Animals

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NPR

After Major Comeback, Is The Gray Wolf Still Endangered?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list. The wolf had been extirpated from the West and had dwindled most other places in the U.S. The great canine has rebounded since it was reintroduced to the northern Rockies in the 1990s and is continuing to spread into the Pacific Northwest. But biologists warn that if these wolves loses federal protection, they will not be able to return to some places, such as Colorado, where the ecosystem sorely needs them.
NPR

2013 Was The Year Bills To Criminalize Animal Cruelty Videos Failed

This year, 15 bills in 11 states attempted to make undercover videos on farms illegal. Not a single one passed. Activists say a broad-based coalition that tapped the grass-roots concern for animal welfare helped defeat the measures.
NPR

Can A Fruit Fly Help Explain Autism?

Scientists hope to solve mysteries of the human brain by studying much simpler neural networks — like the brain circuits of fruit flies and mice. Already such research is turning up clues to why many people with autism are easily overwhelmed by bright lights and loud sound.
NPR

Experimental Tool Uses Light To Tweak The Living Brain

An experimental technique called optogenetics is starting to change the way researchers look at the brain. The tool allows them to switch entire brain circuits on and off using light, and may help figure out what's going wrong in brain ailments from epilepsy to depression.
NPR

Beyond Cuteness: Scientists Deliver A Panda Baby Boom

Forty-two of the 49 panda cubs born in captivity in 2013 have survived — a record number that says a lot about how far captive breeding programs have come. But while captive pandas are faring well, panda researchers warn that much more needs to be done to protect the wild population.
NPR

What Chickadees Have That I Want. Badly

First I look in my right coat pocket. Nothing. Then my left. Nothing. Then my pants, right side — no. Then my pants, left side — yes! This is me at my front door, looking for my keys. Every day.
NPR

Shark Attacks And Economic Growth: A Correlation Theory

In studying the connection between economics and yearly trends in what he calls "shark-human interactions," shark attack expert George Burgess spotted a pattern. NPR's Rachel Martin asks Burgess about going to the beach.
NPR

Camels Trek In The Texas Desert, Just Like Old Times

The Texas Camel Corps leads trips through the rugged Big Bend region of West Texas. Indigenous people lived in the area some 9,000 years ago, and for a while, camels called it home, too. In the 1800s, U.S. soldiers brought the animals in to traverse the distance between water supplies for the first American settlers.
NPR

One Man. One Cat. Multiplied

I'm thinking of a man and his cat. A real man. His real cat. Then I'm imagining a bunch of world-famous cartoonists, Calvin & Hobbes' Bill Watterson, Wile E. Coyote's Chuck Jones, Gary Larson, Maurice Sendak — all of them drawing this same man and his cat. Then I'm staring at very different men and very different cats. Then I'm giggling.
NPR

Scientists Charge BP Oil Spill 'Gravely' Injured Dolphins

Dolphins are getting very sick from exposure to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A government study confirms a host of problems in dolphins who live in one of the heaviest-oiled bays in Louisiana. Scientists say the dolphins are gravely ill with injuries consistent with the toxic effects of exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons.

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