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Study Has Bad News for Reindeer

Reindeer populations experiencing rapid decline

(Newser) - The iconic reindeer is in peril, according to a new study analyzing population trends in China. While their numbers have been in decline for decades, dropping by at least 28% since the 1970s, the rate of decline has increased dramatically since 1998, reports UPI . The study, published in the Journal ... More »

World Lost Half Its Wildlife in 40 Years

WWF finds decline is even worse than it thought

(Newser) - The World Wildlife Fund has improved its methods of measuring the world's wildlife populations—and discovered that the situation is even worse than previously thought. In its Living Planet report , the numbers are stark: Populations of vertebrate species—including mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles—fell by a staggering average... More »

California Blue Whales Show Big Rebound

Population returns to 'sustainable levels'

(Newser) - After decades of deadly whaling, the California blue whale population has come back with a vengeance. A study in the Marine Mammal Science journal says that the once-endangered mammal, which can be found from Alaska all the way down to Costa Rica, has bounced back to "sustainable levels,"... More »

More Elephants Being Killed Than Born

35K killed annually since 2010; deaths driven by illegal ivory trade

(Newser) - A new study tallying the African elephant population has made a stark finding: If poaching continues at its current rate, the animal may be extinct in a century, the BBC reports. "We are shredding the fabric of elephant society and exterminating populations across the continent," says the study'... More »

Artist Creates Trees That Grow 40 Different Fruits

Sam Van Aken grafts fruit buds onto a base tree

(Newser) - A tree with 40 different fruits sounds like something out of fairytale. But Syracuse University artist Sam Van Aken is turning plum trees into orchards unto themselves, reports Time . Most of the year, his trees appear to be common fruit trees, but they eventually bloom in different colors and bear... More »

Endangered Florida Habitat Getting a Walmart

Dwindling rockland is home to many rare species

(Newser) - A South Florida forest that's home to a trove of endangered and almost-endangered plant and animal species, including the bald eagle, indigo snake, and Florida bonneted bat, is about to be invaded by a far less rare creature: Walmart. The University of Miami this month sold 88 acres of... More »

Herd of Hybrid Bison on Rampage in Grand Canyon

Officials trying to figure out what to do about it

(Newser) - There's a menace on the loose in the Grand Canyon, and it is very large, and very hairy. A herd of between 350 and 450 hybrid bison are running amok in the area, federal and state park officials revealed at a news conference yesterday, announcing a series of public... More »

Rare Croc Killed in Zoo Mating Gone Wrong

Male false gharial suffocated female

(Newser) - A Dutch zoo's attempt to breed a rare, endangered crocodile went terribly wrong when the female half of the horizontal tango died in the act, the zoo revealed yesterday. While mating, the male false gharial crocodile usually holds the female down with his mouth "to show his superiority,... More »

Shark Eggs Rescued From Fish Market Grow Into Pups

Three are released at sea in Malta

(Newser) - Three baby sharks swimming off the coast of Malta got there in incredible fashion. Members of the conservation group Sharklab Malta came across dead nursehound sharks being sold at a local fish market, and got permission from vendors to remove the eggs, reports Malta Today . They brought the eggs to... More »

Plan OKed to Dredge, Dump in Great Barrier Reef Park

Environmental groups warn of dangers

(Newser) - The authority in charge of Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has given the final approval to a plan to dump millions of tons of dredging spoils into the park's waters, despite howls of protest from environmental groups and scientists. The dredging is part of a plan to... More »

West African Lions on Brink of Extinction

There are fewer than 250 adults left, surprise study finds

(Newser) - Lions are on the verge of extinction in West Africa, a stunning new survey has concluded, after years of harrowing treks in search of them. When researchers started their search in 2005, the lions, a distinct species from their east and south African brethren, were believed to inhabit 21 protected... More »

To Give Birth, Sharks Return to Own Birthplace

Even if they're away for years: study

(Newser) - A mother shark can be away from her birthplace for years—but she'll still return there when it's time for her to have babies, scientists have found in a 17-year-study. Researchers suspected as much, but to confirm their suspicions, they decided to follow individual lemon sharks starting in... More »

Inside Ethanol's Quiet, Dirty Toll on Environment

Industry fumes over AP report

(Newser) - President Obama, and President Bush before him, fought hard to make ethanol a central part of American energy. But an AP investigation finds that the program as it stands may be doing far more environmental harm than good. The effort to grow corn for fuel has meant the destruction of... More »

Texas Club's Plan: To Help Imperiled Rhino, Kill One

Dallas Safari Club will auction permit to hunt endangered species

(Newser) - Plans to auction a rare permit that will allow a hunter to take down an endangered black rhino are drawing criticism from some conservationists, but the organizer says the fundraiser could bring in more than $1 million that will go toward protecting the species. The Dallas Safari Club earlier this... More »

Anti-Shark Fin Soup Campaign Goes Viral in China

Thanks to support from celebs like Yao Ming

(Newser) - Just a few years ago, most Chinese people were oblivious to the environmental problems caused by eating shark fin soup, reports the Washington Post . But thanks to widespread public awareness campaigns, backed by celebrities and business leaders, the country is finally losing its appetite for the dish, and both the... More »

Behold the 'World's Ugliest Animal' (If You Dare)

Blobfish wins contest to become mascot for conscientious comedy group

(Newser) - It's a perpetually sad-looking, endangered sack of a fish, but the blobfish has reason to rejoice today: it's just been voted the official mascot of the Ugly Animals Preservation Society . The British comedy/conservation group has been holding a public poll to determine the world's ugliest animal, in... More »

Biologists Try to Save Rare Trout ... by Poisoning a River

Controversial plan designed to flush out other species from creek

(Newser) - California fisheries officials pumped an 11-mile stream full of poison yesterday, killing all the fish in it—in what, believe it or not, is a conservation plan. State officials are trying to preserve the Paiute cutthroat trout, the rarest trout in the world, the LA Times explains. It's native... More »

Endangered US Tortoises to Be Euthanized

Funding for Las Vegas-area conservation center dries up

(Newser) - For decades, the vulnerable US desert tortoise has led a sheltered existence on a sprawling conservation reserve outside Las Vegas. But the pampered desert dweller now faces a threat from the very people who have nurtured it. Federal funds are running out at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center and officials... More »

Penguins' Unlikely Savior: Dogs

Maremma sheepdogs help restore population to Australia island

(Newser) - Things got so bad for the penguins on Australia's Middle Island that one researcher counted all of four just seven years ago, down from a peak of 1,500. The problem, as the New Zealand Herald explains, is that red foxes acquired a taste for the Little Penguins and... More »

19% of Reptiles at Risk of Extinction

Study reviewed 1,500 species

(Newser) - Farming and logging are destroying the habitats of the world's reptiles, putting nearly one in five in danger of extinction, reports AFP . The new study—in which 200 experts examined 1,500 species of snakes, turtles, lizards, crocodiles, and other reptiles—claims to be the most comprehensive made of... More »

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