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Croatobranchus mestrovi, a troglobitic (cave-dwelling) leech found in Croatia.
The Silent Forests of Guam: How Bird Losses are warming a forest
by Emma Bryce
The Mariana Fruit-dove—a vibrant creature decorated with what looks like multicolored puffs of spray paint across it chest and crest—is just one bird of many on the forested island of Guam that will never again be spied through a birder’s lens. The pigeon disappeared famously along with many other native birds in the wake of an invasion by brown tree snakes after World War II. Only now are scientists starting to piece together the effects—among them a thinning forest canopy increasingly riddled with holes, like Swiss cheese, the researchers say.
Over the next four years, ecologists from Rice University and the University of Guam will be investigating how this thinner canopy might be linked to the disappearance of the island’s birds. The US territory, which lies at the southernmost tip of the Mariana island Archipelago, once held 12 avian species, but ten were decimated by waves of voracious brown tree snakes, brought in unintentionally on ships during island reconstruction after the war…
(read more: AudubonMagazine.org)
Recently Discovered: Madagascar
Since 1999, scientists have discovered 615 new species of animals and plants on the island of Madagascar. This newly described species of Mantellid frog, Boophis lilianae (seen here mating), was formally identified in 2008.
Credit: Axel Strauss/WWF Madagascar
Female frog Boophis bottae (family Mantellidae), eggs are shining through; picture taken close to Ambatolahy, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar.
(photo: Axel Strauß)
A rhino lies down in the middle of a road, blocking traffic through Kruger national park, South Africa.
Photograph: Ursula Ceillers/Barcroft Media
A Family Portrait - A family of Southern Ground Hornbills take a morning walk. (by Taraji Blue)