The Seeds of a Conservation Success

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

No. 110, Dec. 12, 2019

Hello Revelator readers,

Scientists in India were faced with a significant problem: how to save a critically endangered tree when they couldn't save its seeds. Here's what they did and why it's an important conservation success.

Seeds are at the heart of another complicated issue — what to do after a wildfire. The once common and large-scale practice of reseeding burned landscapes can come with a cost to native species and even the climate if we do it wrong.

Winter is when a lot of people put out seeds for wild birds, but researchers say there are ecological implications to this. Here are some best practices.

A new book makes the case that the Pentagon could become a climate change leader, but it ignores the elephant in the room. Read our review.

Artist Zoe Keller calls attention to endangered species and imperiled ecosystems with massive, lifelike drawings. We talked to her about her work and her "mourning" ritual.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

Let's go a little deeper. Here are five more stories we're watching this week.

1. There are now 24 U.S. states that have agreed to uphold the country's climate commitments — despite a lack of federal support for the Paris Agreement — but how well they're actually doing is a mixed bag.

2. Scientists have uncovered a new threat to global food security — a highly amplified jet-stream pattern that gets stuck in place, causing simultaneous weather catastrophes — and it's getting more common and more severe.

3. Farm-raised fish are especially vulnerable to sunburns, and it's not just potentially painful, it can also weaken their immune systems, making them more susceptible to disease.

4. Accelerated losses of Greenland's ice sheets — already affecting millions of people — now put us on track for the highest sea-level-rise projections.

5. New research finds that young orcas have a better chance of survival when their grandmothers are around.

In case you missed it:

We don't just have a climate crisis, we have a climate communications crisis, too. Here's one solution.

What should we cover next?

Our stories rely on insight from experts and readers around the world, so we always welcome your ideas and inside scoops. Drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

Come back tomorrow for some bad news about tigers. And stay tuned for roundups of some of the best Revelator stories, interviews and essays that you may have missed this year.

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.

Tara Lohan

Tara Lohan
Deputy Editor, The Revelator


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