Profile: Jason Bittel

Journalist

Bittel writes the Species Watch column for Earthwire. He also contributes to National Geographic, The Week, and Slate, and serves up science for picky eaters on his website, Bittel Me This. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two tiny wolves. (Note: Wolves may be Pomeranians.)

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NoteStreams By Jason Bittel

Gabon’s Jungle: From Elephant Refuge To Killing Field

The dense and nearly impenetrable rainforests of Gabon have long provided protection for elephants. But new estimates tracking these noble creatures suggest that Gabon has lost around 80 percent of its forest elephants in just a decade.
OnEarth

Category: Nature

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Why African Penguins Shouldn’t Listen to Their Instincts

Thanks to overfishing and climate change, the birds are caught in an ecological trap that could lead to starvation.
On Earth

Category: Nature

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Save the Binturong! Wait―What’s a Binturong?

The Philippines just set aside more than 100,000 acres for pangolins, hornbills, forest turtles, and the mysterious, mustachioed “bearcat.”
onEarth

Category: Nature

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Norway Has 68 Wolves Left—and It Wants to Kill 47 of Them

That’s the opposite of conservation (and a recipe for extinction).
onEarth

Category: Nature

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The Villain That Gave America Its First Wildlife Law

The Lacey Act has been kicking butt and taking names for more than 100 years.
onEarth

Category: Nature

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When Invasive Species Strike the Third World, People Can Starve

Exotic troublemakers have long been regarded as a “first-world problem,” but a recent study says more and more invasive species might soon creep into developing nations.
onEarth
(CC BY-4.0)

Category: Nature

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Pokémon GO Gamers and Real Wildlife

Heading outside to catch ’em all? These scientists will help you identify the other creatures you might find—y’know, IRL.

Category: Nature

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War and Poverty Are Eating Away at Grauer’s Gorillas

Would you eat a gorilla? Probably not. But for people living in the Democratic Republic of Congo, eating bushmeat may be the least difficult decision they make on a daily basis.

Category: Nature

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Making Frogs Chytrid-Proof: One Hopper At A Time

Can two shipping containers turn the tide against a fungal frog plague?

Category: Nature

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Poachers Abuse Loophole to Sell Rare Animals

How can you tell the difference between a captive-bred turtle and a wild-caught one? (You can’t.)

Category: Nature

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Forget Bigfoot: We’ve Got El Jefe!

One of the world’s largest cats prowls the American Southwest—and almost no one knows it’s there.

Category: Nature

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Should We Save The Devil's Hole Pupfish?

They’re an inch long. There are fewer than 100 left. Is it worth the effort?
“Wildlife is and should be useless,” author Richard Conniff wrote in the opinion pages of the New York Times last month, “in the same way art, music, poetry and even sports are useless.”

Category: Nature

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Invasion of the Body Smashers

Right now, an army of exoskeleton-crushing king crabs is marching out of the depths of Antarctica’s Marguerite Bay, heading closer to shore—territory they haven’t crawled over for tens of millions of years. Until the last few decades, a curtain of near-freezing water pouring off the continent has kept the creatures from entering shallower waters, where a rich array of filter-feeding brittlestars, sea lilies, feather stars, sponges, anemones, and other invertebrates thrive on the seafloor. But now that cold-water barrier is warming, allowing the crabs to return from exile. And they arrive hungry.

Category: Nature

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Crowdsourcing Could Help Save Ugly Species

Conservation funds are scarce for the colorful Manus green tree snail, though the species has suffered from its popularity in jewelry-making.

Category: Nature

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The Great Boto Botch Job

How a brilliant marketing move led to the slaughter of thousands of pink river dolphins.

Category: Nature

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