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Why birds of a feather stick together

Why birds of a feather stick together

Certain kinds of male birds gather into small clusters of land called leks to perform their courtship dances, and with whom they associate matters. A new study by University of Miami evolutionary biologist J. Albert Uy and collaborators has found that some male birds are better at attracting females if they gather with close male […]

Genetics of endangered African monkey suggest troubles from warming climate

Genetics of endangered African monkey suggest troubles from warming climate

A rare and endangered monkey in an African equatorial rainforest is providing a look into our climatic future through its DNA. Its genes show that wild drills (Mandrillus leucophaeus), already an overhunted species, may see a dramatic population decline if the forest dries out and vegetation becomes sparser amid warming temperatures, researchers report. Looking for […]

Earthworms to blame for decline of ovenbirds in northern Midwest forests

Earthworms to blame for decline of ovenbirds in northern Midwest forests

A recent decline in ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapilla), a ground-nesting migratory songbird, in forests in the northern Midwest United States is being linked by scientists to a seemingly unlikely culprit: earthworms. A new survey conducted in Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest and Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest by a research team led by Scott Loss of the University […]

Overfishing threatens the survival of seabirds

Overfishing threatens the survival of seabirds

From gannets to seagulls, puffins to penguins, all seabirds suffer the same drop in birth rates when the supply of fish drops to less than a third of maximum capacity. That’s the result from an international study (1) on the relationships between predators and prey in seven ecosystems around the world, published in the magazine […]

Coral reef study traces indirect effects of overfishing

Coral reef study traces indirect effects of overfishing

A study of the tropical coral reef system along the coastline of Kenya has found dramatic effects of overfishing that could threaten the long-term health of the reefs. Led by scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the study was published in the journal Coral Reefs. The researchers found that the loss of predatory […]

More Catastrophic Fires Ahead for Western U.S.

More Catastrophic Fires Ahead for Western U.S.

Catastrophic wildfires are on the rise in the western United States and a set of conditions may be contributing to a perfect storm for more fires, according to NAU’s Scott Anderson, professor in the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability. Anderson said increased fuel loads in the forest are a result of fire suppression, […]

Glow and be eaten: Marine bacteria use light to lure plankton and fish

Glow and be eaten: Marine bacteria use light to lure plankton and fish

Not all that glitters is gold. Sometimes it is just bacteria trying to get ahead in life. Many sea creatures glow with a biologically produced light. This phenomenon, known as bioluminescence, is observed, among others, in some marine bacteria which emit a steady light once they have reached a certain level of concentration (a phenomenon […]

Predator-prey relationships make possible the rich biodiversity of complex ecosystems

Predator-prey relationships make possible the rich biodiversity of complex ecosystems

As scientists warn that Earth is on the brink of a period of mass extinctions, they are struggling to identify ecosystem responses to environmental change. But to truly understand these responses, more information is needed about how Earth’s staggering diversity of species originated. Curiously, a vexing modeling mystery has stymied research on this topic: mathematical […]

Illegal orangutan trader prosecuted

Illegal orangutan trader prosecuted

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) has just announced Sumatra’s first ever successful sentence of an illegal orangutan owner and trader in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The seven-month prison sentence is only the third for Indonesia, despite orangutans being strictly protected under Indonesian law since 1924. Although there have […]

Ancient humans as major predators in marine food webs

Ancient humans as major predators in marine food webs

Although ecologists have studied food webs, the networks of who eats whom in the natural world, for decades, they have rarely asked how humans fit into the picture. Recent research by the Santa Fe Institute’s Jennifer Dunne is the first to examine the detailed feeding habits of human hunter-gatherers in relation to other species. By […]

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