#endangered species

One Cool Thing: Pangolins Protected From Poaching In South Africa

The pangolin is the most highly trafficked mammal on Earth — they are poached at a higher rate than elephants, rhinos and tigers combined. Their scales are what the poachers want — they are ground up and used for medicine in China and Southeast Asia. Pangolins are on the brink of extinction — 120,000 were […]

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Two Species On the Precipice of Extinction

Two Species On the Precipice of Extinction

The last surviving Sumatran Rhino in Malaysia has died in captivity, with the WWF estimating that there are only about 80 left mostly living in the wild in Sumatra and Borneo, and the entire species is on the verge of extinction due to poaching and deforestation.  But, National Geographic reports scientists have found and photographed a silver-backed chevrotain, a small deer-like species, in southern Vietnam that was feared to be extinct since its last known siting was in 1990.

Why This Matters:  This good news-bad news story juxtaposition shows both the fragility and the resilience of nature – both species will be lucky if they make it

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Trump Administration Approves Four New LNG Terminals for South Texas

Trump Administration Approves Four New LNG Terminals for South Texas

Moving full speed ahead on new fossil fuel infrastructure, the Trump Administration’s federal regulators approved permits for three new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals in the Rio Grande Valley and the expansion of another in Corpus Christi, according to the Houston Chronicle.  They do not have financing and final approvals yet, and a coalition of environmentalists, Native Americans, shrimpers, fishers, and communities working under the banner Save RGV From LNG are fighting the  Brownsville projects due to safety and environmental concerns.

Why This Matters:  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with President Trump’s appointees at the helm have sped through 11 LNG projects in the last 9 months alone.

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Trump Administration Loosens Protections For Endangered Fish in California

Trump Administration Loosens Protections For Endangered Fish in California

The Departments of Interior and Commerce issued this week a new biological opinion under the Endangered Species Act that governs the division of water among, farmers, cities, and farmers in California, and the new opinion fundamentally changed the prior allocations in favor of more water for agriculture. 

Why This Matters: It appears that political leadership at both agencies pushed aside the agency scientists who were set to release a biological opinion that would continue the prior water allocation balance in order to protect the fish, and replaced them last summer with a hand-picked new group of lawyers, administrators, and biologists to “refine” and “improve” the rules, according to local NPR station KQEDCareer scientists in both agencies had been quite adamant about the water needs of the fish in my (Monica’s) past experience on these issues. 

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One Wild Dog Thing:  A Trio of Dholes Debuts at the Bronx Zoo

One Wild Dog Thing: A Trio of Dholes Debuts at the Bronx Zoo

Watch out Jonas Brothers!  NYC debuted its newest boy band on Tuesday — a trio of dholes (fox-like dogs) that were born at the San Diego Zoo but are native to southern and central Asia. The Bronx Zoo, which is part of the Wildlife Conservation Society,  plans to bring in female dholes for a captive […]

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Breakthroughs in Global Protection From Trade for Mako Sharks and Giraffes

Breakthroughs in Global Protection From Trade for Mako Sharks and Giraffes

Delegates from around the world came to the defense of one of the most critically endangered marine species — the mako shark (often targeted for shark fin soup) — moving ahead a global trade ban for final consideration by the U.N. body that deals with trade in endangered species despite opposition to the ban by Japan, Canada, and the United States.  Final approval of the ban is expected later this week.

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Condors on the Rise Again Thanks To Conservation Efforts

Condors on the Rise Again Thanks To Conservation Efforts

The Federal Government announced last week that their efforts to conserve the largest flying bird in North America, the California Condor, have reached a new milestone of success – the 1000th new baby. According to The Washington Post, in 1982, the population of this majestic creature had fallen to only 22 remaining and it had […]

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Interview of the Week: Neil Gelinas, National Geographic

Interview of the Week: Neil Gelinas, National Geographic

Neil Gelinas is an award-winning National Geographic documentary filmmaker,  whose most recent work was “Into the Okavango.” ODP: Nature is a beautiful subject, but it cannot talk.  How hard is it to make wildlife documentaries as a result?  NG:  I wouldn’t say I make wildlife documentaries. I make conservation documentaries in which people are the main subjects, […]

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Room to Roam

Room to Roam

By Beth Allgood, U.S. Country Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare The plight of endangered wildlife has been brought sharply into focus in recent months by an alarming report from some of the world’s most renowned scientists warning that nature is in rapid decline globally with the rate of extinction accelerating beyond levels previously imagined. […]

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New Lion King Live Action Film Aims To Protect Lions IRL

New Lion King Live Action Film Aims To Protect Lions IRL

Disney’s new live-action film The Lion King will undoubtedly be a box office smash, but it will also mark the company’s largest public commitment to conservation by supporting a global campaign to raise awareness of the plight of lions called “Protect the Pride.”   The campaign is supporting the Lion Recovery Fund, a collaboration between The Wildlife Conservation Network and the Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation, that is aiming to double the number of lions in the wild in Africa by the year 2050.

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Trump Fights Green Groups, Appeals to SCOTUS on Border Wall Funding

Trump Fights Green Groups, Appeals to SCOTUS on Border Wall Funding

President Trump is challenging in the Supreme Court two orders from lower federal courts that froze funding for 100 miles of the President’s border wall because the President took the money from other federal programs and projects without Congress’ consent based on his border “emergency” declaration.  On Friday, the Associated Press reported that the Administration […]

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Shrinking Protected Areas Causing Biodiversity Concerns to Rise

Shrinking Protected Areas Causing Biodiversity Concerns to Rise

A new report from Conservation International published today in Science documents that governments have removed more than 500,000 square kilometers from protected areas and downgraded the protection for an additional 1.65 million square kilometers, the majority of which are associated with industrial-scale development.

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