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Scientists discover new penguin colonies from space
on August 5, 2020 at 12:08 am
A new study using satellite mapping technology reveals there are nearly 20% more emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than was previously thought. The results provide an important benchmark for monitoring the impact of environmental change on the population of this iconic bird.
New studies show how to save parasites and why it's important
on August 1, 2020 at 7:41 pm
An international group of scientists have laid out an ambitious global conservation plan for parasites. Another group of researchers found that the responses of parasites to environmental change are likely to be complex, and that a changing world probably will see both outbreaks of some parasites and a total loss of other parasite species.
Whale airway mucus reveals likely poor health during migration
on July 30, 2020 at 3:01 pm
Researchers have linked the burden of humpback whales' annual migration to depleted microbial diversity in their airways - an indicator of overall health.
Underwater robots reveal daily habits of endangered whales
on July 30, 2020 at 1:05 am
Research has revealed the daily habits of the endangered Mediterranean sperm whale. The recordings confirmed the whales' widespread presence in the north-western Mediterranean Sea and identified a possible hotspot for sperm whale habitat in the Gulf of Lion, as well as different foraging strategies between different areas.
Smaller habitats worse than expected for biodiversity
on July 29, 2020 at 3:48 pm
Biodiversity's ongoing global decline has prompted policies to protect and restore habitats to minimize animal and plant extinctions. However, biodiversity forecasts used to inform these policies are usually based on assumptions of a simple theoretical model describing how the number of species changes with the amount of habitat. A new study shows that the application of this theoretical model underestimates how many species go locally extinct when habitats are lost.
Glacial stream insect may tolerate warmer waters
on July 27, 2020 at 3:47 pm
An endangered aquatic insect that lives in icy streams fed by glaciers might not mind if the water grows warmer due to climate. A new study found that mountain stoneflies can tolerate warmer water temperatures at least temporarily. In fact, they might even be stressed in their current extremely cold environments.
Big brains and dexterous hands
on July 24, 2020 at 6:10 pm
Primates with large brains can master more complex hand movements than those with smaller brains. However, fine motor skills such as using tools can take time to learn, and humans take the longest of all. Large-brained species such as humans and great apes do not actually learn more slowly than other primates but instead start later, researchers have shown.
Livestock expansion is a factor in global pandemics
on July 24, 2020 at 2:41 pm
A new study looks at the growth of global livestock farming and the threat to biodiversity, and the health risks to both humans and domesticated animals.
New native Hawaiian land snail species discovered, first in 60 years
on July 23, 2020 at 7:23 pm
Auriculella gagneorum, a small candy-striped snail from Oahu's Waianae Mountains, represents the first new species of a living Hawaiian land snail described in 60 years.
Research breakthrough in fight against chytrid fungus
on July 23, 2020 at 6:37 pm
For frogs dying of the invasive chytridiomycosis disease, the leading cause of amphibian deaths worldwide, the genes responsible for protecting them may actually be leading to their demise, according to a new study.
African vulture poisoning has global disease and biodiversity implications
on July 23, 2020 at 6:36 pm
Researchers have produced recommendations for vulture poisoning control in Southern Africa. Vultures act as nature's most critical scavengers, working as ecosystem garbage disposals and disinfectors to maintain animal, environmental, and human health. Findings highlight the issue from a conservation and criminology perspective, recommending a more coordinated and holistic approach to regulation, education, and enforcement.
Biotelemetry provides unique glimpse into whitespotted eagle rays' behavior
on July 22, 2020 at 5:49 pm
Researchers are the first to characterize the ecology and fine-scale habitat use of 'near threatened' whitespotted eagle rays in Florida while also identifying areas of potential interactions between this species and multiple environmental threats. Biotelemetry provided unique insights into this species' occupancy, which is not apparent at the landscape-scale. Prolonged observations showed affinities for habitats of considerable recreational and commercial importance, like inlets, channels, and clam aquaculture lease sites close to shore.
Eating habits of baby predator starfish revealed
on July 21, 2020 at 1:44 pm
The varied diet of juvenile crown-of-thorns starfish complicates scientists' ability to age them. This makes plans for the management of this invasive species more difficult, as outbreaks of adults on the reef are unpredictable.
Saving critically endangered seabird
on July 21, 2020 at 12:42 pm
The global population of the critically endangered Chinese crested tern has more than doubled thanks to a historic, collaborative, decade-long study.
The Azores: Exotic insect species increase on islands through human impact
on July 20, 2020 at 2:20 pm
A new study reveals that the diversity of exotic species of insects, spiders and other arthropods in the Azores is increasing. This pattern has also been observed in other islands around the world, which can contribute to aggravate the current biodiversity crisis. The study also point to a slight decrease in the abundance of endemic species in the archipelago - species that are not found anywhere else on the planet.
About 94 per cent of wild bee and native plant species networks lost
on July 16, 2020 at 6:47 pm
Climate change and an increase in disturbed bee habitats from expanding agriculture and development in northeastern North America over the last 30 years are likely responsible for a 94 per cent loss of plant-pollinator networks, researchers found. The researchers looked at plant-pollinator networks from 125 years ago through present day.
Sea turtles' impressive navigation feats rely on surprisingly crude 'map'
on July 16, 2020 at 3:16 pm
Since the time of Charles Darwin, scientists have marvelled at sea turtles' impressive ability to make their way -- often over thousands of kilometers -- through the open ocean and back to the very places where they themselves hatched years before. Now, researchers have evidence that the turtles pull off these impressive feats of navigation with only a crude map to guide them on their way.
Social media inspired models show winter warming hits fish stocks
on July 13, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Mathematical modelling inspired by social media is identifying the significant impacts of warming seas on the world's fisheries.
Study reveals scale of habitat loss for endangered birds
on July 10, 2020 at 1:05 am
A new study warns that the last remaining habitat for several endangered bird species in Europe could reduce by up to 50 per cent in the next century as farmers convert land to more profitable crops and meet increased demand for products such as olive oil and wine.
15-foot-long skeleton of extinct dolphin suggests parallel evolution among whales
on July 9, 2020 at 3:35 pm
A report offers a detailed description of the first nearly complete skeleton of an extinct large dolphin, discovered in what is now South Carolina. The 15-foot-long dolphin (Ankylorhiza tiedemani comb. n.) lived during the Oligocene -- about 25 million years ago -- and was previously known only from a partial rostrum (snout) fossil.