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11 Stunning Photos of the World's Newest Biosphere Reserves

By Colleen Curry

The United Nations has designated 23 new sites around the world to its World Network of Biosphere reserves—stunning natural landscapes that balance environmental and human concerns and strive for sustainability.

The forests, beaches and waterways were added to the list this year at the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme meeting in Paris earlier this month.

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Is Giant Sequoia National Monument Next on the Hit List?

By Jason Mark

Sequoiadendron giganteum. That's the scientific name for the giant sequoia: the mammoth trees found in California's Sierra Nevada that are the largest organisms on Earth, and among the longest-lived. Biologists estimate that about half of all sequoias live in Giant Sequoia National Monument, a 328,000-acre preserve in the Southern Sierra Nevada established by President Clinton in 2000.

Now that national monument is in jeopardy.

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ArborGen pine tree field test site in South Carolina. BJ McManama

Southeast Is Ground Zero for Genetically Engineered Trees

By BJ McManama

ArborGen Corporation, a multinational conglomerate and leading supplier of seedlings for commercial forestry applications, has submitted an approval request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to deregulate and widely distribute a eucalyptus tree genetically engineered (GE) to be freeze tolerant. This modification will allow this GE variety to be grown in the U.S. Southeast. The reason this non-native and highly invasive tree has been artificially created to grow outside of its tropical environment is to greatly expand production capacity for the highly controversial woody biomass industry.

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Video: Humans Are Driving the Next Mass Extinction

"Species are like a house of cards, you can't just sort of take one card out of the deck and not expect the deck to crumble," said Dr. Michael Novacek, curator of paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, in this reality-driven video by Racing Extinction.

As the video above clearly shows, human activity is directly linked to mass extinction of the world's most endangered species.

Watch as renowned film director and co-founder of Oceanic Preservation Society, Louie Psihoyos, explains how "there's this incredible web where we're all connected, and when we start to lose these linchpin species, the environment starts to fail."

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Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Wikipedia

U.S. Quietly Removes 17 Sites From UN Biosphere Reserve Network

The U.S. has quietly withdrawn 17 sites from the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves program.

As first reported by National Geographic, the sites include a number of national forests, preserves and reserves from Alaska to the Virgin Islands (see list below). There were previously 47 biosphere reserves in the U.S.

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World's Largest Travel Website Stops Selling Tickets to Cayman Turtle Centre

On the eve of World Turtle Day, the world's largest travel website—TripAdvisor—removed the sale of tickets to the Cayman Turtle Centre, where more than 5,000 endangered sea turtles live in horrific conditions.

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Paul Nicklen

World-Renowned Photographer Documents Most Remote Ecosystems on Earth

By Andrea Kavanagh

World-renowned photojournalist Paul Nicklen, who has been documenting the polar regions and their native wildlife for more than 20 years, is motivated by more than the quest for a great shot.

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Center for Biological Diversity

Trump's Wall Threatens 93 Endangered Species

President Trump's border wall threatens 93 endangered and threatened species, including jaguars, ocelots, Mexican gray wolves and cactus ferruginous pygmy owls, according to a new study by the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Great Barrier Reef Legacy

Coral Reefs Could All Die Off by 2050

By Dahr Jamail

When he was six years old, Dean Miller already knew he wanted to be a marine biologist. At that time, growing up in Australia, the world of marine biology seemed both spectacular and limitless, he said.

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