From melting Arctic ice to dying coral reefs to rising sea levels, there was no shortage of grim environmental news in 2016. But the news wasn’t all bad. There were several bright spots for the environment last year as well.
Most recent news about coral reefs around the world has been bad news. There has been unprecedented coral bleaching in places like Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The effects of climate change – including warming temperatures and rising seas – as well as the recent El Niño event have led to damaged reefs across the globe.
The California condor is the largest North American land bird with a wingspan of about 10 feet. During the 20th century, poaching, habitat loss and lead poisoning reduced the vulture’s population to fewer than two dozen. The U.S. government’s response was to round up every last one of them over a period of 5 years- a total of 27 birds – for a last-ditch captive breeding program. As a result, technically the species became extinct in the wild at that point in 1987. Reintroduction into the wild did not begin until 1991.