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Why This Matters: There are approximately 7 billion birds in North America. Harmful industrial practices in the U.S. kill an estimated 450 million to 1.1 billion birds each year in the U.S., according to estimates by the Fish and Wildlife Service. The American Bird Conservancy says that there are 279 critically endangered bird species in the Americas alone. Globally, biodiversity is declining at its highest rates in human history and according to a United Nations report, 1 million species are now endangered. The Fish and Wildlife Service acknowledged that the changes would have major consequences to not only migratory birds but also biological and cultural resources. The question is how fast could the incoming administration undo these changes to a 100-year-old bedrock global biodiversity protection system.
Despite a rejection by a New York federal judge in August, the Trump administration has decided to continue with its assault on migratory birds. “This is another step by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to jam through a rule to cement an interpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that a federal court has already declared illegal. At a time when North America has already lost 3 billion birds, the rule will further undercut our nation’s ability to conserve birds so many people care about deeply,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife.
David Yarnold, president of the National Audubon Society, emphasized that “reinstating this 100-year-old bedrock law must be a top conservation priority for the Biden-Harris Administration.” Other conservationists agree and hope that the Biden administration will prioritize reinstating protections not just for birds but for many other species that have fallen victim to the Trump administration’s pro-industry agenda. In October, Trump removed protections for gray wolves, and just recently, his administration moved to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. Carter Roberts, President and CEO, of World Wildlife fund is eager for the new administration, “President-elect Biden has long been a champion for these issues. As a Senator, he advocated for US leadership on global biodiversity conservation.”
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new study suggests that baby sharks are being born tiny, tired, and malnourished as a result of rising temperatures in the ocean. Scientists analyzed the effects of warming waters on young epaulette sharks — a small, egg-laying species that lives in the Great Barrier Reef. These researchers examined […]
In a story for the New York Times,Sam Anderson documents the lonely lives of the two beautiful creatures and details what we lose when a species vanishes before one’s eyes — it brings gravity to the extinction process that numbers and statistics just can’t.
Why This Matters: In 2019, the United Nations released a report detailing accelerating extinction rates.
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