Latest Biodiversity News

Massive damage of rare plants probed at Nevada mine site

Sep. 20, 2020 11:17 AM EDT

RENO, Nev. (AP) — State and federal authorities are investigating the mysterious loss of a significant swath of a rare desert wildflower that’s being considered for federal protection at a contentious mine site in Nevada with some of the largest untapped lithium deposits in the world. The Australian...

A black-eyed Susan flower grows among a variety of plants in an open grassland area at the May Prairie State Natural Area on Aug. 20, 2020, in Manchester, Tenn. Across much of the South, at least 90% of the native grasslands have been lost, the Southeastern Grasslands Initiative estimates. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Efforts afoot to save South's disappearing grasslands

Sep. 20, 2020 9:08 AM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — In the early 2000s, a harvest of pine trees on Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau led to a remarkable discovery. Once sunlight hit the ground, the seeds and rootstock of native grasses and wildflowers that had lain dormant for decades began to spring to life. The area was originally...

351 sea turtles found dead on coast where 137 sea lions died

Sep. 15, 2020 3:36 PM EDT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Environmental groups said Friday that a total of 351 loggerhead sea turtles have been found dead so far this year on the same stretch of Baja California coast where authorities found 137 dead, beached sea lions last week. The Mexican Center for Environmental Law and the Center for...

FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2017 photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), fish swim in a reef at Pearl and Hermes Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. A decade-long effort by the world to save the world’s disappearing species and declining ecosystems has mostly failed so far, with fragile ecosystems like coral reefs and tropical forests in even more trouble than ever, according to a United Nations biodiversity report released on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (Jacob Asher/NOAA via AP)

World isn't meeting biodiversity goals, UN report finds

Sep. 15, 2020 10:57 AM EDT

A decade-long global effort to save Earth's disappearing species and declining ecosystems has mostly stumbled, with fragile habitats like coral reefs and tropical forests in more trouble than ever, researchers said in a report Tuesday. In 2010, more than 150 countries agreed to goals to protect nature, but the...

Deformities linked to inbreeding found in California cougars

Sep. 10, 2020 7:48 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — At least three mountain lions roaming Southern California have deformities linked to inbreeding, according to biologists who say the findings provide stark evidence of extremely low genetic diversity within the isolated population of big cats. A cougar found in the Santa Monica...

FILE - This June 29, 2017, file remote camera image provided by the U.S. Forest Service shows a female gray wolf and two of the three pups born in 2017 in the wilds of Lassen National Forest in Northern California. The Trump administration plans to lift endangered species protections for gray wolves across most of the nation by the end of 2020, the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. (U.S. Forest Service via AP, File)

Environmentalists say Washington's wolf program is broken

Sep. 7, 2020 2:11 PM EDT

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee has directed the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to draft new rules governing the killing of wolves involved in conflicts with livestock, a move winning praise from conservation groups. The Democrat on Friday reversed the commission’s denial of a...

North Carolina teen wins National Park Service award

Sep. 7, 2020 12:02 AM EDT

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — At age 4, Virginia Ward could identify every tree in the woods near her home. By age 12, Ward was rappelling off the highest cliffs in Western North Carolina, helping Blue Ridge Parkway plant ecologist Dr. Chris Ulrey in his important work to study rare plants. Now 15, Ward, a...

FILE - This July 18, 2018, file photo, shows the Mountain Valley Pipeline route on Brush Mountain in Virginia. The Trump administration is seeking to fast track environmental reviews of the pipeline and dozens of other energy, highway and other infrastructure projects across the U.S. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP, File)

Drilling, mines, other projects hastened by Trump order

Sep. 2, 2020 11:35 AM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is seeking to fast track environmental reviews of dozens of major energy and infrastructure projects during the COVID-19 pandemic, including oil and gas drilling, hazardous fuel pipelines, wind farms and highway projects in multiple states, according to...

FILE - In this Feb. 10, 2020, file photo, tiny stems of Tiehm's buckwheat are pictured growing in a greenhouse at the University of Nevada, Reno in Reno, Nev. Conservationists have filed a complaint with the Securities Exchange Commission accusing an Australian company of misleading investors about how soon it might start building a lithium mine in Nevada. The mine worth potentially $1 billion is at the center of a fight over Tiehm's buckwheat, a rare desert wildflower. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner, File)

SEC complaint filed over mine that could threaten rare plant

Sep. 2, 2020 12:35 AM EDT

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists have filed a complaint with the Securities Exchange Commission accusing an Australian mining company of misleading investors about how soon it might start building a Nevada lithium mine at the center of a fight over a rare desert wildflower. Ioneer Ltd. told investors in...

Site studied for proof of mass extinction 66M years ago

Aug. 22, 2020 12:03 AM EDT

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — In a trench behind an apartment complex off Highway 182 in west Starkville, a team of paleontologists were gathering handfuls of 66 million-year-old fossils. From fossilized molds of snail shells to evidence of ammonites -- prehistoric shelled mollusks that University of New Mexico...