The number of rhinos killed for their horns in South Africa so far this year has shot up to 618. This is well past last year’s shock record of 448 and substantially more than the tally of 550 predicted at the beginning of 2012.
In a year in which the impacts of climate change pounded people in rich and poor countries alike, negotiators in Doha have failed to deliver even the minimum expectations for the UN climate negotiations.
It is estimated that up to 100 million sharks are killed by people every year, due to commercial and recreational fishing. Meanwhile, the average number of fatalities worldwide per year between 2001 and 2006 from unprovoked shark attacks is 4.3.
Researchers at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco formally described 137 previously unknown species during 2012, including 83 arthropods, 41 fish, seven plants, four sea slugs, one reptile, and one amphibian.
The Horn of Africa experienced a massive drought last year that greatly affected many millions of people. And according to new research, it also had a great effect on several species of songbirds, greatly delaying their migration to Northern Europe.