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 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.
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.
A new report released today by WCS shows real world examples of how conservationists in the U.S. have successfully changed their conservation strategies to adapt to climate change.