1. Animals

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Our beloved pets are family members, but responsible pet ownership requires you to safeguard local habitats.

  • Exotic Pets a Problem in the Everglades
  • The Impact of Domesticated Pets on Local Habitats
  • How to Protect Local Habitats From Your Pet

The unwanted release of the Burmese Python has wreaked havoc on the Everglades which has seen a decline in 99.3% of Racoons, a 98.9% decrease in possums and an 87.5% drop in bobcats. However Pythons are not all to blame, as there have been 140 invasive reptiles and amphibians that have been introduced since the pet trade in the 1980s.

How about our beloved furry friends? Unfortunately nearly 200 species are threatened by dogs globally and in the United States, domestic cats kill about 1.3 billion-4 billion birds and 6.3 billion-22.3 billion mammals annually. 

So how can we be more mindful of the ecological impacts our pets can have? Heres a few recommendations

  • Pick up the poop! Dispose appropriately and use sustainable bags
  • Return unwanted reptiles and amphibians to a pet store instead of releasing them in the wild
  • You can prevent your cat from preying on wildlife by keeping them indoors
  • Avoid flushing dead or live fish down drains as they’ll end up in aquatic ecosystems they don’t belong
  • Never remove wildlife from natural habitats to domesticate them
  • Keep your dogs of restricted trails as not to disturb wildlife especially during breeding season

Not only can we safeguard our local habitats and be responsible pet owners but we can do so whilst enjoying the companionship of our animal friends.

Dig deeper —> 7 min

  1. Science
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The report: A 2016 study of over 8,000 threatened or near-threatened species found that over-exploitation and agricultural activity posed a much greater threat to biodiversity than climate change.

Why it matters: Climate change is long-term and abstract. But it also gets all the breaking news coverage. In reality, harsh trends like deforestation and poaching pose immediate threats to wildlife. They need urgent attention, too.

These tangible problems deserve similar attention to carbon emissions. Most ESG funds pour cash into (trendy) clean energy while critical species face extinction from other causes.

Sustainable suggestion: Environmental solutions should be more well-rounded. How can we work more cooperatively with intersecting threats like wildfire risk mitigation and ecological restoration, for example.

A forestry organization may want to clean-up deadwood to prevent harsher wildfires, but a conservation group will sue them for cutting down a sacred forest. A conservation group may want to support hunting an invasive species , but an animal rights group will publicly condemn them.

Organizations with differing philosophies should work more closely through coalitions and associations to understand their perspectives.

Bottom line: Climate change is important, and intersects with basically every ecological issue. Not arguing we should take it less seriously. But that behemoth threat will be much easier to manage if we knock off smaller issues that we see, touch and feel.

We need smarter farming, more responsible animal agriculture, accountability for commercial hunting, fishing and logging. We need more stringent land protection in sensitive areas of the developing world. It's as important as climate change.

Dig deeper → 3 min

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