Human-Environment Relations: How humans relate to the environment, and how the environment relates to humans, or "The Human Factor"


Spain’s endangered Iberian lynx brought back from brink of extinction

Ten years ago the Iberian lynx was nearing extinction but today, thanks to an imaginative conservation programme that has brought hunters, farmers and the tourist industry under its wing, its numbers have tripled from 94 to 312.

"We can’t claim victory yet but now there is hope," said Miguel Ángel Simón, the director of the programme for the recovery of the lynx in Andalusia, southern Spain. Only five years ago the animal was classified as critically endangered.

The project, which is jointly funded by the Andalusian government and the European Union, has been singled out for the second time by the EU as an exemplary conservation programme. Brussels is funding 40% of the €26m (£22m) needed to extend the project into the neighbouring regions of Extremadura, Castile-La Mancha and Murcia, as well as Portugal.

According to Simón, when they first carried out a census in the lynx’s key habitats in the Sierra Morena and the Doñana national park, not only were there few lynxes but the rabbit population had also been severely depleted by disease. Rabbits are the lynx’s main source of food.

(via guardian.co.uk)

(via the-holocene-extinction)

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This map shows how much wetter or drier the summer of 2014 was than the average of previous summers, across the contiguous United States.

Via The Washington Post

(Source: maptacular)

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The dire situation facing Africa’s elephants has become headline news. Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists last month warned that poaching had caused elephant populations to reach a tipping point on the continent where more animals are being killed than are being born.

In Central Africa, the number of elephants has declined by 60 percent in just a decade. Zakouma, however, is bucking that trend. There has not been a single case of poaching inside the 19,000-square-mile park for nearly three years.

Improved patrolling and communication, and government support have contributed to the rebound of the elephant population in Chad. (via cinnamonandpears)
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"The real war on coal, or at least on coal workers, took place a generation ago, waged not by liberal environmentalists but by the coal industry itself. And coal workers lost."
Paul Krugman, Interests, Ideology and Climate [NYT] (via skintmag)


This Map Shows Where All That Carbon Dioxide Is Coming From

Article in the Smithsonian, link here.

One of the big problems with climate change is that carbon dioxide is invisible. It’s hard to notice something you can’t see. Because if carbon dioxide were visible, the eastern U.S. and western Europe would be choking on the stuff worse than Londoners choked on coal soot in the 1800s.

You’re probably aware that western countries account for most of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. But actually seeing it, as in the map [top above], makes that notion perfectly clear. The map shows the world’s carbon emissions from 1997 to 2010, say the scientists who made it. The data came from satellite measurements and reported emissions rates from factories and power plants, among other sources.

Lest you think this carbon dioxide emissions map [top map] is really just a population map in disguise, look at [the second] map (albeit from 1994) of the global population distribution.

Effects of neonicotinoids and fipronil on non-target invertebrates - Springer 

Despite large knowledge gaps and uncertainties, enough knowledge exists to conclude that existing levels of pollution with neonicotinoids and fipronil resulting from presently authorized uses frequently exceed the lowest observed adverse effect concentrations and are thus likely to have large-scale and wide ranging negative biological and ecological impacts on a wide range of non-target invertebrates in terrestrial, aquatic, marine and benthic habitats.

(Source: environmentalillnessnetwork)

"The New Climate Economy report refutes the idea that we must choose between fighting climate change or growing the world’s economy. That is a false dilemma."

Former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón on the important new report finding that economic growth and climate action go hand in hand. 

But three huge business outlets ignored the report and its findings, showing that their priorities are at odds with businesses that want to prosper in a changing climate.

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(via greenthepress)

(via lololovesskiing)


What can we learn from our conservation work in wetlands? Bird populations in wetlands are improving while other bird habitats continue to see declines according to the new State of the Birds Report. What happened in the ’90s that started that upward trend?


This gif shows the number of days per year (1981-2011) on which each US county’s temperature exceeded 100 F.

(Source: just--maps, via climate-changing)