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Wildlife Conservation

Wildlife

Have Australian Bushfires Led to Wildlife Extinction?

April 10, 2020
australian bushfire wildlife extinction

The Australian wildfires are unprecedented. More than 25 million acres burned — around the size of Indiana in the U.S. With such widespread destruction, it can be difficult to process just how much of an impact these fires had on the environment. The bushfires resulted in the loss of human life, thousands of homes, millions of acres of forest and more than 1 billion animals. 

Like the California disaster of 2019, the most devastating wildfire in the state’s history, the Australian bushfires have a significant effect on both humans and the environment. While it is too soon to state with certainty whether the wildfires have led to wildlife extinction, little-known species will likely feel the greatest impact.

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Wildlife

Scientists Search for Animals Spreading Coronavirus

March 30, 2020
animals spreading coronavirus

In early December, the city of Wuhan, China, became the epicenter of the novel coronavirus. Since then, the virus has spread across the globe, infecting more than 500,000 people and killing more than 20,000. As scientists race to find the culprit behind the infection, evidence points to animals — namely those sold at a specific market in Wuhan. 

While numerous species remain suspect in investigating the cause, including bats and pangolins, the mystery remains unsolved. Meanwhile, the virus continues to spread. 

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Oceans

What Does Ocean Habitat Destruction Mean for Our Planet?

March 27, 2020
ocean habitat destruction

Human activities have been affecting our oceans and the life within them for centuries. But, only recently has the world begun to notice these detrimental effects. From low oxygen levels to ocean oil slicks, entire marine ecosystems are rapidly taking a turn for the worse. In many areas, our actions have even created unlivable ocean conditions, endangering marine life and, therein affecting our own economy and food supply. If we hope to recover from these effects, we must work together to restore the marine ecosystems we’ve so carelessly destroyed. 

Polluted Seas

As humanity’s dependency on plastic continues to grow, so will its effect on ocean habitats. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, for instance, stretches 1.6 million square kilometers and largely consists of plastic objects and small microplastics. Marine animals mistake this floating debris for food, but these plastics are indigestible, filling their stomachs until they starve. Thes plastic particles also spread hazardous chemicals that can climb up the food chain and destroy entire ecosystems. Currently, ocean debris directly affects more than 800 marine species.

Humanity’s demand for oil has also resulted in a more polluted ocean. Oil spills contribute about 12% of all ocean oil, while shipping, drains, dumping and drilling produce the other 88%. New methods of hunting for oil also have a significant impact on marine life. Seismic blasts used to detect new drill sites have decreased the number of zooplankton, which are an essential food and oxygen source for many species like fish and whales. Therefore, increased drilling operations have the potential to affect every level of the aquatic food chain.

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Wildlife

Wildlife Habitat Destruction a Growing Issue Across the Globe

March 25, 2020
wildlife habitat destruction

The last year has been a rough one, with a high number of wildlife habitat destruction in the name of progress and the death of the last male white rhinoceros. Those who love animals and want to see diversity of species continue to worry about this issue and how human expansion impacts the world’s ecosystems. 

A recent United Nations report showed as many as 1 million species on the brink of extinction. The study points to human activities placing 25% of species at risk of extinction in the next few decades.

Even though the UN warns of pending doom to many creatures and we all understand the impact the loss of one species has on local habitat, humans seem incapable of curbing development.

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Wildlife

Have We Lost Two-Thirds of Our Endangered Species by 2020?

March 9, 2020
endangered species 2020

Our world changes every day in subtle and life-altering ways. Animal extinction manages to be both at once. It happens so gradually that it remains unknown to many people until a headline about another extinct species draws their attention. And though the process feels slow, each organism we lose has earth-shattering repercussions. The worst part is that we don’t always know the extent of these consequences until they’re upon us.

A World Wildlife Fund report from 2016 stated we’d lose two-thirds of our endangered species by 2020. They reported a 58% decrease in wildlife populations between 1970 and 2012, with a prediction of 67% by 2020. Though environmental groups and legislators are continuously making gradual moves to protect endangered animals, we’re increasingly closer to reaching the two-thirds prediction.

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Wildlife

The Complicated Relationship Between Agriculture and Wildlife

January 13, 2020
agriculture and wildlife

How many wild animals are killed by farming practices? While scientists know there’s a problem, they’re unable to pinpoint a precise figure.

Some of the biggest drivers of biodiversity decline include overexploitation — harvesting animals from the wild at rates that can’t replenish — and agriculture, which consists of the production of food, livestock farming, aquaculture, tree cultivation and more. 

According to experts, agriculture and the overexploitation of resources is a more significant risk to biodiversity than climate change. In fact, nearly 75% of the world’s threatened species face overuse, compared to only 19% affected by climate change. 

The Sumatran rhinoceros, for example — which people illegally hunt for its meat and horn — is one of 4,049 species threatened by this problem. Other animals that poachers target include the Western gorilla and Chinese pangolin. 

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Wildlife

How The Construction Industry Can Disrupt Wildlife

January 1, 2020
wildlife and construction

The construction industry has made many changes to move toward sustainability. Companies praise the advantages, while industry leaders, such as the U.S. Green Building Council and the Green Building Initiative, set eco-friendly standards. Still, people acknowledge construction has an undeniable impact on wildlife. In 2018, the U.S. spent more than $300 billion on new public development alone.

It will be challenging for any industry to cease environmental harm. Wildlife and construction, in particular, are a poor match. Environmentalists around the world hope companies will make strides towards a future without animal cruelty and ecosystem destruction.

Habitat Intrusion

Animals suffer when industries advance and expand, uprooting their homes. Businesses tear down forests and natural habitats to make room for shopping malls, restaurants and more. Some species learn how to thrive in these urban environments, such as foxes, birds, squirrels, opossums and more.

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Environment

What Can the Construction Industry Do to Decrease Habitat Destruction?

December 16, 2019
habitat destruction

Habitat destruction, the most significant ecological crisis we’re facing right now, is a problem for both humans and animals.

Construction — along with other land-clearing industries, like logging and agriculture — is a significant driver of destruction. Yet it doesn’t have to be. Companies can implement sustainable practices that preserve local environments, respect wildlife and minimize impact — all while staying on deadline.

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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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