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Using Urban Pigeons to Monitor Lead Pollution

Tom Lehrer sang about poisoning them, but those pigeons in the park might be a good way to detect lead and other toxic compounds in cities. A new study of pigeons in New York City shows that levels of lead in the birds track with neighborhoods where children show high levels of lead exposure.

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Policy makers and ecologists must develop a more constructive dialogue to save the planet

An international consensus demands human impacts on the environment "sustain", "maintain", "conserve", "protect", "safeguard", and "secure" it, keeping it within "safe ecological limits". But, a new Trinity College Dublin-led study that assembled an international team of environmental scientists shows that policy makers have little idea what these terms mean or how to connect them to a wealth of ecological data and ideas.

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Cougars Could Save Lives by Lowering Vehicle Collisions with Deer

You would never guess it from their soft eyes and timid demeanor, but the swift-footed deer is North America's most dangerous mammal to humans.

Each year deer cause 1.2 million vehicle collisions in the U.S., triggering more than 200 deaths, some 29,000 injuries and $1.66 billion in costs associated with vehicle damage, medical bills and road cleanup.

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Historic Petition Calls on Obama Administration to Immediately Halt All New Fossil Fuel Leases on Federal Lands

More than 250 climate, community and tribal organizations filed a landmark legal petition today calling on the Obama administration to halt all new fossil fuel leasing on federal lands — a step that would align U.S. energy policies with its climate goals and keep up to 450 billion tons of greenhouse gas pollution from entering the atmosphere.

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Gulf Stream slowdown to spare Europe from worst of climate change

Europe will be spared the worst economic impacts of climate change by a slowing down of the Gulf Stream, new research predicts.

Scientists have long suggested that global warming could lead to a slowdown - or even shutdown - of the vast system of ocean currents, including the Gulf Stream, that keeps Europe warm.

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Agreement: Monarch Butterfly to Get Endangered Species Act Protection Decision by 2019

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now legally bound to determine whether to protect imperiled monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act, according to the terms of an agreement reached today with conservation groups. The agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety requires the agency to decide by June 2019 whether the butterflies will receive federal protection. The two conservation groups and allies petitioned in 2014 for protection of the species, which has declined by 80 percent over the past two decades.

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Why river floodplains are key to preserving nature and biodiversity in the western US

Although they may not commonly be viewed as hotspots for biodiversity, gravel-bed river floodplains are by far the most important feature for nature across the landscapes of western North America.


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Poll finds Montanans strongly support public lands, value access to hiking, hunting and fishing

The Center for Western Priorities released its 2016 Montana Winning the West poll—conducted for the first time in the state—showing Montanans’ deep commitment to the outdoors and finding that a candidate’s positions on public lands can influence who they vote for in this year’s elections.

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Laos & Cambodia rosewood exports violate UN treaty

Criminality and corruption have swept a flood of endangered rosewood exports from Laos and Cambodia which fundamentally violate trade protections imposed by the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

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Unprecedented Offshore Fracking in Cook Inlet Threatens Alaska's Endangered Belugas

The Center for Biological Diversity today urged federal officials to block an oil company’s plans to drill multiple new wells and conduct the first large, multistage offshore fracking ever done in Alaska’s environmentally sensitive Cook Inlet.

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Sea star death triggers ecological domino effect

A new study by Simon Fraser University marine ecologists Jessica Schultz, Ryan Cloutier and Isabelle Côté has discovered that a mass mortality of sea stars resulted in a domino effect on B.C.'s West Coast Howe Sound marine ecology.

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Grand Canyon Transforming into Game Farm for Hybrid Bison

Grand Canyon National Park is acting in partnership with the Arizona game agency to expand hunting of hybridized bison inside the park, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The plan, outlined in a new Park Service report, would permanently maintain a cattalo herd inside the park to provide big game opportunities both inside and outside the park.

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Analysis: U.S. Pet Trade Imports 6 Million Tropical Fish Exposed to Cyanide Poisoning Each Year

A new analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity and For the Fishes finds that 6 million fish tropical marine fish imported into the United States each year for the pet trade have been exposed to cyanide poisoning.

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Permafrost thawing below shallow Arctic lakes

Warmer winters combined with an increase in snowfall during the last 30 years have limited the growth of seasonal lake ice. In response, lakebed temperatures of Arctic lakes less than 1 meter (3 feet) deep have warmed by 2.4 degrees Celsius (4.3 degrees Fahrenheit) during the past three decades, and during five of the last seven years, the mean annual lakebed temperature has been above freezing.

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Report: Pesticide industry delaying bee protections across U.S.

Amid an ongoing pollinator crisis that threatens our food system, a new report issued today by Friends of the Earth documents how the pesticide industry has weakened and delayed pesticide reforms and is shaping new pollinator “protection” plans nationwide that do little to protect bees, but a lot to protect industry profits.

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Shells of California mussels much thinner than 50 years ago

Shells of California mussels collected from the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Washington in the 1970s are on average 32 percent thicker than modern specimens, according to a new study published by University of Chicago biologists.

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Pandas and flowers feel climate heat

The giant panda, worldwide conservation icon beloved by billions, and sweet-smelling flowers could both suffer adverse affects as a result of global warming.

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Geohazard: Giant sinkholes near West Texas oil patch towns are growing -- as new ones lurk

Residents of Wink and neighboring Kermit have grown accustomed to the two giant sinkholes that sit between their small West Texas towns.

But now radar images taken of the sinkholes by an orbiting space satellite reveal big changes may be on the horizon.

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Global ethane concentrations rising again, says CU-Boulder-led study

Global emissions of ethane, an air pollutant and greenhouse gas, are on the uptick again, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

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New Nevada National Monument to be Rutted by Off-Road Desert Race

Just days after President Obama designated the Basin and Range National Monument, his Bureau of Land Management agreed to redirect a major off-road race through its most rugged tracts, according to a complaint filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The complaint charges the BLM with nullifying the presidential proclamation and breaking laws requiring public involvement and environmental review prior to any major federal action of this type.

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EPA Proposes Shocking Thousand-Fold Increase in Radioactivity Allowed in Drinking Water

Yesterday, the U.S. EPA quietly issued proposals to allow radioactive contamination in drinking water at concentrations vastly greater than allowed under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The new guidance would permit radiation exposures equivalent to 250 chest X-rays a year. Today, environmental groups called the proposal “shocking” and “egregious.”

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Should lawyers be ethically obligated to protect the environment?

Contrary to many corny jokes, lawyers do follow a code of ethics. But there’s a glaring omission in the professions’ ethical outline: the environment.

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E.U. Countries Delay Approval of Toxic Chemical in RoundUp

Today in Brussels representatives from the European Union (E.U.) failed to pass a temporary reauthorization of glyphosate – a toxic chemical in the common pesticide RoundUp determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be a “probable carcinogen”. The committee was asked to grant re-authorization for between one and two years, to allow for completion of a safety assessment currently in progress at the European Chemicals Agency, but rejected the proposal. If the European Commission does not re-authorize the chemical’s use by June 30th, it will be considered illegal to use throughout the E.U. and all products containing glyphosate would be pulled from the market after a six-month grace period. Several countries including the Netherlands and France have already acted to restrict public access to glyphosate within their own borders on the basis that it poses a severe risk to human and environmental health.

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New report shows alarming state of North-American birds

Since the seventies, millions of North American birds have disappeared and a third of species are now of high regional conservation concern, a new report reveals. Experts agree that their long-term conservation will only be achieved by building transnational partnerships and involving local communities in citizen science projects.

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Indonesia: Whale Sharks Confiscated From Wildlife Traffickers and Released Back to the Wild

Indonesian government agencies, supported by the Wildlife Crimes Unit (WCU) of the Wildlife Conservation Society, confiscated and released back into the wild two illegally caught whale sharks from a major supplier of large marine megafauna to the international wildlife trade.

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A Coalition of Nonprofit, Local Business Groups Plan Legal Action Against U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Protect Threatened Reefs

A coalition of environmental and SCUBA organizations joined together today to demand that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provide mandatory, common-sense protections for nearby reefs during an upcoming, proposed dredging project to expand Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. This is particularly urgent after widespread reef destruction during the dredging of the Port of Miami (PortMiami) last year.

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Lawsuit Launched to Protect Ocelots from Controversial U.S. Wildlife-killing Agency

The Center for Biological Diversity and the Animal Welfare Institute today filed a notice of intent to sue the US Department of Agriculture to ensure that endangered ocelots aren’t inadvertently killed as part of its long-running program to kill coyotes, bears, bobcats and other wildlife in Arizona and Texas. The USDA’s Wildlife Services program kills tens of thousands of animals in the two states every year using traps, snares and poisons.

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Climate damage threatens world heritage sites

A world that faces the loss of the Statue of Liberty, where the ancient Italian city of Venice has been overwhelmed by flooding and a Ugandan forest that shelters mountain gorillas is at risk is all too real a possibility, says a new report.

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Grand Canyon Cattalo Status Obscured by Science Shell Game

The National Park Service is juggling the fate of a herd of hybridized bison marooned on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, according to correspondence released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The agency has withdrawn a controversial report claiming these “cattalos” are wildlife “native” to Grand Canyon, a classification which would prevent their wholesale removal – an action supported by conservationists and the park’s own staff.

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Migratory fish species suffering severe population loss

In the past three decades global catches of sturgeons and paddlefishes have dropped by over 99 per cent, documenting severe population losses, according to a new WWF report.

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