An obscure lizard reveals how zoos may indirectly play a role in animal trafficking

Accredited U.S. and European zoos keep earless monitor lizards. Malaysia and Indonesia, where the protected animals live, say none have been exported legally.

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A hallucinogenic toad in peril

How a Sonoran Desert species got caught up in the commodification of spiritual awakening.

Life after wildlife trafficking: What happens to rescued animals?

A serious lack of data about the fate of wildlife saved from illegal trade leads to calls for better information and accountability.

How to stop a pandemic before it starts, illustrated

U.S. policymakers have spent trillions of dollars to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. But the answer to preventing the next pandemic altogether lies elsewhere.

Nearly 200 baby tortoises are seized at Galápagos Airport

The tortoises were found on Sunday wrapped in plastic inside a red suitcase that was bound for mainland Ecuador. A police officer has been taken into custody, the authorities said.

I know why the caged songbird goes extinct

A rampant trade in Asian birds, known for their beautiful songs, is emptying many forests of sound and life.

Dogs put their noses to work saving wildlife

They don’t just detect drugs, bombs, and cancers—dogs can sniff out the amoeba-size larvae of invasive mussels and highly endangered flowers hidden in fields.

There are worse viruses than COVID-19 out there. How do we avoid the next big one?

Widespread immunity eventually will end the COVID-19 crisis. But it won't end wildlife-related pandemics. What can we do now to reduce future risk?

10 good-news stories for wildlife in 2020

From ‘Tiger King’ prosecutions to new pangolin protections, not everything in 2020 has been doom and gloom.

Wildlife crimes and human rights abuses plague Taiwanese fishing vessels, crews say

“I prayed to God that I would survive.” Taiwanese fishing fleet crew members describe illegal dolphin catching, shark finning, and physical and verbal abuse.

The WHO is hunting for the coronavirus’s origins. Here are the new details

Disease detectives who have worked on similar hunts say the investigation is business as usual—but now with advanced tools and techniques that should aid the process.

Pangolin scale seizures at all-time high in 2019, showing illegal trade still booming

Despite increased protections, the scaly mammals continue to be exploited for the traditional Chinese medicine market, according to a report shared exclusively with National Geographic.

Did pangolin trafficking cause the coronavirus pandemic?

The elusive animals’ possible involvement in the origins of COVID-19 gives them a weird ambivalence: threatened and, perhaps, dangerous.

Poachers in Russia target world's largest reindeer herd for their antler velvet

Illegal hunting for meat, fur, and newly grown antlers—along with the warming climate—are depleting wild reindeer on Russia’s Taymyr Peninsula.

Shannon Bennett: Pandemics of our own making

While it's critical that we devote our scientific ingenuity to beating back the current pandemic, we must also address our broken relationship with nature in a concerted effort to prevent similar outbreaks in the future.
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Researchers, doctors call for regulators to reassess safety of taking acetaminophen during pregnancy

The painkiller, taken by half of pregnant women worldwide, could be contributing to rising rates of reproductive system problems and neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD and autism.

LISTEN: Azmal Hossan on the sociology of climate crises in South Asia

"If we look at the rate of carbon emissions, most is emitted by the developed and industrialized countries, but the problem is poor countries like Bangladesh are the main sufferers."

Op-ed: We don’t have time for another fossil fuel bridge

Those holding up carbon capture and hydrogen as new climate solutions are leading us down the wrong path.

Climate storytelling: Creativity and imagination in the face of bleak realities

Working with youth writers on a climate-fiction screenplay has opened my eyes to the power of the arts in confronting environmental crises.

Ocean plastic pollution

Too much plastic is ending up in the ocean — and making its way back onto our dinner plates.

Peter Dykstra: Protected by an alphabet soup of acronyms

CITES, CCAMLR, LDC, MBTA, CBD, Ramsar, LWCF ... they may make your eyes glaze over, but they protect our health and planet.

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