animals
Oh My God, Check Out This Amazing Baby Gorilla

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo celebrated the birth of a male baby western lowland gorilla this weekend—the first time in nine years that staff at the zoo have managed to get the critically endangered species to breed in captivity, the institution wrote in a blog post. Read More >>

animals
More Than 140 Whales Are Dead After Mass Stranding in Australia

Rescuers in Australia’s Hamelin Bay struggled to save six short-finned pilot whales out of an estimated 150 who beached themselves on the rocky shore on Friday. Read More >>

conservation
Trump Administration, Which Said It Would Keep African Elephant Trophy Ban, Changes Its Mind

After months of back and forth on the subject, President Donald Trump’s administration has done what everyone pretty much knew it would do the whole time and has lifted a ban on the importation of some African elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Read More >>

animals
These Adorable Critters Are Making Life Hard For Brazilian Farmers

A wide assortment of charming-but-destructive animals are making life difficult for Brazilian farmers in the Amazon, according to a team of researchers recently published in the Journal of Wildlife Management. And they’ve got the photos to prove it. Read More >>

news
Fourth Man Confirmed to Have Died in Hunt For the Rocky Mountains’ Possibly Fictional Treasure

The myth of a treasure hoard hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains has lured a fourth person to their death, the BBC reported. Read More >>

science
Poo Stains Seen From Space Lead to Discovery of Massive Penguin ‘Supercolony’

After noticing the telltale signs of guano streaks on satellite imagery, an international team of researchers set out to count the number of penguins on Antarctica’s aptly named Danger Islands. They found a previously undetected supercolony of over 1.5 million Adélie penguins—a surprising result, given how poorly these aquatic birds are doing just 100 miles away. Read More >>

climate change
Threat of Climate Change Is Forcing Norway to Drop Millions on Its Doomsday Vault

Today’s addition of 70,000 new seeds to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault brings the total number of crops stored at the Arctic facility to over one million. It’s an important milestone—but to keep the vault running, and to protect it from the effects of climate change, the Norwegian government is going to have to spend upwards of £9 million in upgrades. Read More >>

environment
Oil on Japanese Beaches Linked to Last Month’s Sanchi Tanker Spill

As feared, oil from a sunken Iranian tanker has reached the shores of over a dozen southern Japanese islands, Japanese Coast Guard officials have now confirmed to Reuters and AFP. Read More >>

technology
Even the Tuna Conservationists Want a Piece of This Blockchain Action

It seems like everyone is getting into blockchain these days. After all, companies claim to like “transparency,” “security,” and anything to do with the rollercoaster ride that is bitcoin. But consider this: tuna. Read More >>

conservation
The Surprising Way New Zealand Could Soon Solve Its Predator Problem

Early in the morning a few days before Christmas, I was sitting in the living room of my mom’s New Zealand apartment, typing away on my laptop, when a parrot flew up, perched itself on the balcony railing and stared at me expectantly, as if demanding that I bring it a treat. It was a Kaka parrot, a large, greenish-brown bird with a subtly burgundy underbelly that has long been endangered in New Zealand due to forest clearing and invasive possums that compete with the Kaka for food. The bird had tags on its ankle from nearby Zealandia, the city of Wellington’s impressive eco-sanctuary, which has been breeding Kakas since 2002. The last time I had been in New Zealand, the Christmas before, the only Kakas I saw were within the sanctuary walls. At one point, the Kaka was nearly extinct. But recent breeding efforts have been prolific, and now most mornings and evenings, as many as six Kaka perch themselves on my mom’s treetop balcony, squawking, presumably, in celebration of their triumphant comeback. Read More >>

science
Genetically Engineering the Natural World, it Turns Out, Could Be a Disaster 

For the native species of New Zealand, European settlement was particularly cruel. The country has no endemic land predators, so many of its birds evolved without the typical avian aptitude for flight. Then came Western settlers, and along with them rats, mice, opossums, stoats, cats, and the occasional misbehaving dog. For these invaders, New Zealand’s flightless birds were a veritable feast. Numbers dwindled. Despite conservation efforts, the country still loses about 20 of its namesake kiwi birds every week. Read More >>

environment
Donald Trump’s Administration to Reverse Ban on Some African Elephant Trophies [Updated]

President Donald Trump’s administration is preparing to reverse a Barack Obama-era ban on the importation of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia to the U.S., ABC News reported on Wednesday, in a remarkably petty attack on rules intended to protect species registered under the Endangered Species Act. Read More >>

science
A Freakishly Large New Species of Rat Has Been Discovered in the Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands—a nation comprised of nearly one thousand islands located northeast of Australia, between Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea—is an impressive corner of the globe. Dense, lush rainforest blankets the majority of the islands, and the country’s coral reef biodiversity is among the richest in the world. Many of the plants and animals in the Solomon Islands have evolved in splendid isolation, and now, one of these animals has emerged from its idyllic surroundings, revealing itself to science for the first time: the vika (Uromys vika), a big-ass rat four times the size of even the heftiest of the familiar, city-slicker variety. Read More >>

science
Pandas Are Probably Still Screwed, Sorry

Last year brought some rare good conservation news: the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the folks who determine which species are endangered and which aren’t, bumped pandas from endangered to vulnerable. That’s a sign that conservation efforts have begun to reverse the effects of the human activity that wiped out the original bamboo-filled panda habitats in the first place. It also makes sense I guess, because science journalists spent all of last year talking about pandas screwing. Read More >>

science
Waters Exposed By Massive Antarctic Iceberg Now a Protected Area

Two months ago, an iceberg half the size of Jamaica tore itself loose from Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf. As it slowly drifts north, this massive berg is exposing an area that’s been covered in ice for the past 120,000 years. An international agreement has now been put in place to protect this emerging area and keep it in pristine condition. Read More >>