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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of


CURWOOD: Humorist Will Cuppy wrote, "The dodo never had a chance. He seems to have been invented for the sole purposes of becoming extinct." The last dodo was killed 315 years ago. It had lived enemy-free on the island of Mauritius until the European colonists wiped it out. But more then just a species of bird was lost. The dodo had a symbiotic relationship with a type of tree on the island, eating the fruit and then spreading the seeds in its droppings. When the dodo bird disappeared, the ability of the dodo tree to reproduce went with it.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which is meant to prevent extinctions. The Wildlife Protection Society of India says unless the trade in tiger parts is stopped, the Indian tiger will be wiped out within the decade. The Siberian tiger faces the same fate. Tiger penis soup, used as an aphrodisiac, sells for up to $320 a bowl.



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