Every day, creatures around the world die away, and another species becomes extinct. Whilst a natural process in evolution, it is nonetheless sad, but just occasionally something wonderful does happen.
Now and again the miraculous can happen in nature, as recently evidenced by the finding, of two volunteers, with the ProAves Nature Foundation Group. Liz Noble and Simon McKeown were resting after a typically busy day, on the porch of the eco-lodge in which they were staying, in the middle of the Eldorado Nature reserve in south American Columbia.
They were both both utterly flabbergasted when they caught sight, sauntering casually along, of an animal that had been missing for over a century, the last known sighting being recorded 113 years ago. With no apparent fear of humans, this Red-crested Tree rat came very close to where they sat, utterly unaware of the furore his sighting was causing.
With only two known skins of animals existing in museums, this marked a really important ecological find. This creature, 18in long ,and with distinctive red fur around the head and collar and a tail colored black and white are in grave danger from feral cats and other predatory animals, and will be listed as critically endangered in the near future, meaning that conservation plans are already being made.
The El Dorado Reserve is small, at only 2,000 acres, holding some of the most threatened species of birds and amphibians anywhere on earth, and is very popular with eco-tourists, who will be delighted that the Red-crested Tree Rat has now reappeared, exemplifiing why the need for forest habitats to be preserved for endangered wildlife, especially that at imminent risk of being destroyed. Let us hope this wonderful discovery is the first of many
All images used with permission
Published in: Pets