Biodiversity

Amazon Deforestation Drops Significantly, Government Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 14, 2007   View Article

The pace of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 25 percent in a recent 12-month period, according to recently released government figures.

Even so, some conservation groups claim the decrease is due to lower demand for crops that grow on cleared forest land, and not successful environmental policies.

Bald Eagles Soar Off Endangered Species List, But Will Act Be Weakened?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 28, 2007   View Article

The bald eagle has rebounded from the brink of extinction, U.S. officials say, and in an announcement this morning the government removed it from the list of federally protected species.

Conservationists heralded the eagle’s recovery as a success story that proves the U.S. Endangered Species Act works, but they voiced concern that the Supreme Court has weakened the act with rulings it made earlier this week.

Frequent Flora Miles: Plants Can “Hop” to Distant Lands

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 14, 2007   View Article

Looking for frequent flyer tips? Ask an Arctic plant.

The hardy flora rack up the miles as climate change sends them adrift in search of fresh places to put down roots, a new study says.

“Encyclopedia of Life” to Catalog All Species of Life on Earth

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 9, 2007   View Article

Scientists announced plans today to put descriptions, pictures, video, and sounds of the world’s estimated 1.8 million named species on the Internet for free.

The effort, called the Encyclopedia of Life, will standardize the presentation of “information about the plants and animals and microorganisms that share this planet with us,” said James Edwards, the project’s executive director.

Forests Have Replaced Tundra Due to Warming, Study Finds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 9, 2007   View Article

High in the Canadian Arctic, large tracts of tundra have given way to forests of spruce trees and bushes in response to a spike of warming temperatures nearly a century ago, according to a new study.

The transition took place more quickly than scientists thought, suggesting that tundra could keep shrinking as temperatures continue to warm.

Ice Shelf Collapses Reveal New Species, Ecosystem Changes

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 27, 2007   View Article

Even before the global launch of International Polar Year this Thursday, scientists are announcing some unusual discoveries from the cold waters off the Antarctic Peninsula.

The collapse of two massive ice shelves in the past 12 years has opened a window onto a pristine—but rapidly changing—underwater world, an expedition team reported on Sunday.

Orangutan Habitat May Be Gone in 15 Years, UN Report Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 7, 2007   View Article

Orangutans may lose nearly all their tropical forest habitat within 15 years unless urgent action is taken now to end rampant illegal logging, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) warned in a report yesterday.

About 60,000 orangutans—which are native to the Southeast Asian islands of Sumatra and Borneo—remain in the wild, conservationists believe.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach