Farewell 2007

...and to the Yangzte river dolphin or Baiji. Not that I ever met one, but I feel sad about the high probability of it's passing - the first cetacean species (and the sole example of the Lipotidae family) to be driven extinct by humans.

This is a stern warning when considering the fate of the Gulf of Mexico porpoise, the Vaquita. Likely to be extinct in 2 years, the vaquita suffers in shrimping nets and positive action has to be taken to help this creature. If anything can come out of the baiji's extinction, then it will be knowledge gained from the failure of the efforts to save it, which can be applied to helping the vaquita.

Hello 2008…

…and welcome a frog disease, chytrid fungus, kit rid. Over breakfast this morning I listened to David Attenborough warning of the deadly frog disease which is spreading rapidly. It may not be new, but the rate of it's spread is worrying scientists because it's going much faster than the animals can evolve resistance to it. Why is it moving so quickly - is global warming speeding this up - or is it just an increase in international amphibian trade. The individual frog may not be as high profile as the Baiji, but collectively, they are a vital part of life on earth.