Trump administration weakens protections for animals near extinction

Changes to how Endangered Species Act is implemented come as world scientists warn biodiversity crisis will put humanity at risk The Trump administration is scaling back the US governments latitude to protect species nearing extinction, as world scientists warn that a biodiversity crisis will soon put humanity at risk. The 1,600 species are considered officially at risk in the US. A United Nations report this spring found humans are disrupting the natural world and putting North American wolverine, a species that depends on a cooler climate to survive. The 3ft-long creature, which resembles a small bear with a bushy tail, hunts across a vast range. But if temperatures rise at the expected rate, wolverines could lose a third of their …

Dogs mirror stress levels of owners, researchers find

Scientists find higher cortisol levels in owners matched by raised levels in canine companions If the dead-end job, the pokey flat and the endless failings of the neighbours are getting on your wick, then spare a thought for the dog. In research that confirms what many owners will have worked out for themselves, scientists have found that the household pets are not oblivious to their owners anxieties, but mirror the amount of stress they feel. The finding comes from a study of cortisol, a stress hormone, which circulates in the blood and leaves its mark in strands of hair. Over time, as the hormone is bound into the growing hair, each shaft becomes a biological record of the stress an …

Mama duck parades her babies through hospital, delighting everyone

These ducks are not licensed medical professionals, but they're a welcome sight at Thompson Health.Image: Thompson health Each year, a duck visits the courtyard of Thompson Health in upstate New York to lay her eggs. Once the fuzzy little ducklings hatch, they have a little parade through the hospital’s nursing home, the M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center. Is there a better way to ring in the spring season every year? No. The University of Rochester Medicine Thompson Health Facebook page shared a little story on Thursday that would thaw the winter out of anyone’s heart, sharing pictures of 2019’s family of ducks and their journey through the facility’s hallways and out a door. The mother of the ducklings will tap …