RESTON, Va. – Greater sage-grouse populations have declined significantly over the last six decades, with an 80% rangewide decline since 1965 and a nearly 40% decline since 2002, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey. Although the overall trend clearly shows continued population declines over the entire range of the species, rates of change vary regionally.
The report represents the most comprehensive analysis of greater sage-grouse population trends ever produced and lays out a monitoring framework to assess those trends moving forward. The study can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of greater sage-grouse conservation efforts and analyze factors that contribute to habitat loss and population change — all critical information for resource managers.
Invasive species have been on the rise around the world over the last decade, and so has the amount of money lost to them. In addition to the ecological problems they cause in the ecosystem, invasive species can lead to economic losses in agriculture, tourism and public health as managers have to deal with the damage they cause. Researchers recently looked at biological invasions around the world and estimated that invasive species have cost humans at least $1.288 trillion from 1970 to 2017. In 2017 alone, the money spent on invasives reached $162.7 billion. That was 20 times the budget of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Secretariat that year. Mosquitos were the most damaging, followed by rats and cats. Researchers say more money is needed to prevent, monitor and combat the spread of these species.
Posted inInvasive Species|Comments Off on Invasive species cost humans billions a year
Last June, a national partnership that tracks
honey bee population declines released the
results of its annual survey. Between April 2019 and April
2020, beekeepers reported losing nearly 44 percent of their colonies, the
second highest rate since the first survey in 2010.
For people paying attention to the many studies that
have been piling up over the last decade documenting the devastating effects of
neonicotinoids on the powerful pollinators, the news was far from surprising.
Neonicotinoids—or neonics—are now the most widely used insecticides in the
world, and nearly all conventional corn and soy farmers in the U.S. plant seeds
coated with the chemicals. As the evidence that neonics kill pollinators by attacking
their nerve cells has grown stronger (with industry-funded
studies also confirming harm), multiple
publications have warned of
an “insect apocalypse.”
Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem yesterday issued an executive order to merge two
departments overseeing the state’s agriculture industry and natural resources.
The Republican governor’s order created the Department of
Agriculture and Natural Resources that she billed as a “one-stop”
shop for farmers and ranchers that would save the state about $450,000 by
eliminating five positions. While the influential South Dakota Farm Bureau
praised the move, other farmers’ groups focused on conservation opposed the
merger, saying it affected the protection of resources including water, oil and
Hunter Roberts, the current secretary of environment and natural
resources, will head the new department.