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Why This Matters: The world has faced many major pandemics, such as SARS and now COVID-19, that are believed to have been spread from human contact with wild animals. Laws against selling endangered animals have not been enforced, even when past disease outbreaks led to a temporary closure of wildlife markets. But a real ban from both these countries that have major wildlife trading could begin the trend toward an effective solution. To prevent future crises, restrictions on trade must continue after the end of the pandemic and the new laws must be enforced. This will require a difficult cultural change because many people go to wildlife markets to buy “status symbols, pets, food or to be used in traditional medicines. But if a devastating global pandemic doesn’t create the impetus for the changes needed to prevent the next one, what will?
There is No Easy Solution but Habitat Protection Can Help
“I think it’s quite clear that the rapid rate of biodiversity loss is a measure of how much we’re disturbing the living world upon which our health depends,” said Aaron Bernstein (director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital). “People get really upset when the stock market takes massive punches. Well, if people think the stock market is a measure of human welfare, magnify that by a millionfold and look at the amount of life we share the planet with. Then you have something to really be concerned about.”
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer As the world warms, it’s not just people who are feeling the heat. Bats are also susceptible to extreme heat, and overheated bat boxes can be “a death trap,” the Guardian reports. In the wild, bats move between rock and tree crevices in search of a perfectly moderated temperature. […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new report entitled The World’s Forgotten Fishes from the World Wildlife Fund has found that there has been a “catastrophic” decline in freshwater fish, with nearly a third of all freshwater fish species coming perilously close to extinction. The statistics paint a sobering picture: 26% of all critically […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Move over Dolly, there’s a new clone in town and her name is Elizabeth Ann the Black-Footed ferret. You read that right; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced on Thursday that it had successfully cloned the first U.S. endangered species. Elizabeth Ann was born on December 10, […]
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