By Carl Zimmer – The New York Times – January 12, 2016

The Fish and Wildlife Service is barring the door against 201 species of salamanders, making it illegal to import them or move them across state lines, the agency announced on Tuesday. Scientists hope the ban will help prevent a devastating outbreak from driving native salamander species extinct. In 2013, scientists in the Netherlands discovered a species of fungus infecting native fire salamanders. Later research revealed that the fungus, called Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, or Bsal, was carried by Asian salamanders that were imported into Europe as pets. While the fungus was harmless to the Asian amphibians, it was lethal to the Dutch ones. Although Bsal has continued to spread in Europe, there is no sign that it has taken hold in the United States. For full story, go here.

By Joby Warrick – The Washington Post – January 13, 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog has found no evidence of bias in the agency’s efforts to block a proposed gold mine from being built near Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The EPA’s Inspector General, in a report released on Wednesday, said agency officials followed normal guidelines in assessing whether the controversial Pebble Mine project should be built. The EPA is moving toward a formal decision to bar mining operations in the region citing risks to wildlife, including the world’s biggest run of sockeye salmon. For full story, click here.

Contact: Robert Daguillard – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – January 13, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a survey showing that $271 billion is needed to maintain and improve the nation’s wastewater infrastructure, including the pipes that carry wastewater to treatment plants, the technology that treats the water, and methods for managing stormwater runoff. The survey is a collaboration between EPA, states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. To be included in the survey, projects must include a description and location of a water quality-related public health problem, a site-specific solution, and detailed information on project cost. For full news release, click here.

By Geoffrey Mohan – The Baltimore Sun – January 6, 2016

An insecticide widely used on grains, vegetables, fruit and other crops nationwide threatens honeybees, federal environmental regulators said in a decision that could lend impetus to efforts to ban the chemical. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that imidacloprid, a nicotine-imitating chemical found in at least 188 farm and household products in California, “potentially poses risk to hives when the pesticide comes in contact with certain crops that attract pollinators.” The EPA's decision was prompted by increasing concern that the chemicals might be contributing to the sudden collapse of commercial honey bee colonies over the last decade. For full blog post, click here.

By Mary Hoff Ensia – December 28, 2015

Artificial intelligence, testosterone and ship tracking technology probably aren’t on many conservation organizations’ “top things to think about” lists right now. But they should be, suggests a new report in the scientific journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution. “A Horizon Scan of Global Conservation Issues for 2016,” authored by University of Cambridge conservation biologist William Sutherland and 23 other researchers, practitioners, professional horizon scanners and journalists, offers a list of 15 emerging trends and developments that are not well known but could have big implications — positive, negative or both — for biodiversity on a global scale. For full story, click here.