Sunday, 23 April 2017

Hunt Kicks Off for 'Teddy Bear' Marsupial and Other 'Lost' Species

By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | April 21, 2017 12:05pm ET

A duck with a pink head, a tree-climbing crab, and a monkey with red thighs are among the targets of a new global hunt for "lost" species.

Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), an organization based in Austin, Texas, with a focus on biodiversity and wildland preservation, has launched a new initiative to search for 25 species that have not been seen for years or decades — or, in the case of the Fernandina Galapagos tortoise, more than a century. The goal is to see if any of the species still survive and, if so, save them.

"While we're not sure how many of our target species we'll be able to find, for many of these forgotten species, this is likely their last chance to be saved from extinction," GWC spokesperson Robin Moore said in a statement.

The group is focusing on species that have not been seen since at least 2007. Collaborating with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), GWC actually came up with a list of 1,200 "lost" species but chose the charismatic creatures with decent chances of being saved, if they can be found.

On the list is the Syr-darya shovelnose sturgeon (Pseudoscaphirhynchus fedtschenkoi), a fish once found only in the Syr Darya river of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan that has not been seen since the 1960s. Both the silvery Zug's monitor (Varanus zugorum) and the Wallace's giant bee (Megachile pluto), the latter of which is considered the world's largest bee, have been missing from Indonesia since the early 1980s. Another lost denizen of Indonesia is the Wondiwoi tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus mayri), a teddy-bear-faced marsupial missing since 1928.


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