What Can Be Saved?

An in-depth Associated Press series about the ordinary people and scientists who against enormous odds are restoring landscapes and species in a world damaged by climate change.

Published weekly on upr.org starting September 17, 2019 and runs until early December.

To Save Everglades, Guardians Fight Time - And Climate

Dec 3, 2019
Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

FLAMINGO, Florida (AP) — Grabbing a clump of vegetation to steady herself, Tiffany Troxler gingerly slides her feet along the makeshift boardwalk as she ventures out into the marsh. The boards sag, dipping her up to her knees in the tea-colored water.

David J. Phillip / AP Photo

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — From the surface, these 22 square miles of water are unexceptional. But dip beneath the surface — go down 60 or 70 feet — and you’ll find a spectacular seascape. Sponges, barnacles and tube worms cover rocky ledges on the ocean floor, forming a “live bottom.”

Butterfly On A Bomb Range: Endangered Species Act At Work

Nov 19, 2019
Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — In the unlikely setting of the world’s most populated military installation, amid all the regimented chaos, you’ll find the Endangered Species Act at work.

There, as a 400-pound explosive resounds in the distance, a tiny St. Francis Satyr butterfly flits among the splotchy leaves, ready to lay as many as 100 eggs. At one point, this brown and frankly dull-looking butterfly could be found in only one place on Earth: Fort Bragg’s artillery range.

China Aims To Build Its Own Yellowstone On Tibetan Plateau

Nov 12, 2019
Ng Han Guan / AP Photo

 

XINING, China (AP) — There’s a building boom on the Tibetan plateau, one of the world’s last remote places. Mountains long crowned by garlands of fluttering prayer flags — a traditional landscape blessing — are newly topped with sprawling steel power lines. At night, the illuminated signs of Sinopec gas stations cast a red glow over newly built highways.

Bringing The World's Buried Wetlands Back From The Dead

Nov 5, 2019
Emilio Morenatti / AP Photo

HINDOLVESTON, England (AP) — The ghosts are all around the gently rolling farmlands of eastern England. But you have to know where to look.

Felipe Dana / AP Photo

KINIGI, Rwanda (AP) — Deep in the rainforest of Volcanoes National Park, a 23-year-old female gorilla named Kurudi feeds on a stand of wild celery. She bends the green stalks and, with long careful fingers, peels off the exterior skin to expose the succulent inside.

Biologist Jean Paul Hirwa notes her meal on his tablet computer as he peers out from behind a nearby stand of stinging nettles.

What Can Be Saved? One Of Europe's Last Untamed Rivers Is Threatened By Dams

Oct 22, 2019
Felipe Dana / AP Photo

ALONG THE VJOSA RIVER (AP) — Under a broad plane tree near Albania’s border with Greece, Jorgji Ilia fills a battered flask from one of the Vjosa River’s many springs.

AP Photo

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — As he stood amid the thick old-growth forests in the coastal range of Oregon, Dave Wiens was nervous. Before he trained to shoot his first barred owl, he had never fired a gun.

Associated Press / AP Photo

LOIBOR SIRET, Tanzania (AP) — Saitoti Petro scans a dirt road in northern Tanzania for recent signs of the top predator on the African savannah. “If you see a lion,” he warns, “stop and look it straight in the eyes — you must never run.”

Associated Press

MADRE DE DIOS, Peru (AP) — Destruction of the forests can be swift. Regrowth is much, much slower.

But around the world, people are putting shovels to ground to help it happen.

What Can Be Saved? Intrepid Scientists Witness Final Days Of Venezuelan Glacier

Sep 24, 2019
Associated Press

MERIDA, Venezuela — Blackouts shut off the refrigerators where the scientists keep their lab samples. Gas shortages mean they sometimes have to work from home. They even reuse sheets of paper to record field data because fresh supplies are so scarce.

David J. Phillip / AP Photo

OCHO RIOS, Jamaica (AP) — Everton Simpson squints at the Caribbean from his motorboat, scanning the dazzling bands of color for hints of what lies beneath. Emerald green indicates sandy bottoms. Sapphire blue lies above seagrass meadows. And deep indigo marks coral reefs. That’s where he’s headed.

Intense efforts to save or revive ecosystems are being waged around the world, reversing some of humankind’s most destructive past actions and preserving vital natural habitats on Earth.

“What Can Be Saved?” is an in-depth, visually-led series of packages reported from across the globe about the ordinary people and scientists who against enormous odds are restoring landscapes and species in a damaged world.