January 26, 2024 | By:

Rewilding in the Media #19

grizzly bear

Editors’ note: In this periodic summary, we list some of the latest research and rewilding projects, ideas, and notable stories in the media about protecting and restoring wild Nature that the TRI board and staff have discovered and shared amongst themselves. These are some highlights from throughout 2023. We urge sharing links to the ones you find most inspiring.

1. OneEarth, Burmese star tortoise: the stunning conservation success story in Myanmar [Feb. 22, 2023]

“The Burmese star tortoise, found only in central Myanmar, is critically endangered due to poaching and habitat loss. However, thanks to conservation efforts, their population has increased from an estimated 200 individuals in the early 2000s to over 1,000 today. This represents a remarkable conservation success story for a species that was on the brink of extinction just two decades ago.”

2. National Geographic, Can these ‘ghost bears’ be resurrected? The U.S. may soon find out. [April 6, 2023]

“For 27 years, experts have scoured the alpine meadows and granite ridgelines of Washington State’s North Cascades, looking for enormous stragglers. They’ve collected millions of photographs from wilderness camera traps, analyzed DNA from tufts of hair, and used dung-sniffing dogs to find and analyze critter poop. But, it appears, the grizzly bears are gone. […]

In the North Cascades, [Wayne] Kasworm’s computer modeling suggests, introducing six bears a year for eight years might jump start a population that could eventually reach 200 bears. In fact the biggest barrier to grizzly recovery isn’t logistics—it’s us.”

Read some of Paula MacKay’s writings about grizzly bears:

3. Can We Really Rewild the Planet? | The Future With Hannah Fry Episode 6 [March 29, 2023]

“The environment is in crisis, but a revolutionary new conservation concept offers hope for the future. From the overgrown Fukushima exclusion zone, to the majestic redwood forests of California, Hannah embarks on a journey into the wilderness to discover how championing nature could help to heal the environmental wounds we have inflicted on our planet. (Source: Bloomberg)”

4. One Earth, How restoring key wildlife species can be a game-changing climate solution [April 2, 2023]

“Exciting news for anyone concerned about climate change and the loss of wildlife: a new scientific paper shows that protecting and reintroducing certain species could be the key to solving both problems at once. Co-authored by 15 scientists from eight countries, the paper, titled Trophic rewilding can expand natural climate solutions, outlines how protecting and restoring key species [particularly, apex carnivores, like cougar and wolf; and mega-herbivores, like elephants; and whales –RE editors] can ‘supercharge’ ecosystem carbon sinks.”

To make the scientific findings more accessible to a wider audience, the One Earth media team produced a video explaining the study’s key takeaways in under two minutes: How restoring key wildlife species can be a game-changing climate solution.

5. GreenBiz, Rewilding the U.S. could be a powerful tool for addressing climate change [Aug. 3, 2023]

“Changes in land use in America could have a big impact on emissions reduction, biodiversity and quality of life, not just in the U.S. but around the world.”

6. 60 Minutes, American Prairie: Restoring bison to northern Montana with a patchwork nature reserve [Aug 13, 2023]

“In one of the most remote parts of the country, a nonprofit organization is working to create the largest nature reserve in the contiguous United States with hopes of restoring several species of wildlife.”

Listen to a Rewilding Earth Podcast episode on the topic here.

7. North Country Public Radio, Largest known eastern white pine found in the southern Adirondacks [Aug. 30, 2023]

“The eastern white pine is native to North America and can be found from Newfoundland to the Appalachian mountains. Historically, it’s been heavily logged, so old white pines are rare. But there are a few places in the Adirondack Park where you can find stands of old eastern white pines that are also quite tall.  Earlier this summer, the largest known eastern white pine in the world was recorded in the southern Adirondacks. The tree, nicknamed “Bigfoot,” is 151 feet tall and over 16 feet in circumference. It was found by Erik Danielson, a tree hunter from western New York.”

8. New Yorker, At Least We Can Give Thanks for a Tree by Bill McKibben [Nov. 23, 2023]

“This past July, in the remote Moose River Plains Wild Forest, in the Adirondacks, a young botanist named Erik Danielson found the largest Eastern white pine known to exist. Indeed, it is the largest tree of any kind known in that great wilderness, and ever since I read about it I’d been hoping he might be persuaded to take me for a look. Earlier this month, with a dusting of snow on the ground, he led a small group of enthusiasts on a two-hour bushwhack into the forest.”

9. University of Georgia, Patterns, drivers, and a predictive model of dam removal cost in the United States [Sept. 18, 2023]

“In past decades, dams were installed across the United States to help control the flow of rivers and supply water or hydroelectric energy to communities. However, these aging structures pose public safety threats, as well as disrupting aquatic ecosystems and harming biodiversity in freshwater systems, all while costing expensive maintenance fees. This nexus of factors has led to a series of dam removals around the country.

A team that included IRIS affiliates Suman Jumani, Kyle McKay, and Seth Wenger, representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other scientists from UGA and around the United States, worked together to create a tool that can help predict the costs of dam removal.” Read the paper here.

10. Check out the Jaguar Conservation Database, this map (https://jaguardata.info/) depicts what we’ve all known: the Mogollon Wildway is potential Jaguar central. They really want to establish there.

11. PBS, The American Buffalo: A New Documentary from Ken Burns Premieres October 16

“The American Buffalo, a new two-part, four-hour series, takes viewers on a journey through more than 10,000 years of North American history and across some of the continent’s most iconic landscapes, tracing the animal’s evolution, its significance to the Indigenous people and landscape of the Great Plains, its near extinction, and the efforts to bring the magnificent mammals back from the brink.”

12. New York Times, How Much Can Forests Fight Climate Change? A Sensor in Space Has Answers. [Dec. 12, 2023]

“A new NASA program is helping researchers more accurately calculate how much planet-warming carbon protected areas are storing. It’s a lot.”

13. OneEarth, “We are all connected,” The wisdom of Jadav Payeng, India’s Forest Man [Dec. 19, 2023]

“Jadav Payeng, known as the Forest Man of India, spent forty years single-handedly planting an entire forest to help save his island home from erosion. The forest, which came to be known as Molai forest, is bigger than New York City’s Central Park and houses Bengal tigers, Indian rhinoceros, and over 100 deer and rabbits.”

Spread Rewilding Around the Globe!
Subscribe To Comments On This Article
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x