Conservation News

Elephants Are More Likely to Die at the Hands of Humans than from Natural Causes

January 17, 2013

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Elephants in Kenyas Samburu Region

According to a 14-year study, adult elephants in northern Kenya are more likely to die at the hands of humans than from natural causes. George Wittemyer, a wildlife biologist at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, and lead author of the study, published the findings in the journal PLOS ONE. The Scientists began the study in […]

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US Ichthyologists Claim Political Interference

January 14, 2013

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Threatened coho salmon have prompted environmental objections to dams on the Klamath River in Oregon. Credit: E. R. Keeley, USGS

US fisheries scientists are claiming that a supervisor threatened to eliminate their research division after the team had produced controversial model predictions of the survival and recovery of the threatened coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). The threatened O. kisutch reside in the Klamath River Basin in Oregon. The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) filed a complaint […]

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The Amazon Rainforest Could Be Drying Out

December 29, 2012

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In the past few years, the Amazon rainforest in Peru’s Ucayali region has been hit by two severe droughts, one in 2005 and another in 2010. These dry spells could become more frequent as temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic Ocean continue to rise and as thousands of square kilometers of forest are burnt to […]

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Cloud Forest Trees Depend on Fog

December 27, 2012

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Sunrise over the cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica. Credit: Drew Fulton

Trees in Costa Rica, as well as a number of plant species, in the tropical cloud forests quench their thirst by directly ingesting fog droplets through their leaves. These forests are in danger because of climate change, and a new study indicates that they’re even more fragile than previously thought. The scientists published their findings […]

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All Coral Reefs May be Dying by 2100

December 26, 2012

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Oceanographers have blamed bleaching of Porites coral from Australia's Great Barrier Reef on warming water temperatures, ocean acidification, and pollution. Credit: Louis Wray/Creative Commons

If current carbon dioxide emission trends continue, nearly every coral reef would be decimated by 2100, according to a new review of major climate models. The only way to maintain the current chemical environment in which reefs need to live, would be to deeply cut emissions worldwide. The scientists presented their findings at the American […]

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Only About 1,000 Yangtze Finless Porpoises Remain

December 24, 2012

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Finless Porpoise at Miyajima Aquarium, Japan. Credit: ori2uru/Flickr

A six-week survey of the Yangtze River’s middle and lower stretches by the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) in Wuhan and the conservation group WWF in China has concluded that the Yangtze finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis) are being driven to the brink of extinction by fishing, pollution and other human activities. […]

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Data Shows 2010 Amazon Megadrought Caused Serious Devastation

December 20, 2012

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Devastation Found in Amazon

A new study indicates that the megadrought that struck the Amazon in 2010 devastated millions of hectares of rainforest, shedding a new light over the debate over the effects of recent climatic events. The initial findings were presented at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. They indicate that as many as one in […]

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Pacific Fisheries Fail to Stop Tuna Overfishing

December 16, 2012

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At a meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, which is the governing body for international fisheries agreement seeking to ensure the conservation and sustainability of highly migratory fish, complaints were issued that big fishing nations had blocked efforts to curb tuna overfishing and ignored scientific advice. Nanette Malsol, chair of the Parties […]

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Panamanian Survey Puts Global Arthropod Species at 6 Million

December 16, 2012

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white-witch-moth

For two years in the Panamanian tropics, entomologists have been laboring in cranes, gliding amongst treetops using helium-filled balloons, hiking through the jungle at night and setting traps that used light as bait in order to come up with en estimate on the biodiversity of arthropods. The scientists published their findings in the journal Science. […]

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“Coughing” Scallops Are Early Warning System for Worsening Water Quality

December 4, 2012

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Scallops cough to expel feces and water from their central cavities. The friction between the mollusk’s two valves makes a sharp crack, followed by a drawn-out puffing sound as the valves close. Biologists think that these coughs could serve as an early warning system for worsening water quality. The scientists published their findings in the […]

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Special Fishing Weights Could Help Save Hammerhead Sharks

December 3, 2012

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scalloped-hammerhead-shark

The global population of hammerhead sharks, a group of sharks in the family Sphyrnidae, has plummeted by 89% in the last 20 years, largely due to illegal poaching and accidental fishing. Scientists have come up with a way to reduce the bycatch of hammerhead sharks. The scientists published their findings in the journal Fisheries Research. […]

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Hunters Kill Yellowstone Park Research Wolves

November 27, 2012

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yellowstone-wolves-killed

Researchers estimate that 10 wolves from Yellowstone National Park have been killed by hunters this month, severely affecting the park’s wolf research programs, one of the longest studies of its kind. The wolves have been tracked since their reintroduction in 1995. The killings came just as the scientists were set to begin the wolf project’s […]

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Communities in California Are Plagued by Contaminated Drinking Water

November 19, 2012

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Impoverished agricultural communities in Central Valley, California have been plagued for decades by contaminated drinking water. This is the result of more than five decades in which chemical fertilizers, animal wastes, pesticides and other substances have infiltrated aquifers, seeping into the groundwater and eventually into the tap. 20% of public water systems in Tulare County […]

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Deforestation Adds More Atmospheric CO2 than the Sum Total of Cars & Trucks on the World’s Roads

November 14, 2012

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deforestation-argentina-independent

Deforestation in tropical rainforests adds more carbon dioxide to the Earth’s atmosphere than the sum total of cars and trucks on the world’s roads. Cars and trucks account for 14% of global carbon emissions, while most analysts attribute 15% to deforestation. One of the reasons why logging is bad for the climate is that when […]

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Bacterial Disease Threatens Coconut Gene Bank

November 13, 2012

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Vahine-Island-Coconut-Trees

A bacterial disease outbreak is threatening a collection of 3,200 coconut palms in the South Pacific. This gene bank is located in Papua New Guinea and is part of an international collection of the South Pacific’s coconut species. The warning was issued at a meeting of the pacific coconut research and development strategy in Samoa […]

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