Could eating meat speed-up worldwide species extinction?
August 12, 2015 09:03 AM - Virginia Morell, Science/AAAS
Diets rich in beef and other red meat can be bad for a person’s health. And the practice is equally bad for Earth’s biodiversity, according to a team of scientists who have fingered human carnivory—and its impact on land use—as the single biggest threat to much of the world’s flora and fauna. Already a major cause of extinction, our meat habit will take a growing toll as people clear more land for livestock and crops to feed these animals, a study in the current issue of Science of the Total Environment predicts.
Melting glaciers feed Antarctic food chain
August 11, 2015 03:48 PM - American Geophysical Union
Nutrient-rich water from melting Antarctic glaciers nourishes the ocean food chain, creating feeding “hot spots” in large gaps in the sea ice, according to a new study. New research finds that iron stored in the region’s glaciers is being shuttled by melting water to open areas of the ocean, called polynyas, where it stimulates growth of phytoplankton, ocean algae that form the base of the marine food chain.
Range of non-native marine species is explained by time introduced
August 11, 2015 09:04 AM - Beth Gavrilles, University of Georgia
The time since the introduction of a non-native marine species best explains its global range, according to new research by an international team of scientists led by University of Georgia ecologist James E. Byers. The study, published in the open access journal Nature Scientific Reports, also contains a warning: The vast majority of marine invaders have not yet finished spreading.
Fish go deep to beat the heat
August 7, 2015 02:21 PM - James Cook University
A James Cook University study shows fish retreat to deeper water to escape the heat, a finding that throws light on what to expect if predictions of ocean warming come to pass.
Good news for Bobcats in California!
August 7, 2015 07:06 AM - Judy Molland, Care2
In a momentous decision, the California Fish & Game Commission has voted to ban the trapping of bobcats.
Assembly Bill 1213, prohibiting the trapping and killing of bobcats statewide, passed the California legislature in 2013, but for the past two years it has not been fully implemented.
A Care2 petition demanding that California legislators and the Fish and Game Commission be more diligent in protecting the bobcat by fully enforcing the Bobcat Protection Act has garnered over 77,000 signatures. In a huge victory for Care2 members, the members of the Commission voted to implement a total ban on bobcat trapping.
Are insecticides more toxic than we think?
August 6, 2015 12:15 PM -
Insecticides that are sprayed in orchards and fields across North America may be more toxic to spiders than scientists previously believed. A McGill research team reached this conclusion after looking at changes in the behaviour of individual Bronze Jumping Spiders both before and after exposure to Phosmet, a widely used broad spectrum insecticide. It is a finding with far-reaching implications for agricultural production and ecosystem health.
Horses and humans share facial expressions
August 6, 2015 09:08 AM - University of Sussex
Horses share some surprisingly similar facial expressions to humans and chimps, according to new University of Sussex research. Mammal communication researchers have shown that, like humans, horses use muscles underlying various facial features - including their nostrils, lips and eyes - to alter their facial expressions in a variety of social situations.
Can habitat protection save our disappearing bats?
August 5, 2015 01:26 PM - Cléa Desjardins, Concordia University
In summertime, bats are a common feature in the night sky, swooping around backyards to gobble up mosquitos. Bats also help with crops: they act as a natural pesticide by feeding on harmful insects. But these winged mammals are now under threat. As agricultural intensification expands across the world, the conversion of their natural habitats has caused a dramatic decline in population.
4 million years at Africa's salad bar
August 5, 2015 09:18 AM - University of Utah
As grasses grew more common in Africa, most major mammal groups tried grazing on them at times during the past 4 million years, but some of the animals went extinct or switched back to browsing on trees and shrubs, according to a study led by the University of Utah.
Ending Wildlife Crime Becomes Top Priority
August 4, 2015 04:50 PM - Jessica Ramos, Care2
The past few weeks have been filled with headlines of crimes against our wildlife from the heartbreaking loss of Cecil the Lion to five more elephant deaths. But justice for our wildlife is on the horizon. The United Nations recently recognized that wildlife crime matters, and it’s on a similar level as human, arms and drug trafficking.