New Report Highlights Wildlife Cybercrime

New Report Highlights Wildlife Cybercrime

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer The wildlife trafficking market is, unfortunately, alive and well, despite national and international protection. An investigation by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) found nearly 1,200 advertisements for almost 2,400 animals or animal products for sale online over the course of six weeks despite protection under U.S. and international law. […]

Continue Reading 517 words
Bolivian Authorities Investigate Mass Poisoning of Endangered Condors

Bolivian Authorities Investigate Mass Poisoning of Endangered Condors

Last weekend, Bolivian officials announced an investigation into the poisoning of 35 endangered condors in a small rural community. Andean condors are one of the largest flying birds in existence and their numbers have been consistently declining.

Why This Matters: We’ve reported many times on the ongoing biodiversity crisis scientists predict we will lose one-third of all species by 2070.

Continue Reading 449 words
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.

Continue Reading 589 words
How Do New Diseases Like COVID-19 Originate In Wildlife Markets?

How Do New Diseases Like COVID-19 Originate In Wildlife Markets?

As Ferris Jabr explains in frightening detail in The New York Times Magazine, bats are “planets unto themselves, teeming with invisible ecosystems of fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Many of the viruses multiplying within the bats had circulated among their hosts for thousands of years, if not longer, using bat cells to replicate but rarely causing severe illness.”

Why This Matters: The hunter, by snatching the bats from their cave and selling them as food, he gave the viruses inside the bats a whole new world to inhabit in humans. 

Continue Reading 330 words
Monitoring Animals From the Space Station To Improve Their Conservation

Monitoring Animals From the Space Station To Improve Their Conservation

Using inexpensive tracking technology and a large antenna installed on the International Space Station, a consortium of researchers is hoping to gather a wider range of data than they had using previous tracking technologies, including long migration patterns, allowing them to better understand how climate change and habitat loss impact wildlife. 

Why This Matters:  In addition to better understanding of wildlife migration and threats, the technology could be used for a range of other goals.

Continue Reading 502 words
The Brave Ones: An All Female Ranger Unit Guarding Wildlife In Zimbabwe

The Brave Ones: An All Female Ranger Unit Guarding Wildlife In Zimbabwe

An elite unit of rangers protects the Phundundu Wildlife Area in Zimbabwe — it’s a 115 square mile former trophy hunting area that is home to 11,000 elephants — and it’s the first nature reserve in the world to be managed and protected by only by women.  The women rangers – many of whom came from backgrounds of abuse – call themselves the Akashinga, ‘the Brave Ones’ and are changing the face of conservation in Zimbabwe.

Continue Reading 503 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.