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Rewilding in the Media #12

wetlands

Wetlands. See #17 for related story.

Editors’ note:  Fortunately, rewilding projects and ideas are in the news more and more frequently.  Unfortunately, this is largely because the extinction and climate crises have worsened to the point that truly bold and visionary conservation and restoration work are essential to saving life on Earth.  In this periodic summary, we list some of the notable stories in the media pertaining to protecting and restoring wild Nature that the TRI board and staff discover and discuss.  These are some highlights from April and early May 2022. We urge sharing links to the ones you find most inspiring.  This list was curated by Katie Shepard, Rewilding Earth Managing Editor.

1. The Guardian, Animal crossing: world’s biggest wildlife bridge comes to California highway [April 9, 2022]

“The unprecedented overpass will allow native fauna of the Santa Monica mountains to safely cross a dangerous 10-lane stretch.”

2. Audubon is launching a new initiative in the Lower Mississippi River region identifying nearly 50 million acres across multiple states as the most important places for birds and people. Here is the link to the interactive story map.

“This is really big for Audubon to put out there. Exciting.”- Jack Humphrey

3. The New Yorker, A Lake in Florida Suing to Protect Itself [April 18, 2022]

“Lake Mary Jane, in central Florida, could be harmed by development. A first-of-its-kind lawsuit asks whether nature should have legal rights.”

4. Audubon Magazine, This Pioneering Collaboration Will Open a New Window Into Bird Migration [Spring 2022]

“Pooling research from numerous international partners, Audubon’s Migratory Bird Initiative promises to paint the fullest picture yet of the awe-inspiring phenomenon.” Audubon Magazine’s Spring 2022 Issue is full of other articles on bird migration.

5. New York Times, Abundance, Exploitation, Recovery: A Portrait of South Georgia [April 18, 2022]

“A series of ecological initiatives, including the eradication of several invasive species, has dramatically revived the life and landscape of this remote sub-Antarctic island.”

6. The Conversation, Jaguars could return to the US Southwest – but only if they have pathways to move north [April 18, 2022]

“Could jaguars return to the Southwest U.S.? Some experts think it’s possible. Jaguars from southern populations in Mexico could recolonize their former territories in Arizona and New Mexico, or humans could reintroduce them there.”

7. KTVZ, Wildlands Conservancy buys 30,000-acre Jefferson County ranch for $16.5 million for new nature preserve [April 20, 2022]

“The Wildlands Conservancy, owner of California’s largest nonprofit nature preserve system, announced Wednesday the group’s first out-of-state acquisition: the $16.5 million purchase of the 30,000-acre Cherry Creek Ranch, near Mitchell in Central Oregon, newly named the Enchanted Rocks Preserve, after the landscape’s fascinating geology.”

You can out The Wildlands Conservancy website on the purchase.

8. 13 News Now, 6 red wolf pups found in coastal North Carolina, first born in the wild since 2018 [April 24, 2022]

“The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) said six red wolf pups were born in the coastal region of North Carolina this month, a remarkable achievement for an endangered species. The Red Wolf Recovery Program, an FWS program based in Manteo, said the little pups were found within the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.”

9. Mountain Journal, Juggernaut: Industrial Recreation Deepens Its Tear Across America’s Wildlands [April 27, 2022]

“Is outdoor recreation Manifest Destiny 2.0? Get ready, the West is about the experience a rush to expand the outdoor recreation infrastructure like never before. Is that a good thing for nature? […] For years, outdoor recreationists have claimed there is an absence of evidence about the impacts of outdoor recreation on wildlife. But it turns out that’s not the case.”

10. PNAS, Decline in biological soil crust N-fixing lichens linked to increasing summertime temperatures [April 11, 2022]

“Across many global drylands, biocrusts form a protective barrier on the soil surface and fill many critical roles in these harsh yet fragile environments. Previous short-term research suggests that climate change and invasive plant introduction can damage and alter biocrust communities, yet few long-term observations exist. Using a globally unique long-term record of continuous biocrust surveys from a rare never-grazed, protected grassland on the US Colorado Plateau, we found lichen species diversity and cover to be negatively correlated with increasing summer air temperatures, while moss species showed more sensitivity to variation in precipitation and invasive grass cover. These results suggest that dryland systems may be at a critical tipping point where ongoing warming could result in biological soil crust degradation.”

11. New York Times, From King Cobras to Geckos, 20 Percent of Reptiles Risk Extinction [April 27, 2022]

“The first global analysis of its kind found that logging and farming are taking away reptile habitat at an unsustainable pace, exacerbating a worldwide decline in biodiversity.”

12. New York Times, Warning on Mass Extinction of Sea Life: ‘An Oh My God Moment’ [April 28, 2022]

“A new study finds that if fossil fuel emissions continue apace, the oceans could experience a mass extinction by 2300. There is still time to avoid it.”

13. WV News, National Parks designation drives new visitors to West Virginia’s New River Gorge region [Apr 23, 2022]

“At the end of 2020, the New River Gorge National River was re-designated as the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, officially making it the 63rd national park and the 20th national preserve in the United States.”

14. National Geographic, How this golden-eyed feline became the greatest comeback in cat conservation [May 5, 2022]

“An all-out effort to breed the Iberian lynx in captivity has allowed the animals to rebound throughout their native Spain and Portugal.”

15. National Geographic, It was a toxic wasteland. Now it’s a national park. [May 2, 2022]

“After a $50 million cleanup, flowers and wildlife replace chemicals and rusting cars in one corner of Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park.”

16. National Geographic, The biggest living things on earth is being nibbled to death [May 10, 2022]

“Pando, a huge aspen grove in Utah, is a single organism that’s lived for millennia. Unchecked grazing is destroying it.”

17. Phys.org, Land-building marsh plants are champions of CO2 capture [May 5, 2022]

“It is well known that CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels underlie the havoc being wrought by climate change. Stemming further emissions through innovations in sustainable energy production is certainly part of the solution. However, slowing global warming also hinges upon our ability to capture and retain CO2 from the atmosphere. In a study published today in the journal Science, a team of researchers from the Netherlands, U.S. and Germany shows that salt and freshwater wetlands capture and store huge amounts of CO2 through the plants that build these landscapes. The good news is that restoration of these wetlands is improving, amplifying their ability to be used as nature-based and sustainable tool for counteracting climate change.”

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