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Elkhorn coral actively fighting off diseases on reef
on October 23, 2020 at 11:10 pm
As the world enters a next wave of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are aware now more than ever of the importance of a healthy immune system to protect ourselves from disease. This is not only true for humans but corals too, which are in an ongoing battle to ward off deadly diseases spreading on a reef.
Endangered vaquita remain genetically healthy even in low numbers
on October 23, 2020 at 4:31 pm
The critically endangered vaquita has survived in low numbers in its native Gulf of California for hundreds of thousands of years, a new genetic analysis has found. The study found little sign of inbreeding or other risks often associated with small populations.
Protected areas help waterbirds adapt to climate change
on October 21, 2020 at 5:01 pm
Climate change pushes species distribution areas northward. However, the expansion of species ranges is not self-evident due to e.g. habitat degradation and unsustainable harvesting caused by human activities. A new study suggests that protected areas can facilitate wintering waterbird adaptation to climate warming by advancing their range shifts towards north.
Mystery over decline in sea turtle sightings
on October 19, 2020 at 12:29 pm
The number of sea turtles spotted along the coasts of the UK and Ireland has declined in recent years, researchers say.
Early-arriving endangered Chinook salmon take the brunt of sea lion predation
on October 19, 2020 at 12:28 pm
A new study found that sea lions have the largest negative effect on early-arriving endangered Chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River.
Ivory Coast without ivory? Elephant populations are declining rapidly in Côte d'Ivoire
on October 14, 2020 at 6:11 pm
Recent years have witnessed a widespread and catastrophic decline in the number of forest elephants in protected areas in Côte d'Ivoire, according to a new study.
On the trail of novel infectious agents in wildlife
on October 13, 2020 at 4:41 pm
A research team investigated the causes of severe respiratory disease in peccaries and taxonomically characterized a novel Streptococcus species (Streptococcus catagoni sp. nov.) based on its phenotypic properties and genetic features.
Crayfish 'trapping' fails to control invasive species
on October 13, 2020 at 1:02 pm
Despite being championed by a host of celebrity chefs, crayfish 'trapping' is not helping to control invasive American signal crayfish, according to new research.
Study finds fungal disease of snakes in 19 states, Puerto Rico
on October 8, 2020 at 6:20 pm
Researchers surveyed for an infection caused by an emerging fungal pathogen that afflicts snakes. The research effort found infected snakes in 19 states and Puerto Rico, demonstrating that the fungus is more widely distributed than was previously known.
Extinctions linked to new assemblages of species
on October 8, 2020 at 6:20 pm
As the world undergoes profound environmental change, identifying and protecting 'novel' communities of species can help prevent extinctions within vulnerable ecosystems. Scientists outline a world first method to detect 'novel' communities of species across all ecosystems.
Dietary migration of Impala rivals the geographical migration of Serengeti wildebeest
on October 8, 2020 at 4:13 pm
A new study shows the Impala's migration is a 'dietary migration', where they switch from eating mostly grass in the wet season, to eating more tree leaves or 'browse' during the dry season.
Double jeopardy for ecologically rare birds and terrestrial mammals
on October 8, 2020 at 12:37 pm
Common assumptions notwithstanding, rare species can play unique and essential ecological roles. After studying two, scientists have demonstrated that, though these species are found on all continents, they are more threatened by human pressures than ecologically common species and will also be more impacted by future climate change. Thus they are in double jeopardy. The researchers' findings show that conservation programmes must account for the ecological rarity of species.
Past tropical forest changes drove megafauna and hominin extinctions
on October 7, 2020 at 4:31 pm
Researchers have discovered that Southeast Asia, today renowned for its lush rainforests, was at various points in the past covered by sweeping grasslands. The expansion and reduction of these grasslands had drastic effects on local megafauna, variously supporting success and inducing extinction.
Broken promises: Almost 80 percent of threatened species lack sufficient protection
on October 7, 2020 at 4:31 pm
A failure by governments to deliver on commitments under a global nature conservation treaty, the Convention on Biological Diversity, could have devastating effects. The warning comes after a consortium of scientists reviewed national area-based conservation efforts, including protected areas.
The first human settlers on islands caused extinctions
on October 6, 2020 at 3:42 pm
Though some believe prehistoric humans lived in harmony with nature, a new analysis of fossils shows human arrival in the Bahamas caused some birds to be lost from the islands and other species to be completely wiped out.
Disproportionate extinction of South American mammals when Americas collided evident today
on October 5, 2020 at 9:08 pm
North American mammals were the winners when the North and South American continents collided millions of years ago. New research shows that South American mammals went extinct at a disproportionately high rate once the Panama Isthmus connected the continents, allowing migration in either direction.
Tracking sea turtle egg traffickers with GPS-enabled decoy eggs
on October 5, 2020 at 3:21 pm
By placing 3D-printed and GPS-enabled decoy sea turtle eggs into nests on the beach, it's possible to gather key evidence needed to expose rampant illegal trade of the eggs, suggests a new study. The researchers specifically tested how well the decoy eggs work and their safety for the endangered turtles.
Dozens of mammals could be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2
on October 5, 2020 at 12:08 pm
Numerous animals may be vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, according to a large study modelling how the virus might infect different animals' cells.
Future climate changes in nature reserves
on October 2, 2020 at 4:21 pm
The Earth's nature reserves are set to be affected by future climate change in very different ways. Detailed local knowledge of climate change impacts can therefore make a significant contribution to the management of protected areas and the preservation of their ecological function. A study draws attention to this fact. It is based on climate forecasts for more than 130,000 nature reserves worldwide.
Alien species to increase by 36% worldwide by 2050
on October 1, 2020 at 1:01 pm
The number of alien (non-native) species is expected to increase globally by 36% by the middle of this century, compared to 2005, finds new research.