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Wild Earth Facts
  1. Species Imperiled From Agriculture, Land Conversion, Hunting
    17 Jul, 2019
    Species Imperiled From Agriculture, Land Conversion, Hunting
    Three quarters of the world’s threatened species are imperiled because people are converting their habitat into agricultural lands and overharvesting their populations. 72 percent of species are imperiled by overexploitation (the harvesting of species from the wild at rates that cannot be compensated for by reproduction or regrowth), while 62 percent of species are imperiled by agricultural activity (the production of food, fodder, fiber and fuel crops; livestock farming; aquaculture; and the
  2. Bringing Back Predators
    17 Jul, 2019
    Bringing Back Predators
    Being at the top of the food chain is no guarantee of a species survival. Not only are many of these so-called apex predators susceptible to human impacts, they also are slow to recover from them, which makes these animals vulnerable despite their high-ranking ecosystem status. Ecologists and conservation biologists have repeatedly sounded the alarm about the global decline of apex predators — a group that includes gray wolves, spotted owls, bald eagles, cheetahs, killer whales and sea otters.
  3. The Extinction Crisis
    17 Jul, 2019
    The Extinction Crisis
    It's a dreadful reality. We are going through our sixth period of plant and animal mass extinction, the sixth to happen in the last 500 million years. The current wave is considered to be the worst series of species elimination since the dinosaurs disappeared 65 million years ago. Granted, extinction is a phenomenon that occurs naturally, however it normally happens at a rate of 1 to 5 species every year. But, as scientists estimate, we are currently losing species 1,000-10,000 times faster than
  4. Sea Otters: The Kelp Keystone
    17 Jul, 2019
    Sea Otters: The Kelp Keystone
    In nature, all living things are in some way connected. Within each community each species depends on one or more of the others for survival. And at the core of individual ecosystems is a creature, or in some cases a plant, known as a keystone species. This species operates much like a true key stone, which is the stone at the top of an arch that supports the other stones and keeps the whole arch from falling down. When a keystone species is taken out of its environment, the whole system could
  5. Desert Features
    17 Jul, 2019
    Desert Features
    Sand covers only about 20 percent of the Earth's deserts. Most of the sand is in sand sheets and sand seas vast regions of undulating dunes resembling ocean waves "frozen" in an instant of time. Nearly 50 percent of desert surfaces are plains where eolian deflation removal of fine-grained material by the wind has exposed loose gravels consisting predominantly of pebbles but with occasional cobbles. The remaining surfaces of arid lands are composed of exposed bedrock outcrops, desert soils, and
  6. Antelopes In Double Jeopardy
    17 Jul, 2019
    Antelopes In Double Jeopardy
    Antelopes are an increasing conservation concern, with one-third of the world's 87 species now listed as threatened. Loss of habitat, game hunting, poaching, and loss of grazing land to cattle farmers are some of the biggest threats to antelope populations. Adding to the threats to antelope populations is changes in climate. For 82 percent of African antelope species, forecasts show a decline in suitable habitat by 2080 due to the effect of climate change. About one-quarter are likely to see
  7. Sustaining Tropical Forests
    11 Jul, 2019
    Sustaining Tropical Forests
    Strategies for preserving tropical forests can operate on local to international scales. On a local scale, governments and non-governmental organizations are working with forest communities to encourage low-impact agricultural activities, such as shade farming, as well as the sustainable harvesting of non-wood forest products such as rubber, cork, produce, or medicinal plants. Parks and protected areas that draw tourists—ecotourism—can provide employment and educational opportunities for local
  8. Deserts
    11 Jul, 2019
    Deserts
    Desert biomes receive very little rain and cover about one-fifth of the planet's surface. They are divided into four sub-habitats based on their location, aridity, climate and temperature: arid deserts, semi-arid deserts, coastal deserts and cold deserts. ●  Arid deserts are hot and dry and are located at low latitudes throughout the world. Temperatures are warm all year and hottest during the summer. Arid deserts receive little rainfall, and most rain that does fall usually evaporates. Arid
  9. Why Are They Called Fossil Fuels?
    04 Jul, 2019
    Why Are They Called Fossil Fuels?
    They're called fossil fuels because the fuel in your gas tank comes from the chemical remains of prehistoric plants and animals. All living things on Earth contain carbon. Even you contain carbon. Lots of it. If you weigh 100 pounds, 18 pounds of you is pure carbon. And plants are almost half carbon. You are 18 percent carbon. Plants are 45 percent carbon. With so much carbon, why isn't everything black and sooty? How can dogs be white and trees green? Because carbon, an element, combines
  10. Fighting Desertification
    04 Jul, 2019
    Fighting Desertification
    The world's great deserts were formed by natural processes interacting over long intervals of time. During most of these times, deserts have grown and shrunk independent of human activities. Paleodeserts, large sand seas now inactive because they are stabilized by vegetation, extend well beyond the present margins of core deserts, such as the Sahara. In some regions, deserts are separated sharply from surrounding, less arid areas by mountains and other contrasting landforms that reflect basic
  11. 27 Jun, 2019
    Oceans Are On The Verge Of Collapse
    The world’s oceans are on the verge of collapse. The overexploitation of fish has tripled since the 1970s, rapidly depleting the seas of fish. About 90 percent of the world’s fish have now been fully or overfished, and a 17 percent increase in production is expected by 2025, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The UN's The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) says that the state of the world's marine “resources” is not improving. Almost a third of commercial
  12. Which Is More Valuable: Gold, Cocaine or Rhino Horn?
    27 Jun, 2019
    Which Is More Valuable: Gold, Cocaine or Rhino Horn?
    The answer is devastating news for Earth’s largest animals. Many of the world’s largest herbivores — including several species of elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses and gorillas — are in danger of becoming extinct. And if current trends continue, the loss of these animals would have drastic implications not only for the species themselves, but also for other animals and the environments and ecosystems in which they live. One of the critical factors behind the disturbing trend is the
  13. Conserving Wetlands
    27 Jun, 2019
    Conserving Wetlands
    Wetland conservation is aimed at protecting and preserving areas where water exists at or near the earth's surface, such as swamps, marshes and bogs. Wetlands cover at least 6% of the earth and have become a focal issue for conservation due to the 'ecosystem services' they provide. More than three billion people, around half the world’s population, obtain their basic water needs from inland freshwater wetlands. The same number of people rely on rice as their staple food, a crop grown largely in
  14. What Is A Desert?
    27 Jun, 2019
    What Is A Desert?
    Approximately one-third of the Earth's land surface is desert, arid land with meager rainfall that supports only sparse vegetation and a limited population of people and animals. Deserts stark, sometimes mysterious worlds have been portrayed as fascinating environments of adventure and exploration from narratives such as that of Lawrence of Arabia to movies such as "Dune." These arid regions are called deserts because they are dry. They may be hot, they may be cold. They may be regions of sand
  15. Pollution: Choking Wild Animals
    18 Jun, 2019
    Pollution: Choking Wild Animals
    An ecosystem is the natural balance between organisms, plants, and animals in a particular place. Certain species of wildlife depend on particular species of plants, insects and organisms for survival. Even a small patch of forest can have a complete ecosystem of its own. So can a rivulet, a pond, a lake and sea. In any given landscape, there can be numerous ecosystems. This is what is called biodiversity. Never before has biodiversity faced such destructive forces as it has in recent times
  16. What Is The Greenhouse Effect?
    06 Jun, 2019
    What Is The Greenhouse Effect?
    What is a greenhouse? A greenhouse is a house made of glass. It has glass walls and a glass roof. People grow vegetables and flowers and other plants in them. A greenhouse stays warm inside, even during winter. Sunlight shines in and warms the plants and air inside. But the heat is trapped by the glass and can't escape. So during the daylight hours, it gets warmer and warmer inside a greenhouse, and stays pretty warm at night too. How is Earth a greenhouse? Earth's atmosphere does the same
  17. Rates Of Tropical Deforestation
    06 Jun, 2019
    Rates Of Tropical Deforestation
    Several international groups produce routine estimates of tropical deforestation, most notably the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, which has been producing a global forest resources assessment every five to ten years since the late 1940s. The FAO report is based on statistics provided by countries themselves, and because the ability of countries to accurately assess their forest resources varies depending on their financial, technological, and institutional
  18. Polar Bears In Danger
    06 Jun, 2019
    Polar Bears In Danger
    Our oceans, seas, rivers and lakes are home to a large percentage of the animal species of earth. Many mammals have adapted to life in the water. Even those that never leave it still have lungs to breath oxygen and give birth to live young. Most of us know that whales and dolphins are aquatic mammals, living exclusively in the ocean, but there are semi-aquatic mammals, like seals, sealions, manatee and walrus, that live both in the sea and on the land. Among them, with a classification of its
  19. Birds & Climate Change
    29 May, 2019
    Birds & Climate Change
    A few years ago, northern parts of the central United States got an unexpected visitor in the summer. Actually, it got thousands of them. The area experienced an invasion of a brown and yellow bird named the dickcissel. Dickcissels are common to many areas in the United States. They are not common in northern parts like North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Why did the dickcissel show up in these areas? Extreme weather caused by climate change may have forced them to find a new home. Climate
  20. Which Pole Is Colder?
    29 May, 2019
    Which Pole Is Colder?
    Both the Arctic (North Pole) and the Antarctic (South Pole) are cold because they don’t get any direct sunlight. The sun is always low on the horizon, even in the middle of summer. In winter, the sun is so far below the horizon that it doesn’t come up at all for months at a time. So the days are just like the nights—cold and dark. Even though the North Pole and South Pole are “polar opposites,” they both get the same amount of sunlight. But the South Pole is a lot colder than the North Pole.
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