Latest Biodiversity News

FILE - In this July 30, 2019, file photo, a red-cockaded woodpecker looks to a biologist as it is released back into in a long leaf pine forest at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. A bird declared endangered in 1970 -- the red-cockaded woodpecker, which taps pine sap to protect babies from snakes and gets its sons to help care for the next clutch of nestlings -- has recovered enough to relax federal protection, officials said Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Feds: Relax protections for woodpecker endangered since 1970

Sep. 25, 2020 2:17 PM EDT

The red-cockaded woodpecker, a bird declared endangered in 1970 and surviving today in the scattered longleaf pine forests that remain in 11 U.S. states, has recovered enough to relax federal protections on the species, officials said Friday. But not all wildlife advocates agree. Ben Prater, southeastern director...

In this image made from UNTV video, Tommy Esang Remengesau Jr., President of Palau, speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, at UN headquarters in New York. The U.N.'s first virtual meeting of world leaders started Tuesday with pre-recorded speeches from some of the planet's biggest powers, kept at home by the coronavirus pandemic that will likely be a dominant theme at their video gathering this year. (UNTV via AP)

At UN, island nation of Palau speaks to interconnected world

Sep. 23, 2020 3:24 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — As one of the smallest countries on earth, the Pacific island nation of Palau doesn't always get to command the world's attention. But every nation gets to take the world stage at the U.N. General Assembly's premier annual meeting, and Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. used his...

FILE - In this May 19, 2020 file photo people visit Joshua Tree National Park in California. The western Joshua tree will be considered for protection under the California Endangered Species Act because of threats from climate change and habitat destruction, The state's Fish and Game Commission on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, voted 4-0 to accept a petition that provides the yucca plants temporary protected status for one year while the agency conducts a study. After the review, commissioners will determine whether the species should be formally protected under the state law. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, file)

California accepts petition to protect western Joshua tree

Sep. 22, 2020 11:15 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The western Joshua tree will be considered for protection under the California Endangered Species Act because of threats from climate change and habitat destruction, the state Fish and Game Commission decided Tuesday. The panel voted 4-0 to accept a petition that provides the...

In this Sept. 12, 2020, photo provided by the Center For Biological Diversity, is the scene where thousands of rare desert wildflowers have been dug up at Rhyolite Ridge, about 200 miles southeast of Reno, Nev. Federal officials are investigating the destruction of a significant portion of the remaining population of an extremely rare desert wildflower that's being considered for endangered species protection and could jeopardize plans to build a lithium mine in Nevada, the Associated Press has learned.  (Patrick Donnelly/Center For Biological Diversity via AP)

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...

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...

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...

In this March 2020 photo provided by the Southern Youth Development Organization, community members check information contained in a poster they produced which documents local fish, before publication, in the Lenya area of the Tanintharyi region in southern Myanmar. After learning about the UN’s “Ridge to Reef” conservation project, indigenous land rights activists spent nearly a year consulting with local communities to develop an alternative proposal for a landscape conserved by indigenous people, outlining techniques used for generations, including land and forest administration as well as traditional customs and practices that safeguard biodiversity. (Southern Youth Development Organization via AP)

Indigenous activists clash with UN over proposed park

Aug. 19, 2020 12:37 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — When farmer May Cho Win learned that a conservation project proposed by the U.N. Development Program in Myanmar would include the land she’s worked for over a decade, the 28-year-old wondered how she and her husband would be able to support their three children....