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Endangered Species

Wildlife

How Drilling Could Cause Extinctions in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

November 4, 2019
arctic national wildlife refuge

The Proposed Impact of Oil Development in the Arctic

On September 12th, the Trump Administration’s Interior Department published a final plan to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to gas and oil development and leasing. This is the first time in history that the government will open leasing opportunities to drill from the ANWR. The plan will open 1.56 million acres on the Arctic Coastal Plain to promote the development of fossil fuels. The sanctuary in full is 19.3 million acres. Among one of the most feared impacts, there is a rising worry that upcoming oil and gas drilling may severely damage the wildlife habitat. In particular, the combination of drilling and climate change may lead to bird extinctions.

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Wildlife

Wildlife Extinction Is Hurting More Than Just Animals

October 21, 2019
wildlife extinction

When people think about wildlife extinction, they often ponder how creatures like the woolly mammoth and the dodo bird now only exist through media and research. However, it does more than eradicate animals. Here’s an eye-opening breakdown of how extinction’s effects often get overlooked.

It Could Trigger the Decline of the Human Population

A sobering report from the United Nations warns that 1 million species are at risk for extinction. The organization says it’s not too late for everyone to work together, from a local scale to an international one, to enact positive changes.

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Oceans

The Most Endangered Marine Animals: Is It Too Late to Save Them?

September 23, 2019
endangered marine animals

During the past century, the extinction of animal species continued to exceed natural rates. There’s no doubt humankind drives the phenomenon. Climate change and the relentless pursuit of nonrenewable resources decimates habitats. Housing developments encroach upon the homes of native species.

The ocean is not safe from the devastation man wreaks. If current consumption continues unchecked, many scientists believe there will be more plastic than fish in the seas by 2050. What’s even more troubling is the species we may lose — and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. Is it too late to save the most endangered marine animals?

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Wildlife

How the Trump Administration Has Endangered Wildlife

September 19, 2019
trump and wildlife

Over the next half-century, human beings will drive so many species to extinction that we will essentially “set back the clock” on earth’s biodiversity by three to five million years. The Union of Concerned Scientists predicts that 67% of currently endangered species, and 99% of those already critically endangered, will be lost to us within 100 years.

With stakes this high, there’s only one question we need to ask ourselves, as individuals and organizations, when we think about what we’re doing to our one and only home:

“Am I helping, or am I making the problem worse?”

This is the question now in front of the Trump White House and our Corporate Congress. There is presently no reason to think this administration’s environmental legacy will be anything other than a dark mark on our recent history — and a blow to a living planet that can’t take any more bad news right now.

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Wildlife

What Are the Effects of Natural Disasters on Wildlife?

August 12, 2019
effects of natural disasters on wildlife

Natural disasters are a part of life on our little blue marble, but climate change has started making them more intense and more deadly in recent years. Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall on August 25th, 2017 as a Category 4 hurricane, caused 39 deaths and millions of dollars in damage. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico where Harvey formed are warmer than they used to be, so hurricanes are getting larger and stronger than ever. We pay a lot of attention to the effect that these disasters have on human life, but how do they affect wildlife?

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Wildlife

Chernobyl Animals Show Hope in the Face of Devastation

July 29, 2019
chernobyl animals

Back in the 1800s, the Pripyat River basin was teeming with wildlife, a natural wetland and forest habitat stretching between the border of Ukraine and Belarus.

A century later, most of that natural habitat disappeared. The Industrial Revolution brought along deforestation, a problem devastating animal habitats across the globe. Large swaths of trees are cut down at a time, instantly destroying the homes of hundreds of species. Pripyat was no different. Trees were cut down and replaced with pasture. Lumber was sold and industry began to develop.

In total, humans have nearly halved the number of trees on the planet. But efforts were made to restore the Pripyat region, bringing back new life. And in 1977, construction of a power plant called Chernobyl began. Six years later, four nuclear reactors were complete and plans for an additional two reactors were in the works. The year was 1986 and things were looking up for the region of Pripyat.

Then on April 26 at 1:23 in the morning, everything changed.

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Wildlife

How Aquatic Invasive Species Are Hurting Our Ecosystems

June 24, 2019
aquatic invasive species

The world consists of various ecosystems where native species to the area thrive. However, the only thing constant in the world is change. The science of evolution tells us that all organisms grow and adapt to different environments — most of these changes are for the good, but others can cause damage.

One such negative adaptation involves the introduction of aquatic invasive species into ecosystems where they compete with and eventually drive native species to extinction. As humans are responsible for the majority of the movement of these species, it is incumbent upon us to find solutions which protect all water-bound life for future generations.

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Oceans

Water Shows Us More Diversity in the Galápagos Species Than We Initially Thought

June 3, 2019
galapagos species

Scientists already know that the Galápagos Islands are home to an impressive amount of biodiversity. However, a new study shows they’re even more biodiverse than expected due to the number of non-native species migrating to the area. Scientists are concerned because they don’t yet know how these so-called alien species will impact the ones native to the Galápagos Islands.

The Galapágos Islands famously aided much of Charles Darwin’s research, and scientists are still looking into why the species diversity occurred. Recent conclusions indicate that although researchers thought only five non-native marine invertebrate species were living there, there are at least 53.

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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

Are Conservation Efforts Overlooking Animals’ Social Lives?

April 4, 2019
animal social

Wildlife conservation isn’t a polarizing issue. Most would agree it’s necessary, and few would argue against it. As deforestation and other harmful practices continue to destroy and disturb ecosystems, it’s difficult to believe anyone would think we shouldn’t make an effort to preserve endangered species.

That said, the subject of wildlife conservation isn’t so simple. Even the best intentions can go wrong when conservationists don’t understand the subtleties of natural habitats. Specifically, conservationists cause more harm than good when they overlook animal social lives, a fundamental part of their existence.

When you hear “animal social lives,” you might imagine some rudimentary imitation of what you’re familiar with. After all, non-human animals don’t appear have spoken languages, complex tools or any system in place that allows them to lead the same kind of social lives we do. While this is true, it doesn’t capture the full picture.

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