PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Everything You Need to Know About Wildlife Corridors — and Where to See Them (Maria)

The author writes, “Yeah, yeah, we all know why the chicken crossed the road. But figuring out how a chicken could cross the road — especially in the age of six-lane highways and railroad crossings — is a far more pressing question for conservation biologists. The answer to the riddle may be wildlife corridors, which provide a ‘bridge’ between habitats that have been separated by human activity. From elephant underpasses to crab bridges, these animal-friendly pathways provide safe passage for all kinds of critters and score big points for communities interested in ecotourism. … Simply put, a wildlife corridor connects two or more habitats that have been interrupted by civilization, be it cities, dams, or highways.”

These 14 States Had Significant Miscounts in the 2020 Census (Dana)

From NPR: “For the 2020 census, all states were not counted equally well for population numbers used to allocate political representation and federal funding over the next decade, according to a US Census Bureau report released Thursday. A follow-up survey the bureau conducted to measure the national tally’s accuracy found significant net undercount rates in six states. … It also uncovered significant net overcount rates in eight states. … These revelations come after the population totals from a census beset by the coronavirus pandemic and years of interference from former President Donald Trump’s administration have already been used to divvy up seats in the House of Representatives, as well as votes in the Electoral College, for the next decade.”

US Accuses Steve Wynn of Lobbying Trump on Behalf of China (Sean)

The author writes, “The Justice Department sued Stephen Wynn, the former casino mogul, on Tuesday, seeking to force him to register as an agent of the Chinese government and saying he had made requests on the government’s behalf to Donald J. Trump when he was president. According to the lawsuit, Mr. Wynn passed along a request to Mr. Trump in 2017 from the Chinese government to deport a Chinese national who had sought asylum in the United States. At the time, Mr. Wynn was the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, a post he had been handpicked for by Mr. Trump.”

South Dakota Report: Noem’s Daughter Got Special Treatment (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “South Dakota lawmakers on Wednesday unanimously approved a report finding that Republican Gov. Kristi Noem’s daughter got preferential treatment while she was applying for a real estate appraiser’s license in 2020. The findings of last year’s legislative probe, which was conducted by a Republican-controlled Government Operations and Audit Committee, repudiate Noem’s insistence that her daughter, Kassidy Peters, didn’t receive special treatment with her application. An Associated Press report on Noem’s actions surrounding her daughter’s licensure sparked the investigation. State lawmakers on Wednesday approved the committee’s findings by a voice vote and without discussion.”

Combining Certain Meds with Ibuprofen Can Permanently Injure Kidneys (Mili)

The author writes, “Anyone who is taking a diuretic and a renin-angiotensin system (RSA) inhibitor for high blood pressure should be cautious about also taking ibuprofen, according to new research. Diuretics and RSA inhibitors are commonly prescribed together for people with hypertension and are available under various pharmaceutical brand names. Painkillers such as ibuprofen are available over-the-counter in most pharmacies and stores in popular brands. Researchers at the University of Waterloo used computer-simulated drug trials to model the interactions of the three drugs and the impact on the kidney. They found that in people with certain medical profiles, the combination can cause acute kidney injury, which in some cases can be permanent.”

Wild Sounds: The Loss of Sonic Diversity and Why It Matters (Laura)

From Yale Environment 360: “From birdsong in the rainforest to whale calls in the oceans, the world is losing the variety of sounds that enriches life. Habitat loss, species extinctions, and industrial noise all contribute to this sonic loss, which cuts off a vital human connection to the Earth.”

Giant Sinkhole with a Forest Inside Found in China (Sean)

From Live Science: “A team of Chinese scientists has discovered a giant new sinkhole with a forest at its bottom. The sinkhole is 630 feet (192 meters) deep, according to the Xinhua news agency, deep enough to just swallow St. Louis’ Gateway Arch. A team of speleologists and spelunkers rappelled into the sinkhole … discovering that there are three cave entrances in the chasm, as well as ancient trees 131 feet (40 m) tall, stretching their branches toward the sunlight that filters through the sinkhole entrance.”