US President Donald Trump makes remarks as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Vice President Mike Pence listen at the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images)

In the 1500s, an estimated 30 to 60 million North American bison —or buffalo— roamed the Great Plains of North America. But over hunting brought their numbers down to just 325 wild bison left in the United States by 1884.

But thanks to conservation efforts, the United States official national mammal recovered to 20,000-25,000 wild bison on public lands and at least 250,000 bison in private herds by the end of the 1990s. Much of the work was done thanks to laws like the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

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Traveler watching the Tunnel View of Yosemite National Park with El Capitan (left), Half Dome (centre background) and Bridalveil Fall (right). Yosemite National Park, California, United States. (Marji Lang/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Once wilderness is gone, it’s gone for good. A new study published by the University of Queensland finds that Earth’s wildernesses are disappearing at a rapid rate, and emphasizes that once degraded, there’s no evidence to suggest they can be fully restored.

Led by UQ professor James Watson, also a director of science with Wildlife Conservation Society, researchers mapped global wilderness areas lost since 1992. They concluded that 10 percent of all wilderness areas had vanished in that time. “If this rate continues, we will have lost all wilderness within the next 50 years,” concluded Watson.  

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PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 19: Dr Jane Goodall attends 'Jane' National Geographic Documentary on Jane Goodall Premiere at UNESCO on January 19, 2018 in Paris, France. (Foc Kan/WireImage)

President Donald J. Trump’s administration lives by a single overriding credo — if Barack Obama built it, they’ll tear it down.

Environmental activists have been watching as regulation after regulation and safeguard after safeguard gets thrown on the chopping block, essentially leaving Obama’s noteworthy environmental legacy in tatters — unless legal challenges to Trump policy prove successful in court.

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[DIGEST: NPR, National Geographic, New York Times]

The popular travel review website TripAdvisor has announced its plans to halt sales of tickets to tourist activities that can be harmful to animals. These include swim-with-the-dolphin experiences, elephant rides and wild animal “petting zoos.” Prior to the decision, TripAdvisor allowed visitors to book tickets for hundreds of these types of tourist attractions.

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[DIGEST: Traffic.org, IFLS, BBC, CNET]

Facebook users bought and sold dozens of captured endangered wild animals using closed groups, sparking concern among environmentalists worldwide.

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