Saving the Living Dead

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

No. 47, Sept. 27, 2018

Hello Revelator readers,

If a population of an endangered species has just a few individuals left, is it worth saving? New research says yes. These remnant populations may be small and isolated, making them more prone to extinction. But they may also be perfectly capable of survival and worthy of conservation. In other words, don't give up on the "living dead."

Tree-lined city streets help protect us from the effects of climate change, but what happens when climate change kills the trees first? In our latest essay, urban ecologists Joe R. McBride and Igor Laćan discuss their new research and tell us why city managers need to start adapting now to ensure that cities have the right mix of trees in the future.

We all love tigers and wolves, but do we love them a bit too much? Over the past five years, 21 percent of all published studies on wild felines and canines focused on just those two species. That left others — like the magnificent side-striped jackal — completely unstudied. Of course, tigers and wolves play critical roles in their ecosystems that we need to understand. But as scientists told us this week, it's important to look at our potential biases toward large carnivores and expand the number of species we're trying to study and save.

Speaking of which, let's not forget about insects. As entomologist Michael J. Samways writes, "we need to look after insects, and they will look after us." Read his essay, "The Philosophy of Insect Conservation."

Listen in:

Madagascar's beloved lemurs are in crisis. I discussed the issues pushing them toward extinction — and what can be done to help them — on the latest episode of the Green Divas Heart Wildlife podcast.

In case you missed it:

As the Kavanaugh confirmation process continues this week, check out our article on why the Supreme Court matters to environmental issues.

Send us your tips:

What stories should we cover? We welcome your ideas and inside scoops. Drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

We've got a lot of great stories and essays in the works for you, including our list of October's best new environmental books and the latest news about the Trump administration's anti-environmental policies. Look for all of our newest links in next week's newsletter, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest headlines as they go live. And while you're on social media, we hope you'll share our stories with your friends.

That's it for this week. As always, thanks for reading.

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator

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