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Scientists have developed an innovative way to protect endangered rhinos from poaching: flood the market for rhino horn with a cheap, fake alternative.

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An elephant in Botswana. Mario Micklisch / CC BY 2.0

Two hunters who shot and killed a research elephant in Botswana and then destroyed its collar to hide the evidence have been banned from further hunting in the country.

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10'000 Hours / DigitalVision / Getty Images

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Eating nutritious foods can improve your health and energy levels.

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A tiger looks out from its cage at a new resort and zoo in the eastern Lao town of Tha Bak on Dec. 5, 2018. Karl Ammann believes the "zoo" is really a front for selling tigers. Terrence McCoy / The Washington Post / Getty Images

Are tigers extinct in Laos?

That's the conclusion of a detailed new study that found no evidence wild tigers still exist in the country.

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The world's oldest known living black rhino has died at age 57.

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Rangers said burning poisoned vulture carcasses removes the poison from the ecosystem. Wildlife ACT / Mongabay

By Fred Kockott

Another mass vulture poisoning incident has ended the year on a sour note for Wildlife ACT rangers in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal.

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Kandukuru Nagarjun / CC BY 2.0

By John R. Platt

Earlier this month a team of scientists announced they've developed a high-tech way to help save rhinos from poachers: They propose fabricating fake horns out of horse hair (which is also composed of inert keratin, like human fingernails) and then flooding the illegal market with their products, thereby lowering the price of powdered rhino horns so much that no one will ever want to kill another rhino again.

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An illegally trafficked tiger skull and pelt. Ryan Moehring / USFWS

By John R. Platt

When it comes to solving problems related to wildlife trade, there are an awful lot of "sticky widgets."

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The UK instituted the world's toughest ban on ivory last year which eliminated all sales of ivory and rankled collectors and dealers. Antique dealers sued in court to be able to continue to sell existing ivory and argued that the ban violated European law. The high court in the UK, however, struck down that argument earlier this week and said the UK's ban is fully legal, as The Guardian reported.

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A jaguar in Mato Grosso Sur, Brazil. Steve Winter / National Geographic

By Mike Gaworecki

Jaguars face a number of threats, from habitat destruction and fragmentation for agriculture to poaching, trophy hunting and retaliatory killings by ranchers. The cats are estimated to have lost nearly half of their historic range and to have declined by as much as 20 to 25 percent over the past three generations, which is why the species is listed as nearly threatened on the IUCN Red List.

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Elephants in Botswana seen from the air. guenterguni / Getty Images

Less than two months after Botswana lifted its ban on elephant hunting, a new study has confirmed that poaching is on the rise in the country that around one-third of Africa's savanna elephants call home.

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Naya made wildlife history when she became the first wolf to be spotted in Belgium for more than 100 years in January 2018.

But the wolf, who was carrying cubs, has not been seen since May. Belgium's Nature and Forest Agency (ANB) says it is "virtually certain" she has been killed, according to The Guardian.

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Scientists have successfully fertilized eggs taken from two female northern white rhinos, a year after the last remaining male died. DW

Seven eggs from the world's last northern white rhinoceroces have been successfully fertilized in a lab, scientists announced on Monday.

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Small-clawed otters. Mathias Appel / public domain

By Elizabeth L. Bennett

In recent years Asia's otters have been subject to intense poaching, primarily for their pelts. Markets in East Asia greatly value their smooth, dense, water-adapted fur. At same time the poaching of live otters for sale in the pet trade has become an emerging crisis. Even in Japan's famous cat cafés, otters have proven to be attractive alternatives to felines. The small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus), with its charming reputation, is especially vulnerable to such trade.

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A critically endangered black rhino calf was born at a Michigan zoo on Christmas Eve.

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The Indian government on Monday said its native wild tiger population has grown by more than 30% in four years thanks to bold conservation efforts.

The number of tigers in the wild rose to 2,967, up from 2,226 in 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the increase as a "historic achievement."

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A Masai giraffe and sunset at Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Ayzenstayn / Moment / Getty Images

Another subspecies of giraffe is now officially endangered, conservation scientists announced Thursday.

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A coyote mother and pups howl at the Minnesota Wildlife Connection in Sandstone, Minnesota.
Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images Plus

By Roland Kays

The Research Brief is a short take on interesting academic work.

THE BIG IDEA: Coyotes are poised to expand their range to a new continent. The North American canine native has now reached the Darién Gap – a dense wilderness on the border of Colombia and Panama, at the very doorstep of South America. If the coyote succeeds, it would be a new chapter in an amazing evolutionary story that's played out over the past half century.

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A dehydrated and injured Koala receives treatment at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie on Nov. 2 after its rescue from a bushfire. SAEED KHAN / AFP / Getty Images

The recent Australian brushfires and extended drought have decimated the koala population to the point where it may be "functionally extinct," according to an expert at the Australian Koala Foundation, as the Daily Mail in the UK reported.

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