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Today’s news: sharks more valuable alive, Italy’s bears and koalas

May 4, 2011

Here are some fascinating articles that the humans (and animals ) at Current Instincts are reading today. Did we miss something major? Let us know below or send us an email.

1. Sharks worth more alive Because of the popularity of shark fin soup, a popular dish in Chinese cuisine, sharks are continuously in danger. But a new study shows that they’re worth far more to an economy alive than in a person’s soup. Island nations see a huge tourism boon from diving excursions. In nations like Palau, a single reef shark can generate $179,000 in tourism revenue annually, or about $1.9 million during its lifetime. Not that we needed another reason to save sharks, but money talks, so talk more bucks. (Yale 360)

2. Italy’s largest animal on brink of extinction A problem in Italy that doesn’t have something to do with Berlusconi’s libido? Now THAT’S a scandal. Sorry, nerd joke. Marsican bears in Italy are the largest animals in the country, but they are still close to extinction. There are an estimated 50 left, making them one of the rarest bears on the planet. (Christian Science Monitor)

3. Turtle power to the rescue The islands of Mauritius are still affected by the centuries-ago extinction of the Mauritian tortoise. However, native animals are now returning to the island and helping to balance the ecosystem. Oddly, one non-native tortoise seems to be helping out as well. (Discovery News)

More trees please.

4. A simple solution to saving koalas? While koalas are not listed as endangered, their numbers have been steadily declining. And do you see that face? C’mon who doesn’t want more of these guys around? One town discovered that a tree-planting campaign in the 1990s is doing a world of good for their koalas now. It was previously believed that koalas preferred old eucalyptus trees, but this study shows that koalas aren’t picky. (Treehugger)

5. Road building in Sumatran park threatens tigers A plan to build roads in the Kerinci Seblat National Park in Sumatra poses a major risk to a critically endangered group of Sumatran tigers. Due to habitat loss, there are fewer than 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild. The roads would create barriers for the tigers as well as expose them to logging and poaching. (

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 5, 2011 2:13 am

    Who could say no to that cute koala face? I had no idea they were at risk, thanks for sharing.

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