Browsing Tag

Endangered Species


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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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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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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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 Forensics Helping Uncover Illegal Poachers

November 12, 2018
Wildlife forensics

It isn’t an uncommon scene in the savannas of South Africa. A grazing rhinoceros lowers its head to a patch of grass, and a sudden gunshot from a heavy caliber weapon catches them in the side. An illegal poacher comes to collect its horn, and in little as 10 minutes, they’ve moved on to their next target.

Poaching remains a critical issue across the globe, with endangered animals at threat of extinction over the value of their body parts. The musk deer of Asia are a popular target for their glands, which can sell to foreign traders for upwards of $200. A single tiger can yield over $50,000 in their skin, teeth and claws.

Through the application of wildlife forensics, however, poachers have a far more difficult time plying their illegal trade. Modern technology has proven so effective in stopping them that a system installed in a South African reserve has reduced the number of poached rhinos to zero. So how do these new methods work?

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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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Why Are Elephants Important to the African Ecosystem?

August 27, 2018
elephants important

When learning about any animal, it’s easy to focus on the creature’s bodily features, behaviors and habitat without stopping to think about how they influence their native ecosystems. Take the elephant, for example. It’s a gigantic creature that has captured the interest of people through the years. Observers appreciate their huge ears, smooth tusks and leathery skin. But why are elephants important to the African ecosystem? Here are five reasons.

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National Honey Bee Day: Why Honey Bees Aren’t the Bees We Need to Worry About

August 13, 2018
National Honey Bee Day

National Honey Bee Day is August 19th, and it’s certainly a good idea to pause and be thankful for the way that honey bees provide the sweet stuff we love to spread on our toast, put into oatmeal and use for flavoring our tea and coffee. Honey bees are undoubtedly important to our eco-system.

However, when people urge others to “save the bees” — a statement which has recently intensified — it’s likely only honey bees that are on their minds. There are more than 25,000 species of bees besides the Western honey bee that many individuals know best. Honey bees produce honey, and they’re pollinators, but there are tens of thousands of other bees getting ignored.

Analysts say it’s even difficult to precisely say how many species of bees exist because relatively few have hives. Since they don’t return to dedicated places and instead roam freely, counting them becomes impossible.

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How Overpopulation Leads to Animal Extinction

July 19, 2018
animal extinction

Many scientists believe we’re entering the Earth’s sixth mass-extinction event, which could result in the loss of three-quarters of the planet’s species in the next few centuries. A recent study found that around one-third of land-based vertebrate species are experiencing reduced populations and territorial ranges.

Humans are one of the species that has experienced population growth in recent years. In fact, so many people are on the planet today that we’re driving the population reduction of other species, as well as a host of other environmental problems.

If this trend of destruction continues, it might result in the eventual downfall of not only many of the earth’s animal species but the human race as well.

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Reasons Why Endangered Species Stay Endangered

July 2, 2018
endangered species stay endangered

Republican President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act, which had broad bipartisan support, into law in 1973. The law lists certain species as endangered and threatened and aims to protect these at-risk animals. The ESA is believed to have saved 99 percent of the species it has listed.

Since then, the ESA has endured attacks from lawmakers and special interests. On the recent Endangered Species Act day on March 28, 1,452 scientists and experts sent a letter to Congress urging members not to approve several bills they said would undermine the Act’s scientific foundations.

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