#extinction
Koala Populations Devastated by Fire, Dogs Helping to Save Them

Koala Populations Devastated by Fire, Dogs Helping to Save Them

A historic bush fire has torn through the eastern Australia coast, killing at least four people according to The Washington Post, and now hundreds of Australia’s most iconic symbol — koala bears — are also feared dead.   But now, CNN reports that non-profits like the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) are using dogs trained to find koalas in the wild to rescue them.

Why This Matters:  For Australians, this is a national tragedy, and it painfully demonstrates the link between climate change and biodiversity loss. 

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Climate Change Causing a “Bird Emergency” According to National Audubon Society

Climate Change Causing a “Bird Emergency” According to National Audubon Society

The National Audubon Society issued an alarming entitled, Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink with the group’s CEO and President, David Yarnold, saying, “[t]wo-thirds of America’s birds are threatened with extinction from climate change, but keeping global temperatures down will help up to 76 percent of them.

Why This Matters: You can see what birds in your neighborhood are threatened by using this zip-code based tool (click and scroll down) that Audubon developed.  This type of information should help people to see the importance of changing our current trajectory of climate change.

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Gone Bird Gone – Three Billion Birds Gone from North America

Gone Bird Gone – Three Billion Birds Gone from North America

According to a study in the Journal Science published last Friday, bird populations have declined nearly 30 percent — a loss of 3 billions birds — in the last fifty years.  The study did not look at the reasons but one of the co-authors called it a “wake up call.”  In another paper published in […]

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Interview of the Week: Dr. Enric Sala, Explorer In Residence, National Geographic Society

Interview of the Week: Dr. Enric Sala, Explorer In Residence, National Geographic Society

Dr. Sala leads the Society’s efforts to save the last wild places on the planet for future generations to enjoy. ODP: You have said that it is now more important than ever for people to live in balance with nature. Why? ES: The loss of ecosystems that we have seen in certain regions is happening […]

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New England Aquarium Releases “Munchkin” a Rehabilitated Loggerhead Sea Turtle into the Wild

New England Aquarium Releases “Munchkin” a Rehabilitated Loggerhead Sea Turtle into the Wild

We LOVE stories like this one!  Last Tuesday, the New England Aquarium released back into the wild Munchkin, the largest sea turtle it had rehabilitated after it was found last November on a Massachusetts beach emaciated and near death after being entangled in debris, most likely a lobster trap line.  According to the local National Public Radio station, there were hundreds of spectators crowded onto the same beach where she was recovered to watch volunteers and scientists from the New England Aquarium get the 340 lb female of breeding age onto the sand, where she promptly “raced down the beach, pausing just before she dove back into the water.”

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Six North Atlantic Right Whales Now Found Dead This Year

Six North Atlantic Right Whales Now Found Dead This Year

Since we reported on the death of a young male North Atlantic Right Whale a few weeks ago, there have been five more dead whales found in Canadian waters, the latest one discovered just yesterday and a total of four in the last three days.  In response, Transport Canada immediately implemented an interim, precautionary speed restriction of 10 knots, for vessels of 20 meters or more in length traveling in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence, where all the whale deaths have been reported.

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New US-Canada Study Shows Right Whale Deaths Overwhelmingly Caused by Humans

New US-Canada Study Shows Right Whale Deaths Overwhelmingly Caused by Humans

A joint U.S.-Canada scientific paper published yesterday in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms looked at the causes of death for 70 North Atlantic right whales within the 16-year time period between 2003 and 2018 and found that of the 43 for which the researchers could determine a cause of death, nearly 90% were a direct result of entanglement in fishing lines and vessel collisions.

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Marine Life Declines Considerably In Worst Case Climate Crisis Scenario

Marine Life Declines Considerably In Worst Case Climate Crisis Scenario

A new study published on Tuesday by the National Academies of Science found that all the marine life in the ocean will decline by one-sixth by the year 2100 under the high emissions global warming scenario but on by 5% if we can stay within the low emissions scenario — with an average 5% decline for every 1 °C of warming. These losses are driven by temperature increases rather than fishing and were more significant in the tropics. 

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Plant Extinction is Happening 500x Faster Than Before the Industrial Revolution

Plant Extinction is Happening 500x Faster Than Before the Industrial Revolution

While we cover animal species extinctions a lot in ODP, but plants are also struggling to survive in a world that’s rapidly being altered by climate change. According to a new study published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, 600 plant extinctions have taken place of the past two and a half centuries. As […]

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Koala Bears On Road to Extinction

Koala Bears On Road to Extinction

The Australia Koala Foundation reported on Tuesday that the population of these beloved animals is in steep decline in many areas of Australia, and estimates are that only 80,000 remain in the wild, which makes the species “functionally extinct.”

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After the UN Extinction Report — Now What?

After the UN Extinction Report — Now What?

The United Nations report on the extinction crisis that came out on Monday made a relatively big splash. ICYMI, a group of scientists called the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), determined that biodiversity is declining at the fastest rate in human history, and only “transformational changes” to the way society operates can save the planet from ruin. 

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Giraffes Under Consideration for US Endangered Species Listing

As we reported yesterday, biodiversity is declining at a precipitous rate, according to a new study by scientists from across the globe for the United Nations.   In an effort to save one of the most iconic species on the planet —  the African giraffe —  the Fish and Wildlife Service at the Department of Interior is considering listing them on the nation’s endangered species list, which would mean restrictions on the importation into the United States and would also make small amounts of federal funding for giraffe conservation efforts available. 

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