Tag: Endangered and Extinct Species

It Had the Biggest Antlers Ever Found. Were They Weapons?

The antlers of the prehistoric deer Megaloceros giganteus inspire awe and bemusement in equal measure. They were the largest the world has ever known — up to 12 feet wide and five feet high — atop the head of a creature otherwise no taller than a modern moose. But when does such grandeur cross the […]

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Trump Governs by Grudge in California

In 1961, at a news conference three years before he became the Republican presidential nominee, the right-wing Arizona senator Barry Goldwater, surveying the progressive tendencies of voters in New York and its neighbors, was moved to observe: “Sometimes I think this country would be better off if we could just saw off the Eastern Seaboard […]

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The Crisis for Birds Is a Crisis for Us All

Nearly one-third of the wild birds in the United States and Canada have vanished since 1970, a staggering loss that suggests the very fabric of North America’s ecosystem is unraveling. The disappearance of 2.9 billion birds over the past nearly 50 years was reported today in the journal Science, a result of a comprehensive study […]

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Birds Are Vanishing From North America

The skies are emptying out. The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970, scientists reported on Thursday. There are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago. The analysis, published in the journal Science, is the most exhaustive and ambitious attempt […]

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How to Cool a Planet With Extraterrestrial Dust

Extraterrestrial events — the collision of faraway black holes, a comet slamming into Jupiter — evoke wonder on Earth but rarely a sense of local urgency. By and large, what happens in outer space stays in outer space. A study published Wednesday in Science Advances offered a compelling exception to that rule. A team of […]

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How Long Before These Salmon Are Gone? ‘Maybe 20 Years’

NORTH FORK, Idaho — The Middle Fork of the Salmon River, one of the wildest rivers in the contiguous United States, is prime fish habitat. Cold, clear waters from melting snow tumble out of the Salmon River Mountains and into the boulder-strewn river, which is federally protected. The last of the spawning spring-summer Chinook salmon […]

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Jane Goodall Keeps Going, With a Lot of Hope (and a Bit of Whiskey)

Jane Goodall nursed a glass of neat Irish whiskey. It was the end of a long day of public appearances, and her voice was giving out. That’s what Ms. Goodall does these days. She talks. To anyone who will listen. To children, chief executives and politicians. Her message is always the same: The forests are […]

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A New Timeline of the Day the Dinosaurs Began to Die Out

The giant asteroid’s impact into shallow waters in the Gulf of Mexico 66 million years ago was bad enough. But then an amalgam of additional disasters ensued: Rocks fell from the sky, wildfires ignited and tsunamis inundated distant shorelines. It was the beginning of the end of the Mesozoic Era when dinosaurs ruled the world. […]

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Trophy Hunter Seeks to Import Parts of Rare Rhino He Paid $400,000 to Kill

A Michigan trophy hunter who paid $400,000 to kill a rare black rhinoceros in Africa in 2018 is seeking a federal permit to allow him to import its skin, skull and horns to the United States, according to government records. The hunter, Chris D. Peyerk of Shelby Township, Mich., applied in April for the permit, […]

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The Transformative, Talismanic Power of Feathers

ICARUS WAS NOT the first to wear feathers, but he was perhaps the most hexed by their promise of transformation. According to Greek myth, his father, the architect and inventor Daedalus, desperate for them to escape the wrath of King Minos, built wings out of twine, wax and plumes shed by passing birds — an […]

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A Rare Greenshank Is Spotted in Russia

One of the few things known about the Nordmann’s greenshank is that it is one of the most endangered shorebirds on earth. No one had studied the bird in depth since 1976, and its nesting habitat remained a mystery. But this summer, an American graduate student and Russian ornithologists spotted a pair of Nordmann’s greenshanks […]

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6 Major Climate Change Rules the Trump Administration Is Reversing

ImageThe Trump administration has undone dozens of environmental regulations since Mr. Trump took office in January 2017.CreditClockwise from top left: Mike Blake/Reuters; Katie Orlinsky for NYT; Brandon Thibodeaux for NYT; Jennifer Strickland/USFWS; Jim Wilson/NYT; Al Drago/NYT; Brandon Thibodeaux for NYT; Alex Goodlett for NYT The move to rescind environmental rules governing emissions of methane, a […]

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Scientists Fertilize Eggs From the Last Two Northern White Rhinos

ImageWhen the last male white northern rhino died last year, his daughter and granddaughter, Najin and Fatu, were the only two of their kind left. CreditTony Karumba/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images With a handful of oocytes and a collection of frozen sperm, an international team of scientists is racing against the clock to ensure that the […]

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Giraffes Get New Protections, but Will It Be Enough?

Giraffes are a threatened species and many of their populations are endangered and declining. But until now, no international regulations governed their trade. On Thursday, at a conference in Geneva, countries overwhelmingly agreed to add giraffes to the list of animals protected by the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna […]

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She Studies Sea Snakes by the Seafloor

Six to eight million years ago, a snake related to swamp snakes or tiger snakes slithered into the sea. Over evolutionary time, descendants of that snake developed flattened paddle tails, an ability to breathe through the skin and a valve to stop water from entering the lungs. Today these creatures live their entire lives in […]

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The Thick Gray Line: Forest Elephants Defend Against Climate Change

Poaching destabilizes nations, disrupts ecosystems and threatens biodiversity. A recent study suggests still another consequence: Some types of poaching may also accelerate climate change. Forest elephants — the smaller, endangered relatives of African savanna elephants — promote the growth of large trees that excel at storing carbon, according to research published in the journal Nature […]

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The Species Act, Endangered: ‘Like a Plan From a Cartoon Villain’

In early May, a United Nations panel on biodiversity released a deeply troubling 1,500-page report warning that as many as one million plant and animal species were at risk of extinction worldwide. It strongly urged nations everywhere to accelerate efforts to save the marine and terrestrial life that remain — the mammals, the birds, the […]

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The Great Western Public Land Robbery

Imagine if the head of Philip Morris were put in charge of the American Cancer Society. Imagine he had spent his career trying to fight cancer cures, while promoting one of the world’s leading carcinogens. For good measure, he mocked the mission of his new employer and insulted the prayers of those looking for hope. […]

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The New Threat to Endangered Species? The Trump Administration

Endangered species come on lists. But lists obscure relationships. What can it mean that a few mussels, some snails we’ve never heard of, obscure crayfish in marginal headwaters and some island-confined songbirds are vanishing? Some 1,650 species of animals and plants in the United States are listed under federal law as endangered or threatened. But […]

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This Carnivorous Plant Invaded New York. That May Be Its Only Hope.

BIG POND, N.Y. — Across their kayaks, the three men passed the green shoot back and forth. Occasionally, one of them would cradle it in one palm and bring a hand lens to it with the other, inspecting the carnivorous plant that was their bounty. By day’s end, the group — Seth Cunningham and Michael […]

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