extinction
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

extinction

Fossil evidence indicates that the Amazon's plant life changed about 66 million years ago. Travelpix Ltd / Getty Images

About 66 million years ago, a 12-km asteroid struck Earth. The massive heat and impact likely triggered tidal waves and clouded the skies with ash, The Washington Post reported. Scientists estimate that up to 75 percent of all life on land went extinct, including the dinosaurs.

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An endangered North Atlantic right whale is seen in New Brunswick's Bay of Fundy in Canada. Francois Gohier / VW Pics / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

Endangered North Atlantic right whales gave birth in greater numbers this winter compared to the past six years — a promising sign for a species that's been driven to the brink of extinction due to human activity.

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waterlust.com / @tulasendlesssummer_sierra .

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

The bright patterns and recognizable designs of Waterlust's activewear aren't just for show. In fact, they're meant to promote the conversation around sustainability and give back to the ocean science and conservation community.

Each design is paired with a research lab, nonprofit, or education organization that has high intellectual merit and the potential to move the needle in its respective field. For each product sold, Waterlust donates 10% of profits to these conservation partners.

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By John R. Platt

Spring has arrived, and while the rapidly improving weather begs us to spend more time outdoors and with friends and families, the ongoing pandemic also offers some good reasons to stay safe and indoors until most people have been vaccinated.

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Today, 28 populations of West Coast salmon and steelhead are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Digital Vision / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

It's not too hard to find salmon on a menu in the United States, but that seeming abundance — much of it fueled by overseas fish farms — overshadows a grim reality on the ground. Many of our wild salmon, outside Alaska, are on the ropes — and have been for decades.

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Harpy eagles are the largest raptor in South America and the national bird of Panama. Kevin Schafer / Getty Images

By Claire Wordley

The rancher peers at an enormous bird high in the treetops. Reining in his horse, he squints upward. It's not moving; maybe it will still be there when he gets back. An hour later, he returns with a gun. The huge animal is still there, motionless. Taking aim, he fires, and the heavy body comes crashing to the ground. He picks it up, marveling at its size and the incredible crest of feathers around its head. He strokes the soft gray and white plumes, perhaps feeling a sudden pang of sadness that the proud head is now lolling lifeless, as he puts the carcass over his saddle to show his family.

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Producing avocado and almond crops is having a detrimental effect on bees. Molly Aaker / Getty Images

At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.

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A rare bird not seen for 170 years has turned up in Borneo's South Kalimantan province in Indonesia. robas / Getty Images

In October 2020, two men living in Indonesia's South Kalimantan province on Borneo managed to catch a bird that they had never seen before. They photographed and released it, then sent the pictures to birdwatching organizations in the area for identification.

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The numbers of migratory freshwater fish such as salmon have declined 76 percent since 1970. Mike Bons / 500px / Getty Images

The latest warning of the Earth's mounting extinction crisis is coming from its lakes and rivers.

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Saltwater wetlands face functional extinction without a coordinated effort to save them. TahirAbbas / Getty Images

By Jeff Peterson

America's coastal saltwater wetlands are on a course toward functional extinction in the coming decades. Their demise will come at the hands of steadily accelerating sea-level rise and relentless coastal development. As these wetlands disappear, they will take with them habitat, storm buffering and carbon sequestration benefits of tremendous value.

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Many insect populations are dropping about one to two percent a year. Raung Binaia / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

A collection of new scientific papers authored by 56 experts from around the world reiterates rising concerns about bug declines and urges people and governments to take urgent action to address a biodiversity crisis dubbed the "insect apocalypse."

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A rare rusty-spotted cat is spotted in the wild in 2015. David V. Raju / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 4.0

Misunderstanding the needs of how to protect three rare cat species in Southeast Asia may be a driving factor in their extinction, according to a recent study.

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A baby orangutan displaced by palm oil plantation logging is seen at Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Center in Borneo, Indonesia on May 27, 2017. Jonathan Perugia / In Pictures / Getty Images

The world's largest financial institutions loaned more than $2.6 trillion in 2019 to sectors driving the climate crisis and wildlife destruction, according to a new report from advocacy organization portfolio.earth.

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