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Recommended Reading: John Platt’s ‘Extinction Countdown’ Blog

It’s called the ‘Extinction Countdown,’ but John R. Platt‘s Scientific American blog isn’t all gloom, doom, or death—by any means.

Not Easy Being Green: There are only some 300 Malherbe’s parakeets left in the wild and an estimated 1,000 individuals total left in the world. Blame rats and stoats.

Rather, a recent scan of his twice-weekly postings finds good news about the Kihansi spray toad’s spunky revival; the Malherbe’s parakeet return to a robust sex life when placed on a predator-free island; and how crowd-funded drones are helping to protect Kenyan rhino populations.

Of course, we still need to worry about manatees, tiny Australian possums, and the Slow Loris—among thousands of others. But what Platt specializes in is balanced reporting that shines on both the good and the bad and always follows an interesting line of inquiry.

Since 2004, John has written over 1,300 articles exploring the whys and wherefores of diminishing animal populations, including what is being done to help those species survive and thrive.

Handful: Australia’s Black Sunday Brushfires of 2009, which killed some 600 people, also cost this little possom a major portion of its habitat.

In 2012, John won the IFAW’s Animal Action Award for his writing about endangered species, climate change, trophy hunting, poaching, and the illegal wildlife trade.

Follow him on Twitter at @johnrplatt for a fascinating trove of his own stories,  as well as a smartly curated olio of stories that could range from foodies-damned-foodies to Professor Stephen Hawking’s voice upgrade, perhaps the best thing to come from the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Edie Freedman contributed to this article.

Comment: Recommended Reading: John Platt’s ‘Extinction Countdown’ Blog

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