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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Monday, March 18, 2013

Reexamining the Minimum Viable Population Concept for Long-Lived Species


For decades conservation biologists have proposed general rules of thumb for minimum viable population size (MVP); typically, they range from hundreds to thousands of individuals. These rules have shifted conservation resources away from small and fragmented populations. We examined whether iteroparous, long-lived species might constitute an exception to general MVP guidelines. On the basis of results from a 10-year capture-recapture study in eastern New York (U.S.A.), we developed a comprehensive demographic model for the globally threatened bog turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii), which is designated as endangered by the IUCN in 2011. We assessed population viability across a wide range of initial abundances and carrying capacities. Not accounting for inbreeding, our results suggest that bog turtle colonies with as few as 15 breeding females have >90% probability of persisting for >100 years, provided vital rates and environmental variance remain at currently estimated levels. On the basis of our results, we suggest that MVP thresholds may be 1–2 orders of magnitude too high for many long-lived organisms. Consequently, protection of small and fragmented populations may constitute a viable conservation option for such species, especially in a regional or metapopulation context.

  1. Current address: Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, 650 Life Sciences Bldg., Stony Brook, NY 11794, U.S.A., email kevintshoemaker@gmail.com
  2. Current address: 29 Fiddlehead Lane, Altamont, NY 12009, U.S.A.

DALE DRINNON: Ahool, Chupabat, Lake Champlain monster, Cedar & Willow, Benny's Blogs

New at the Frontiers of Zoology:


In an article for the first edition of Cryptozoology Bernard Heuvelmans wrote that cryptozoology is the study of 'unexpected animals' and following on from that perfectly reasonable assertion, it seems to us that whereas the study of out of place birds may not have the glamour of the hunt for bigfoot or lake monsters, it is still a perfectly valid area for the Fortean zoologist to be interested in. So after about six months of regular postings on the main bloggo Corinna has taken the plunge and started a 'Watcher of the Skies' blog of her own as part of the CFZ Bloggo Network.


The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper-column inches than any other cryptozoological subject. There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived by us in some way, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in. In September 2012 Emma Osborne decided that the Mystery Cat Study Group really deserved a blog of its own within the CFZ Blog Network.

  • Does one and a half million deer mean more food fo...
  • USA SIGHTINGS: Big cat photographed in East Peoria...
  • UK SIGHTINGS: Tiers Cross big cat mystery
  • Linda Godfrey Reviews Nick Redfern's book Wildman

    Linda Godfrey - author of Real WolfmenThe Michigan DogmanHunting the American Werewolf, and many other titles - reviews my book,Wildman!, the subject of which is the "British Bigfoot."

    Here's Linda'a review:

    "Bigfoot in the British Isles? The idea of huge, hairy man-apes hiding out in the manor-dotted, bucolic countryside of the British Isles seems as likely at first blush as the queen switching out her Earl Grey for chugs of Red Bull. But Nick Redfern's new book,Wild Man! The Monstrous and Mysterious Saga of the British Bigfoot, (CFZ Press, 2012) makes an exhaustive and surprisingly compelling case that people have indeed been seeing anomalous, Bigfoot-like creatures from Shugborough to Derbyshire, perhaps for centuries!

    "Redfern has to be one of the most prolific current writers on strange and cryptozoological topics -- he releases books faster than I can find time to review them. But I wanted to make sure that I got this one posted because it covers so many topics of interest to the worldwide cadre of Bigfoot-seekers. It has the additional advantage of being authored by a native of the British soil who possesses many area connections and much firsthand knowledge.

    Read on...


    Yesterday was a nice day. Matthew and Emma came over in the afternoon clutching a pair of axolotls who are now ensconced in the tank on the landing which Graham lovingly prepared for them some weeks ago. They left clutching the small colony of spiny mice of an unknown species that we have had for some years, and that were due for downsizing. Everyone is happy.
    Today's Gonzo Track of the Day is from GPS - bloody hell, Guthrie Govan can't half play guitar
    Once again we repair to Austin for our daily audience with Thom the World Poet
    *  The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at  jon@eclipse.co.uk. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at gonzo@cfz.org.uk. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...

    *  The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link:
    * We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!

    *  Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 53 who - together with his orange cat (who is currently on sick leave in Staffordshire) and a not very small orange kitten (who isn't) puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cats?

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

    Yesterday’s News Today

    On this day in 1877 Edgar Cayce, known to his followers as the sleeping prophet, and one of only five people to have a pokemon named after them was born. Outside of Japan the pokemon who were named in a tribute to Cayce and Uri Geller (the pokemon that Cayce's pokemon evolved into) were changed because Geller misunderstood the concept of pokemon and thought that the pokemon that bore a name similar to his own was evil because Ash had to face it in a gym battle so he sued. Nintendo won the case of course. In case anyone is wondering the other three real people with pokemon named in their honour are: Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Napoleon Bonaparte.
    And now the news:
  • Court Hearing Focuses on Whether EPA Must Protect ...
  • Breeding conservation alliances: Cooperation betwe...
  • All Turtle Proposals at CITES Approved (3 US speci...
  • 900 dead pigs wash up in Shanghai water supply
  • Whales filter feed with a tangled hair-like net
  • How the Rhinoceros Beetle Got Its Horns
  • Captive deer being hunted in Northern Ireland
  • Mystery of 'Zombie Worm' Development Unveiled

  • President Obama singing the original Pokemon theme tune: