EXTINCTION

EXTINCTION

Climate change has transformed and degraded habitats and ecosystems — places where animals have spent millions of years adapting — and now, plant and animal species are disappearing faster than at any time in recorded historyEmaciated grizzly bears are starving as the salmon population withers, and a warming Arctic is to blame for a die-off of puffins. According to a UN report on biodiversity, one million animals and plants face extinction due to climate change.

In 2019, animals and plants in the U.S. faced a new and local challenge. Although the Endangered Species Act (passed in 1973) had been credited with saving more than 99% of species listed on it, the Trump administration finalized sweeping rollbacks that weakened protections dramatically. In response, 17 state attorneys general sued, , a bill was filed in the House to revoke the rollbacks, and activists delivered more than 500,000 petition signatures supporting the Endangered Species Act. The Trump Administration decided to add insult to injury and, on October 2019, passed an executive order to disband two federal advisory boards focused on protecting marine life and battling invasive species. In June 2021, under the Biden administration, plans changed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service moving to undo much of the Trump administration’s work that altered the ways habitats of plants and animals on the verge of extinction are kept from total collapse.

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

Biodiversity at Risk

02/02/22
A growing body of evidence has sounded the alarm that the biodiversity that supports and sustains life on Earth is at risk. Habitat destruction, resource exploitation, and climate change are among the many stressors that…

Manage Wildlife for Climate Change Resilience

09/21/21
Altered climate conditions have already been linked to changes in wildlife distribution, reproduction and behavior. As temperatures continue to warm and precipitation patterns shift, these fluctuations will continue. Enhancing connectivity and “conserving the stage” are…

Climate Change

09/21/21
Climate change is quickly becoming the biggest threat to the long-term survival of America’s wildlife. No longer is climate change something only facing future generations—changes to our climate are being documented all across the planet…

Combating Climate Change

09/21/21
Climate change is among the greatest threats to biodiversity on our planet. It is already having devastating effects on both human and natural communities. Extreme weather events like heat waves, intense storms and prolonged droughts…

The projected timing of abrupt ecological disruption from climate change

09/21/21
As anthropogenic climate change continues the risks to biodiversity will increase over time, with future projections indicating that a potentially catastrophic loss of global biodiversity is on the horizon1–3. However, our understanding of when and…

Global assessment Experts

09/21/21
Please scroll down to view the list of experts

What is mass extinction and are we facing a sixth one?

09/21/21
Human activity is killing nature at an unprecedented rate. We are now experiencing the consequences in the form of a possible sixth mass extinction.

Ecosystems, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services

09/21/21
Impacts of climate change on ecosystems reduce their ability to improve water quality and regulate water flows. Rapid changes to ecosystems may cause the displacement or loss of many species. Timing of critical biological events…

GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY OUTLOOK 5

10/14/20
Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) is the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It is a periodic report that summarizes the latest data on the status and trends of biodiversity and draws conclusions…

Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines

10/02/20
The strong focus on species extinctions, a critical aspect of the contemporary pulse of biological extinction, leads to a common misimpression that Earth’s biota is not immediately threa

Living Planet Report 2020

09/16/20
Bending the curve of biodiversity loss.

Defenders of Wildlife

09/11/19
Defenders works on the ground, in the courts, and on Capitol Hill to protect and restore imperiled wildlife across North America and around the world. Together, we can ensure a future for the wildlife and…

National Wildlife Federation

09/11/19
The National Wildlife Federation, America's largest and most trusted conservation organization, works across the country to unite Americans from all walks of life in giving wildlife a voice. We've been on the front lines for…

Center for Biological Diversity

01/31/19
The Center for Biological Diversity (Center), based in Tucson, Arizona, is a nonprofit membership organization with approximately 1.1 million members and online activists, known for its work protecting endangered species through legal action, scientific petitions,…

MORE NEWS

Bees Are Being Killed in Greater Numbers by Pesticide Cocktails

By Elizabeth Waddington  Photo: Elementalimaging , Getty Images   08/20/21  
Bees and other pollinators are essential to food production and the function of many ecological systems. The UN estimates that 75% of the world's crops that produce fruits and seeds for human consumption rely on…

Emperor Penguin Populations Could Decline by 98% by 2100

By Amy Lupica  Photo: Lin Padgham   08/04/21  
Rapidly melting sea ice in the Arctic has notoriously decimated the habitats of the world’s beloved polar bears. Now, another polar species is staring down the barrel of extinction on the opposite side of the globe. 

UN sets out Paris-style plan to cut extinction rate by factor of 10

By Patrick Greenfield  Photo: : David Talukdar/REX/Shutterstock   07/21/21  
Eliminating plastic pollution, reducing pesticide use by two-thirds, halving the rate of invasive species introduction and eliminating $500bn (£360bn) of harmful environmental government subsidies a year are among the targets in a new draft of…

Florida’s Iconic Manatees Are in Trouble

By Olivia Rosane   06/11/21  
According to the most recent figures from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), 761 manatees have died so far this year.1 “This is more than double the amount of the total recorded deaths…

On the Verge of Extinction, These Whales Are Also Shrinking

By Annie Roth  Photo: John Durban and Holly Fearnbach   06/03/21  
North Atlantic right whales are struggling to survive, and it shows. Most of the 360 or so North Atlantic right whales alive today bear scars from entanglements in fishing gear and collisions with speeding ships…

Iconic animals are under threat if we breach 1.5°C warming, warns WWF

By New Scientist and Press Association  Photo: Sebastian Kennerknecht   06/02/21  
Wildlife ranging from bluebells and bumblebees to snow leopards and emperor penguins is under threat from climate change, according to a new report. Even the coffee plants that produce one of the world’s favourite brews…

Prairie chickens are dying out on the Great Plains.

By Juliet Eilperin and Joshua Partlow  Photo: David Crenshaw/Tulsa World   05/27/21  
The Biden administration called for new protections under the Endangered Species Act for an iconic bird of the Great Plains on Wednesday, a move with major consequences for the oil and gas industry.

Angelina Jolie Shines Spotlight on Women Beekeepers

By Michael d'Estries  Photo: Dan Winters/National Geographic   05/25/21  
Leave it to National Geographic to match Angelina Jolie with a delicate, but powerful supporting cast of honeybees. The actor and humanitarian, in partnership with photographer Dan Winters, was determined to create an image for…

The Seafood Industry Needs a Net-Zero Commitment: No More Endangered Species Caught, Ever

By Caroline Tippett   05/21/21  
Seafood is one of the most globally traded food commodities, and demand for it continues to rise. As a result, levels of fishing in many areas of the world are becoming increasingly unsustainable, and the…

What’s the big deal if bees are dying?

By Amanda Coulson-Drasner  Photo: Sue Boo   05/19/21  
We are losing billions of bees every year to many complicated causes, including climate change, decreasing crop diversity and habitat loss. Why does it matter if bees are around?
BGR

Global warming may change the sex of animal populations

By Mike Wehner   05/19/21  
Climate change is already devastating certain animal populations, both on the land and in the oceans, and it’s only going to get worse as time goes on if we can’t get our thirst for fossil…

The 5 mass extinction events that shaped the history of Earth — and the 6th that’s happening now

By Scott Dutfield  Photo: Getty Images   05/18/21  
Scientists define a mass extinction as around three-quarters of all species dying out over a short geological time, which is anything less than 2.8 million years, according to The Conversation. Right now, humans find themselves…

Global warming is threatening animal cognition

By Camilla Soravia  Photo: Nicholas B. Pattinson   05/17/21  
Most animals need attention, memory, learning, and decision-making mechanisms to process environmental information and adjust their behaviour accordingly. All these mechanisms represent animal cognition; they can affect how quickly an animal reacts when facing a…

Animal hybrids are becoming more common because of climate change

By Eric Henrikson  Photo: Larisa DeSantis   05/17/21  
Animal hybrids are rare in nature. Most species are incapable of breeding with other species, and when they do they often can’t reproduce. Think of the mule, a donkey/horse hybrid that’s been around for centuries.…

Which animals will survive climate change?

By Alan Garcia-Elfring  Photo: Rowan Barrett   05/13/21  
Climate change is exacerbating problems like habitat loss and temperatures swings that have already pushed many animal species to the brink. But can scientists predict which animals will be able to adapt and survive? Using…
NPR

1 Million Animal And Plant Species Are At Risk Of Extinction, U.N. Report Says

By Nathan Rott and Bill Chappell  Photo: Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images   05/06/21  
Up to 1 million of the estimated 8 million plant and animal species on Earth are at risk of extinction — many of them within decades — according to scientists and researchers who produced a…

Bizarre Marine Life Movement Might be Indicating Future Mass Extinction

By Charles Stephen   04/26/21  
Science has long acknowledged the wonder of Earth’s tropical waters. Perhaps this is because it offers the richest marine life diversity anywhere on our planet. These range from the fantastic coral reefs to the running…

Global warming is causing a more pronounced dip in marine species richness around the equator

By Chhaya Chaudhary , Anthony J. Richardson , David S. Schoeman and Mark J. Costello   04/13/21  
The latitudinal gradient in species richness, with more species in the tropics and richness declining with latitude, is widely known and has been assumed to be stable over recent centuries. We analyzed data on 48,661…

Marine life is fleeing the equator to cooler waters. History tells us this could trigger a mass extinction event

By Anthony Richardson , Chhaya Chaudhary , David Schoeman , Mark John Costello   04/08/21  
The tropical water at the equator is renowned for having the richest diversity of marine life on Earth, with vibrant coral reefs and large aggregations of tunas, sea turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. The…

I thought I’d seen it all studying plastics. Then my team found 2,000 bags in a camel

By Marcus Eriksen  Photo by Ulrich Wernery   03/24/21  
Digging between the ribs of a dead camel buried in the sands of Dubai, I couldn’t believe what my colleagues and I found: a mass of plastic bags as big as a large suitcase. At…

Butterflies are vanishing out West. Scientists say climate change is to blame.

By Dino Grandoni  Photo by Kevin Sieff   03/05/21  
Hundreds of butterfly species across the American West are vanishing as the region becomes hotter, drier and more vulnerable to the effects of climate change, according to a study released Thursday.

Arctic ice loss forces polar bears to use four times as much energy to survive – study

By Phoebe Weston  Photo: Paulette Sinclair   02/24/21  
Polar bears and narwhals are using up to four times as much energy to survive because of major ice loss in the Arctic, according to scientists. Once perfectly evolved for polar life, apex predators are…
PEW

Flawed NOAA Proposal Too Weak to Help Endangered Right Whales

By Peter Baker & Katharine Deuel  Photo: Boston Globe Getty Images   02/23/21  
On the last day of 2020, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—the agency responsible for protecting whales in U.S. waters—released a proposed regulation to protect right whales from entanglement in fishing gear, a leading…

As Warming Oceans Bring Tough Times to California Crab Fishers, Scientists Say Diversifying is Key to Survival

By Liza Gross  Photo by Paul Morris   02/01/21  
California’s Dungeness crab fishermen have had a rough year. Poor meat quality, endangered whales migrating too close to shore and price disputes with wholesalers kept crab pots on boats for nearly two months. The delays…

Shark Populations Are Crashing, With a ‘Very Small Window’ to Avert Disaster

By Catrin Einhorn  Photo by Ben Nelms   01/27/21  
In just the last half-century, humans have caused a staggering, worldwide drop in the number of sharks and rays that swim the open oceans, scientists have found in the first global assessment of its kind,…

‘I almost cracked’: 16-month artistic performance of mass extinction comes to a close

By Stephanie Eslake  Photo: Fraser Johnston   01/25/21  
The Hobart artist Lucienne Rickard has spent five weeks drawing a large-scale pencil sketch of the critically endangered bird. Picking up her eraser, she tells her audience, “If we don’t do something soon, this is what will happen.”

Covid-19 Kept Tourists Away. Why Did These Seabirds Miss Them?

By Cara Giaimo   01/22/21  
When tourists come to Stora Karlso, a limestone-ledged nature reserve off the coast of Sweden, they keep a respectful distance from the many seabirds that call the island home. Like most visitors to wild places,…

Trump Opens Habitat of a Threatened Owl to Timber Harvesting

By Lisa Friedman and Catrin Einhorn  Photo: Gerry Ellis, Minden Pictures   01/13/21  
The Trump administration on Wednesday removed more than 3 million acres of Pacific Northwest land from the protected habitat of the northern spotted owl, 15 times the amount it had previously proposed opening to the…

Top scientists warn of ‘ghastly future of mass extinction’ and climate disruption

By Phoebe Weston  Photo: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty   01/13/21  
The planet is facing a “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals” that threaten human survival because of ignorance and inaction, according to an international group of scientists, who warn people still…

Mysterious Dolphin Deaths Linked To Climate Change In New Study

By Sara Tabin  Photo: Lightrocket via Getty Images   01/02/21  
In 2007, scientists studying dolphins in the Gippsland Lakes of South Eastern Australia noticed something alarming. Dead dolphins were washing up on shore, covered in skin lesions. Some of them looked like they had received…

Monarch butterflies denied endangered species listing despite shocking decline

By Farah Eltohamy   12/15/20  
Migratory western monarch butterflies have reached a record low this year, putting them at the brink of extinction, according to the latest survey of the insects. The annual autumn count, though not finalized, stands at…

Noise and Light Pollution From Humans Alter Bird Reproduction

By Rachel Henry  Photo by David Keeling   12/03/20  
Human-produced noise and light pollution are troublesome to our avian neighbors, according to new research from a team at California Polytechnic State University, published November 11 in Nature. Using NASA satellite data, the researchers got…

Arctic Animals’ Movement Patterns are Shifting in Different Ways as the Climate Changes

By Sofie Bates  Photo by Dominique Bertaeux Bylot   11/30/20  
For animals in the Arctic, life is a balancing act. Seasonal cues, such as warmer spring temperatures or cooler temperatures in the fall, tell animals when to migrate, when to mate, and when and where…

Bears, whales and wolverines: the species imperiled by Trump’s war on the environment

By Paola Rosa-Aquino  Photo: Natural Visions/Alamy Stock Photo   10/20/20  
The prognosis for biodiversity on Earth is grim. According to a sobering report released by the United Nations last year, 1 million land and marine species across the globe are threatened with extinction – more…

These endangered woodpecker families were recovering. Then Hurricane Laura flattened their homes

By David Mitchell   10/19/20  
When Hurricane Laura's wind and storm surge displaced thousands of people from their homes two months ago, the Category 4 storm also devastated the habitat of the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker -- and the full impact…

Micro-climates may help save plant species as global temperatures rise

By Angela Hutti   10/15/20  
Missouri Botanical Garden researchers are using the diverse landscape at Washington University’s Tyson Research Center in Eureka, Missouri to find what kind of landscapes can buffer plants against climate change.

Climate Change Is Turning the Heat Up Higher at Night Time

By Jonathan Tirone   10/01/20  
Nights are warming at a faster rate than daytime temperatures across vast swathes of the globe, potentially impacting weather patterns and making it more difficult for life to adapt to climate change.

15 Animals That Live in the Taiga

By Russell McLendon  Photo by Scott Suriano   09/30/20  
Boreal forests are often excellent habitats for bears. They support brown bears across both Eurasia and North America, as well as Asiatic black bears and North American black bears in their respective continents.

Nebraska’s wildlife already feeling the heat from climate change

By Carlee koehler  Photo by Brooke Talbott   09/28/20  
As a graduate student in California, Jamilynn Poletto was part of a fish ambulance service of sorts. Hotter weather from climate change increased water evaporation, turning flowing streams into shallow ponds. Suddenly, stranded sturgeon were…

Wildlife Populations Plummet by 68% in the Last 50 Years

By Mary Jo DiLonardo  Photo by Getty Images   09/11/20  
Human activity has wiped out about two-thirds of the global wildlife population in just over four decades, according to a landmark study by the World Wildlife Fund.
NPR

The World Lost Two-Thirds Of Its Wildlife In 50 Years. We Are to Blame

By Nathan Rott  Photo by Firdia Lisnawati   09/10/20  
Human activities have caused the world's wildlife populations to plummet by more than two-thirds in the last 50 years, according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund. The decline is happening at an…
OPB

Trump administration wants to reduce critical habitat for northern spotted owls

By Monica Samayoa  Photo by Todd Sonflieth   08/11/20  
The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to reduce the Northern Spotted Owl’s critical habitat population by over 200,000 acres in Oregon. The Trump administration is proposing to eliminate protections for imperiled northern spotted…

Save wildlife, save forests, and avoid pandemics

By Tim Radford   08/05/20  
Covid-19 emerged from the wilderness. That alone is reason to protect the forests, control trade in wildlife – and avoid pandemics. The post Save wildlife, save forests, and avoid pandemics appeared first on Climate News…

Food shortage may finish polar bears by 2100

by Tim Radford  Photo: Hans-Jurgen Mager on Unsplash   07/24/20  
How long polar bears can survive depends on how long they can last without food. And that may be: not long enough. The post Food shortage may finish polar bears by 2100 appeared first on…

The North Atlantic right whale is the face of an extinction crisis, report says

By Darryl Fears  By Amy James   07/10/20  
The North Atlantic right whale is “one step from extinction,” an international group of governments and scientists declared Thursday, slightly more than a month after President Trump lifted restrictions on commercial fishing in a key…

Millions of species face extinction emergency

By Tim Radford  Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service   06/08/20  
An extinction emergency unparalleled in the history of life on Earth could soon overtake millions of species – thanks to us. The post Millions of species face extinction emergency appeared first on Climate News Network.

Human activity threatens some of the ‘most unique animals on the planet,’ researchers warn

By Amy Woodyatt  Photo Chris Van Wyk   05/26/20  
Human activity could drive extinction and destroy billions of years of evolutionary history, which has produced remarkable creatures such as the punk-haired Mary River turtle, the yellow eyed Aye Aye lemur and the Chinese crocodile,…

Where have all the insects gone?

By Elizabeth Kolbert   04/23/20  
The butterflies just kept coming—at first thousands, then tens or even hundreds of thousands. Their wings were brown on the underside and vivid orange above, so as they flew by, they looked like chips of…

Wildlife Collapse From Climate Change Is Predicted to Hit Suddenly and Sooner

By Catrin Einhorn   04/15/20  
Scientists found a “cliff edge” instead of the slippery slope they expected.

Arctic Warming Endangers Ringed Seals

By Yale Climate Connections  Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP / Getty Images   04/10/20  
Ringed seals spend most of the year hidden in icy Arctic waters, breathing through holes they create in the thick sea ice.But when seal pups are...