Audubon enlists grass-fed meat brand to conserve critical bird habitat

The National Audubon Society today announced a partnership with Perdue-owned Panorama Organic Grass-fed Meats that will add nearly a million acres to its Conservation Ranching Initiative. Audubon has focused recent conservation efforts on privately owned rangelands, where 95 percent of grassland bird species live, and the deal with Panorama boosts the total acreage in its ranching program to 3.5 million.(No paywall)

The battle to eradicate feral hogs

The most popular way to eradicate wild hogs is to shoot them, whether on gaming ranches, in the wild or from the door of a helicopter. But hunting has done little to stem the estimated 6-9 million hogs running wild across at least 42 states and three territories, as Stephen R. Miller writes in FERN's latest story, produced in collaboration with National Geographic.(No paywall)

Lawsuit would overturn EPA approval of dicamba

The EPA failed to ensure that dicamba can be used safely when it issued a five-year approval of the weedkiller, said a lawsuit that asks a federal appeals court in San Francisco to vacate the EPA registration of the herbicide. Foes say dicamba is overly prone to evaporate from where it is …

Monarch butterflies are in peril but won’t go on U.S. endangered list

The orange-and-black monarch butterfly, known for its 3,000-mile migration across North America and its plunging population, meets the criteria for listing as a threatened or endangered species, said the Interior Department on Tuesday. But it will be listed only as a candidate for federal  protection because "we must focus resources on our higher-priority listing actions," said Fish and Wildlife Service director Aurelia Skipwith.

A novel approach to deforestation may also offer a pandemic safety net

A novel conservation group in western Borneo offers healthcare services and training in sustainable farming to curb illegal logging. In the process, the group may have come up with a blueprint to stop diseases from making the deadly leap between wildlife and people, Brian Barth writes in FERN's latest story produced with Popular Science. (No paywall)

In the water and in the courts, fight to save endangered right whales grows urgent

With only an estimated 360 left, the fight to save the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered species on the planet, has grown urgent — in the water and in the courts, as Rene Ebersole explains in FERN's latest story, published with Yale Environment 360. (No paywall)

Study: U.S. commodity farmers imperil biodiversity for ever-lower yields

In less than a decade, U.S. corn, soybean and wheat fields wiped out an expanse of native grasslands and other ecosystems larger than the state of Maryland, according to a new analysis, destroying crucial wildlife habitat and spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The new fields produced lower crop yields than existing farmland.(No paywall)

To save humanity, save biodiversity: Q&A with Enric Sala

Dr. Enric Sala, founder of the ocean conservation initiative Pristine Seas, constructs an enlightened defense for biological diversity in his first book, The Nature of Nature: Why We Need the Wild, in which he describes Covid-19 as "the most powerful wake-up call to the world about the enormous risks to human health posed by our broken relationship with nature.” (No paywall)

In ‘final report card,’ world fails to meet biodiversity goals, says UN

In 2010, global leaders set 20 goals for preserving biodiversity worldwide in the decade ahead. Today, none of the targets has been met fully and only six are even partially achieved, said the United Nations in "a final report card" on the effort. "Biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate,” said the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 report, “and the pressures driving the decline are intensifying." Still, the UN said, "it is not too late to slow, halt, and reverse current trends." (No paywall)