Animals
Invasive Lanternflies Now Spotted in New Jersey

Invasive Lanternflies Now Spotted in New Jersey

by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer While lanternflies are striking in appearance, scientists, farmers, and officials have good reason to fear this invasive species with the potential to decimate agriculture across the United States. Native to Asia, the lanternfly first appeared in Pennsylvania, thought to have come from China in a shipping container. From there […]

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Kangaroos: The Risks of the World’s Largest Wildlife Trade

Kangaroos: The Risks of the World’s Largest Wildlife Trade

by Sarah Newman, Dr. Dror Ben-Ami, Helen Bergen, Lee Rhiannon, and lauren Ornelas   How does a great six-foot tall adult male Red Kangaroo, elegantly bounding across Australia’s iconic orange desert, become a public health risk in the form of a steak in a supermarket cooler, or in a can of dog or cat food on […]

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One Cool Thing: National Zoo Says Keep Your Paws Crossed — It’s Baby Panda-mania click button

One Cool Thing: National Zoo Says Keep Your Paws Crossed — It’s Baby Panda-mania

I guess we could say “keep your paws” crossed for many things having to do with nature and the environment.  But this week, in particular, we are waiting hopefully for the birth of a new baby panda at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington.  The Zoo announced the good news this week saying that an […]

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A New Guide Helps Law Enforcement Identify Ivory in the Digital Age

A New Guide Helps Law Enforcement Identify Ivory in the Digital Age

According to the World Wildlife Fund, behind every piece of ivory—whether it be a full tusk or carved trinket—is a dead elephant. Poachers kill about 20,000 elephants every single year for their tusks, which are then traded illegally in the international market to eventually end up as ivory trinkets. This trade is mostly driven by […]

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New Study Finds Reef Shark Populations Declining More Globally Than Previously Known

New Study Finds Reef Shark Populations Declining More Globally Than Previously Known

Last month, a new study published in the journal Nature showed that shark populations are decreasing in many regions throughout the world at much greater rates than previously thought. As CBS Los Angeles reported, this is the “most comprehensive study done on the world’s shark population.” The study found that 20% of the areas they studied — across 58 countries — had no sharks at all.

Why This Matters: As Philip Matich, a marine biologist at Texas A&M-Galveston says, “Sharks have important roles in marine ecosystems, but disturbance can alter this role.” This, in turn, can impact the ecosystem, since as one of the top predators in the water sharks regulate prey populations. But, as the study notes, not all hope is lost.

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In A Strange Twist of Fate, Could Trump Help Save the Pangolin?

In A Strange Twist of Fate, Could Trump Help Save the Pangolin?

by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer A new legal petition filed by conservation organizations urges the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to “formally certify China for illegally trading in critically imperiled pangolins,” the Center for Biological Diversity wrote in a statement.  If certification occurs, the US could pursue sanctions and prohibit wildlife imports from China.  […]

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