Five Years and Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
April 17, 2015 09:37 AM - National Wildlife Federation
Five years after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, sending oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days, wildlife are still struggling. The Gulf, with its deep waters, sandy beaches, lush wetlands and coral reefs, is a vast system that supports more than 15,000 species of wildlife – fish, birds, marine mammals and many, many others.
A new report from the National Wildlife Federation looks at how 20 types of wildlife that depend on a healthy Gulf are faring in the wake of the BP oil spill. The full extent of the spill’s impacts may take years or even decades to unfold, but Five Years & Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster examines what the science tells us so far.
Study shows how climate affects biodiversity
April 16, 2015 03:18 PM - Uppsala University via AlphaGalileo
A key question in the climate debate is how the occurrence and distribution of species is affected by climate change. But without information about natural variation in species abundance it is hard to answer. In a major study, published today in the leading scientific journal Current Biology, researchers can now for the first time give us a detailed picture of natural variation.
Bird populations decline years after Fukushima's nuclear catastrophe
April 16, 2015 08:40 AM - Steven Powell, University of South Carolina
This is the time of year when birds come out and really spread their wings, but since a disastrous day just before spring’s arrival four years ago, Japan’s Fukushima province has not been friendly to the feathered. And as several recent papers from University of South Carolina biologist Tim Mousseau and colleagues show, the avian situation there is just getting worse.
Japan's 'scientific whaling' fail
April 15, 2015 09:12 AM - Tony Press, The Ecologist
Japan's latest plans for 'scientific whaling' in the Southern Ocean have fallen at the first hurdle, writes Tony Press. The IWC's expert panel says Japan's proposal contains 'insufficient information' on which to judge its validity, in particular the need for the 'lethal sampling' of over 3,996 Minke whales that is central to the research plan.
Warmer Waters Threaten Future of Traditional Fish and Chips
April 13, 2015 03:02 PM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Popular North Sea fish such as haddock, plaice and lemon sole could be replaced on the menus of the nation’s fish and chip shops as the seas around the UK continue to warm at a rapid rate, a new study warns. Fish distributions are limited by water temperature and some species can only thrive in certain habitats and depths.
New strategy will help save declining ape population
April 10, 2015 12:35 PM - WWF Global
The number of gorillas and chimpanzees in Central Africa continues to decline due to poaching, habitat loss and disease according to a new plan published by WWF, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Wildlife Conservation Society and partners. The strategy, “Regional Action Plan for the Conservation of Western Lowland Gorillas and Central Chimpanzees 2015-2025”—outlines the growing number of threats to these great apes across six range countries, including gaps in law enforcement and the threats by well-connected traffickers seeking to supply the illegal commercial market.
Mercury levels in Arctic birds found increasing over the past 130 years
April 10, 2015 09:08 AM - Population Matters
Alarm bells are ringing for Arctic wildlife with the discovery that mercury levels in the feathers of ivory gulls have increased almost 50-fold.
University of Saskatchewan biologists studied the feathers of museum specimens spanning a 130-year period. Lead researcher Dr Alex Bond told BBC News, “We’re concerned because the mercury’s going up but their diet hasn’t changed over the 130 years we’ve studied. It’s gone up 45 times, which is twice the average for an animal species in the Arctic.”
Neonicotinoids Responsible for Pollinator Declines Worldwide
April 9, 2015 02:46 PM - Jonathan Latham, The Ecologist
Monarch caterpillars are vulnerable to neonicotinoid toxicity at concentrations as low as 1 part per billion, writes Jonathan Latham, and that makes them vulnerable to residues from commercial crops - and even more so from horticultural use in plant nurseries!
City Ants love Junk Food - but then again, who doesn't?
April 8, 2015 02:03 PM - Steve Williams, Care2
We know that many animals have adapted to deal with our sprawling urbanization, but a new study reveals that ants might also be getting in on the act by developing a taste for our waste food scraps and our junk food. The research, conducted by scientists at North Carolina State University and published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, aimed to investigate the eating habits of the most common ant species in our big cities.
US-protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities
April 8, 2015 08:56 AM - Glenn Scherer, MONGABAY.COM
The United States has one of the oldest, best-established park systems in the world. But what if those public lands -- mostly created to preserve scenic natural wonders -- are in the wrong place to conserve the lion’s share of the nation’s unique biodiversity? A new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found exactly that. Existing “protected lands -- both federal and private -- poorly match the biodiversity priorities in the country,” say the researchers.