Around the globe, it seems animal lovers are constantly inundated with news about another extinct species. This is why Global Wildlife Conservation launched a new and exciting campaign—a search for lost species. The largest of it kind, the search looks for species that have not been seen for decades. The search will send out various teams of scientists on expeditions around the world to hunt for 25 of the Earth’s “most wanted” species. While the teams will be focusing on searching for the top 25, a list of more than 1200 species has been made available to the public. Anyone who thinks they’ve come across a lost species can easily submit their findings. To check out the lost species on the list or to make a submission, check out lostspecies.org.
The Jackson’s Climbing Salamander was the first species on the list to be rediscovered. It was found by guard Ramos León in Finca San Isidro Amphibian Reserve, and it is only the third ever sighting since its original sighting in 1975. The finding of the salamander gives Lost Species researchers hope that more species on the list may still be out there.
Two more species made headlines before the Lost Species campaign began: the Tachira Antpitta, a small brown bird with long legs, which dwells in the cloud forests of the Andes, and the Vanzolini Bald-Faced Saki, a fluffy, golden-legged monkey with a bowl cut that lives in the treetops of the Amazon rainforest.
The Tachira Antpitta was last seen on the Venezuelan-Columbian border in 1955. Since then, researchers have doubted whether the bird existed any longer, or if it was even a real species to begin with. Then, the Red Siskin Initiative was put into play, which was funded by the American Bird Conservancy and their Lost Birds of the Americas campaign. Scientist Jhonathan Miranda set out with a team of researchers and spotted the bird high up in the dense cloud forest of the Andes. It was the first sighting in 60 years!
The Vanzolini Bald-Faced Saki lives in a threatened habitat in the Amazon, which makes their existence and rediscovery so exciting. Commonly hunted for bush meat, the monkey had retreated into little traversed areas in the Amazon rainforest, and had not been seen for 80 years. Laura Marsh, director of the Global Conservation Institute, was the leader of the team that spotted the Vanzolini Bald-faced Saki again for the first time. She plans to make a recommendation to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to change the status of the Vanzolini to threatened, and help with conservation efforts in its habitat.
What are some ways that you like to conserve on a local or global level?