Current Wildlife News and Events

Current Wildlife News and Events, Wildlife News Articles.
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Unique study of isolated bobcat population confirms accuracy of extinction model
The reintroduction of 32 bobcats to an island off the coast of Georgia more than three decades ago created an ideal experiment to examine the accuracy of a genetic-modeling technique that predicts extinction of isolated wildlife populations. (2021-02-22)

Stem cells provide hope for dwindling wildlife populations
A paper recently published in the scientific journal Stem Cells and Development shares an important advancement in conservation -- one that may make the difference between survival and extinction for wildlife species that have been reduced to very small population sizes. Using fibroblast cells that have been preserved in San Diego Zoo Global's Frozen Zoo®, scientists have been able to generate induced pluripotent stem cells of northern and southern white rhinoceroses. (2021-02-22)

Don't focus on genetic diversity to save our species
Scientists at the University of Adelaide have challenged the common assumption that genetic diversity of a species is a key indicator of extinction risk. Published in the journal PNAS, the scientists demonstrate that there is no simple relationship between genetic diversity and species survival. But, Dr João Teixeira and Dr Christian Huber from the University of Adelaide's School of Biological Sciences conclude, the focus shouldn't be on genetic diversity anyway, it should be on habitat protection. (2021-02-22)

Researchers 'cautiously optimistic' about desert bighorn sheep recovery in Mojave Desert
Desert bighorn sheep in the Mojave National Preserve in California and surrounding areas appear to be more resilient than previously thought to a respiratory disease that killed dozens of them and sickened many more in 2013, a new study has found. (2021-02-21)

Biological assessment of world's rivers presents incomplete but bleak picture
An international team of scientists, including two from Oregon State University, conducted a biological assessment of the world's rivers and the limited data they found presents a fairly bleak picture. (2021-02-21)

Electrical transmission lines have power to enhance habitat connectivity for wildlife
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Converting the ground under electrical transmission towers into spaces for wildlife can enable fragmented populations to connect with one another, increasing local biodiversity and providing animals around the globe an important tool for adapting to climate change, a new study found. (2021-02-19)

Songbirds' reproductive success reduced by natural gas compressor noise
Some songbirds are not dissuaded by constant, loud noise emitted by natural gas pipeline compressors and will establish nests nearby. The number of eggs they lay is unaffected by the din, but their reproductive success ultimately is diminished. (2021-02-18)

Water is a probable vector for mammalian virus transmission
Water is a necessity for all life but its availability can be limited. In geographical areas experiencing dry seasons, animals congregate near the few freshwater sources, often reaching large densities. These sites may be key locations for pathogen transmissions, if viruses remain stable and infectious in water. A team of researchers led by Leibniz-IZW now confirmed this in a study, published in ''Science of the Total Environment''. (2021-02-15)

Play and meaty food reduce hunting by cats
Domestic cats hunt wildlife less if owners play with them daily and feed them a meat-rich food, new research shows. (2021-02-11)

Links between pollution and cancer in wild animals: what can we learn?
This recent review combines the information available on cancer occurrences in aquatic and semi-aquatic animals. Cancer is one of the pollution-induced diseases that should be at the centre of attention in ecological and evolutionary research. Authors suggest physiological mechanisms that link pollution and cancer, determine which types of aquatic animals are more vulnerable to pollution-induced cancer, which types of pollution are mainly associated with cancer in aquatic ecosystems, and which types of cancer pollution causes. (2021-02-10)

Gulls, sentinels of bacteria in the environment
Gulls are one of the main wild birds that act as reservoirs of Campylobacter and Salmonella, two most relevant intestinal antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing gastroenteritis in humans. Therefore, according to an article published in the journal Science of the Total Environment seagulls could act as sentinels of the antibiotic pressure in the environment. (2021-02-10)

Some types of coronavirus steal the hosts' genes to elude their immune system
Researchers discovered this while analysing pathogens found in European hedgehogs that present the same strain of Beta-CoV responsible for both COVID-19 and MERS but without evidence of human transmissibility. It is the first time this ability is observed in coronaviruses (2021-02-08)

'Runway Roadkill' rapidly increasing at airports across the world, UCC study finds
The number of reported collisions (i.e. strikes) between aircraft and wildlife is increasing globally, with consequences for personnel and passenger safety as well as for industry economics. These are important considerations for airport operators that are obliged to mitigate wildlife hazards at airfields. Incidents involving mammals account for approximately 3-10% of all recorded strikes. However, relatively little research has been conducted on mammal strikes with aircraft outside of the USA. (2021-02-05)

Deadly white-nose syndrome changed genes in surviving bats
Scientists have found genetic differences between bats killed by white-nose syndrome and bats that survived, suggesting that survivors rapidly evolve to resist the fungal disease, according to a Rutgers-led study with big implications for deciding how to safeguard bat populations. (2021-02-04)

European hibernating bats cope with white-nose syndrome which kills North American bats
Fungal diseases are a major threat to wildlife, sometimes resulting in significant population declines or even causing the extirpation of populations or species. White-nose syndrome, caused by the cold-loving fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, has become a major cause of death for millions of hibernating bats in North America. European bats survive when infected by the same fungus during hibernation. (2021-02-03)

When rhinos fly: Upside down the right way for transport
When it comes to saving endangered species of a certain size, conservationists often have to think outside the box. (2021-02-01)

How is human behavior impacting wildlife movement?
For species to survive in the wild, maintaining connectivity between populations is critical. Without 'wildlife corridors', groups of animals are isolated and may die out. In assessing wildlife connectivity, many aspects of the landscape are measured, but the impact of human behaviour has largely been overlooked. Now, an international team led by the University of Göttingen and Humboldt University Berlin, introduce the concept of 'anthropogenic resistance'. Their perspective article was published in the journal One Earth. (2021-01-29)

Ocean toxin a heartbreaking threat for sea otters
Heart disease is a killer threat for southern sea otters feasting on domoic acid in their food web, according to a study led by the University of California, Davis. Climate change projections indicate that toxic blooms and domoic acid exposure will continue to rise. (2021-01-26)

Southern Africa's most endangered shark just extended its range by 2,000 kilometers
A team of marine scientists led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has confirmed that southern Africa's most threatened endemic shark - the Critically Endangered shorttail nurse shark (Pseudoginglymostoma brevicaudatum) - has been found to occur in Mozambique; a finding that represents a range extension of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles). (2021-01-26)

Shift in caribou movements may be tied to human activity
Human activities might have shifted the movement of caribou in and near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, according to scientists who tracked them using isotopic analysis from shed antlers. The study is timely given the auction this year of oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Indigenous Alaskans opposed the leases, arguing development could disrupt the migration of caribou they depend on for sustenance. (2021-01-22)

New classification marks paradigm shift in how conservationists tackle climate change
A new study co-authored by researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Global Conservation Program and the University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Forestry introduces a classification called Resistance-Resilience-Transformation (RRT) that enables the assessment of whether and to what extent a management shift toward transformative action is occurring in conservation. (2021-01-14)

Museum scientists: Prepare for next pandemic now by preserving animal specimens in natural history
It's been more than a year since the first cases were identified in China, yet the exact origins of the COVID-19 pandemic remain a mystery. Though strong evidence suggests that the responsible coronavirus originated in bats, how and when it crossed from wildlife into humans is unknown. (2021-01-12)

New study reveals how fences hinder migratory wildlife in the West
Wildlife biologists at the University of California, Berkeley, combined GPS location data of tagged mule deer and pronghorn antelope with satellite imagery of Wyoming fences to find out just how often these animals encounter fences, and what happens when they do. The results, published on Jan. 7, 2021 in the Journal of Applied Ecology, help pinpoint which fences pose the biggest barrier to ungulates trying to access their ideal habitat. (2021-01-12)

Levels of stress hormone in saliva of newborn deer fawns may predict mortality
The first-ever study of the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the saliva of newborn white-tailed deer fawns yielded thought-provoking results that have Penn State researchers suggesting predation is not the only thing in the wild killing fawns. (2021-01-11)

Harbor porpoises on the decline in the German North Sea
The harbor porpoise population is declining in the German North Sea, according to a recent study which surveyed the species over a 20-year time period. Harbor porpoises are known as a ''sentinel species'' - animals which indicate the health of an ecosystem and point to potential risks (think of the canary in the coal mine) - and their decreasing numbers indicate the extent to which human activities have affected marine wildlife. (2021-01-07)

Rare footage captured of jaguar killing ocelot at waterhole
In what may be a sign of climate-change-induced conflict, researchers have captured rare photographic evidence of a jaguar killing another predatory wild cat at an isolated waterhole in Guatemala. (2021-01-05)

Elephant ivory continues to be disguised and sold on eBay
Research from the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) has found that elephant ivory is still being sold on the online marketplace eBay, despite its 10-year-old policy banning the trade in ivory. (2021-01-04)

Trade in wild animals is thriving online, despite risk of disease transmission
Despite COVID-19 restrictions and the risk of animal to human disease transmission, illegal wildlife trade on social media networks has continued, with wild animals sometimes sold as 'lockdown pets'. (2020-12-22)

Droughts, viruses and road networks: Trends that will impact our forests
A new UCPH study assembled an array of experts to highlight major trends that will impact the world's forests, and the people living around them, in the decade ahead. These trends include drought, viral outbreaks and vast infrastructure expansions across the globe. According to the researchers, a global strategy for human-nature interaction must be developed if we intend on ensuring the survival of both. (2020-12-22)

Roadmap to renewables unites climate and sustainability goals
Are clean energy plans missing the forest for the GHGs? A study from UC Davis and John Hopkins University presents a roadmap to renewables that unites climate change and biodiversity goals. (2020-12-18)

Researchers propose process to detect and contain emerging diseases
University of Arkansas biologist Kristian Forbes is part of a global team of researchers developing a strategy to detect and intercept diseases emerging from wildlife in Africa that could eventually infect humans. (2020-12-18)

Researchers turn DNA detectives to aid rhino poaching prosecutions with forensic evidence
Researchers at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), have, for the first time, used unique DNA markers to provide forensic evidence for alleged poaching cases involving the Indian rhino. (2020-12-15)

Ocean heatwave has triggered new toxic algal blooms on the US west coast
Ocean warming has created a toxic hotspot of harmful algae on the west coast of the US, shows a new study led by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Northwest Fisheries Science Center. The neurotoxins produced by these algae poison marine wildlife and humans, and researchers and local communities are learning to forecast and adapt to these recurring environmental hazards. (2020-12-14)

An alternate savanna
When civil war broke out in Mozambique more than 40 years ago, it largely spelled doom for animals in Gorongosa National Park, a 1,500-square-mile reserve on the floor of the southern end of the Great African Rift Valley, in the heart of the country. As the decades-long fighting spilled over into the reserve, many of the creatures became casualties of the conflict. (2020-12-14)

Tasmanian devils may survive their own pandemic
Researchers have found strong evidence that a transmissible cancer that has decimated Tasmanian devil populations likely won't spell their doom. For the first time, a research team employed genomic tools of phylodynamics, typically used to track viruses, such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2 , to trace the Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease. The approach they pioneered has opened the door for application to other genetically complex pathogens. (2020-12-10)

Index reveals integrity issues for many of the world's forests
Only 40 per cent of forests are considered to have high ecological integrity, according to a new global measure, the Forest Landscape Integrity Index. The Index was created by 47 forest and conservation experts from across the world, including Professor James Watson of The University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society. (2020-12-09)

Toxic pollutants can impact wildlife disease spread
Exposure to toxic pollutants associated with human activities may be influencing the spread of infectious diseases in wildlife, according to a new study from the University of Georgia. (2020-12-09)

Military flights biggest cause of noise pollution on Olympic Peninsula
A University of Washington study provides the first look at how much noise pollution is impacting the Olympic Peninsula. The paper found that aircraft were audible across a large swath of the peninsula at least 20% of weekday hours, or for about one hour during a six-hour period. About 88% of all audible aircraft in the pre-pandemic study were military planes. (2020-12-07)

Simple, sensitive test helps monitor bats and protect biodiversity
A new article in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry explores the use of a simple, inexpensive, and minimally invasive technique referred to as 'micronuclei detection' to assess genetic toxicity (genotoxicity) in free-ranging bats in areas of varying agricultural activity. (2020-12-07)

Hotspots of cheetah activity is a key to solving the cheetah-farmer conflict in Namibia
New insights into the cheetah's spatial behaviour provide a viable solution to the human-wildlife conflict: In the core areas of male cheetah territories, all local males and females frequently meet to exchange information. Moving their breeding herds out of these hotspots, farmers reduced livestock losses by more than 80 percent. These insights are the result of a close cooperation between scientists from Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and farmers in central Namibia. (2020-12-07)

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