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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What does the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration mean for you?

The Decade of Ecological Restoration is nearly here! The process of helping ecosystems regain function and biodiversity is a new and complex field. It requires collaboration across academic disciplines and requires connecting the needs of humans and ecosystems. So, what can restoration ecologists learn from sociologists to bridge the gap between humans and nature and help make the coming decade a success?

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New GIS-based Methods Allow More Accurate Estimation of Conservation Costs

The total costs of land conservation includes costs of acquisition, maintenance, preservation, logistics, and sometimes litigation. Many time, these costs have been far above what was budgeted for them, partly due to flawed methods of estimating those costs in the first place. New mapping techniques show first, the flaws in these methods, and second, the potential to estimate the actual costs far more accurately. This will allow for more efficient planning, and a lower likelihood of conservation projects encountering unexpected costs.

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