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Ok. So Allen's calls to arm have raised some hackles, as it were. I still feel the information he shares is best shared. For what its worth, I'm not all that sure me posting this is within our fine forums by laws. That said, here is the latest ;


1)Turtles Have Fingerprints? New Genetic Technique Reveals Paternity and More
2)Book Review-The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. 2011. & The Eponym Dictionary of Amphibians. 2013
3) Diverse Movement Patterns of North America’s Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina L.). Part 1: Extremes of High and Low Site Fidelity
Susan Seibert1 and William R. Belzer2
(Editor-Anyone interested in the problem of relocation of box turtles should download this article and probably their published work on this project in future issues in ICRF)
4) How to Save a Snapping Turtle- by Mary Thill, Adirondack Life Blog, 6/25/13
5) Aquarium chief takes own path to saving sea turtles (Kobe, Japan)
6) Lizard Family Tree Solves 30-Year-Old Mystery
7) Surprise Species at Risk from Climate Change ( Up to 83% of birds, 66% of amphibians and 70% of corals that were identified as highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are not currently considered threatened with extinction on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They are therefore unlikely to be receiving focused conservation attention, according to the study.)
8) Argentinian Population of the Broad-Snouted Caiman on ESA Goes from Endangered to Threatened -Successful Conservation Effort in Argentina-Leads to Endangered Species Reclassification, Carefully Regulated Trade

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1)Turtles Have Fingerprints? New Genetic Technique Reveals Paternity and More

June 24, 2013 — For 220 million years they have roamed the seas, denizens of the bustling coral reef and the vast open ocean. Each year, some emerge from the pounding surf onto moonlit beaches to lay their eggs. Throughout human history, we have revered them, used them, and worked to protect them, but we have only begun to understand these ancient, iconic creatures. Now, with all five of the sea turtle species in the U.S. threatened or endangered, knowledge is more crucial than ever.

NOAA scientist Dr. Peter Dutton leads a team that's trying to answer some important questions about marine turtles. What will happen as sea levels rise, covering the nesting beaches turtles have used for hundreds of years? Which turtle laid this mysterious clutch of eggs on a remote beach? Where in the ocean do they mate, and how big is this population?

Thanks to a recent breakthrough in the genetics lab, Dutton and his colleagues have a clever way to find answers. Like detectives, they have learned that fingerprints help solve the puzzle…genetic fingerprints. For decades, most sea turtle studies and conservation efforts have focused on nesting females and hatchlings, because they're easiest for humans to access. Male sea turtles, which don't come ashore, are elusive characters.

Dutton's team has pioneered a technique that allows them to fill in the blanks using tiny DNA samples from nesting females and hatchlings. As Dutton and his colleague Dr. Kelly Stewart wrote in a recent article, "Hidden in a hatchling's DNA is its entire family history, including who its mother is, who its father is, and to what nesting population it belongs." (See: http://seaturtlestatus.org/sites/swot/files/report/030612_SWOT7_p12_Sea Turtle CSI.pdf)

This innovative tool is opening up new avenues in marine turtle conservation. Population recovery goals are based on how long turtles take to reach maturity, and genetic fingerprinting can help reveal this key piece of information, which may be different for each population. Dutton's team developed the technique while studying endangered leatherbacks on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. In the last four years, they have sampled 20,353 hatchlings there, and discovered the genetic identity of the fathers, even when multiple males have sired a single clutch of eggs; how often individual turtles mate and their reproductive success; and the ratio of males to females among the breeding turtles.

On Padre Island National Seashore in Texas, critically endangered Kemp's ridley turtles have been leaving scattered nests along remote beaches, but females are often long gone by the time monitors find the nests. There, NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the National Park Service are using the technique to match mystery nests to mother turtles. Identifying who's nesting where and when, survival rate, and breeding success over many years will help us monitor this small population and gauge the impact of major events like disasters.

In the most surprising news yet, green turtles have begun nesting in the main Hawai'ian islands for the first time in generations. Green turtles, or honu, have nested in the remote Northwest Hawai'ian Islands, primarily on the quiet, low-lying beaches of French Frigate Shoals, a coral atoll about 500 miles from Honolulu.

Genetic fingerprinting shows that about 15 untagged females have become "founders" on the main Hawai'ian islands, boldly nesting where no one has nested before…at least not for hundreds of years. It's possible that this pioneer population could provide a kind of buffer as sea level rise threatens to shrink their traditional nesting beaches. Many questions remain, but for now science is giving turtles, and those who care about them, reason to hope.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2013, June 24). Turtles have fingerprints?
2) Book Review-The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. 2011. & The Eponym Dictionary of Amphibians. 2013

The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. 2011 Bo Beolens, Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. xiii + 296 pp. Hardback — ISBN-13: 978-1-4214-0135-5. ISBN-10: 1-4214-0135-5. $100.00.
The Eponym Dictionary of Amphibians. 2013. Bo Beolens, Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson. Pelagic Publishing, Exeter, UK. xiii + 244 pp. Hardback — ISBN-13: 978-1-907807-41-1 (also available as an ePub, pdf, and for the Mobi reader). $49.99.

Review Originally Published in IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians, June 2013

Speaking of the Eponym Dictionary of Mammals, George A. Feldhamer, writing for the Quarterly Review of Biology, said: “I suspect that there are few people interested in picking up a dictionary for ‘fun’ reading.” I suspect he was right. However, the eponym dictionaries are enjoyable — and sometimes downright fun. Although professionals will use them to solicit information about the people (and sometimes places and miscellaneous groups) for whom animals are named, these dictionaries are not so highly technical or full of jargon that a curious naturalist or anyone interested in animals won’t enjoy them, if only for trivial pursuits.

Eponyms are the proper names incorporated into many vernacular and scientific names, typically honoring a person for their contributions to science, often for a body of work of great importance (e.g., Charles Darwin) but sometimes for financial support of a particular expedition, the provision of a permit, for collecting the specimen that became the type for the species (or genus or subspecies), or simply for being a friend of the describer.

Although printed by different publishers, both books are organized in the same fashion. After short introductions in which the authors discuss the format of each book, names of the persons honored are listed alphabetically (it is a “dictionary,” after all), followed by lists of taxa named for that person, with common (or vernacular) English name(s), scientific name(s), name(s) of the person(s) who first described the taxon, and the date of the original description. Alternative common names and scientific synonyms (different names assigned to the same taxon) are included when necessary. A short biographical sketch of the honoree is then followed in the amphibian book, when applicable, by a list of other non-amphibian taxa named for the person in question. Confusion is minimized by frequent cross-listings. Very short bibliographies complete each volume.

The authors reasonably avoid fossil species by not including any forms that became extinct before Columbus “discovered” America. Nevertheless, they list 2,668 names of amphibians and 4,130 names of reptiles honoring 1,609 and 2,330 individual people, respectively — but the process proved to be “fraught with difficulties.” Despite avoiding dubious names (impossible to identify or simply incorrect), problems abounded. A few species are named for more than one person, other names sound like those of people but are not, referring instead to places (often named for people, therefore the confusion), indigenous peoples, fictional characters, conservation groups, guerrilla armies, chartered accountants, and biblical or mythological references, not to mention a few that the authors were unable to identify.

Famous names abound. Charles Darwin is honored with the names of three amphibians (plus one that also honors Alfred Wallace) and seven reptiles — plus two additional reptiles named for the port of Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia and four mammals and 23 birds. Edward Drinker Cope, for whom the journal Copeia is named and who might be better known for his role in the 19th-century “dinosaur wars” with rival Othneil C. Marsh, is honored with the names of 19 amphibians and 59 reptiles. Most are vernacular names acknowledging him as the describer of those taxa. Doris Cochran, long-time curator of amphibians and reptiles at the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution) is honored with the names of 11 amphibians (including one genus) and nine reptiles. German naturalist Wilhelm K. H. Peters is honored with 18 amphibians (and one honoring both him and James Peters, an American zoologist specializing in the Ecuadorian herpetofauna) and 39 reptiles (plus 23 mammals and two birds). German-born British zoologist Albert Günther is honored with 26 amphibians and 67 reptiles (plus three mammals and two birds), possibly the most for any one person, although I did not count the entries for every person listed. E.H. Taylor, of the University of Kansas and known mostly for his work in the Philippines and later in Mexico (using “marginally reliable vehicles”), is honored with 20 amphibians and 29 reptiles (plus a mammal).

Examples of oddities include Hyla andersonii (Anderson’s Treefrog), which is not named after a person at all, but instead for the type locality of Anderson, South Carolina; Dendropsophus amicorum is the name of a treefrog collectively thanking all of the describer’s friends (amicorum means “of the friends”); and Pristimantis uisae is a “robber frog” named for the Universidad Industrial de Santander in Bucaramanga, Colombia. The Bushmaster genus (Lachesis) is named for one of the three Fates in Greek mythology, and Stewart’s Sticky-toed Gecko (Hoplodactylus rakiurae) honors Rakiura National Park on Stewart Island, New Zealand.

Although an impossible task to include every possible namesake (and more are being added all the time), two omissions are notable. In 1988, Richard Thomas and S. Blair Hedges named the Martin Garcia Least Gecko (Sphaerodactylus ladae) after their rental car (a Russian-built Lada), and in 1972, James (“Skip”) Lazell described the Anguilla Bank Bush Anole (Anolis pogus). Assuming that the specific epithet was derived from the Greek pogus (= beard), many authorities (obviously including the authors) have used “Bearded Anole” as the vernacular name, although no evident character is suggestive of a beard. In fact, Lazell named the lizard for Pogo, Walt Kelly’s cartoon character of the long-running American comic strip and probably best known for saying: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Production quality is high for both books, but the list prices are substantial (especially for the reptile book). Fortunately, steep discounts available from volume sellers render them affordable — and worth the price. Do not fall prey to the inclination to set these volumes aside as dry and of use only to hardened academics. In unique fashion, they provide an overview of distinguished herpetologists and a multitude of other people who have impacted our field. So, while scholars will exploit these books, readers can simply enjoy them.
Robert Powell
Avila University
Kansas City , Missouri

3) Diverse Movement Patterns of North America’s Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina L.). Part 1: Extremes of High and Low Site Fidelity
Susan Seibert1 and William R. Belzer2
(Editor-Anyone interested in the problem of relocation of box turtles should download this article and probably their published work on this project in future issues in ICRF)
To Download this article (22 pages with photos and maps) go to

1AA Forestry and Wildlife Service, Inc., 2270 Raymilton Road, Utica, Pennsylvania 16362, USA ([email protected])
2Eastern Box Turtle Conservation Trust, 304 East Bissell Avenue, Oil City, Pennsylvania 16301, USA ([email protected]; corresponding author)
Photographs by the authors unless otherwise noted.

Twenty years ago (1993), we started tracking the movements of displaced adult (and, later, headstarted juvenile) Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) released into two different nature sanctuaries in northwestern Pennsylvania, USA (Belzer 1996, Belzer and Steisslinger 1999, Belzer and Seibert 2009a). Our project strives to discover whether releasing adult and headstarted juvenile turtles might be a practice that could rebuild decimated and extirpated box turtle populations (Belzer 2002, 2008; Belzer and Seibert 2009a). Extant knowledge of the long-term habitat use by box turtles had been developed largely by annual and decennial censuses of several different populations (Stickel 1950, 1978, 1989; Schwartz and Schwartz 1974; Kiester et al. 1982; Schwartz et al. 1984; Williams and Parker 1987; Hall et al. 1999; Schwartz 2000). Whereas some box turtles in these long-term studies were observed to shift the position of their home ranges, and other (“transient”) individuals arrived in and then passed through an established population’s habitat, high site fidelity within relatively small parcels of habitat was seen to be normative for this species. Stickel (1989) stated that locations of home ranges of adult turtles were generally stable across 29 years, while Schwartz et al. (1984) noted that once a turtle establishes a home range, it becomes so well acquainted with the features of it that gradual successional changes in the vegetation are tolerated and have little influence on home range. Repeat encounters with ultra-centenarian box turtles at their earlier sites after many intervening decades (Graham and Hutchison 1969, Lovewell 1989, National Park Service 2005) also supported the impression that high site fidelity is the norm.
Consequently, we anticipated that once we observed highly consistent habitat use by a released individual over several consecutive years, we would essentially have demarcated the adoptive home range for that turtle, and we could remove its radiotransmitter, secure in the assumption that it would continue to use that parcel of habitat indefinitely. Our weekly monitoring of movements across decades, however, has revealed highly distinctive and sudden changes in patterns of habitat use. We now recognize that frequent observations over protracted periods are necessary to disclose the real spectrum of how individuals of this species use habitat. Conclusions about habitat preferences derived from less intensive monitoring can be misleading.

Pooling our movement data for the more than 100 turtles that we have intensively monitored for lengthy periods tends to conceal remarkable differences in habitat use. Each turtle is its own case study. In order to better divulge distinctive details about how different individuals use their habitat, we plan to publish a series of articles in this journal, each of which will examine relatively few turtles. This first installment in the series focuses on the turtles that displayed extremes of very high or very low site fidelity. As the series progresses, types of behavioral variation that are exhibited by other turtles within those extremes will increasingly emerge.

To Download the full 22 page article with photos and maps go to
4) How to Save a Snapping Turtle
by Mary Thill, Adirondack Life Blog, 6/25/13

There are three kinds of drivers: those who swerve to hit turtles, those who stop to move turtles, and those who pass on by.

In June, female snapping turtles haul their slaty hulks out of Adirondack ponds and rivers in search of a sandy spot to dig a hole and lay a clutch of soft-shelled eggs. So, this is when you most often see them on the road, trying to cross or dead by car tire.

If you’re an intentional turtle-hitter, you’re a jerk. If you’re a turtle-mover, the question is: what is the best way to help a snapper across? There are many approaches, some of them dangerous to the turtle, to the mover, or to motorists. So I sought an opinion from an expert, Glenn Johnson, chairman of the biology department at SUNY Potsdam and co-author of The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State:

“First, if it is on a road, try and pull over on the side of the road the turtle is on, which would make cars behind you swerve out away from the turtle rather than closer to it as they avoid your vehicle. Make sure you do not put yourself in danger of being struck by a vehicle as well; there have been instances of well-meaning folks, and even herpetologists, that have been struck by cars trying to move a turtle out of the road.

“Second, move the turtle in the direction it is heading, otherwise they may simply turn around and cross the road after you are gone. Small turtles can be simply picked up by the sides of the shell. With larger turtles, one might be tempted to pick it up by the tail. The problem here is that the weight of a large turtle can cause some of the tail vertebrae to separate, causing damage. But often time is of the essence, so dragging it along the ground by the tail is OK to get it out of harm’s way quickly.

“The best way to pick up and move a snapper is to grasp the carapace (top shell) with both hands just above the two hind legs near the tail. It cannot reach you with its jaws, however it may scratch you with the claws on its hind feet, which is a small price to pay I think, at least for me; not everyone is willing to let that happen.”

There you have it. I was an advocate of waving a stick in front of the turtle’s mouth to give it something to bite, but I like the simplicity of Johnson’s method, especially if you’re on your own.

There’s a more important and less risky thing you can do to help snapping turtles: contact your state legislators. The New York State Senate this session passed a bill that would allow the capture and killing of snapping turtles by hand or by trap. The legislation moved largely under the radar, and the New York State Assembly adjourned last week without voting on it. Currently it is legal to hunt snapping turtles in New York only with gun or bow July 15 through September 30. The trapping bill could resurface later this year or, more likely, in 2014.

Johnson, who conducts research on the threatened Blanding’s turtle, says that species could be inadvertently killed in traps intended for snapping turtles. He also questioned whether enough is known about the status of snapping turtle populations in New York, pointing out that the species is protected in Ontario.

Eggs and young turtles fall prey to all kinds of birds and animals, but once a snapper grows to a good size, not much can kill it other than a car, and roads do take a heavy toll on females because of their egg-laying forays. Individual turtles live 20 to 40 years.

Despite their fierce appearance and strong jaws, snapping turtles are usually docile in water and are not much competition for anglers. Allen Salzberg, publisher of the online reptile and amphibian newsletter HerpDigest.org, says most people don’t realize that they are primarily scavengers. They keep ponds clean but accumulate toxins in their fat, which can make them unappealing for the table. Yet Salzberg worries that trapping would allow snappers to be exploited for export to China, where there’s an avid market for American turtle meat.

“The whole thing was just pushed through the Senate,” Salzberg says. “There was no scientific basis. There was no reasoning beforehand. It opened up the chipping away of the protection of reptiles and amphibians, especially the ones that people don’t like. . . . It might make New York free of snapping turtles, which might make some people happy, but it would really destroy the environment of ponds.”

The Assembly designated the snapping turtle as New York State reptile in 2006, after a poll of elementary school children.

The bill is not expected to come up for a vote this fall, but to follow it contact your Assembly representative or check HerpDigest.org.


5) Aquarium chief takes own path to saving sea turtles (Kobe, Japan)

Japan Times-by Hisashi Sasaki-Jun 25, 2013-Kobe – Naoki Kamezaki, head of Suma Aqualife Park, Kobe’s municipal aquarium, is known as an expert on sea turtles, a status he acquired by being an academic maverick.

Raised in the coastal cities of Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, and Oita, Kamezaki, 57, was attracted to sea turtles when he was a university freshman.

“I saw sea turtle eggs sold at a market for ¥20 each and bought five,” Kamezaki said. “I ate two of them and tried to hatch the rest, planting them in flower pots. Of course, they did not hatch.”

He then became interested in marine life and studied fisheries at Kagoshima University.

Kamezaki joined Nagoya Railroad Co. upon graduation as it was about to open an aquarium in the town of Mihama, Aichi Prefecture. After working as a train conductor and station attendant for six months, he was transferred to the Minamichita Beach Land aquarium.

In 1981, the third year of his employment at the company, Kamezaki was informed that a sea turtle was laying eggs on a beach. He brought 20 of them to the aquarium and 16 hatched.

Kamezaki found that while the mother was a loggerhead turtle, the babies that hatched from the eggs were “hybrid” hawksbills. He reported the finding to a meeting of the Herpetological Society of Japan but was roundly criticized because such a phenomenon was unthinkable at that time.

In 1983, Kamezaki was assigned to a laboratory on Kuroshima, one of Okinawa’s Yaeyama Islands, to study the crown-of-thorns starfish, which were eating up the coral.

As there were some 600 egg-laying sites for sea turtles on the Yaeyama group, Kamezaki studied them as well. There he also found that hybrid turtles were born at about 1 percent of the sites.

He was criticized again for reporting these findings to the herpetological society. But as he kept releasing data, his reports gradually gained acceptance, prompting Kyoto University, for example, to send researchers to Kuroshima.

When his four-year assignment on the island ended, Kamezaki became a researcher at Kyoto University.

He later felt distressed, however, after realizing that his interests did not conform directly to prevailing academic methods.

“I wanted to know, for example, where sea turtles lay eggs and how many,” Kamezaki recalled. “I also wanted to know whether the population of sea turtles was declining.”

He said, however, that his goals were not readily accepted.

In 1990, Kamezaki founded the Sea Turtle Association of Japan to promote the research and preservation of sea turtles, not only among scholars but ordinary citizens as well.

The number of eggs laid by sea turtles in Japan has been on the rise lately due in part to the activities of the association.

As director of Suma Aqualife Park, Kamezaki is trying to reinforce its educational role, meaning the institution must go beyond the conventional role of an aquarium, he said.

As part of this, Suma Aqualife Park runs an annual free-admission campaign that lets people who bring in Mississippi red-eared sliders visit for free. The campaign is held as an incentive for people to learn more about the alien species, which is thought to be crowding out domestic species in Japan. The program will eventually help prevent the population of the common U.S. turtle from growing, Kamezaki said.

He also has many other pursuits, including getting children to feed animals to instill them with a sense of generosity and compassion

“Even toddlers give their snacks to pigeons. I believe they feel pleasure watching the birds peck at them,” he said.


6) Lizard Family Tree Solves 30-Year-Old Mystery

by Elizabeth Pennisi on 24 June 2013, Science Now,

SNOWBIRD, UTAH—Although they're known for laying eggs, some snakes and lizards give birth to live young just like mammals do. They supposedly do this to protect their offspring from cold climates. But that hypothesis couldn't explain why some tropical lizards and snakes bear live young. Now, a study of one family of lizards, presented here on Saturday at Evolution 2013, the annual meeting of the American Society of Naturalists, the Society for the Study of Evolution, and the Society of Systematic Biologists, shows that tropical live-bearers hail from high elevations—where it can get cold—and suggests that this reproductive strategy in reptiles may often originate on tropical mountainsides.

The study "is the first [progress] in 30 years on this question," says David Reznick, an evolutionary biologist from the University of California, Riverside, who was not involved in the work.

Shea Lambert became interested in the evolution of live births last year because he was looking for a problem that he could study using a combination of environmental and family tree data. A graduate student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, he scanned the scientific literature for the reproductive styles of 117 Phrynosomatidae lizards. He decided to analyze this group, which includes horned lizards and fence lizards, in part because the species range from cool Canada to warm Central America. Live birth, or viviparity, evolved six times in this group, and Lambert wanted to figure out where and when this change occurred. He arranged all the Phrynosomatidae species on a family tree so that he could determine how they were related to one another and which species were ancestral to the others. Taking information from a global weather database that included GIS information, he marked where each of these species lived—high elevation, lowlands, temperate, or tropical environments—and the local temperature during the breeding season. He also marked where on the family tree viviparity had evolved—more than 40 species are now live-bearing in this group.

Live-bearing makes sense where temperatures dip so low that embryos inside eggs laid in the ground develop slowly or not at all. A female that carries young inside her can move to warmer spots, enabling them to mature faster and with less risk.

The analysis revealed that viviparity originated at high elevations in the lower latitudes, not in temperate regions. For this group, "viviparity is favored in the tropics," Lambert reported at the meeting. Even viviparous lizards now living in temperate climates came from the south, he said to the audience. He also proposed that a lack of gene flow between warm-weather and cold-adapted lizards in the tropics is why live-bearing took hold in the tropics and not in temperate regions.

Tropical lizards that require warm weather year-round and live at low elevations can't cope with cold and rarely survive to breed with their high-mountain relatives. Isolated, those relatives are not held back from shifting to a form of reproduction that protects the young from the cold. Continued mixing with lizards adapted for warmer weather would slow the evolution of live-bearing, if not prevent it altogether, and that could be what's happening in temperate areas, Lambert explained. There, low-altitude lizards are better suited for cold temperatures and thus can survive forays up mountains to breed with lizards that would benefit from having live births.

In the Phrynosomatidae, two live-bearing lizards live in tropical lowlands. But the family tree revealed that these species belong to lines that were once high-altitude dwellers, where they became live-bearing, and then moved to the lowlands more recently, Lambert said.

"I hope that the broad impact of [Lambert's] results is to encourage examination of other warm climate viviparous species" belonging to other lizard and snake families, says Matthew Brandley, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Sydney in Australia, who was not involved with the work.

By solving this mystery, Lambert "has opened the door to other questions," Reznick says. He thinks that Lambert and others should look at what other advantages viviparity might offer besides cold protection. For example, viviparity might enable a female to invest more energy into helping her young grow while they are still inside her or to protect them from predators.


7) Surprise Species at Risk from Climate Change ( Up to 83% of birds, 66% of amphibians and 70% of corals that were identified as highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are not currently considered threatened with extinction on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They are therefore unlikely to be receiving focused conservation attention, according to the study.)

June 24, 2013 — Most species at greatest risk from climate change are not currently conservation priorities, according to an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) study that has introduced a pioneering method to assess the vulnerability of species to climate change.

The paper, published in the journal PLOS ONE, is one of the biggest studies of its kind, assessing all of the world's birds, amphibians and corals. It draws on the work of more than 100 scientists over a period of five years, including Wits PhD student and leader of the study, Wendy Foden.

Up to 83% of birds, 66% of amphibians and 70% of corals that were identified as highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are not currently considered threatened with extinction on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They are therefore unlikely to be receiving focused conservation attention, according to the study.

"The findings revealed some alarming surprises," says Foden, who conducted the study while formerly working for the IUCN Global Species' Programme's Climate Change Unit, which she founded six years ago. "We hadn't expected that so many species and areas that were not previously considered to be of concern would emerge as highly vulnerable to climate change. Clearly, if we simply carry on with conservation as usual, without taking climate change into account, we'll fail to help many of the species and areas that need it most."

The study's novel approach looks at the unique biological and ecological characteristics that make species more or less sensitive or adaptable to climate change. Conventional methods have focussed largely on measuring the amount of change to which species are likely to be exposed.

The new approach has already been applied to the species-rich Albertine Rift region of Central and East Africa, identifying those plants and animals that are important for human use and are most likely to decline due to climate change. These include 33 plants that are used as fuel, construction materials, food and medicine, 19 species of freshwater fish that are an important source of food and income and 24 mammals used primarily as a source of food.

"The study has shown that people in the region rely heavily on wild species for their livelihoods, and that this will undoubtedly be disrupted by climate change," says Jamie Carr of IUCN Global Species Programme and lead author of the Albertine Rift study. "This is particularly important for the poorest and most marginalised communities who rely most directly on wild species to meet their basic needs."

Story Source:

Journal Reference:

Wendy B. Foden, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Simon N. Stuart, Jean-Christophe Vié, H. Resit Akçakaya, Ariadne Angulo, Lyndon M. DeVantier, Alexander Gutsche, Emre Turak, Long Cao, Simon D. Donner, Vineet Katariya, Rodolphe Bernard, Robert A. Holland, Adrian F. Hughes, Susannah E. O’Hanlon, Stephen T. Garnett, Çagan H. Şekercioğlu, Georgina M. Mace. Identifying the World's Most Climate Change Vulnerable Species: A Systematic Trait-Based Assessment of all Birds, Amphibians and Corals. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (6): e65427 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065427

Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
Wits University (2013, June 24). Surprise species at risk from climate change. ScienceDaily.

8) Argentinian Population of the Broad-Snouted Caiman on ESA Goes from Endangered to Threatened -Successful Conservation Effort in Argentina-Leads to Endangered Species Reclassification, Carefully Regulated Trade

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a final rulemaking that
reclassifies the Argentinian population of the broad-snouted caiman from
endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). A
longstanding and successful management effort to increase the numbers of
this crocodilian species has made it possible to reduce the restrictions on
the Argentinian population (called a “distinct population segment” (DPS)
under the ESA), and include it in a special rule which allows carefully
monitored and regulated trade. Inclusion in this special rule will enable
trade in broad-snouted caiman parts and products originating from Argentina

The species has been listed as endangered throughout its range since 1976,
mainly as a result of illegal harvest for its valuable hide and an overall
loss of wetland habitat. The species is found in northeast Argentina,
southeast Bolivia, Paraguay, and northern Uruguay. Intensive and largely
successful management efforts conducted by Argentina to bolster the
population of this species led to that country submitting a petition to the
Service in 2007 requesting a reclassification under the ESA.

The Service has found that Argentina’s caiman population is widespread
throughout its historic range and its nesting areas are expanding.
Broad-snouted caiman are even being seen in areas from which they had
previously disappeared. Argentina’s intensive management efforts and
enforcement of all applicable international laws and treaties have been
successful in increasing its caiman population. The key to this enhancement
program involved the cooperation of farmers and ranchers to gather the eggs
from the nests, rear the young, and then release them back to the wild.

In 1975, broad-snouted caiman was placed in Appendix I of the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),
effectively prohibiting international commercial trade in the species and
its parts and products. By 1997, Argentina’s caiman population had begun to
increase due to the success of their ranching program and was subsequently
down-listed to Appendix II, allowing limited trade in hides subject to a
strict tagging and permitting program.

However, the broad-snouted caiman was prohibited from commercial import
into the United States due to its endangered status under the ESA. The
reclassification of broad-snouted caiman to threatened will allow for
limited commercial import of caiman hides and products, aligning U.S.
domestic law with the view of the international community on trade in this

The status of the species in Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, or
elsewhere, remains unchanged and these populations will continue to be
fully protected by the ESA. The population of this species within these
other countries is described as a separate DPS which remains listed as
endangered, and subsequently, there are no provisions for trade. A
species-wide down-listing cannot be considered at this time owing to a lack
of population and monitoring information from the other range countries.

The final rulemaking describing these actions was published in the June 25,
2013, edition of the* Federal Register. *For additional information, go to
For photos of the species, see http://flic.kr/s/aHsjGmYecE
To learn more about the Endangered Species program’s Branch of Foreign
Species, visit:

For more info
Claire Cassel
[email protected]


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Books for Sale:

The Last Tortoise: A Tale of Extinction in Our Lifetime [Hardcover] (Only two copies Left)

Craig B. Stanford , 240 pages. $25.00 plus $6.00 for S&H

Tortoises may be the first family of higher animals to become extinct in the coming decades. They are losing the survival race because of what distinguishes them, in particular their slow, steady pace of life and reproduction.

The Last Tortoise offers an introduction to these remarkable animals and the extraordinary adaptations that have allowed them to successfully populate a diverse range of habitats—from deserts to islands to tropical forests. The shields that protect their shoulders and ribs have helped them evade predators. They are also safeguarded by their extreme longevity and long period of fertility. Craig Stanford details how human predation has overcome these evolutionary advantages, extinguishing several species and threatening the remaining forty-five.

At the center of this beautifully written work is Stanford’s own research in the Mascarene and Galapagos Islands, where the plight of giant tortoise populations illustrates the threat faced by all tortoises. He addresses unique survival problems, from genetic issues to the costs and benefits of different reproductive strategies. Though the picture Stanford draws is bleak, he offers reason for hope in the face of seemingly inevitable tragedy. Like many intractable environmental problems, extinction is not manifest destiny. Focusing on tortoise nurseries and breeding facilities, the substitution of proxy species for extinct tortoises, and the introduction of species to new environments, Stanford’s work makes a persuasive case for the future of the tortoise in all its rich diversity.


Stanford writes in an engaging, storytelling style that speaks of his passion for the topic and his personal experiences both as a young naturalist and a seasoned biologist. He details the importance of tortoises to the various ecosystems they inhabit and builds a case for our need to be concerned about their declining population sizes, both from the standpoint of tortoise species and whole ecosystems.
--Eleanor Sterling (Times Higher Education 20100513)

Longevity, toughness and wisdom are the qualities we associate with this iconic animal. Craig B. Stanford shows how their habitat is threatened and takes us to the markets where they are sold for food, as pets and even as soup bowls...He writes about conservationists and their efforts to combat extinction risk, but he is not hopeful: "Once the wild populations are virtually exterminated," a few will "hang on only in zoos and in the hands of wealthy private collectors. They will no longer be a species in the evolutionary sense. They will just be a scattered gene pool, a few protected, priceless animals locked up in cages." Here's a chance to know a little about them before they are gone.
--Susan Salter Reynolds (Los Angeles Times 20100516)

[Stanford's] reporting here is professional and remarkably thorough, but tinged with anger and sadness at the senselessness of the crisis.
--Greg Ross (American Scientist 20100701)

Stanford utilized his expertise in primate anthropology and his field experiences with turtles in the Galipagos and Mascarene islands to produce an easily readable and exceptionally informative, if somewhat depressing, narrative on globally threatened turtles, collectively called tortoises.
--E. D. Keiser (Choice 20101101)

About the Author

Craig B. Stanford is Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology and Co-Director of the Jane Goodall Research Center at the University of Southern California.
Frogs of the United States and Canada
2-vol. set C. Kenneth Dodd Jr.

HARDBACK -9781421406336
1032 pp., 387 color photos, 32 b&w illus., 109 maps, over 300 page bibliography
$180.00 Plus $12.00 S&H
Shipping Weight 7 lbs. That’s a everything known about the frogs and toad in the U.S. & Canada.
(See below on this issue on how to order.)

With many frog populations declining or disappearing and developmental malformations and disease afflicting others, scientists, conservationists, and concerned citizens need up-to-date, accurate information. Frogs of the United States and Canada is a comprehensive resource for those trying to protect amphibians as well as for researchers and wildlife managers who study biodiversity. From acrobatic tree frogs to terrestrial toads, C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. offers an unparalleled synthesis of the biology, behavior, and conservation of frogs in North America.

This two-volume, fully referenced resource provides color photographs and range maps for 106 native and non-indigenous species and includes detailed information on

- past and present distribution

- life history and demography

- reproduction and diet

- landscape ecology and evolution

- - diseases, parasites, and threats from toxic substances

- conservation and management

C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. is an associate professor (courtesy) in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, and is a former president of the Herpetologists' League. He is the author of The Amphibians of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Remember This will be The Definitive Book on Frogs in US & Canada for Decades to Come

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