The lovely Iberian lynx is slowly recovering from near extinction due to habitat loss and poaching, but a new threat could send populations plummeting again: climate change. For my first piece for Yale Environment360, I take a look at the work being done by Spanish and Portuguese scientists to ensure that this lovely little predator will stalk the maquis thickets and sere grasslands of Iberia for centuries to come.
For my second feature for Mongabay I took a look at the insidious network of trafficking in wildlife--the living and the dead--that is plundering the world's richest rainforest of its wonderful wildlife. In writing this piece I learned two surprising things: first, that the market for live animals for the "pet" trade isn't just about exporting macaws overseas, but that Latin American cultures are very much mired in an ingrained fixation on the display of captive native wildlife for social appeal. Second, that one of the biggest markets for wildlife and their organs, skins, bones and lives is right here in the US, which next to China is the largest market in the world for endangered species.
We usually think of golden eagles as hunters of the sere canyonlands and sagebrush flats of the American West, but a small and genetically invaluable subpopulation from eastern Canada overwinters every year in the Appalachian mountains. I go on a freezing search for these powerful predators in the latest issue of Virginia Wildlife magazine.
William H. Funk
I'm a freelance writer focusing on natural history, conservation, and environmental law, policy and politics.