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Ecology / Conservation posts

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  • October 9, 2013
  • 02:00 PM

Lizard embryos suffer heart failure during severe heat waves

by Aileen Cudmore in Natural Reactions

Extreme temperatures associated with heat waves can cause cardiac arrest in eastern fence lizards before they even hatch from their eggs. ... Read more »

  • October 9, 2013
  • 11:31 AM

Journal Club: Butterbutt biology: warblers, migration and mitochondria

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: A non-migratory population of songbirds appears to have acquired mitochondria from their close relatives that are migratory, potentially allowing these birds to migrate better... Read more »

Toews David P. L., Mandic Milica, Richards Jeffrey G., & Irwin Darren E. (2013) Migration, Mitochondria and the Yellow-rumped Warbler. Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/evo.12260  

Brelsford Alan, Mila Borja, & Irwin Darren E. (2011) Hybrid origin of Audubon’s warbler. Molecular Ecology, 20(11), 2380-2389. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05055.x  

  • October 9, 2013
  • 10:43 AM

Honeybees Can Avoid Deadlock When Making Group Decisions, So Why Can't We?

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

This honeybee swarm has precious little time to make a democratic decision as to where they will move to. A decision deadlock could have fatal consequences. Image by Nino Barbieri at Wikimedia Commons.In case you've been living in a cave lately, the U.S. Government has been shut down since October 1st. Not because of a terrorist attack or a bank system meltdown or a natural disaster, but because Congress cannot agree on a spending bill to determine our government's funding plan for the next year........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2013
  • 11:46 AM

Elusive Marine Mammal Uses Interspecies Buddy System

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

What ocean mammal is a rare bird but not a lone wolf? Meet the false killer whale. You're not likely to ever spot one in the wild, but if you do, it won't be alone. These animals prefer to travel with a crowd—not just of their own species, but also including their closest companion, the bottlenose dolphin.

False killer whales are so named because the look a little like killer whales, or orcas.* Yet unlike their showy namesake, false killer whales are rarely encountered by humans. In most p........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2013
  • 11:10 AM

Ecological Underpinnings of Wealth

by Guest Contributor in PLOS Biologue

By Jon Chase
Question: What’s the best way to improve the economy of a developing country?
Answer: Provide better healthcare to its citizens and conserve its biodiversity
Better healthcare?!? If you’ve been listening to the conversations from the left…... Read more »

  • October 7, 2013
  • 01:42 PM

Oversimplification in Recreation Ecology? (Alternative title: ecologists care about recreation ecology!)

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

Given that recreation ecology is an emerging field of study, the journals that we publish in – while good and important journals – do not usually have the highest impact factor or are the most widely read.  However, that may … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 7, 2013
  • 08:00 AM

The Only Good Dog is a Dead Dog: Why it Doesn't Make Sense to Kill Venomous Snakes in your Yard

by David Steen in Living Alongside Wildlife

    We have often discussed here on this blog how and why killing snakes whenever and wherever you see one is a questionable land ethic. But, in the past I conceded that I understand why people would kill venomous snakes when they are found in their backyards because of the perceived threat to their families. Prompted by some comments left on a recent blog post, I’ve reflected on this a bit ... Read more »

  • October 4, 2013
  • 02:00 PM

The tide turns against unsustainable fishing techniques in Madagascar

by Aileen Cudmore in Natural Reactions

A social marketing campaign in southwest Madagascar has encouraged locals to abandon destructive fishing techniques in favour of more sustainable methods. ... Read more »

Gildas Andriamalala, Shawn Peabody, Charlie J. Gardner, & Kame Westerman. (2013) Using social marketing to foster sustainable behaviour in traditional fishing communities of southwest Madagascar. Conservation Evidence, 37-41. info:other/5192

  • October 4, 2013
  • 09:37 AM

Leave Them Bee- The Honeybees That Fearfully Avoid Hornets

by Charlotte Elston in The Plantwise Blog

In bees, fear is shown through avoiding dangerous food sites, thereby reducing the pollination of plants at the site. Scientists in this study looked at hornets (Vespa velutina and Vespa tropica) preying on the Asian honeybee (Apis cerana) in China. The hornets hunt bees on flowers and are themselves attacked by bees in defense. The […]... Read more »

  • October 3, 2013
  • 06:34 PM

Take a walk on the wild side: Dingo science

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Image: Bradley SmithHi Mia and Julie,As one of the few in the world exploring the ‘mind’ of the dingo, the highly controversial wild dog of Australia, I consider myself quite a rare ‘breed’ of scientist. So I thought I would let you know about some of the recent work I have done with dingoes, including a few world first discoveries. It seems dingoes are becoming just as famous for solving problems as they are for causing them!I find the differences between the way wild and domestic dogs ........ Read more »

  • October 3, 2013
  • 11:13 AM

Butterbutt biology: warblers, migration and mitochondria | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

A non-migratory population of songbirds appear to have acquired mitochondria by interbreeding with their close relatives that are migratory, thus allowing these birds to migrate too... Read more »

Toews David P. L., Mandic Milica, Richards Jeffrey G., & Irwin Darren E. (2013) Migration, Mitochondria and the Yellow-rumped Warbler. Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/evo.12260  

Brelsford Alan, Mila Borja, & Irwin Darren E. (2011) Hybrid origin of Audubon’s warbler. Molecular Ecology, 20(11), 2380-2389. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05055.x  

  • October 2, 2013
  • 02:00 PM

Blackbirds see the dark side of light at night

by Aileen Cudmore in Natural Reactions

Light pollution in urban areas is leading to disruptions in the daily and seasonal rhythms of European blackbirds as a result of reduced melatonin production at night.... Read more »

  • October 2, 2013
  • 08:30 AM

Can Cats and Coyotes Co-Exist?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Photo: taviphoto/Shutterstock In parts of north America, some people keep their cats indoors because of the risk of predation by coyotes. Outdoors cats must co-exist with them, if they can. Yet very little is known about the risk to cats from coyotes, and the extent to which populations overlap. A fascinating study of free-roaming cats in Chicago (Gehrt et al 2013) provides answers to these questions.Chicago is one of the largest cities in north America with a human population of over 8 mil........ Read more »

  • October 1, 2013
  • 12:55 PM

Mice Mark Their Territory with Song

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Like warring street-corner troubadours, certain mice sing to claim their territory. They may not get any tips in their guitar cases, but by knowing where it's safe to sing, they keep the whole neighborhood harmonious.

Two related species of singing mice share the mountains of Costa Rica and Panama. One, Scotinomys teguina or Alston's singing mouse, lives at lower altitudes and is widespread in the forests of Central America. The other species, Scotinomys xerampelinus or the Chiriquí si........ Read more »

  • October 1, 2013
  • 11:25 AM

Hydraulic Fracturing Sites Can Be Used For Greenhouse Gas Storage

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A University of Virginia engineering professor has proposed a novel approach for keeping waste carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.... Read more »

  • September 30, 2013
  • 09:15 AM

Electric Versus Diesel: A Study of Electric Trucks in Urban Delivery Applications Published

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

According to a study by Georgia Tech researchers, the advantages of electric versus diesel depend largely on how the trucks will be used—the frequency of stops and average speeds—and the source of electricity for charging batteries. In city driving with frequent stops, the electric trucks clearly outperform diesel vehicles, while diesel vehicles show better efficiency in suburban routes.... Read more »

  • September 29, 2013
  • 10:22 AM

Ecology Determines Rabies Infection in Bats

by Jim Ryan in Wild Mammals

A new approach to rabies virus epidemiology in bats shows that the risk of infection is higher in large and multispecies colonies. The research, published on the journal PLOS ONE, was led by Jordi Serra-Cobo, professor from the Department of Animal Biology at the UB and the Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio).

Bats are a large group of mammals that appeared in our planet around 65 million years ago (Figure 1). They have colonized many natural habitats —except the poles—, a........ Read more »

Jordi Serra-Cobo,, Marc López-Roig,, Magdalena Seguí,, Luisa Pilar Sánchez,, Jacint Nadal,, Miquel Borrás,, Rachel Lavenir,, & Hervé Bourhy. (2013) Ecological Factors Associated with European Bat Lyssavirus Seroprevalence in Spanish Bats. PLOS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064467.t003  

  • September 27, 2013
  • 11:28 AM

China’s New SNG Power Plants Will Emit A Lot of Greenhouse Gas

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Coal-fired synthetic natural gas, or SNG, power plants that are being planned in China would produce seven times more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional natural gas plants. These SNG power plants will also use up to 100 times the water as shale gas production, according to a new study by Duke University researchers.... Read more »

Chi-Jen Yang, Robert B. Jackson. (2013) China’s Synthetic Natural Gas Revolution. Nature Climate Change, 852-854. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1988  

  • September 27, 2013
  • 10:12 AM

by Nura Rutten in United Academics

Climate-saviors are not only the Greenpeace activist type of people. You also have the honeybees and the mules, for example. What would you consider yourself?... Read more »

  • September 27, 2013
  • 07:36 AM

Study: CNG Powered Buses Are Cheaper and Greener

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

CNG (compressed natural gas), a fossil fuel substitute for gasoline and diesel fuel, emits significantly less pollutants than petrol. Due to the recent abundance in natural gas supply, the local bus system could reduce its costs and emit significantly fewer pollutants by converting to CNG powered buses, Purdue University energy economist Wally Tyner reports in a study.... Read more »

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