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Sudan, the last male northern white rhino in 2010. Lengai 101 / Michael Dalton-Smith / CC BY 3.0

Scientists Grow First Test-Tube Rhino Embryo in Bid to Save Northern White Rhinos from Extinction

When the world's last remaining male northern white rhino (NWR) died in March, it seemed like the end of the line for the most endangered mammal on the planet.

But, in a bid to save the subspecies from extinction, scientists announced Wednesday they had created embryos in the lab containing northern white rhino DNA, AFP reported.

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The San Diego Natural History Museum / Sula Vanderplank

'Extinct' San Quintín Kangaroo Rat Still Exists

By Carly Nairn

At dusk, San Diego Natural History Museum mammalogist Scott Tremor set up a few live traps in some abandoned agricultural fields in Baja California, Mexico. With Sula Vanderplank, a botanist and research associate at the museum, and several graduate students in tow, he was there to conduct a broad survey of the flora and fauna in the area. He was also quietly hoping to catch a rarity: the San Quintín kangaroo rat, a small mammal that hadn't been seen alive in over 30 years, considered extinct. "I've always wanted to look for this animal that people told me was extinct," Tremor said. "I never believe that when people say it."

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Scottish wildcats are among the most threatened mammals in the UK, according to a new study. Peter Trimming / CC BY 2.0

One-Fifth of Britain’s Mammals Could Be Extinct in 10 Years

One-fifth of UK mammals could go extinct within a decade, according to the most comprehensive report in 20 years released Wednesday by The Mammal Society and Natural England.

The report found that the Scottish wildcat, black rat and greater mouse-eared bat were the most endangered species left, The Guardian reported.

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Owen Freeman

What’s Happening to the North Atlantic Right Whale Is Just Plain Wrong

By Jason Bittel

Imagine if safari-goers in Africa came upon an elephant trudging through the brush covered in a tangle of ropes and netting. What if, on closer inspection, they found that the animal's mouth was blocked, preventing it from eating, or that lengths of rope had coiled around and cut into its legs, making every stride a battle? Imagine if the last thing those tourists saw was the elephant disappearing into the forest, dragging a veritable ball and chain of man-made debris behind it.

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Tapanuli orangutan. Tim Laman / CC BY 4.0

New Dam Could Be 'Ecological Armageddon' for Rare Orangutan

Less than a year ago, scientists announced an exciting discovery—a new species of orangutan, called the Tapanuli orangutan, living in Batang Toru in Sumatra, Indonesia, The Conversation reported.

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The gopher tortoise is one of the animals awaiting protection that could be impacted by a proposed DOI rule change. Jay Williams

Proposed DOI Rule Change Would Gut Protections for Future Threatened Species

On April 5, EcoWatch reported on a rule change proposed by the Department of Interior (DOI) that the Center for Biological Diversity warned could remove protections for more than 300 threatened species.

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John J. Audubon / Birds of America

The Tragic Story of America’s Only Native Parrot, Now Extinct for 100 Years

By Kevin R. Burgio

It was winter in upstate New York in 1780 in a rural town called Schoharie, home to the deeply religious Palatine Germans. Suddenly, a flock of gregarious red and green birds flew into town, seemingly upon a whirlwind.

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A parasitic wasp like the ones used in the experiment attacks a pair of aphids. Dirk Sanders

New Study Is First to Demonstrate That Biodiversity Inoculates Against Extinction

By Jason Bittel

Biodiversity has long been touted as important for staving off extinction. The more kinds of critters you have, in other words, the less likely any one of them—or a whole bunch of them—will disappear forever.

The trouble is, no one has ever really demonstrated this idea in a lab setting. Until now.

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Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

Dicamba Drift Could Put 60 Million Acres of Monarch Habitat at Risk

Dicamba—a drift-prone herbicide linked to millions of acres of off-target crop damage across in 17 states—destroys mostly everything in its path except the crops that are genetically engineered to resist it. It's so damaging that several states, including Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri have introduced temporary bans on the weedkiller.

There's now another reason to worry about the controversial chemical. It's particularly harmful to milkweed, the only host plant for the iconic and already at-risk monarch buttery.

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