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American Farmers Are Struggling to Feed the Country’s Appetite for Organic Food – July 29, 2016

Consumer appetite for organic food reached $13.4 bn in the US last year, but only 1 percent of cropland is dedicated to organic farming

Marc Garibaldi, a farmer in California’s Central Valley, no longer uses conventional pesticides and fertilizers because he doesn’t want to work with toxic chemicals at his 40-acre cherry orchard. His farm was officially certified as organic a few weeks ago, but the path to securing that designation was long and costly: He spent three years working to demonstrate the use of eco-friendly pest and soil management practices and paid between 10 percent-20 percent in higher labor cost.

photo of vegetablesphoto by nosha, on FLickrThe time and expenses required to get organic certification present major roadblocks for increasing the amount of organic farmland in America.

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by: The Guardian

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Animal Welfare Groups Push US to Classify All Leopards as Endangered – July 26, 2016

Raising the protection level for leopards would severely curb hunters’ ability to import body parts as trophies

Conservationists have demanded a crackdown on the import to the US of leopards killed by American hunters, in an attempt to replicate the protections introduced in the wake of the furor caused by the death of famed lion Cecil.

photo of leopardPhoto by Scott PresnellAnimal welfare groups have petitioned the US Fish and Wildlife Service to calsify all leopards as endangered.

A coalition of animal welfare groups have petitioned the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to classify all leopards as endangered, The Guardian can reveal. This would severely curtail the ability of American hunters… more

by: The Guardian

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Rare Leopards Released into Russian Reserve Threatened by a Ski Resort – July 19, 2016

Three endangered Persian leopard cubs are intended to reintroduce the species to the Sochi area

Three Persian leopard cubs have been released into the Sochi area of Russia’s western Caucasus, a day after UNESCO threatened to deem the area a “world heritage site in danger” because of a planned ski resort expansion.

Photo by Anton Agarkov, WWF-Russia Persian leopards once roamed across the Caucasus mountains.

Persian leopards once prowled across the Caucasus mountains in great numbers but poaching, poisoning and human encroachment wiped out the species in Russia, in the early 20th century.

The new reintroduction plan was intended to lay the foundation for a new population of the charismatic big cats, which… more

by: The Guardian

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Caribbean Island’s Last Two Rare Frogs Are Reunited – July 4, 2016

Male and female mountain chicken frogs that were sole survivors of deadly disease are hoped to begin breeding on Montserrat for the first time since 2009

The last two remaining wild mountain chicken frogs living on Montserrat have been reunited, and are hoped to begin breeding on the Caribbean island for the first time since 2009.

Mountain Chicken FrogPhoto by Nigel Swales There are less than 100 mountain chicken frogs left in the wild on the two Caribbean islands of Montserrat and Dominica.

Last month, a project took the last female and relocated her into the territory of the remaining male as part of a 20-year recovery plan for the species, one of the world’s largest and rarest frogs that exists on… more

by: The Guardian

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Down to 60: Scientists Contemplate Risky Captive Breeding for Endangered Vaquita – June 8, 2016

As the panda porpoise plunges toward extinction, scientists have a tough decision to make

Today, there are approximately 7.3 billion people on the planet — and only 60 vaquitas. The vaquita has seen its population drop by 92 percent in less than 20 years in Mexico’s Gulf of California as the tiny porpoises suffocate to death one-by-one in gillnets. Now, scientists with the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) are cautiously moving forward on a once unthinkable option: captive breeding.

photo of VaquitaPhoto by SEMARNATScientists are considering a once unthinkable option: captive breeding of vaquitas.

“We have no idea whether it is feasible to find, capture and maintain vaquitas in captivity much less… more

by: The Guardian

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