NEW YORK (June 5, 2018)—The lowly sea cucumber strikes observers as a simple sausage-like creature, one that is far less interesting than brightly colored reef fish or color-changing octopi that share its coastal habitat. The sea cucumber’s unimpressive appearance belies the outsized role these creatures play in converting decomposing organic matter into recyclable nutrients and keeping coastal ecosystems healthy and clean, and overfishing them can have negative impacts on coastal marine environments, according to a new study focusing on a species of sea cucumber called a sandfish in the journal PeerJ.
A shocking study in the journal Science by the University of Queensland, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and University of Northern British Columbia confirms that one third of the world’s protected areas – an astonishing 2.3 million square miles or twice the size of the state of Alaska – are now under intense human pressure including road building, grazing, and urbanization.
A massive decade-long study of Western Equatorial Africa’s gorillas and chimpanzees has uncovered both good news and bad about our nearest relatives. The good news: there are one third more western lowland gorillas and one tenth more central chimpanzees than previously thought. The bad news: the vast majority of these great apes (80 percent) exist outside of protected areas, and gorilla populations are declining by 2.7 percent annually.
Six Indonesians pleaded guilty yesterday to charges for trespassing into the Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, a hotspot for wildlife crime including the illegal extraction of internationally protected agarwood.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today that a group of the world’s leading coffee companies has committed to addressing deforestation from illegal coffee production inside Indonesia’s Bukit Barisan Selatan (BBS) National Park – a key protected area for Sumatran tigers, rhinos, and elephants, and part of the “Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra,” an internationally recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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