Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Play

Nashville mourns six dead in the latest mass shooting, the EPA takes public input on a proposal to clean up Pennsylvania's drinking water, and find ways to get more Zzz's during Sleep Awareness Month.

Play

A shooting leaves six dead at a school in Nashville, the White House commends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to pause judicial reform, and mayors question the reach of state and federal authorities over local decisions.

Play

Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Imperiled Global Species Map Shows Texas Ranks High

Play

Monday, December 26, 2022   

When a scientist with the nonprofit group NatureServe began studying where biodiversity is most at risk in America, she never expected Texas to rank so high.

The research by Healy Hamilton - the chief scientist at NatureServe - looks at the risk of global extinction for plants and animals across the globe.

She said she's discovered that animals such as wolves and grizzly bears are imperiled in some areas of the U.S. - but they are not at risk of global extinction. Instead, bees, butterflies, fish, mussels, crayfish and flowering plants are much more threatened - especially in Texas.

"When we looked at top 10 states for imperiled plants," said Hamilton, "top 10 states for imperiled pollinators, top 10 states for imperiled vertebrates, and top 10 states for imperiled fresh-water invertebrates, Texas was in all four of those categories."

Hamilton noted that the vast majority of land in Texas is privately owned, making it hard for intervention if a species is threatened.

The map, prepared by NatureServe and other groups, may help the Biden administration with development of the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas - a new tool that will be used to reflect baseline information on the nation's lands and waters.

Hamilton said the loss of habitat in the Southwest is sometimes due to housing and industrial development, oil and gas operations, infrastructure builds or damage from off-road vehicles.

That means people, not climate change, are often responsible for changing the landscape where plants would naturally be found.

"There are 2,216 species that are included in this map," said Hamilton, "1,654 of them are plants. So, plants are in trouble."

Hamilton said she worries for the star cactus, which resembles a green sand dollar with a bright yellow bloom and only exists in southern Texas and northern Mexico.

She said it's part of an intricate web of life most folks take for granted, and compares its potential extinction to losing one or two rivets on an airplane.

"Oh well, that was only one rivet that popped out," said Hamilton, "we're fine. Except for that, it's not just one rivet - we don't even know all the extinctions, but there've been hundreds. So, how many rivets do you lose in an airplane before you're worried about flying in it anymore?"




get more stories like this via email
Black Americans are the most likely to suffer from insufficient sleep. (ChadBridwell/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

March is Sleep Awareness Month and health experts say Americans are not getting enough of it. United Health Foundation data found more than 32% of …


Environment

Environmental groups are seeking greater input as California puts the finishing touches on its application to become a hub for hydrogen fuel productio…

Social Issues

This month marks 160 years since the first Medal of Honor was awarded by President Abraham Lincoln. More than a dozen of the 65 recipients alive …


According to The Medal of Honor Museum and Foundation, 3,514 men and one woman have won the Medal of Honor in service of their country from the Civil War to the present day. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

160 years ago, Civil War soldiers were awarded the first Medals of Honor. Now, a Medal of Honor Monument will soon be built on the National Mall in …

Social Issues

The meat processing industry continues to face scrutiny over labor practices in states like Minnesota. Proposed legislation would update a 2007 law…

A report published in late February says children of mothers who are abused or neglected were more likely to demonstrate symptoms and behaviors linked to depression, along with other health issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

New findings suggest health effects stemming from child maltreatment can be passed on to the next generation. In South Dakota, leaders in early-…

Social Issues

Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle will pay workers at its former location in Augusta, Maine as part of a settlement over labor law violations…

Environment

One Arizona mayor is among the more than 2,800 elected city officials in Washington, D.C., this week for The National League of Cities' Congressional …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021