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Animals
The gopher tortoise is one of the animals awaiting protection that could be impacted by a proposed DOI rule change. Jay Williams

Proposed DOI Rule Change Would Gut Protections for Future Threatened Species

On April 5, EcoWatch reported on a rule change proposed by the Department of Interior (DOI) that the Center for Biological Diversity warned could remove protections for more than 300 threatened species.

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John J. Audubon / Birds of America

The Tragic Story of America’s Only Native Parrot, Now Extinct for 100 Years

By Kevin R. Burgio

It was winter in upstate New York in 1780 in a rural town called Schoharie, home to the deeply religious Palatine Germans. Suddenly, a flock of gregarious red and green birds flew into town, seemingly upon a whirlwind.

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Animals
A parasitic wasp like the ones used in the experiment attacks a pair of aphids. Dirk Sanders

New Study Is First to Demonstrate That Biodiversity Inoculates Against Extinction

By Jason Bittel

Biodiversity has long been touted as important for staving off extinction. The more kinds of critters you have, in other words, the less likely any one of them—or a whole bunch of them—will disappear forever.

The trouble is, no one has ever really demonstrated this idea in a lab setting. Until now.

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Animals

Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

Dicamba Drift Could Put 60 Million Acres of Monarch Habitat at Risk

Dicamba—a drift-prone herbicide linked to millions of acres of off-target crop damage across in 17 states—destroys mostly everything in its path except the crops that are genetically engineered to resist it. It's so damaging that several states, including Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri have introduced temporary bans on the weedkiller.

There's now another reason to worry about the controversial chemical. It's particularly harmful to milkweed, the only host plant for the iconic and already at-risk monarch buttery.

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Christopher Michel / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Emergency Order Aims to Protect Resident Orcas

Canada is losing a lot of its wildlife. The World Wildlife Fund's 2017 Living Planet Report Canada found half the monitored mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish species declined from 1970 to 2014. Threatened and endangered species continue to disappear despite federal legislation designed to protect them and help their populations recover. What's going wrong?

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Mary Peterson / USFWS

Is This the Year the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow Goes Extinct?

By John R. Platt

This year the U.S. could experience its first bird extinction in more than three decades.

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Animals

Ghost Cat Gone: Eastern Cougar Officially Declared Extinct

By John R. Platt

Say good-bye to the "ghost cat." This week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially declared the eastern cougar (Puma concolor couguar) to be extinct and removed it from the endangered species list.

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A Persian Leopard Makes Her Debut Into the Wild—for the Second Time

Meet Victoria. She was among three Persian leopards released in 2016 into the wild of the Caucasus Nature Reserve—a place where the species had gone extinct. Last June, she went off the grid, only to reappear six months later in November in the village of Lykhny. Residents found traces of a leopard entering the community at night, so local authorities notified the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of Russia about the animal's approximate location.

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Animals
Ana Rodriguez-Prieto extracts DNA from wildlife samples using the GENE Expeditionlab at her team's remote field site in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Anna Sustersic

10 Top Conservation Tech Innovations From 2017

By Sue Palminteri

Technology is changing how we investigate and protect planet Earth.

The increased portability and reduced cost of data collection and synthesis tools, for instance—from visual and acoustic sensors to DNA sequencers, online mapping platforms and apps for sharing photos—have rapidly transformed how we research and conserve the natural world.

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