The Friday Five: Conservation and nature stories from around the world that caught our eyes this week

Badger (Photo courtesy of USFWS)

Badger (Photo courtesy of USFWS)

August 5, 2016 | by Sophia Yang | 0 Comments

Each week, countless inspiring and informative stories are published about conservation successes or discoveries in nature and wildlife around the world. Here are some of the conservation and nature stories that caught our attention the week of August 1, 2016.

The real “gold” isn’t gold, it’s rubber

We all know that Earth’s resources are limited, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be resourceful. A group of researchers from Ohio State University are growing a special kind of dandelion native to Kazakhstan. Named Buckeye Gold by the researchers, the dandelion is capable of producing rubber very similar to the quality of Hevea rubber trees in South East Asia. There is great potential for this dandelion to become the future of rubber production due to faster, more sustainable growth and helping farmer’s livelihoods.

See how this dandelion species could be the future of rubber production >

Highway collisions claimed lives of four endangered badgers in B.C. in two days

Despite road signs in high-traffic badger areas, four badger bodies were found on Highway 6 and Highway 97 near Kelowna this past week. Badgers are extremely rare in B.C. and are listed as endangered in the province, with fewer than 200 individuals remaining. The conservation group Badgers in B.C. is especially concerned with the fatalities and is calling for more ministerial action to build culverts that will help badgers cross roads safely.

Learn more about why we need to work together to protect the badger population >

Cosmetic retailer uses dating app to save endangered monkeys

The Body Shop is hoping to use the power of social media and singles looking for love as a way to raise awareness about the critical endangerment of red-shanked douc, a colourful golden-faced monkey native to Vietnam. This species has experienced drastic population declines due to rampant poaching for their skin and body parts. For anyone who swipes right, they will learn more about The Body Shop’s Bio-Bridges program which aims to protect 75 million square metres of forest habitat by 2020, and how the retailer will donate £1 for every purchase to the World Land Trust to help protect the red-shanked douc’s habitat in Vietnam.

See how Tinder can help you find a date, and save endangered species >

Ottawa River: A cultural and biological treasure designated a heritage river

Conservation groups in the Ottawa River region celebrated a cultural and biological conservation success on July 28, 2016. The Ontario portion of the Ottawa River has been officially designated a Canadian Heritage River, particularly due to its importance as a trade route in the early years of Canadian settlement. The Ottawa River Valley is home to at least 24 provincially or nationally imperilled species such as the American ginseng and spotted turtle. The river is also a sanctuary for 26 national and provincial parks within the watershed.

Read more to learn about the importance of the Ottawa River and the celebratory heritage designation >

National Geographic invites you to be astounded by sea wolves

Coastal island wolves, otherwise known as "sea wolves," are elusive and fascinating creatures living along the shorelines of Vancouver Island. A new YouTube series by National Geographic called "Wild life with Bertie Gregory" will give viewers a unique chance to see the lives of these incredible land and marine animals. But unlike their inland cousins (mainland coastal wolves), coastal island wolves spend almost 90 per cent of their time in the sea.

Watch how the coastal island wolves are able to roam both on land and in sea >

About the Author

Sophia Yang was the 2016 summer communications intern for the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s national office.

Read more about Sophia Yang.

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