End-of-the-month endangered species news wrap-up

Because there are just too many stories to cover them all...

A knotty problem / solution - Two weeks ago, we wrote about the red knot, an endangered seabird that risks extinction because one of its prime food sources -- horseshoe crabs -- are also valued by commercial fishermen, who use them as bait. But now there's hope, as conservation groups have filed a request for emergency protection for the red knot. Meanwhile, New Jersey legislators have passed a bill which would ban horseshoe crabbing.

Kuwait has more than just oil - But according to the Kuwait Times, "370 species of Kuwaiti plants ...face extinction if the government does not seriously look into the problem of environmental degradation."

China's plant protection strategy - China is home to 4,000 endangered plant species, but a new plan announced this week aims to "effectively conserve" 90% of "key wild plants" and establish a wild plant monitoring system over the next two years. (It's a start.)

Is it Spring yet? - Meanwhile, massive blizzards in northwest China have cut off 100,000 animals from their food supplies, including the last 4,000 argali wild sheep, which could go extinct in the next few months if things don't change. The area is also home to the black stork, China's most endangered species.

Two whole eggs! - You know a species is in trouble when the laying of two fertile eggs is cause for celebration. But with just 86 kakapo birds in existence, every new egg is, indeed, happy news.

More species risk extinction - Illegal hunting is driving Madagascar's turtles and tortoises toward extinction, according to a new study. Meanwhile, another study says that the Chevroned Butterflyfish, a favorite of divers and aquarium owners, may also go extinct as the reefs it calls home (and loves to eat) disappear.

Here ends the month. Let's hope we aren't reporting on the end of too many species in the coming weeks.

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