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State of Wonder

State of Wonder

By Ann Patchett

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Tag: Wildlife

Populations of Marine Life Have Declined by Half Since 1970

The World Wildlife Fund’s findings spell trouble for all nations, especially those in the developing world whose people are heavily dependent on the ocean’s resources.

Posted on Sep 16, 2015 READ MORE

The Politics of Extinction

Maybe baby steps will help, but the world needs a lot more than either the United States or China is offering to combat the illegal traffic in wildlife, a nearly $20-billion-a-year business that adds up to a global war against nature.

Posted on Mar 16, 2015 READ MORE

Canada’s Polar Bears Face Food Crisis by 2100

Due to the shrinkage of the sea ice, the survival of polar bears in Canada’s Arctic Archipelago is doubtful in around 80 years’ time.

Posted on Nov 30, 2014 READ MORE

The Sixth Extinction

Many now-extinct species had traits that were advantageous for millions of years, until some change made them lethal. Mostly, Homo sapiens are that change.

Posted on Jul 25, 2014 READ MORE

U.S. Gov’t Agency, UPS Accidentally Send Drone Parts to College Student

Well, oops, UPS. A logistical glitch, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is attributing to a delivery snafu by UPS, caused parts of a drone designed to monitor marine life and ocean conditions to end up far from its intended destination.

Posted on May 6, 2014 READ MORE

Lapland’s Mystery Moths Puzzle Science

Warmer and wetter conditions are often bad news for wildlife. But moths in Finland’s Arctic region are bucking the trend—and no one knows why.

Posted on Apr 24, 2014 READ MORE

Early Springs Surprise Many Species

Several species are struggling to adapt to the increasingly early advent of spring, and some are finding it beyond them.

Posted on Apr 8, 2014 READ MORE

Oil Spill

Posted on Mar 25, 2014 READ MORE

Be Small, Stay Cool, Forget the Climate

Bigger species of wildlife appear to suffer more stress from climate change than their smaller counterparts, U.S. researchers have found.

Posted on Jan 26, 2014 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons / Kelly Martin (CC-BY-SA)

Why All Those Blackbirds Died on New Year’s Eve

It wasn’t the sort of auspicious and augury-tinged event the folks of Beebe, Ark., wanted to have happen on New Year’s Eve, but it’s looking like the freak accident involving anywhere from 1,000-5,000 blackbirds dropping dead at once might be explained in mundane terms.

Posted on Jan 3, 2011 READ MORE

Flickr / Ken Lund

This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land, Don’t Blow It

More than 2 million acres in nine states will be set aside as protected wilderness as soon as President Obama signs a bill just passed by Congress. Land in California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia will be off-limits to development.

Posted on Mar 25, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Paul Morse

Bush Pardons 14

George W. Bush pardoned 14 criminals Monday, including a convicted violator of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Of the 14, 12 were from states that voted for the president in 2004. Most had been convicted of drug-related crimes.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE

Flickr / oxfam international

Bush Wants to Shaft Endangered Species Before Leaving Office

He may be a lame duck, but the president still has the power to mess with America. His latest project: pushing through rule changes that would reduce protections for endangered species. Given the wonky complexities of the rule-changing process, it will be difficult for Barack Obama to undo the damage, but then that’s the whole point.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE

Wiki Commons

Good-News Alert: Gorilla Paradise Discovered

While National Geographic may be the best magazine educating Americans about the horrors of the modern world, the organization also makes a point of highlighting positive earth news when it happens, such as the discovery that Congo may hold an additional 125,000 western lowland gorillas, which would double the known population of the critically endangered beast.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE

polar bear
Richard Ellis

Politicizing the Polar Bear

More than any other mammal (except of course Mr. Homo sapiens), Ursus maritimus, which translates as maritime bear, has been in the forefront of the news lately, the subject of television specials, lawsuits, congressional debates, and New York Times editorials. Why?

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE

polar bear
Flickr / mape_s

Decision on Bears: Bush Is on the Clock

George Bush’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hasn’t been the most proactive defender of the environment. The agency has been avoiding a decision on the fate of the polar bear since 2005, but a federal judge has just ordered the administration to officially classify the world’s largest land predator endangered or not by May 15.

Posted on Apr 29, 2008 READ MORE


Gay Flamingos Adopt Chick

A pair of gay flamingos with a yen for parenthood have adopted an abandoned baby chick at a nature preserve in Britain. Homosexuality is not uncommon among flamingos, and males are able to produce a type of milk for chicks. Fernando and Carlos have been mates for six years.

Posted on May 22, 2007 READ MORE

Last Year Was Warmest on Record

With the announcement coming from a source like NASA, we expect Bush to get so upset that he’ll forget to work out. | story

Posted on Jan 24, 2006 READ MORE

Senate Dems Block Arctic Refuge Drilling

The threat of a filibuster holds up as Republicans fail to get enough votes to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) tried to force the measure through Congress as part of a must-have defense spending bill. See our coverage to find out what was at stake: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) filed a report after the House passed the measure earlier this week. See the related story by Robert Collier and the photo essay by Deddeda Stemler to learn more.

Posted on Dec 21, 2005 READ MORE

Thumbnail Image of Yukon Territory

Lives in the Balance

The Gwich’in people’s way of life is at stake whenever oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is proposed. Award-winning photographer Deddeda Stemler chronicles their existence on the banks of the Porcupine River in the Yukon Territory.

Posted on Dec 18, 2005 READ MORE

Deddeda Stemler/Truthdig

Threat to Tribe, Caribou Is Averted — for Now

GOP-led proposal to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge fails.

Posted on Dec 18, 2005 READ MORE

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