Wildlife

Cross-species animal fights explained by new research
April 24, 2015 07:54 AM - UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - LOS ANGELES via EurekAlert

Why do animals fight with members of other species? A nine-year study by UCLA biologists says the reason often has to do with "obtaining priority access to females" in the area.

The scientists observed and analyzed the behavior of several species of Hetaerina damselflies, also known as rubyspot damselflies. For the study, published this month in the print edition of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers observed more than 100 damselflies a day in their natural habitat along rivers and streams in Texas, Arizona and Mexico.

What countries have the most endangered animals?
April 23, 2015 10:55 AM - Susan Bird, Care2

If you had to guess which countries are losing the greatest number of endangered mammals to extinction, which would you pick? Actually, you don’t have to guess. There’s a new map that will show you, in no uncertain terms, where in the world we’re losing animals the fastest. The top three “winners” of this unfortunate contest are Indonesia (184), Madagascar (114), Mexico (101), with India following close behind at 94.

Putting a value on our Oceans
April 23, 2015 06:56 AM - World Wildlife Fund, Justmeans

The ocean’s wealth rivals those of the world’s leading economies, but its resources are rapidly eroding, according to a new World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report. The analysis, Reviving the Ocean Economy: The Case for Action, conservatively estimates the value of key ocean assets to be at least $24 trillion. If compared to the world’s top 10 economies, the ocean would rank as the seventh largest, with an annual value of goods and services of $2.5 trillion.

The report, produced in association with The Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), combines scientific evidence of environmental degradation with an economic case for urgent conservation action. Using an innovative economic analysis, the ocean’s value is quantified based on assessments of goods and services ranging from fisheries to coastal storm protection, resulting in an overall asset value and an annual dividend output (comparable to a GDP).

A brief history of Earth Day
April 22, 2015 09:59 PM - Earth Day Network

Each year, Earth Day -- April 22 -- marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

The height of hippie and flower-child culture in the United States, 1970 brought the death of Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Protest was the order of the day, but saving the planet was not the cause. War raged in Vietnam, and students nationwide increasingly opposed it.

 

Ants avoid traffic jams
April 22, 2015 09:37 AM - Springer via EurekAlert!

Rather than slowing down, ants speed up in response to a higher density of traffic on their trails, according to new research published in Springer's journal The Science of Nature - Naturwissenschaften. When the researchers increased the supply of food by leaving food next to the trail, ants accelerated their speed by 50 percent. This was despite more than double the density of traffic.

The Sage Grouse is NOT getting Endangered Species Act protection
April 22, 2015 07:23 AM - Center for Biological Diversity

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today abandoned its plan to give Endangered Species Act protection to Mono Basin sage grouse, a small and isolated population of prairie birds in Nevada and California that remain under threat from grazing, habitat loss and mining development. The agency’s decision ignores scientific recommendations for reversing the birds’ steep decline and relies on unproven conservation agreements with state and local communities.

The Mono Basin greater sage grouse population, located in eastern California and western Nevada and also known as the “bi-state” population, is fragmented and geographically isolated from all other greater sage grouse populations. 

Fishing impacts on the Great Barrier Reef
April 21, 2015 03:03 PM - ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

New research shows that fishing is having a significant impact on the make-up of fish populations of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s long been known that environmental impacts such as climate change and pollution are amongst the drivers of change on the Great Barrier Reef. Now researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at James Cook University have found that removing predator fish such as coral trout and snapper, through fishing, causes significant changes to the make-up of the reef’s fish populations.

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.

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