The unnoticed collapse of big freshwater animals

The unnoticed collapse of big freshwater animals

It’s the largest animals who tend to occupy the most space in our hearts. They might be imperiled—indeed they usually are, as it’s not easy being big in a human-dominated world—but at least people know and care. There’s one group of large animals, however, whose...
Sometimes we don’t even know what we’ve lost

Sometimes we don’t even know what we’ve lost

Such is the curse of salmon’s shifting baseline: coming to accept as normal what is in fact a diminished state of affairs. Usually baselines are set according to present circumstances. Sometimes, though, it’s the historical record against which the present...
Plant blindness and the illegal wildlife trade

Plant blindness and the illegal wildlife trade

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘wildlife’? Almost certainly an animal—and perhaps that’s a problem. Even as illegal trade in wildlife now receives considerable attention in conservation circles, not much attention is paid to species-jeopardizing illegal...
A diversity of plants helps stabilize ecosystems

A diversity of plants helps stabilize ecosystems

As people search for ways to help Earth’s biosphere withstand the impacts of climate change, they might turn to a relatively little-appreciated phenomenon: how plant diversity stabilizes ecosystems in the face of stress. This isn’t a brand-new idea. Various...