Saturday, April 12, 2008

News from down under

Two conservation ecology related news stories from out of Australia hitting the news this week courtesy of Reuters news agency

In the first two men from the United States have been arrested and charged with trying to smuggle about 1,300 native beetles out of Australia in empty yoghurt containers. We tend to forget that small species as well as big ones suffer from trade and smuggling. A quick internet search reveals a flourishing trade in exotic beetles. Who knew?

In the second story two plants that were thought to have been extinct since the late 1800s have been rediscovered in northern Australia. One of them, Rhaphidospora cavernarum, which is a large herb that stands about one and a half metres high, hasn't been seen since 1873 and the other, Teucrium ajugaceum, was last seen in 1891.

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