Animals

Dugongs (Related to Manatees) Declared Functionally Extinct in China

Dugongs (Related to Manatees) Declared Functionally Extinct in China

The human imagination once transformed dugongs into mermaids. But now, human activity is pushing the gentle marine mammals into the realm of the imagination in a more sinister way.  A new study published in Royal Society Open Science Wednesday found that the dugong (dugong dugon) is “functionally extinct” in Chinese waters.  “The likely disappearance of […]

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    Norway Kills Freya, the Superstar Walrus. Was There Another Way?

    Norway Kills Freya, the Superstar Walrus. Was There Another Way?

    Early on the morning of Sunday, August 14, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries euthanized Freya — the 1,300 pound walrus that became a summer superstar when she took up residence off the capital of Norway in mid-July. The directorate argued in a statement that euthanizing Freya was the only way to protect the crowds of humans […]

    Which Mammals Can Best Survive Climate Change?

    Which Mammals Can Best Survive Climate Change?

    With the world experiencing more extreme weather due to climate change, landscapes are being altered and ecosystems are having to respond quickly. So which species are going to struggle and which are going to fare relatively well as extended droughts, heavy rains and floods reshape the world’s terrain? In a new study, biologists Christie Le […]

    Bumblebees Increasingly Stressed by Climate Change Over Past 100 Years, Study Finds

    Bumblebees Increasingly Stressed by Climate Change Over Past 100 Years, Study Finds

    Bumblebees are larger than honeybees and, while they collect and store nectar from flowers to consume themselves, they do not convert nectar into honey like honeybees. Bumblebees are essential pollinators for many wildflowers and agricultural crops like sunflowers, cranberries, blueberries and tomatoes. Two contemporaneous papers examining bumblebee populations in the UK were recently published by […]

    Emerald Green Hummingbird Deemed ‘Lost to Science’ Reemerges in Colombia

    Emerald Green Hummingbird Deemed ‘Lost to Science’ Reemerges in Colombia

    By Liz Kimbrough In the mountains of Colombia, an experienced bird-watcher saw an iridescent flash of blue and green. “A hummingbird caught my attention. I got out my binoculars and was shocked to see that it was a Santa Marta sabrewing,” Yurgen Vega said. “This sighting was a complete surprise, but a very welcome one.” […]

    Marine Life Defenders: UN Talks ‘Last Chance’ for Global Ocean Treaty

    Marine Life Defenders: UN Talks ‘Last Chance’ for Global Ocean Treaty

    By Jessica Corbett As the fifth and final round of talks for an international treaty to protect the high seas began at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on Monday, conservationists across the globe warned world leaders that this may be the “last chance” for a necessarily ambitious agreement. The ocean has absorbed over 90% of heat from […]

    A Visit to a Remote Maine Island Finds Puffins and Terns Are Having a Good Year Despite Climate Change

    A Visit to a Remote Maine Island Finds Puffins and Terns Are Having a Good Year Despite Climate Change

    By Derrick Z. Jackson The title of supervisory wildlife biologist for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service does little justice to Linda Welch (pictured above). In practice, she is the housing and unusual development secretary for seabirds on Maine’s Petit Manan Island. This was clear as she led me to nesting areas there for Atlantic puffins. Over […]

    Protect This Place: Italy’s World Heritage Beech Forests

    Protect This Place: Italy’s World Heritage Beech Forests

    By Olivia Box The Place Nestled at the very edge of the toe of mainland Italy you’ll find Aspromonte National Park, one of the wildest places in Italy. It sits at the end of the Apennines, which start just below the western Alps and run through central Italy to the toe of the country’s “boot.” […]