Wildlife

How bees naturally vaccinate their babies
July 31, 2015 03:04 PM - Arizona State University via EurekAlert!

When it comes to vaccinating their babies, bees don't have a choice -- they naturally immunize their offspring against specific diseases found in their environments. And now for the first time, scientists have discovered how they do it.

New study exposes negative effects of climate change on Antarctic fish
July 31, 2015 09:14 AM - Oxford University Press

Scientists at University of California Davis and San Francisco State University have discovered that the combination of elevated levels of carbon dioxide and an increase in ocean water temperature has a significant impact on survival and development of the Antarctic dragonfish (Gymnodraco acuticeps). The research article was published today in the journal Conservation Physiology.

Not all whaling is the same
July 30, 2015 06:44 AM - David Lusseau, The Ecologist

The Faroe Islands' annual 'grindadráp', in which hundreds of pilot whales are slaughtered with knives and hooks, is a horrifying spectacle, writes David Lusseau. But unlike industrial whaling it poses no threat to the species. And is it really any worse than the industrial factory farming that we routinely ignore?

Anyone that signs a petition to stop the Faroese grindadráp only to go home and roast a chicken that never saw daylight or moved much when it was reared is a hypocrite.

In the mid-20th century pilot whaling still took place in many north Atlantic nations such as the US and Canada.

Humpback Whale conservation is working in Australia
July 29, 2015 06:11 AM -

Australia has one of the highest rates of animal species that face extinction, decline or negative impacts from human behavior in the world. However, over the last decade, there have been rare occurrences of animals that are rebounding and thriving. One example is the conservation success story of the recovery of the humpback whales that breed in both East and West Australian waters. This new study, published in Marine Policy and led by Dr. Michelle Bejder, reviews data collected in past studies and proposes a revision of the conservation status for the humpback whales found in Australian waters.

In Australia, the east and west coast humpback whale populations are listed as a threatened species with a 'vulnerable' status as defined by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). However, according to Professor Lars Bejder at Murdoch University Australia, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences and his international co-authors, data reveals that these whale populations are increasing at remarkable rates (9% for West Coast and 10% for East Coast; as of 2012), the highest documented worldwide.

Ocean acidification is impacting phytoplankton now
July 26, 2015 08:37 AM - Steve Williams, Care2

Scientists are warning that ocean acidification is impacting microorganisms in our ocean known as phytoplankton and, as they pay a key role in ocean habitats, any future loss or change in species numbers could impact marine life in a big way.

Ocean acidification isn’t always mentioned in conjunction with phytoplankton blooms, and the U.S. Government has been slow to link the two, but MIT researchers say acidification of our oceans could impact phytoplankton in a big way, and that will be bad news for our marine life.

Seed study reveals future risks to nature
July 23, 2015 09:00 AM - ClickGreen Staff

The first worldwide study of animals and the seeds they eat has overturned a long-held assumption - that large animals mainly eat large seeds. The finding by UNSW Australia scientists has implications for conservation showing that a wider variety of plants than is often thought could be at risk if large animals go extinct and do not disperse their seeds.

Do you always get sick when flying? Try Elderberries for some relief
July 22, 2015 04:00 PM - Griffith University

The negative health effects of international air travel are well documented but now it seems that the common elderberry can provide some relief.

Warming impacting bird populations in Hawai'i
July 20, 2015 07:07 AM - USGS Newsroom

Hawai‘i, the name alone elicits images of rhythmic traditional dancing, breathtaking azure sea coasts and scenes of vibrant birds flitting through lush jungle canopy. Unfortunately, the future of many native Hawaiian birds looks grim as diseases carried by mosquitoes are due to expand into higher elevation safe zones.

A new study published in Global Change Biology, by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, assesses how global climate change will affect future malaria risk to native Hawaiian bird populations in the coming century.

Welcome three new National Monuments
July 17, 2015 06:59 AM - Judy Molland, Care2

Using his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906, President Obama announced last week that he was creating three new national monuments. The President designated scenic mountains in California as Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, pristine wilderness landscapes in Nevada as Basin and Range National Monument, and a fossil-rich site in Texas as Waco Mammoth National Monument.

Together, the new monuments protect more than one million acres of public lands. National monuments are similar to national parks, except that they can be created from any land owned or controlled by the federal government via a presidential proclamation. With these new designations, Obama will have used the Antiquities Act to establish or expand 19 national monuments in the United States in total. Altogether, he has protected more than 260 million acres of public lands and waters.

Acidic Arctic Ocean Threatens Food Web
July 16, 2015 08:59 AM - Mrinalini Erkenswick Watsa, MONGABAY.COM

One byproduct of rising carbon-dioxide levels is increasing ocean acidity — a phenomenon that scientists have termed an existential threat to marine life. The waters of the Arctic and the far-north Pacific are particularly prone to acidification as a result of several natural factors, so scientists regard the region as the proverbial canary in the coal mine for the rest of the world's oceans. A new study shows that within just fifteen years these waters may be too acidic for a range of marine animals to build and maintain their shells year round. 

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