Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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In between each episode of OTT, we now present OTTXtra. Here are three episodes pretty much at random:


Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

GLEN VAUDREY: Whole Wide World #16

16. Costa Rica

Today we find ourselves in Costa Rica, a country that that has done something more countries should consider doing: it has abolished its military forces. Aside from that interesting fact, what else can we find out about it? Well, the country’s largest lake is Lake Arenal, which, at 33 square miles, is a fair old size. It also has a depth of up to 200 feet, and it is within these vast waters that we go looking for Costa Rica’s cryptid.

The first reports of a mystery animal in the waters of the lake come from the early 1970s when some fishermen reported seeing a 98ft-long lake monster with a cow-like head; sounding rather like a fisherman’s tale of the one that got away, perhaps it’s not the most believable of creatures. However, perhaps more believable are the appearances of crocodiles in the waters of the lake. Where they have come from appears to be a mystery and there is still a little doubt that they are even there. Whatever the truth of it, it’s recommended not to go swimming in the waters.

Next stop: Nicaragua
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CITES ANNOUNCEMENT FROM HERPDIGEST - USFWS Request Species Proposals for Consideration 16th Meeting Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

SUMMARY: USF&WS invites you to provide us with information and recommendations on animal and plant species that should be considered as candidates for U.S. proposals to amend Appendices I and II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES or the Convention) at the upcoming sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16). Such amendments may concern the addition of species to Appendix I or II, the transfer of species from one Appendix to another, or the removal of species from Appendix II. Finally, with this notice, we also describe the U.S. approach to preparations for CoP16. We will publish a second Federal Register notice to solicit information and recommendations on possible resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for discussion at CoP16 and to provide information on how to request approved observer status.

DATES: We will consider all information and comments we receive on or before August 15, 2011. ADDRESSES: Send correspondence pertaining to species proposals to the Division of Scientific Authority; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 North Fairfax Drive; Room 110; Arlington, VA 22203; or via e-mail to: CoP16species@fws.gov. Comments and materials we receive pertaining to species proposals will be available for public inspection, by appointment, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Division of Scientific Authority.

Rosemarie Gnam, Chief, Division of Scientific Authority; phone 703-358- 1708; fax 703-358-2276; e-mail: scientificauthority@fws.gov.


The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora, hereinafter referred to as CITES or the Convention, is an international treaty designed to regulate international trade in certain animal and plant species that are now, or potentially may become, threatened with extinction. These species are listed in the Appendices to CITES, which are available on the CITES Secretariat's Web site at http://www.cites.org/eng/app/ index.shtml.

Currently, 175 countries, including the United States, are Parties to CITES. The Convention calls for regular biennial meetings of the Conference of the Parties, unless the Conference decides otherwise. At these meetings, the Parties review the implementation of CITES, make provisions enabling the CITES Secretariat in Switzerland to carry out its functions, consider amendments to the list of species in Appendices I and II, consider reports presented by the Secretariat, and make recommendations for the improved effectiveness of CITES. Any country that is a Party to CITES may propose amendments to Appendices I and II, resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for consideration by all the Parties at the meeting.

This is our first in a series of Federal Register notices that, together with an announced public meeting, provide you with an opportunity to participate in the development of the U.S. submissions to and negotiating positions for the sixteenth regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP16). Our regulations governing this public process are found in Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at § 23.87.

For Rest of this announcement, it it long, full of information of what information you need to submit, history of CITEs, format, etc. email Rosemarie Gnam at scientificauthority@fws.gov or Allen Salzberg/Herpdigest at asalzberg@herpdigest.org


VERY INTERESTING VIDEO - Thank You to Max Blake for sending it...

Identifying plausible scenarios for the establishment of invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus) in Southern Florida (Via Herp Digest)

Identifying plausible scenarios for the establishment of invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus) in Southern Florida

Biological Invasions-Volume 13, Number 7, John D. Willson, Michael E. Dorcas and Raymond W. Snow
Contact: John Wilson, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Virginia Polytechni Institute and State University, 100 Cheatham Hall, Nlacksburg, VA 2406, email wilsonj@vt.edu

Successful invasions of secretive alien species often go unrecognized until spread has exceeded the point where control or eradication is feasible. In such situations, understanding factors that contributed to establishment can be critical to preventing subsequent introductions of previously-successful invaders or ecologically similar species. The Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus), a native to Southeast Asia, is abundant in the pet trade and is now well-established in southern Florida.

Although there can be little argument that the ultimate source of Florida pythons was the pet industry, there has been limited consideration of biological support for scenarios that may have lead to their establishment. In this study we use information on python capture rates and biologically-derived population growth models to evaluate the plausibility of various scenarios for python establishment. Our results indicate that scenarios involving relatively recent establishment (post-1990) require large numbers (100-1,000) of founders or unrealistically high juvenile survivorship. Intentional simultaneous release of large numbers of pythons is unlikely and accidental release of large numbers of founders is inconsistent with the spatial and temporal pattern of pythons captures in the region. We conclude that the most parsimonious scenario for establishment of pythons in Florida involves the release of a relatively small number of founders prior to 1985. Our results demonstrate that for pythons and other species with low inherent detection probabilities, early action during incipient phases of an invasion is critical and understanding likely introduction scenarios is important for preventing similar situations from occurring elsewhere or with other species.


Gavin L-W has too much on his plate at the moment, and so we are looking for one or more people to joing the CFZ News Team. C'mon guys; now is the time for all good folk to come to the aid of the party...

HAUNTED SKIES: Stan Maddocks Coventry UFO sighting 1967


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


You'll remember Roanoke Island (or not) from a few weeks ago when I mentioned Lord Grenville; well, on this day in 1586 the British colonists left/died/got abducted by aliens.
And now the news:

Two More Mountain Lion Sightings Reported
DEP: Dead Mountain Lion Was Held In Captivity
Claims of Mountain Lions Roaming in Connecticut Dr...
Captive Male Darwin's Frog Coughs up Babies (Via H...
Shelling out help for Kingdom's Turtles (Via Herp ...
Daniel Hamilton, Student dies while pursuing passi...

Another random video with nothing to do with today's news but seriously; you HAVE to watch this penguin version of Professor Layton. Turn the sound up for this too:

CFZ NEW ZEALAND: Lars Thomas and the blue albatross