16 Jun 2011:
Species Behind Unicorn Legend
Back from Brink of Extinction, IUCN Says
The Arabian oryx, an antelope species with distinctive horns widely believed to be the source of the
unicorn legend, has returned from the brink of extinction
in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature
(IUCN). On the group’s latest red list of threatened species, the Arabian oryx was upgraded from “endangered” to the less serious listing of “vulnerable,” an improvement the group attributes to captive breeding and successful re-introduction efforts. Found only on the Arabian Peninsula, and known locally as Al Maha, the species now numbers more than 1,000 individuals, IUCN says. The species nearly went extinct four decades ago, when it was believed that the last wild Arabian oryx had been shot in 1972, but aggressive recovery efforts have reversed its fate. The new IUCN list also reflects troubling trends, including eight species of amphibian now designated as “critically endangered.” They include Atelopus patazensis
, a species of harlequin toad from Peru, and Dendrotriton chujorum
, a dwarf species of salamander from Guatemala.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
Watch the video.
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.