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Eco-news archive: July-August 2008

frosty leaves
World heading towards cooler 2008
(Aug 25, 2008)

This year appears set to be the coolest globally this century. Data from the UK Met Office shows that temperatures in the first half of the year have been more than 0.1 Celsius cooler than any year since 2000. The principal reason is La Nina, part of the natural cycle that also includes El Nino, which cools the globe.

Read more. Source: BBC

'Lost world' of gorillas discovered in the Congo
(Aug 6, 2008)

The discovery of a critically endangered gorilla population in the vast forests of northern Congo is a mammoth 125,000 – double that of previous estimates – should make even the most pessimistic conservation biologist smile. The numbers of western lowland gorillas living across 47,000 square kilometres of dense forestland were thought to have plummeted from 100,000 to half that number since the 1980s.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

orang utans
Primates 'face extinction crisis'
(Aug 5, 2008)

A global review of the world's primates says 48% of species face extinction, an outlook described as "depressing" by conservationists. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species says the main threat is habitat loss, primarily through the burning and clearing of tropical forests. More than 70% of primates in Asia are now listed as Endangered, it adds.

Read more. Source: BBC

bleached coral
'Alarming' plight of coral reefs
(Jul 11, 2008)

A third of the world's reef-building coral species are facing extinction. That is the stark conclusion from the first global study to assess the extinction risks of corals. Writing in the journal Science, researchers say climate change, coastal development, overfishing, and pollution are the major threats.

Read more. Source: BBC

Hammerhead shark
Extinction risk 'underestimated'
(Jul 3, 2008)

The risk of extinction for many species may have been seriously underestimated, according to new research published in the journal Nature. Current methods used to assess species on the brink overlook some key factors, a team of scientists claims. These include the ratio of males to females in a population, which can have a profound influence on survival.

Read more. Source: BBC


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