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Animals

Orca Whale 'Crewser' Presumed Dead as Population Reaches Its Lowest Point Since 1984

Following the suspected death of an orca whale nicknamed Crewser, the population of southern resident orca whales is the lowest it has been in 34 years, The Seattle Times reported Saturday.

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Tucuxi Amazon river dolphins (Sotalia fluviatilis). Projeto Boto

Hunting, Fishing Cause Dramatic Decline in Amazon River Dolphins

By Claire Asher

Populations of two species of river dolphin in the Amazon are halving every decade, according to the results of a twenty-two year survey.

The Amazon rainforest is home to the Amazon river dolphin, or Boto (Inia geoffrensis) and the Tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis). But the results of a long-term study published in PLoS ONE show that both of these once abundant aquatic mammals are now in rapid decline in the Brazilian Amazon, likely due to hunting and fishing.

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Animals
Scottish wildcats are among the most threatened mammals in the UK, according to a new study. Peter Trimming / CC BY 2.0

One-Fifth of Britain’s Mammals Could Be Extinct in 10 Years

One-fifth of UK mammals could go extinct within a decade, according to the most comprehensive report in 20 years released Wednesday by The Mammal Society and Natural England.

The report found that the Scottish wildcat, black rat and greater mouse-eared bat were the most endangered species left, The Guardian reported.

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Animals
Dean Croshere / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Plastic Shreds, Rubber Bands and Balloon Pieces Found in Thai Turtle

Plastic waste is being blamed for the death of a green turtle found on the eastern province of Chanthaburi in Thailand.

The turtle washed up on the beach on June 4, Weerapong Laovechprasit, a veterinarian at the Eastern Marine and Coastal Resource Research and Development Centre told AFP.

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North Carolina Botanical Garden

The Captivating Venus Flytrap

By Matt Smith

It's late spring, and the Venus flytraps are blooming in the marshy countryside near the Carolina coast, their white flowers jutting far above the plants' business ends.

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Owen Freeman

What’s Happening to the North Atlantic Right Whale Is Just Plain Wrong

By Jason Bittel

Imagine if safari-goers in Africa came upon an elephant trudging through the brush covered in a tangle of ropes and netting. What if, on closer inspection, they found that the animal's mouth was blocked, preventing it from eating, or that lengths of rope had coiled around and cut into its legs, making every stride a battle? Imagine if the last thing those tourists saw was the elephant disappearing into the forest, dragging a veritable ball and chain of man-made debris behind it.

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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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Mountain gorilla family interaction during midday rest. Martin Harvey / WWF

Mountain Gorilla Population Surpasses 1,000, Despite Challenges

Numbers of critically endangered mountain gorillas are on the up, following conservation efforts in the transboundary Virunga Massif, one of the two remaining areas where the great ape is still found.

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Health
Chris Alberti / CC BY 2.0

Lawsuit Against EPA Seeks Protection From Dangerous Pesticide Malathion

Conservation and public health groups sued the Trump administration and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt on Wednesday for failing to protect endangered wildlife and the environment from the dangerous pesticide malathion.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that the EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have failed to complete the legally required steps to fully assess and limit the dangers of the neurotoxin.

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