The iconic ‘Tassie devil’, Australia’s largest extant marsupial carnivore, is in big trouble. Believed to have become extinct on the mainland some 400 years ago, the devil is now endemic only to Tasmania. In the early 1900s they had a bounty on their heads but later, ecological and ethical sense prevailed and they became a protected species. This protection saw their population rise to an estimated 250,000 devils in 1995. Yet now they face their biggest threat of all – Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).
Posts Tagged ‘breeding’
Here on Maud Island in the Marlborough Sounds we’re very excited and a little bemused at finding what could be the world’s first takapo eggs this morning.
The Richmond Birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera richmondia) is one of Australia’s biggest and most spectacular butterflies. Just 100 years ago, these butterflies were abundant throughout greater Brisbane. Today they are gone. Not entirely extinct, but no longer in Brisbane. The reason is more than just building a city. It’s a story of habitat loss, isolation and invasive species.
We can give them the chance to return and we’ll explain how here.
Sea kraits (Laticaudine) are sea snakes. They’re front-fanged (proteroglyphous) venomous elapid snakes and are common through much of the Indo–Pacific region. When they’re pregnant, the females stop eating! Seems like a strange thing to do when you need energy and nutrients to make eggs.
Why would they do that?
Francois Brisçhoux, Xavier Bonnet and Richard Shine set out to find out why by studying two of these kraits; Laticauda laticaudata and L. saintgironsi, on small islets in the Lagoon of New Caledonia. What a cool field site