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In New England, 22 percent of the region's native plants are considered rare. Some of them are on the federal list of endangered species. Biologists worldwide and locally have been saving crop seeds, and seeds from other plants important to the ecosystem. 

This summer, scientists in California are releasing 20 million mosquitoes in an effort to shrink the population of mosquitoes that can carry diseases.

It sounds counterintuitive. But the plan is to release millions of sterile male mosquitoes, which will then mate with wild female mosquitoes. The eggs the females lay won't hatch, researchers say.

Progressive Animal Welfare Society / Creative Commons

Bats eat an enormous amount of bugs. It’s the kind of feeding that keeps pests down and agriculture stable.

But a newly updated report from the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality says the cave-dwelling bat population is down, and that’s a reason for concern.

She was the alpha female of a wolf pack in Yellowstone National Park, sought after for photographs because of her unusual white coat.

Hikers found her suffering from severe wounds last month. The animal was euthanized by park staff shortly after.

The park now says the recognizable wolf suffered a gunshot wound, based on preliminary results of a necropsy by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The animal likely was shot sometime between April 10 at 1 a.m. and April 11 at 2 p.m. on the north side of the park, near Gardiner, Mont.

Jon Kalish / New England News Collaborative

There's a thriving scene on YouTube where woodworkers, metalworkers and other "makers" provide a step-by-step guide to their process.

In Waterford, Maine a maker named Gardner Waldeier -- who calls himself “Bus Huxley” -- has been entertaining viewers with equal portions of Yankee ingenuity and video wizardry.

Dru Bloomfield / Creative Commons

Multiple coyote sightings in New London have put residents there on edge. They report coyotes following them on daytime walks with family pets and small children, showing no apparent fear of humans. 

In the northeast U.S., there is less than 1 percent of old growth forest left. A new University of Vermont study finds that harvesting trees in a way that mimics old growth forests not only restores critical habitat, but also stores a surprising amount of carbon.

Martin Svedén / Flickr Creative Commons

A tree’s roots touch more than just soil. They reach into the recesses of our past; into our culture and our traditions. It's something Fiona Stafford writes about in her new book The Long, Long Life of Trees. This hour, we sit down with the author. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

New research from the University of New Hampshire suggests some bat species have developed a resistance to a devastating fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome. 

Bird lovers may see a lot less of the piping plover on the region’s beaches this summer. The little black-and-white shorebirds’ winter habitat in the Bahamas was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew last year, taking a heavy toll on the birds.

Martin Svedén / Flickr Creative Commons

A tree’s roots touch more than just soil. They reach into the recesses of our past; into our culture and our traditions. It's something Fiona Stafford writes about in her new book The Long, Long Life of Trees. This hour, we sit down with the author. 

Fishermen and scientists are trying to understand how the Block Island Wind Farm may affect fish in Rhode Island waters. This week Rhode Island Public Radio’s Ambar Espinoza reported on what we know and don't know yet about the impact of the offshore wind farm on fisheries. She joined Rhode Island Public Radio News Director Elisabeth Harrison for an update on acoustics, marine mammals and wildlife habitats.

Chris Elphick

The Connecticut Audubon Society is warning of the possible extinction of one of the state's coastal birds: the saltmarsh sparrow.

Martin Svedén / Creative Commons

A tree’s roots touch more than just soil. They reach into the recesses of our past; into our culture and our traditions. It's something Fiona Stafford writes about in her new book The Long, Long Life of Trees. This hour, we sit down with the author. 

There are fewer than 500 North Atlantic right whales left in the world. And now, one less: This weekend, one of the 45-ton creatures was found dead off the coast of Maine, completely entangled in fishing line — head, flippers and all.

This was not an isolated incident.

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Sep 28, 2016
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The recent death of two right whales in the Gulf of Maine and the discovery of another entangled in fishing gear is bringing renewed attention to the plight of the endangered species.

Last Thursday, a right whale was spotted off Provincetown, Mass., swimming, but entangled in gear. Friday, a dead female whale was seen off Boothbay and towed to shore, where its death was determined to be from stress caused by entanglement. Saturday a dead whale was spotted off Mount Desert Rock, but could not be recovered.

Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium is hosting its first-ever Florida manatee -- an 800 pound creature rescued last week from the waters of Cape Cod Bay in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation is kicking off a new project to collect data on black sea bass, a species that has moved north in search of cooler water.

NOAA

President Barack Obama has signed an order protecting a section of underwater mountains and canyons off New England's coast. It's the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Modern biologists catch and study fish much the same way they did centuries ago: by shoving their hands, or a net, into the water and pulling fish out. But safely catching slippery fish can be tricky, which makes one piece of gear invaluable: electro-backpacks. 

anuradhac / Creative Commons

Two painted storks are making their public debut at Brooklyn's Prospect Park Zoo, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. 

ptwo / Creative Commons

Examples of climate change often seem pulled from faraway spots – places like Northern Alaska, Canada, or the mountains of Europe. But what about southern New England?

Editor's note: Since this story was originally published — on Friday, July 29 — Explore.org, in partnership with the National Audubon Society, captured this dramatic slow-motion footage of a bald eagle attacking ospreys on Hog Island, Maine. Watch below, then read our story about what the bald eagles' resurgence means for other bird species.

Call it conservation blowback: Since the 1970s, when the pesticide DDT was banned and the Endangered Species Act took effect, the emblematic American bald eagle’s population has roared back from near-extinction. But more eagles need more food, and for some other struggling bird species — here in Maine and around the country — the eagle’s success story has a menacing side.

Wikimedia Commons

Each year, thousands of deer are killed on Connecticut roads and highways. Those collisions can lead to costly insurance claims, injuries, and deaths -- which made scientists wonder what would happen to deer, and to us, if an elusive carnivore came back to the northeast: the mountain lion. 

The first time he encountered a tiger shark in the water, marine ecologist Neil Hammerschlag was in the Bahamas conducting research. His team was on a boat and hadn't seen many sharks, so when someone yelled, "Tiger shark!" he grabbed his snorkel gear and camera and jumped into the water.

"One [tiger shark] moved right in toward me and came close," Hammerschlag tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "It opened its mouth, and I was looking through its mouth down its gut and seeing its gills from the inside."

marakawalv / Creative Commons

This weekend, nearly 200 scientists joined up with members of the public in a 24-hour race to identify as many plant and animal species as possible. It's called a "BioBlitz."

Attention, New Englanders: You may see a seal pup on the beach this weekend, and you may be tempted to take a selfie with it. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is asking that you please resist that urge.

Emily Mocarski/flickr creative commons

Last week, police and wildlife officials were called in to tranquilize and relocate two bears within four days.

State officials are apologizing for the way they’ve handled a plan to use an island in the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts as a breeding ground for endangered timber rattlesnakes. They say they are now looking at alternatives.

A legislative hearing held near the reservoir in Athol Tuesday brought out some strong opposition and showed what a major political issue rattlesnakes have become in that part of the state.

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