Dumpster diving diet: city rats have higher protein diet distinct from other rural mammals

Rats have shared our cities for a long time. Because of this they can be used a model to learn more about how animals colonized cities and what features of cities can be advantageous for some species. A new study focuses their attention on whether 19th century city mice had an advantage over their rural neighbors. Read on to find out more!

Read more

Islands and Alleles: How genetics can help protect endangered species

When talking about diversity in the natural world, we often think of the bright colors and bold patterns of fish gliding among a reef, or the variety of flying, creeping, and crawling critters found in the layers of a rainforest canopy. However, diversity even within a single species is an important indicator of a population’s health and stability. This type of diversity can be invisible to us when contained in the form of genes that control which traits organisms possess. In this study, scientists helped us to see the invisible diversity of an endangered skink and learn how to more effectively conserve this diversity.

Read more

Out with the new, in with the old: can removing Asian carp benefit native fish populations?

Asian carp have been plaguing the waters of the Mississippi River Basin for over 40 years. As an invasive species, Asian carp often out-compete native species and decimate food webs. Many control measures have been proposed and implemented to mitigate the presence of Asian carp, and some methods are working. Now, the question is, with the removal of Asian carp, can native fish populations rebound and thrive in their natural environment once again?

Read more

Frostbitten toads: Are cane toads adapting to the cold as they move northwards in Florida?

How might animals respond to global climate change? A new study evaluates the northbound expansion of cane toads in Florida. Toads in northern Florida are tolerating freezing temperatures that are colder than they have previously been able to live in. Read on to find out how the cane toads tolerate freezing and what this teaches us about how other animals might respond to global climate change.

Read more

Why YY Males? Using Hatchery Brook Trout to Eliminate an Invasive Species

Brook Trout were first introduced to the American West in the early 1900s. Since then, they have hurt native fish populations through competition and predation. In this study, scientists examine the effectiveness of using genetic technology to shift the ratio of male to female Brook Trout in the wild, which could eventually help remove them from their non-native streams.

Read more

Intertidal Examination: Competition Between an Invasive and Endemic Species

Coastal New England isn’t independent from the world of invasive species. The Asian shore crab has encroached on many crustaceans habitats in the last few decades and recently this includes the American lobster. Work done by Baillie and colleagues suggest that specific life stages of the lobster may be negatively impacted by the invasion of the crab. Not only will understanding the interactions between these two species aid in preservation of one of North America’s most important fisheries, it may also provide critical insight into the fascinating relationship between endemic and invasive species.

Read more

Red Deer Takeover!

Most people would not think of red deer as powerful enough to take over farmers’ land. However, a recent increase of red deer population has devastated land in Slovakia and other European countries. A recent study determined the amount of forage red deer consume per season and the key elements affecting forage availability that determine the boom or bust of red deer.

Read more