Digital Noah's Ark launched

A huge website designed to provide an electronic safe haven for endangered animals and plants goes online on Tuesday.

ARKive is described as a 21st Century 'Noah's Ark' which will house information about species in danger of extinction.

Anyone wanting to research the natural world will have free access to audio and video "portraits" of endangered animals.

Highlights of the £4m resource include the only surviving film of the extinct Tasmanian tiger and the last known shots of the golden toad, believed to be extinct.

ARKive is split into two sections: a UK chapter celebrating Britain's natural heritage and a section for globally endangered species.

Currently there are about 600 digital portraits on the UK section - from brown hares boxing and a dormouse giving birth to a journey around the rare corals of the British coast.

Compiling the global chapter is a huge undertaking - 6,000 animals and 33,000 plants are listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union.

News source: BBC News

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