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Spiders remain under-represented across the world's endangered-species conservation plans. karthik photography / Getty Images

By John R. Platt

Spiders need our help, and we may need to overcome our biases and fears to make that happen.

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The long-term survival of Velvet Scoters remains in serious jeopardy. BoukeAtema / Getty Images

By Nika Paposhvili

The wide-ranging sea duck known as the velvet scoter can be found in the skies and waters of nearly a dozen European and Asian countries, but it has almost disappeared from some of them. Just a few years ago, it was thought that the geographically isolated breeding population of these birds in the Caucasus was completely extinct. But a study conducted on the Javakheti plateau in 2017 revealed that Lake Tabatskuri in Georgia still holds a small breeding population of just 25-35 pairs. The long-term survival of this tiny population remains in serious jeopardy.

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white bed with throw pillows

The contents of our mattresses are often an afterthought. That's a mistake, as research shows that the quality of your sleeping surface can significantly impact your health.

As consumers gain awareness about the health effects of sleeping on potentially toxic compounds, mattress companies are responding with new beds made from better materials. Today, you can choose from a broad range of mattresses made from all-natural components, including organic wool, cotton, and latex. Here's a summary of the best non-toxic, eco-friendly mattresses available today and how to decide between them.

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A sign calls for solving California's water crisis in the San Joaquin Valley on April 2, 2021. Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

A familiar scene has returned to California: drought. Two counties are currently under emergency declarations, and the rest of the state could follow.

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Páramos, a type of high-altitude moorland ecosystem found in the South and Central American neotropics, are important water sources since they continually store and release water. Ernesto Tereñes / Getty Images

By Daniel Henryk Rasolt

On a recent, pre-pandemic journey to the High Andes of Colombia, I found myself surrounded by one of the region's emblematic species, the flowering shrubs known locally as frailejones or "big monks." These giant plants, relatives of sunflowers from the Espeletia genus, mesmerized me, their yellow buds and silvery hairs glistening in the intense, ephemeral sunlight.

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A humpback whale swims in the waters of Tonga. Mike Korostelev / Getty Images

By John R. Platt

Humans and whales have a complex relationship.

We've hunted whales for food for centuries, celebrated them in our art and culture, admired their familial relationships and songs, and even worshipped them as gods.

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Kike Calvo / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

By Federico Kacoliris

The El Rincon stream frog only lives in hot springs at the headwaters of a small Patagonian stream. With just a handful of decimated populations remaining, the critically endangered frog is struggling to survive.

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A surgical mask floats in the ocean. Eloi_Omella / Getty Images

By David Shiffman

As we enter what's hopefully the home stretch of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's time to take stock of how it affected every aspect of our world, to consider what happened, what could be done different to avoid those problems in the future, and what's next.

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An elephant in Zimbabwe. Letizia Barbi / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Charan Saunders

Last year the world reacted in shock when Namibia announced plans to auction off 170 live elephants to the highest bidder.

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A family of Asian small-clawed otters sit on a log. Tom Meaker / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Muntasir Akash

The smallest of the planet's 13 otter species finds its habitat shrinking every day. We know little about these mustelids — especially in Bangladesh, where I conduct my research — but they face a horde of threats.

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Construction workers prepare to remove the Veazie Dam on the Penobscot River in Orono, Maine, on July 22, 2013. Gordon Chibroski / Portland Press Herald / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

Atlantic salmon have a challenging life history — and those that hail from U.S. waters have seen things get increasingly difficult in the past 300 years.

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The Ehrenfeld Abandoned Mine Reclamation Project is the first of dozens of similar reclamation initiatives under the Abandoned Mine Lands Economic Revitalization Pilot Program. U.S. Dept. of the Interior

By Tara Lohan

Mined lands reclaimed for biking trails, office parks — even a winery. Efforts like these are already underway in Appalachia to reclaim the region's toxic history, restore blighted lands, and create economic opportunities in areas where decades-old mines haven't been properly cleaned up.

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The red lionfish is an example of an invasive species. ryasick / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

European green crabs arrived on the eastern shores of North America in the early 1800s, likely as ship ballast stowaways or affixed to boat hulls. They found their way to the continent's western shores by the 1980s, and they've caused trouble in every new ecosystem they invade.

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