Good News in Case Mass Species Extinction Has You Down

At the end of last month, the natural world was hit with (yet another) deluge of bad news, what with 23 species newly classified as extinct. But as always, I believe it’s important to remember that there’s always good news out there, whether you need it for inspiration, hope, or just plain relief in the face of humanity’s apparent war on the planet.

That opening paragraph came out a lot more pessimistic than intended. Let’s get stuck into the smiles.

The tone of this article may be dramatic, but the brilliant takeaway is the growth of saltwater crocodile numbers from 3,000 to a whopping 100,000! The story goes in depth on the relationship between crocodiles and people, and also highlights some fantastic examples of indigenous knowledge and experience contributing to a more sustainable future for one of Australia’s most iconic species.

Speaking of mistreated aquatic predators, the elasmobranchs – the group of fish which includes sharks, rays and sawfishes – have just received crucial protection by the government of Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi fishing trade has previously contributed to severe population drops on the entire Bay of Bengal region, and these laws bring some welcome relief to many species.

This video presents a heart-warming look into the rehabilitation of a stretch of land that was formerly a coal mine. The land is now a lavender farm, run by many of the former miners. It’s a reminder that dedication to innovation can lead to surprising solutions, and that the talents people build up in the oil, gas or coal industries can be transferred to a range of industries.

The once-endangered Kirtland Warbler has seen its population stabilise over the last five years. The native of Michigan in the USA was estimated to be as low as 334 individuals in the late 80s, but has bounced back thanks to extensive replanting of jack pine, which makes up an important part of the warbler’s habitat.

Lastly, UK-based Carbon Zero Renewables have recently reported a 1,000% increase in orders for solar panels. One more reminder that more and more people are turning away from fossil fuels.

If you’re looking for more good news stories, follow @OceanOptimism or @ConservationOptimism on Twitter. The Australian Climate Council also posts good news stories on a regular basis.

If you have any more good news stories from recent times, feel free to send me them on Twitter or via the blog’s contact page and I’ll gladly add them. Lastly, if you’re curious about the value of optimism in conservation, check out this interview with Professor Nancy Knowlton from a few years back.

Read More: Nancy Knowlton: The Importance of Earth Optimism

Dr. Sam Perrin is a freshwater ecologist who completed his PhD at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and wants to reassure you that the planet’s not past the point of no return yet, so it’s not too late to act. You can read more about his research and the rest of the Ecology for the Masses writers here, see more of his work at Ecology for the Masses here, or follow him on Twitter here.

Title Image Credit: USFWS Midwest Region, CC0 1.0, Image Cropped

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