Large Carnivores on the Rise

Many large carnivores have been increasing in number along with people, which could lead to more conflicts between the carnivores and people. Wolves in particular are starting to make a comeback after their population sizes were reduced due to hunting and loss of prey. It is important to bring wolves back because they play an important role in maintaining the balance of an ecosystem by controlling the population size of their prey. Their reintroduction and increasing population sizes have led to research to figure out how wolves and people can live peacefully together.

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Warming oceans may affect the reproductive success of many fish species

Up to 60 percent of all fish species may eventually be forced to find new mating areas due to traditional areas becoming too warm for them. By studying fish species from all over the world, experts released a new report suggesting that many fish have a low tolerance for heat during mating. Water temperature may have a larger than previously acknowledged effect on fish reproduction success. If global warming continues, fish populations may not be as strong or as plentiful as they once were unless they find new mating locations.

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Right Place Wrong Time: Timing Mismatches Between Humans and Plants at Mount Rainier National Park

In a recent study using crowd-sourced data, Harvard researchers found that National Park visitors may increasingly visit the parks at the wrong time and the small window when most of the wildflowers bloom. At Mount Rainier National Park, early snowmelt means the plants flower before the majority of tourists visit the park. With climate change, these timing mismatches will become more common, however small changes to human behavior may put the flowers and and the humans that admire them back in sync.

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Good Vibrations: Katydids communicate when the wind is calm

Bzzzt! Our phones vibrate to let us know that someone has sent us a message and would like to communicate. Hundreds of thousands of species of animals, including katydids, use vibrations to communicate too. Male katydids vibrate their abdomens against plant branches to send information to other katydids, but these communications can be interrupted when wind vibrates plant branches at the same time. To avoid this disruption, katydids wait until the wind calms down to broadcast their signals. “Can you hear me now?”

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The burning question: How do wildfires impact watersheds?

Wildfires can be devastating events, but the impacts can last long after the flames are gone. The major changes to the landscape can have serious implications for how water moves and, as a result, how much of that water we can use. In this study, scientists investigate what a fiery future under climate change could mean for watersheds.

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Why is it important to do research at seal rehabilitation centers?

For many animal lovers, working as a seal rehabilitator seems like a dream job. You spend all day taking care of baby seals and release them when they’re strong enough to live on their own. But have these types of rehabilitation centers done enough research on what makes a seal ready for release? Could the time spent in rehabilitation cause the seals future problems or make it harder for them to survive in the wild? If so, should we stop seal rehabilitation all together?

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