endangered species


Photo: NASA

It’s Earth Day and these 3 Unique (but Endangered) Species are Giving Me LIFE!

, Research scientist

It’s Earth Day, and this year’s focus is to protect our species. That focus makes me incredibly happy because of three reasons: 1) I get to return to my roots as an ecologist and tell you about some super cool species, 2) there are lots of endangered species that don’t’ receive a ton of attention BUT need attention, 3) this post is not about the Trump administration doing terrible stuff to science. Read more >

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Photo: Bishnu Sarangi/Pixabay.

Science and Transparency: Harms to the Public Interest from Harassing Public Records Requests

Donald R. Smith, , UCS

In my work as a professor and researcher in the Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, I investigate the basic mechanisms underlying how exposure to toxic metals contribute to cellular effects and disease. My lab explores how exposures to environmental toxins, such as lead, manganese, and arsenic can cause or contribute to the development of diseases in humans. For example, some neurobehavioral and neurodegenerative disorders, such as learning deficits and Parkinsonism have been linked to elevated lead and manganese exposures in children and manganese exposures in adults, respectively. Read more >

Photo: Gavin Emmons
Photo: Donald Smith
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Cartoon: Jesse Springer

5 Ways the Trump Administration Uses Disinformation & Why We Need Oversight

, Lead science and policy analyst

Throughout history, special interests have worked studiously to deny, distort, or manipulate science to interfere with policy outcomes and rig the game so that they may continue profiting, usually at the expense of public health or environmental quality. The tobacco and fossil fuel industries have perhaps most infamously used these strategies to avoid public scrutiny and maintain the status quo. Sadly, the outcome is the delay or obstruction of science-based policies intended to protect the public.

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The Department of Interior Does Not Care What You Think About Endangered Species

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

The Department of Interior simultaneously announced three majorly flawed proposals that would radically transform how the Endangered Species Act functions and gave the public just 60 days to provide feedback. Yesterday, without providing any reasoning, the department denied a request from UCS to extend the comment period. That means you have six more days to file a comment (Rule 1, Rule 2, Rule 3). This guide from UCS can help you craft an effective comment on one or all of these rules. Read more >

Photo: NCinDC/CC BY-ND 2.0 (Flickr)
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Photo: Wayne National Forest

This Beetle Lays its Eggs in Dead Mice Carcasses and then Covers Them With Mucus – But it’s Endangered and Important

, Research scientist

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rushed a scientific assessment on the endangered American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) in Nebraska, seemingly because the agency didn’t want to disrupt agribusiness. Two biologists that were working on the assessment, Wyatt Hoback and Douglas Leasure, told the Washington Post that the FWS pushed them to conduct their science on an extremely constrained timeline. The beetle has been a source of contention in federal government research since 2013. The species was listed as endangered after 1989 when scientific evidence showed that the beetle had disappeared from over 90% of its historic range in the US.

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Photo: Wayne National Forest
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