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In the News: USA and Russia unite to protect the polar bear
March 7, 2013 12:17 PM - Kaz Armour, ARKive.org
As the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties continues, the USA and Russia have come together in an attempt to ban export trade in polar bear products. In a bid to provide polar bears with the highest level of protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the American-Russian proposal calls for a ban on any international commercial trade of skin, fur, fangs and other products made from polar bears.
In the News: 100 million sharks killed each year by commercial fishing
March 4, 2013 02:51 PM - Katrina Armour, ARKive.org
Ahead of the 16th meeting of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species that runs from the 3rd to the 15th of March this year, researchers are again warning that sharks are in need of better protection. A new report, published in the journal Marine Policy, estimates the annual number of sharks killed by commercial fishing to be around 100 million, although the actual number could be anywhere between 63 million and 273 million.
In the News: Whales to benefit from a reduction in shipping noise
February 19, 2013 12:56 PM - Kathryn Pintus, ARKive.org
The North Atlantic right whale, along with many other whale species, is set to benefit from work by scientists to reduce the noise levels caused along shipping routes. One of the rarest of the large whales, the North Atlantic right whale is thought to have a population of just 500 individuals, and it is believed that excessive noise along shipping routes is likely to negatively affect this threatened species. The din from commercial ships makes it extremely difficult for the marine mammals to communicate with one another, which in turn means that their ability to locate food and mates, and therefore their ability to sustain a viable population, is greatly diminished.
In the News: South Georgia to cull invasive reindeer
January 11, 2013 08:45 AM - Kaz Armour, ARKive.org
As well as being home to 3,000 reindeer, the island of South Georgia has many endemic species of fauna and flora that evolved in the absence of grazing pressures. These species are now struggling to survive in the reindeer's overbearing presence, and the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands has announced plans to eradicate the population in an effort to save the island's unique species.
In the News: West African lions nearing extinction
January 10, 2013 08:40 AM - Liz Shaw, ARKive.org
The report, by conservation group LionAid, says that as few as 645 lions may now remain in the wild in western and central Africa, following a worrying decline in recent years. This decline has been mirrored across Africa, with estimates suggesting that only around 15,000 wild lions remain across the whole continent, compared to about 200,000 a few decades ago. This iconic species is now extinct in 25 African countries, and virtually extinct in another 10.
Happy New Years! How about a new you?
January 1, 2013 08:15 AM - Claire Lewis, ARKive.org
As we welcome in the New Year around the world I’m sure many of us will be making resolutions for the months ahead. The 1st of January marks a fresh start and a great opportunity to set personal challenges to improve ourselves, our lifestyles, and perhaps make a difference to the world around us too. However, we all know that sticking to resolutions can be tricky, so if you need a little inspiration just take a look at our favourite role models from the animal kingdom. Get active Many of us will promise to get a little more exercise, but despite our best intentions it is easy for motivation to fade as the months tick by. However, in the natural world being active is the key to many species' survival. The bee hummingbird is not only the world’s smallest species of bird, it is also one of the most energetic. In order to hover and feed on the nectar of flowers it must beat its wings around 80 times per second, and to perform its intricate courtship display this rate increases to an incredible 200 beats a second. Just think about that next time you are struggling to do a few more reps in the gym.
Pesticides Threaten Bumblebee Colonies
October 24, 2012 08:38 AM - Liz Shaw, ARKive.org
Pesticides used in farming are killing bumblebees and affecting their ability to forage, putting colonies at risk of failure, according to a new study. An estimated one-third of all plant-based foods eaten by humans rely on bees for pollination, and bees and other pollinators have been estimated to be worth around $200 billion a year to the global economy. However, bee numbers have been plummeting in recent years, particularly in North America and Europe.
Plastics Found in Southern Ocean
September 27, 2012 08:45 AM - Liz Shaw, ARKive.org
The first traces of plastic debris have been found in the once pristine environment of the Southern Ocean, according to a new study. The findings come after a 2.5-year, 70,000-mile voyage by the French scientific research vessel Tara, which has been sailing the world’s oceans to investigate the impacts of climate change. Samples from locations in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica revealed traces of plastic waste at a rate comparable to the global average. This came as a surprise to the researchers, who had expected levels some ten times lower.
Without a backbone, without a future?
September 5, 2012 08:12 AM - Kathryn Pintus, ARKive.org
A staggering one fifth of the world's invertebrates could be at risk of extinction, according to a new report published today by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), in conjunction with IUCN and the IUCN Species Survival Commission.
Will Batman Celebrate International Bat Night?
August 28, 2012 07:02 AM - Rebecca Sennett, ARKive.org
International Bat Night is happening this weekend, an event that hopes to inspire people across Europe to understand more about how bats live and why they are so important to conserve. A series of presentations, exhibitions and bat walks are happening in more than 30 countries, including the UK — check out the bat walk at Harcourt Arboretum in Oxford this Thursday. To join in the celebrations, we have delved into the ARKive collection to come up with some truly batty facts to get you in the mood for International Bat Night and to hopefully inspire you to take part in an event near you!