Archive | June 2015

“Saving the dhole: The forgotten ‘badass’ Asian dog more endangered than tigers”


Little-known by scientists and largely ignored by conservationists, the wild Asian dog – or dhole – faces widespread deforestation, poisonings, lack of prey and disease. Can a few dhole champions save this tough predator?

“U.S. Mulls Help for Africa to Hunt Down Wildlife Poachers”

White Rhinos

U.S. intelligence agencies are considering whether to provide information, analysis and possibly tactical lessons to African governments about how to attack wildlife poaching networks, according to a top official.

“Study: The World Is In The Midst Of A Mass Extinction, And Humans Are To Blame”


In the last century, certain kinds of animals have gone extinct up to 100 times faster than usual, according to new research.

There have been five documented mass extinctions in the Earth’s history, including when the dinosaurs were suddenly wiped out 65 million years ago. Those extinctions are thought to have been caused by natural disasters, such as massive, earth-darkening volcanic eruptions or cataclysmic asteroid strikes. But a study published Friday concluded that a sixth, human-caused mass extinction is happening now.

We are the problem, according to Gerardo Ceballos, one of the study’s authors and a professor at the Institute of Ecology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

“The end of animal testing? Human-organs-on-chips win Design of the Year”

This tiny transparent block is the future of medicine

They may look like humble little blocks, but these miracle devices could end animal testing, revolutionise the development of new drugs – and lead us into a world of entirely personalised medicine. Lined with living human cells, the “organs-on-chips” mimic the tissue structures and mechanical motions of human organs, promising to accelerate drug discovery, decrease development costs and potentially usher in a future of personalised medicine.


“Can A 4°C Earth Support 10 Billion People?”

“Homo sapiens is poised to become the greatest catastrophic agent since a giant asteroid collided with the Earth 65,000,000 years ago, wiping out half the world’s species in a geological instant.” So wrote anthropologist Richard Leakey in his 1995 book, “The Sixth Extinction: Patterns of Life and the Future of Humankind.”


“Eastern Cougar extinct, no longer needs protection, says US conservation agency”

Western Cougar cubs. Their Eastern Cougar cousins have not been sighted since 1938 according to a US Fish and Wildlife review

Eastern cougars that once roamed North America from Canada to South Carolina are extinct and no longer warrant federal Endangered Species Act protections, US wildlife managers have said.

“Paris Climate Agreement: The Case For Establishing Five-Year Cycles”



ACT 2015 suggests cycles of improvement for mitigation, adaptation and support. Why not just focus on establishing an ambitious mitigation cycle?

“So What Exactly Is The Pope’s New Encyclical On The Environment Anyway?”


Generally speaking, a papal encyclical is one of the highest forms of official teaching a pope can produce. It is second only to an Apostolic Constitution, which is issued far more rarely and usually only to solidify really, really important theological ideas: For example, Pope Pius IX’s Ineffabilis Deus, an 1854 constitution that defined the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, represents one of only two universally agreed upon instances where papal infallibility was invoked.


“Polar bears eat dolphins as Arctic warms”

A polar bear eats a white-beaked dolphin in the Smeerenburgfjorden fjord, in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, Norway, on July 4, 2014. Dolphins had become trapped too far north possibly due to the almost absence of ice in the region in the past few years and the sudden arrival of ice in April. As the climate warms, the sight of polar bears tucking into weird meals, such as dolphins, could become more common.

Global warming is driving more species further north, scientists say, as polar bears are spotted devouring dolphins for the first time

“Britain has spoken – and chosen a vicious murdering bully as its national bird”

Highly aggressive and territorial, that sweet song fluting from your fence is actually the avian equivalent of a foul-mouthed “get orf my land”. Males will peck at rivals’ napes to sever their spinal cords; 10% of all adult robin deaths are robin-on-robin, red-on-red incidents. They also launch unprovoked attacks on other, innocent species, lashing out with razor-sharp claws.