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Is it possible to reduce the impact of oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest?
May 3, 2013 08:42 AM - Editor, MONGABAY.COM
Oil extraction in the Amazon rainforest has been linked to severe environmental degradation — including deforestation and pollution — which in some areas has spurred violent social conflict. Yet a vast extent of the Colombian, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Bolivian, and Brazilian Amazon is currently under concession for oil and gas exploration and production — hundreds of billions of dollars are potentially at stake. It seems clear that much of this hydrocarbon development is going to proceed whether environmentalists and human rights groups like it or not.
Economic development 'can restore lost biodiversity'
May 2, 2013 06:26 AM - Bernard Appiah, SciDevNet
Economic development can lead to increased biodiversity restoration in Sub-Saharan Africa, on a similar scale to its loss due to development, according to a study. Biodiversity loss is one of the important environmental threats that humanity faces, the study says, and it disproportionately harms the world's poorest people, who are less able to adjust to it, as they have limited access to alternatives then using natural resources for livelihoods.
Insect Eye View Inspired Camera
May 1, 2013 03:38 PM - Editor, ENN
Insects can have a number of different types of eyes and are remembered more for their compound eyes. In contrast with our eyes, insect eyes are immovable and unable to focus but have other advantages. When praying mantises, dragonflies, ants and other insects peer out at the world, their bulging, compound eyes allow them to see an incredibly wide field of view with an almost infinite depth of field. Imitating the functionality of an insect eye — which is really a collection of many tinier eyes, known as ommatidia — in a camera has been a long sought-after goal for engineers. Present day camera lenses with wide fields of view, such as fisheye lenses, create distortion around the edges of the image but future "insect eye" cameras may not.
May 1, 2013 01:09 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The seven living species of sea turtles are: flatback sea turtle, green sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, Kemp's ridley sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle and olive ridley sea turtle. Sea turtles are generally found in the waters over continental shelves. Nesting green sea turtles are benefiting from marine protected areas by using habitats found within their boundaries, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study that is the first to track the federally protected turtles in Dry Tortugas National Park. Green turtles are listed as endangered in Florida and threatened throughout the rest of their range, and the habits of green sea turtles after their forays to nest on beaches in the Southeast U.S. have long remained a mystery. Until now, it was not clear whether the turtles made use of existing protected areas, and few details were available as to whether they were suited for supporting the green sea turtle's survival.
Birds Strike: deaths caused by collisions with buildings severely dent populations
May 1, 2013 09:48 AM - Ben Whitford, The Ecologist
Ben Whitford reveals why numerous birds fall dead and injured from the skies over urban areas each year, and asks what can be done to prevent this ongoing avian tragedy... On a brisk May morning in 2001, countless dying birds fell like rain from the grey Toronto sky. In the east of the city, outside a hulking 18-storey office complex called Consilium Place, workers on cigarette breaks watched in horror as tiny feathered bodies thudded onto the pavement, fell into their laps, and crashed onto the picnic tables where they had laid out their coffee and morning snacks.
The shady business of online wildlife trade
April 30, 2013 06:15 AM - Akhila Vijayaraghavan, MONGABAY.COM
The internet is certainly the cornerstone of modern technology and a boon for so much innovation. However, along with all its advantages, there are some serious drawbacks and one of the latest is online smuggling of wildlife. The Indian Express recently reported that India's wildlife police have discovered illegal websites selling live endangered animals, parts and rare plants.
Poachers have likely killed off the last rhinos in Mozambique's Limpopo National Park, according to a park official who spoke with Portugal News. Park director António Abacar said that no rhinos have been sighted in Limpopo National Park since January, "which means that the ones that lived in the park are probably dead".
Ladybugs used as natural pest control inside Mall of America
April 26, 2013 08:28 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Why is it that we swat away every other bug that happens to land or crawl on us, but when a ladybug finds us, most of us observe it, count its spots, and maybe even blow it away and make a wish? Ladybugs have become popularized in children’s stories and in popular media, so we tend to have a positive perception of these coccinellids being a cute and harmless bug. But another thing that these bugs are known for is being a predator of aphids.
Clownfish helps its anemone host to breathe
April 26, 2013 06:34 AM - Patricia O'Neill, MONGABAY.COM
The sight of a clownfish wriggling through the stinging tentacles of its anemone is a familiar and seemingly well-understood one to most people—the stinging anemone provides a protective home for the clownfish who is immune to such stings, and in turn the clownfish chases away any polyp-eating sunfish eyeing the anemone's tentacles for a meal. But recent research has shown that all that clownfish wriggling significantly helps to oxygenate the anemone at night, when oxygen levels in the water are low.
Malaysia may be home to more Asian tapirs than previously thought
April 24, 2013 08:43 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
You can't mistake an Asian tapir for anything else: for one thing, it's the only tapir on the continent; for another, it's distinct black-and-white blocky markings distinguishes it from any other tapir (or large mammal) on Earth. But still little is known about the Asian tapir (Tapirus indicus), including the number surviving. However, researchers in Malaysia are working to change that: a new study for the first time estimates population density for the neglected megafauna, while another predicts where populations may still be hiding in peninsular Malaysia, including selectively-logged areas.