Wildlife

Invasive Burmese Pythons Can Find Their Way Back Home
March 19, 2014 10:15 AM - Allison Winter, ENN

There are multiple ways to deal with a critter that may find its way into your home. The most humane — catch it and release it back into its natural habitat perhaps a couple of miles away from your neighborhood. But this might not work for all species as a new study reveals that Burmese pythons are able to find their way back home even when moved far away from their capture locations.

Thought-to-be-Extinct Harlequin Frog Rediscovered in Costa Rica
March 19, 2014 08:07 AM - Editor, ENN

The critically endangered harlequin frog (Atelopus varius), believed to be extinct in Costa Rica, has been rediscovered in the Talamanca Mountains of southern Costa Rica by an international team of researchers. The harlequin frog was a relatively common species in areas of Costa Rica and Panama until 1988, when populations declined rapidly, primarily as a result of the invasive, infectious chytrid fungus (implicated in extinctions of hundreds of amphibian species globally). The increasingly rare harlequin was believed extirpated from Costa Rica until 2004, when two individual harlequin frogs were spotted in a remote area near Manuel Antonio National Park in the western region of the country. Unfortunately, no harlequin frogs have been seen at this location since then.

The cold hard glacial truth
March 18, 2014 03:46 PM - Tom Robinette, University of Cincinatti

Lewis Owen has been scraping out icy fragments of history's truth from one of the most glaciated regions on Earth for the past 25 years. His frequent excursions to Tibet and the Himalayas have led the University of Cincinnati professor of geology to some cold, hard facts. Owen knows climate change is immortal — fluctuating across millennia, patiently building toward moments when circumstances are ripe for apocalypse. It was true thousands of years ago, when rapid climate change had profound effects on landscapes and the creatures that lived on them. That scenario could be true again, if the past is ignored.

COLLEGIATE CORNER: Offshore oil drilling: is it really necessary?
March 18, 2014 10:32 AM - Christian Ramirez, Class of 2015, Wakefield High School, Arlington, VA

As we all know, oil is a very important energy resource the world needs for its everyday life. It is known that not only do most of the countries on the planet use it, but also it is a scarce resource, which means that in the near future, there will no longer be enough available oil that could be drilled and processed for future endeavors. The demand for oil has increased significantly throughout the past few years and other ways of obtaining this resource must be used more often. A form of oil drilling has emerged which is dangerous and is known as offshore drilling. Sounds like a good plan at first, going to the ocean where more oil can be found and at a faster rate, but is it really worth it? There should be an alternate to offshore drilling because of the many horrific and unfair problems that it brings to Americans, animals, and the overall environment.

Yellowstone Bison win court case!
March 16, 2014 07:25 AM - Editor, ENN, The Ecologist

The Montana Supreme Court has ruled that bison can roam outside the park boundaries for winter and early spring forage without being shot. In 2008, more than 1,400 bison - about one-third of the current size of Yellowstone's bison population - were captured and slaughtered by government agencies while leaving Yellowstone in search of food. The Montana Supreme Court affirmed the decision of a lower court this week, allowing wild bison room to roam outside the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park.

A global climate change directive?
March 14, 2014 04:11 PM - Editor, ENN

Could another climate change deal be in the works? World leaders are meeting in Brussels this month to discuss climate change. While environmentalists are calling for urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, diplomatic language presented in the introductory document is most likely not ambitious enough.

Can Penguins Cope with Climate Change?
March 14, 2014 08:01 AM - Editor, MONGABAY.COM

Human-caused climate change is altering the habitat of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae). In an article recently published in PLOS ONE, a team of researchers led by Amélie LescroĆ«l from the Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CNRS) in France, found that changes in sea-ice content and newly formed icebergs significantly impacted Adélie penguin communities in the Ross Sea.

Antarctic ecosystem due to change radically with climate change
March 13, 2014 02:07 PM - Staff, ENN

According to researchers the Ross Sea will "be extensively modified by future climate change" in the coming decades creating longer periods of ice-free open water and affecting life cycles of all components of the ecosystem in a paper published and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The researchers have drawn their information from the Regional Ocean Modeling System, a computer model that evaluates sea-ice, ocean, atmosphere and sea-shelf.

Warmer years linked to more malaria in tropical highlands
March 13, 2014 01:53 PM - Pablo Correa, SciDevNet

[BOGOTA] People in densely populated highlands of Africa and South America — who have so far been protected from malaria by cooler temperatures — may be seeing more of the disease as the climate changes, according to a study in Science (6 March).

Sustainable urban lawns
March 12, 2014 01:16 PM - robin Blackstone, ENN

Concern for the homogenization of America's urban landscape prompted a recent research study into the care and maintenance of residential landscapes. The study demonstrated fewer similarities than expected but the concern, according to researchers is that "Lawns not only cover a larger extent [of land] than any other irrigated 'crop' in the U.S., but are expected to expand in coming decades. The researchers go on to point out that the potential homogenization of residential lawn care has emerged as a major concern for carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and water flows."

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