Bees Are Declared Endangered for the First Time in the U.S.
October 7, 2016 07:09 AM - Alicia Graefi, Care2
For the first time in history, a group of bees in the U.S. will be protected under the Endangered Species Act, following a recent announcement from wildlife officials.
The group of bees, who are commonly known as yellow-faced bees because of the markings on their faces, are endemic only to the Hawaiian islands. While there are dozens of species, scientists identified several of them who are at risk of extinction and have been calling for their protection for years.
First evidence of deep-sea animals ingesting microplastics
October 3, 2016 07:11 AM - University of Oxford
Following the news that the UK government is to ban plastic microbeads by the end of 2017, a team of scientists led by the University of Oxford has discovered the first evidence of microplastics being ingested by deep-sea animals.
Researchers working on the Royal Research Ship (RRS) James Cook at two sites in the mid-Atlantic and south-west Indian Ocean found plastic microfibres inside creatures including hermit crabs, squat lobsters and sea cucumbers at depths of between 300m and 1800m.
Fate of turtles and tortoises affected more by habitat than temperature
September 27, 2016 07:17 AM - University of Bristol
Habitat degradation poses a greater risk to the survival of turtles and tortoises than rising global temperatures, according to new research.
More than 60 per cent of the group are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered, because they are being traded, collected for food and medicine and their habitats are being degraded. Understanding the additional impact of global warming and changes in rainfall patterns on their diversity and distributions is therefore paramount to their conservation.
Birds prefer quality over quantity
September 22, 2016 07:13 AM - Matt Hayes, Cornell University
In a new study that upends the way ornithologists think about a young bird’s diet – but won’t shock parents used to scanning the nutritional profile of their children’s food – Cornell researchers have found that when it comes to what chicks eat, quality trumps quantity.
In recent decades, many aerial insectivores, such as tree swallows, have undergone steep population declines. Cornell researchers have demonstrated for the first time that the fatty acid composition in the tree swallow diet plays a key role in chick health and survival rates, potentially pointing to new ways to protect fragile bird species.
Where and how climate change is altering species
September 21, 2016 05:20 PM - University of Wisconsin-Madison via ScienceDaily
New research published Monday (Sept. 19) in the journal Nature Climate Change by researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark and the University of Wisconsin-Madison illuminates where and why novel species combinations are likely to emerge due to recent changes in temperature and precipitation. The study includes global maps of novelty that offer testable predictions and carry important implications for conservation and land management planning.
World deforestation: we're losing a forest the size of NYC every 2 days!
September 19, 2016 10:26 AM - Karin Kloosterman via Green Prophet
This is an issue of global concern. Climate change, urbanization, and resource depletion (more mouths to feed, burn wood in stoves for, graze more cattle for) is still happening at a fast an alarming clip, influencing our planet’s ability to store CO2 emissions, and protect diversity.
Picky eaters: Bumble bees prefer plants with nutrient-rich pollen
June 27, 2016 04:39 PM - Penn State via EurekAlert!
Bumble bees have discriminating palettes when it comes to their pollen meals, according to researchers at Penn State. The researchers found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets.
"Populations of many bee species are in decline across the world, and poor nutrition is thought to be a major factor causing these declines," said Christina Grozinger, director of the Center for Pollinator Research, Penn State. "Our studies can help identify plant species and stocks that provide high-quality nutrition for bumble bees and potentially other bee species, which will help in the development of pollinator-friendly gardens and planting strips."
Thousands Ask Feds to Protect West Coast's Beloved Orcas Before It's Too Late
June 10, 2016 03:36 PM - Alicia Graef, Care2
Thousands of people spoke out this week to ask for more protection for a highly endangered and beloved population of orcas, otherwise known as the Southern Resident killer whales who live in the Pacific Northwest.
Thanks to whale watching tours, and organizations like the Orca Network and Center for Whale Research, which keeps an official census of their population, we have had the opportunity to glimpse into their daily lives. We’ve been able to celebrate births, mourn deaths and root for the elders among them, like Granny, who has been around long enough to see how drastically our actions have changed their home and families.
NOAA, USGS, partners predict an average 'dead zone' for Gulf of Mexico
June 10, 2016 10:53 AM - NOAA Headquarters
Scientists forecast that this year's Gulf of Mexico dead zone--an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and marine life - will be approximately 5,898 square miles or about the size of Connecticut, the same range as it has averaged over the last several years.
Using Lake Michigan turtles to measure wetland pollution
June 9, 2016 12:03 PM - University of Notre Dame
Decades of unregulated industrial waste dumping in areas of the Great Lakes have created a host of environmental and wildlife problems. Now it appears that Lake Michigan painted and snapping turtles could be a useful source for measuring the resulting pollution.