Owl Monkeys are great Fathers! And they are loyal to their mates!
June 14, 2014 06:24 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
Tomorrow is Father's day and animals are not normally thought of as being good fathers. For most species, the mothers do most of the work feeding and nurturing their young. Owl monkeys appear to be an exception! If there were a competition for "best father" in the animal kingdom, owl monkeys might very well win. Why? Because father owl monkeys provide most of the care needed by their young--carrying them almost all the time, even when chased by predators. By contrast, caregiving from owl monkey mothers to their young is limited almost exclusively to nursing. Considering the high prevalence of "deadbeat dads" and even "cannibal dads" in the animal kingdom, why--of all creatures--are father owl monkeys so attentive and protective of their young? This question is answered by Patricia C. Wright of Stony Brook University in the accompanying video.
Penguin populations may have benefited from historic climate warming
June 13, 2014 09:10 AM - Editor, ENN
While penguins have adapted to extremely cold weather, harsh winters are still difficult for populations especially when it comes to breeding and finding food. So with warming climates on the horizon, are penguin populations going to be better off? Not necessarily. However, a new study does reveal that penguin populations over the last 30,000 years have benefitted in some ways from climate warming and retreating ice. An international team, led by scientists from the University of Southampton and Oxford University, has used a genetic technique to estimate when current genetic diversity arose in penguins and to recreate past population sizes.
Hope for the Indian rhino
June 12, 2014 09:02 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
The world's stronghold for Indian rhinos—the state of Assam—has seen its population leap by 27 percent since 2006, despite a worsening epidemic of poaching that has also seen 156 rhinos killed during the same period. According to a new white paper, the population of Indian rhinos in Assam hit 2,544 this year up from a nadir of around 200 animals in the early 1900s.
Saving bees with spider venom?
June 11, 2014 08:32 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
With Europe and the United States slow to ban the pesticides that science says is probably drastically harming our bee populations, could one of the world's most venomous spiders hold one solution to saving our pollinators?
How herring populations are affected by commercial fisheries
June 10, 2014 09:21 AM - Nicholas Barrett, MONGABAY.COM
Scientists analyzed almost half a million fish bones to shed light on the population history of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) in the North Pacific Ocean. Their paper, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reveals a decline of unprecedented scale. It suggests that while the abundance of Pacific herring does fluctuate naturally, their numbers have fallen precipitously since commercial fishing started targeting the species in the 19th century.
World Cup mascot helps score for Brazilian three-banded armadillos
June 6, 2014 09:01 AM - Fred Furtado, SciDevNet
A call by Brazilian scientists to protect the endangered mascot of the 2014 World Cup, the Brazilian three-banded armadillo, seems to have been heeded by the Brazilian government. On 22 May, the Brazilian government published an action plan to conserve this armadillo, which is unique to Brazil. The document proposes increasing the protected areas where the armadillo lives, enhancing financial incentives to prevent three-banded armadillo hunting and increasing education about the importance of protecting this species.
Milkweed loss to blame for declining Monarch populations
June 5, 2014 09:01 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Populations of the popular Monarch butterfly have been declining in recent years and a new study is citing habitat loss on US breeding grounds as the main culprit. The eastern North American monarch population is known not only for its iconic orange and black colors, but also for its late summer migration from the United States to Mexico, a migration covering thousands of miles. And despite the long-held belief that monarch butterflies are most vulnerable to disturbances on wintering grounds in Mexico, new research from the University of Guelph shows lack of milkweed in the US which provides breeding grounds for the species is playing more of a role for species decline.
Intact Amazon forests show possible signs of global warming impact
June 4, 2014 04:57 PM - Editor, MONGABAY.COM
Climate change may be taking a hidden toll on intact rainforests in the heart of the Amazon, finds a new study based on 35 years of observations. The research, published in the journal Ecology, focused on the ecological impacts of fragmentation but unexpectedly found changes in the control forests. These shifts, which included faster growth and death rates of trees, increased biomass accumulation, and proliferation in vines, may be linked to rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, according to George Mason University's Thomas Lovejoy, who initiated the study in the late 1970's.
Goats to the Rescue in Fire-Prone Bay Area
June 3, 2014 02:47 PM - S.E. Smith, Care2
How does the saying go? Only you can prevent forest fires, or only goats can prevent forest fires? You'll understand the confusion when you meet the Bay Area's latest fire prevention crews: goats. California is facing a forecast for what may be the worst fire season ever, thanks to drought conditions and a large buildup of tinder. Fire management professionals are working ahead of time to try to clear brush, high grass and other fire hazards, in the hopes of reducing the spread of the inevitable wildfires that are already streaking across the state. When it comes to brush clearance crews, it can be tough to find someone willing to do the job. It's backbreaking labor conducted in the hot sun, and it takes hours to make a dent in overgrown shrubs and brush, which are often filled with tangles of thorns and other unpleasant surprises. Brush clearance can get extremely expensive, and it requires constant maintenance. That's one reason why people have been turning to rental goats to clear brush and keep areas like road verges, medians and hillsides trimmed.
Zebras Break Record for Africa's Longest Terrestrial Migration
May 30, 2014 08:47 AM - Morgan Erickson-Davis, MONGABAY.COM
With food and water scarce in many parts of Africa, many species migrate long-distances in order to survive. A new study published in the journal, Oryx has found a new record-breaker for the continent’s longest tracked terrestrial migration: a huge group of zebras that traveled a total distance of 500 kilometers (300 miles).