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In the News: West African lions nearing extinction
January 10, 2013 08:40 AM - Liz Shaw, ARKive.org
The report, by conservation group LionAid, says that as few as 645 lions may now remain in the wild in western and central Africa, following a worrying decline in recent years. This decline has been mirrored across Africa, with estimates suggesting that only around 15,000 wild lions remain across the whole continent, compared to about 200,000 a few decades ago. This iconic species is now extinct in 25 African countries, and virtually extinct in another 10.
Happy New Years! How about a new you?
January 1, 2013 08:15 AM - Claire Lewis, ARKive.org
As we welcome in the New Year around the world I’m sure many of us will be making resolutions for the months ahead. The 1st of January marks a fresh start and a great opportunity to set personal challenges to improve ourselves, our lifestyles, and perhaps make a difference to the world around us too. However, we all know that sticking to resolutions can be tricky, so if you need a little inspiration just take a look at our favourite role models from the animal kingdom. Get active Many of us will promise to get a little more exercise, but despite our best intentions it is easy for motivation to fade as the months tick by. However, in the natural world being active is the key to many species' survival. The bee hummingbird is not only the world’s smallest species of bird, it is also one of the most energetic. In order to hover and feed on the nectar of flowers it must beat its wings around 80 times per second, and to perform its intricate courtship display this rate increases to an incredible 200 beats a second. Just think about that next time you are struggling to do a few more reps in the gym.
Pesticides Threaten Bumblebee Colonies
October 24, 2012 08:38 AM - Liz Shaw, ARKive.org
Pesticides used in farming are killing bumblebees and affecting their ability to forage, putting colonies at risk of failure, according to a new study. An estimated one-third of all plant-based foods eaten by humans rely on bees for pollination, and bees and other pollinators have been estimated to be worth around $200 billion a year to the global economy. However, bee numbers have been plummeting in recent years, particularly in North America and Europe.
Plastics Found in Southern Ocean
September 27, 2012 08:45 AM - Liz Shaw, ARKive.org
The first traces of plastic debris have been found in the once pristine environment of the Southern Ocean, according to a new study. The findings come after a 2.5-year, 70,000-mile voyage by the French scientific research vessel Tara, which has been sailing the world’s oceans to investigate the impacts of climate change. Samples from locations in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica revealed traces of plastic waste at a rate comparable to the global average. This came as a surprise to the researchers, who had expected levels some ten times lower.
Without a backbone, without a future?
September 5, 2012 08:12 AM - Kathryn Pintus, ARKive.org
A staggering one fifth of the world's invertebrates could be at risk of extinction, according to a new report published today by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), in conjunction with IUCN and the IUCN Species Survival Commission.
Will Batman Celebrate International Bat Night?
August 28, 2012 07:02 AM - Rebecca Sennett, ARKive.org
International Bat Night is happening this weekend, an event that hopes to inspire people across Europe to understand more about how bats live and why they are so important to conserve. A series of presentations, exhibitions and bat walks are happening in more than 30 countries, including the UK — check out the bat walk at Harcourt Arboretum in Oxford this Thursday. To join in the celebrations, we have delved into the ARKive collection to come up with some truly batty facts to get you in the mood for International Bat Night and to hopefully inspire you to take part in an event near you!
World Oceans Day 2012
June 8, 2012 09:39 AM - Ellie Sans, ARKive.org
Since 2002, June the 8th has been celebrated as World Oceans Day, a global event coordinated by the Ocean Project and The World Ocean Network. World Oceans Day provides a chance to think about the importance of oceans to humans and celebrate these vital and inspirational bodies of water.
Australia lists koalas as 'vulnerable'
May 2, 2012 06:19 AM - Editor, ARKive.org
The koala has been listed as a threatened species in parts of Australia due to its shrinking population, according to officials. One of Australia's most iconic marsupials, the koala is facing a range of threats, including habitat loss, urban expansion, dog attacks, vehicle collisions and disease. Its specialised diet of eucalyptus leaves confines it to quite specific habitats, while increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere may be reducing the nutrient content of the leaves it eats. Climate change is also increasing the risk of drought and fires, with koalas being particularly vulnerable to bushfires as their slow movements and tree-dwelling lifestyle make it difficult for them to escape.
Spotlight on: National Park Week and Arbor Day
April 24, 2012 04:03 PM - Maggie Graham, ARKive.org
This week in the United States it's time to celebrate all things green and leafy with it being both National Park Week and Arbor Day this coming Friday. With entrance fees to national parks across the country being waived, what better opportunity is there to go on an adventure and discover some of the country's most spectacular wildlife.
Climate change making conservation more costly
April 18, 2012 06:46 AM - Editor, ARKive.org
Climate change will make conserving the world’s biodiversity — including the human benefits associated with conservation, such as clean air and water — much more challenging and expensive, research reveals. According to a group of international researchers convened by Conservation International, climate change may in some cases drive up costs by more than 100%. Focussing on species and ecosystems in South Africa, Madagascar and California, the researchers present the first ever estimates of how much it will cost the global community to adapt conservation efforts to climate change, calling the studies a 'wake-up call'. The results of the research have been published as a series of three papers in the journal Conservation Biology, under the title 'Conservation Focus: Costs of Adapting Conservation to Climate Change'.