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Biodiversity

Oceans

“Artifishal:” the New Documentary Exposing the World of Farmed Fish

May 20, 2019
Artifishal

A new documentary film by outdoor clothing and gear company Patagonia premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 25. The film is titled “Artifishal” and takes a look at the practice of farming fish and the unsustainability of the practice. The documentary looks at fish hatcheries, farms and the environment surrounding fish found in the wild. The focus of the film is on Icelandic salmon.

Patagonia partnered with the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF) and started an Against the Current campaign to stop open-net pens in Iceland from growing in number. The filmmakers encourage viewers to sign a petition to ban open-net salmon farms in Iceland, Norway, Scotland and Ireland, and thus far has over 10,000 signatures.

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Wildlife

10 Basics of Farmed Fish

May 16, 2019
farmed fish

One of the basic food choices experts recommend for omega-3s is fish. However, not all seafood is created equal, and some of it is downright unhealthy for your body and the environment. Does that mean you should never eat farmed fish? Of course not, but you should be aware of where your food comes from and the practices of farmed sources.

In the last 50 years, the consumption of seafood has risen more than 50 percent, which puts a strain on the sustainability of the fishing industry. The demand for fish continues to grow as the global population rises.

Farmed fish is likely to become a necessity sooner rather than later. Here are 10 facts you should know about it, so you can protect yourself and your family and ensure you eat from only the best sources available.

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Wildlife

Could AI Save Endangered Species?

May 9, 2019
ai save endangered species

As animal populations across the world continue to decline, efforts to protect endangered species are increasingly urgent. The scale of the issue is difficult to comprehend given the rapid rate of extinction. In northern Kenya alone, the number of reticulated giraffes has decreased by up to 70% in the past 30 years.

Regardless of the challenges, conservation professionals are doing everything in their power to ensure the survival of endangered wildlife. Fortunately, they have access to new technologies and methods of conservation with incredible promise. The potential of AI to save endangered species is particularly notable.

Of course, when the average person hears the words, “artificial intelligence,” their first thought usually isn’t wildlife conservation. But the impressive functionality of AI technology has made it useful for far more than self-driving cars and programs for predictive analysis. It has value elsewhere, for conservationists.

With that in mind — how can conservation organizations integrate artificial intelligence to increase the likelihood of success? What do their AI-driven projects look like, and what significance do they have for the future of conservation? These questions have fascinating answers, and we’ll explore them in greater detail below.

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Wildlife

Animal Extinction Statistics: How Many Species Will We Lose in Our Lifetime?

April 18, 2019
animal extinction statistics

Do you think you could name 200 species, or 2000 if you could include plants? When looking at plant and animal extinction statistics, research has found 200 to 2000 extinctions occur every year.

It’s important to frame the crisis in this context because numbers can only say so much. Statistics provide a picture of the problem, but that picture is incomplete. It’s difficult, if not impossible to imagine 2000 of anything, let alone 2000 individual species disappearing from the face of the planet in a single year.

These numbers are an attempt to quantify the damage humans have caused through deforestation, poaching and other harmful practices. As the effects of climate change continue to disturb the environment and disrupt ecosystems, the rate of extinction will increase, and the issue will only intensify.

With this in mind, how many species will we lose in our lifetime? What’s the extent of the damage, and more than that, what are possible solutions to the problem? These critical questions have fascinating answers, and we’ll walk you through everything you should know moving into 2019 and the next decade.
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Wildlife

Social Media and Wildlife Conservation: Is It Doing More Harm Than Good?

March 4, 2019
social media and wildlife conservation

With Instagram, Facebook and Twitter generating plenty of information about the earth, efforts to protect creatures has changed. Now that you can scroll on your smartphone to learn about the environment and endangered animals, it should be easy to support wildlife. But the connection between social media and wildlife conservation isn’t simple.

Photos, comments and videos can lead citizens to form opinions about the rescue methods, protection of public lands and habitat policies. With a range of people using these platforms, both positive and negative effects come out of social media and wildlife conservation.

So, is the overall impact of social media leaving wildlife better off or not? Mainly, social media is helping promote conservation. Check out these ways social media and wildlife conservation intersect.

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Wildlife

Will 2019 Be the Year of Wildlife Conservation?

January 31, 2019
Wildlife Conservation

Wildlife is facing immense threats, and 2019 will be no different. While conservation saw some successes in 2018, it was still a rough year for wildlife. Species disappeared and regulatory changes, climate change and other threats continued to worsen the situation. Meanwhile, conservationists continued to work tirelessly.

In 2019, this trend will continue. New threats will emerge and many existing ones will continue to worsen. While these things will threaten wildlife, it will also spur more people into action to help protect the planet’s incredible biodiversity.

So, what can we expect in 2019 in relation to wildlife conservation? While the world is always full of surprises, here’s a look at the year ahead.

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Wildlife

6 Best Conservation Movies for the Whole Family

January 7, 2019
best conservation movies

It can be hard for anyone, child or adult, to believe in conservation and climate change when those in power are continually denying its existence. Thankfully, plenty of amazing movies and documentaries can introduce everyone to the idea of conservation, regardless of their age.

Here is a list of six of the best conservation movies you can watch with the entire family.

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Wildlife

Do Animals Mourn Like People?

November 29, 2018
animal mourning

Grief is a universal human experience. We feel grief following the loss of friends, family members, pets and sometimes even strangers. Though funeral traditions vary from culture to culture, mourning remains a consistent aspect of human societies.

Are humans alone in the experience of grief, though? Many people wonder whether animals may experience any of the same emotions. Some people even report behavior that seems like mourning when pets lose their owners or animal companions.

In the past, scientists hesitated to say animals experienced complex emotions like grief or love. However, new research suggests that the issue of animal grief may be more complicated than people initially assumed.

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Wildlife

What Are the Longest Living Animals?

October 22, 2018
longest living animals

Humans live a pretty long time — estimates for human lifespans generally fall between 70 and 80 years — but humans don’t even come close to outliving some of the planet’s oldest creatures. For some animal species, living past 100 is the norm, not the exception. Some scientists even think other species can teach humans a thing or two about aging well.

Studying earth’s longest living animals benefits people for a myriad of reasons. It can allow us to understand the biological aging process better, discover conditions that make for long lifespans and even understand how to protect our planetary elders. In addition to practical reasons, though, humans are fascinated by old animals because they represent the Earth’s past. It’s amazing to think that some animals alive today have been around since before the United States became a country.

Some of the planet’s oldest animals have endured changing climate conditions, predators and disease. They remind us that the results of our actions today can affect the environment not just now but for years and years to come.

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Oceans

Is There Any Way to Stop Vaquita Extinction?

October 11, 2018
vaquita extinction

Is there any way to stop the extinction of the world’s rarest marine mammal? It’s a pressing question for conservationists.

They’ve posed the same question of the white rhino, saiga antelope and golden lion tamarin with varying degrees of success. Conservation is no easy task, and saving an endangered species of marine life comes with a unique set of challenges that complicates the undertaking.

Compared to the white rhino or saiga antelope, the vaquita is a relatively new discovery. It’s the most recent cetacean — a grouping that includes whales and dolphins — to be recognized by modern science. It was only in 1966 that a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recovered the first full specimen for observation.

Since then, the vaquita population has only continued to diminish. Earlier in the decade, an estimated 200 vaquitas inhabited the Northern Gulf of California in Mexico — shallow waters that make up their natural habitat. Today, fewer than 30 of these rare porpoises remain.

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