wildlife conservation issues

“We need to watch out for the pro-trade agenda” like this past year’s attempt by China to legalize the medicinal trade in rhino horns and tiger parts, cautioned Rhishja Cota, founder of the wildlife advocacy organization Annamiticus. Plastic is accumulating in the world’s oceans at a staggering rate. A related issue in the Arctic also appears to be another emerging threat. “I think one of the biggest stories of the year is going to be what Democratic House oversight of the Trump administration can do for environmental policy,” says shark scientist David Shiffman. Meanwhile, a similar—if not even more extensive—proliferation of illegal roads is being constructed around the world by loggers, miners, poachers and other extractive industries. But our work is far from done. We work to bring people together through environmental education, community engagement, and other initiatives that will broaden our wildlife constituency and increase prosperity for future generations. Human–wildlife conflict is a big problem in many parts of Africa. Other incredibly rare species likely to benefit from similar programs this year include the Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) and maybe even the rarely seen saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis). Hidden cameras reveal big wildlife conservation issues! This review highlights the major issues about wildlife life extinction, endangerment and conservation. Contact Information. “The risk of losing the amazing biodiversity of Madagascar is always a big story and it could get worse now,” Mayer says. “The Earth simply can’t take the punishment of relentless over-exploitation of its natural resources, poisoning of its atmosphere and pollution of its oceans. We advocate for wildlife and habitat conservation on behalf of the people of Wyoming. That could be devastating to one of the wo… Illegal wildlife trade has become a high-profile issue receiving global media attention, not least because of its devastating effect on populations of rhinos, elephants and other charismatic wildlife. “This, in addition to funding cuts for species listings, will put a strain on conservation efforts,” she says. The Issues We Work On T he Wyoming Wildlife Federation is focused on issues surrounding Wyoming’s wildlife, habitat and outdoor opportunities. The more we know about exactly how climate change threatens certain species—or about how they can adapt to it—the better we can do at protecting them from extinction. We believe that the human element in conservation is critical to … “I think that has a dampening effect on the actions of the federal agencies.”, There’s a potential positive side to this, she adds: “I have heard, however, that historically this produces increased donations to NGOs and increased activism by citizens.”. Conservation issues include the protection of trees, animals and wetlands. © 2021 Scientific American, a Division of Nature America, Inc. Support our award-winning coverage of advances in science & technology. Wildlife face a variety of problems; most of the animals admitted each year to the Center are admitted due to human-related causes. Right now he and his team pore over satellite images by hand, looking for signs of new disturbance—not an easy prospect when images vary by surface, shadowing and other factors. “They could end up being paper parks—parks in name only,” he says. WCS, the “W” logo, WE STAND FOR WILDLIFE, I STAND FOR WILDLIFE, and STAND FOR WILDLIFE are service marks of Wildlife Conservation Society. Discover world-changing science. “The bottom line is we need to be able to keep track of roads in real-time, on a global scale, and especially in developing countries,” he says. Today our nation faces a myriad of issues that threaten to impact our wildlife and our environment for centuries to come. ©2021 Wildlife Conservation Society. Many of our experts expressed cautious optimism about these new government representatives. In our Kilimanjaro landscape in Kenya, for example, only three elephants died in 2015 from poachers engaged in the illegal wildlife trade—but 24 were killed due to human–elephant conflict. Most recently, a study found that 100 percent of sea turtles had plastic or microplastics in their digestive systems. “Th… The (tiny) bit of good news related to climate change? Meanwhile many experts also expressed fear about emerging diseases, like those affecting bats, frogs and salamanders. It’s going to be a rough year, but we’ll also see some progress. They also affect people by reducing land productivity, reducing opportunities for recreation, altering water supplies, or increasing risk of severe wildfires. New road and infrastructure projects, many backed by Chinese investment, are currently being carved into critical habitats in Indonesia, Africa, the Amazon and other regions. Defenders of Wildlife deploys a wide range of tools and tactics, from policy analyses and advocacy, to litigation, innovative science and technology programs and field conservation. “Water temperatures are rising, increased flooding, deforestation, fires, storms — these are all things that affect a species’ existence.” And new threats continue to emerge. Their results of their labor-intensive work are rather shocking: “For every kilometer of legal road, we’ve mapped around three kilometers of illegal roads,” Laurance says. His "Extinction Countdown" column has run continuously since 2004 and has covered news and science related to more than 1,000 endangered species. Results. broad approach to preserving what is already there and the due care and attention to protecting it for the future (1 Important global research like the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species guides our work, and once in-country we mobilize local partners and the community, rapidly assess root-cause issues, and take swift action. Here are a few more factors predicted to play a big role in 2019. Scientific American is part of Springer Nature, which owns or has commercial relations with thousands of scientific publications (many of them can be found at, Swampy Thing: The Giant New Salamander Species Discovered in Florida and Alabama, Hawaii's Snail Extinction Crisis: "We're Just Trying to Stop the Bleeding", deoxygenation could have a major impact on zooplankton, Horizon Scan of Emerging Issues for Global Conservation in 2019, undermine indigenous rights in his country, dramatic increase in illegal logging, deforestation, three potential rule changes would diminish the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act, could wipe out the newly discovered Tapanuli orangutan, more and more plastic being produced every day, legalize the medicinal trade in rhino horns and tiger parts. “We haven’t had a camera trap photo of saola since 2013 and no biologist has ever seen one in the wild,” says Mayer from Global Wildlife Conservation. Illegal wildlife trade. Much of this stems from China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a development strategy to build extractive industries in 70 nations around the globe along with overland roads, ports, railways and pipelines to exploit them. According to the just-released “Horizon Scan of Emerging Issues for Global Conservation in 2019” (the tenth annual edition of this study), climate-change induced release of carbon from polar ice will further worsen global warming, while the release of mercury from thawing permafrost will create a toxic threat for animals, plants and soil. World Wildlife Fund Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax ID number 52-1693387) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Many conservation efforts have highlighted endangered mammals and … Share your thoughts online using the hashtag #Wildlife2019. Taking action for wildlife has never been more important. Wildlife Habitat Management Programs USDA offer assistance to landowners with wildlife habitat management issues through its conservation and resource management programs. Deoxygenation also causes increased algal growth, like the red tides that choked the coasts of Florida this past year and killed hundreds of manateesand tens of thousands of fish. “Our group has spent something like a thousand hours trying to map these roads,” he says. Subscribers get more award-winning coverage of advances in science & technology. As this road-building goes on, governments around the world face a tight deadline to protect some of their most pristine wildlife habitats—or at least say they’re doing so. So with that rough bit of recent history, what does 2019 hold? The threats of poaching, snaring and wildlife trafficking will also remain significant around the world, as the forests of southeast Asia and the plains of southern Africa became emptied of their animal life and as “valued” species such as tigers, rhinos and pangolins face ever-increasing pressures. “Water temperatures are rising, increased flooding, deforestation, fires, storms—these are all things that affect a species’ existence.”. Lead Toxicity in Raptors Lead toxicity is a significant cause of admission for Bald Eagles at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. Johnson expects funding to remain an issue in 2019, as will further attacks against the Endangered Species Act. Winners were announced in six categories - Animal Portrait, Habitat, Behavior, Conservation Issues, Creative Nature and Young Photographer - with an … “I think research showing when, where and how species are able to adapt to some changes is promising,” says amphibian biologist Karen Lips of the University of Maryland. From forest and farms to national monuments or tribal lands, we advocate for the protection of natural resources and the management of these lands to support healthy wildlife populations. “Each individual thing they do will be very subtle and maybe you won’t even know what’s happening on time, but the aggregate effect, I think, will be slowing down a lot of the harmful decisions made by this administration.”. That could be devastating to one of the world’s most biodiverse regions on the planet, which is often referred to as the “lungs of the Earth.”. © 1996-2019 National Wildlife Federation Action Fund. John lives on the outskirts of Portland, Ore., where he finds himself surrounded by animals and cartoonists. An award-winning environmental journalist, his work has appeared in Scientific American, Audubon, Motherboard, and numerous other magazines and publications. Wildlife Conservation Wildlife Conservation. “I don’t want to sound too bleak, but time is literally running out for the world as we know it,” say TRAFFIC’s Thomas. “People and the media tend to focus on the current emergencies rather than the slow, long-term problems because we are not very good at maintaining focus and attention,” she says. We act to protect, restore, and connect the intricate patchwork of lands and waters that our wildlife call home. Published by Corinne Letendre on May 16, 2020. Many of these issues are preventable if we choose to take action to protect wildlife. Protecting an astounding diversity of species. You can learn about them here…: As leaders in wildlife science, management and conservation, The Wildlife Society has a responsibility to address national and international issues that affect the current and future status of wildlife in North America and throughout the world. “But the Saola Working Group and partners are hoping to detect saola and begin to catch them next year for a conservation breeding program in Vietnam. It’s been hard to miss some of the shocking facts about our plastic waste recently. “There’s been a lot of discussion about how global climate change affects ocean acidification, and now there’s emerging evidence that the even greater threat is reduced oxygen levels,” says noted conservationist William Laurance of James Cook University. Laurance has issued a call for help to develop a software tool to automate the road-discovery process. Annually, The Wildlife Society determines the top policy priorities that guide our activities. And new threats continue to emerge. Conservation issues in the UK, History of the British landscape. “Some species will undoubtedly decline as a result of climate change, making them rarer and thus potentially even more desirable by those who trade in them,” explains Richard Thomas, global communications coordinator for TRAFFIC, the anti-wildlife-trafficking organization. Threatened and endangered species play a vital role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. Because so many scientists are studying it, we’re learning more and more about its effects. We need to put aside political differences and work together to do something about this catastrophic situation—and quickly.”. Finally, as habitats shrink and poaching and other threats take their toll, a growing number of species are likely to benefit from last-gasp captive breeding, either to boost their wild populations or to keep them alive once their habitats have disappeared. “Emerging diseases are increasing in numbers, impacts, and in incidents, and are likely to cause greater losses of species,” says Lips. F or 83 years, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation has been the voice for sportsmen and women of Wyoming – advocating on their behalf for the healthy, intact, and fully functioning ecosystems – providing outdoor opportunities and finding common ground through our initiatives and campaigns. “You’ll probably see a lot of new, large marine protected areas established in the next year,” says Shiffman. The red wolf and Florida grasshopper sparrow captive-breeding programs may save those species from extinction in 2019. “Th… Each new threat puts additional stress on already weakened ecosystems and their wildlife. They are loosely divided into causes, effects and mitigation, noting that effects are interconnected and can cause new effects. “It’s actually really difficult to try to get even basic maps of where roads are,” Laurance says. (Humans included.) Africa is home to some of the world's most endangered species, including the mountain gorilla, Grevy’s zebra, and Ethiopian wolf. Among the greatest threats to wildlife are the Trump administration and similar politicians around the world, such as Brazil’s new far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who took office last week and immediately moved to undermine indigenous rights in his country. First, we continue to learn more about how plastic waste affects wildlife and the environment. Most ecosystems are facing multiple threats. The signatories to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets have until 2020—next year—to meet 20 conservation goals, including conserving “at least 17 percent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services.”. Indeed, that may have also helped inspire last November’s “blue wave,” the newly elected officials from which took office this month. As fish and wildlife and their habitats feel the pressure from stressors like drought, wildfire, invasive species, sea level rise, development, and other challenges, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives are supporting investments in applied science that are helping to ensure the long-term vitality of species are hunted and fished and open recreational access for all. New Forest conservation. There will be more blood, more habitat loss, more legislative attacks and more extinctions—but at the same time, there will also be signs of hope and progress on many levels. John R. Platt is the editor of The Revelator. 18 hours ago — Kylie Mohr and E&E News, January 4, 2021 — Anne C. Mulkern and E&E News, January 4, 2021 — Mark Fischetti and Jen Christiansen, January 4, 2021 — Virginius Xaxa | Opinion. Among the greatest threats to wildlife are the Trump administration and similar politicians around the world, such as Brazil's new far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who took office last week and immediately moved to undermine indigenous rights in his country. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. This may also mean keeping an eye out on the Trump administration’s continuing efforts to promote big-game hunting and resulting trophy imports by its wealthy patrons. “We’re experiencing an avalanche of new infrastructure projects,” says Laurance, who points out that the Initiative has at least 7,000 developments planned or underway. “The impacts of climate change aren’t showing signs of slowing, and this administration refuses to recognize it,” says Charise Johnson of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Next year could be the year we rediscover this species and work toward breeding it.”, The year 2019 has just barely begun, but experts warn us that the opportunity to make a difference on these issues is already running short. Key Conservation Issues (KCIs) are large-scale conservation issues or threats that affect or potentially affect many species and habitats over large landscapes throughout the state. March 17, ... published a report on the role Britain’s 2,600 golf courses can play in providing sanctuaries for birds and other wildlife, especially in rough and out-of-bounds areas, which account for some 140,000 hectares across the country. According to the just-released “ Horizon Scan of Emerging Issues for Global Conservation in 2019 ” (the tenth annual edition of this study), climate-change induced release of … Earlier this month, to celebrate National Wildlife Federation Membership Month, we asked supporters like you to vote for your top three wildlife issues. “The federal government is shirking its duty to protect species and commit to conservation programs,” says Johnson of the Union of Concerned Scientists, who points to three potential rule changes would diminish the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act and other conservation regulations, among many other attacks against the laws. With more and more plastic being produced every day, this will be a major focus of research and conservation the coming year. Well, in most cases it won’t be pretty. Saving nature is at the very heart of what we do as WWF. Wildlife are under threat from many different kinds of human activities, from directly destroying habitat to spreading invasive species and disease. We lost the last male northern white rhino, the vaquita porpoise continued its slide toward extinction, poachers kept targeting pangolins and other rare creatures, and through it all the Trump administration kept trying to whittle away at key protections for endangered species. The Wildlife Society recognizes the need to alleviate the greatest threats facing species on the brink of extinction through both regulatory mechanisms, such as the Endangered Species Act, as well as public and private partnerships. “Some people are calling this ‘the great dying.’ ”. “Addressing wildlife trade issues and promoting sustainable harvesting are likely to become more important than ever,” he says. Thus, wildlife conservators who adopt a biocentric stance see their responsibility as protecting the ecosystem from people whose actions are perceived as harming the natural environment. Others echoed those thoughts and fears about the ESA. We deliver measurable, boots-on-the-ground, solutions. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Former president Andry Rajoelina, whose previous tenure was marked by a dramatic increase in illegal logging, deforestation and biodiversity loss, was reelected last month, although as of press time the election remains mired in protests and accusations of fraud. This guiding document is used to prioritize conservation issues and actions as well as fund research and surveys on species considered to be of greatest conservation need. “Water temperatures are rising, increased flooding, deforestation, fires, storms — these are all things that affect a species’ existence.” And new threats continue to emerge. Another species starting the year off on better footing is one of the world’s rarest birds, a duck called the Madagascar pochard (Aythya innotata), just returned to the wild after 15 years thanks to a captive-breeding program in Scotland, of all places. Wildlife didn’t have an easy go of it in 2018. Infographic Restoring Wolves at Isle Royale Through years-long advocacy efforts by National Parks Conservation Association, the National Park Service will bring more wolves to Isle Royale National Park, an island in Lake Superior. Of course, climate change will continue to threaten species around the world in 2019. “The impacts of climate change aren’t showing signs of slowing, and this administration refuses to recognize it,” says Charise Johnsonof the Union of Concerned Scientists. “We’ve got an urgent need to detect the roads and tell governments, look, here’s where there’s illegal activity,” he says. Without that, conservation—and species—will lose ground every day. Getting back to the Trump administration, many experts worried about how things will play out for this country’s wildlife in the year ahead. or a conservation breeding program in Vietnam. Right now this activity is all illegal, but that could change in the blink of a pen stroke. ... Last year, we wanted to learn more about our neighboring wildlife and put up a series of hidden camera traps along a creek at the GAAP Nature Discovery Center near Valvidia, Chile. Read more; Ocean plastic pollution. Confronted with climate change and a host of other environmental issues, we act to advance climate and clean energy solutions that will safeguard our wildlife and our communities. Did … World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization working on the issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States. "The new president in Brazil could unravel 50 years of progress for species, tropical forests and indigenous people," said Lindsay Renick Mayer, associate director of communications for Global Wildlife Conservation. One big problem is that conservationists don’t always know where these roads—legal or otherwise—are being built, and without that information it’s impossible to protect species from development. “They don’t often get the attention that climate change does, and the time scale is accelerated.”. “Changes in ocean composition will be a large-scale driver of mortality,” Laurance says. To that end, TWS produces fact sheets and technical reviews addressing endangered species recovery, and regularly provides comments on Environmental Impact Statements and other pla… For nearly 60 years, we have made it our mission to find solutions that save the marvelous array of life on our planet by applying the best science available and working closely with local communities. Here are some big issues that experts say we should be watching in 2019: Of course, climate change will continue to threaten species around the world in 2019. We’re fighting for key legislation and other actions that will protect and restore our valuable water resources from the devastating effects of pollution, climate change, and other threats. As humans continue to consume natural resources, many organisms are headed for extinction. The oceans will also be a big part of the Aichi targets. Explore our digital archive back to 1845, including articles by more than 150 Nobel Prize winners. These activities threaten everything from elephants and tigers to insects and rare plants. Wildlife create jobs through outdoor recreation, sustain food and water supplies, and help us develop meaningful bonds with our natural world. “I think our current administration has shown that the environment and conservation are not high priorities,” says Lips. Meanwhile, on top of the obvious weather-related changes, climate change could create an additional unexpected threat to some species: wildlife trafficking. Plastics. Our record speaks for itself. When wildlife is in danger, they can't speak up for themselves—so we speak for them. Pesticides Are Killing Off the Andean Condor, 32 Orchid Species Feared Extinct in Bangladesh. One of America's Biggest Wildlife Conservation Issues You Need To Know About ... the Gallatin Range and the Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area is considered one of the most important conservation issues in Greater Yellowstone in decades, they say. But outside of Washington, things are speeding up. Wildlife Conservation To ensure wildlife thrive in the face of 21st-century challenges, we call for measures to recover America’s declining wildlife populations and protect species at risk. Many of the experts we spoke with expressed hope that the tight deadline will result in some good, quick land and water protection that could protect countless species, but cautioned that these efforts should be watched carefully to make sure they truly protect key habitats and that they offer connectivity between disparate species populations. Of course, climate change will continue to threaten species around the world in 2019. “The impacts of climate change aren’t showing signs of slowing, and this administration refuses to recognize it,” saysCharise Johnsonof the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The new president in Brazil could unravel 50 years of progress for species, tropical forests and indigenous people,” says Lindsay Renick Mayer, associate director of communications for Global Wildlife Conservation. Wildlife need unspoiled spaces to thrive. “That’s a very rough average, but it gives you an idea of the magnitude of the problem.”. Mayer adds that the recent election in Madagascar could be just as bad. Wildlife Conservation The value of American wildlife spans economic, ecological, and spiritual realms. This post first appeared on The Revelator on January 7, 2019. To ensure wildlife thrive in the face of 21st-century challenges, we call for measures to recover America’s declining wildlife populations and protect species at risk. Thousands of you responded, and we’re so grateful to be working side-by-side with such caring conservationists. A study published last month found that ocean deoxygenation could have a major impact on zooplankton, one of the building blocks for the ocean food web. The National Wildlife Federation Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization Lips also noted that it’s often hard to get funding and other support for these growing problems because they’re less in the public eye. He cautions, though, that some of these could be established in places where there’s no fish or other species to protect, or no system in place in which to protect what’s there. Another factor in conservation policy has been the type of species facing extinction. As a consequence, conservation workers, in their struggle to protect the natural environment, are likely to become antagonized toward people. Which of these threats to wildlife and endangered species do you worry about most in the coming year—or which additional threats do you think also need to be discussed? One of the most notorious projects is a gigantic hydroelectric dam that could wipe out the newly discovered Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) in Sumatra. Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) Most countries haven’t come close to that goal yet. Conservation issues are a growing concern for most scientists. The National Wildlife Federation Action Fund’s critical areas of focus include. 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