Tag Archives: endemic species

Biodiversity challenge – Nepenthes rajah

Pitcher postcards

Fly-on-the-wall documentary

In one fell.
Soup.

The Fly and the Pitcher

One blue bottle
Crawling on the lip.
One blue bottle
Crawling on the lip.
And if one blue bottle
Should accidentally slip,
You’ll see one blue bottle
Take an acid dip.

The Big Pitcher

I’m Nepenthes rajah,
Your gracious host.
As meat-eating plants go,
I’m larger than most.
Make yourself at home
On my peristome,
Take a dip in the cool
Of my private pool.
Come lounge with the lizard
Stuck in my gizzard,
You’ll be snug as a bug
In my one-litre jug.
Drop in and discover
The principal use
For my viscoelastic
Gastric juice.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Biodiversity challenge – Round Island burrowing boa

Round number

Report from Round Island,
North of Mauritius:
Burrowing boa
Numbers in free fall,
Plummeting lower
No hope at all.

Round Island update,
Strangely propitious:
Burrowing boa
No longer declining.
For every extinction
A silver lining.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Species profile: Round Island burrowing boa 

IUCN Red List Category: Extinct

Last recorded in 1975, the Round Island burrowing boa declined rapidly following the introduction of rabbits and goats, which consumed the native vegetation, resulting in widespread soil erosion and degradation of its palm forest habitat.

Biodiversity challenge – Gelada

High society

Ethiopia,
High plateau.
Gelato cold,
Gelada utopia.
Supermonkey,
In his flowing cape,
Crimson badge ablaze.
Surveys the landscape,
Window shopping,
As the carpet cropping
Females safely graze,
Beholden to the golden saviour.
Juveniles avert their gaze,
On best behaviour.
Singles out his latest flame
Amid the troop.
He’s chosen her,
She’ll stoop to concur,
Grin and bear it.
If the cape fits,
Wear it.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Biodiversity challenge – Vaquita

Net loss

 

Fishermen caught in the poverty trap,
Porpoises stuck in the middle.

Vaquitas by Chloe Waterfield

Vaquitas by Chloe Waterfield http://www.facebook.com/canidaeart

Sea of Cortez,
Gill nets unfurled.
What a killer.
Lost to this world,
Like so much fishnet
Stocking filler,
One more vaquita
Vacates the Vermilion.

Action stations
For our rarest cetaceans.
No more accidental death,
Time to start saving, not drowning.
Don’t hold your breath.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Species profile: Vaquita

IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered

One of seven true porpoise species, the vaquita is the world’s smallest and most endangered cetacean. It has striking facial markings reminiscent of dark eyeliner and black lipstick, as though it were wearing ‘goth’ make-up. This rare and elusive species was only discovered in 1958. Its one remaining population, believed to comprise fewer than 100 individuals, is confined to a tiny area in the extreme north of Mexico’s Gulf of California. Vaquitas were never abundant, but in recent decades numbers have plummeted as more and more porpoises drown after being trapped in the virtually invisible gill nets set to catch fish and shrimp. More info

Biodiversity challenge – Volcano rabbit

Feeling the heat

We should all blow our top
If they don’t stop hunting
The diminutive zacaton-munching
Zacatuche or teporingo
Endemic to the transverse neovolcanic belt of
Popocatepetl, Iztaccihuatl, El Pelado and Tlaloc.
But that’s easy for me to say.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Biodiversity challenge – Echo parakeet

Say again, not over

A rare parrot found only
On the island of Mauritius
Has made a remarkable recovery
And is off the critical list.
The echo parakeet
Was down to just
A handful of birds
At one stage before
Bouncing back from
The brink of extinction.
This represents,
It is worth repeating,
Nothing short of a
Spectacular comeback
Spectacular comeback
Spectacular comeback.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Biodiversity challenge – Hispaniolan hutia

Hutia love?

No, the fat tree rat
They call the zagouti
Won’t win a prize for
Conventional beauty,
Probably wouldn’t
Look good in Cerruti,
But whether or not
We think it’s a cutie,
Saving its skin should
Be everyone’s duty.
Let’s give a hoot about
Cuvier’s hutia.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014