Kenya Begins First Ever Wildlife Census

Kenya Begins First Ever Wildlife Census

by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Kenya’s first national wildlife census kicked off last week, counting animals on land and in the country’s waters. While some of Kenya’s more vulnerable animals like rhinos and elephants are counted periodically, this census is the first time the country will have data on all of its wildlife. Rangers, […]

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Now Designated Separately, Two African Elephant Species are Facing Extinction

Now Designated Separately, Two African Elephant Species are Facing Extinction

Last week the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) released a new Red List conservation assessment for African elephants, evaluating the status of both the savanna elephant and the smaller forest elephant. 

Why This Matters: The IUCN Red List currently lists over 35,000 threatened species of plants, animals, insects, and even fungi. A UN report found that one million species could be threatened with extinction in the coming decades due to climate change, illegal poaching and trafficking, and habitat destruction.

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Bolivian Authorities Investigate Mass Poisoning of Endangered Condors

Bolivian Authorities Investigate Mass Poisoning of Endangered Condors

Last weekend, Bolivian officials announced an investigation into the poisoning of 35 endangered condors in a small rural community. Andean condors are one of the largest flying birds in existence and their numbers have been consistently declining.

Why This Matters: We’ve reported many times on the ongoing biodiversity crisis scientists predict we will lose one-third of all species by 2070.

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Natural Gas Drilling Begins Upriver from Biodiverse Okavango Delta click button

Natural Gas Drilling Begins Upriver from Biodiverse Okavango Delta

A massive natural gas drill rig has broken ground on an exploratory well just miles upstream of Namibia’s Okavango Delta, one of the world’s largest protected wetlands and a crucial migratory route for the largest remaining elephant population, National Geographic reported.

Why This Matters: ReconAfrica, an oil and gas exploration company with German, Canadian, and American stakeholders, has licensed 13,200 square miles of land in Namibia and Botswana.

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Officials Blame Bacteria for Elephant Deaths, Conservationists Still Have Questions

Officials Blame Bacteria for Elephant Deaths, Conservationists Still Have Questions

by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer Monday, Botswanan officials announced their findings following an investigation into the sudden and mysterious deaths of 356 elephants.  The investigation found that neurotoxins caused by an algal bloom in a large rain puddle poisoned the animals. However, many conservationists remain skeptical, largely because the government has yet to release […]

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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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