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Animals
Elephant eyelash at Tsavo East National Park , Kenya. Worldwide Features / Barcroft Me / Barcroft Media / Getty Images

Wild-Caught Elephants Can Die Up to 7 Years Earlier

Catching an elephant from the wild can shorten its life by several years, a new study shows.

For the study, published Tuesday in Nature Communications, researchers studied records of 5,000 timber elephants in Myanmar to understand the effects of capture. They determined that capturing and taming wild-caught elephants resulted in a median lifespan that is 3–7 years shorter than their captive-born counterparts.

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Animals
Pexels

Can We Protect Elephants by Eavesdropping on Their Underground Messages?

By Jason Bittel

In the late 1990s, scientists discovered that elephants had a secret way of communicating, a vocalization so low in frequency it is imperceptible to the human ear. It's called infrasound. The ponderous pachyderms transmit these secret messages at least partly through the ground. When an elephant really lets loose, its infrasound can reverberate almost four miles through the rocks and sands of the savanna.

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Animals
Pexels

3 Reasons Elephants Make the Best Mothers

By Morgan Lynch

Being an elephant mother is a full-time job—and then some.

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Animals

GreenDreamsPhotography / Flickr

Great News for Elephants: UK to Introduce Legislation Banning Its Ivory Market

By Elly Pepper

The UK government announced Tuesday that it will soon introduce new primary legislation introducing a near-total ivory ban.

The announcement comes several months after the UK's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs commenced a public comment period on an impressive proposed ivory ban. About 130,000 individuals and organizations responded—88 percent of which were in favor of the ban—making it one of the largest consultations in UK history (see a summary of those responses here).

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Deforestation from Palm Oil Plantations in Papua. Mighty / Flickr

Places to Watch: 3 Forest Regions at Risk Right Now

By Mikaela Weisse and Katie Fletcher

This edition of Places to Watch examines forest clearing detected between Nov. 9, 2017, and Jan. 31, 2018 in Indonesian Papua, Cameroon and Brazil. Due to occasional cloud cover that can obscure satellite recognition, some loss may have occurred earlier.

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Elephant family in Kenya. Nzomo Victor / Flickr

Why Trump’s New Trophy Hunting Council Is a Disaster

By Elly Pepper

In early November—the same week the Trump administration announced its disastrous decision to allow elephant and lion trophy imports from Zimbabwe and Zambia—the administration decided to create an advisory committee, the International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC), to advise Trump on how to enhance trophy hunters' ability to hunt internationally.

Yup, that means the administration now has a council dedicated exclusively to promoting the killing of more imperiled species, like elephants and lions, for sport. The council's mandate includes counseling Trump on the economic, conservation, and anti-poaching benefits of trophy hunting, of which there are very few. Sadly, Trump doesn't want advice on the many drawbacks of trophy hunting.

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Climate
The EPA demolished a building at the Garfield Ground Water Contamination Superfund site in New Jersey in 2012.

5 Environmental Catastrophes in the Trump Budget (and Who to Call to Stop Them)

By AnaChristina Arana

President Trump has released his 2019 budget proposal, and when it comes to environmental policy, it's full of bad ideas.

The proposal he sent to Congress on Feb. 12 threatens our health, safety and economic future through major cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), essential environmental programs and our judicial rights. It would rob future generations of the chance to experience our nation's outdoors, gut clean air and water protections, and undermine toxic pollution cleanup programs that keep our children from being harmed by life-threatening pollution.

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Animals

Trump Will Now Consider Elephant Trophy Imports on 'Case-By-Case Basis'

The Trump administration will now consider all permits for importing the remains of elephants hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambia on a "case-by-case basis," The Hill reported.

The action is a reversal from President Trump's previous statements that his administration would keep the Obama-era ban on imports of the animals.

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Ryan Zinke at USDA headquarters in Washington, DC on Jan. 18, 2018. Lance Cheung / USDA / Flickr

Ryan Zinke Wins 2017 Rubber Dodo Award

Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke is the winner of the Center for Biological Diversity's 2017 Rubber Dodo award. The statue is awarded each year to the person or group who has most aggressively sought to destroy America's natural heritage or drive endangered species extinct.

"Ryan Zinke seems to wake up every day wondering how he can tear apart America's public lands, ramp up oil and gas development and put endangered species on a fast track to extinction," said Kierán Suckling, the Center for Biological Diversity's executive director.

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