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Environmental Issues: Biodiversity & Conservation

How do changes to the environment affect the many species of plants and animals on the planet? Learn about the environmental issues that affect biodiversity, and about conservation efforts that can maintain biodiversity around the world.

Top 6 Environmental Issues
What are the 6 top issues threatening our environment?

Land Use in the United States
Land use is a dynamic process that continually changes our landscapes, and our environment.

What Is Habitat Fragmentation?

Learn more about habitat fragmentation and its effects on wildlife. 

Invasive Species: What They Are, How They Got Here

Precisely what is an invasive species, and what facilitates their movement to new habitats?

How Can We Improve Habitat Connectivity?
Habitat fragmentation can have profound negative impacts on wildlife populations. To counter those effects, various approaches can be used to enhance connectivity between habitat patches.

Invasive Species: Consequences to Our Environment
Invasive species cause a variety of ecological issues and economic losses.

The Control of Invasive Species
Invasive species can have significant ecological and economic consequences. Can they be controlled?

How to Stop Invasive Species: Freshwater
Learn about important steps you need to take to prevent transferring invasive species to lakes, rivers, and streams.

How to Stop Terrestrial Invasive Species
Learn about important steps you need to take to prevent transferring invasive species to terrestrial habitats.

Invasive Species Vectors
Definition and examples of vectors responsible for accidental and intentional introductions of invasive species.

Abundant Deer Hurt Bird Populations
Learn more about abundant deer mean damage to forest vegetation, affecting songbird populations.

How to Stop Marine Invasive Species
Learn about important steps you need to take to prevent transferring invasive species to salt water ecosystems.

The Threat from New Zealand Mudsnail
Learn about invasive New Zealand mudsnails, their impact, and what you can do to slow down their spread.

What Do We Mean by Road Ecology?
The environmental effects of roads go beyond roadkill.

Roadkill: a Risk to Wildlife Populations
The most visible environmental consequence of roads, roadkill can be a serious threat to wildlife populations.

White Nose Syndrome
Find out what white nose syndrome is, where it is from, and how it is threatening North American bats.

Plastic Ingestion in Sea Turtles Quantified
We new sea turtles ate plastic debris in the oceans, but now we know how big of a problem it really is.


The Lacey Act
Learn about the Lacey Act of 1900, a U.S. federal law regulating the trade of protected plants and animals.

What is Deforestation?
Deforestation is a growing global problem with far-reaching environmental and economic consequences, including some that may not be fully understood until it is too late to prevent them. But what is deforestation, and why is it such a serious problem?

Gray Wolf Facts: Profile of the Gray Wolf Species
The gray wolf, an iconic species of the American West, is an endangered species in most parts of the world where it still exists. The endangered listing, passionately defended by environmentalists, is controversial among ranchers, hunters and many lawmakers who believe gray wolves have recovered sufficiently to have those protections removed.

Nations of the World Pledge to Conserve Biodiversity
The Nagoya Protocol and other strategic plans to conserve biodiversity were adopted by 193 nations in October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, but 50 countries must ratify the Nagoya Protocol by February 1, 2012, before it can take effect.

Why are Honeybees Disappearing?
Honeybee colonies are dying or disappearing in record numbers. What is causing the dramatic decline in honeybee populations in the U.S. and elsewhere, how is the honeybee loss affecting agriculture and food supplies, and what is being done to solve the problem?

Global Population Growth is Creating Serious Environmental Problems
Population growth is placing tremendous stress on Earth's resources and the natural environment, creating a scarcity of food and water and leading to problems such as deforestation and increased global warming. Learn what can be done to achieve a sustainable balance between human population and available resources.

Why Do Whales and Dolphins Strand Themselves on Beaches?
Few things in nature are more tragic than the sight of a pod of whales—some of the most magnificent and intelligent creatures on Earth—lying helpless and dying on the beach. Mass whale strandings occur in many parts of the world, and we don't know why. Scientists are still searching for the answers that will unlock this mystery.

What Have We Learned About Honeybees Disappearing?
Years after the first reports of honeybees disappearing, honeybees are still threatened. What's the latest info on honeybees disappearing, and how does organic farming affect honeybees disappearing?

Is African Wildlife Headed for Extinction?
Are hunting and

Global Water Supply Drying Up as Population Grows
Water covers 70 percent of the Earth's surface, yet billions of people lack access to clean water. Population growth in many water-stressed countries, plus excess water use in developed countries, is shrinking water resources worldwide and raising fears about water scarcity. Learn what you can do to help.

Brazil Pledges to Cut Amazon Deforestation by 70 Percent
Brazil has unveiled a plan to slow deforestation in the Amazon rainforest by more than 70 percent by 2018, which will significantly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, protect wildlife habitat, and preserve valuable medicinal plants.

U.S. Lists Polar Bears as Threatened Species, but Fails to Ban Oil Drilling
The United States has listed polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, but at the same time left the door open for continued oil drilling in polar bear habitat.

Condoms to Help Preserve the Amazon Rainforest
Condoms are used by millions of people worldwide to prevent pregnancy and stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but now Brazil has come up with a new use for condoms: preserving the Amazon rainforest.

Can Ocean Desalination Solve the World's Water Shortage?
As ocean desalination plants are being built, environmentalists are expressing concerns about the long-term envionmental effects of desalination. Learn why desalination may not be the best solution to our water shortage.

Does Classroom Dissection Deplete Species, Encourage Cruelty to Animals?
Dissecting frogs and other creatures has been a standard teaching practice in science classes for generations, but collecting amphibians, birds and other animals for dissection puts added pressure on species that are struggling to survive the habitat loss and other environmental changes. Meanwhile, some studies have shown dissection may not...

Bush Administration: Polar Bears Threatened by Global Warming
Polar bears need to be protected from the effects of global warming, according to a proposal by the Bush administration to make polar bears a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. But does the Bush administration's new concern for polar bears also signal a new intention to address the broader problems of global warming?

What Good are Greenbelts?
Greenbelts are areas of undeveloped land around urban areas, intended to provide open space and control development. But are greenbelts more than decoration or a concession to environmentalists? Do greenbelts serve any real purpose? Learn more about the vital role of greenbelts in urban design and global resources management.

Would Removing Dams Restore Wild Salmon Runs?
Hydroelectric dams harnessed U.S. rivers and brought light into the darkness in a cleaner, more sustainable way than most other power plants could claim. But the dams also created an impenetrable barrier that blocked migrating salmon, making it impossible for them to reach the sea or return to their spawning grounds. Today, many dams are being studied for possible removal, which could create a new era of restoration for wild salmon runs.

Bird Extinctions Occurring Faster Than Previously Known
Bird species are disappearing far more quickly than previously known--at the rate of about one species per year--according to the most comprehensive analysis of global bird species ever conducted

Amazon Rainforest: Half of Remaining Rainforest Could Soon Disappear
Preserving the Amazon rainforest in South America, as well as other rainforests worldwide, remains an important global environmental issue, even when the news media turns its attention elsewhere. Although they cover a relatively small percentage of the planet, rainforests are home to about half of the plant and animal species on Earth. Yet, according to the United Nations, at least 37.5 million acres of rainforests are lost every year. Find out more.

Scientist Says Reduce Human Beings by 90 Percent to Help Environment
A professor at the University of Texas at Austin believes planet Earth would be better off if Mother Nature simply killed off 90 percent of the human population -- and he predicts that is exactly what will happen in the not-too-distant future. What's behind this controversial theory?

Biodiversity Hotspots
The most remarkable places on Earth are also among the most threatened, where biodiversity is under seige by the dual pressures of poverty and overdevelopment, and where many endangered species are at risk of extinction.

U.S. Office of Habitat Conservation
The Office of Habitat Conservation, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, interacts with the NOAA Fisheries Regional Offices to manage, conserve and enhance habitats for fishery resources, protected species and other marine life.

What is Fisheries Habitat?
Information about a critical environmental issue from the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation.

Ethics for a Small Planet
Subtitled "A Communications Handbook on the Ethical and Theological Reasons for Protecting Biodiversity," this book explores the subject of conservation in a broad and unusual context, and offers tools and tips for discussing biodiversity in terms of ethics and faith.

The Biodiversity Project
This independent nonprofit organization, based in Madison, Wisconsin, develops and promotes communication strategies to help Americans understand the critical links between biodiversity and their own lives.

What was the first national wildlife refuge in the United States?
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge was the first national wildlife refuge in the United States. Learn all about Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Global Population Hits 7 Billion
world population, population effects

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