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Safe passage at last for the Pronghorn
November 1, 2013 04:56 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
U.S. Highway 191 in Trapper's Point, Wyoming is safer today for motorists and pronghorns alike as a result of a newly built 8-part overpass/underpass system designed to facilitate the travel and migration of local populations of pronghorn, mule deer, moose, elk and other wildlife safely over the highway. While the overpass was completed in time for last year’s migration, the pronghorn were hesitant to use the system last year making researchers nervous. However, this year the pronghorn were less confused by the alteration and used the passages willingly.
Relating demographics and social systems to declines in Asian Great Ape population
November 1, 2013 10:53 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Catastrophic declines in wild populations of African gorilla and chimpanzees due to disease outbreaks have been reported in recent years, yet similar disease impacts are rarely identified for the more solitary Asian great apes, or for smaller primates. Researchers led by Sadie Ryan, Assistant Professor at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry has recently published a study centered on the interaction between the social system and demographics of different primate species to determine if any of these behaviors or realities predispose them to potentially lethal pathogens. Through this study the researchers have identified interactions between social structure, demography, and disease transmission modes that create "dynamic constraints" on the pathogens that can establish and persist in primate host species with different social systems.
Chickens to benefit from surge in biofuels popularity
November 1, 2013 10:10 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Chickens could be the unexpected beneficiaries of the growing biofuels industry, feeding on proteins retrieved from the fermenters used to brew bioethanol, thanks to research supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). It has long been known that the yeasty broth left over after bioethanol production is nutritious, but it has taken a collaboration between Nottingham Trent University and AB Agri, the agricultural division of Associated British Foods, to prove that Yeast Protein Concentrate (YPC) can be separated from the fibrous cereal matter.
The mystery of the disappearing elephant tusk
October 31, 2013 08:57 AM - Sandhya Sekar, MONGABAY.COM
Give it a few thousand years, and tusks could completely disappear from the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). The beautifully smooth, elongated ivory incisors neatly bordering a long trunk are iconic in the public mind. The reigning hypothesis is that tusks evolved to help male elephants fight one another, as demonstrated when males compete over females in estrus. However, a recent study published in the journal Animal Behaviour has shown that tusks may not be key factors in tussles, at least as far as elephants are concerned.
National Bison day is coming!
October 31, 2013 06:34 AM - Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society, Intertribal Buffalo Council, National Bison Association, and dozens of bison-friendly businesses and groups around the country are celebrating the second annual National Bison Day on Saturday, November 2. The U.S. Senate passed a resolution on October 29th that officially recognizes National Bison Day for the historical, economic, ecological and cultural contributions of bison across the American landscape. At a time when Congress appears at its most divided, Senators of both parties came together to pass the National Bison Day Resolution by unanimous consent. Sens. Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) led a group of 25 co-sponsors, 13 Republicans and 12 Democrats, who helped push the resolution to full passage.
'Lost' bird rediscovered in New Caledonia along with 16 potentially new species
October 30, 2013 09:02 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
In early 2011, Conservation International (CI) dubbed the forests of New Caledonia the second-most imperiled in the world after those on mainland Southeast Asia. Today, CI has released the results of a biodiversity survey under the group's Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) to New Caledonia's tallest mountain, Mount Panié. During the survey researchers rediscovered the 'lost' crow honeyeater and possibly sixteen new or recently-described species. Over 20 percent larger than Connecticut, New Caledonia is a French island east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean.
Lions under pressure in Uganda
October 30, 2013 06:38 AM - Wildlife Conservation Society
Conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of St. Andrews warn that Uganda’s African lions—a mainstay of the country's tourism industry and a symbol of Africa—are on the verge of disappearing from the country's national parks. According to the results of a recent survey, African lions in Uganda have decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years in some areas of the country, mostly the result of poisoning by local cattle herders, retaliations for livestock predation, and other human-related conflicts. The downward trend in lion numbers has conservationists concerned about the species' long-term chances in the country, often described as the "Pearl of Africa" for its natural wonders.
Mercury Sediment Carried Forth by California Floods
October 29, 2013 01:59 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Mercury contamination in sediment has been a big concern in the Central Valley lowland areas of California. But associate researcher from the University of California, Michael Singer has unearthed new information and considerations utilizing modern topographic datasets and modeling to track mercury-laden sediment. Singer hypothesizes that the progradation process resulting from 10-year flooding events within the valleys below the Sierra Nevada Mountains are the key to understanding and tracking the presence of mercury. Singer has connected the mercury amalgamation process, which was used to extract gold from the mountains during the 19th century with the current high incidence of mercury in regional delta sediment.
October 28, 2013 10:36 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Anthony Martin, paleontologist at Emory University in Atlanta, GA recently discovered two fossilized footprints presumably made by a landing bird during the Early Cretaceous period at Dinosaur Cove in Victoria, Australia. This discovery marks the oldest known bird tracks in Australia.
The People’s Choice: Americans Would Pay to Help Monarch Butterflies
October 28, 2013 08:47 AM - Ethan Alpern, USGS
Americans place high value on butterfly royalty. A recent study suggests they are willing to support monarch butterfly conservation at high levels, up to about 6 ½ billion dollars if extrapolated to all U.S. households. If even a small percentage of the population acted upon this reported willingness, the cumulative effort would likely translate into a large, untapped potential for conservation of the iconic butterfly.