How to Protect Wolves

This week's investigative reporting, analysis and environmental news.
The Revelator
Gray wolf

No. 132, May 14, 2020

Hello Revelator readers,

Can we protect both wolves and livestock? New research reveals that the answer is yes — but only if we do this one thing first.

Even in a pandemic, there's hope. Case in point: the Mindo harlequin toad, an Ecuadorian species that scientists worried had gone extinct due to the deadly, invasive chytrid fungus. But the harlequin toad has just been rediscovered — 30 years after its last sighting. Here's the amazing story.

Speaking of chytrid, it's one of many pathogens and diseases that spread to wildlife and people through the exotic pet trade. Find out more about these threats in our latest video.

The current pandemic has revealed a lot of cracks in our systems and society, including overcrowded public lands and insufficient urban green spaces. We can fix that.

Look, up in the sky — it's a satellite that can help conservation efforts! We spoke with SkyTruth founder John Amos about the power of satellite images to monitor polluting industries and reveal environmental damage, and how ordinary people can help.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

Here are five more stories we're watching this week.  

1. Dirty power may be a big beneficiary of a bond-buyback program meant to provide relief in the time of the coronavirus; at least 90 fossil fuel companies and 150 utilities plan to seek aid.

2. A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Trump administration plan to pump more water out of the California Delta to send to San Joaquin Valley farmers at the expense of endangered fish species.

3. Alabama may become the fourth state in the past few months — joining West Virginia, South Dakota and Kentucky — to add criminal penalties for those who participate in non-violent protests of fossil fuel projects.

4. The Trump administration's attacks on environmental regulations haven't been slowed by the coronavirus pandemic — and the weakened protections could take years to undo.

5. The lowland tapir, South America's largest mammal, could be key to helping regenerate areas of the Amazon razed by logging and slash-and-burn agriculture.

In case you missed it:

Ranchers get a heck of a deal to graze their livestock on public lands — far less than you'd pay to feed your pets. Our video explains.

What should we cover next?

Our stories rely on insight from experts and readers around the world — especially these days, when so much damage is going on behind the scenes, out of the public eye. We want to hear from you, so please drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

Our video series on wildlife diseases concludes tomorrow. You won't want to miss it.

And coming next week: how to get more environmental and societal benefits out of telecommuting, now and after the pandemic.

Look for our latest links in next Thursday's newsletter — or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the headlines as they go live.

As always, thank you for reading — and stay safe.

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator


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Photo of gray wolf by MacNeil Lyons/NPS

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