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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 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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