Keeping a Keen Eye on Endangered Species Listing Decisions

Keeping a Keen Eye on Endangered Species Listing Decisions

If you are a dendrophile - a tree lover - you’d be enthralled by the yellow cedar, a towering tree species found throughout Southeast Alaska and coastal British Columbia, among stunning temperate rainforest. Most yellow cedars live around 500 to 700 years, but some can live for 1,600 years. Indigenous communities of the Pacific Northwest Coast treasure and care for the species, which they value for building, medicinal, and ceremonial purposes. Over the past few decades, conservationists have puzzled over some emerging tracts of dying yellow cedars, a phenomenon called ‘yellow cedar decline.’ The affected trees’ barren trunks and branches make for a worrying sight. Now biologists are pointing towards climate change as the main culprit in the species’ troubles. Learn more about this phenomenon here.

Avatar
Lee Brann
2019 Fall Intern in Endangered Species Policy