Wolves, Bats, and Parthenogenesis In This Week’s Earth Optimism

These stories celebrate success, uncover a spark of hope, share a new idea, or might just make you feel good about Planet Earth.


Conjuring Coexistence 

The gray wolf has hunted to near-extinction in North America but has rebounded thanks to repopulation and reintroduction efforts. However, human-wildlife conflict still arises in areas where wolves are perceived as a nuisance or threat to human livelihoods, such as near ranches. This video segment from CBS News shares how one rancher in Montana educates others on coexistence with Yellowstone National Park’s resident gray wolves. Watch Wolves Make a Return to Yellowstone National Park to learn more about these efforts.



Combating Climate Change for Bats

Bats? For Halloween? Groundbreaking. I couldn’t resist sharing this nice bat story out of Texas ahead of Halloween weekend, though. It focuses on the climate-related challenges that the Mexican long-nosed bat will face and the solutions conservationists are developing to protect it. Enjoy Bats and a Changing Climate: How Scientists Are Helping an Endangered Species from San Antonio's KSAT news.



Chocolate from the Lab

The frightening reality of chocolate’s impact on people and biodiversity is enough to spook anyone from enjoying a Halloween treat. But with growing cocoa agroforestry initiatives and new biotech-produced chocolate, you can trick-or-treat with the planet in mind. Learn more about this innovative and sustainable alternative to your typical chocolate bar in What is Cell-Based Chocolate? Here’s How It Can Help the Planet from the Beet. 



Canine Conservationists

Man’s best friend is apparently a best friend to species on the brink, too. Trained detection dogs work with conservationists to sniff out tracks from endangered animals or potential threats like invasive species or signs of poachers. Many of these canine conservation heroes are even former shelter pups! Read Slate’s How Dogs Can Help Find—and Protect—Endangered Animals to your pet today as motivation to be more than a couch potato.



The Curious Case of Condor Reproduction

This last story sounds straight out of a sci-fi film – an endangered species saves its own kind by reproducing through parthenogenesis! Although it sounds strange to us breeding humans, asexual reproduction without fertilization is more common in nature than you might think. The critically endangered California Condor has made headlines with a so-called virgin birth, laying unfertilized eggs that hatched into live offspring with DNA solely from their mother. The Atlantic shares more on this strange discovery in After 30 Years of Breeding Condors, a Secret Comes Out.



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