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Scientists Make Novel Attempt to Save Giant Turtle Species

Earlier this month, an international team of scientists, veterinarians and zookeepers gathered at the Suzhou Zoo near Shanghai. Their desperate mission: to attempt the first artificial insemination ever of a softshell turtle, saving the species from oblivion.

“Even if we get just one or two …


Trying to Save the Oceans, One Small Grant at a Time

In the vast areas of the planet covered by water, human activity threatens the survival of countless species.

There was a time, for example, when manta rays were tossed back, dead or alive, when they were accidentally trapped in fishermen’s nets in places like Sri Lanka. Now their dried gills are …


Mexico’s President Rolls Out Plan to Save Endangered Porpoise

The Mexican Navy will expand patrols to stop the illegal fishing that threatens the vaquita, and gillnets that accidentally snare and kill them will …


Imperiled Foxes on California Islands May Come Off Endangered List

Four endangered subspecies of fox on the northern Channel Islands off the California coast have recovered so well over the past 11 years that the Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing Wednesday that it is starting to consider taking them off the endangered list.

Study and discussion of their …


Despite Protections, Miami Port Project Smothers Coral Reef in Silt

MIAMI — The government divers who plunged into the bay near the Port of Miami surfaced with bad news again and again: Large numbers of corals were either dead or dying, suffocated by sediment.

The source of the sediment, environmentalists say, is a $205 million dredging project, scheduled to end in …


2D 3D Demo

Hopeful Signs of Recovery for the World’s Rarest Big Cat

While poaching and environmental degradation have had disastrous effects on animal species across Asia, one highly endangered cat has seen a small but important rise in its numbers, researchers say.

The Amur leopard, which was once found across the Korean Peninsula and parts of Russia and China, is …


Wildlife Slaughter Goes Unabated

As the world’s booming black market for body parts from endangered species continues to elude effective policing, rhinoceros deaths quadrupled in four years to the 1,215 killed by African smugglers in 2014. These magnificent animals were slaughtered so that urbanites in places like China and …


Obama Administration Plans to Aggressively Target Wildlife Trafficking

WASHINGTON — Hoping to stem illegal wildlife trafficking, the Obama administration on Wednesday introduced an aggressive plan for taking on traffickers that will include using American intelligence agencies to track and target those who benefit from the estimated $20-billion-a-year market.

The plan, …


Researchers Propose Earth’s ‘Anthropocene’ Age of Humans Began With Fallout and Plastics

As many readers are aware, I’ve been writing since 1992 about the notion that we’ve left the Holocene behind — that’s the geological epoch since the end of the last ice age — and entered “a post-Holocene…geological age of our own making,” now best known as the Anthropocene.

That idea has gained a …


Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says

A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.

“We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event,” said Douglas J. McCauley, an …


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Rhino species to die unless science can help

The task was never going to be easy: Fly four highly endangered rhinos from a Czech Republic zoo to East Africa, drive them to the savannah grasses …


The Role of Social Media in Wiping Out Passenger Pigeons, and Conserving Species Now

Updated, 8:15 p.m. | As you may have noted, this is the centennial of the extinction, on Sept. 1, 1914, of the passenger pigeon, which once darkened skies in flocks of a billion or more birds. First, here’s a look back at one of the odder ramifications in 1937 — a market in rare passenger pigeon …

Passenger Pigeon

African Wildlife Foundation

Arid parks may sound boring to some, but it’s incredibly fascinating how much plant life and wildlife is sustained despite such a harsh living …

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Chinese President’s Delegation Tied to Illegal Ivory Purchases During Africa Visit

BEIJING — When President Xi Jinping of China and his entourage of government officials and business leaders arrived in Tanzania in March 2013, it was to officially promote economic ties between the two countries.

But according to a report by the Environmental Investigation Agency, a nongovernmental …


Infection That Devastates Amphibians, Already in Europe, Could Spread to U.S.

An emerging infection similar to one that has caused the extinction of hundreds of frog and toad species around the world is killing salamanders in Europe and could easily spread to the United States, with disastrous effects, scientists reported Thursday.

Writing in the journal Science, an …

Life Sciences

Can Congress Act to Block Fungal Threat to U.S. Amphibians?

I hope you’ll read and disseminate Jim Gorman’s story on the new Science paper pointing to a potential ecological catastrophe in North America should a potent chytrid fungus that attacks salamanders arrive on these shores. The fungus originated in Asia and its arrival in Europe has already caused …


Building an Ark for the Anthropocene

WE are barreling into the Anthropocene, the sixth mass extinction in the history of the planet. A recent study published in the journal Science concluded that the world’s species are disappearing as much as 1,000 times faster than the rate at which species naturally go extinct. It’s a one-two punch …


Businessman Guilty of Killing and Eating Tigers

A businessman in the southwestern region of Guangxi has pleaded guilty to charges of killing and eating at least three tigers last year, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

Prosecutors in the city of Qinzhou said the defendant, identified only as Mr. Xu, “has a quirky appetite for eating …


New Study: Species Are Going Extinct 1,000 Times Faster Since People Arrived On the Scene

“We are on the verge of the sixth extinction… Whether we avoid it or not will depend on our actions.”

These are the words of Stuart Pimm, a well-known …

6th Great Extinction headed our way... — NewsWorks

The planet is infested... by us.

Prominent biologist Stuart Pimm of Duke University is the lead author of a study published Thursday in the journal …

Top 10 Species | Top 10 New Species

Top 10 New Species for 2014

An appealing carnivorous mammal, a 12-meter-tall tree that has been hiding in plain sight and a sea anemone that lives …



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A Theory on How Flightless Birds Spread Across the World: They Flew There

Just a few centuries ago, Madagascar was home to a monstrous creature called the elephant bird. It towered as high as nine feet. Weighing as much as 600 pounds, it was the heaviest bird known to science. You’d need 160 chicken eggs to equal the volume of a single elephant bird egg.

The only feature …

Life Sciences

Welcoming the Newly Discovered

Amid the discouraging headlines about the extinction of wildlife species around the world, there is this bright spot: So many new species of animals and plants are discovered every year that no one knows the number.

Last week the International Institute for Species Exploration, a scientific group, …

Earth Science