Posts

October 05, 2014

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12:52 AM | Global biodiversity targets won’t be met by 2020, scientists say
Writing in the journal Science, in the same week that a major report by WWF suggested the world had lost half its animals over the past four decades, the scientists say that the state of biodiversity and the pressures on it are getting worse, not better. Continue reading →

October 04, 2014

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11:49 PM | Study shows sharks have personalities
What is interesting is that these behaviours differ consistently among individuals. This study shows, for the first time, that individual sharks possess social personalities. Continue reading →
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11:30 PM | Human Impact: Artificial Light Disrupts Sex Hormones of Birds
Under light at night, something gets broken and you see a dampening of the hormonal system. Continue reading →
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4:00 PM | Using Data to Improve BHL Social Media
How can data analysis help us improve our social media activities?This was the fundamental question BHL's Outreach and Communication Manager, Grace Costantino, sought to address during her two-day meeting with Ryerson University's Social Media Lab, Sept. 29-30, 2014. As co-participants in the Mining Biodiversity Digging Into Data project, BHL has been collaborating virtually with Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd, the Lab's Director, since early 2014. The Social Media and Society 2014 conference, organized by […]
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12:00 PM | Readers Write In: A Mixed Bag of Snake Identification Requests
Found this snake trying to get in, Not sure about it. Any help? It is aggressive and its tail quivers just a bluff I'm sure..... Thanks, Mike Pike County, Ohio Found this snake in my house today and can't really tell what it is. Any help identifying it would be much appreciated.  Thank you, Geoff B. South Mississippi I'm about 3 miles from the Ashley River, but

October 03, 2014

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6:42 PM | Study: Cheetah Population Dwindling
  GR:  Monospecific landscapes are boring.  Wouldn’t we all prefer to have a few more cheetahs and a few less humans? In 1900, cheetahs numbered around 100,000. Today, there are just 10,000 in the wild. A new study says being … Continue reading →
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12:29 PM | Photo of the Week – October 3, 2014
I made my first ever visit to The Nature Conservancy’s Smoky Valley Ranch in western Kansas this week.  It won’t be my last.  Situated along the boundary between mixed-grass and shortgrass prairie, the Smoky Valley Ranch contains 16,800 acres of … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Bats get confused by wind turbines pretending to be trees
The first clue that bats were dying due to a case of mistaken identity was that the dead were mostly tree-roosting species. Wind turbines are killing the tiny flying mammals in record numbers, but the cave dwelling varieties were largely unaffected. Dead bats have turned up at wind turbine facilities on multiple continents, with death

October 02, 2014

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7:49 PM | How Monarch Butterflies Found (and Lost) Their Migration
Originally posted on strange behaviors:Monarchs at their overwintering site cluster against the cold (Photo: Jaap de Roodee) As the monarch butterfly migration faces a worsening risk of extinction, a research team has discovered the basis of that legendary migration…
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7:28 PM | Predator Killing Contest Environmental Assessment Available for 15-day Comment Period
With more than half of Earth's vertebrates wiped out by humans since 1970 (report by World Wildlife Fund), it is past time to begin conserving wildlife species, not killing them for fun. Continue reading →
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3:23 PM | Despite high deforestation, Indonesia making progress on forests, says Norwegian official
Despite having a deforestation rate that now outpaces that of the Brazilian Amazon, Indonesia is beginning to undertake critical reforms necessary to curb destruction of its carbon-dense rainforests and peatlands, says a top Norwegian official. Speaking with mongabay.com in Jakarta on Monday, Stig Traavik, Norway's ambassador to Indonesia, drew parallels between recent developments in Indonesia and initiatives launched in Brazil a decade ago, when deforestation was nearly five times higher than […]
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1:55 PM | What makes the jaguar the ultimate survivor? New books highlights mega-predator's remarkable past and precarious future
For thousands of years the jaguar was a God, then it was vermin to be destroyed, and today it is the inspiration for arguably the most ambitious conservation effort on the planet. A new book by renowned big cat conservationist, Alan Rabinowitz, tells this remarkable story from the jaguar's evolutionary origins in Asia to its re-emergence today as a cultural and ecological symbol.
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1:00 PM | Instead of herbicides, use goats
Where herbicides and mowers have failed, goats might succeed. In a new study, scientists have found that these humble herbivores can devour 12-foot-high invasive plants, allowing native species to regain a foothold in wetlands. The plant in question is the common reed (Phragmites australis), which arrived in North America from Europe in the 1700s and
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12:30 PM | Hispanic Heritage Month: The Life and Work of Louis Agassiz Fuertes
Louis Agassiz Fuertes. The Osprey. v. 1 (1896-97). http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/8767127 The artwork of Puerto Rican-American Louis Agassiz Fuertes has been featured a few times before on the BHL blog. His paintings are beautiful and eye-catching, and always a treat to visit. Through titles available in BHL, we can even see the evolution of Fuertes’s career— from his earliest professional work to his last.The Ithaca-born ornithologist and artist often drew as a young […]
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12:11 AM | Ivory- it’s a business
The first of the papers I’ve written on the illegal trade in ivory has appeared.  It’s in the journal Ecological Economics. This is some research informed by work in China but also from data outside there.  It’s about some of the macro-drivers of poaching and partly explains why poaching did surge after 2009. One of [...]

October 01, 2014

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8:52 PM | Readers Write In: Relocation of a Surprise Venomous Visitor
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6:48 PM | Mr Darcy’s Guide to Conference Etiquette – Part 2
(click to see part 1) It is indeed most vexing when an uninvited guest appears on one’s doorstep unexpectedly. So why is turning up at a conference without registering considered to be acceptable? When invited to dinner, one is expected to RSVP so that the host knows to expect one, and it is common courtesy […]
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4:48 PM | Greenland Ice Sheet Failure May Be More Rapid Than Previous Estimates
New research suggests that the sub-glacial surface in much of Greenland is more muddy than rocky in structure, which would imply that he Greenland ice sheet may fail more quickly than heretofore expected. [more]
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4:07 PM | Limits to Growth in Science Itself
Geneticist Casey Bergman argues convincingly that the era of exponential growth in academic research is over. The argument is very similar to arguments about the end of growth in general. [more]
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3:00 PM | Vegetarian Awareness Month
Originally posted on "Veganjävel":Today is the kick-off of Vegetarian Awareness Month, a month centered on vegetarian food in all its glory. It starts off with today’s celebration of World Vegetarian Day. This is a great opportunity…
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2:23 PM | Wild Horses a Problem for Ranchers? Wolves Could Fix That
Originally posted on strange behaviors:Today’s New York Times has a report on the wild horse population boom in the American West, and for once, I agree with the ranchers:  Bizarre federal policies over the last 40 years have caused…
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12:00 PM | America’s pronghorn migration faces human obstacles
When you think of the planet’s greatest migrations, perhaps you think of the annual trek of the wildebeest through Africa’s Mara ecosystem, or the salty trails of the sperm whales, oceanic giants who feed in the waters of the frigid poles but mate in the warm tropics. Maybe you imagine the four generations it takes
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11:54 AM | Hubbard Fellowship Post – S’Mammals with Jasmine
This is a post written by Jasmine Cutter, one of our 2014-15 Hubbard Fellows.  All photos are by Jasmine. Howdy, Prairie Ecologist friends! I remember how much I looked forward to the Fellows’ posts before coming to the Platte River … Continue reading →

September 30, 2014

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10:41 PM | Human Hothouse Found to be California Drought Culprit as Ridiculously Resilient Ridge Reasserts
Originally posted on robertscribbler:This is an event that is more extreme than any in the observed record, and our research suggests that global warming is playing a role right now. — Stanford Scientist Noah Diffenbaugh **** Last week, a…
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8:17 PM | Snakes Eat Fish
Last week I highlighted a picture of a Northern Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon) eating a catfish (on right) that went viral and freaked a lot of people out. Many refused to ever enter the water again. I mentioned on that post that watersnakes eating things that live in the water, like fish, really isn't that big of a deal. Animals need to eat to live, you know? Fish are even the primary prey for
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1:00 PM | Climate change and the Red List: Counting down from vulnerable to extinct
Congratulations, you’ve made the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species! Now what? Is that enough to promise your salvation? Or will the increasing press of climate change on your vulnerable/endangered/critically endangered back spell your doom anyway? A new study aimed to answer this question, of just how long placement on the Red List gives conservationists to
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12:30 PM | Some Reflections on Social Media and Society
What are the impact and implications of social media on society?This question was the fundamental discussion point of the Social Media and Society 2014 conference in Toronto, Canada, Sept. 27-28, 2014. Now in its fifth year, the conference, organized by the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University (a partner in the Mining Biodiversity project funded by the IMLS Digging Into Data Challenge, of which BHL is also a participant), brings together researchers and practitioners across a broad range of […]
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8:57 AM | The Unexceptional Devil’s Hole Pupfish
The salt-encrusted earth of Death Valley is, quite literally, the hottest place on Earth. It is desolate terrain where even the most rugged life is constantly struggling to survive. Staring out across the dusty landscape, it’s hard to imagine that the entire area sits atop a vast aquifer, with millions of gallons of fresh water hiding below […]The post The Unexceptional Devil’s Hole Pupfish appeared first on Science Sushi.
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12:13 AM | The Slow-Motion Train Wreck of Industrial Civilization
Originally posted on Collapse of Industrial Civilization:The linear thinking that has dominated Western civilization since the Enlightenment has become a death trap for mankind in the 21st century. The dynamic system of the Earth’s biosphere with its many interconnected…
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12:00 AM | mean-guign-photography: Ornate Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus...
mean-guign-photography: Ornate Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus paradoxus) - Dauin, Philippines
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