“Himalayan Viagra” — the World’s Costliest Fungus — Is Added to IUCN Red List

“Himalayan Viagra” — the World’s Costliest Fungus — Is Added to IUCN Red List

This week Shivani Azad reported in Times of India that the “world’s costliest fungus,” Ophiocordyceps sinensis, was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species as a “vulnerable” species. The fungus, better known as “Himalayan Viagra,” yields profits on the global market between $5 billion and $11 billion  — in traditional Chinese medicine, it is a panacea for a  wide variety of medical issues, including as an aid to sexual performance.

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North Atlantic Right Whale and Many Species of Lemurs Now Critically Endangered

North Atlantic Right Whale and Many Species of Lemurs Now Critically Endangered

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is the global authority when it comes to whether a species is at risk of extinction, yesterday added the North Atlantic Right Whale of the eastern U.S. to its list of Critically Endangered species (elevated from Endangered) that are on the brink of extinction.  The IUCN also “upgraded” 13 different species of lemurs to the Critically Endangered list along with 20 other lemur species at risk of imminent extinction.

Why This Matters:  These species are on the verge of going extinct not because of anything they did, but rather because of us humans.

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Interview of the Week: Justin Kenney, UN Foundation, on Super Year for the Ocean

Interview of the Week: Justin Kenney, UN Foundation, on Super Year for the Ocean

Justin Kenney is the Senior Advisor for Climate, Energy, and Environment at the United Nations Foundation.   ODP: It’s a new year and in 2020, we know there will be a huge focus on the U.S. elections. But it is also a huge year for ocean conservation. Why? JK: 2020 will be the most important year […]

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What Are We Doing to Protect Biodiversity?

What Are We Doing to Protect Biodiversity?

  Throughout this week we’ve written about what biodiversity means, what’s driving its loss and how it relates to climate change. It’s been pretty somber content so we also wanted to talk about what’s being done to ensure that we don’t see the worst biodiversity loss scenarios. Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the […]

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Giraffes Under Consideration for US Endangered Species Listing

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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