Animals
Slowing The Spread of Zoonotic Diseases Starts With Humans

Slowing The Spread of Zoonotic Diseases Starts With Humans

The outbreak of COVID-19 has reminded the world that zoonotic diseases are a major threat to human health. Yet, viruses that spread from animals to humans don’t have to occur in wet markets or through illicit wildlife trade, captive animals can also spread them due to the stress and proximity to humans that occur in […]

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Polar Bears Jeopardized by Drastic Habitat Loss; DOI Says ANWR Drilling Won’t Hurt Them

Polar Bears Jeopardized by Drastic Habitat Loss; DOI Says ANWR Drilling Won’t Hurt Them

All but a few populations of polar bears found in the high Arctic could be extinct by 2100 due to the drastic loss of sea ice across their range, according to a study in the Journal Nature Climate Change published Monday.  Without ice, polar bears must survive on land, long distances from their food supplies, causing them to go hungry.

Why This Matters:  This study puts data behind the starving polar bear photo.  The U.S. population is one of the most threatened in the world because of the loss of ice.

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Poaching Surges in Uganda as Coronavirus Devastates Eco Tourism

Poaching Surges in Uganda as Coronavirus Devastates Eco Tourism

by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer Due to the impact of the pandemic, poaching has “surged” in Uganda, as Dina Fine Maron reported last week in National Geographic. Using illegal wire snares and steel traps, poachers are able to catch unsuspecting animals such as antelopes, giraffes, and lions. According to National Geographic, “thousands” of these […]

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“Himalayan Viagra” — the World’s Costliest Fungus — Is Added to IUCN Red List

“Himalayan Viagra” — the World’s Costliest Fungus — Is Added to IUCN Red List

This week Shivani Azad reported in Times of India that the “world’s costliest fungus,” Ophiocordyceps sinensis, was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species as a “vulnerable” species. The fungus, better known as “Himalayan Viagra,” yields profits on the global market between $5 billion and $11 billion  — in traditional Chinese medicine, it is a panacea for a  wide variety of medical issues, including as an aid to sexual performance.

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North Atlantic Right Whale and Many Species of Lemurs Now Critically Endangered

North Atlantic Right Whale and Many Species of Lemurs Now Critically Endangered

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is the global authority when it comes to whether a species is at risk of extinction, yesterday added the North Atlantic Right Whale of the eastern U.S. to its list of Critically Endangered species (elevated from Endangered) that are on the brink of extinction.  The IUCN also “upgraded” 13 different species of lemurs to the Critically Endangered list along with 20 other lemur species at risk of imminent extinction.

Why This Matters:  These species are on the verge of going extinct not because of anything they did, but rather because of us humans.

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One Turtle Thing: Tsunami Finds A Home In St. Louis

One Turtle Thing: Tsunami Finds A Home In St. Louis

We just love a tsunami with a happy ending!  The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on St. Simons Island had been rehabilitating Tsunami, an endangered green sea turtle that was hit by a boat in 2017, for years with the hope of setting her free in the ocean.  But her injuries were too severe to survive […]

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