#extinction
Interview of the Week: M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International

Interview of the Week: M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International

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. […]

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Right Whale Protections Amped Up in New England

Right Whale Protections Amped Up in New England

A federal judge in Boston ruled late Thursday that Massachusetts is violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by granting permits to lobster fishers to use vertical buoy lines, the ropes that connect lobster traps on the seafloor to buoys at the surface, without federal permission because the fishing lines are the leading cause of death of highly endangered right whales over the past decade.

Why This Matters:  The Boston court ruling will likely disrupt the lobster industry in the short run.

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One Talented Kid:  The Winner of the 2020 World Wildlife Day Global Youth Art Contest

One Talented Kid: The Winner of the 2020 World Wildlife Day Global Youth Art Contest

Australian youth artist Tiarn Garland, 15, is the winner of the World Wildlife Day 2020 International Youth Art Contest, which was co-sponsored by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Secretariat, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).  Titled “Here today….but tomorrow?”, Tiarn’s work depicts a […]

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$1M In Illegal Shark Fins Seized in Miami

$1M In Illegal Shark Fins Seized in Miami

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in January seized 1,400 pounds of shark fins worth nearly $1M that were hidden in 18 boxes in Miami Airport.  Federal officials believe the shipment originated in South America and was likely headed to Asia, where shark fins are in great demand for use in soup and traditional medicine, but they are still investigating.

Why This Matters:  Shark finning is banned in the U.S., but it is not illegal to buy and sell their fins here or even to sell the soup in restaurants in some states (it is banned in others).

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Interview of the Week: Dr. Enric Sala of the National Geographic Society on #30×30

Interview of the Week: Dr. Enric Sala of the National Geographic Society on #30×30

Dr. Enric Sala is a marine ecologist who has co-authored more than 120 publications, and an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, where he is dedicated to restoring the health and productivity of the ocean. ODP:  You moved from a very successful academic career to your current exploration and advocacy work at Nat Geo.  Why […]

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Birds Survive Cold Winters By Adding a Feather Jacket

Birds Survive Cold Winters By Adding a Feather Jacket

Scientists have studied birds to try to understand how they stay warm during the cold winter months — the answer is a variety of strategies, including adding a “coat” of feathers, shivering, and some species, such as chickadees and bluebirds, huddle together to share heat — all things that humans do too.  But other cold-weather […]

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How the West Was Lost

How the West Was Lost

By Kate Wall When one thinks of the western United States it’s hard not to conjure up images of wildlife and wilderness.  But a coalition of “western” lawmakers wants to change that.  Last week the Congressional Western Caucus formally announced a raft of legislation aimed squarely at the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA has […]

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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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