China plans to ban ivory trade “within a year or so.” US official: Yes it's a “huge” deal.


During his visit to Washington last month, China's President Xi Jinping vowed to stop the commercial trade in ivory in his nation, but didn't say much about when or how.

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That Arctic doomsday seed vault? There's backup copies of cannabis in there, too. Lots.


This week, the "doomsday seed vault" (as it's known in headlines, anyway) made the news because scientists made the first "withdrawal" from the remote arctic store. But there's another reason to be excited about the underground vault on Norway's Svalbard archipelago. Weed! And when shit gets real, we're gonna need it. Read the rest

How monoculture farming changes biodiversity

This image, taken by artist David Liittschwager shows the plants and animals collected in a square meter of South African public park over the course of 24 hours.

This image, from National Public Radio, illustrates the plants and animals found over the course of two nights and three days in an Iowa cornfield.

Robert Krulwich has a fascinating piece about the ways food systems affect ecological systems. How efficient is too efficient?

Via On Earth

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Overjoyed frog gives unicorn chaser a run for its money

Photographer Joel Sartore has been shooting nature for 20 years—long enough to amass a great collection of images you can check out at the New York Times.

“The whole point of this project is to really be able to look these creatures in the eye and get to know them,” he said. The animals are beautiful in their variation, their proximity yielding expressions most humans would interpret in emotional terms — anger, humor, pride.

For instance, I interpret this photo as a frog that has just won the Publisher's Clearinghouse.

Ironically, that's probably not actually an expression of happiness. In the Times article, Sartore says the species is known for its vicious reaction to potential predators.

See the full slideshow at the New York Times

Visit Joel Sartore's website

Thanks, Tim Heffernan!

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