The BBC News offers an interesting short video on elephant communication featuring Matt Anderson of the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research.
In our immediately previous post, Primates in Peril, we noted the release of the IUCN’s new report on the world’s 25 most endangered primates.
As an alternative to reviewing the entire report, the IUCN offers this gallery of the Top 25 Most Endangered Primates, which allows you to link directly to the individual profiles of the primates. Each profile includes an illustration of the species, a two to four page summary of the prevailing state of the species, and a list of references for further research.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in conjunction with Conservation International, the Species Survival Commission and the International Primatological Society, has released its latest biennial report (the fifth in the series begun in 2000) on Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates 2008-2010. This 92-page document spotlights five primate species from Madagascar, six from Africa, eleven from Asia and three from the Neotropics.
Nearly half the world’s primates are endangered – but each of these twenty-five remarkable creatures is in particularly dire straits. As the IUCN describers the situation:
“Primates are among the most persecuted of tropical species — relentlessly hunted for their meat and fur, bodies broken for dubious medicines, shot for stealing crops in fields which were once their home. All the forests of the world cannot sate the sum of human hunger: they are cut and burned, day and night, and the remnants of their grandeur will not long survive without our intervention.
“Thus no primate is entirely free from danger; but the few highlighted in this report are those whose very existence is in doubt. Each one named here is almost lost — each an entire race of beings, now reduced to a tattered remnant: two or three dozen in the worst of cases, a mere few hundred for the rest.
“From the Atlantic Forest of Brazil to the monsoon slopes of Madagascar, from the mountains of southwest China to the islands of Mentawai, these primates are caught between fading hope and hard oblivion. And if through our failure of action they should cease to exist, we will have lost our nearest companions — and a part of ourselves — from what wilderness remains in the world.”
The Daily Beast features a slideshow of the current bestselling hardback fiction and nonfiction books in a number of large US cities. See America Reads.
Yesterday we embarked on a brief exploration of recent advances in studies of the dog genome. Today, BBC News reports succinctly on a study appearing in the journal BioMed Central which traces a gene common to all small breeds (IGF1) to its possible origin in Middle Eastern wolves. See Small Dog Middle East Gene Link.
On a related topic, the Journal of Biology includes an intriguing 6-page article commenting on the Middle Eastern taming of wolves in Top Dogs: Wolf Domestication and Wealth.
Update: Also see Lapdogs are Middle Eastern in New Scientist.
In the United States alone there are now hundreds of thousands of books being published every year. To read all of them (and many are doubtless not worth reading) and keep track of all of the word usage and meanings within would require an army of erudite madmen.
– Ammon Shea
Today’s featured addition to the reference section is the massive two-volume America’s Top-Rated Small Towns & Cities: A Statistical Handbook. It’s an absolutely invaluable source of information on the comparative quality of life in small towns and cities in the United States.
Take a random look, for example, at page 709 of Volume 1, where a certain city at 37.56 degrees north latitude, 97.35 degrees west longitude, at an elevation of 1,260 feet covers a land area of 3.509 square miles. While 22nd in population among Kansas small towns, it ranks 17th (among 72) in rate of growth from 2000 to 2008.
You’ll find that the home ownership rate in this small city is 81.7% (8th among its peers), and that 87% of its citizens age 25 or older have at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
There are pages of rankings for comparable towns and cities in nearly 30 relevant categories — for every state in the nation.
Want to learn more about this town and others? Visit the Haysville Community Library and check it out.
The largest library in the United States (and also in the world) is the Library of Congress, with 32,332,832 volumes as of May 2009. Second is Harvard University with 15,965,675.
Boston Public Library is third with 15,760,879, followed by Yale University (12,283,594) and the University of California at Berkeley (10,725,334).
The largest library in Kansas (47th largest in the nation) is at the University of Kansas (4,210,639 volumes).
For a listing of the 100 largest libraries in the United States, see the American Library Association’s The Nation’s Largest Libraries.