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.


Where Walruses Go When Sea Ice Is Gone

By Carolyn Kormann 11/21/22
n 2018, in the Siberian Arctic, the filmmakers Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev, who are sister and brother, arrived on a strange beach. “The sand was of dark colour, full of bones, and smelled terrible,”…
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Major New Zealand salmon producer shuts farms as warming waters cause mass die-offs

By Tess McClure 05/26/22
New Zealand’s biggest king salmon farmer says it is shutting some of its farms after warming seas prompted mass die-offs of fish, warning that it is a “canary in the coalmine” for climate change.
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These whales are on the brink. Now comes climate change — and wind power.

By Dino Grandoni 04/21/22
About 17 nautical miles south of Nantucket, a half-dozen New England Aquarium researchers scrambled across this vessel’s icy deck. Clutching binoculars, clipboards and cameras, they strained to catch a glimpse and scribble notes about a…
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California conservationists and farmers unite to protect salmon

By Daniel Trotta and Nathan Frandino 02/10/22
In an experiment a decade in the making, biologists are releasing hatchery salmon onto flooded Northern California rice fields, seeking to replenish endangered fish species while simultaneously benefiting the farmers' business model.
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The Most Important Global Meeting You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Is Now

By Catrin Einhorn 10/14/21
As 20,000 government leaders, journalists, activists and celebrities from around the world prepare to descend on Glasgow for a crucial climate summit starting late this month, another high-level international environmental meeting got started this week.…
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Protected Too Late: U.S. Officials Report More Than 20 Extinctions

By Catrin Einhorn 10/04/21
The ivory-billed woodpecker, which birders have been seeking in the bayous of Arkansas, is gone forever, according to federal officials. So is the Bachman’s warbler, a yellow-breasted songbird that once migrated between the Southeastern United…
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Potential Consequence of Plant Extinction in the United States on the Current and Future Availability of Prescription Drug

By Norman R. Farnsworth And Djaja Doel Soejarto 09/23/21
All drugs used by humans are derived by synthesis, from inorganic chemicals, or from living organisms. Those obtained from living organisms are derived from plants, microorganisms, or animals. This paper addresses only drugs obtained from…
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Why Are Some Plants Rare?

Some plants are naturally rare, and the cause may be a mystery. These rare plants are not necessarily in danger of extinction. If their habitat is secure and they continue to reproduce in the wild,…
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Almost 600 plants have already gone extinct

New study from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Stockholm University looks at the plants that have been wiped from the planet in the last 250 years
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Philanthropists pledge $5 billion to save threatened species

By Steven Mufson 09/22/21
The Wyss Foundation and eight other philanthropic organizations pledged Wednesday to give $5 billion by 2030 to protect biodiversity around the planet, the largest-ever private gift for conservation.
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4 ways the climate crisis is causing animals to ‘shapeshift’

By Tara Yarlagadda 09/16/21
The climate crisis is taking an enormous toll not only on our species but also on our animal friends. Scientific evidence shows animals have adapted to the stressors of the climate crisis in various ways,…
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Nearly 30% of tree species in the wild are threatened with extinction, new report says

By Anmar Frangoul 09/01/21
Almost 30% of tree species in the wild are now at risk of extinction, with a wide range of factors responsible for their decline, according to analysis released Wednesday.Published by Botanic Gardens Conservation International, the…
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Biodiversity at Risk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 (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

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

Bending the curve of biodiversity loss.

Defenders of Wildlife

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

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

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,…


The U.N. Report on Extinction vs. Mike Pompeo at the Arctic Council

By Bill McKibben   05/09/19  
It’s rare that you get to see, in sharp focus, opposite world views fighting for the planet’s future at the same time, but it happened on Monday. First came the summary findings of a fifteen-hundred-page United…
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One million species face extinction, U.N. report says. And humans will suffer as a result.

By Darryl Fears   05/06/19  
One million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction, with alarming implications for human survival, according to a United Nations report released Monday.
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The Vanishing Flights of the Monarch Butterfly

By Sue Halpern   02/20/19  
Walking around my family’s property in upstate New York last summer, I noticed something I hadn’t seen in years: scores of monarch butterflies flying around the milkweed that rings the perimeter of the yard. Six…
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To feed 10 billion people, we must preserve biodiversity. Here’s how

By Jose Graziano da Silva & Maria Helena Semedo   07/29/19  
At the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), we estimate that a quarter of ... consumption patterns, deforestation and climate change.
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To Tell the Story of Biodiversity Loss, Make It About Humans

By Brad Plumer   05/10/19  
On Monday, I wrote about a sweeping new United Nations report warning that humans were destroying Earth’s natural ecosystems at an “unprecedented” pace. The findings were sobering: Millions of acres of wetlands and rain forests…
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How clean is your city? Just ask the bees

By Kate E. Smith   04/02/19  
There’s a good chance you live in a city — or will soon. According to estimates by the United Nations, two out of every three people will live in an urban area by 2050. The…
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