Park Rangers at National Parks that have been closed for many weeks have observed things they had never seen before. For example, pronghorn antelope in the sun-scorched lowlands of Death Valley National Park, and at Yosemite, with traffic a distant memory, deer, bobcats, and black bears have made their way into Yosemite Valley and are […]Continue Reading 173 words
The New York Times reported over the weekend that Georgia has yet another problem besides continuing increases in COVID patients. An invasive South American exotic lizard species has made its way to Georgia where it is now threatening native wildlife because, according to state Fish & Game officials, they can eat whatever they want (insert […]Continue Reading 105 words
By Zoey Shipley The North Carolina Zoo announced via a tweet last week that they recently welcomed five new Red Wolf pups. This is a cause for celebration because Red Wolves are the most endangered canid in the world. The zoo explained that there are only 15-20 red wolves left in the wild, and they are […]Continue Reading 185 words
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- Conservation International
- nature based solutions
ODP: COVID-19 has caused so much suffering here and around the globe. What is the leading cause of diseases that spread from wildlife to humans? MS: COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease. Like HIV, MERS, SARS, Hanta, and Ebola, it jumped from wildlife to people, likely through contact with an animal outside of its natural habitat. […]Continue Reading 787 words
The Environmental Protection Agency granted an experimental permit to Oxitec, a company with close ties to President Trump, that allows them to release in the Houston and Florida Keys areas genetically altered mosquitoes intended to help curb the spread of harmful diseases like Zika, chikungunya, and dengue.
Why This Matters: Preventing the spread of harmful diseases is a good thing. But it is hard to trust whether experimental permits like this one are in the public’s best interest when big donors to the President appear to get favorable treatment by government agencies.Continue Reading 518 words
- illegal ivory
- illegal wildlife trafficking
- IUU fishing
In the silver linings category, the COVID-19 pandemic’s shock to economies around the globe is also proving to be a disruption to illegal wildlife trafficking by transnational criminal networks, according to a new report from Wildlife Justice Commission, a non-profit organization that investigates and tracks these criminal activities and networks.
Why This Matters: Temporary blockages in the black market supply chain are not surprising, and the bad guys will find a way around them — too much money is at stake and these folks are rule-breakers by training.Continue Reading 564 words
In a groundbreaking new study, scientists examined lizards on Caribbean Islands and across Central and South America and found that in the places that had been hit repeatedly by hurricanes, the lizards had developed larger toe pads. The New York Times explains that until now, “the strongest evidence for how evolution can be shaped by […]Continue Reading 160 words
A writer for the Boston Globe, Bryan Marquard, took this amazing photo after coming between a female black bear and her cubs recently. She had just emerged from hibernation with a luxurious coat looking healthy. Mink is famous in New Hampshire because two years ago she was getting too close to local residents’ homes, so […]Continue Reading 180 words
The monarch butterfly has lost 80% of its population due to habitat loss and climate change, as we have reported here. The University of Illinois, Chicago will now take the lead nationwide on efforts to conserve them. The University’s Energy Resources Center will administer an agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and dozens of […]Continue Reading 103 words
by Lee Hannah, Senior Scientist, Conservation International Right now, money is flowing from Capitol Hill to provide us with much needed economic support in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As this happens, we need to make sure that money also flows towards preventing similar pandemics from happening in the future. To stop this cycle of […]Continue Reading 736 words
- Appalachian Trail
- Land and Water Conservation Fund
The National Park Service continues to close parks on a piecemeal basis, this week Shenandoah National Park closed, but even after an appeal from D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) to close them before the weekend crowds descend, the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials in Washington, D.C. remain open.
Why This Matters: Delegate Holmes Norton is right when she argues that “Federal agencies must do their part to flatten the curve,” but the Park Service is certainly not leading by example.Continue Reading 241 words