skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, May 27, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

At least 15 dead as severe weather sweeps across central US; on Memorial Day, IA labor leaders honor fallen workers; Medical center installs microgrid to safeguard clinic power supply; 'Second look' laws gain traction, but MS sticks to elderly parole; Will summer heat melt New Mexicans' cravings for ice cream?

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

One congressman cites ways Biden could get more support from communities of color. A new Louisiana law reclassifies two abortion medications as controlled substances. And Ohio advocates work to boost youth voter turnout.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Imperiled Global Species Map Shows Texas Ranks High

play audio
Play

Monday, December 26, 2022   

When a scientist with the nonprofit group NatureServe began studying where biodiversity is most at risk in America, she never expected Texas to rank so high.

The research by Healy Hamilton - the chief scientist at NatureServe - looks at the risk of global extinction for plants and animals across the globe.

She said she's discovered that animals such as wolves and grizzly bears are imperiled in some areas of the U.S. - but they are not at risk of global extinction. Instead, bees, butterflies, fish, mussels, crayfish and flowering plants are much more threatened - especially in Texas.

"When we looked at top 10 states for imperiled plants," said Hamilton, "top 10 states for imperiled pollinators, top 10 states for imperiled vertebrates, and top 10 states for imperiled fresh-water invertebrates, Texas was in all four of those categories."

Hamilton noted that the vast majority of land in Texas is privately owned, making it hard for intervention if a species is threatened.

The map, prepared by NatureServe and other groups, may help the Biden administration with development of the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas - a new tool that will be used to reflect baseline information on the nation's lands and waters.

Hamilton said the loss of habitat in the Southwest is sometimes due to housing and industrial development, oil and gas operations, infrastructure builds or damage from off-road vehicles.

That means people, not climate change, are often responsible for changing the landscape where plants would naturally be found.

"There are 2,216 species that are included in this map," said Hamilton, "1,654 of them are plants. So, plants are in trouble."

Hamilton said she worries for the star cactus, which resembles a green sand dollar with a bright yellow bloom and only exists in southern Texas and northern Mexico.

She said it's part of an intricate web of life most folks take for granted, and compares its potential extinction to losing one or two rivets on an airplane.

"Oh well, that was only one rivet that popped out," said Hamilton, "we're fine. Except for that, it's not just one rivet - we don't even know all the extinctions, but there've been hundreds. So, how many rivets do you lose in an airplane before you're worried about flying in it anymore?"




get more stories like this via email
more stories
Ice cream makers in the U.S. produce more than 1.38 billion gallons of ice cream annually, with consumption usually peaking in July. (auremar/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

In addition to honoring fallen service members, Memorial Day has come to be known as the unofficial start of summer, which can mean lots of ice cream…


Social Issues

play sound

Memorial Day commemorates Americans who lost their lives while serving in the military. But the Iowa Federation of Labor takes the opportunity to …

Health and Wellness

play sound

This Memorial Day, Connecticut health experts are guiding caregivers on how to keep people with Alzheimer's safe. People with the various forms of …


The latest Living Planet Index report finds freshwater migratory fish saw an average 81% collapse in monitored population sizes between 1970 and 2020. This includes massive declines in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Groups in Connecticut are preparing to celebrate World Fish Migration Day on Friday. The biennial event celebrates migratory fish species and their …

Social Issues

play sound

Fewer than 8% of people in Alabama prisons are granted parole when they apply for it. Criminal justice experts got together for a discussion of how …

The median length of stay in juvenile detention has increased in Pennsylvania. The average and median lengths of stay have increased, from 17 and 11 days in 2018 to 27 and 14 days in 2022. (Seventyfour/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report is sounding the alarm on Pennsylvania's juvenile-detention capacity challenges, citing understaffing and long wait times for the young …

Environment

play sound

It's Latino Advocacy Week in Washington, D.C., and leaders in the Hispanic community are pushing for improvements in the upcoming Farm Bill. The …

Environment

play sound

As Michiganders hit the road this holiday weekend, state lawmakers are brainstorming ways to help close the state's $3.9 billion road funding gap…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021