Wildlife Conservation

Nature is a rich source of medicine – if we can protect it

The Pacific yew tree is a fairly small and slow growing conifer native to the Pacific Northwest. The Gila monster is a lizard with striking orange and black markings from the drylands of the Southwestern US and Mexico. Authors: The Conversation Two very different organisms, but with a fascinating connection. They’ve both given us drugs that have saved and improved the lives of millions of people. Paclitaxel, originally isolated in 1971 from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree, is ... Read More »

Australia only nation to join US at pro-coal event at COP24 climate talks

Country’s stance described as ‘a slap in the face of our Pacific island neighbours’ Ben Doherty The Guardian Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to coal – and its unwavering support for the United States – by appearing at a US government-run event promoting the use of fossil fuels at the… Australia was the only country apart from the host represented at the event, entitled “US innovative technologies spur economic dynamism”, designed to “showcase ways to use fossil fuels as… Its ... Read More »

COP24: Swedish teen activist tells world leaders they are ‘behaving like children’

Fifteen-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has spoken at the COP24 summit. Nick Baker SBS A Swedish teenager who inspired students around the world to walk out of their classrooms over climate change inaction has slammed leaders at a major UN summit. Fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg travelled to Katowice, Poland, for the COP24 talks and delivered a speech on Monday to UN leader António Guterres and other decision-makers at the conference. “We are facing an existential threat and there is no time ... Read More »

Yes, Prime Minister, I’m striking from school: consider it a climate lesson

I am Veronica, 15 years old, from Scott Morrison’s electorate. Despite our Prime Minister’s calls for students not to strike from school on Friday, we’re choosing to no longer be powerless. Veronica Hester * The Age We will be striking with thousands of other students, to show we will not stand for our government’s inaction on climate change. Mr Morrison has condemned the strike, saying he does not support our schools being turned into parliaments. “More learning and less activism,” ... Read More »

Paris is burning

Worries are mounting that the global effort to fight climate change will not meet its goals. By KALINA OROSCHAKOFF Politico They were supposed to always have Paris. Three years after world leaders celebrated the signing of a landmark agreement intended to head off catastrophic global warming, the effort looks to be going down in flames. Scientists say the cuts to greenhouse gas emissions agreed to under the 2015 Paris climate agreement fall far short of what would be needed to ... Read More »

Climate change: CO2 emissions rising for first time in four years

Global efforts to tackle climate change are way off track says the UN, as it details the first rise in CO2 emissions in four years. The emissions gap report says that economic growth is responsible for a rise in 2017 while national efforts to cut carbon have faltered. Matt McGrath BBC To meet the goals of the Paris climate pact, the study says it’s crucial that global emissions peak by 2020. But the analysis says that this is now not likely even ... Read More »

The day Australia’s whaling harpoons stopped for good

Tuesday is the 40th anniversary of the death of the last whale harpooned in Australia. Chris Pash WAtoday The female sperm whale was caught near the edge of the continental shelf in the Southern Ocean off Albany, Western Australia, by the Cheynes Beach Whaling Company. The last whaling station then closed the next day: November 21, 1978. The three whale chaser ships went out that day but returned empty-handed, spending the day firing harpoons in fun, and breaking out illicit ... Read More »

Someone Shot And Killed A Dolphin Off The Coast Of California

A marine animal rescue group is offering a reward of $5,000 for information leading to conviction of the perp. Hilary Hanson HuffPost A marine wildlife rescue group is hoping to obtain information that will lead them to whoever shot a dolphin found dead in Manhattan Beach, California. “There is NO excuse for such brutality against these beautiful animals,” Marine Animal Rescue wrote in a Facebook post on Friday. The El Segundo-based organization said that an examination had revealed the dolphin died from ... Read More »

‘A disaster’: Forest deals reignite tension between loggers and conservationists

Dejan Stojanovic was aghast. The biologist had pulled to the side of a remote dirt road in southern Tasmania, expecting to find the stately blue gum forest he’d frequented for years. Nicole Hasham The Age He had come in search of the rare swift parrot, known to nest in the nooks of old local trees. But the bulldozers had got there first. Only disfigured brown earth remained. “I was enraged,” Stojanovic says, recalling the day in November last year. “This ... Read More »

Seafood industry calls for Senate inquiry into seismic testing

Members of the Australian seafood industry are persisting in their calls for an inquiry into seismic testing, despite the Senate having twice rejected the idea. ABC West Coast SA By Samantha Jonscher Seismic surveys, which are used to search for undersea oil and gas deposits, involve firing intense soundwaves into the ocean floor, which fishers worry could disrupt the behaviour of marine life. Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association President Brian Jeffriess said not enough is known about the impacts of ... Read More »

Why covering the environment is one of the most dangerous beats in journalism

From the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi by Saudi agents to President Trump’s clashes with the White House press corps, attacks on reporters are in the news. Eric Freedman The Conversation This problem extends far beyond the politics beat, and world leaders aren’t the only threats. At Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, we train students and professional journalists to report on what we view as the world’s most important beat. One hard fact is that those ... Read More »

Under poaching pressure, elephants are evolving to lose their tusks

In Mozambique, researchers are racing to understand the genetics of elephants born without tusks—and the consequences of the trait. Dina Fine Maron National Geographic The oldest elephants wandering Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park bear the indelible markings of the civil war that gripped the country for 15 years: Many are tuskless. They’re the lone survivors of a conflict that killed about 90 percent of these beleaguered animals, slaughtered for ivory to finance weapons and for meat to feed the fighters. Hunting ... Read More »

‘Living corpses’: Why Colombia’s national tree is at risk

“They are essentially living corpses,” says Colombian scientist Rodrigo Bernal of Colombia’s national tree. Lucy Sherriff BBC The ceroxylon quindiuense, a distinct species of palm tree which was declared the country’s national tree in 1985, is on the verge of extinction and most Colombians are not even aware of the problem. That is because it takes decades for the palms to show signs of decay, even when they have already reached the end of their lifespan and scientifically they are dead, explains ... Read More »

‘The most intellectual creature to ever walk Earth is destroying its only home’

Introducing the Guardian’s new series The Age of Extinction, the renowned primatologist describes the dramatic vanishing of wildlife she has witnessed in her lifetime – and how we can all play a… Jane Goodall The Guardian During my years studying chimpanzees in Gombe national park in Tanzania I experienced the magic of the rainforest. I learned how all life is interconnected, how each species, no matter how insignificant it may seem, has a role to play in the rich tapestry ... Read More »

Humanity Has Wiped Out 60% Of Animals Since 1970 Report Finds

A major report has found humans have wiped out approximately 60% of the population of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970. 9GAG The estimate was the result of a report produced by the Zoological Society of London for the WWF, which included the work of 59 scientists across the globe. The report, named the Living Planet Index (LPI), revealed the ever-increasing consumption of food and resources demanded by the global population, is destroying life which has been billions of ... Read More »

Why a species of fish became less aggressive after coral bleaching

Why a species of fish became less aggressive after coral bleaching CBC Radio Lancaster University marine biologist Sally Keith and her colleagues were looking into how the behaviour of butterflyfish might vary geographically — but then a mass coral bleaching event hit, and the… She says she noticed a decrease in the amount of aggressive behaviour displayed by butterflyfish after the coral bleaching. Her colleague Nathan Sanders has called the butterflyfish the “canaries of the reef,” and they say the results of this study — published this week ... Read More »