"We are in the midst of a mass extinction, many scientists have warned — this one driven not by a catastrophic natural event, but by humans. The unnatural loss of biodiversity is accelerating, and if it continues, the planet will lose vast ecosystems and the necessities they provide, including fresh water, pollination, and pest and disease control."
"The Interior Department is struggling to fill top positions at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) despite assurances from officials that the agency's relocation from Washington to Colorado is helping recruit top talent, according to an analysis by The Hill."
"An international team of scientists, including a prominent researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, has analyzed all known coronaviruses in Chinese bats and used genetic analysis to trace the likely origin of the novel coronavirus to horseshoe bats."
To cover the wide range of challenges affecting his Mountain State, a small market beat reporter won plaudits first by becoming a close student of the issues and then boiling them down to the basics for his audience. Inside Story’s Q&A explores the resulting award-winning journalism on topics like water law and public lands, groundwater pollution and protected species.
"The Trump administration is finalizing rules that will allow hunters in Alaska’s national preserves to shoot bears and wolves, and their cubs and pups, while they are in their dens."
"One Mexican gray wolf died after being caught in a trap in April and another was found dead in the wild, bringing the total to more than a dozen of the endangered predators that died in the first four months of the year in New Mexico and Arizona."
"The Florida Keys are a place where deer stand next to children at school-bus stops. They lounge on lawns. They eat snacks right out of people’s hands. So when the deer began acting strangely in the summer of 2016, the people of the Keys noticed. Bucks started swinging their heads erratically, as if trying to shake something loose. Then wounds opened on their heads—big, gaping wounds that exposed white slabs of bone."
"A U.S. judge has dealt another blow to the Trump administration's efforts to increase domestic oil and gas output from public lands, saying officials failed to protect habitat for a declining bird species when it issued energy leases on hundreds of square miles."
"The Trump administration is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the government to keep certain endangered species records out of the public eye."
"As restaurants and other businesses have closed during the coronavirus pandemic, rats may become more aggressive as they hunt for new sources of food, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned."