Monday, June 29, 2015

Lion Week

Hey folks, welcome to Monday!

I only had two articles appear last week, which was actually two more articles than I had planned. I took a big chunk of last week off to recharge, but that didn't mean I completely stopped writing. Two very different stories about lions popped up, so I wrote them both for Scientific American:

African Lion Populations Down 42 Percent in 21 Years


Good News for the World's Rarest Lions

This week's publication list will also probably be on the short side, what with the whole July 4 holiday coming up this weekend, but come on back here next Monday for whatever headlines happen.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Wolves, Whales and other Wildlife

Oregon's famous OR-7 wolf. Credit: USFWS
What a week! The past 7 days brought about all kinds of new articles from my keyboard, including this one, my first feature for Vice magazine's Motherboard imprint:

Wolf-Safe Beef: An Idea Whose Time Has (Almost) Come

Next up, two new "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American:

The Sneaky Ways 2 Frogs Are Beating a Killer Fungus

Sex and the Single Male Bird: Why Uncoupled Individuals Matter

Plus one recent article that was just translated into Spanish for SciAm Español:

Una tortuga de 100 años, la última de su tipo, pronto podría ser mamá

Finally this week, here are three new articles for TakePart:

Saving Elephants by Making Expensive Art

The Unseen Extinction Wiping Out the World's Wildlife

Humpback Whales Are Starving, and Climate Change Is to Blame

I'm pretty proud of this week's articles. I hope you enjoy reading them.

More next Monday!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Elephants, Wolves and Life Sciences

Sometimes journalism is a waiting game. There are many, many subjects that I know I want to cover one day, but all too often they need to wait for the right news hook. Sometimes the opportunity to write about these subjects doesn't come around for weeks, months, or even years.

This week three of those long-in-the-queue subjects hit.

Two of them saw publication in Scientific American:

Alaska's Rare Alexander Archipelago Wolves Nearly Wiped Out in 1 Year

Isn't It Time We Recognize African Elephants as 2 Separate Species?

One more appeared in TakePart, where I also covered a few other cool stories:

A Rare Songbird May Become This Era's Passenger Pigeon

Climate Change Is Helping One Weird Pest Destroy More Crops

Organic Farming's Big Secret: It Helps Wild Animals, Too

Despite the thrill of finally being able to cover those three stories, almost all of this week's articles were pretty negative. Well, here's a nice palate cleanser, my latest careers article for IEEE's The Institute:

The Life Sciences Offer Job Opportunities for Engineers

That's it for this week. See you in 7 days for another link list. Or follow me on Twitter for the latest headlines as they go live.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Turtle Love, Deformed Frogs and Sad Bears

Good morning and welcome to another edition of "What John Platt published last week."

This week presented me with a number of wildly interesting wildlife stories. All of these seem pretty bleak at first blush, but read deeper; there are a lot of positive messages hidden inside.

We'll start this little linkfest with my two "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American:

100-Year-Old Turtle, the Last of Her Kind, Could Soon Be a Mom

No Fish, No Fowl: European Fish and Birds in Decline, Despite Some Conservation Successes

Next on the hit parade, this week's articles for TakePart:

A Little Medicine Shop of Horrors for Endangered Sun Bears

Pollution and Climate Change Are Deforming and Killing Alaska's Frogs

That brings our weekly visit to a close. Stay tuned for lots more next Monday -- same Platt time, same Platt station.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Plague Week

Hey folks, welcome to my normal Monday morning link recap. 

Last Monday, as you probably recall, was Memorial Day. As that somber holiday approached, I began to wonder if any species had been driven extinct by war. The answer, it turned out, was yes. That resulted in this article for Scientific American:

Memorializing the Wake Island Rail: An Extinction Caused by War

This week's news stories (for SciAm and TakePart) also brought two tales of species laid low by horrible, unknown diseases. You may recall that I've written about similar saiga antelope deaths almost every year since 2010, but they all pale in comparison to what's going on right now.

Mysterious Disease Threatens Australian Turtle with Immediate Extinction

Half the Population of a Critically Endangered Antelope Has Died in Just a Few Weeks

Finally, here's one more article for TakePart. It has what could be my favorite headline of May:

Poachers in Africa Have a New Enemy: Math

That's it for now. Expect lots more this coming week. I know this week's articles will cover at least one more turtle species. Beyond that, we'll all have to wait and see!