Previous Wildlife News 2014-2020

2014     2015     2016     2017     2018     2019

The Serviceberry, An Economy of Abundance 12-26-20

As Robin Wall Kimmerer harvests serviceberries alongside the birds, she considers the ethic of reciprocity that lies at the heart of the gift economy. How, she asks, can we learn from Indigenous wisdom and ecological systems to reimagine currencies of exchange? Read more at Emergence Magazine

State Officials Plan to Ban Lobster Fishing For Several Months a Year to Help Endangered Right Whales 12-17-20

State officials said the rules, which were proposed this month after scientists estimated that only about 356 right whales remain. Read more at The Boston Globe

Trump Admin Delays Protecting Threatened Monarch Butterflies Until 2023 12-16-20

The Trump administration said Tuesday that federal protection for monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act is still a few years away. The reason? The administration cited 161 vulnerable species that are already waiting in line ahead of monarchs. Read more at EcoWatch

How You Can Help Count and Conserve Native Bees 12-07-20

Honeybees and their problems get the most attention, but scientists are using tactics learned from bird conservation to protect American bees. Read more at The New York Times

Clean air policies are for the birds 12-02-20

According to a new estimate, reducing ozone pollution has saved 1.5 billion birds over the past 40 years. Read more at Anthropocene

Trump Takes Aim at Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Reduces Protections for Nations Birds 11-30-20

On Friday, the Trump administration moved another step closer to cutting federal protections for birds despite opposition from conservation groups and experts. Read more at Our Daily Planet

At Sea and in Court, the Fight to Save Right Whales Intensifies 11-17-20

As numbers of North Atlantic right whales keep declining because of entanglements with fishing gear and fatal ship strikes, conservationists are using acoustic technology and waging an escalating legal battle to push for more aggressive action to protect the world’s rarest cetacean. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Do Animals (Besides Us) Vote For Their Leaders? 11-05-20

We humans aren’t the only ones who have devised democratic methods for electing leaders. As our count for the presidential winner continues, the Guardian explains how other species “vote” for leaders that can make or break their survival. Read more at Our Daily Planet

New WWF Report Shines a Light on Getting Rid of Ghost Gear 10-21-20

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued a new report yesterday illuminating the devastating impact of derelict or abandoned fishing gear in the ocean (aka “ghost gear”), and the numbers are terrifying Read more at Our Daily Planet

Cargo Vessels Are Killing More Whales — A New Effort Aims to Save Them 10-14-20

A blue whale can weigh as much as 200 tons and consume 12,000 pounds of krill in a single day. But even the largest animal on Earth doesn’t stand a chance against a fast-moving cargo ship. Read more at EcoWatch

New Report Shows Just How Much It Would Cost to Protect Nature 09-18-20

Yesterday the Paulson Institute, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Cornell University released a major new report which takes the most in-depth and comprehensive analysis ever completed about biodiversity financing. Read more at Our Daily Planet

Hundreds of Thousands of Migratory Birds ‘Falling Out of the Sky’ in the Southwest 09-16-20

The American Southwest is witnessing a horrific and inexplicable phenomenon, likely due to the climate crisis: hundreds of thousands of migratory birds are dying off. Read more at EcoWatch

The Relative Abundance of Bumblebees In North America Is Estimated to Have Crashed by 97 Percent 09-05-20

Terrible news for bees—and for farmers. Read more at Mother Jones

NC Appeals NOAA’s Seismic Testing Decision 08-26-20

Citing risks to the environment and the coastal economy, Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein announced Wednesday that the state has appealed a federal decision to override the state’s objection to a company’s plan for offshore seismic testing. Read more at Coastal Review

Federal Judge Strikes Down Trump Admin Rollback of Law Protecting Migratory Birds 08-12-20

Environmentalists and ornithologists found a friend in a federal court on Tuesday when a judge struck down a Trump administration attempt to allow polluters to kill birds without repercussions through rewriting the Migratory Treaty Bird Act (MBTA). Read more at EcoWatch

An overlooked threat to the honey bee: Air pollution 08-11-20

It’s no secret that living near a highway, a power plant, or some other source of air pollution can slowly kill you. Read more at Grist

Alarm as pesticides spur rapid decline of US bird species 08-10-20

Popular pesticides are causing bird species to decline at an alarming rate in the US, adding fuel to a 50-year downward trend in bird biodiversity, a new report has found. Read more at The Guardian

Stranded whales and dolphins offer a snapshot of ocean contamination 08-10-20

“Many of the chemical profiles that we see in cetaceans are similar to the types of chemical profiles that we see in humans who live in those coastal areas.” Read more at Environmental Health News

We Leave the Milkweed Standing as a Monument to a Vanishing World 08-10-20

The Monarch butterfly is in great peril. Read more at Esquire

The Butterfly Effect 07-26-20

Climate change can feel impossible to solve. But, as monarchs show, small actions can have world-altering results. Read more at The Walrus

Northern Right Whales Are on the Brink, and Trump Could Be Their Last Hope 07-09-20

The species was declared critically endangered on Thursday, with fewer than 450 left. Read more at The New York Times

Trump Rollback Allows Hunters to Kill Bears and Wolves in Their Dens 05-28-20

In another reversal of Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is having the National Park Service rescind a 2015 order that protected bears and wolves within protected lands. Read more at EcoWatch

Birds Are Eating Hundreds of Plastic Bits Daily, New Studies Find 05-22-20

The gruesome images of whales and deer dying after mistaking plastic for food has helped put into perspective just how severe the plastic waste crisis is. Read more at EcoWatch

Bald eagles’ recovery along James River soars to new heights 05-12-20

Area’s 300 breeding pairs surpass goal for entire Chesapeake watershed. Read more at Bay Journal

Florida: Endangered Sea Turtles Thriving Thanks to Covid-19 Restrictions 04-19-20

Researchers are seeing an increase in nests as restrictions keep humans and harmful waste off beaches. Read more at The Guardian

Wild Bears ‘Having a Party’ in Coronavirus-Closed Yosemite National Park 04-16-20

Wild bears in Yosemite National Park are coming out of the woodwork in what park officials are calling a “party” following the park’s March 20 closure in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Read more at EcoWatch

Arctic Warming Endangers Ringed Seals 04-10-20

Ringed seals spend most of the year hidden in icy Arctic waters, breathing through holes they create in the thick sea ice. Read more at EcoWatch

In a Race Against Global Warming, Robins Are Migrating Earlier 04-07-20

A new tracking study suggests the birds are responding to the dwindling snow cover on their migratory flight path. Read more at Inside Climate News

Beat the COVID-19 Blues With These Wildlife and Nature Livecams 03-19-20

With the coronavirus continuing to spread and self-isolation becoming the norm, it feels more important than ever to embrace the power and beauty of nature. Sure, we can’t travel as much these days, but the modern world can still bring the natural world to us. Read more at EcoWatch

An Emerging Threat to Conservation: Fear of Nature 03-13-20

It’s called “biophobia,” a disconnection from nature that’s reducing our collective will to preserve species and habitats. But new research points toward some wild solutions. Read more at The Revelator

Sea turtles are eating ocean plastic because it smells like food, study finds 03-09-20

Across the world, sea turtles are swallowing bits of plastic in the ocean and often dying as a result. Read more at CNBC 

Psychic Numbing: Keeping Hope Alive in a World of Extinctions 02-26-20

The litany of lost species can be overwhelming, leading to what has been called “psychic numbing.” But as the recovery of species from bald eagles to humpback whales shows, our actions do matter in saving species and the aliveness and beauty they bring to the world. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Why We Need (Ethical) Wildlife Photography Now More Than Ever 02-20-20

To be a good wildlife photographer, you need an expertly trained eye. But good ears help, too. Read more at EcoWatch

How a Beloved Bird Is Helping Save the Chesapeake Bay 02-18-20

Maryland farmers discover that what’s good for the northern bobwhite quail is good for the Chesapeake Bay. Read more at Hakai Magazine

Bald Eagles Are Still Dying From Lead Poisoning 02-17-20

America’s national bird is threatened by hunters. Not that hunters are taking aim at the iconic bald eagle, but bald eagles are dying after eating lead bullets, as CNN reported. Read more at EcoWatch

“Climate chaos” and bumble bee extinction 02-06-20

As temperatures warm, bumble bees can’t take the heat. Read more at Environmental Health News

Can We Protect Nature by Giving it Legal Rights? 02-04-20

Around the world, communities are using “Rights of Nature” laws to defend waterways, species and more from human threats Read more at Ensia

Acting Now Could Save Bugs From Insect Apocalypse 01-29-20

Seven ‘no-regret’ actions could rescue insects on the road to extinction, a new roadmap for conservation says, helping ecosystems even where a lack of research means scientists cannot prove benefits to individual species. Read more at EcoWatch

As the Birds Vanish 01-15-20

The descendants of dinosaurs are leaving us, and we don’t know how to register the loss. Read more at The Tyee. Read more at The Tyee

All we owe to animals 01-15-20

It is not enough to conserve species and ecosystems. We have an ethical duty to care for each individual animal on earth. Read more at Aeon

Warming oceans force leatherback turtles on longer journeys to feed 01-14-20

Migration routes after nesting in French Guiana found extended as far as Nova Scotia and France, research shows. Read more at The Guardian

Creating a buzz in Detroit’s vacant lots 01-06-20

Long a hotbed for the urban farming movement, Detroit is seeing a surge in urban beekeeping. Read more at Environmental Health News


Biodiversity: hopes and fears for the next 10 years 12-31-19

Some of the world’s leading voices on the environment discuss concerns and areas of optimism Read more at The Guardian

Inside the fragile world of Québec’s harp seals 12-19-19

A Nat Geo photographer explores the precarious, frozen landscape of the world’s cutest creatures. Read more at National Geographic

A Field Guide to the Future of North American Birds 12-10-19

Audubon’s new climate report warns of massive avian loss if we don’t change course and stabilize global carbon emissions.

Read more at Audubon

Fed Agency Plans Not Adequate to Prevent 99.8% of U.S. Endangered Species From Climate Crisis 11-20-19

While the planet continues to heat up, almost every single one of the 459 species listed as endangered in the U.S. will struggle. Read more at EcoWatch

These Girl Scouts are saving wild bees, one ‘hotel’ at a time 10-21-19

Last month, millions of youth activists around the world took to the streets to fight for their right to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and not have to suffer the wrath of the climate crisis. Read more at Grist

These State Birds May Be Forced Out of Their States as the World Warms 10-10-19

Each state in America has an official state bird, usually an iconic species that helps define the landscape. Minnesota chose the common loon, whose haunting wails echo across the state’s northern lakes each summer. Read more at The New York Times

Dolphins are swimming, mating and even giving birth in the Potomac 10-02-19

Five decades ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the polluted Potomac River a “national disgrace.” Although it is now much cleaner, officials in Washington are still not convinced the water is safe for humans to swim in. Read more at The Washington Post

We’re Just Starting to Learn How Fracking Harms Wildlife 10-02-19

Mounting evidence proves that natural-gas and oil extraction threatens wildlife and ecosystems — much as it harms human health. Read more at The Revelator

17 States Sue to Stop Trump Admin Attack on Endangered Species Act 09-26-19

A little more than a month after the Trump administration announced a major rollback of the Endangered Species Act, 17 states are suing to stop it. Read more at EcoWatch

Vanishing: More Than 1 in 4 Birds Have Disappeared in the Last 50 Years 09-19-19

If you were alive in the year 1970, more than one in four birds in the U.S. and Canada have disappeared within your lifetime. Read more at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology – All About Birds

Alaska’s last vast wild place is open for drilling. Will the birds survive? 09-10-19

Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, where millions of birds come to nest and raise their young, is now under threat from petroleum development. Read more at National Geographic

Facing uncertain future, puffins adapt to survive climate change 08-27-19

The fate of the seabirds remains heavily in the hands of humans. Read more at The Daily Climate 

Trump Admin Guts Endangered Species Act in the Midst of Climate Crisis and Biodiversity Loss 08-13-19

The Trump administration announced sweeping changes to the Endangered Species Act Monday in a move that could make it harder to protect plants and animals from the climate crisisThe New York Times reported. Read more at EcoWatch

Saving endangered species: 5 essential reads 08-13-19

The Trump administration has announced rule changes that alter how it will enforce the 1973 Endangered Species Act, which protects threatened and endangered species and their habitats. Read more at The Conversation

What’s in the way of this Texas pipeline? A cute songbird. 08-05-19

The golden-cheeked warbler, an endangered songbird native to Central Texas, always seems to be flitting around controversy. It proved to be a roadblock derailing the Texas Department of Transportation’s plans to build a toll road in 2016. Read more at Grist

Pollinator Cities Really Could Save the Monarchs 06-26-19

The milkweed needed to stabilize the country’s monarch-butterfly population thrives in metropolitan areas—especially on residential land. Read more at CityLab

Old Flames: The Tangled History of Forest Fires, Wildlife, and People 06-17-19

A yellow plastic sign stapled to a skinny black tree warned ENTERING BURN: STAY ON ROADS AND TRAILS. Read more at All About Birds

Beyond Nuclear threatens lawsuit to protect sea turtles 06-15-19

For decades, the reactor site’s cooling water intake system has routinely captured, harmed and killed thousands of marine animals. Read the full press release.

Mass Die-Off of Puffins Raises More Fears About Arctic’s Warming Climate 05-29-19

The story of the seabirds’ deaths likely starts at the bottom of the food chain, where warming water and climate change are changing the menu. Read more at Inside Climate News

Sea turtles are being born mostly female due to warming—will they survive? 04-04-19

Climate change is causing a crisis in sea turtle sex ratios. But there are signs of hope. Read more at National Geographic

Marine Heat Waves Could Threaten Dolphin Survival, Study Suggests 04-02-19

The survival rates of Indo Pacific bottlenose dolphins like this one were reduced following a marine heat wave in Australia. Read more at EcoWatch

‘Absolutely Magical’: Southern California Sees Largest Painted Lady Migration Since 2005 03-13-19

Southern California is in the midst of a “magical” surprise: unusually large swarms of Painted Lady butterflies filling the skies from San Diego to Pasadena. Read more at EcoWatch

As Work Begins on Trump’s Border Wall, a Key Wildlife Refuge Is at Risk 02-28-19

Construction is underway on a stretch of President Trump’s border wall cutting through the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Biologists warn the steel wall will disrupt carefully preserved habitat critical for the survival of ocelot, jaguarundi, and other threatened species. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Ospreys’ Recovery From Pollution and Shooting Is a Global Conservation Success Story 02-27-19

A hundred years ago, a person wandering the back roads of coastal New England might have come across an odd sight: an osprey. Read more at EcoWatch

Monarch Butterfly Population Plummets in California 01-07-19

The population of monarch butterflies that spend winter along the California coast dropped 86 percent since 2017, according to a recent count by the Xerces Society, an invertebrate conservation group. Read more at EcoWatch


Groups sue Trump administration for ‘harassing’ whales with seismic blasting 12-20-18

One kind of “gun” control that many south Carolinians seem to agree on — stopping the use of seismic airguns to search for oil and gas deposits in the Atlantic ocean. Read more at Grist

Trump Drilling Plan Threatens 9 Million Acres of Sage Grouse Habitat 12-06-18

The Trump administration on Thursday detailed its plan to open nine million acres to drilling and mining by stripping away protections for the sage grouse, an imperiled ground-nesting bird. Read more at The New York Times

Bees Get Stung by Decision to Scale Back National Monument 12-04-18

The rich flower diversity of Grand Staircase-Escalante supports hundreds of species of bees.One year after President Trump slashed the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in half, new research shows that at least 80 species could be harmed. Read more at Scientific American

Trump Administration Refuses to Ban Wildlife-Killing M-44 ‘Cyanide Bombs’ 11-26-18

“Cyanide traps are indiscriminate killers that just can’t be used safely,” said Collette Adkins, an attorney and biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity. Read more at EcoWatch

The suburbs may have more mammals than you think 10-24-18

According to a much-publicized and much-lamented recent estimate of humanity’s toll on our warm-blooded kin, it will take several million for evolution to generate as many new mammal species as we’ve driven extinct. Read more at Anthropocene

9,000+ Scientists Defend Endangered Species Act in Letter to Trump Administration 09-25-18

Thousands of scientists have signed two letters opposing changes to the Endangered Species Act proposed by the Trump administration that critics say would weaken protections in favor of developers, Reuters reported Monday. Read more at EcoWatch

Trump administration poses new threat to birds in allowing ‘incidental’ killings 09-21-18

Conservationists launch legal attempt to stop interior department from reversing a 100-year-old law that protects migratory birds. Read more at The Guardian

Florida Manatee: 10% of Population Could Be Wiped Out This Year 08-20-18

2018 has not been a good year for Florida’s iconic manatees. A total of 540 sea cows have died in the last eight months, surpassing last year’s total of 538 deaths. Read more at EcoWatch

The Orca, Her Dead Calf and Us 08-04-18

Among the many quirks of human nature, one that has always struck me as particularly worthwhile is the tendency to project our own feelings onto other animals. This seems to me like a fast route to empathy, a way to bring us closer to different species. But many scientists disagree. They call this anthropomorphism, and they discourage it. Read more at The New York Times

These six species are about to be sacrificed for the oil and gas industry 07-26-18

Republican-led changes to the Endangered Species Act put plants and animals across America at risk. Here are the ones you should be most concerned about

Republicans in the western United States have been trying to whittle away the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since Donald Trump took office, and their efforts reached a crescendo last week with help from the White House. Read more at The Guardian

Trump Administration Announces Sweeping Proposal to Weaken Endangered Species Act 07-20-18

A week after House Republicans announced legislation intended to weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Trump administration joined the attack with a proposal environmentalists say would favor developers over vulnerable plant and animal species. Read more at EcoWatch

The Hiker’s Guide to Communing With Nature 06-28-18

If you’ve visited the wilderness recently, you may have noticed something: people. People with walking sticks, people with selfie sticks, people with more people in tow. Read more at EcoWatch

The Silence of the Bugs 05-26-18

Fifty-six years after Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” warned of bird die-offs from pesticides, a new biocrisis may be emerging. Read more at The New York Times

Urgent Climate Action Required to Protect Tens of Thousands of Species Worldwide, Research Shows 05-17-18

Limiting global warming to 2 degrees and not the more ambitious 1.5 degrees would put far more species at risk of extinction. Insects are especially vulnerable. Read more at Inside Climate News

The Energy 202: Trump’s new rules make it easier for energy companies to escape penalties for killing birds 04-16-18

This year is the 100th anniversary of one of the oldest conservation laws in the country.

The 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act  which originally was the result of a pact between the United States and the king of England (back when the British monarch represented Canada) — makes it illegal to “hunt,” “pursue,” “capture” or “kill” any migratory bird without a waiver. Read more at The Washington Post

Urban Darwinism: How Species Are Evolving to Survive in Cities 04-05-18

In urban areas, the forces of rapid natural selection are leading to striking genetic changes in animals. Dutch biologist Menno Schilthuizen talks to Yale e360 about the transformations seen in creatures ranging from mice in Central Park to anole lizards in Puerto Rico. Read more at Yale Environment 360

North Atlantic Right Whales Are Near Extinction. We Can Avert It. 03-07-18

One young whale that had become entangled in fishing lines was found dead in January off Virginia. Worse, not a single newborn has yet been spotted by scientists flying over the whale’s calving grounds off Florida and Georgia. Read more at The New York Times

In Defense of Biodiversity: Why Protecting Species from Extinction Matters 02-12-18

A few years ago, I helped lead a ship-based expedition along south Alaska during which several scientists and noted artists documented and made art from the voluminous plastic trash that washes ashore even there. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Wildlife officials stunned and outraged after the Trump administration guts the Migratory Bird Act 02-06-18

Donald Trump and his Republican allies are turning over every element of our government and governance to lobbyists and big industry. A Big Pharma executive put in charge of Health and Human Services, an anti-public school billionaire crusader in charge of the nation’s public schools and on and on. Read more at Daily Kos

Count marks sharp drop in monarch butterflies wintering in California 02-03-18

The number of monarchs wintering in California has dropped to a five-year low, despite more volunteers counting more sites in search of the orange-and-black insect that is arguably the most admired of North American butterflies, a report said on Friday. Read more at Reuters

Warming Signs: How Diminished Snow Cover Puts Species in Peril 01-16-18

The wolverine is highly adapted to life in a snowy world. It has thick fur and snowshoe-like feet, and it dens high in the mountains as a way to avoid predators that aren’t as nimble in deep snow and to provide its kits with insulation from the bitter high-elevation cold. Read more at Yale Environment 360

When Humans War, Animals Die 01-10-18

In 1977, two years after declaring independence from Portugal, Mozambique erupted into civil war. Over the next 15 years, the violent conflict claimed at least a million lives—and that was just the humans. Read more at The Atlantic

The Endangered Species Act Is Working: State-by-State Fact Sheets 01-09-18

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been one of the most effective tools used to protect America’s perilously declining wildlife and has helped prevent the extinction of 99 percent of the species under its protection. Read more at Center for American Progress

Habitat on the Edges: Making Room for Wildlife in an Urbanized World 01-03-18

One morning not long ago, in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, I traveled with a Wildlife Conservation Society biologist on a switchback route up and over the high ridge of the Western Ghats. Read more at Yale Environment 360


These Butterflies Have Lawyers 12-15-17

Don’t mess with Texas butterflies. They have lawyers.

This week attorneys representing the North American Butterfly Association filed a suit against the Trump administration for its plan to build a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall through a significant portion of the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. Read more at EcoWatch

Already on Brink, Right Whales Are Pushed Closer to the Edge 12-7-17

North Atlantic right whales, decimated by centuries of whaling, had staged a tentative comeback in recent decades. But the whales’ recovery is now imperiled by collisions with ships and entanglement with fishing lines — threats that could be mitigated with long-overdue controls. Read more at Yale Environment 360

By shifting nesting times, early birds adjust to climate change 12-4-17

For the humans, breakfast meant waking up an hour before dawn in a tent and grabbing something quick — generally a granola bar that had frozen overnight, recalls Morgan Tingley, an ornithologist at the University of Connecticut. Read more at High Country News

Common pesticide can make migrating birds lose their way, research shows 11-29-17

The world’s most widely used insecticide may cause migrating songbirds to lose their sense of direction and suffer drastic weight loss, according to new research. Read more at The Guardian

Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration Over New Elephant and Lion Trophy Policies, Still in Effect Despite Trump’s Tweets 11-21-17

The Center for Biological Diversity and Natural Resources Defense Council sued the Trump administration Monday for allowing U.S. hunters to import elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe. The lawsuit aims to protect animals and resolve confusion created by the administration’s contradictory announcements in recent days. Read more at EcoWatch

Urban Refuge: How Cities Can Help Rebuild Declining Bee Populations 11-9-17

The billowing stainless steel forms of Frank Gehry’s Pritzker bandshell seem to float up from behind the 3.5-acre Lurie Garden in Millennium Park, backed by Chicago’s celebrated skyline. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Urban Refuge: How Cities Can Help Rebuild Declining Bee Populations 11-9-17

With bees threatened by habitat loss, pesticides, and climate change, researchers are finding that planting flower patches in urban gardens and green spaces can help restore these essential pollinators. The results are already being seen in cities from Chicago to London to Melbourne. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Canary in the Climate Mine: Arctic Seabird’s Future Is on Thin Ice 11-8-17

Alone on a remote northern Alaska island, biologist George Divoky has been monitoring a population of sea ice-dependent black guillemots for four decades. Now he fears he’s watching the colony in a slow-motion collapse as temperatures rise and its prey disappears. Read more at News Deeply

National Forests, Endangered Species Under Attack as House Republicans Pass Reckless Logging Bill 11-2-17

In a partisan vote, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation Wednesday that would devastate national forests by gutting endangered species protections and rubber-stamping huge logging projects. The final vote was 232 to 188. Read more at EcoWatch

To See How Oil Drilling Would Transform the Arctic Refuge, Look Next Door to Prudhoe Bay 10-18-17

If you want to experience what North America was like before industrial development, you couldn’t do much better than a visit to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. A fully intact ecosystem, the refuge’s 19 million acres host mountains, rivers, forest, and coastal tundra—a primeval wilderness in the northeastern corner of Alaska protected by the federal government. Read more at Audubon

As Seas Warm, Whales Face New Dangers 10-2-17

At least twice a day, beginning shortly after dawn, researchers climb steps and ladders and crawl through a modest glass doorway to scan the surrounding sea, looking for the distinctive spout of a whale. Read more at The New York Times

Small Pests, Big Problems: The Global Spread of Bark Beetles 9-26-17

Warming temperatures are fueling the expansion of pine and spruce beetle outbreaks across North America, Europe, and Siberia, ravaging tens of thousands of square miles of woodlands. Read more at Yale Environment 360

How Listening to Trees Can Help Reveal Nature’s Connections 08-24-17

In his latest book, David George Haskell focused on 12 individual trees across the globe, from the Amazon to the streets of Manhattan. It gave him, he says in a Yale e360 interview, a profound sense of the complex networks that sustain life. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Trump’s border wall would slice through wildlife refuges and cut off U.S. territory in Texas 08-07-17

On dusty land in Mission, Tex., near the Mexican border, Marianna Trevino Wright recently took a walk with a contractor. She was showing off her effort to turn the earth surrounding the National Butterfly Center into “an oasis for butterflies,” she said — with 10,000 native milkweed plants that a dwindling number of monarch butterflies use as habitat in their arduous and yearly migration from Mexico and across the United States to Canada. Read more at The Washington Post

A Mystery of Seabirds, Blown Off Course and Starving 07-14-17

Joe Okoniewski has seen this before, just not on this scale. Each year Mr. Okoniewski, a wildlife pathologist with the New York State Department of Conservation, performs necropsies on small numbers of seabird specimens that wash up dead along the coastal parts of the state. The birds are usually lone adults or juveniles that strayed too close to shore.

“The birds are extremely thin and anemic,” Mr. Okoniewski said. “The big mystery is: Why are they thin? On the surface it looks like you know what happened: They starved. But when you ask why, it becomes much more of a mystery.” Read more at The New York Times

Decline in hummingbird population linked to insecticide 07-09-17

Some species of North American hummingbirds are in severe decline and a British Columbia research scientist says one possible cause might be the same insecticide affecting honey bees.

Christine Bishop with Environment and Climate Change Canada said researchers started looking at a variety of factors that may be responsible, ranging from habitat loss to changes when plants bloom.

To try and find some answers, researchers began collecting urine and feces from the birds for testing. Read more at the Times-Colonist

How Satellite Imagery Is Transforming Conservation Science 06-22-17

High-resolution earth imagery has provided ecologists and conservationists with a dynamic new tool that is enabling everything from more accurate counting of wildlife populations and other changes in the landscape. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Baltimore’s Birding Scene Is on the Rise 06-14-17

The B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber startles us as it howls through the cloudless sky. It also scares up a Yellow-billed Cuckoo from a shrub at the river’s edge, followed by a gold-tipped Northern Flicker. Read more at Audubon

Bird Brains: They’re More Complicated Than You Think 05-30-17

The stereotype is true: Bird brains are much smaller than their human counterparts. And yet they still pack a proportional punch. Many birds have craniums that are big for their body size—an important and costly evolutionary trait.  Read more at Audubon

Challenging Mainstream Thought About Beauty’s Big Hand in Evolution 05-29-17

Not long ago, a physicist at Stanford posed a rhetorical question that took me by surprise.

“Why is there so much beauty?” he asked. Read more at The New York Times

Inside the Effort to Kill Protections for Endangered Animals 05-23-17

The U.S. Endangered Species Act has saved more than 200 species from extinction—but business and political interests want to scuttle it. Read more at National Geographic

Domino Effect: The Myriad Impacts of Warming on an East Coast Estuary 05-17-17

Delaware Bay is a case study in how climate change is impacting estuaries around the world. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Climate change is messing with all your favorite birds 05-16-17

Climate change is making it harder for birds to get it right. Spring is arriving earlier in the eastern states and later in the west, disrupting the timing of dozens of songbird species, a new study found. Read more at Mashable

U.S. Population Reaches New Milestone 05-15-17

In the past 50 years, as the global human population has doubled, wildlife populations have been halved. During that same period, the U.S. grew by more than 100 million people. Read more at EcoWatch

Florida’s building boom threatens wildlife-rich lagoon 05-04-17

The most biologically diverse waterway in America is seriously ill. Read more at Lancaster Online

The New Migration Science 04-11-17

Dawn on the Alabama Coast; the Chuck-will’s-widows are calling in the last of the twilight, but already I can sense a tension in the forest that’s been missing for the past few warm—and essentially birdless—April days at Fort Morgan. Read more at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

These creatures faced extinction. The Endangered Species Act saved them. 03-11-17

The federal Endangered Species Act has been called the world’s gold standard for environmental protection. Passed in 1973, it strengthened earlier federal protections for animals that had been nearly wiped out by humans, including bald eagles, humpback whales and California condors. Read more at The Washington Post

Cook Inlet Gas Leak Remains Unmonitored as Danger to Marine Life Is Feared 03-10-17

Ice cover prevents pipeline company from monitoring the environmental impacts of the leak, as scientists fear for the health of endangered belugas and other species. Read more at Inside Climate News

Seeds of Commerce: Saving Native Plants in the Heart of Appalachia 03-02-17

In S. Appalachia, botanist Joe-Ann McCoy is collecting the seeds of thousands of native plant species threatened by climate change. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Hundreds of North American bee species face extinction: study 03-01-17

More than 700 of the 4,000 native bee species in North America and Hawaii are believed to be inching toward extinction due to increased pesticide use leading to habitat loss, a scientific study showed on Wednesday. Read more at Reuters

A systematic status review of North American and Hawaiian native bees 02-27-17

While the decline of European honeybees in the United States and beyond has been well publicized in recent years, the more than 4,000 species of native bees in North America and Hawaii have been much less documented. For full PDF report click here

70,000 New York City Birds Sacrificed for Air Travel 01-17-17

In last eight years, nearly 70,000 birds have been killed in the New York City area to make the skies safer for air travel. Read more on EcoWatch


New Life Along Washington State’s Elwha River 12-26-16

It’s been only two years since the removal of the last of the dams that obstructed the Elwha River, in Washington State, but already species are returning. Read more on The New Yorker

Avocados Imperil Monarch Butterflies’ Winter Home in Mexico 11-17-16

The green volcanic hills that tower above Apútzio de Juárez have begun to fill with swarms of monarch butterflies, which return each year for the winter stretch of their celebrated — and imperiled — migration. Read more on The New York Times

Sam’s Field Notes: The Monarch Migration 10-31-16

During a recent early morning walk along the shores of Bogue Banks, the spreading rays of the rising sun pushed the remaining darkness below the horizon and released a brilliant blue sky. A restless cool northwest wind had all the beach grasses, little blue stem, sea oats and the dune shrub branches of yaupon and wax myrtle dancing and swinging. Read more on Coastal Review

Feds to Scale Back Red Wolf Recovery Area 9-14-16

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Monday it will begin to dramatically scale back its controversial red wolf recovery program.

The agency said in a news release it will begin implementing a series of actions based on scientific information and divided public opinions gathered during the past 21 months. The plan is to limit the area that the endangered wolves are able to roam freely to a federal wildlife refuge and adjacent land in Dare County by the end of 2017. Read more on Coastal Review Online

Science in the Wild: The Legacy of the U.S. National Park System 8-24-16

As the National Park Service marks its centennial this month, the parks are being celebrated for their natural beauty and priceless recreational opportunities. But they also provide a less recognized benefit: the parks serve as a living laboratory for critical scientific researchRead more on YALE environment 360

Obama creates whole new national monument to celebrate National Park System’s 100th birthday 8-24-16

President Obama marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service a day early by protecting 87,500 acres in north-central Maine on Wednesday. Read more on Grist

Birds sing to their unborn chicks to warn them about hot weather 8-18-16

Are they singing The Heat is On? When it’s hot outside, zebra finches sing a special song to their eggs.

That song appears to keep the chicks from growing too large after they hatch if the weather is toasty – and it even affects the number of baby birds in the next generation, though researchers aren’t sure exactly why. Read more on New Scientist

Seals help show how melting ice shelves in East Antarctica affect deep ocean 8-23-16

A group of elephant seals in Antarctica has helped show how freshwater from melting ice shelves affects a key part of the engine that drives the circulation of the world’s oceans. Read more on Australian Broadcasting Corporation

How sea otters help save the planet 7-10-16

New research into the complex links of the food chain suggest that the lovable mammals play a key role in managing carbon dioxide levels

Charles Darwin once mused on the impacts that predators could have on the landscapes around them. In particular, he wondered – in On the Origin of Species – how neighbourhood cats might affect the abundance of flowers in the fields near his house at Downe in Kent. He concluded the animals’ potential to change local flora was considerable. Read more on The Guardian


As Gulf of Maine Warms, Puffins Recast as Canaries in a Coal Mine 10-26-15

Puffins were virtually wiped out in Maine in the mid-19th century by hungry fisherman, who threw nets over their hideaways to catch them by the 1000s. Restored to midcoasts islands by scientists, they have a threatened status in Maine and were recently listed as endangered in Europe. A new threat from rising ocean temperatures now threatens much of the prey they rely on …Full article This is part 2 of a series. To read the full series click here

To Save Bees, Some States Take Aim at Pesticides 7-29-15

The orange groves in Fort Myers, Florida, have turned to poison for David Mendes’ honeybees. The one time winter havens for bees have been treated with a popular pesticides that he says kills his livelihood …Full article and interactive bee loss map

Mercury Pollution Threat to Arctic Bird 3-18-15

Mercury pollution has risen nearly 50-fold in the feathers of the endangered Ivory gull over the past 130 years, say scientists. Mercury levels are going up in other Arctic birds, fish and mammals due to atmospheric pollution. Mercury in the atmosphere comes from natural sources such as volcanoes, as well as human activities such as coal burning. Air currents can transport mercury to the Arctic from mid-latitudes in just a few days …Full article

Cascadian Farm ‘Bee Friendlier’ Effort Enlists Public to Help Protect Insects 1-26-15
Alarm has grown in recent years over the widespread loss of bee colonies, not just because of the canary-in-the-coal-mine implications about how factors like pesticides and parasites might be to blame, but also for a more direct reason: Bees pollinate an estimated 75% of food crops …Full article


Serious About Saving the Bees? Time to rethink agriculture 10-15-14

There is much more to “saving the bees” than spring flowers and a golden mascot. We need mulitcultural pollinator communities if we want to keep eating our favorite foods …Full article

President Obama Takes Action to Protect Bristol Bay, Alaska 12-16-14

The President’s action places a national treasure—and one of the nation’s most productive fisheries—off limits for oil and gas leasing. Alaskans have been fighting to preserve Bristol Bay for decades …Full article

President Obama Seeks Wilderness Designation for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 1-26-14

The Department of the Interior announced the release of a conservation plan that recommends additional protections for the Refuge that asks Congress to designate core areas the highest level of protection available to public lands.

If passed by Congress, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would become the largest ever wilderness designation since Congress passed the Wilderness Act more than 50 years ago.

The recommendation covers 12.28 million acres including four rivers which would ensure the land and water would remain unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has the most diverse wildlife in the arctic including caribou, polar bears, gray wolves, muskoxen, more than 200 species of birds, 37 species of mammals and 42 species of fish …full article