel Nuwer – NYT

By Rachel Nuwer     Sept. 24, 2018

“In 2003, enterprising criminals in Southeast Asia realized that they could exploit a loophole in South Africa’s hunting laws to move rhino horns legally across international borders. Normally, North Americans and Europeans account for the bulk of South Africa’s rhino hunting permits. But that year, 10 Vietnamese “hunters” quietly applied as well.

Hunters are allowed to transport legally obtained trophies across borders under various international and domestic laws. The Vietnamese hunters each returned home with the mounted horn, head or even whole body of a rhino.

Word spread. Though Vietnam and other Asian countries have no history of big-game sport hunting, South Africa was soon inundated with applicants from Asia, who sometimes paid $85,000 or more to shoot a single white rhino.

That represented the beginning of an illicit industry referred to as pseudo-hunting — a first step toward the rhino poaching crisis that rages today. And the story of one of its chief practitioners shows the lengths to which criminals will go to move wildlife contraband.”

Source: How to Stop Poaching and Protect Endangered Species? Forget the ‘Kingpins’ – The New York Times

Posted in: The Sixth Extinction of Species

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