Rewilding in the Anthropocene

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‘Spiteful and petty’: Maine governor bans signs to Obama-designated monument

As Trump administration reviews 27 national monuments, conservationists fear a federally mandated effort to strip public lands of environmental protections<p>A decision by the Republican governor of Maine, Paul LePage, to ban signs to Katahdin Woods and Waters, a national monument designated by Barack …

Conservation

A new adaptation to Australia’s toad invasion: getting smarter | Anthropocene

The introduction of cane toads to Australia in the 1930s would become a textbook example of invasive calamity. Their flesh is poisonous, they lacked …

Biological Species

What if the Predator Free 2050 plan is actually a terrible idea?

<b>New Zealanders celebrated the government’s ambitious goal to completely eradicate possums, rats and stoats by 2050 – but according to some</b> …

New Zealand

All the Trees Will Die, and Then So Will You

The polyphagous shot hole borer, a brown-black beetle from southeast Asia, never gets bigger than a tenth of an inch. It breeds inside trees; …

America's Protected Natural Areas Are Polluted, By Noise

There are thousands of parks, refuges and wilderness areas in the U.S. that are kept in something close to their natural state. But one form of pollution isn't respecting those boundaries: man-made noise.<p>What Sound Looks Like<p>A model was developed to understand relationships between measured sound …

Nature

Grizzly Bears Have a Human Problem

We are only beginning to understand how to live alongside large predators.<p>In 2015, a woman named Barbara Paschke was attacked and killed by a black bear inside her home in northwest Montana. Paschke, who was 85 and suffered from Alzheimer’s, had been feeding bears regularly on her property, a …

Bears

The interaction of human population, food production, and biodiversity protection

Research suggests that the scale of human population and the current pace of its growth contribute substantially to the loss of biological diversity. …

New Zealand's Dirty Little Secret

<b>*Co-authored with Bill Benfield, author and resident of the North Island of New Zealand</b><p>New Zealand’s image to the world is one of unspoiled paradise. Stunning mountain peaks, crystal clear rivers, unspoiled national parks, and a brilliant “100% Pure” advertising campaign attracts travelers from …

New Zealand

Trump’s Border Wall ‘Catastrophic’ for Environment, Endangered Species: Activists

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — The promise of a "big, beautiful wall" along America's southern border was a cornerstone of President Donald Trump's campaign. From the moment he announced it during his candidacy kickoff address in June 2015, the proposal was hit with charges of racism and questions of …

Immigration

The litigon rediscovered

doi:10.1038/nindia.2017.46 Published online 12 April 2017<p>Implications for biological species concept and value systems in science<p>On 18 January 2017, …

A peaceful end to the wolf wars? | Anthropocene

In 2007, a family of wolves in Idaho’s Sawtooth National Forest killed nine sheep. Ranchers who owned the sheep asked government wildlife managers to …

The ecological disaster that is Trump’s border wall: a visual guide

The wall could cut off a Texas wildlife refuge and the habitat of big, beautiful cats.<p>During the campaign, it was easy to scoff at President Donald Trump’s promise to build a “big, beautiful” concrete wall along the US-Mexico border. It sounded, well, preposterous.<p>But now the prospect of a border …

Immigration

Climate change impacting ‘most’ species on Earth, even down to their genomes

Three recent studies point to just how broad, bizarre, and potentially devastating climate change is to life on Earth. And we’ve only seen one degree Celsius of warming so far.<p>Climate change is rapidly becoming a crisis that defies hyperbole.<p>For all the sound and fury of climate change denialists, …

We Might Soon Resurrect Extinct Species. Is It Worth the Cost?

With enough determination, money and smarts, scientists just might revive the woolly mammoth, or some version of it, by splicing genes from ancient mammoths into Asian elephant DNA. The ultimate dream is to generate a sustainable population of mammoths that can once again roam the tundra.<p>But here’s …

Biological Species

U.N. Expert: Biodiversity Is Essential To Human Rights

The extinction crisis has “grave and far-reaching implications for human well-being,” writes law professor John Knox.<p>WASHINGTON — For the first time, a United Nations report has recognized biodiversity and healthy ecosystems as essential to human rights.<p>The report, authored by U.N. Special …

Ecology

There are now three rivers that are legally people

In the space of a week, the world has gained three notable new legal persons: the Whanganui River in New Zealand, and the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers in India.<p>In New Zealand, the government passed legislation that recognised the Whanganui River catchment as a legal person. This significant legal reform …

Wind energy is tough on bats—but it doesn’t have to be that way | Anthropocene

Though concern about wind energy’s environmental impacts has focused mostly on birds, turbine blades also kill vast numbers of bats—hundreds of …

New Zealand Welcomes A Mighty River To Personhood

The Whanganui River will be represented in court by its own guardians.<p>After a hard-fought battle, the New Zealand government has granted the full legal rights of a person to a river.<p>A legal wrangle lasting 160 years ended this week with a vote in Parliament recognizing the elevated legal status for …

Nature

New Zealand river is the world's first 'legal person'

Under legislation passed, the Whanganui river has been formally declared a living entity.<p>A New Zealand river revered by the Maori has been recognised by parliament as a "legal person", in a move believed to be a world first.<p>Under legislation passed on Wednesday that combines Western legal precedent …

The Amazon forest is the result of an 8,000-year experiment

Ancient peoples discovered agriculture by cultivating trees in the Amazon.<p>Though the Amazon forest may appear wild and uncharted, a new comprehensive …

Amazon forest 'shaped by pre-Columbian indigenous peoples'

<b>Indigenous peoples who inhabited the Amazon before the arrival of European colonisers planted a vast number of trees, a new study argues.</b><p>They played an important role in the current composition of the forest, says the study.<p>Researchers found that species used for food or building materials were far …

Anthropology

Half of the Species on Earth Could Go Extinct by 2050, Scientists Say

Half of Earth's species could go extinct by 2050 unless humanity addresses man-made climate change, according to biologists.<p>There have been five mass …

Half of the world's species could become extinct, biologists say

Here's the sobering truth: Around half the species on Earth today could disappear by middle of the century, unless we humans can tackle climate change and slow our population growth.<p>That's a view shared by leading biologists and ecologists, many of whom are gathering in the Vatican this week for a …

Ecology

Tigers, leopards and wild dogs found living in surprising harmony in Indian reserves

<b>A new study finds 3 carnivores that usually avoid each other at all costs have found smart ways to peacefully co-exist.</b><p>There may be no more classic …

Wildlife

Introducing the terrifying mathematics of the Anthropocene

Here are some surprising facts about humans’ effect on planet Earth. We have made enough concrete to create an exact replica of Earth 2mm thick. We …

Invading pythons and the weird, uncertain future of the Florida Everglades | Anthropocene

The Florida Everglades are one of Earth’s biological marvels, a vast slow-moving river in whose marshes live—even at this late date, with water …

Ecology

Climate Threat to Wildlife May Have Been Massively Underreported

More than 700 of the world's threatened and endangered animal species may be directly affected by climate change, according to a new study — vastly …

Climate Change

Have the Florida Everglades reached the 'tipping point'?

The Everglades, a 2-million acre system of swamps and wetlands in South Florida, is running out of freshwater. That's the sobering conclusion of an …

Florida

In Belarus, wolf-hunters lay traps at edge of Chernobyl zone

| KHRAPKOVO, Belarus<p>Wolf fur grows thickest in winter, so Belarussian hunter Vladimir Krivenchik only sets his traps once snow is on the ground.<p>He and his wife live on the edge of the Chernobyl exclusion zone - 2,600 square km (1,000 square miles) of land on the Belarus-Ukraine border that was …

World News

Is the ‘Anthropocene’ Epoch a Condemnation of Human Interference — or a Call for More?

Perhaps you’ve noticed, amid the hot invective and dry mockery of daily events in your social-media feeds, reports of the glaciers melting at each pole. Arctic ice cover reached record lows this summer and fall, while in Antarctica, we saw the continuing enlargement of an already massive crack in …

Anthropocene