Wildlife

Laissez-faire is not good enough for reforestation
February 16, 2017 09:59 AM - Fabio Bergamin via ETH Zurich

In order to restore tropical rainforests, it is not enough to simply set up protected areas and leave them to their own devices. In particular, tree species with large fruit and seeds distributed by birds will have to be actively planted. This is one of the conclusions of a large-scale study by scientists from ETH Zurich in the Western Ghats, the mountain range running along the western coast of India. Today, the rainforest that exists there is highly fragmented. In the late 20th century in particular, large areas fell victim to intensive logging and commercial agriculture such as coffee and tea plantations.

Monarch Butterflies Just Lost Another Third of Their Population
February 16, 2017 07:02 AM - Alicia Graefi, Care2

While international efforts are underway to protect iconic monarch butterflies from disappearing, the latest population count has found their numbers have dropped by nearly one-third since last year.

According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, in the 1990s, an estimated one billion monarchs embarked on an epic annual migration. Their journey takes them from sites in Canada and the U.S. to wintering grounds in California and Mexico, where they find shelter and warmth among oyamel fir trees in the winter.

How temperature guides where species live and where they'll go
February 15, 2017 02:59 PM - Morgan Kell

For decades, among the most enduring questions for ecologists have been: "Why do species live where they do? And what are the factors that keep them there?" A Princeton University-based study featured on the February cover of the journal Ecology could prove significant in answering that question, particularly for animals in the world's temperate mountain areas.

Eating Fish? Then You're Eating Plastic, Too
February 15, 2017 07:25 AM - Susan Bird, Care2

Synthetic fleece is something of a modern miracle. It keeps us warm and cozy, is easily cleaned and doesn’t even require we harm any animals to make it. Perfect, right? Well, every miracle comes with a price.

It turns out that every time we wash one fleece pullover or jacket, we’re sending about two grams of plastic microfibers out into our environment. Where those fibers end up from there is a bit concerning, because you’re probably eating them.

Desert Songbirds May Face Expanding Threat of Lethal Dehydration
February 13, 2017 04:13 PM - Janet Lathrop

AMHERST, Mass – A new study of songbird dehydration and survival risk during heat waves in the United States desert Southwest suggests that some birds are at risk of lethal dehydration and mass die-offs when water is scarce, and the risk is expected to increase as climate change advances.  

University of Wyoming Researcher Helps Solve Fish Evolution Mystery
February 10, 2017 04:36 PM - University of Wyoming

A University of Wyoming researcher is part of an international team that has discovered how more than 700 species of fish have evolved in East Africa’s Lake Victoria region over the past 150,000 years.

Trump's wall puts wildlife at risk
February 9, 2017 07:10 AM - Lucina Melesio, SciDevNet

Building the wall that Donald Trump has ordered on January 25th, as one of his first actions as US president, will put on risk more than 50 animal species that share the ecosystem along the border between the United States and Mexico, scientists from various countries have warned.
 
Since 2006, 1,100 kilometers of barriers covering more than 30 per cent of the border between the countries have been built. The newest executive order commands the “immediate construction of a physical wall”, stating that ‘wall’ means “a physical barrier, continuous and impassable”.

Case Western Reserve University researcher discovers fish uses sneaking behavior as stealth mating strategy
February 8, 2017 01:14 PM - Case Western Reserve University

Humans aren’t the only species that resort to a little subterfuge

While a dominant male fish from northern Mexico mates with a female, a small fella bides his time in the offing. Suddenly, the little guy darts in ahead of Mr. Big and plants his seeds on freshly laid eggs.

Case Western Reserve University researcher discovers fish uses sneaking behavior as stealth mating strategy
February 8, 2017 01:14 PM - Case Western Reserve University

Humans aren’t the only species that resort to a little subterfuge

While a dominant male fish from northern Mexico mates with a female, a small fella bides his time in the offing. Suddenly, the little guy darts in ahead of Mr. Big and plants his seeds on freshly laid eggs.

Global bee expert sheds light on new research from Australia
February 8, 2017 08:20 AM - York University

York University biologist and bee expert, Professor Amro Zayed, continues to produce and publish original research of global importance. This time, he has contributed a news and views article in Nature (November 2016) that puts into context the work of an Australian researcher who discovered how natural selection allows an invader bee population to overcome the genetic odds stacked against it. The study, led by Professor Rosalyn Gloag of the University of Sydney, New South Wales, examined the invasion of Asian honeybees over an eight-year time frame.

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