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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.
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.
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.
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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