Op-Eds and Blogs


CITES, the Treaty that Regulates Trade in International Wildlife, Is Not the Answer to Preventing Another Zoonotic Pandemic
by Susan Lieberman
The CITES treaty has little power to prevent spread of pathogens to humans, notes WCS's Sue Lieberman. To avoid future pandemic, the commercial trade in wildlife, especially of birds and mammals, for human consumption must end.
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COVID-19 Threatens Endangered Species in Southeast Asia
by Colin Poole
For many rural people across far-flung parts of SE Asia, notes WCS’s Greater Mekong Regional Director Colin Poole, COVID-19 is less a crisis of public health than economic survival.
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How Global Coral Reef Conservation Is Adapting to COVID-19
by Emily Darling
Instead of deep on a reef, I was deep with worry about friends and colleagues. Every single day I ask myself how the work we do as scientists and conservationists can help communities in this time of crisis and change.
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East of Siberia: Owls and the Meaning of April
by Jonathan Slaght
“Spring was always the annual end point for my work studying owls in Russia,” writes WCS’s Jon Slaght in a new blog for Scientific American. “This year, the coronavirus ensured that the expedition would leave me behind.”
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Investing in Nature and People for Planetary Health
by Madhu Rao
In a new commentary, WCS Asia Program Regional Advisor Madhu Rao notes, “The coronavirus catastrophe that has unfolded, with tragic consequences for millions of lives and livelihoods, has much to do with humankind’s fractured relationship with nature.”
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It’s time to start paying attention to Canada’s peatlands
by Meg Southee
A new visual story map created by WCS Canada highlights the huge importance of peatland areas for climate control, wildlife, and people. WCS wants people to see the tremendous ecological impotence of these areas.
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Coronavirus at the End of the Road: Notes from the Russian Far East
by Dale Miquelle
"Coronavirus snuck into Russia undetected," notes Dale Miquelle, "but there is now no denying that it is here. Now we are trying to understand if we can continue our work. Camera traps need to be monitored, GPS-collared wild boar need to be tracked."
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Preventing pandemics, global warming and environmental degradation all at once
by Lauren Oakes, Sarah Olson, James Watson
In reducing threats to our health, the climate, and biodiversity, we know that the tools of protecting intact forests and reducing forest degradation work well. The world must embrace natural solutions to head off these three crises.
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China Is Closing Its Wildlife Markets. Let’s Make It Permanent.
by Colin Poole
The Chinese government is now leading the global community with new regulations on the sale of wildlife for consumption. However, the real challenge lies in making those regulations stick in the long-term..
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Quarantining Also Means Caring for Our Great Ape Relatives
by Elizabeth Bennett
Because COVID-19 poses a threat to great apes, the IUCN has issued a recommendation that any visits to great apes by humans to be reduced to the minimum needed to ensure the apes’ safety and health.
Full Article
Calculating the Incalculable
by Lauren Oakes
"Uncertainty, vulnerability, risk. I think about these things every day when it comes to climate change," writes Lauren Oakes, "but in relation to outcomes over years or decades to come. This virus is operating on another timescale."
Full Article
Better Environmental Management Required for One Health
by Stacy Jupiter
“Around the world, development activities such as logging, mining, road-building, and agricultural expansion have decimated forests and wetlands, compromising their natural functions that protect water quality and human health.”
Full Article
To Reduce the Likelihood of Future Pandemics, We Need to Rethink Our Relationship with Wild Animals and Wild Places
by Christian Walzer
In an op-ed for Ensia, WCS's Chris Walzer argues that just as we created the conditions that led to the current pandemic, we can create the conditions to minimize future risk.
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Bronx Zoo Staff Dedicated During COVID-19
by Jim Breheny
As the nation braced for the pandemic, we made plans at the Bronx Zoo to adjust our operations. At the moment, 300 employees are responsible for providing care to our animals and maintaining our facilities.
Full Article
Ecology in the Time of Pandemic
by Eric Sanderson
To see if there might be anything to be learned from ecology in the time of pandemic, WCS's Eric Sanderson tracked down Mother Nature as she was passing through his garden on City Island in the Bronx.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced us to a new word: Zoonosis
by Christian Walzer
The recent eruption of COVID-19 near a "wet market" in Wuhan, China calls our attention to a phenomenon captured by a word increasingly understood by the general public: zoonosis.
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