Soft Manatee, Warm Manatee? Understanding How Manatees Behave

Antillean manatees are an endangered subspecies of manatee that live in the warm waters of the Caribbean, but little is known about their behavior, both in the wild and under human care. This is why scientists in France set out to better understand and define manatee behavior in captivity, identifying how bold or shy they were and how they acted towards novel and familiar stimuli.

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The Unintended Catch: Population Declines in Greater Scaup due to Fishery Bycatch

Aquatic birds play an important role in shallow water ecosystems, affecting the diversity of their prey communities and providing an important link in the food web. Over the years, mortality has increased in many aquatic bird species due to human activity. New research on a population of Greater Scaup (Aythya marila), an aquatic bird species native to Europe, determined that fisheries contribute heavily to its mortality and gives us tools to understand how we can reduce this impact. If no action is taken, this species could become endangered within the next 30 years.

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These Boots Were Made from Exotic Leather

When picturing an American cowboy, images of horses and lassos come to mind, studded in spurs and blanketed in leather. The leather that you imagine is most likely cow hide, tanned and sourced in the United States of America. However, this mental image may require some adjustment. According to a study conducted by Jessica Heinrich and her team, exotic leather within the US is relatively common, particularly leather sourced from scaled mammals known as pangolins and large fish known as arapaima. Conservation efforts are more dire than ever as illegal trade of the two scaly organisms continues.

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Farmers vs. Fish: The Story of Delta Smelt

Delta smelt, a small free-swimming fish native to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in California, have been portrayed as the catalyst for failing agriculture in the delta region. As an Endangered Species Act-listed species, delta smelt require increased water allocation to maintain low salinity in an already water-starved area, leaving less water for farmers and their crops. In reality, only a small percentage of freshwater outflow to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is being used for fish protection. Through improper management and general disregard for delta smelt recovery, the species is near extinction.

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