Habitat Conservation

When habitats are threatened, so are the animals who live there.

The Pollinator Predicament

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Gene Brandi raises thousands of honeybees 
in California’s Central Valley, the agricultural engine for much of the nation’s produce. Each February and March, his bees are among the 1.7 million rented colonies that swarm over the valley’s 850,000 acres of almond trees. They descend on the riot of pink blossoms, collecting pollen to provision their nests. In the process, they cross-pollinate the trees, enabling these farmers to grow 80 percent of the world’s almonds. As autumn wanes, some hives naturally go silent, empty, dying back in the chilling air and fading light. When Brandi launched his business in the 1970s, he rarely lost even 5 percent of his bees over the winter. But that changed a decade ago when colony collapse disorder arrived on the scene. One year, he lost almost half. Now he’s averaging 30 percent. It’s not just a California problem. Across the country and the world, many pollinators are in decline or at risk of extinction. It’s a serious issue because forests, prairies, meadows, wetlands, seashores and croplands all depend on a diverse and healthy pollinator community to thrive. Globally, nearly 85 percent of all flowering plants require help from animals to produce seeds and fruit. Without them, neither humans nor wildlife would have as much to eat and as a result the planet’s biodiversity would plummet.

Five Years Later

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pelican, © Krista Schlyer
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Five Years Later: Failing to Learn from an Environmental Tragedy

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by Haley McKey

Five years ago today, an explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig initiated one of the worst environmental disasters of our time. But today lawmakers have doubled down on pushing their dirty energy agenda.

The post Five Years Later: Failing to Learn from an Environmental Tragedy appeared first on Defenders of Wildlife Blog.

Sagebrush Safari

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by Caitlin Balch-Burnett

Visit a sage-grouse lek and it’s impossible not to become an advocate for this fancy dancer.

The post Sagebrush Safari appeared first on Defenders of Wildlife Blog.

Izembek National Wildlife Refuge

Located on the tip of the Alaska Peninsula in the Aleutian Islands, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is internationally recognized as an important wetland, protected as a wildlife refuge and designated as a wilderness area. It’s one of Alaska’s most ecologically diverse wildlife refuges, with lagoons, tundra and stunning mountain peaks. This incredible habitat is home to brown bears, caribou, salmon and other wildlife.

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Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Green Sea Turtles Making a Comeback in Florida

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Sea Turtle, © Christina Albright-Mundy
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On the Blog

by Elizabeth Fleming

Before Florida’s green sea turtles were protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1978, their numbers had plummeted. But less than 40 years later, this population is laying thousands of successful nests every year.

The post Green Sea Turtles Making a Comeback in Florida appeared first on Defenders of Wildlife Blog.

At What Cost?

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San Joaquin kit fox, Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
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On the Blog

by Kim Delfino

Defenders of Wildlife has been working to promote “smart from the start” principles - carefully planned projects that keep wildlife in mind. The Panoche Solar Farm is the antithesis of this approach.

The post At What Cost? appeared first on Defenders of Wildlife Blog.

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