White racing pigeonsDec. 26, 2004:  In one of the worst natural disasters in human history, a massive earthquake off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra triggers a tsunami that kills an estimated 300,000 people. Deaths are recorded as far away as Somalia, on the other side of the Indian Ocean.

Dec. 26, 2007:  Rats with wings, or cherished, competitive pets?   A U.S. Appeals court rules for the former, upholding a ban by the City of Chicago on keeping racing pigeons within the city limits.  The Chicago ordinance says the pigeons’ feathers and poop are a health and environmental hazard.

Dec. 26, 2011:  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that gray wolves in the Great Lakes region would be removed from endangered species protection. FWS says there are 4,000 wolves in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Photo: Jason Pratt/Flickr

This feature is compiled by Peter Dykstra, an MNN contributor and publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.