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The mass extinction that closed the Triassic period was marked by massive CO2 emissions from volcanoes - like the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland. Photo: Óli Jón via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

End-Triassic CO2 surge and mass extinction - an analog for climate change today?

Jessica H. Whiteside

13th April 2015

The end of the Triassic era 200 million years ago was marked by a surge in CO2 and anoxic oceans saturated with toxic hydrogen sulfide, writes Jessica H. Whiteside - enough to finish off half of all known organisms. Could humans now be embarking on a similar experiment? more...
Indian children on Brazil's BR 319 road through the increasingly fragmented Amazon rainforest. Photo: Ben Sutherland via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

To forestall a mass extinction, fight forest fragmention

David Edwards

24th March 2015

Large areas of forest remain around the world, writes David Edwards, but many of them are - in biological terms - dying on their feet as their species diversity erodes due to fragmentation. To conserve the full richness of our forests, we must keep them entire and unbroken, and rebuild the continuity of forest islands. more...
A clear-cut in Norrbotten Country, northern Sweden © Frédéric Forsmark.

Swedish wildlife extinction threat as loggers clear-cut 'old growth' forests

Alec Forss

11th February 2015

Sweden's biodiverse ancient forests will be largely wiped out within two decades, writes Alec Forss - and along with it will go thousands of species that depend on mature forest ecosystems. But with powerful logging companies riding roughshod over the law, regulators, politicians and certifiers, who is to stop the destruction before it's too late? more...
Mountain Gorilla in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda. Photo: Rod Waddington via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Ebola is killing chimps and gorillas too - now we must save them!

Meera Inglis

29th January 2015

Ebola has wiped out a third of chimps and gorillas since the 1990s, writes Meera Inglis, and together with hunting and deforestation is pushing them towards extinction. So why haven't we even used a safe, effective Ebola vaccine developed for chimps and gorillas? more...
Eocene fauna of North America, on a 1964 mural made for the US government-owned Smithsonian Museum. Photo: Jay Matternes / Wikimedia Commons.

Sudden global warming 55m years ago was much like today

David Bond

5th January 2014

The Earth's current warming is looking similar to what took place 55 million years ago, writes David Bond. And if it works out that way, the news is good: we may avoid a mass extinction. On the other hand, the poles will melt away completely, and it will take hundreds of thousands of years for Earth to get back to 'normal'. more...
Mind who you call stupid ... Palaeolithic men and tiger, Africa, 100,000 - 2,000,000 years ago. Image: via cantabriatotal.com.

Dear Carl, it's time to rethink Homo 'sapiens'

Dr Gianluca Serra

26th January 2015

In this imaginary letter to the father of modern taxonomy and ecology, Carl Linnaeus, about the current status of life on Earth, Gianluca Serra suggests renaming the human species from the self-satisfied 'wise' to 'obtuse' - if only to spare us from the ridicule we so richly deserve for our collective insanity. more...
Tuva, Siberia. Photo: Jules Pretty / The Edge of Extinction.

The Way of the White Cloud

Jules Pretty

31st January 2015

In his search for alternatives to consumerism and industrialism, Jules Pretty travelled around the world to find surviving nature-based cultures. In this extract from his book 'The Edge of Extinction', he tells of the Tuva people of the Siberian steppe - proud of their traditions and closeness to the land, but very much part of the modern world - strictly on their own terms. more...
Ian and Magqubu minding the nightly fire to protect against predators. Photo: www.trevorbarrettphoto.co.uk/ .

River of Life: Ian Player, saviour of the white rhino

Nicola Graydon

5th December 2014

The white rhino is in deep trouble after a new surge of poaching. But the fact that it's there at all is largely thanks to one man: Ian Player, who saved the white rhino from near-certain extinction in the 1960's. Earlier this year Nicola Graydon met Dr Player at his home in South Africa, to record his last major interview. more...
Vaquitas in the Sea of Cortes. Photo: unknown.

No more cetacean extinctions! It's our last chance to save the vaquita

Willie Mackenzie / Greenpeace

27th November 2014

The 'vaquita', a small porpoise limited to a small area of Mexico's Gulf of California, is on the brink of extinction, writes Willie Mackenzie - its numbers reduced to around 100. But it's not too late to save it, by expanding a protected area and providing alternative livelihoods for local fishermen. more...
Isobel (Bella) and father Gil Rodrigues. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Simon Ager.

My conversion - from shearwater hunter to protector of birds and ocean

Gil Rodrigues Fortes / Sea Shepherd

23rd November 2014

For nearly 30 years, Gil Fortes was a hunter of Cabo Verde's shearwater chicks, helping to drive the bird to the brink of extinction. But following a life-changing rethink, he and his daughter Isabel (Bella), are now at the forefront of efforts to save the shearwater and rebuild its perilously low numbers. more...
At risk of extinction: the Bearded vulture. Photo: Joachim S Muller.

Europe's vultures face extinction from toxic vet drug

Oliver Tickell

8th September 2014

Vultures have become one of the most threatened families of birds on the planet thanks to poisoning by the veterinary drug diclofenac. Now Birdlife has discovered that it's on sale in Europe - threatening to wipe vultures out and undermine significant EU investments in vulture conservation. more...
Red wolves are clinging on to existence in a few thousand kilometres of the southeastern US. Photo: B. Bartel / USFWS, CC BY-SA

Red wolf extinction fear as US budget cuts bite

Joseph Hinton

7th July 2014

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has done pioneering conservation work to save North America's endangered Red Wolf, under threat from shooting and inter-breeding with coyotes. But now federal budget cuts are putting all that - and the Red wolf itself - at risk. more...

extinction: 1/25 of 76
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a female Monarch Butterflyen (Danaus plexippus) laying an egg on a Mexican Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica ) at the Tyler Arboretum. Photo: © Derek Ramsey via Wikimedia.

Heavy herbicide use on GMO crops raises Monarch butterfly extinction fear

John Pleasants

10th June 2014

Thanks to herbicide use on GMO crops in the US and Canada, Monarch butterfly numbers have crashed - the milkweeds the larvae feed on now survive mainly in 'conservation reserve' land and roadsides - and there's a 5% chance the Monarch will be extinct within 100 years. more...
A badger struggles to avoid drowning in the flooded river Saale, 2011. Photo: Margrit via Flickr.com.

Cull could put flood-struck badgers 'at risk of local extinction'

The Ecologist

2nd June 2014

Following last winter's severe flooding in SW England, the Government has refused to assess how badly badgers suffered - even though local populations could have crashed. If the cull goes ahead, badgers could be wiped out of some areas altogether. more...
Other ways humanity could end are more subtle - but nuclear war still presents the greatest threat to human survival. United States Department of Energy, CC BY.

The five biggest threats to human existence

Anders Sandberg

31st May 2014

Humanity has always lived under the threat of extinction, writes Anders Sandberg. Now we have reduced some of the dangers - but created new ones of our own. And right now, it's the anthropogenic threats that look the scariest ... more...
A potential customers at a show of 'hongmu' luxury items made from Siamese rosewood. Photo: EIA.

Steeped in blood - China's trade in Siamese rosewood

The Ecologist

12th May 2014

Precious Siamese rosewood has been illegally logged to the brink of extinction in the Mekong region to feed a voracious demand for luxury furniture in China which leaves a bloody trail of death, violence and corruption in its wake. more...
Africa would not be the same without them. Rhinos at Kariega Game Reserve. Photo: Clem Evans via Flickr.com.

Africa without rhinos would be different, and poorer

Rachel Nuwer

6th April 2014

If rhinos are driven to extinction in the wild, Africa's landscapes and ecosystems would be very different, reports Rachel Nuwer. The activities of this mega-herbivore diversify plant life and create prime grazing spots for other animals. more...
An endangered Red ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata ruber) in Madagascar. Photo: Ronald McGuire via Flickr.com.

Saving Madagascar's lemurs

Ian Colquhoun

25th March 2014

'Brand lemur' could draw much needed ecotourism spending to Madagascar, writes Ian Colquhoun - benefiting local communities, and providing the funds needed to save lemurs from the very real threat of extinction. more...
Nanti people on river bank. Photo: © Anonymous / Survival.

Peru: Amazon tribes sacrificed to gas project

Oliver Tickell

27th January 2014

Peru has approved the highly controversial expansion of the Camisea gas project onto the land of isolated Amazon tribes - who will be put at risk of a massive death toll or extinction from introduced diseases. more...
The watery world of beavers. This wetland was created by a 100m beaver dam across the valley. Photo: Paul Ramsay / beaversatbamff.blogspot.co.uk.

Time to bring back Nature's flood management engineer - the beaver

Louise Ramsay

20th January 2014

As climate change brings more rain, Britain is suffering from the extinction here of our native flood engineer - the beaver. Louise Ramsay says it's high time to re-introduce these charismatic rodents all over Britain. more...
Yagua Indians in the Peruvian Amazon. Photo: chany crystal via Flickr.com.

Peru - gas expansion in Amazon 'indigenous reserve'

David Hill for The Guardian

14th January 2014

Peru is to expand its Camisea gas project although it threatens uncontacted Amazon tribes with extinction, reports David Hill. The decision also ignores UN pleas to stop the operations. more...
Lone Droscher Nielsen in a campaign poster.

Saving the Orangutan from the palm oil menace

Andy Morgan

5th December 2013

Lone Droscher Nielsen addressed the Oxfordshire village of Wootton about the deforestation that is pushing orangutans towards extinction - all driven by the world's hunger for palm oil. Andy Morgan was deeply moved ... more...
Fashion can be forest friendly. Image: Canopy Style.

Forest-friendly fashion

Nicole Rycroft

3rd December 2013

Could your fashion style be destroying forests and driving orang-utans towards extinction? Nicole Rycroft shows how cellulose fibres used in textiles are a major cause of biodiversity loss worldwide. But your choices can make all the difference ... more...

Poaching - the cheetahs of the Serengeti face extinction

By Verity Largo

16th November 2013

Wildlife crime is a multi-million dollar globalised business, ranked fourth in transnational crime in the world, with an international network sprawling across continents. Verity Largo reports from Tanzania ... more...

Killer cuteness: how YouTube sent an endangered species to the brink of extinction

Professor Anna Nekaris

14th November 2013

There is nothing endearing about the truth behind the 'cute' YouTube videos of Slow Loris, a critically endangered species. Still, video clips of species of conservation concern may have a positive flip side ... more...

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