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Humanity Chopping Down Tree of Life, New Research Warns

By Jessica Corbett

Underscoring the urgent need for increased and intensely focused conservation efforts, new research shows that human activity worldwide is wiping out plant and animal life—including our own—so rapidly that evolution can't keep up.

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Watch as Sea Shepherd Ship Manager Rebecca Benjamin-Carey takes viewers on a tour through Operation Milagro V's latest vessel: The M/V White Holly. EcoWatch's Facebook / https://www.facebook.com/EcoWatch/videos/282268175718393/

WATCH: Less Than 30 Vaquitas Remain. Sea Shepherd Is Determined to Save World's Most Endangered Marine Mammal

Sea Shepherd will soon launch the White Holly vessel from Fernandina Beach, Florida to Mexico's Sea of Cortez in an effort to advance their latest campaign, Operation Milagro V. The campaign is focused on saving the the vaquita porpoise—the world's most endangered marine mammal.

EcoWatch teamed up with Sea Shepherd in this exclusive Facebook live video below to hear about their mission to save the vaquita. Asia's wildlife blackmarket is on track to driving the vaquita to extinction. Poachers causing the crisis are not actually after the vaquita, but the totoaba fish, as one totoaba bladder sells for $20,000 USD in China's blackmarket. As a result vaquitas are tragically getting trapped in illegal nets and dying at rapid rates.

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Glyphosate Could Be Factor in Bee Decline, Study Warns

Another study has cast doubt on the environmental safety of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, the most frequently used weedkiller in the world.

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Animals
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Lawsuit Launched to Push Trump Administration to Protect Giraffes From Extinction

Conservation groups Tuesday filed a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to respond to a legal petition to protect giraffes under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was required to respond to the April 2017 petition within 90 days, but nearly 17 months have passed with no finding.

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To Prevent 'Major Extinction Crisis,' Scientists Call for Designating Half of Planet as Protected Areas by 2050

By Jessica Corbett

A pair of leading scientists is calling on the global community to spend the next few decades working toward formal protections for at least half of the world's oceans and lands, warning that as the human population nears its projected 10 billion by mid-century, several species will face a heightened threat of extinction.

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A drawing of the new species. By Hazel Wilks / Willdenowia / CC BY 4.0 license

New Tree Species Discovered — and Declared Extinct

By John R. Platt

Sometimes you don't know what you've got until it's gone.

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Animals
France's subantarctic Île aux Cochons was once home to half a million breeding pairs of king penguins. Now, only 60,000 remain. Liam Quinn / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

World's Largest King Penguin Colony Shrunk 90% in Last Three Decades

The world's largest colony of king penguins declined nearly 90 percent in the last three decades, researchers announced Monday.

The colony inhabits France's subantarctic Île aux Cochons or Pig Island. Observations from the 1980s showed that it was once home to 2 million king penguins, making it the planet's largest colony of the species, and also the second largest colony of all penguins.

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Proboscis monkey sub-mature male feeding on leaves. Anup Shah / Getty Images

Four Countries Are Home to Two-Thirds of the Planet’s Primates—and Most of Those Are Endangered

By Jason Bittel

At last count, there were 505 nonhuman primate species living in the wilds of 90 countries across the globe. That might make you think of Earth as the Planet of the Apes (plus monkeys, lemurs, tarsiers and lorises), but according to a large study published last month, those statistics are a little misleading.

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Prajwal KM / CC BY-SA 3.0

Is the Great Indian Bustard About to Go Extinct?

By John R. Platt

Nearly 60 years ago the legendary ornithologist Sálim Ali made a bold proposition: A three-foot-tall bird known as the great Indian bustard, he suggested, should be named as the national bird of India.

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