Freshwater Mussels Face Potential Pandemic of Their Own

Freshwater Mussels Face Potential Pandemic of Their Own

While humans face COVID-19, freshwater mussels could be facing a pandemic of their own. Researchers have found a novel densovirus, dubbed “Mussel-bola,” that may be responsible for killing 80,000 mussels in a 650 foot stretch of the Clinch River in Virginia over only 2 years.

Why This Matters: Mussels serve as a proverbial canary in the coalmine for freshwater ecosystems.

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64 World Leaders – With Some Obvious Exceptions – Pledge to Conserve Nature click button

64 World Leaders – With Some Obvious Exceptions – Pledge to Conserve Nature

The COVID-19 pandemic and a series of devastating reports have made clear that our “debt” to nature must be repaid, and yesterday more than 60 world leaders, including the Secretary-General of the United Nations, pledged to conserve more of the natural world.  They signed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, promising to address the climate crisis, deforestation, […]

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Study Shows Spending On Conservation For Pandemic Prevention Yields Huge Benefits

Study Shows Spending On Conservation For Pandemic Prevention Yields Huge Benefits

A new study published in the Journal Science yesterday found that the costs preventing pandemics using three conservation strategies are substantially less than the economic losses and mortality costs of responding to a global zoonotic virus once it occurs.

Why This Matters:  As the study’s authors explain, the risks of zoonotic disease are higher than ever as increasingly intimate associations between humans and wildlife disease reservoirs accelerate the potential for viruses to spread globally.

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Public Opinion in Asian Nations Overwhelmingly Favors Closing Unregulated “Wet Markets”

Public Opinion in Asian Nations Overwhelmingly Favors Closing Unregulated “Wet Markets”

The World Wildlife Fund – U.S. (WWF- US) commissioned a public opinion survey in Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam in early March and they found that 93% of respondents in the four countries with active illegal wildlife markets support efforts by their governments and health ministries to close all illegal and unregulated markets selling wild animals – Japan was the lone exception.  

Why This Matters:  As Dr. Fauci says if we do not have enough evidence of the global toll unsustainable practices like this are having on our world, then what will it take?  

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Vietnam Joins China in Taking Steps To End Wildlife Trade to Help Prevent Future Pandemics

Vietnam Joins China in Taking Steps To End Wildlife Trade to Help Prevent Future Pandemics

China has taken “concrete steps” to close its “wet” or wildlife markets and now Vietnam is following suit, according to Sierra, the magazine of the environmental group The Sierra Club. 

Why This Matters:  The world has faced many major pandemics, such as SARS and now COVID-19, that are believed to have been spread from human contact with wild animals.

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Happiness in the Age of COVID-19

Happiness in the Age of COVID-19

By Beth Allgood,  U.S. Country Director, IFAW In 2013, the United Nations (UN) marked March 20th as the International Day of Happiness to recognize the importance of happiness and well-being in the lives of people around the world. Last year, I attended the launch of the annual UN World Happiness Report in New York. This […]

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