biodiversity

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Another Day, Another Dire Report on the Planet

Up to 40% of planet's land is now degraded and we need to address it to alleviate climate change

(Newser) - A new report from the United Nations says land degradation is already affecting half of the Earth's population, because there's a whole lot of land involved. According to the UN's second edition of its "Global Land Outlook" analysis, between 20% and 40% of the planet's...

For 23 Endangered Species, All Hope Is Now Gone

Ivory-billed woodpecker, nearly 2 dozen other species have been declared extinct by US

(Newser) - Wednesday is set to be a sad day for nearly two dozen endangered species, with all hope gone that we'll ever see them again. Federal wildlife authorities are expected to announce that the ivory-billed woodpecker, Bachman's warbler, and 20 other animals, as well as one plant, are now...

Giant Pandas in China No Longer Endangered
Big News for
China's Giant Pandas

Big News for China's Giant Pandas

They're now considered a vulnerable species in the wild, not endangered

(Newser) - Giant pandas outside of captivity in China just saw a status upgrade. Thanks to conservation efforts, they're no longer considered an endangered species, but a vulnerable one, reports the Guardian , which notes there are about 1,800 pandas currently in the country's wild. Environment Ministry rep Cui Shuhong...

We've Lost 68% of Wildlife Populations Since 1970
Nature Is 'Unraveling'
Before Our Eyes
NEW REPORT

Nature Is 'Unraveling' Before Our Eyes

It's time to overhaul our food system: WWF report

(Newser) - Nature is "unraveling" at a rate not seen for millions of years. That's according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund, which finds wildlife populations have fallen by an average of 68% since 1970. In Latin America and the Caribbean, populations have fallen by an average...

6th Mass Extinction Is Speeding Along. It's 'Entirely Our Fault'

Humanity is 'sawing off the limb on which it is sitting'

(Newser) - Biodiversity is critical for human life, which makes the latest study on it especially troubling. In research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the sixth mass extinction we're currently undergoing, scientists looked at threatened-species data from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature,...

Sorry, Climate Change. There's Another Problem
Sorry, Climate Change.
There's Another Problem
opinion

Sorry, Climate Change. There's Another Problem

Tamar Stelling has a new way to measure Earth's loss of species

(Newser) - Climate change isn't our only environmental problem—and evidence lies in the North Sea. Back in the 16th century a Dutch fishmonger could witness "whales everywhere, as far as the eye can see," writes Tamar Stelling at the Correspondent . "Some majestically spring from the water as...

Huge Biodiversity Report Sees 'Grave Impacts' for Humans

UN report says nature is in worst shape it's ever been in

(Newser) - Scientists say nature is in more trouble now than at any other time in human history, with extinction looming over 1 million species of plants and animals. That's the key finding of the United Nations' first comprehensive report on biodiversity, per the AP . The report, released Monday, says species...

UN Environment Report Names Our 2 Most Pressing Problems

Report uses word 'risk' 561 times in 740 pages

(Newser) - Earth is sick with multiple and worsening environmental ills killing millions of people yearly, a new UN report says. Climate change, a global major extinction of animals and plants, a human population soaring toward 10 billion, degraded land, polluted air, and plastics, pesticides, and hormone-changing chemicals in the water are...

200K Mice Plagued the Islands. Amazingly, There Are Now None

A seeming victory for biodiversity on New Zealand's Antipodes Islands

(Newser) - A subantarctic archipelago is making "huge news": The New Zealand Herald reports there are officially no more mice on the country's Antipodes Islands, which once housed up to 200,000 of the rodents. They caused a big threat to the World Heritage Site by preying on native birds,...

Sexed-Up 'Bachelor' Birds Could Save Their Species

Single male hihi birds can cut down inbreeding, ensure genetic diversity

(Newser) - Is the male hihi bird native to the Jersey Shore? Because, like The Situation and Pauly D, the single male birds in this endangered species (they're actually only found in New Zealand) are decidedly boorish, creeping for already taken ladies to mate with. But this actually might save the...

30 New Fly Species Found Buzzing in Hazy LA
30 New Fly Species Found Buzzing in Hazy LA
NEW STUDY

30 New Fly Species Found Buzzing in Hazy LA

Entomologists surprised at numbers in 3-year study

(Newser) - It started with a friendly wager. An LA Natural History Museum trustee bet Brian Brown, the museum's entomology curator, that the city's smog-filled nooks were no place for new insect species to be found. The first bug Brown caught proved to be previously undiscovered, inspiring the Biodiversity Science:...

World's Oldest Trees Dying at Alarming Rate
 World's Oldest Trees 
 Dying at Alarming Rate 
new research

World's Oldest Trees Dying at Alarming Rate

Research shows 10 times the normal death rate

(Newser) - In what one researcher calls a "very, very disturbing trend," new research finds that the planet's oldest trees have started dying at 10 times the normal rate, a change that could greatly damage the planet's ecosystems and biodiversity. Researchers blame logging, development, drought, and climate change...

Report: Earth Heading for Point of No Return

Biodiversity down, and resources being eaten up

(Newser) - Humans are using up Earth’s resources much faster than they can be renewed—it takes the Earth 1.5 years to make up for what we use in just one year, according to a disturbing new report from the World Wildlife Fund . Last year, humans went through the full...

Pocket of Asia Yields 208 New Species—in 1 Year

Mekong region's amazing biodiversity under threat, WWF warns

(Newser) - It's a region that produces a new species every other day: Carnivorous plants that can eat mice, birds, and lizards. An all-female species of lizard that reproduces by self-cloning. Brightly colored geckos bathed in orange, yellow, blue, and green markings. A noseless monkey that looks like it's wearing...

Climate Change Makes Animals, People 'Shrink'

Warmer, drier weather makes plants and animals get smaller

(Newser) - Plants, polar bears, and people are among the living things likely to shrink thanks to global warming, scientists say. Drawing on several scientific papers, the Telegraph reports that warmer, drier weather makes plants and animals get smaller, which reduces food supplies for those higher up the food chain. "The...

Coral Reefs Gone By Century's End


 Coral Reefs Gone 
 by Century's End 
NEW BOOK

Coral Reefs Gone by Century's End

Not just pretty: end of reefs often signals mass extinction events

(Newser) - Climate change and the acidification of the oceans—along with overfishing, coastal development, and pollution—will destroy the Earth's coral reefs in as little as 30 years, reports the Independent . The mass-bleaching in the Indian Ocean in 1998 alone destroyed 16% of the world's reefs in just a...

Dozens of New Species Found in Philippines

Expedition finds laughing cicadas, scores of spiders

(Newser) - A high-pitched noise that villagers in the Philippines believed was dwarves laughing in the forest actually comes from a cicada, one of dozens of new species discovered by American and Filipino researchers in the nation's islands and waters. The team found scores of new marine invertebrates, at least 40...

Exotic Mistletoe Species Discovered
Exotic Mistletoe
Species Discovered

Exotic Mistletoe Species Discovered

Should you need a factoid to wow holiday party guests with...

(Newser) - If that moldy sprig of mistletoe you've been tacking above your doorway for years hasn't been doing much for your love life, perhaps it's time to upgrade. During a 2008 expedition to Mozambique, several new species were discovered—including an exotic species of mistletoe that grows on trees in the...

20% of Species Risk Extinction

Amphibians in special danger

(Newser) - A whopping 20% of the world’s species are on the brink of extinction, according to a new study unveiled at the UN Biodiversity Summit in Japan. The Red List of Threatened Species now includes a staggering 41% of amphibians, with the heaviest losses coming from Southeast Asia, where habitats...

Scientists Slash Number of World's Plants by 600,000

Turns out that many plants have multiple names—some have hundreds

(Newser) - A comprehensive scientific study will trim some 600,000 duplicates from the world’s list of flowering plants, the Guardian reports. After centuries of scientists naming “new” plants that had already been discovered, we currently count the number of plant species at about 1 million—but a more realistic...

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