Species Loss and Biodiversity

Counting the Vanishing Bees

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Dylan Walsh
A bumblebee gathering pollen from a sunflower. Reuters
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A new method for monitoring the decline in bee populations may prove a useful tool in much-needed conservation efforts. It requires only a few hundred pan traps: bright shallow bowls partly filled with soapy water or propylene glycol.

When United Nations experts noticed that crop production was flagging in seven countries around the world, from Brazil to Nepal, they contacted Gretchen LeBuhn, an associate professor at San Francisco State University who studies bees. ... Read more about Counting the Vanishing Bees

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Global Impacts - Irreversible Changes

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http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/11/23/infographic-climate-change-latin-america-middle-east-central-asia

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Weather extremes are already affecting lives around the world, damaging crops and coastlines and putting water security at risk.

Climate change will have increasingly severe consequences as extreme heat becomes more frequent, water resources become less reliable, diseases move into new ranges, and sea levels rise.  ... Read more about Global Impacts - Irreversible Changes

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Michael Russell

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Michael Russell

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Food system that fails poor countries needs urgent reform, says UN expert

Author: 

Mark Tran, The Guardian
A soybean farmer in Mato Grosso, Brazil. The country's 'family farmers' are encouraged to feed urban populations. Photograph: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters
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UN special rapporteur on the right to food champions agroecology as sustainable alternative to existing framework

The existing food system has failed and needs urgent reform, according to a UN expert who argues there should be a greater emphasis on local food production and an overhaul of trade policies that have led to overproduction in rich countries while obliging poor countries – which are often dependent on agriculture – to import food. ... Read more about Food system that fails poor countries needs urgent reform, says UN expert

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Nowhere To Hide From Global Forest Watch

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SustainableBusiness.com News
Indonesia
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There's nowhere to hide now that Global Forest Watch has launched - citizens around the world now have all the information they need to monitor the state of the world's forests. 

Global Forest Watch combines the latest satellite technology, open data and social media crowdsourcing to produce "near-real time, reliable, and actionable data" about what's happening to forests worldwide. ... Read more about Nowhere To Hide From Global Forest Watch

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A quarter of sharks and rays threatened with extinction

Author: 

Lynne Labanne
Devil ray having its gill rakers removed at a fishing port in Sri Lanka. The gill rakers of devil rays and closely related mantas are valuable for use in Chinese medicine. Photo: Sonja Fordham
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A quarter of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction according to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, with ray species found to be at a higher risk than sharks. The findings are part of the first ever global analysis of these species carried out by the IUCN Shark Specialist Group (SSG). ... Read more about A quarter of sharks and rays threatened with extinction

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A Biodiversity Map, Version 2.0

Author: 

RACHEL NUWER
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Tigers and pandas live in Asia, kangaroos and koalas in Australia and polar bears and snowy owls in the Arctic. The world can be divided into regions based upon the unique types of animals that live there. Or so the thinking went when Alfred Russel Wallace published the scientific world’s first global biodiversity map in 1876. ... Read more about A Biodiversity Map, Version 2.0

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The Next Pandemic: Why It Will Come from Wildlife

Author: 

David Quammen
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Emerging diseases are in the news again. Scary viruses are making themselves noticed and felt. There’s been a lot of that during the past several months — West Nile fever kills 17 people in the Dallas area, three tourists succumb to hantavirus after visiting Yosemite National Park, an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo claims 33 lives. A separate Ebola outbreak, across the border in Uganda, registers a death toll of 17. ... Read more about The Next Pandemic: Why It Will Come from Wildlife

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Chance of saving most coral reefs is dwindling -study

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Reuters
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*70 pct of corals will suffer degradation by 2030

*To protect half of reefs, temperature rise must be under 1.5C

The chance to save the world's coral reefs from damage caused by climate change is dwindling as man-made greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, scientists said in a study released on Sunday.

Around 70 percent of corals are expected to suffer from long-term degradation by 2030, even if strict emission cuts are enforced, according to the study. ... Read more about Chance of saving most coral reefs is dwindling -study

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