Current Conservation News and Events

Current Conservation News and Events, Conservation News Articles.
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Understanding traditional Chinese medicine can help protect species
Demystifying traditional Chinese medicine for conservationists could be the key to better protecting endangered species like pangolins, tigers and rhino, according to University of Queensland-led researchers. UQ PhD candidate Hubert Cheung said efforts to shift entrenched values and beliefs about Chinese medicine are not achieving conservation gains in the short term. (2020-11-26)

High genomic variability predicts success in desert tortoise refugees; could inform conservation
Tortoise refugees with the highest genetic variation are far more likely to survive conservation translocation than tortoises whose genetic diversity is lower, according to a new study. (2020-11-26)

UCLA study of threatened desert tortoises offers new conservation strategy
A UCLA study publishing Nov. 27 in Science supports a new conservation strategy. Climate change increasingly makes relocating threatened species necessary, despite the frequently low success rate. The study found tortoises with lots of genetic variation were much more likely to survive after their relocation. The research supports this fast, inexpensive conservation tool, and upends the conventional wisdom suggesting that tortoises from areas moved from close by would fare best. (2020-11-26)

Community conservation reserves protect fish diversity in tropical rivers
A collaboration between researchers from Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found that small, community-based reserves in Thailand's Salween River Basin are serving as critical refuges for fish diversity in a region whose subsistence fisheries have suffered from decades of overharvesting. (2020-11-25)

Study: Clean Air Act saved 1.5 billion birds
US pollution regulations meant to protect humans from dirty air are also saving birds. So concludes a new continentwide study published today in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Study authors found that improved air quality under a federal program to reduce ozone pollution may have averted the loss of 1.5 billion birds during the past 40 years. (2020-11-24)

Siberian primrose has not had time to adapt to climate change
Global warming already affects Siberian primrose, a plant species that is threatened in Finland and Norway. According to a recently completed study, individuals of Siberian primrose originating in the Finnish coast on the Bothnian Bay currently fare better in northern Norway than in their home area. The results indicate that the species may not be able to adapt to quickly progressing climate change, which could potentially lead to its extinction. (2020-11-23)

Stirling research evaluates effectiveness of conservation efforts
New research from the University of Stirling into the effectiveness of international conservation projects could help to save endangered species from extinction. (2020-11-23)

Big cats and small dogs: solving the mystery of canine distemper in wild tigers
Canine distemper virus (CDV) causes a serious disease in domestic dogs, and also infects other carnivores, including threatened species like the Amur tiger. It is often assumed that domestic dogs are the primary source of CDV, but in a new Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study found that other local wildlife was the primary source of CDV transmission to tigers instead. (2020-11-23)

New guide on using drones for conservation
Drones are a powerful tool for conservation - but they should only be used after careful consideration and planning, according to a new report. (2020-11-20)

Truffle munching wallabies shed new light on forest conservation
A researcher from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia led an investigation into how swamp wallabies spread truffle spores around the environment. Results demonstrate the importance of these animals to the survival of the forest. (2020-11-19)

Elephant genetics guide conservation
A large-scale study of African elephant genetics in Tanzania reveals the history of elephant populations, how they interact, and what areas may be critical to conserve in order to preserve genetic diversity of the species. (2020-11-19)

A regular dose of nature may improve mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic
A study published in Ecological Applications suggests that nature around one's home may help mitigate some of the negative mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-11-18)

Predicting urban water needs
New Stanford research uses Zillow and census data combined with machine learning to identify residential water consumption based on housing characteristics. The approach could help cities better understand water use and design water-efficient communities. (2020-11-18)

Tropical peatland conservation could protect humans from new diseases
Conservation of tropical peatlands could reduce the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the likelihood of new diseases jumping from animals to humans, researchers say. (2020-11-17)

Better than money? In-kind payments incentivize farmers to conserve agrobiodiversity
An innovative payment scheme for ecosystem services successfully encouraged farmers to cultivate and conserve agrobiodiversity, according to a new study of eight years of implementation in Latin America (2020-11-16)

People in developing countries eat less bushmeat as they migrate from rural to urban areas
New Princeton University research finds that when people in developing countries move from rural areas to cities, they consume less bushmeat over time, perhaps because other sources of animal protein are more readily available (2020-11-16)

Measuring the true cost of conservation
BU Professor created the first high-resolution map of land value in the United states. (2020-11-13)

San Diego zoo global biobanking advances wildlife conservation and human medicine worldwide
In a study that has unprecedented implications to advance both medicine and biodiversity conservation, researchers have sequenced 131 new placental mammal genomes, bringing the worldwide total to more than 250. The results of the mammal genome project, published in the Nov. 12 issue of the journal Nature, catalog and characterize whole branches of Earth's biodiversity, spanning approximately 110 million years of mammal evolution--the largest and most diverse mammalian comparative genomics project to date. (2020-11-12)

Scientists release genomes of birds representing nearly all avian families
In the Nov. 11, 2020 issue of the journal Nature, scientists report on the genomes of 363 species of birds, including 267 that have been sequenced for the first time. The studied species--from widespread, economically important birds such as the chicken to the lesser known birds--represent more than 92% of the world's avian families. The data from the study will advance research on the evolution of birds and the conservation of threatened bird species. (2020-11-11)

Trump administration delists gray wolves: Response from the experts
The BioScience Talks podcast (http://bioscienceaibs.libsyn.com) features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences. (2020-11-11)

Environmental factors affect the distribution of Iberian spiders
Southern small-leaved oak forests are the habitats with a higher level of spider endemism in the Iberian Peninsula, according to an article published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation. The study analyses the factors that affect biodiversity patterns of spider communities in the national park network of Spain, and explains the role of the environmental factors in the distribution of the biodiversity of this faunistic group in the peninsular territory. (2020-11-09)

Improving the Endangered Species Act requires more than rule reversal
Although species are disappearing at an alarming rate worldwide, the Trump administration recently finalized a series of substantial changes to the regulations that underpin the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), several of which effectively undermine species conservation. (2020-11-05)

Violent encounters between gorillas slow population growth rate
A new study by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and UC Davis used five decades of data to show how social behavior explains fluctuations in the growth rate of a subpopulation of mountain gorillas. The researchers found that as gorilla group density increases, violent encounters between groups occur more frequently. As a result, infant mortality has increased dramatically, causing the population growth to slow down significantly in recent years. (2020-11-04)

China's most important trees are hiding in plain sight
A research collaboration between Chinese and American scientists has synthesized long-term biodiversity data from 12 immense forest study plots spanning 1,500 miles, from China's far north to its southern tropics. Their results, published today in the journal Ecology, point to maple trees - long appreciated for their autumn foliage and the syrup that graces our tables - as potential foundation species in both China and North America. (2020-10-30)

Mountain gorillas are good neighbours - up to a point
Mountain gorilla groups are friendly to familiar neighbours - provided they stay out of ''core'' parts of their territory - new research shows. (2020-10-28)

Location and extent of coral reefs mapped worldwide using advanced AI
researchers from the Arizona State University Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science have generated a global coral reef extent map using a single methodology capable of predicting the location of shallow coral reefs with nearly 90% accuracy. (2020-10-28)

Evenness is important in assessing progress towards sustainable development goals
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasize a holistic achievement instead of cherry-picking a few. However, no assessment has quantitatively considered the evenness among all goals. Here, Liu and colleagues propose a systematic method, integrating both evenness and the overall status of all goals to expand the implications of sustainable development assessment, and revisit the development trajectory in China from 2000 to 2015. The study demonstrates the importance of adopting evenness in assessing and guiding sustainable development. (2020-10-26)

More than 'just a fish' story
For recreational fishing enthusiasts, the thrill of snagging their next catch comes with discovering what's hooked on the end of the line. In many freshwater streams and rivers -- across the central and eastern parts of the U.S. -- anglers are often catching a popular freshwater game fish: the smallmouth bass. Now, scientists have discovered a new level of biodiversity within that species. (2020-10-19)

Palau's coral reefs: a jewel of the ocean
The latest report from the Living Oceans Foundation finds Palau's reefs had the highest coral cover observed on the Global Reef Expedition--the largest coral reef survey and mapping expedition in history. Published today, the Global Reef Expedition: The Republic of Palau Final Report summarizes the Foundation's research on the status of coral reefs and reef fish in Palau and provides conservation recommendations that can help preserve these outstanding coral reefs for generations to come. (2020-10-19)

Study confirms plastics threat to south pacific seabirds
Plastic gathered from remote corners of the South Pacific Ocean, including nesting areas of New Zealand albatrosses, has confirmed the global threat of plastic pollution to seabirds. (2020-10-14)

Mapping out rest stops for migrating birds
A team of researchers have developed a new metric called the stopover-to-passage ratio that can help determine if a majority of birds are flying over a particular site or stopping at the site to refuel or rest. The answer to this question can have important implications for what action is ultimately taken on the ground to help migratory birds. (2020-10-14)

Scientists release previously unseen footage showing environmental impacts of pot fishing
The findings of research by the University of Plymouth go against previous thinking around the damage caused by pot fishing to the seabed (2020-10-13)

University of Guam part of international effort to understand cycad pollinators
The Guam team's 2017 discovery of the new Cycadophila samara beetle and its pollination of cycads is now contributing to an international effort to more fully understand the intimate relationship between plant and insect. (2020-10-13)

People can do more than use less plastic to help save the GBR: QUT research
There are many threats to Australia's Great Barrier Reef - cyclones, shipping, crown-of-thorns starfish - but QUT researchers say climate change is its worst enemy. Yet a survey they conducted found most people don't make a connection between climate change and reef health. They say there is more individuals could do on this front, both in the home and to influence government policies (2020-10-12)

Double jeopardy for ecologically rare birds and terrestrial mammals
Common assumptions notwithstanding, rare species can play unique and essential ecological roles. After studying two, scientists have demonstrated that, though these species are found on all continents, they are more threatened by human pressures than ecologically common species and will also be more impacted by future climate change. Thus they are in double jeopardy. The researchers' findings show that conservation programmes must account for the ecological rarity of species. (2020-10-08)

Scientists reveal urgent solutions for boosting Protected Areas effectiveness
New research published today in Nature identifies the actions needed from governments, private entities, and conservation organisations to boost the effectiveness of Protected Areas and other area-based conservation efforts in protecting biodiversity and providing benefits to people. This research demonstrates the need for greater protection and identifies crucial steps to take to ensure that protected areas are effective. (2020-10-07)

Broken promises: Almost 80% of threatened species lack sufficient protection
A failure by governments to deliver on commitments under a global nature conservation treaty, the Convention on Biological Diversity, could have devastating effects. The warning comes after a consortium of scientists, led by Dr Sean Maxwell and Professor James Watson from The University of Queensland, reviewed national area-based conservation efforts, including protected areas. (2020-10-07)

Tweaks to land-based conservation efforts would pay huge freshwater ecosystem dividends
Conservation projects aimed at protecting land-dwelling species could net major gains in helping species living in streams, lakes and wetlands with relatively minor adjustments. (2020-10-02)

Integrated terrestrial-freshwater planning doubles tropical freshwater conservation
Freshwater species are sometimes considered an afterthought in conservation planning, which typically prioritizes terrestrial ecosystems and their inhabitants. (2020-10-01)

Amazon study shows big conservation gains possible for imperilled freshwater ecosystems
A new study by an international team of environmental scientists in the Brazilian Amazon shows that redesigned conservation projects could deliver big gains for critical freshwater ecosystems - raising hopes for the futures of thousands of species. (2020-10-01)

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