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Hunting for food and medicine is driving pangolins towards extinction. Jabruson / Nature Picture Library / Getty Images

By Tim Radford

The world's biggest animals—the largest birds, the bigger mammals and even reptiles, sharks and amphibians—are in increasing danger of extinction. Climate change, habitat loss and pollution may all be part of the problem, but the biggest and most direct threat is a simple one.

They are being hunted to death. They are being killed for meat, for trophies such as horns and tusks, and for body parts used in Asian medicine.

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On thin ice. Christopher Michel / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Russian military is taking measures to protect the residents of a remote Arctic settlement from a mass of polar bears, German press agency DPA reported.

The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.

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The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas is not only a sanctuary to some 200 species of butterflies, it's also a home for the area's other unique wildlife.

With border wall construction imminent, the center posted a two-minute video featuring a bobcat living in the facility's southern 70 acres that will be cut off by the barrier once it's built.

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"A Polar Bear's Struggle." Justin Hofman

The Natural History Museum in London announced on Wednesday the winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year: LUMIX People's Choice Award.

After counting 16,000 votes from nature fans, wildlife photographer David Lloyd's shot of a pair of nuzzling Serengeti lions, called Bond of Brothers, was crowned the top image.

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Seen is a general view of a blocked major intersection in the flooded Townsville suburb of Idalia on Feb. 04, 2019 in Townsville, Queensland, Australia. Ian Hitchcock / Getty Images

An estimated 500,000 are feared dead after historic floods inundated Queensland, Australia, according to News.com.au, citing the state's cattle industry.

Financial losses are estimated at $300 million Australian dollars (about $212 million U.S.).

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Yellow scorpions have a poisonous, though not often deadly, sting. José Roberto Peruca / Flickr, CC BY 2.0

By Hamilton Coimbra Carvalho

I live in São Paulo, the biggest city in Brazil, home to some 12 million people—20 million if you count the outskirts, which have been sprawling for three decades.

That makes it a good place to observe the phenomenon I research: complex social problems. In academia, this concept refers to problems like corruption, crime and traffic—problems that, in practice, cannot be solved. They must simply be mitigated or managed.

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