POLL: Should Mauritian flying foxes be culled to protect farmers’s fruit trees?

The culling of fruit bats in recent years to protect crops in Mauritius has pushed the species closer to extinction, and now the government is planning to do it again. One problem, scientists say, is that killing bats might not boost harvests. Until now, growers and the government have been operating on the assumption, based […]

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As the mammal tree of life suffers hits, should we prioritize which species to save?

The current mass extinction is eliminating whole branches of the mammal tree of life, which will take millions of years to replace, according to a recent study. Some researchers suggest focusing our conservation efforts on mammal species that sit on the tree’s most distinct and precarious limbs. How we choose to save one species over […]

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Whale stress levels influenced by human activity, earwax study suggests

Scientists have mapped whale stress levels in relation to human activity going back nearly a century and a half — using earwax collected from baleen whales. From 1870 to 2016, the whales’ stress levels seem to be closely associated with activities such as industrial whaling, naval operations during World War II, and rising sea-surface temperatures, […]

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POLL: Should the Trump Administration authorize oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast?

The Trump Administration announced today that it will issue five Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHAs) for airgun blasting off the Atlantic coast. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated: “In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that NOAA Fisheries has issued incidental harassment […]

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Five wildlife conservationists held by Iran could face the death penalty

Up to five conservation researchers accused of spying by the Iranian government could face the death penalty if convicted, according to multiple media reports. Conservationists Niloufar Bayani, Taher Ghadirian, Houman Jowkar, Sepideh Kashani and Morad Tahbaz work with the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation on the conservation of different wildlife species in Iran, which includes monitoring […]

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POLL: Should wolves be restored in Japan to control sika deer and save forests?

From the peak of Mt. Rausu, a clear view of the Shiretoko Peninsula opens from the Okhotsk Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean on the east. Below, a dense green boreal forest of conifers, maples, and birch hides hundreds of brown bears and 590,000 sika deer. Japanese wolves once roamed this wilderness but […]

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Bear-human conflict risks pinpointed amid resurgent bear population

Scientists have mapped out instances of human-black bear conflict in a part of the U.S. state of Nevada where bears are returning decades after they vanished. The results of their analyses, reported in the October issue of the journal Global Ecology and Conservation, could help wildlife managers identify specific sites where this type of conflict […]

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Chainsaw Massacre: Protected areas in danger in Brazil’s state of Rondônia (commentary)

One reserve is already gone and ten others are likely to go within the next few weeks when the legislature of one of Brazilian Amazonia’s most anti-environmental states votes on overriding a veto from the state governor. The 11 protected areas total 537,000 hectares (3 percent of the state), and four of them had been […]

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