Rose petals gleam in a coat of ice, promising new life after the thaw.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, WONDERFUL READERS. I hope you all were able to enjoy some safe, peaceful time with loved ones during the holiday season. With a new year upon us, we look forward to the decline of the lethal pandemic that has impacted so many. We also look back at lessons learned, particularly those related to wildlife.
Our article “In Harm’s Way” offers a scientific deep dive into how viruses and other pathogens can jump from animals to humans, leading to deadly diseases such as COVID-19. Such zoonotic disease outbreaks are becoming more frequent as burgeoning human populations encroach on wildlife habitat, a reality that may spur greater conservation action. We also explore how the pandemic-related slowdown in human activity—what some call the “anthropause”—has impacted wildlife (Room to Roam?), benefiting species such as orcas and some nesting sea turtles but also, in a few locations, increasing poaching and reducing vital income from ecotourism.
In honor of winter, we offer a glimpse at how wildlife species live under—and need—the snow (A Fading Winter Blanket). And we share the compassionate insights of author Terry Tempest Williams (Healing Our Land—and Ourselves), who calls on us all to strive for greater equity and justice in conservation and in life. During this “time of deep reflection,” she asks: “If we want the world to change, how do we change ourselves?”
Our 50th annual photo contest is now open, and we’d love to see your work. The Grand Prize is our new Nature’s Witness™ Award and $5,000. Enter today at nwf.org/photocontest.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.