Current Conservation Biology News and Events | Page 24

Current Conservation Biology News and Events, Conservation Biology News Articles.
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When rabbits and hares are introduced to new areas: Factors to consider
Throughout history, humans have deliberately translocated rabbits and hares (leporids) around the world, so they now occupy every continent (except Antarctica). A new Mammal Review article examines studies on the 12 leporid species that have been introduced by humans to areas beyond their native ranges, highlighting the animals' effects on the ecosystem at different levels. (2018-07-05)

To help save northern spotted owls, we need to prevent kissing cousins
The Auk: Ornithological Advances presents a study on a Northern Spotted Owl pedigree, consisting of almost 14,200 individuals over 30 years, which determined inbreeding varies across the species' range. Selection against inbreeding based on decreased future reproduction, fewer offspring, and overall survival of individuals was also supported. These results indicate that Spotted Owl conservation efforts need to address owl breeding more. Another implication of this work is the need to increase genetic diversity to prevent further population decline. (2018-07-04)

Piping plovers want people to get off their lawn
A new study in The Condor: Ornithological Applications presents negative associations between anthropogenic disturbance (human recreational use of beaches, coastal modifications) and piping plovers on their non-breeding grounds. Shorebirds are one of the most threatened bird families in the world. This research indicates that there are direct consequences of disturbance. (2018-07-04)

A new study to improve seabird conservation in Patagonian ecosystems
Preserving a 300,000 square km area in Patagonian waters could improve the conservation of 20 percent of the population of sea birds in their natural habitat, according to a study published in the journal Conservation Biology and led by the expert Francisco Ramírez, researcher from the Faculty of Biology and the Biodiversity Research Institute of the University of Barcelona (IRBio). (2018-07-04)

Koala genome cracked Down Under to help save species
Scientists at the Earlham Institute in Norwich, UK, have played a major role as part of a consortium led by the Australian Museum Research Institute and the University of Sydney to sequence the koala genome for the first time, with the findings published in Nature Genetics. The findings of the research could ensure the long-term survival of one of the world's most beloved animals, which is under threat from habitat loss, chlamydia and the koala retrovirus (KoRV). (2018-07-02)

Anemones take the heat with a little help from their friends
Research reveals the genetic response to heat stress and highlights symbiotic algae's role. (2018-07-01)

Giant panda population research shows new challenges
In a recently published study in the journal Conservation Letters, a team of scientists reports results of a large-scale study examining giant panda habitat use trends and changing threats to their survival. This benchmark study is based on nearly 70,000 person-hours of survey work by China's State Forestry Administration throughout the panda's range in Sichuan, covering three-quarters of the entire species range. (2018-06-29)

Climate change linked to potential population decline in bees
A new study from Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden has found that climate change may drive local extinction of mason bees in Arizona and other naturally warm climates. (2018-06-28)

What's giant panda conservation worth? Billions every year, study shows
In China, the giant panda is clearly a cultural icon. And yet panda conservation, and the panda itself, is often criticized because of the associated cost. But an analysis reported in Current Biology on June 28 shows that panda conservation has great value that extends far beyond protection of pandas themselves. (2018-06-28)

Research shows benefit of giant panda conservation far exceeds cost
To determine the value of panda conservation, a research team led by Prof. WEI Fuwen from the Institute of Zoology, together with colleagues from other research organizations, cooperated to assess the value of ecosystem services from giant panda reserves for the first time. They found that the value provided by the giant pandas and forested habitat within nature reserves is about 10-27 times the conservation cost of giant pandas. (2018-06-28)

It's go time for Hawaiian bird conservation, and luckily there's a playbook
A new study in The Condor: Ornithological Applications presents some of the best guidance to date on the priorities and actions that can be taken to help Hawaii's endemic birds. This new paper lays out a plan to better guide and empower conservation efforts for Hawaiian birds. (2018-06-27)

OU research team identify genetic structure of Painted Bunting
A University of Oklahoma researcher, Andrea Contina, and his team have identified the genetic structure of the Painted Bunting, a neotropical migratory songbird, using microsatellite DNA and single nucleotide polymorphisms to develop high-resolution markers to differentiate between individual birds breeding in different Oklahoma populations and across the United States. Through this research, Contina and his team now can differentiate between the eastern and western Painted Buntings and identify the species pattern of migration and population of origin. (2018-06-27)

Map of Javan leopard distribution provides guidance for conservation efforts
The first robust estimate of the distribution of the Javan leopard offers reliable information on where conservation efforts must be prioritized to safeguard the Indonesian island's last remaining large carnivore. The findings were reported in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on June 27, 2018 by Hariyo Tabah Wibisono of the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, USA, and colleagues. (2018-06-27)

Rethinking the orangutan
The evolution of the orangutan has been more heavily influenced by humans than was previously thought, new research reveals. Professor Mike Bruford, of Cardiff University, was part of the team of scientists shedding light on the development of the critically endangered species. Their findings offer new possibilities for orangutan conservation. (2018-06-27)

To tell the sex of a Galápagos penguin, measure its beak, researchers say
Scientists at the University of Washington have announced that, for a Galápagos penguin, beak size is nearly a perfect indicator of whether a bird is male or female. (2018-06-27)

Marine protected areas often expensive and misplaced
Many marine protected areas are often unnecessarily expensive and located in the wrong places, an international study has shown. The University of Queensland was part of research which found protected areas missed many unique ecosystems, and have a greater impact on fisheries than necessary. A collaboration with the University of Hamburg, Wildlife Conservation Society and The Nature Conservancy assessed the efficiency of marine protected areas, which now cover 16 percent of national waters around the world. (2018-06-27)

Finnish forest management guidelines fail to protect the flying squirrel
A new study determined the habitat requirements for flying squirrels and compared them to those included in the recently amended Forest Act. The main finding was that the Finnish Nature Conservation Act does not adequately protect the old growth forests where flying squirrels live. (2018-06-26)

Lynxes in danger
A new study suggests that humans are putting pressure on the population of these big cats in the Germany-Czech Republic-Austria border area. (2018-06-26)

UA genetics research verifies purity of the Mexican wolf
Researchers used the latest in genomic technologies to determine whether the endangered Mexican wolf had hybridized with domestic dogs. (2018-06-26)

When you're a sitting duck, you learn to adapt
When sitting on a nest to incubate eggs, a bird is physically stuck and most vulnerable to attacks of any kind, so coping without stress and other significant costs is important. For common loons, black flies are a common blood-feeding pest and can cause nest abandonment and decreased fledging rates. A new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances presents some of the best data to date supporting hypotheses about the effects that black flies have on common loon nesting behavior and success. (2018-06-20)

Physicists solve the mystery of vanishing particles in graphene
A team of scientists explained the paradoxical phenomenon of the mutual annihilation of particles and antiparticles in graphene. The theoretical justification for this process was until recently one of the most complex riddles of solid-state physics. This discovery makes the idea of creating graphene lasers relevant. (2018-06-19)

Lion conservation research can be bolstered by input from a wide-range of professionals
The conservation of lions, while also maintaining the well-being of people that live around them, is a complex problem that should be addressed by a wide-range of professionals working together. Rather than focusing solely on human-lion interaction, other factors such as the environment, wild prey and domesticated livestock need to be considered to get a full evaluation of the problem. This approach should help address the dramatic decrease in lion populations seen in recent years. (2018-06-19)

Political leaning influences city water policies as strongly as climate
Researchers examined city water policies over the course of four years to create a database of water conservation policies. They also developed an associated index of the number of different categories of policies each city adopted and gathered data on the climate, water sources, population, economy and political leanings of each city and its surrounding metropolitan statistical area -- as reflected in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. (2018-06-19)

Scripps graduate student discovers world's first known manta ray nursery
A graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and colleagues from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have discovered the world's first known manta ray nursery. (2018-06-18)

Large fenced reserves an effective way to bring wolves back to Scotland
Research, led by the University of Sussex and the University of Kent, indicates that for wolves to be effective at directly reducing red deer numbers and allowing nature to recover in the Scottish Highlands they may need to be reintroduced to very large fenced reserve. (2018-06-13)

British mammals' fight for survival
Almost one in five of British mammal species face a high risk of extinction, according to the first comprehensive review of their populations for more than 20 years launched today. (2018-06-13)

ISB develops stress test to predict how diatoms will react to ocean acidification
Researchers at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) have shown that diatoms can withstand population collapse in an acidified environment by conserving valuable energy normally used for carbon dioxide consumption. (2018-06-13)

New research in Kenya finds sweet spot for harvesting reef fish
An age-old challenge of determining the right amount of fish to harvest from the sea has finally been overcome with the creation of a new biomass-yield model that captures all the necessary factors for accuracy, according to a new WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) study. (2018-06-13)

Heritage science: Where the past looks to the future
Are crowd-sourced photos taken with mobile phones useful in collecting analytics for antiques? Can smell be used to classify degradation of plastic artifacts in museums? How are cannonballs from shipwrecks affected by conservation techniques? The answers to all these questions are found in a Special Issue on heritage science published by the journal Angewandte Chemie. (2018-06-11)

Dolphins deliberately killed for use as bait in global fisheries
Ahead of World Oceans Day, new research exposes the practice of killing of aquatic mammals, including some listed as endangered, for the express purpose of securing bait for global fisheries. The practice is widespread globally, but most common in Latin America and Asia. The study reveals there is little information on the impact of this harvesting on targeted mammal populations and urges increased monitoring. (2018-06-07)

For disappearing Bicknell's thrushes, statistical models are lifesavers
Bicknell's thrush has been identified as a globally vulnerable Nearctic-Neotropical migratory bird in need of serious conservation efforts. Males and females use different habitats in winter, with females preferring middle elevation forests that are more vulnerable to human disturbance than the higher, more remote forests used by males. A new study from The Condor: Ornithological Applications identifies key habitat for females in the remaining fragmented montane wet forests of the Dominican Republic. (2018-06-06)

Thousands of turtles netted off South America
Tens of thousands of sea turtles are caught each year by small-scale fishers off South America's Pacific coast, new research shows. (2018-06-05)

Researchers use artificial intelligence to identify, count, describe wild animals
Photographs that are automatically collected by motion-sensor cameras can be automatically described by deep neural networks. The result is a system that can automate animal identification for up to 99.3 percent of images while still performing at the same 96.6 percent accuracy rate of crowdsourced teams of human volunteers. (2018-06-05)

Study in Fiji finds that removing sea cucumbers spells trouble for shallow coastal waters
The sea cucumber's unimpressive appearance belies the outsized role these creatures play in converting decomposing organic matter into recyclable nutrients and keeping coastal ecosystems healthy and clean, and overfishing them can have negative impacts on coastal marine environments, according to a new study focusing on a species of sea cucumber called a sandfish in the journal PeerJ. (2018-06-05)

Toxic toad invasion puts Madagascar's predators at risk, genetic evidence confirms
The recent introduction of the common Asian toad to Madagascar has led to fears that the toxic amphibian could wreak havoc on the island's already severely threatened fauna. Now, researchers report genetic evidence in the journal Current Biology on June 4 showing that those fears are well founded: virtually all predators native to Madagascar are highly sensitive to toad toxins. If they should eat the toads, it would be a potentially fatal mistake. (2018-06-04)

Researchers study aquatic beetles native only to central Wyoming
The known range of the narrow-footed Hygrotus diving beetle, which also can fly, is in central Wyoming, in the Powder River Basin and one site in the Wind River Basin. The sites are small, intermittent streams with disconnected pools and contain high concentrations of salt. These streams are in shortgrass prairie ecosystems that receive less than 400 millimeters of precipitation each year. (2018-06-04)

Number of wild mountain gorillas exceeds 1,000
A recent census of the critically endangered mountain gorillas conducted in the Virunga Volcanoes found a minimum of 604 individuals. In combination with the 400 individuals living in the only other population in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda, these new results push the total number of wild mountain gorillas in the world to over 1000. (2018-05-31)

New tool improves fishing efficiency and sustainability
New software targets most abundant fishing grounds and reduces catch of unwanted or protected species using satellite data, maps and observations. (2018-05-30)

Getting conservationists and fishers on the same page
Historically, fisheries and the conservation community have struggled to find common ground. Now, a new online tool provides daily computer-generated maps to help fishermen target productive fishing spots while alerting them to areas likely to harbor protected species. (2018-05-30)

New study investigates dolphin liberation in Korea
A international team of researchers, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has carried out a scientific investigation on dolphin liberation in South Korea. (2018-05-27)

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