Friday, April 16, 2010

The Edge of Existence

I've been checking up on the Species of the Day recently. A few days ago they featured Darwin's frog, which is an incredible creature for its camouflage talents in either brown or green settings.
Species of the Day also contains a map that shows its habitat and like many of the featured species, Darwin's frog lives in just a single small corner of the world. These maps give you the feeling that Darwin's frog and other Species of the Day, like this primate, the Northern Muriqui,
live on the very edge of existence and the slightest push could extinguish them from the Earth forever.

The Zoological Society of London has taken this "edge of existence" metaphor to single out particularly vulnerable species for conservation.
They've made lists of the top 100 Edge, or "Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered" species in the categories of mammals, amphibians and birds (coming soon). Perusing the lists shows some fascinating species together with a barometer that indicates the extent of any conservation action, if any. On their home page, they have a nice video on coral reefs, an entire system on the edge. The video talks about this year, 2010, as a turning point for us to possibly do something to protect coral reefs worldwide.

So far, about 30 people have signed up for our Species Watch event. I'm looking forward to hearing about all kinds of species that I didn't know existed... Don't forget, you can still add new events, so why not consider adding Species Watch to your list. Peruse the Arkive or the Edge and tell us what you find on our Facebook page. Also thanks to Jennifer for posting a link to endangered species in Massachusetts -- that will make your "species watching" easier.

The Ecolympics start tomorrow! I'm excited! When I left the office we were at 168 participants... with your help, perhaps by the time Monday rolls around, we'll reach 200?!

Also, a special shout out to the ten Core faculty who have signed up -- thanks!

Remember, we are all competing for Team Earth.


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