News FocusConservation Ecology

Lost Causes Get New Hope

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Science  18 Mar 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6023, pp. 1385
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6023.1385

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Summary

On a small round island in the Sea of Japan lives the Oki salamander (Hynobius okiensis), a critically endangered species found nowhere else on Earth. Nobody knows how many Oki salamanders are left. Saving the palm-sized forest dweller from extinction could require habitat restoration, stricter conservation laws, and a revolution in how island residents approach development. Proponents of conservation triage might question the cost—but a new global commitment to zero extinction should give a major boost to the Oki salamander and other species in need of a lifeline.

* Winifred Bird is a writer in Japan.

  • * Winifred Bird is a writer in Japan.