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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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Trump Administration Killed Big Game Hunting Advisory Council

Trump Administration Killed Big Game Hunting Advisory Council

Wildlife and environmental groups scored a legal victory last week when the Trump Administration admitted in court filings that it had disbanded the Interior Department’s International Wildlife Conservation Council, an advisory committee of hunting advocates charged with promoting the “benefits of international hunting,” when the advisory committee’s charter of the expired in December of last year.  It was the influence of panels like this one that led to the President reversing himself to allow big game trophies to be imported into the U.S. the agency after initially supporting the Obama Administration’s moratorium on bringing tusks and other elephant parts back home.

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One Cool Thing: Pangolins Protected From Poaching In South Africa

One Cool Thing: Pangolins Protected From Poaching In South Africa

The pangolin is the most highly trafficked mammal on Earth — they are poached at a higher rate than elephants, rhinos and tigers combined. Their scales are what the poachers want — they are ground up and used for medicine in China and Southeast Asia. Pangolins are on the brink of extinction — 120,000 were […]

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