Phoning the Queen with Fanning and Pheromones

Like a game of telephone, bees pass pheromones to each other by sticking their butts in the air and frantically fanning their wings. This individual behavior helps the entire group aggregate around the queen. A recent study used video recording and machine learning to understand how these pheromones are passed from bee to bee and understand collective behavior in honey bees.

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Helping a vulnerable rabbit species hop along with non-invasive genetic sampling

Many species face harsh challenges to persist in a human modified world. In order to design and implement conservation plans to support these imperiled species, we need to study wild populations. Advancements in genetics have made it easier to monitor wild populations and obtain relevant data to make informed choices regarding management and conservation policies. Check out this ebite to learn more about the conservation genetics of the New England cottontail rabbits.

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Can Human Infrastructure Improve Biodiversity?

Electrical towers are dotted across landscapes around the world, bringing power to people in cities and the country. But can these towers be used to help wildlife? In a new study, researchers in Sevilla, Spain modified the base of these towers to attract wildlife. They found that not only do these man-made structures attract wildlife, but they can also act as wildlife corridors — providing safe passage for critters as they move across human-modified landscapes.

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Dead and Gone? – The loss of decaying wood communities in urban forests

Forests are beautiful. From flourishing plants to tranquil wildlife to decaying logs, all parts are beautiful, vital, and connected. Dead logs are responsible for maintaining a healthy forest thanks to teams of fungi and wood-dependent insects inside. These organisms break down plant material to add nutrients back to the ecosystem. Forests are essential for human health and well-being, but human disturbance could threaten these ecosystems. To keep our forests healthy and beautiful, we depend on these decomposers, but can they rely on us?

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Penguins and Conservation: How penguins can help us conserve an entire ecosystem

Marine protected areas (MPAs) can be a good way to protect species threatened by human activities and climate change. Antarctica has two MPAs right now, but there are plans for several more in the future. To help decide where these MPAs would be most effective, a group of researchers studied different penguin species. The presence and health of a penguin population shows that the ecosystem has good habitat and food sources, which indicates a healthy ecosystem. Protecting healthy ecosystems within the future MPAs will offer protection for all of the species that live within it.

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The “Heartbreaking” Effect of Algal Blooms – Heart disease and the Southern Sea Otter

Our favorite hand-holding marine mammals, sea otters, are threatened by environmental toxins. Chemicals produced by algae blooms move up the food chain and cause a multitude of diseases in top predators. A new study documented how algae blooms cause heart disease in sea otters, what this means for our own seafood consumption, and proposes solutions to our pollution.

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Cats and Dogs: Canine Distemper Virus and the Endangered Amur Tiger

Canine Distemper Virus, commonly found in domesticated dogs, in increasingly common in Amur tigers, which are the least numerous of the major tiger subspecies. Recent research challenges long-held ideas about CDV transmission, and present new strategies to counteract CDVs deadly effects on endangered Amur tigers.

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