Not many people know about pangolins, even as they disappear from the Earth at a rate of 100,000 per year. They could go extinct before we realize they exist.
Nations vote to ban international pangolin trade! New policy will cover every species of pangolin.183 nations gathered in South Africa and voted to ban commercial trade in all eight pangolin species. By moving pangolins up to Appendix I, the species has the highest level of global endangered species protections.
A year ago, the Fish & Wildlife Service was considering how to respond to the pangolin poaching crisis. A major international meeting was coming up, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the issue was expected to come up. Back then, the United States could have lost the opportunity, as the Fish & Wildlife Service indicated that it was still undecided on whether or not to elevate the pangolin’s status.
How does someone turn around the scope and speed of coral-reef deaths across the world due to rising ocean temperatures? In Chasing Coral, Jeff Orlowski, the film’s director (Chasing Ice, 2012), and Richard Vevers, an advertising executive turned underwater photographer, propose that coral reefs have a fundamental branding issue. Since fewer than 1 percent of people scuba dive, most people simply don’t see that coral reefs are undergoing mass bleaching at unprecedented rates, becoming white skeletons of their former selves.
Most of us think of coral reefs as plants, but they are actually animals with indefinite life spans. Corals are tiny polyps that feed on algae and form a limestone home—a reef—so as to live in colonies. However, when water temperatures rise, the algae produce toxins, which cause corals to expel that algae in self-defense.
UNHCR expands support to refugees and host communities in Brazil as COVID-19 takes its toll:
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is stepping up efforts in Brazil to protect tens of thousands of refugees and migrants from Venezuela and their host communities, as the Latin American country battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brazil has become the second worst affected country in the world, with nearly 83,000 confirmed deaths and a continuing increase in confirmed cases.
Considered an epicenter of the pandemic in Latin America, the situation is taking its toll on the most vulnerable – including the poorest, indigenous populations and other native communities, as well as refugees. All have been disproportionately impacted.
Brazil is host to more than 345,000 refugees and asylum seekers, for whom the consequences of the pandemic are especially harsh.
SCIENTIFIC NAME:Mergus serrator POPULATION: 370,000 TREND: Stable HABITAT: Breeds on wooded lakes and tundra ponds; winters mainly on salt water.
The handsome Red-breasted Merganser is a welcome sight along coastlines during the winter. This sea-going duck is notable for its long, red, serrated bill, which gives it the species name serrator.
One of the Red-breasted Merganser’s notable features is a shaggy-looking double crest, which reminds some of a bad case of “bed head.” The colorful male sports a metallic-green head, white neck band and wing patches, a red bill and eyes, and a reddish, black-speckled breast, for which the bird is named. The female is mostly gray with an orange-brown head.
SCIENTIFIC NAME:Icterus graduacauda POPULATION: Fewer than 5,000 in U.S., but most of range is in Mexico. TREND: Decreasing HABITAT: Riparian and live-oak woods.
Formerly known as the Black-headed Oriole, the flashy but furtive Audubon’s Oriole is one of North America’s two yellow-and-black orioles. (The other is Scott’s Oriole, also found in the U.S. Southwest and Mexico.) Audubon’s Oriole, like the Green Jay, is a species sought after by birders visiting Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Although as brightly colored as a Green Jay or Painted Bunting, this large oriole can be a challenge to spot. Bright yellow is often difficult to distinguish amid green foliage, and unlike the more familiar Baltimore Oriole, Audubon’s Oriole tends to remain deep under cover, where it is more often heard than seen.