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.
Antarctic life is more diverse than previously thought
August 4, 2015 09:06 AM - British Antarctic Survey
The team of scientists, led by Monash University, along with colleagues from the British Antarctic Survey, University of Waikato in New Zealand, and Australian National University, looked at how recent investigations have revealed the continent and surrounding ocean is rich in species. They are also very highly diversified into a variety of distinct ecological regions that differ greatly from each other.
Trophy hunting is not the main reason for declining population of lions in Africa
August 3, 2015 07:02 AM - Lochran Traill & Norman Owen-Smith, The Ecologist
Africa has half as many lions as 20 years ago - but don't blame trophy hunting
The killing of Zimbabwe's Cecil the Lion has put a welcome spotlight on the alarming decline of Africa's lions, write Lochran Traill & Norman Owen-Smith. But to save the species, we should not obsess about trophy hunting, but tackle much more serious problems - like snaring and habitat fragmentation.
UN adopts resolution to attack wildlife crime
August 2, 2015 08:14 AM -
Faced with an unprecedented surge in wildlife crime, the UN this week adopted a historic resolution committing all countries to ramp up their collective efforts to end the global poaching crisis and tackle the vast illegal wildlife trade. Initiated by Gabon and Germany and co-sponsored by 84 other nations, the UN General Assembly resolution, Tackling the Illicit Trafficking in Wildlife, is the result of three years of diplomatic efforts and is the first time that every nation has acknowledged the seriousness of wildlife crime and the urgent need to join forces to combat it.
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.