Today is Earth Day. For this year's Earth Day, I thought I would share with you how the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect is coming back from the brink of extinction.
The Lord Howe Island Stick Insect was thought to be extinct for nearly 80 years! The main reason for this is because in 1918 a ship was stuck on Lord Howe Island for nine days. During these nine days, Rats escaped and found the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect a bit too tasty and basically ate them to extinction! By the 1920s-1930s it was believed they had became extinct. But when some people were on Balls Pyramid they saw an exoskeleton of one. So a search party was called. When they were just about to give up they shone a torch on a tree next to their camping site and there was a whole bunch of Lord Howe Island Stick Insects.
A recovery plan was quickly made up. So they called Melbourne Zoo. Two were brought to the zoo and they have bred over 9000 of them! Lord Howe Island Stick Insects, unlike most other Stick Insects they can breed without the need of a male. This is called parthenogenesis.This means when the young are born they are just clones of their mums! They have plans to retire this Stick Insect to its home once the Rats have been eradicated!
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