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  • Biodiversity and nature's contributions continue dangerous decline, scientists warn
    on March 23, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Biodiversity -- the essential variety of life forms on Earth -- continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature's capacity to contribute to people's well-being. This alarming trend endangers economies, livelihoods, food security and the quality of life of people everywhere, according to four landmark science reports written by more than 550 leading experts, from over 100 countries. […]

  • Deep impact: Deep-sea wildlife more vulnerable to extinction than first thought
    on March 22, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    The existence of the unusual yeti crabs (Kiwaidae) -- a family of crab-like animals whose hairy claws and bodies are reminiscent of the abominable snowman -- since 2005, but already their future survival could be at risk. New Oxford University research suggests that past environmental changes may have profoundly impacted the geographic range and species diversity of this family. The findings indicate that such animals may be more vulnerable to the effects of human resource exploitation and climate change than initially thought. […]

  • Study suggests method to boost growth of blood vessels and muscle
    on March 22, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Researchers have reversed age-related endurance loss in mice by treating them with a compound that promotes new blood vessel growth. Their study found the compound, which reactivates longevity-linked sirutin proteins, promotes blood vessel and muscle growth, boosting endurance of elderly mice by up to 80 percent. […]

  • Drought-induced changes in forest composition amplify effects of climate change
    on March 21, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    The face of American forests is changing, due to climate change-induced shifts in rainfall and temperature that are causing shifts in the abundance of numerous tree species, according to a new article. The result means some forests in the eastern U.S. are already starting to look different, but more important, it means the ability of those forests to soak up carbon is being altered as well, which could in turn bring about further climate change. […]

  • 'We're sleepwalking into a mass extinction' say scientists
    on March 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Species that live in symbiosis with others, which often occur in the most delicately balanced and threatened marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, are the slowest to recover their diversity if damaged, according to a team of scientists. […]

  • The environment determines Caribbean hummingbirds' vulnerability
    on March 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Hummingbirds' specialization and vulnerability are often predicted based on their physical traits. Scientists now found that this is not the case for hummingbirds on the Caribbean islands. Instead, the bird's environment is the determining factor. […]

  • The problem of jaguars and space in western Paraguay
    on March 21, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    A recent study shows how researchers used GPS technology and new analytical techniques to produce the first rigorous estimates of jaguar spatial needs and movements in the Gran Chaco and Pantanal ecosystems of Paraguay. […]

  • How trees coexist: Understanding biodiversity
    on March 21, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    One of the most fascinating topics in ecology is the exploration of interactions between plants, specifically in long-lived organisms, such as trees. In this context, it is generally assumed that tree-tree interactions are dominated by competition for resources such as light, water or nutrients. […]

  • Dinosaur frills and horns did not evolve for species recognition
    on March 21, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    The elaborate frills and horns of a group of dinosaurs including Triceratops and Styracosaurus did not evolve to help species recognise each other, according to researchers. […]

  • New deep reef ocean zone, the rariphotic, teeming with new fish species
    on March 20, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Diving down below the range of scuba in the Curasub, Smithsonian deep reef explorers discovered a new world where roughly half of the fish had no names. They are calling it the rariphotic. […]

  • New genetic test detects manatees' recent presence in fresh or saltwater
    on March 19, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Scientists have developed the first laboratory test that picks up traces of manatees' genetic material in waterways. The environmental DNA test shows whether one or more of the elusive marine mammals has been in the area in the past month. […]

  • Mediterranean diet is linked to higher muscle mass, bone density after menopause
    on March 18, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    The heart-healthy Mediterranean diet also appears to be good for an older woman's bones and muscles, a new study of postmenopausal women in Brazil finds. […]

  • Menomous Solenodon, last survivor of a branch of mammals that appeared at the time of the...
    on March 16, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    An article presents a draft genome of a small shrew-like animal, the venomous Hispaniolan solenodon. This unusual animal is one of the only extant venomous mammals, and it is the sole remaining branch of mammals that split from other insectivores at the time of the dinosaurs. The solenodon genome sequence revealed the answer to several evolutionary questions, such as whether the solenodon species indeed survived the meteor impact that killed the dinosaurs. […]

  • Reefs help protect vulnerable Caribbean fish from climate change
    on March 16, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    New research suggests that larger reef areas may help protect the Caribbean's coral reef fish communities from the impacts of ocean warming. […]

  • Ending overfishing would stop the population declines of endangered bycatch species about half the...
    on March 15, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    A study finds that ending overfishing would stop the population declines of endangered bycatch species about half the time. […]

  • Small mammal thought to be extinct rediscovered in Nepal's national park
    on March 15, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    The hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus) is in the list of critically endangered small mammals. It was thought to be extinct from Chitwan National Park as it had not been spotted again after its first spotting in 1984. […]

  • Big game hunters in Africa urged to drop the lead to help save vultures
    on March 15, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Lead bullet fragments in carcasses left by hunters are poisoning endangered African vultures, a new study has found. […]

  • 'Active protection' needed to help Angola's threatened elephants
    on March 14, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    A new study of African savannah elephant populations in Angola by wildlife ecologists reports today that though the population seemed to be recovering after the war ended there, that trend has now reversed, underlining 'the need to be vigilant against poaching and habitat loss. […]

  • Coral reef experiment shows: Acidification from carbon dioxide slows growth
    on March 14, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Ocean acidification will severely impair coral reef growth before the end of the century if carbon dioxide emissions continue unchecked. The paper represents the first ocean acidification experiment in which seawater was made artificially acidic by the addition of carbon dioxide and then allowed to flow across a natural coral reef community. The acidity of the seawater was increased to reflect end-of-century projections if carbon dioxide from greenhouse gas emissions are not abated. […]

  • Mountains become islands: Ecological dangers of increasing land use in East Africa
    on March 14, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    The mountains of East Africa are a treasure trove of biodiversity. However, their ecosystems may be at a higher risk than previously realized. Scientists have discovered that Mount Kilimanjaro is turning into an "ecological island". Agriculture and housing construction have eliminated the natural vegetation that used to serve as a bridge to the surrounding area, enabling the diversity of species to develop to its current levels. Neighboring mountain regions are presumably also being isolated from their surrounding areas. […]

  • 60-year-old paleontological mystery of a 'phantom' dicynodont
    on March 14, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    A new study has re-discovered fossil collections from a 19th century hermit that validate 'phantom' fossil footprints collected in the 1950s showing dicynodonts coexisting with dinosaurs. […]

  • Climate change is shrinking mountain hares' habitat in the Alps
    on March 14, 2018 at 2:55 am

    A warming climate will shrink and fragment mountain hare habitat in the Swiss Alps. Populations are likely to decline as a result. […]

  • Climate change risk for half of plant and animal species in biodiversity hotspots
    on March 14, 2018 at 2:55 am

    Up to half of plant and animal species in the world's most naturally rich areas, such as the Amazon and the Galapagos, could face local extinction by the turn of the century due to climate change if carbon emissions continue to rise unchecked. Even if the Paris Climate Agreement 2°C target is met, these places could lose 25 percent of their species. Researchers examined the impact of climate change on nearly 80,000 plant and animal species in 35 areas. […]

  • Breeding trouble: Meta-analysis identifies fishy issues with captive stocks
    on March 13, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    A meta-analysis has found patterns that may be jeopardizing the long-term success of worldwide animal breeding programs, which increasingly act as an insurance against extinction in conservation, and for food security. Captive-born animals had, on average, almost half the odds of reproductive success compared to their wild-born counterparts in captivity; in aquaculture, the effects were particularly pronounced. The scientists were surprised by how universal the patterns were across the animal kingdom. […]

  • Plants faring worse than monkeys in increasingly patchy forests of Costa Rica
    on March 12, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    A new study shows that cattle ranching, agriculture and other human activities breaking up Costa Rican forests into isolated patchy fragments, are causing more problems for native plant populations than for monkey species sharing the same habitat. […]

  • Elephant declines imperil Africa's forests
    on March 12, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Poaching and habitat loss have reduced forest elephant populations in Central Africa by 63 percent since 2001. This poses consequences not only for elephants but also for the region's forests, a new study finds. Without intervention to stop poaching, as much as 96 percent of Central Africa's forests will undergo major changes in tree-species composition and structure as local populations of elephants disappear and surviving populations are crowded into ever-smaller forest remnants. […]

  • Early warning system for deadly amphibian pathogen
    on March 12, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Environmental DNA is a new technology that detects telltale bits of genetic material that living creatures shed into their environment. Scientists demonstrate for the first time that it can be used to detect the presence of a deadly pathogen before it wipes out populations of amphibians. […]

  • Study predicts wildlife of Africa's Albertine Rift will be threatened by climate change
    on March 9, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    A new study predicts that the effects of climate change will severely impact the Albertine Rift, one of Africa's most biodiverse regions and a place not normally associated with global warming. […]

  • New insights into biodiversity hotspots could help protect them from potential deep-sea mining
    on March 7, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    New insights into animal patterns around extinct submarine volcanoes could inform measures used to protect marine ecosystems from human activities, such as trawling and deep-sea mining. These insights show that the structure of marine life communities depends on depth and small-scale features on the sea floor. […]

  • A global conflict: agricultural production vs. biodiversity
    on March 7, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Smart land-use planning could ease the conflict between agricultural production and nature conservation. A team of researchers has integrated global datasets on the geographical distributions and ecological requirements of thousands of animal species with detailed information on the production of the world ’s major agricultural crops. […]