Ordinary miracle: cases of discovery of animals thought to be extinct

The Arakan wood tortoise, which was considered extinct a hundred years ago, was found in one of the reserves in Myanmar. A special expedition found five turtles in the impenetrable bamboo thickets of the reserve. In the local dialect, these animals are called “Pyant Cheezar”.

Arakanese turtles were very popular with the people of Myanmar. Animals were used for food, medicines were made from them. As a result, the turtle population was almost completely destroyed. In the mid-90s, individual rare specimens of reptiles began to appear on Asian markets. Scientists hope that the discovered individuals may indicate the revival of the species.

On March 4, 2009, the Internet magazine WildlifeExtra reported that TV journalists filming a documentary about traditional methods of catching birds in the northern part of Luzon (an island in the Philippine archipelago) managed to capture on video and cameras a rare bird of the three-finger family, which was considered extinct.

The Worcester Threefinger, last seen over 100 years ago, was caught by native birders at Dalton Pass. After the hunting and shooting was over, the natives cooked the bird on a fire and ate the rarest specimen of the native fauna. The TV people did not interfere with them, none of them appreciated the importance of the discovery until the photographs caught the eye of ornithologists.

The first descriptions of the Worcester Trifinger were made in 1902. The bird was named after Dean Worcester, an American zoologist who was active in the Philippines at the time. Small-sized birds weighing about three kilograms belong to the three-fingered family. Three-fingers have some resemblance to bustards, and outwardly, both in size and in habits, they resemble quails.

On February 4, 2009, the online magazine WildlifeExtra reported that scientists at the Universities of Delhi and Brussels had discovered twelve new frog species in the forests of the Western Ghats in India, among which were species thought to be extinct. In particular, scientists discovered the Travankur copepod, which was considered extinct, since the last mention of this species of amphibians appeared more than a hundred years ago.

In January 2009, the media reported that in Haiti, animal researchers discovered a paradoxical soletooth. Most of all, it looks like a cross between a shrew and an anteater. This mammal has lived on our planet since the time of the dinosaurs. The last time several specimens were seen on the islands of the Caribbean Sea in the middle of the last century.

On October 23, 2008, Agence France-Presse reported that several cockatoos of the species Cacatua sulphurea abbotti, thought to be extinct, had been found on an outlying Indonesian island by the Environmental Group for the Conservation of Indonesian Cockatoos. The last time five birds of this species were seen was in 1999. Then scientists considered that such an amount was not enough to save the species, later there was evidence that this species had become extinct. According to the agency, scientists observed four pairs of cockatoos of this species, as well as two chicks, on the island of Masakambing in the Masalembu archipelago off the island of Java. As noted in the message, despite the number of discovered individuals of the Cacatua sulphurea abbotti cockatoo species, this species is the rarest bird species on the planet.

On October 20, 2008, the online magazine WildlifeExtra reported that environmentalists had discovered a toad in Colombia called Atelopus sonsonensis, which was last seen in the country ten years ago. The Alliance Zero Extinction (AZE) Amphibian Conservation Project also found two more endangered species, as well as 18 more endangered amphibians.

The aim of the project is to find and establish the population size of endangered amphibian species. In particular, during this expedition, scientists also found a population of salamander species Bolitoglossa hypacra, as well as a toad species Atelopus nahumae and a frog species Ranitomeya doriswansoni, which are considered to be endangered.

On October 14, 2008, the conservation organization Fauna & Flora International (FFI) reported that a deer of the muntjac species discovered in 1914 was found in western Sumatra (Indonesia), the representatives of which were last seen in Sumatra in the 20s of the last century. The deer of the “disappeared” species in Sumatra was discovered while patrolling the Kerinci-Seblat National Park (the largest reserve in Sumatra – an area of ​​​​about 13,7 thousand square kilometers) in connection with cases of poaching.

The head of the FFI program at the national park, Debbie Martyr, took several photos of the deer, the first photographs of the species ever taken. A stuffed animal of such a deer was previously in one of the museums in Singapore, but was lost in 1942 during the evacuation of the museum in connection with the planned offensive of the Japanese army. A few more deer of this species were photographed using automatic infrared cameras in another area of ​​the national park. The muntjac deer of Sumatra are now listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List.

On October 7, 2008, Australian radio ABC reported that a mouse of the species Pseudomys desertor, which was considered extinct in the Australian state of New South Wales 150 years ago, was found alive in one of the National Parks in the west of the state. As noted in the report, the last time a mouse of this species was seen in the area was in 1857.

This species of rodent is considered extinct under the Endangered Species Act of New South Wales. The mouse was discovered by Ulrike Kleker, a student at the University of New South Wales.

On September 15, 2008, the online magazine WildlifeExtra reported the discovery by scientists in northern Australia of a frog of the species Litoria lorica (Queensland litoria). Not a single individual of this species has been seen in the last 17 years. Professor Ross Alford of James Cook University, commenting on the discovery of the frog in Australia, said that scientists feared that the species had become extinct due to the spread of chytrid fungi about 20 years ago (lower microscopic fungi that live mainly in water; saprophytes or parasites on algae, microscopic animals, other fungi).

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the sudden spread of these fungi caused the death of seven species of frogs in the area, and populations of some of the extinct species were restored by relocating frogs from other habitats.

On September 11, 2008, the BBC reported that specialists from the University of Manchester had discovered and photographed a female small tree frog, Isthmohyla rivularis, which had been thought to be extinct 20 years ago. The frog was found in Costa Rica, in the Monteverde Rainforest Reserve.

In 2007, a University of Manchester researcher claimed to have seen a male frog of this species. Scientists explored the forests near this place. As the scientists noted, the discovery of a female, as well as a few more males, suggests that these amphibians reproduce and are able to survive.

On June 20, 2006, the media reported that Florida State University professor David Redfield and Thai biologist Utai Trisukon had taken the first photographs and videos of a small, furry animal thought to have died out over 11 million years ago. The photographs showed a “living fossil” – a Laotian rock rat. The Lao rock rat got its name, firstly, because its only habitat is limestone cliffs in Central Laos, and secondly, because the shape of its head, long mustache and beady eyes make it very similar to a rat .

The film, directed by Professor Redfield, showed a calm animal about the size of a squirrel, covered in dark, fluffy fur with a long, but still not as large, tail as a squirrel. Biologists were especially struck by the fact that this animal walks like a duck. The rock rat is completely unsuited to climbing trees – it slowly rolls over on its hind legs, turned inward. Known to locals in Lao villages as “ga-nu”, this animal was first described in April 2005 in the scientific journal Systematics and Biodiversity. Mistakenly identified at first as a member of an entirely new family of mammals, the rock rat attracted the attention of scientists around the world.

In March 2006, an article by Mary Dawson appeared in the journal Science, where this animal was called a “living fossil”, whose closest relatives, the diatoms, became extinct about 11 million years ago. The work was confirmed by the results of archaeological excavations in Pakistan, India and other countries, during which the fossilized remains of this animal were discovered.

On November 16, 2006, the Xinhua News Agency reported that 17 wild black gibbon monkeys had been found in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China. This animal species has been considered extinct since the fifties of the last century. The discovery was made as a result of a more than two-month expedition to the rainforests of the autonomous region located on the border with Vietnam.

The precipitous decline in the number of gibbons that took place in the twentieth century was caused by deforestation, which is the natural habitat for these monkeys, and the spread of poaching.

In 2002, 30 black gibbons were sighted in neighboring Vietnam. Thus, after the discovery of monkeys in Guangxi, the number of wild gibbons known to the scientific community reached fifty.

On September 24, 2003, the media reported that a unique animal had been found in Cuba that had long been considered extinct – almiqui, a small insectivore with a funny long trunk. The male almiqui was found in the east of Cuba, which is considered the birthplace of these animals. The tiny creature resembles a badger and anteater with brown fur and a long trunk ending in a pink nose. Its dimensions do not exceed 50 cm in length.

Almiqui is a nocturnal animal, during the day it usually hides in minks. Perhaps that is why people rarely see him. When the sun sets, it comes to the surface to prey on insects, worms and grubs. The male almiqui was named Alenjarito after the farmer who found him. The animal was examined by veterinarians and came to the conclusion that almiqui is absolutely healthy. Alenjarito had to spend two days in captivity, during which he was examined by experts. After that, he was given a small mark and released in the same area where he was found. The last time an animal of this species was seen in 1972 in the eastern province of Guantanamo, and then in 1999 in the province of Holgain.

On March 21, 2002, the Namibian news agency Nampa reported that an ancient insect thought to have died out millions of years ago had been discovered in Namibia. The discovery was made by German scientist Oliver Sampro from the Max Planck Institute back in 2001. Its scientific priority was confirmed by an authoritative group of specialists who made an expedition to Mount Brandberg (height 2573 m), where another “living fossil” lives.

The expedition was attended by scientists from Namibia, South Africa, Germany, Great Britain and the USA – a total of 13 people. Their conclusion is that the discovered creature does not fit into the already existing scientific classification and it will have to be allocated a special column in it. A new predatory insect, whose back is covered with protective spines, has already received the nickname “gladiator”.

The discovery of Sampros was equated with the discovery of a coelacanth, a prehistoric fish contemporary to dinosaurs, which for a long time was also considered to have disappeared long ago. However, at the beginning of the last century, she fell into fishing nets near the South African Cape of Good Hope.

On November 9, 2001, the Society for the Protection of Wildlife of Saudi Arabia on the pages of the Riyadh newspaper reported the discovery of an Arabian leopard for the first time in the last 70 years. As follows from the materials of the message, 15 members of the society made a trip to the southern province of Al-Baha, where local residents saw a leopard in the wadi (dried river bed) Al-Khaitan. The members of the expedition climbed the Atir mountain peak, where the leopard lives, and watched him for several days. The Arabian leopard was considered extinct in the early 1930s, but, as it turned out, several individuals survived: leopards were found in the late 1980s. in remote mountainous regions of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Scientists believe that only 10-11 leopards have survived on the Arabian Peninsula, of which two – a female and a male – are in the zoos of Muscat and Dubai. Several attempts were made to artificially breed leopards, but the offspring died.

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