Conservation Issues

Conservation issues are a growing concern for most scientists. As humans continue to consume natural resources, many organisms are headed for extinction. Conservation issues include the protection of trees, animals and wetlands.

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Can seed banks save threatened plants?

A post-apocalypse trip to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to retrieve the seeds that will save humanity may seem like good fodder for a movie. But seed banks have important work to do right now.


Why is biodiversity important?

Biodiversity means rainforests and reefs teeming with species right? There's more to it than that though. Genetic diversity has a big role to play, too. Just ask that cheetah cub.

How Whaling Works

Men have been hunting and killing whales for centuries. Early whalers hunted for survival, but their motivation may have changed once there was money to be made. Whaling for profit has been banned since 1986, but whaling for scientific research is still allowed in certain areas, causing much debate.

What is the most harmful type of diversity loss?

Flagship species like leopards, whales and wolves grace wildlife calendars, bring in big conservation dollars and help regulate their ecosystems. But what about the tiny guys you won't find on your calendar? How important are they to Earth's biodiversity?

What's the Earth's biggest threat to biodiversity?

Our planet would be a much different place without its richly diverse ecosystems full of plants, animals and microorganisms. What poses the biggest danger to the millions of species that call Earth home?

Do invasive species pollute the gene pools of other species?

Since the Age of Discovery, we've been toting plants and animals to parts of the world where they don't belong. While most transplants die, some become invasive. How can these newcomers lead to breakneck-pace evolution?

Should we breed endangered species?

While some endangered species respond well to breeding programs, others, like pandas, aren't as effective. How do we decide which animals to focus on, and what does it mean to be a flagship species?

What would it take to save every endangered species?

If it takes $1 million a year to save the California condor, how much would it take to save every endangered species? Is it possible, and how can we save species we don't even know exist?

Can seed banks save threatened plants?

A post-apocalypse trip to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to retrieve the seeds that will save humanity may seem like good fodder for a movie. But seed banks have important work to do right now.

What is civilization's impact on Earth's environment?

A wilderness becomes a grid work of streets, lights and skyscrapers. Every day, we remake the world a little more to our liking. What has that meant for the planet?

How soon will we run out of food?

In 2008, a food crisis left many people worldwide with empty stomachs. Most places have rebounded since then but, according to the U.N.’s World Food Programme, one out of every eight people is undernourished. Are we all eventually headed toward famine?