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iWild: For more see iWild.org


SAVE THEM ALL: Announcing the Endangered Species All-Stars, a collectible series of trading cards & blog entries highlighting the world’s rarest and most endangered species. Each day in 2010, iWild will focus on another species of plant or animal in celebration of the International Year of Biodiversity. Up today: The Maui parrotbill. Raising Hawai'i, a blog on Hawai’i’s science and environment, reports that the Maui parrotbill appears to be holding its own or perhaps even increasing. Reduced to a tiny fragment of its original wet forest habitat, the parrotbill’s numbers—around 500—appear to have remained stable for the past 30 years, thanks for the Nature Conservancy’s Waikamoi Preserve. The Conservancy removed feral pigs and other alien and invasive species from the 5,230 acre preserve, and Dr. Dusti Becker, an ornithologist, project coordinator for the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project, and leader of a team that recently conducted a survey of the population, credits those efforts as the deciding factor in stabilizing the species: “At Waikamoi, my sense is that it’s a growing population, fundamentally because of forest recovery.” The Maui parrotbill offers hope for other projects dedicated to saving endangered species at a time when news is often grave. 2009 was full of extraordinary discoveries of nearly 300 new species of plants—including enormous rainforest trees, fungi, and seven new species of wild coffee—and animals, from a giant rat the size of a puppy in Papua New Guinea to new butterflies, snakes, and pygmy chameleons in a remote forest in Mozambique. May we dedicate this year—and every year—to saving the planet we all share, our natural, wild home.
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