Top Biodiversity News

Bristol Bay's Pebble Mine is back in play.

One of the most contentious environmental fights of the past 30 years is suddenly back in the news, now that EPA head Scott Pruitt is poised to withdraw measures protecting the bay's storied salmon runs. Outside

Munduruku standoff against Amazon dam builders potentially explosive.

A fierce standoff is underway in the Brazilian Amazon. Mongabay

Brazilian Amazon still plagued by illegal use of natural resources.

Practices such as poaching and illegal logging are concentrated near inhabited areas and along rivers, study finds. Nature

Our Reporting on Biodiversity

More news from EHN

Warming rivers threaten iconic Michigan fish.

USFWS

A beloved, cold-loving state fish is in danger of overheating. Daily Climate

Respect the elderly: Saving cities’ oldest trees.

Daniel Axler

Old growth forests are increasingly rare in U.S. cities—protecting these health-boosting relics from bulldozers, invasives and apathy is no easy feat. Environmental Health News

Trees, science and the goodness of green space.

Lindsey Konkel

In urban parks and forests, scientists dig to unearth answers to an age-old question—why are people healthier (and happier) when surrounded by nature? Environmental Health News

Achieving sustainable and dignified life for all on an increasingly small planet.

It’s time to rethink our food system and acknowledge our responsibilities to renewal of resources and the rights of existence for all life forms on Earth. Environmental Health News

At the Vatican, a call to avoid 'biological extinction'.

Among those presenting during the three day conference are Partha Dasgupta of Cambridge University and Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University. Download their working paper on the sixth great extinction here. Environmental Health News

Editorials

It’s time to end the practice of fish farming in our waters.

Our native salmon populations are struggling to survive diminished habitat, warmer waters, dams and culverts, tainted runoff, and industrial pollution. Let’s remove the additional risks posed by Atlantic salmon. more…

When 1.2 billion tourists become 1.8 billion, will we be ready?

How we manage this industry and its growth is extremely important, because even as every country wants to attract large numbers of visitors, no one, we believe, intends to sit by and allow damage to the very infrastructure that pulls visitors in the first place. more…

Save our bats, belugas and bobolinks.

According to the World Wildlife Fund Canada, 451 of 903 mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish species across the country have declined in number by a shocking average of 83 per cent. Governments must act immediately to save them from extinction. more…

Bee colony collapse

Scientists found a gnarly pesticide in 75 percent of global honey samples.

And this pesticide is a known killer of bees. Mother Jones

A wayward weedkiller divides farm communities, harms wildlife.

Farmers have used dicamba for many years. But this year, they used more of it, and they used it in a new way. Murray WKMS, Kentucky

Honey tests reveal global contamination by bee-harming pesticides.

Neonicotinoid insecticides are found in 75 percent of global honey samples and half contain a cocktail of chemicals. The Guardian

What happens if the honeybees disappear?

Wild bees and Russian bees might be able to help. National Geographic Magazine

More flowers don’t mean healthier bees.

Climate change is leading to longer flowering seasons, but bees aren’t reaping the benefits. Cosmos Magazine, Australia

The mystery of the dead bumblebees and the linden trees.

Large numbers of bees were turning up sick or dead beneath fragrant trees in botanic garden in London. Two scientists set out to crack the case. New York Times

Water quality and biodiversity

Irving constitutional challenge a threat to pollution rules.

Irving Pulp and Paper's plan to launch a constitutional challenge to Canada's environmental regulations is expected to shine a bright light on water pollution standards for mills across the country. CBC New Brunswick, New Brunswick

Minnesota has 2,669 troubled bodies of water, draft list says.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is proposing to add more lakes and streams to the state's list of impaired waters. Minnesota Public Radio, Minnesota

Living in watersheds with more trees reduces disease risk.

A new study of children in 35 countries finds that those living in a watershed with more trees had a lower risk of contracting diarrheal disease. Yale Environment 360

Polluted stormwater pouring into St. Lucie River, Indian River Lagoon, Florida beaches.

Coffee-colored water now spreads throughout the St. Lucie River into the southern Indian River Lagoon, out the St. Lucie Inlet and south several miles along the Atlantic Coast beaches. TC Palm, Florida

Donald Trump appointee says he won't thwart removal of Klamath dams.

“We do not intend to intervene materially in any way in this process,” said Alan Mikkelsen, acting commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Sacramento Bee, California

Peter Seligmann: Lessons from a lifetime devoted to conservation.

In 1987, Peter Seligmann co-founded the nonprofit Conservation International — an organization that would go on to become one of the largest and most influential environmental nongovernmental organizations in the world. Ensia

Alaskans push US government to investigate BC’s border mines.

Fish and wildlife in Alaska’s major watersheds are threatened by six British Columbia mines close to the Alaska border, according to a new petition calling to investigate the threat of acid-mine drainage, heavy metals pollution and the possibility of catastrophic dam failure originating in the Canadian province. DeSmog Canada

Opinions

State’s own evidence shows tunnels project will harm fish.

The Brown administration is denying scientific evidence when it comes to the impact that the proposed Delta tunnels project would have on endangered species and fisheries, says scientist Jonathan Rosenfield of The Bay Institute. more…

Trump’s sellout of American heritage.

It’s easy to forget that the president is doing real damage to things that all of us share. more…

Editor comments: Best line: "Pruitt is the swamp, the only wetland the Trump administration wants to protect." -DF

Secretary Zinke, it's time to call it quits.

Working to undermine the agency you were charged with leading is not just a betrayal of those who work there; it is a betrayal of the Americans the agency serves. more…

Impacts of toxification

PODCAST: Romaine calm and curry on.

Food insecurity in the form of malnutrition could be addressed in both developed and developing countries with the help of agricultural biotechnology. Did you know that the same technologies may conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable food production? The Forum

Firms act on ocean plastic from Southeast Asia.

Two initiatives involving industry aim to stop ocean plastic pollution at the source. Chemical & Engineering News

Plastic pollution: An increasing threat to marine life in Pakistan.

The issue of plastic pollution along Pakistan’s coast is a major concern and is worsening due to inadequate solid waste disposal systems. Lahore Daily Times, Pakistan

High-street outlets move to ditch plastic amid environmental concerns.

Pret A Manger becomes the latest to act by offering free filtered water and selling empty glass bottles. The Guardian

Water quantity and biodiversity

Record Amazon fires stun scientists; sign of sick, degraded forests.

Scientists warn of a dangerous synergy: forest degradation has turned the Amazon from carbon sink to carbon source; while globally, humanity’s carbon emissions are worsening drought and fires. Mongabay

Wildfires: How they form, and why they're so dangerous.

Everything you need to know about wildfires. National Geographic News

What needs to be done to stop wildfires in drought-killed forests.

A century of fire suppression followed by the worst drought in recorded history has put California’s forest landscapes and water supply at risk. Water Deeply

California’s hot summer set the stage for deadly wildfires.

The fires sweeping through Napa and Sonoma wine country could lead to the state's worst wildfire season on record, and it’s not over yet. InsideClimate News

Napa, Sonoma, Santa Rosa fires ravage Northern California's wine country, killing 10 and forcing evacuations.

Tens of thousands of acres are burning in Napa and Sonoma, where homes — and some wineries — have been destroyed. Washington Post

Migrating birds are running out of water.

Water management in the West can often seem to pit people against wildlife, but it doesn’t have to, according to a recent report by the National Audubon Society. Water Deeply

Klamath Basin farmers lose long-running takings suit.

A 2001 Western water dispute that turned into a long-simmering fight over federal taking of property has now ended in defeat for aggrieved farmers in the Klamath River Basin. Greenwire

California is giving water back to native fish – but how much?

The state proposes to amend hundreds of water rights to help endangered salmon in the San Joaquin River, as well as other species. But there’s lots of disagreement about how much water the fish need to thrive. Water Deeply

Solutions and Good News

Into the ice: humans get closer to nature – in pictures.

From log trails to lava houses, from mud baths to melting glaciers, US photographer Lucas Foglia explores our relationship with the natural world in his new book Human Nature. The Guardian

Slow and steady, a tortoise is winning its race with extinction.

The Burmese Star Tortoise was called functionally extinct by ecologists, but a captive breeding program in Myanmar has saved them, a study says. New York Times

California condors return to the skies after near extinction, including Utah.

In a remote, rugged valley overlooking the Pacific Ocean, researchers closely monitor an endangered icon: the California condor. Associated Press

Sea turtles appear to be bouncing back around the world.

Researchers analyzed all existing public data of sea turtle nesting sites around the world and found a tale of “cautionary optimism.” New York Times

The snow leopard is no longer endangered. It is still at risk.

The snow leopard is no longer an endangered species, but its population in the wild is still at risk because of poaching and habitat loss, conservationists said this week. New York Times

Climate impacts on biodiversity

Will Northern California soon have Southern California's climate?

The Napa Valley wildfires are eerily similar to those that often flare up near Los Angeles. The Atlantic

Could migrating squid help Alaska predict climate change?

Chasing warmer waters, the market squid might be here to stay. Juneau Empire, Alaska

Ten miles of California's loveliest countryside, transformed by fire.

The wildfires displayed a cruel California truth: Living in the state's most beautiful spots has always required a sacrifice in safety. Washington Post

After an agonizing week on edge, good news for some Napa County residents.

The Atlas fire has burned more than 51,000 acres, killed six people and destroyed more than 300 homes. But as of late Sunday, the Atlas fire was 65 percent contained. Los Angeles Times

California wildfires, intense heat could be ‘new normal.'

As portrayed in novels, the California of the future is barely habitable. Brutal storms alternate with crushing droughts. Mudslides and wildfires create waves of climate change refugees. McClatchy Newspapers

People love to live in places that are at risk for disasters, 'and this is what happens.'

Many communities in the United States face floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires. Experts say the natural disasters are inevitable, but are we concerned, and are we ready? Washington Post

Climate change may erode size of key tallgrass forage by 60 percent.

A dominant forage grass in Kansas and other Great Plains states could be diminished by climate change to less than half its current stature during the next 75 years, researchers said. Topeka Capital-Journal, Kansas

Marine

Rubbish causing Polar Bear hormone disruption.

Fears have been raised over the risks of plastic pollution as UK MPs heard claims discarded bottles are leading to polar bears developing two sets of testicles. Sydney Sky News, Australia

For sale in Canada, endangered sharks’ fins.

Shark fin soup is on the menu in Canada, but a new investigation shows that some fins come from dubious, even illegal, sources. Hakai Magazine

This startup turns climate pollution into fish feed.

NovoNutrients wants to replace that fish food with something more sustainable: microbes grown with carbon dioxide. Fast Company

Satellite shows how forest CO2 emissions can skyrocket.

NASA data collected in 2015, an exceptionally warm year, raises more concerns about spiraling global warming feedback. InsideClimate News

Portugal's government faces no-confidence vote over forest fires.

A Portuguese opposition party launched a motion of no-confidence in the Socialist government on Tuesday over its failure to prevent the loss of human lives in this week’s lethal wildfires, the second such disaster in four months. Reuters

Deforestation drops for first time in three years in Brazil's Amazon.

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon fell 16 percent in the year to July 2017 compared to the same period a year prior, the first decline in three years, the country’s environment minister said on Tuesday. Reuters

Senate Democrats vow to fight drilling in Alaska reserve.

U.S. Senate Democrats vowed on Tuesday to fight a measure expected to be slipped into budget legislation that would open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to oil and gas drilling, saying it would destroy one of earth’s remaining paradises. Reuters

Pesticide traces in New Zealand honey surprises researcher.

A researcher says he was surprised to find how four samples of New Zealand honey contained traces of a class of pesticides known for their role in the decline of bees. New Zealand Herald

Forests

Land management could be key in climate change battle.

To combat climate change, every country on Earth could stop the burning of oil completely. Or they could simply pay attention to the way they manage their land. Toronto Star, Ontario

Plant more trees to combat climate change: Scientists.

Planting forests and other activities that harness the power of nature could play a major role in limiting global warming under the 2015 Paris agreement, an international study showed on Monday. Reuters

'Land means life': Tanzania's Maasai fear their existence is under threat.

The long-running border dispute between Maasai people in Loliondo and the authorities was reignited two months ago amid reports that, over a period of two days, hundreds of homes were burned down. The Guardian

Beyond biodiversity: A new way of looking at how species interconnect.

In a development that has important implications for conservation, scientists are increasingly focusing not just on what species are present in an ecosystem, but on the roles that certain key species play in shaping their environment. Yale Environment 360