wildlife

Pet Trade in Colorful Songbirds Could Drive Species to Extinction

Pet Trade in Colorful Songbirds Could Drive Species to Extinction

Sometimes, beauty can be a death sentence. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the demand for decorative feathers devastated the populations of birds like great egrets and birds of paradise. Today, it is the exotic pet trade that threatens bright birds with extinction.  A new study published in Current Biology September 15 found that […]

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    Norway Kills Freya, the Superstar Walrus. Was There Another Way?

    Norway Kills Freya, the Superstar Walrus. Was There Another Way?

    Early on the morning of Sunday, August 14, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries euthanized Freya — the 1,300 pound walrus that became a summer superstar when she took up residence off the capital of Norway in mid-July. The directorate argued in a statement that euthanizing Freya was the only way to protect the crowds of humans […]

    Emerald Green Hummingbird Deemed ‘Lost to Science’ Reemerges in Colombia

    Emerald Green Hummingbird Deemed ‘Lost to Science’ Reemerges in Colombia

    By Liz Kimbrough In the mountains of Colombia, an experienced bird-watcher saw an iridescent flash of blue and green. “A hummingbird caught my attention. I got out my binoculars and was shocked to see that it was a Santa Marta sabrewing,” Yurgen Vega said. “This sighting was a complete surprise, but a very welcome one.” […]

    A Visit to a Remote Maine Island Finds Puffins and Terns Are Having a Good Year Despite Climate Change

    A Visit to a Remote Maine Island Finds Puffins and Terns Are Having a Good Year Despite Climate Change

    By Derrick Z. Jackson The title of supervisory wildlife biologist for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service does little justice to Linda Welch (pictured above). In practice, she is the housing and unusual development secretary for seabirds on Maine’s Petit Manan Island. This was clear as she led me to nesting areas there for Atlantic puffins. Over […]

    Wildfires 101: Everything You Need to Know

    Wildfires 101: Everything You Need to Know

    What Are Wildfires?  Wildfires, also commonly called forest fires or bushfires, are unplanned and uncontrolled fires burning in a vegetated landscape, such as a forest or grasslands. Many wildfires are sparked by human activity, such as campfires, or natural causes, like lightning. Dry conditions and prolonged droughts, which are becoming more frequent with climate change, […]

    Most Rainwater on Earth Contains PFAS Exceeding Safe Levels, Study Finds

    Most Rainwater on Earth Contains PFAS Exceeding Safe Levels, Study Finds

    New research from Stockholm University shows that PFAS in rainwater around the world are exceeding safe levels. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are chemical pollutants, often called “forever chemicals” present in many everyday items, like food packaging and clothing. The chemicals leach into the environment, affecting everything from the air we breathe to even rainfall. […]

    Could Tolerant and Peaceful Bonobos Be the Model for Human Peacemaking?

    Could Tolerant and Peaceful Bonobos Be the Model for Human Peacemaking?

    Humans share 98.7 percent of their DNA with two species of endangered great apes: bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Bonobos — which can only be found in forested regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), south of the Congo River — differ from chimpanzees in appearance and behavior. They are usually smaller, and their societal groups are led by females and are generally more peaceful.