A species of monarch flycatcher bird, called the Rarotonga monarch, is recovering, its status improving from endangered to vulnerable. Endemic to the Cook Islands, it’s rare enough that I’ve provided below a photo of a related species. But hopefully this year’s trend will continue and it will be common as can be before long.
A related flycatcher species. (Photo credit: Dunog.)
To finish us off, I’d like to close with a conservation story that is actually happening right now. The Kihansi Spray Toad, extinct in the wild, is now being reintroduced thanks to conservation efforts from members of the IUCN.
(Photo credit: Toledo Zoo.)
The name comes from the unique home of these adorable amphibians. The toads live only in the vegetation soaked by the spray of the Kihansi falls, in Tanzania. A dam upstream reduced the flow, causing the vegetation to dry up. The reintroduction of the toads is the final phase of a long-term plan, which also included installing a sprinkler system to replace the missing freshwater spray of the falls.
There, that’s a somewhat happier environmental note to close a year on. I hope to see more conservation success stories in the year to come.
Photo credit: Kevin Bell - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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