Sources: The Ecological & Biodiversity Crisis

Particularly influential and summary pieces are marked with a *


2021: when the link between the climate and biodiversity crises became clear (2021, review article by The Guardian)

Overview reports

*WWF Living Planet Report 2022 – showing how global wildlife populations declined by 69% since 1970

*2019 Global Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

Related to specific countries & regions

State of the environment: shocking report shows how Australia’s land and wildlife are being destroyed (2022, article in The Guardian based on the report Australia State of the Environment 2021)


Undervaluing ecology

*The way nature is valued in political and economic decisions is both a key driver of the global biodiversity crisis and a vital opportunity to address it (2022, Values Assessment Report by the IPBES)


Global Forest Watch – offers data, technology and tools that empower people everywhere to better protect forests

Deforestation and Forest Loss – statistics by Our World in Data

Sale of oil and gas permits casts shadow over world’s second-largest rainforest: Villagers in the Congo basin rely on the forest for food, medicine and spiritual wellbeing, but an auction of exploration rights could threaten that way of life (2022, article in The Guardian)

The Unseen Effects of Deforestation: Biophysical Effects on Climate (2022, article in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change)

Inside Somalia’s vicious cycle of deforestation for charcoal (2022, article in The Guardian)

Banks and UK supermarkets accused of backing deforestation in Brazil: By funding and stocking products from Brazilian meat giant JBS, firms have also supported land-grabbing, investigation claims (2022, article in The Guardian based on study by Global Witness)

Cash Cow: How beef giant JBS’s links to Amazon deforestation and human rights abuses are aided by UK, US and EU financiers, importers and supermarkets (2022, report by Global Witness)

‘Record after record’: Brazil’s Amazon deforestation hits April high, nearly double previous peak (2022, article in The Guardian)

*What is deforestation – and is stopping it really possible? (2021, article in The Guardian)

30% of all global tree species are threatened with extinction, at least 142 are extinct (2021, report by Botanic Gardens Conservation International)

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon at highest level since 2006 (2021, article in The Guardian, based on data by Brazil‘s space research agency INPE)

Fashion-related deforestation in the Amazon (2021, report by the Research Group)

Unsustainable farming & food consumption

Are we eating ourselves to extinction? (2021, article in The Guardian)

Meat & dairy production/consumption (strong impact)

Projected environmental benefits of replacing beef with microbial protein (2022, article in Nature)

How a Tesco chicken deal may have helped pollute one of the UK’s favourite rivers (2022, article in The Guardian)

‘The scale is hard to grasp’: avian flu [transmitted from domestic poultry to wild birds] wreaks devastation on seabirds (2021, article in The Guardian)

*Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth (2018, article in The Guardian, based on article in Science)

*Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers – article showing how 83% of all global farmland is used for production of animal protein, which delivers just 18% of all food calories and 37% of all protein (2018, article in Science)

Pesticide use

Pesticide Atlas – Facts and figures about toxic chemicals in agriculture

Pesticide use around world almost doubles since 1990, report finds: Agricultural chemicals drive falls of 30% in populations of field birds and butterflies, says Pesticide Atlas (2022, article in The Guardian based on Pesticide Atlas)

Food waste

EU wastes 153m tonnes of food a year – much more than it imports, says report (2022, article in The Guardian based on report by Feedback EU)

Direct exploitation

More than 1.1m sea turtles illegally killed over past 30 years, study finds (2022, article in The Guardian based on article in Global Change Biology)

Unsustainable fishing

Millions of tonnes of dead animals: the growing scandal of fish waste (2022, article in The Guardian based on study by the WWF)


Coastal hardening: Around the world, coastal urbanization continues to replace natural marine habitats with engineered structures, resulting in wholesale changes to shallow-water ecosystems and associated socioecological impacts (2021, article in Nature Sustainability)



Microplastics found in 75% of fish in New Zealand, report shows (2022, article in The Guardian)

Plastic has made it to the bottom of Fiji’s rivers. Our environment is breaking down (2022, article in The Guardian)

Plastic in the Depths: how pollution took over our oceans (2022, article in The Guardian)

Microplastics found in freshly fallen Antarctic snow for first time (2022, article in The Guardian)

Big Tobacco is killing the planet with plastics. No smokescreen should be allowed to hide that (2022, opinion article in The Guardian)

Microplastics in sewage: a toxic combination that is poisoning our land (2022, opinion article in The Guardian)

Microplastics found deep in lungs of living people for first time (2022, article in The Guardian based on article in Science of the Total Environment)

Nurdles are everywhere’: how plastic pellets ravaged a Sri Lankan paradise (2022, article in The Guardian)

Nurdles: the worst toxic waste you’ve probably never heard of (2021, article in The Guardian)

Amazon’s enormous and rapidly growing plastic pollution problem (2021, report by OCEANA)


The dead shellfish littering our beaches tell you a lot about safety and secrecy in Britain (2022, opinion article in The Guardian)

Chemical pollution beyond safe boundaries for humanities (2022, article in Environmental Science & Technology, covered also in The Guardian)

‘We are afraid’: Erin Brockovich pollutant linked to global electric car boom – Investigation uncovers evidence of contaminated air and water from one of Indonesia’s largest nickel mines (2022, article in The Guardian)

PFAS Pollution in Ocean Comes Back to Land (2021, article in Environmental Science & Technology)

Oil spills

Leaked video footage of ocean pollution shines light on deep-sea mining (2023, article in The Guardian)

Oil spill at sea: who will pay for Peru’s worst environmental disaster? (2022, article in The Guardian)


An ocean of noise: how sonic pollution is hurting marine life (2022, article in The Guardian)


Cigarette butts: how the no 1 most littered objects are choking our coasts (2022, article in The Guardian)

From cars

Car tyres produce vastly more particle pollution than exhausts, tests show (2022, article in The Guardian)

From fishing

Dumped fishing gear is killing marine life. Yet no governments seem to care (2022, article in The Guardian)

Invasive species

‘Silent extinction’: myrtle rust fungus spreads to WA’s Kimberley: Researchers fear spread of invasive disease could be disastrous for Australia’s diverse plant life and are calling for urgent national response (2022, article in The Guardian)

Invasive species are the greatest issue facing Australia’s environment (2021, report by the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions)

Fossil fuel exploration, fracking & deep sea mining

Fears of new quakes in Dutch gas field as energy crisis bites (2022, article in The Guardian)

DRC to auction oil and gas permits in endangered gorilla habitat (2022, article in The Guardian)

Shell’s oil exploration of whale breeding grounds (2021, article in The Guardian) & Shell to go ahead with seismic tests in whale breeding grounds after court win (2021, article in The Guardian)

Deep sea mining may push hundreds of species to extinction (2021, article in The Guardian)

Effects of Ecosystem Destruction

Effects on ecosystems

Dark matter and lithium water: 15 big issues poised to affect oceans and coastlines (2022, article in The Guardian)

Effects on biodiversity

ICUN Red List of Threatened Species

The opportunities and threats facing Earth’s biodiversity (2021, article in The Guardian)

*WWF Living Planet Report 2020 – showing how global animal populations declined by 68% between 1970 and 2016

Effects on animals

Whales ingest millions of microplastic particles a day, study finds (2022, article in The Guardian based on article in Nature Communications)

On Guam there is no birdsong, you cannot imagine the trauma of a silent island (2022, article in The Guardian)

‘It’s a serious problem’: battle to save Griffon vulture heats up in Cyprus (2022, article in The Guardian)

Animals we’ve lost: the vivid ‘waving’ frog that vanished suddenly (2022, article in The Guardian)

North American gray whale counts dwindling for the last two years (2022, article in The Guardian)

Half of world’s bird species in decline as destruction of avian life intensifies (2022, article in The Guardian)

Albania’s pelican colony was bouncing back. Now it faces the threat of a new airport (2022, article in The Guardian)

Sudden die-off of endangered sturgeon alarms Canadian biologists (2022, article in The Guardian)

Nearly 200 stranded pilot whales die on Tasmanian beach but dozens saved and returned to sea (2022, article in The Guardian)

The most awe-inspiring and exuberant birds are facing extinction first – let’s stop nature becoming boring (2022, opinion article in The Guardian)

‘Canaries in the coalmine’: loss of birds signals changing planet (2022, article in The Guardian based on global review article in Annual Review of Environment and Resources)

Bird populations in Panama rainforest in severe decline, study finds (2022, article in The Guardian based on article in PNAS)

‘The scale is hard to grasp’: avian flu [transmitted from domestic poultry to wild birds] wreaks devastation on seabirds (2021, article in The Guardian)

Tiny turtle pooed ‘pure plastic’ for six days after rescue from Sydney beach (2022, article in The Guardian)

Call for hippos to join list of world’s most endangered animals (2022, article in The Guardian)

A third of Wellington’s kākā parrot chicks found to have lead in their blood (2022, article in The Guardian)

Wild salmon stocks at ‘crisis point’ with lowest on record in England (2022, article in The Guardian)

Birds are remarkable and beautiful animals – and they’re disappearing from our world (2022, article in The Guardian)

Fish growth slowed by high temperatures and plastic chemical BPA, research finds (2022, article in The Guardian, reporting on this article in Proceedings of the Biological Sciences)

Koala listed as endangered after Australian governments fail to halt its decline (2022, article in The Guardian)

*Insect decline in the Anthropocene: Death by a thousand cuts (2021, article in PNAS)

The precarious plight of Tasmania’s swift parrots (2021, article in The Guardian)

European House sparrow (bird species) population declined by between 17% and 19% between 1980 and 2017 (2021, article in Ecology and Evolution)

Europe faces ‘biodiversity oblivion’ after collapse in French birds, experts warn – Authors of report on bird declines say intensive farming and pesticides could turn Europe’s farmland into a desert that ultimately imperils all humans (2018, article in The Guardian)

Critical Decline of Earthworms from Organic Origins under Intensive, Humic SOM-Depleting Agriculture (2018, article in Soil Systems)

Warning of ‘ecological Armageddon’ after dramatic plunge in insect numbers – Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say (2017, article in The Guardian based on article in Plos One)

*More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas (2017, article in Plos One)

Effects on human livelihoods & wellbeing

No more drinking water, little food: our island is a field of bones – Banaba in the central Pacific is a microcosm of what has happened to this planet. It’s a place that cannot be brought back into balance without focused and collaborative care (2022, article in The Guardian)

Wild species support half of world’s population but they are under threat (2022, article in The Guardian, based on report by the IPBES)

A disturbing wave’: midges threaten tourist trade in Italian town (2022, article in The Guardian)

Two-thirds of the global population (4.0 billion people) live under conditions of severe water scarcity at least 1 month of the year. (2016, article in Science Advances).

Effects on human health

Exposure to environmental toxins may be root of rise in neurological disorders (2022, article in The Guardian)

*Pollution responsible for one in six deaths across planet, scientists warn (2022, article in The Guardian based on article in The Lancet Planetary Health)

Newly identified Langya virus tracked after China reports dozens of cases (2022, article in The Guardian)

Viruses survive in fresh water by ‘hitchhiking’ on plastic, study finds (2022, article in The Guardian, based on article in Environmental Pollution)

‘Potentially devastating’: Climate crisis may fuel future pandemics (2022, article in The Guardian, based on article in Nature)

Climate change increases cross-species viral transmission risk (2022, article in Nature)

Effects in Future

*Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future (2021, article in Frontiers in Conservation Science)

Natural places that we cannot afford to lose due to their irreplaceable carbon reserves (2021, article in Nature Sustainability)

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