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Companies that unintentionally kill or harm migratory birds will no longer face any penalties for their actions — as the Trump administration delivers its final blows to nature on its way out the door. Rolling back the1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act undermines the purpose of the legislation, which was created to protect migrating birds — not the businesses that harm them. Migratory birds, like many other species, would greatly benefit from the proposal to protect 30% of the planet by 2030.
Pandemics and birds on the move: Birds could also be an indicator of future pandemics like COVID. A study from the ‘60s discovered that waterfowl and shorebirds in Australia could become infected with and share a virus but not show any symptoms, not unlike an asymptomatic spreader of COVID. Different virus strains can mutate and spread around the world with birds as the carriers, meaning they could help predict the next pandemic. “By keeping an eye on the different strains circulating in wild birds,” Audubon Magazine wrote earlier this year, “scientists might be able to identify a potentially dangerous virus.”
Migration maps: See how birds move across the Western Hemisphere with this amazing National Geographic interactive map. It puts migration routes into perspective, from the western tanager, which crosses the Western US from Mexico to Canada, to the greater yellowlegs, which forages on mudflats, flooded fields, salt marshes, and the margins of ponds on its route. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology also maintains detailed abundance maps, which show key areas for different bird species across the country including migration stopover spots breeding grounds.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer After centuries of overhunting, beavers may receive new protections in the Beaver State. Two bills have been introduced to the Oregon Legislative Assembly that would ban the killing of beavers on federally managed public land and exclude beavers from being classified as predatory animals. Experts hope that protected beaver populations will improve the health of their entire […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer As the Guardian reported, California is now in its second year of drought after a winter with little precipitation and it is the state’s fourth-driest year on record, especially in the northern two-thirds of the state, according to the California Department of Water Resources. Because of drought conditions, the […]
By Azzedine Downes In 1965, the Canadian government asked then 30-year-old Brian Davies to join a group of consultants to visit the annual seal “hunt” taking place in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Eastern Canada. The government sought feedback on how to make the hunt more humane. What Davies saw was there would change […]
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