Saving the nautilus

My sister Jenny Basil, a renowned professor of biology at City University of New York’s Brooklyn College, is over the moon because of this news: The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is recommending that the chambered nautilus, pictured below, be placed on the international endangered species list.

The chambered nautilus, with its beautifully intricate shell and exquisite coloring is traded in large quantities, mostly as jewelry and shell products. The United States has long been concerned about the impact that this trade may have on the seven species in the nautilus family , as have some ambitious young conservationists (learn more here and here). Nautiluses are slow to reproduce, leaving them particularly vulnerable to overfishing. The United States, Fiji, India and Palau have put forward a proposal to include the nautilus family in Appendix II to ensure its survival in the wild.

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Truly happy news.

Photo from the Flickr stream of Klaus Steifel shared under Creative Commons licensing.

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