October 12, 2014

5:37 PM | Panda Habitat Threatened
We estimate that $1,229 million in effective eco-compensation payments could prevent an estimated 15% decline in the giant panda population, whereas an additional $3,707 million for effective eco-compensation and restoration of potential habitat could restore the giant panda population to an estimated 40% above current levels. Continue reading →
12:40 AM | The Ghost in the GMO Machine – Cascadia TimesCascadia Times
Of course, other species are harmed as well, making it unacceptable to use these pesticides and the GMOs bred for compatibility. Continue reading →

October 11, 2014

6:44 PM | Alaska’s stranded walruses face a new threat: oil drillers
Shell's wells will be upstream of Hanna Shoals, a biologically rich shallow shelf that tends to hold sea ice longer than other areas. Continue reading →
5:37 PM | These 14 states have a plan for climate change. The rest of you are screwed.
Most states are still failing to prepare for the impacts of climate change, and there has been mixed progress among states with concrete plans, according to a first-of-its-kind compilation of data released Thursday by the Georgetown Climate Center. Continue reading →

October 10, 2014

8:51 PM | Turning to Darwin to Solve the Mystery of Invasive Species
A new study suggests that some parts of the world are evolutionary incubators, producing superior competitors primed to thrive in other environments. Source: GR:  The research described in this article is a fine confirmation of familiar ideas. I was … Continue reading →
1:03 PM | Photo of the Week – October 10, 2014
For the second time in two weeks, I got to travel west into drier, shorter prairie.  This week, our crew attended the Nebraska Natural Legacy Conference in Gering, Nebraska – at the far western end of the state.  While there, … Continue reading →
12:30 PM | Exploring the Rich History of Plant Science
Drawings of a grapevine stem showing the transport vessels, from Nehemiah Grew's The Anatomy of Plants (1682).In 1682, the first known microscopic depiction of pollen appeared in Nehemiah Grew’s Anatomy of Plants. Grew, now known as the “Father of Plant Anatomy,” revolutionized botanical science with his studies of plant structure. Exploiting the power of the microscope, he outlined key morphological differences in plant stems and roots and proposed the hypothesis that stamens […]
12:00 PM | All Those Drops Add Up: Small Spills at the Gas Station
First, you pull into the gas station. You open the cover to the fuel tank, unscrew the cap, insert the nozzle, and pump away. Once you’ve filled up your tank, you dislodge the nozzle and return it to its starting position. But in between – perhaps without even noticing – you spilled a few drops
3:09 AM | Office of the Auditor General of Canada—Mitigating Climate Change
Overall, we found that federal departments have made unsatisfactory progress in each of the four areas examined. Continue reading →
12:39 AM | Saving Caribbean Coral Reefs
IUCN used data from 35,000 surveys conducted at 90 Caribbean locations since 1970, and showed that reefs have declined by more than 50% since the 1970s. Continue reading →
12:07 AM | Ocean Acidification: The Complete Loss of Tropical Coral Reefs By 2050 to 2100
"The pace at which humans are increasing ocean acidification has never been seen before in the geological record. So the blow that is coming to many of the animals we rely on is worse than anything witnessed in Earth’s past." Continue reading →

October 09, 2014

6:43 PM | World wildlife populations ‘plummet’
The global loss of species is even worse than previously thought, with wildlife populations halving in just 40 years, a report says. Continue reading →
6:33 PM | Wildlife decline: Why does biodiversity matter anyway? – Christian Science Monitor
Half of the planet's wildlife populations suffered severe decline between 1970 and 2010, according to a new report from the WWF. So what does dwindling biodiversity mean for us? Continue reading →
6:25 PM | The WWFs report on the shockingly rapid decline in wildlife should surely move us to action | Michelle Nijhuis
Most of us will be forced to combat climate change, but the ones profiting from it will not. Continue reading →
6:18 PM | Flooding Risk From Climate Change, Country by Country
A new analysis of sea levels and flood risk around the world offers more evidence that the brunt of climate change will not be borne equally. More than a quarter of Vietnam’s residents live in areas likely to be subject … Continue reading →
4:27 PM | Next big idea in forest conservation? Empower youth leaders
Want to save forests? Don't forget the youth, says Pedro Walpole, the Chair and Director of Research for the Environmental Science for Social Change, a Jesuit environmental research organization promoting sustainability and social justice across the Asia Pacific region. 'Youth leadership in environmental management is key,' Walpole told
1:00 PM | Will crabs invade Antarctica?
Many predatory crabs don’t live in Antarctica for a simple reason: it’s too cold. But as the Earth warms, these clawed critters could invade pristine polar waters and threaten native species, scientists warn in an editorial. The Southern Ocean “has traditionally been regarded as the most biologically isolated and invasion-resistant ocean,” the team writes in
1:01 AM | Citizen Naturalist Opportunities
There are many citizen naturalist projects you can join. Continue reading →

October 08, 2014

2:49 PM | The only solution for polar bears: 'stop the rise in CO2 and other greenhouse gases'
Steven Amstrup, Chief Scientist for Polar Bears International, has worked diligently on polar bears for over 30 years. He radio-collared some of the first bears and discovered that annual activity areas for 75 tracked females averaged at a stunning 149,000 square kilometers. His recent work highlighted the cost of global warming to these incredible animals and the sea ice they so closely depend on.
12:30 PM | Biodiversity Heritage Library staff attend the 7th Annual Global Plants meeting in Panama
BHL Program Director Martin Kalfatovic and Harvard Botany Librarian Judy Warnement attended the 7th Annual Global Plants meeting. Chuck Miller (Missouri Botanical Garden) serves on the GPI Steering Committee. The Global Plants Initiative, originally sponsored by the Mellon Foundation, has provided funding for the digitization of herbarium specimens and related materials that are made available via the JSTOR Global Plants platform.David Cantrill (left) and Chuck Miller (right)JSTOR Global […]
12:00 PM | Blame humans, not lions, for cheetah declines
Wild cheetahs have suffered tremendously over the last century—their population has been reduced by an order of magnitude, from some 100,000 one hundred years ago to just 10,000 today. While it’s certain that human activity bears at least some proportion of the responsibility for that decline, many have also pointed fingers at other predators in

October 07, 2014

9:26 PM | For Miami, Sea Level Rise Has Already Gone Exponential
Decades or even years ago, astronomical high tide wasn’t so much of a problem for Miami. Now, it means flooded roads and runways. It means salt water backing up through city drainage and municipal water systems. It means sea walls over-topped. It means lawns, properties and businesses covered in water. Continue reading →
2:37 PM | Saving Peru's sea turtles and marine birds: conservationists and fishermen partner to tackle bycatch
Marine conservationists often view fisheries as an enemy of sorts, vacuuming up fish with little thought to the long-term consequences and using equipment that also ends up killing other species, i.e. bycatch like sea turtles and marine birds. However, Joanna Alfaro Shigueto, the President of the Peruvian NGOProDelphinus and winner of a 2012 Whitley Award, has chosen a different tact.
1:00 PM | Roads predict human impacts on biodiversity
There are many hallmarks of human influence in a given ecosystem or habitat. It seems, though, that our habit of leaving roads in our wake pretty much everywhere may be the best predictor of our effect on the world around us. “Biodiversity loss may occur directly via road-kill events, disturbance or pollution, or indirectly by
1:00 PM | Color, Movement and Noise
A couple months ago, I wrote a post asking you how you evaluate your prairies as you walk around them.  I appreciated the thoughtful responses you shared.  This week, I’ll be facilitating a discussion on the same topic at the … Continue reading →
2:16 AM | How I feel about climate change
Originally posted on Furious. Livid. And a just little bit sad. Well, I’m not pissed off with ‘climate change’ per se – that would be ridiculous. I am extremely pissed off with those who are doing their damnedest to prevent…

October 06, 2014

6:45 PM | What Species is this Feces? A New Readers Write In Blog Series
Hi, Please could you identify the droppings in the attached photo? I regularly see them around the perimeter of a large wild pond.  At some point the "owner" found and ate a nesting coot's egg (shell found). Also, the animal enters and dives to collect fresh water crayfish. Thank you for any help.  Regards, Tony Dorset, UK Readers: What Species is this Feces? -----
2:36 PM | The Zanaga iron ore mine – a test of best laid plans for preserving wildlife
One of the largest iron ore deposits in Africa is located in a strip 47 kilometers long and three kilometers wide in the Republic of the Congo (RoC), bordering Gabon. A core section of the Guineo-Congolian Forest rises above this vast mineral deposit, and provides a home to flagship endangered species like western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, and forest elephants.
12:30 PM | Smithsonian Libraries hosts Biodiversity Library Exhibition Training
Earlier this year, the Smithsonian Women's Committee awarded a one-year grant to Smithsonian Libraries (SIL) to build online exhibitions to showcase the scientific and historical contributions of Women and Latino naturalists and illustrators. The project, entitled Notable Women and Latinos in Natural History, will draw from content in the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) and use the Biodiversity Library Exhibition (BLE) platform developed by BHL Europe.As part of this project, SIL hosted a […]

October 05, 2014

3:54 PM | Research Shows Great Barrier Reef Coral Is Failing
"The Hebrew University researchers found that although the extent of coral cover was about the same as when it was first examined, calcification rates had fallen by between 27 and 49 per cent, leaving the corals less dense and more fragile." Continue reading →
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