Posts

July 19, 2014

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3:24 AM | Ask USFWS and the Department of Interior To Give Panthers Room To Roam!
ask-usfws-and-the-department-of-interior-to-give-panthers-room-to-roam Continue reading →

July 18, 2014

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6:57 PM | Is there hope for bonobos? Researchers, NGOs, gov't officials, local communities band together to save iconic ape (Part III)
Sankuru Nature Reserve was established in 2007 primarily for bonobo protection. The largest continuous protected great ape habitat in the world, Sankuru is still losing large swaths of forests to burning and other activities, primarily along roads that transect the center of the reserve. However, hope exists, both from human efforts – and from the apes themselves.
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5:09 PM | Boom but mostly bust: fighting over sardines in Indonesia's Bali Strait (Part II)
Fifty-five crewmen, stripped to their briefs, sing Madurese sea shanties to synchronized gestures as they haul in giant seine nets, hand-over-hand, onto the swaying wooden deck of the M/V Sinar Indah out in the middle of the Bali Strait. This morning they had offloaded a bumper haul at their homeport of Muncar: seven tons of lemuru sardines Sardinella lemuru, the local specialty, for which dockside cannery agents offered $3,500.
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4:42 PM | Fraud, Deception And Lies: How Discovery’s Shark Week Became The Greatest Show On Earth
In 1842, the infamous showman P.T. Barnum unveiled a truly bizarre creature. In his autobiography, Barnum described it as “an ugly, dried-up, black-looking, and diminutive specimen… its arms thrown up, giving it the appearance of having died in great agony.” The Feejee mermaid, as the mummified remains were called, possessed the torso of a monkey with […]The post Fraud, Deception And Lies: How Discovery’s Shark Week Became The Greatest Show On Earth appeared […]
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2:28 PM | Fun Science FRIEDay – Fasting Fights Cancer?
Happy Fun Science FRIEDay to everyone. FSF is back and with a new name! After a brief hiatus to sort out some legal issues regarding the title of FSF, and a trip to the World Cup, I am hopefully back into the swing of providing you with mostly weekly, fun, and interesting science facts! Up […]
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12:00 PM | A roadmap for reconciling food security and conservation
Too often, the needs of an increasing population are at odds with the needs of the environment. More people means more mouths to feed. That, in turn, means that we need more land for agriculture. Since there’s only a finite amount of dry land on our planet, we’re increasingly converting forests and jungles into farms

July 17, 2014

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10:16 PM | Photo of the Week – July 17, 2014
A couple weeks ago, I posted a photo of a sunset from the Niobrara Valley Preserve.  In the post, I talked about having to scramble to get into position for the photo before the color left the sky.  Barely a … Continue reading →
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10:03 PM | Poaching, fires, farming pervade: protecting bonobos 'an enormous challenge' (Part II)
Sankuru Nature Reserve in the DRC was established in 2007 to safeguard the 29,000 to 50,000 bonobos that remain in existence. However, while touted as the largest swath of protected continuous great ape habitat in the world, the reserve is still losing thousands of hectares of forest every year. Burning, bushmeat hunting, and agricultural expansion are taking a large toll on the endangered great ape.
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3:00 PM | Growing Globally: Digitization Developments in Africa
From left to right: Cindy-Lee Daniels  and Lidia Swart (staff at the Digitization Office, Library Services, University of Pretoria); Gemma Waterston (IA Satellite Coordinator) and Robert Miller (Director of Global IA)On April 15, 2013, during a ceremony hosted at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) at the Pretoria National Botanical Garden in Pretoria, South Africa, BHL-Africa officially launched as our sixth global node. Working within the BHL consortium, BHL-Africa […]
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1:00 PM | Hungry dogs ravaging sea turtle nests
In the farming village of Colola, Mexico, many families have dogs that help guard the house and fields. But these canine companions also wreak havoc on the nests of threatened sea turtles at a nearby beach, gobbling up eggs as a way to compensate for a lack of food at home. There are roughly 700
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12:15 AM | These things are related.
Exhibit A. At Boing Boing, Maggie Koerth-Baker publishes an article talking about her disenchantment with Richard Feynman after learning that he was a gigantic womanizing creeper. Matthew Francis follows up with more information about Feyman’s inexcusable behavior. Armies of Feyman supporters rush to his defense, arguing that we should judge him as a product of […]

July 16, 2014

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8:58 PM | Will the last ape found be the first to go? Bonobos' biggest refuge under threat (Part I)
Bonobos have been declining sharply over the past few decades. In response, several non-profit organizations teamed up with governmental agencies in the DRC to create Sankuru Nature Reserve, a massive protected area in the midst of bonobo habitat. However, the reserve is not safe from deforestation, and has lost more than one percent of its forest cover in less than a decade.
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3:18 PM | Fishing for coherent regulations along Fiji's coral reefs
Will Fiji implement a much-needed update to its fisheries laws before the September election? If you want to quiet a room in Fiji or feel like a lobster in a boiling pot, bring up coastal fishing rights, and ask what's happening with the plan to update the country's fisheries laws.
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2:09 PM | Longhorns on the Prairie
One of the great things about prairies – and nature in general – is that there is way more to discover than I’ll ever have time for.  Especially within the world of invertebrates, there is no shortage of species to … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Animals live in 3D, and now scientists do, too
Animals live in a world of three dimensions. There’s the North-South axis, the East-West axis, and a third axis that tells you the elevation, altitude, or depth at which an animal can be found depending on whether the animal is terrestrial, aerial, or marine, respectively. If that seems obvious and not worth pointing out, you’re
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12:00 AM | sixpenceee: Did you know that sperm whales sleep...
sixpenceee: Did you know that sperm whales sleep vertically?  SOURCE

July 15, 2014

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6:18 PM | On track to 'go beyond the critical point': Sri Lanka still losing forests at rapid clip
During the latter half of Sri Lanka's civl war, between 1990 and 2005, Sri Lanka suffered one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, losing about 35 percent of its old growth forest and almost 18 percent of its total forest cover. The conflict ended in 2009, and while deforestation has slowed somewhat, Sri Lanka is still losing forest cover at a fast pace.
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3:30 PM | Why exploding whale stories just won’t die and how we can use them to help save the ocean
Exploding whales are an endless source of amusement, even when they don’t explode. When a cetacean detonation made a guest appearance on Saturday Night Live, it was clear that we had reached peak exploding whale saturation. Now that we’ve all had a few months to decompress, it’s time to take a step back and look at why […]
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1:00 PM | Still poison: Lead bullets remain a big problem for birds
You may have noticed a rare of show of Congressional compromise recently, when members from both sides of the aisle jumped at the chance to sponsor and vote for the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014. The bill would have done a number of things, but two stood out: it would have exempted lead hunting ammunition and
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12:30 PM | From Billions to None: The Story of the Passenger Pigeon
Ohio, 1854. A dense, black shadow begins to creep across the northern edges of the horizon, slowly but incessantly blotting out a bright cerulean sky. Residents take notice, and pour out of their homes and businesses to stare in wide-eyed awe and trepidation at the phenomena edging towards them.Hours pass, and the sky is hurled into unwavering darkness. Finally, as the day fades, the sun itself succumbs to this nameless power.Men and women fall to their knees in prayer, begging for deliverance […]
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8:00 AM | madamjellyfish666: pleatedjeans: Seal with a data-logger on...
madamjellyfish666: pleatedjeans: Seal with a data-logger on it’s head. [x] "LOOK! LOOK! I’M A NARWAL!" I’ve been laughing for about 20 minutes now
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5:59 AM | Which Sea Shell Are You?
Which Sea Shell Are You?: A fun way to find out if you’re a gastropod, cephalopod, bivalve, or...
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1:34 AM | My Letter to Senator Baldwin and a Message To Anti-Willdife Democrats
my-letter-to-senator-baldwin-and-a-message-to-anti-willdife-democrats Continue reading →
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12:13 AM | Stop the Grizzly Bear Hunt in British Columbia, Canada
Stop-the-grizzly-bear-hunt-in-british-columbia-canada. Continue reading →

July 14, 2014

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8:36 PM | Living Without Herbicides
The herbicides used to kill weeds have two undisputed dangers: They can poison arthropods and the animals that eat them, and they eliminate plants that are hosts for Monarch Butterflies and many other small creatures. Continue reading →
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6:54 PM | Dwindling Bird Numbers Linked to Pesticides-Dutch Study
Bird declines linked to pesticides. Continue reading →
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4:07 PM | Green under siege: world's biodiversity hotspots 85 percent impacted
The world's 35 biodiversity hotspots—which harbor 75 percent of the planet's endangered land vertebrates—are in more trouble than expected, according to a sobering new analysis of remaining primary vegetation. In all less than 15 percent of natural intact vegetation is left in the these hotspots, which include well-known jewels such as Madagascar, the tropical Andes, and Sundaland.
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12:09 PM | Introducing the New Hubbard Fellows!
We have entered the second year of our Hubbard Fellowship program.  Eliza Perry and Anne Stine completed their Fellowships earlier this season, and we brought in two new Fellows, Jasmine and Dillon, on June 2nd.   They have seen and learned … Continue reading →
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9:30 AM | Charm City’s Water Wheel: The first truly feasible ocean cleaning array is already afloat
Ocean plastic is bad news. Last week we were learned that not only did every ocean have its own, personal garbage gyre, but that a huge amount of plastic is “missing” from the ocean–that is, it has been incorporated into the ecosystem in ways we don’t yet understand. While there is plenty of misinformation floating around out […]
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8:00 AM | quinnidae: Illustration of the feeding mechanism of the sea...
quinnidae: Illustration of the feeding mechanism of the sea gooseberry. When relaxed its tentacles expand, acting like a spider’s web to capture prey. Instead of stinging cells, these tentacles are lined with special adhesive cells to prevent prey from escaping.  They had these little guys at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for a while, and I was absolutely fascinated by how much their tentacles can stretch. Really cool!
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