Begging birds: behavioral responses to human feeding in China

Bird feeding is a popular activity enjoyed around the globe. However, we don’t really understand how bird feeding can impact the behavior of birds. A new study from China took on this question by studying black-headed gulls. Read on to find out how food provisionings affected the behaviors of these birds

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Indigenous Fire Practices Work

“Fire exclusion policies forced California Indian communities and forest managers to curtail their routine cultural and prescribed burning practices. Despite these policies, Karuk and Yurok basketweavers retained their knowledge, maintained their practices and, most importantly, developed several innovative techniques to replicate fire’s effects on hazelnut to produce essential basketry materials.” (Marks-Block 2019)

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Escape in the Serengeti: Hyraxes have become accustomed to increasing human disturbances

As human population increases, many wild animals are increasingly exposed to the presence of humans. Furthermore, nature based tourism can also increase exposure of wild populations to humans. Read on to find out how hyraxes, small African mammals, have been affected by increasing encounters with humans.

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Streamside Vegetation Can Capture Pesticides

Blueberries and other crops are being impacted in the Pacific northwest by a new invasive species. Pesticide use to combat this problem may impact nearby aquatic life. Researchers studied agriculture areas with and without woody vegetation along stream banks to understand if they could play a role in keeping pesticides out of streams. Sites with woody vegetation reduced 96% of pesticide measured in the stream on average compared to sites without. Increasing woody vegetation next to streams could help farmers fight off invasive species while still protecting water quality.

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It’s Not Always Easy Being Green

You’ve probably heard “you are what you eat” as it pertains to health, but have you considered the phrase as it pertains to sustainability? Your environmental impact is partly defined by the environmental impact of your eating habits. And those can carry a lot of weight, with global food production being a major source of fuel and water consumption, not to mention greenhouse gas emissions.

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Duck broods are more resilient than expected in the face of oil and natural gas extraction

The Bakken Formation, a unique geological feature in the midwestern US and Canada, is a mecca for oil reserves and duck habitat. Scientists aimed to better understand how increased oil production has impacted the establishment and survival of duck broods.

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Salty about coastal walls

Artificial barriers are one of humans favorite thing to build. We build them to keep ‘other’ people in or out. We build them to keep animals in or out. And of course we build them to keep the natural environment out or our AC in. Usually walls are just temporary solutions to a much deeper problem which is definitely true in the case of sea level rise. Coastal communities need walls to protect against flooding. But what happens when to the impounded ecosystem when mother nature crashes through the wall anyway?

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Hang on to that tree! Lizards that survived hurricane Maria showed increases in grip strength

The 2019 hurricane season started off with a bang. It’s clear that climate change has affected the frequency and severity of hurricanes. To understand whether species will be able to cope with more frequent severe storms we need more research to see how hurricanes can affect populations of plants and animals. Read on to find out how hurricane Maria in 2017 affected lizards in Dominica.

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Detective Work in the Nuclear Era: Investigating a Mysterious Radioactive Event

Nuclear alarm bells rang loudly in 2017 when sensors all around Europe detected sudden increases of a potent radioactive substance in the air. There were no known nuclear-related incidents or accidents at the time. This is the story of how a multi-national team worked together to monitor, analyze, and finally pinpoint the source of this still-undeclared release of radioactive material.

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