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

Read more

Excavating Extinction Histories

Extinct organisms may seem like grim study subjects, but their bones can teach us a lot about their role in the environment and what led to their extinction. By knowing how these animals contributed to their environment, we can better understand how ecosystems have changed over time. Studying their bones can also give us insight into why the organisms went extinct so that we can help prevent similar extinctions of modern species.

Read more

Is 3D printing the future of conservation ecology?

3D printing is a new tool that is starting to be used in ecology. Researchers from the University of Delaware conducted an experiment to test whether 3D printed corals impact the behavior of a coral reef fish, the blue green chromis, in a laboratory setting. The results of experiments like these can pave the way for innovative techniques for habitat manipulation studies in the future.

Read more

Microbes for Disappearing Dunes

A major challenge our coastal ecosystems face is rapid loss of sand dunes due to coastal erosion. Plants play an important role in sand dune restoration. However, without the right microbes these plants may not be able to establish themselves in the dunes.

Read more

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.

Read more

What is scarier than zombies, ghosts, and witches? A modern mass extinction

When I was a little kid, the things that scared me were a little silly – the slime monster from Ghostwriter, caterpillars, or a sinkhole developing underneath my bed that would swallow me while I slept. While I’ve gotten over these mostly ridiculous fears, being an adult doesn’t mean I am now fearless. Instead, the things that I consider “scary” have shifted. Now, the things that scare me are all too real – things like climate change and mass extinction.

Read more

Listen for a Change: Bioacoustics in Restored Habitat Combats the Bird Decline

Excerpt: A recent study has revealed that 3 billion birds have disappeared since 1970 in North America. Restoring habitat can help reverse this loss, and technology in listening for birds can be a vital tool to see if this approach to restoring bird habitat is working.

Read more

A Grizzly Situation: Saving Bears by Mitigating Conflict

Many people become fearful at the mention of “bear country.” But is the risk of being hurt by a bear, or even seeing a bear, on your trip really that high? The answer is no: many campers and hikers don’t even know they have passed close to a bear during their time outdoors because bears largely try to avoid humans. When bears do come close to people, it is usually due to conflicts over food and space. Humans often retaliate against bears in these situations, which can ultimately threaten the survival of bear populations. In an effort to save these bears, a team of scientists came up with a program to mitigate human-bear conflicts and create spaces where both humans and bears can coexist.

Read more