America’s National Parks are special places of incomparable beauty and fascination. When the National Park Service was first created 100 years ago, it was instructed to leave these places “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” We now live in a time when the changing climate is altering many aspects of the landscape including in many national parks. The parks are protected, but they are changing.
A recent study has identified the steep decline of more than 300 species of mammals as a result of unregulated or illegal hunting. Humans are consuming many of the world’s wild mammals to the point of extinction.
Ebola. Hantavirus. Lyme disease. What do they have in common? Like most emerging infectious diseases, they originated in mammals. So many debilitating pathogens make the jump from wildlife and livestock to humans, yet at the global scale little is known about where people are most at risk of outbreaks.
In 2010, an explosion on the BP-owned Deepwater Horizon drilling rig released more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the oil was recovered, burned, or dispersed at sea, while some washed up onto the shorelines of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
For some, vampire bats conjure up thoughts of Dracula. But two recent studies highlight the intelligence of these misunderstood mammals, with noted animal behaviorist Brock Fenton comparing their social skills to elephants.