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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Two rare Malayan tiger cubs born at the Bronx Zoo in January 2016, Nadia and Azul made their public debut in September 2016. Nadia has now tested positive for the new coronavirus, and Azul has shown symptoms.

A tiger at the Bronx Zoo is believed to be the first animal in the U.S. and the first tiger in the world to test positive for the new coronavirus.

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Pexels

By Zak Smith

It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Some speculate that the dissemination of the Antarctic beeches or Nothofagus moorei (seen above in Australia) dates to the time when Antarctica, Australia and South America were connected. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

A team of scientists drilled into the ground near the South Pole to discover forest and fossils from the Cretaceous nearly 90 million years ago, which is the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, as the BBC reported.

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The recovery of elephant seals is one of the "signs of hope" that scientists say show the oceans can recover swiftly if we let them. NOAA / CC BY 2.0

The challenges facing the world's oceans are well known: plastic pollution could crowd out fish by 2050, and the climate crisis could wipe out coral reefs by 2100.

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By Fino Menezes

Everyone adores dolphins. Intelligent, inquisitive and playful, these special creatures have captivated humans since the dawn of time. But dolphins didn't get to where they are by accident — they needed to develop some pretty amazing superpowers to cope with their environment.

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Some parks are already taking measures to protect vulnerable great apes from COVID-19, like the one pictured above at Virunga National Park in the Congo on Dec. 8, 2016. Jürgen Bätz / picture alliance / Getty Images

The new coronavirus may have passed from animals to humans, but now there are concerns that it could pass from humans to endangered species of apes.

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An artist's rendering of Ikaria wariootia. Sohail Wasif / UC Riverside

Scientists have discovered our earliest common ancestor — and the earliest ancestor of all animal life.

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A Parson's chameleon (C. parsonii). Rhett A.Butler

By Malavika Vyawahare

For more than 180 years, several soft-nosed chameleons from Madagascar sat together in a single species complex (Calumma nasutum) until scientists decided to take a closer look. They disentangled the chameleons into 16 distinct species and, in the process, described three new ones.

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Pixabay

By John R. Platt

With the coronavirus continuing to spread and self-isolation becoming the norm, it feels more important than ever to embrace the power and beauty of nature. Sure, we can't travel as much these days, but the modern world can still bring the natural world to us.

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Scientists have discovered the oldest known modern bird fossil, dating back to one million years before the asteroid strike that drove the dinosaurs to extinction.

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A grumpy burrowing owl. Andy Morffew / CC BY 2.0

By John R. Platt

What do we lose when natural spaces and species disappear?

Increasingly, research has shown that as species and ecosystems vanish, it also chips away at our ability to preserve what remains — because we no longer understand what we're losing.

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