Wildlife

800+ Species added to IUCN Threatened List
June 17, 2014 08:58 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

Experts have added 817 species to the threatened categories of the IUCN Red List in the latest update. Those added include 51 mammals—mostly lemurs—and over 400 plants. The new update finds that over 90 percent of lemurs and 79 percent of temperate slipper orchids are threatened with extinction.

10 Amazing Animal Dads
June 15, 2014 08:05 AM - Alicia Graef, Care2, Care2

Not all non-human animal dads are cut out for family life, but there are a number of species who have become known for their role as fathers who deserve a salute, from giant water bugs who carry dozens of eggs on their backs to males who actually get pregnant and dads who operate solo as single parents. This Father's Day, it's time to celebrate some of the amazing dads from the animal kingdom who go above and beyond when it comes raising and protecting their young. Red Fox Male red foxes aren't just loving mates, but excited and protective fathers. They take on the task of providing food for their mates every few hours for about a month after she gives birth. Then they take on the role of teacher — but teachers who like to take time out to play. Even when it’s time to get serious and teach their young how to start finding their own food, fox dads help them out and make sure they don't really go hungry by hiding it near their dens.

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.

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