Bounty (on) hunters: Animal rights organizations are offering a $21,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of whoever shot two endangered red wolves in North Carolina last month. The wolves were part of a reintroduction program in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Since they don’t pose much threat to livestock or humans, officials aren’t sure why someone would shoot the animals. (And if the shooter went around boasting about his kills? Well, he's probably wondering just how much he means to his buddies right now.) In any event, it’s nice to see state agencies and private organizations rallying behind the red wolf, which is more than we can say for its gray cousin out west. Washington Post
Get it while it's cold: The savage heat wave that crushed American crops in 2012 might have provided a look into the future when it comes to how climate change will affect our food supply. It was once thought that the benefits of increased CO2 for plants would boost yields and counterbalance the drawbacks of a hotter planet, but many scientists worry this this logic is flawed. They argue we’ll need to adapt by planting more resilient crops and employing heartier agricultural production systems if the global food supply is to remain stable. New York Times
Dolphin disaster: From New York to Florida, a morbillivirus outbreak is laying waste to bottlenose dolphins. Though morbillivirus-related dolphin deaths are nothing new, the death toll this year is already 10 times the normal rate. Mysteriously, even though biologists rarely see the virus in whales, beached humpbacks and sperm whales have also tested positive for morbillivirus (whether or not it contributed to the whale deaths is unknown). The virus is related to human measles and canine distemper, but unfortunately, no real vaccine for it exists. As the dolphins migrate south, scientists in Florida are getting ready to quickly study the animals as they wash ashore. Says one researcher, “We don’t know if we’ll get one a week or 10 a day.” Wired
The little town that could: Winona, Minnesota, isn’t just fun to say, it has the first local government in America to put the fracking industry on notice for air pollution. This small college town houses giant piles of silica sand. The sand, which has been linked to lung disease, is a crucial ingredient for fracking operations being conducted across the border in North Dakota and as far away as Texas and Pennsylvania. Because about a 100 trucks carrying thousands of tons of sand cruise through town every day, Winona has decided to closely monitor its air quality to make sure it meets state and federal standards. Inside Climate News
Bad news bears: Meanwhile in Pennsylvania ... a new bill would make it easier for the natural gas industry to sidestep environmental regulations by shifting control of the state’s endangered species list from biologists to lawmakers and regulators. Environmentalists and outdoors peeps alike are in staunch opposition to the proposed legislation, saying it’ll “decimate the state’s endangered species list, lead to environmental degradation, and threaten millions in federal funding for habitat restoration.” But hey, why not do away with 40 years of science-based decision making so that it’s easier for companies to frack? Philadelphia Inquirer
Unicorn sighting: Conservationists in Vietnam are partying like it’s 1999 after spotting a saola—a critically endangered, antelope-y like animal—for the first time since, well … 1999. Discovered by science as recently as 1992, the saola is so rare that it's been nicknamed the Asian unicorn. World Wildlife Fund
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