Tag: Endangered and Extinct Species

How Life on Our Planet Made It Through Snowball Earth

Today, the world is warming. But from about 720 to 635 million years ago, temperatures swerved the other way as the planet became encased in ice during the two ice ages known as Snowball Earth. It happened fast, and within just a few thousand years or so, ice stretched over both land and sea, from […]

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Koalas Aren’t Extinct, but Their Future Is in Danger, Experts Say

There is no doubt that the fires tearing across eastern Australia have been hurting koalas. With large areas of their crucial habitat ravaged, it is unclear what the future holds for a species that was already under threat before this round of bush fires. Some koalas have been rescued — singed and dehydrated — from […]

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What if All That Flying Is Good for the Planet?

A growing movement known as “flight shame” and popularized by well-meaning climate activists is gaining momentum around the world. Its premise: Flying is bad for the climate, so if you care about life on Earth, don’t fly. The movement, which began in Scandinavia, has ballooned into protests to disrupt flights at London’s Heathrow Airport and […]

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A Silicon Valley Disruption for Birds That Gorge on Endangered Fish

DON EDWARDS SAN FRANCISCO BAY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Calif. — If you took a short kayak trip a few years ago to tiny islands nested in former salt ponds near Silicon Valley, you would have found plastic bird decoys all over. With their snowy white bodies, black crowns and sharp red bills, the decoys looked […]

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This Elusive Creature Wasn’t Seen for Nearly 30 Years. Then It Appeared on Camera.

The illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam has depleted some forests so drastically that scientists call the result “empty forest syndrome,” where almost nothing sings or crawls or rustles the branches. “There’s a beautiful, vibrant tropical forest around you, but no animals in it,” said Andrew Tilker, a scientist with Global Wildlife Conservation and doctoral student […]

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Stalking the Endangered Wax Palm

In 1991 Rodrigo Bernal, a botanist who specializes in palms, was driving into the Tochecito River Basin, a secluded mountain canyon in central Colombia, when he was seized by a sense of foreboding. Two palm experts were in the car with Dr. Bernal: his late wife, the botanist Gloria Galeano, who worked alongside him at […]

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Extinction Rebellion Is Creating a New Narrative of the Climate Crisis

“Everybody knows the boat is leaking, everybody knows the captain lied,” Leonard Cohen once sang. In spite of decades of scientific data proving human-caused climate change, we are still spellbound by a story of enlightened progress. Our high-carbon culture is underpinned by a belief system that tells us we are in control of nature and […]

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Trump Administration Moves to Lift Protections for Fish and Divert Water to Farms

Those protections ensured that the California rivers and bays in which the fish swim would get preference over irrigation systems in times of drought. Multiple scientific reports have concluded that diverting those waters could threaten water birds and killer whales, harm commercial fisheries and promote toxic algal blooms. The new biological opinion concluded that those […]

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The Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Acidified the Ocean in a Flash

What happened to the dinosaurs when an asteroid about six miles wide struck Earth some 66 million years ago in what is today Mexico is well known: It wiped them out. But the exact fate of our planet’s diverse ocean dwellers at the time — shelly ammonites, giant mosasaurs and other sea creatures — has […]

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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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