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All posts by John R. Platt

Freelance journalist John R. Platt covers endangered species and related environmental topics for Scientific American, TakePart and other publications. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Snow Leopard Conservation Gets Boost from New Tech

This September, researchers studying snow leopards in southern Mongolia discovered something unexpected: the big, elusive cats maintained much larger home territories than anyone had previously realized. On average, they found each male snow leopard requires an astonishing 220 square kilometers of habitat. One individual they ...


Climate Change Could Turn Up Heat on Already Vulnerable Koalas

Koalas just can’t catch a break. Throughout their native territories in eastern Australia, the famously tree-loving marsupials face ever-shrinking habitats. Human development has carved up their eucalyptus forest homes and as trees disappear, koalas have found themselves with dwindling food supplies, no protection from predators ...


Can the Saltmarsh Sparrow Keep Its Head Above Water?

The saltmarsh sparrow is in trouble. This tiny coastal bird, which weighs less than an ounce, is rapidly disappearing from the eastern United States. Fifteen years ago their population was estimated at more than 250,000. Today it is less than one-fifth that number and continues ...


A Buzz-Worthy Way to Protect Elephants

When it comes to fighting giants, sometimes all you need is something small. In Africa, the proverbial Goliath is the iconic elephant, which not only faces ongoing pressures from poaching and habitat loss but also, unfortunately, from increasing levels of conflict with humans. All too ...



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