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Category archives for Ecology

Christmas Cubs for a Happy New Year

News from the Field from Pride in Our Prides Lion Program in Botswana by Florian J Weise – Pride in Our Prides, CLAWS Conservancy It is still dark as our vehicle rattles down the dirt track.  Dust everywhere.  The smell of camphor and wild sage surrounds us.  We are on our way into the Okavango…

Hey Developers, Wanna Make an App to Help the Ocean?

We have a lot of data about the ocean, but much of it is in obscure databases – unintegrated, unanalyzed, and largely inaccessible for the public. There is so much we could do with all that information if it was easy to visualize and interpret. At our fingertips, we could have alerts about the presence…

Re-wilding an Island

Last week I bore witness to the re-wilding of an entire island ecosystem. Invasive mammalian predators were eradicated from Ahuahu (Great Mercury Island) in 2014, and the original predators and keystone species are now returning naturally.

Insisting on Truth – Bhopal and Beyond

“I cut all the pictures out of my textbook…they were so…” My friend Anu doesn’t finish her thought. She doesn’t have to. I know the words that she can use, but they will never fully articulate the horrific, gruesome, tragic images depicting the event of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster, considered by many to be the…

Penang: An unexpected biodiversity destination

Mention that you are heading to Penang and you are inevitably met with the same question: “Penang? Like the curry?” You are forced to face the collective ignorance of your community when you realize that you, your friends, your family, and the guy who talked you into taking a middle seat on a transcontinental flight…

Invasion of the Aliens: Body Snatching Worms, Cold Winters May Rout Lakes’ Enemies

Public enemy number one, it might be called: Eurasian watermilfoil. It’s not on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, but maybe it should be, say scientists who study lakes. The invasive weed’s crime? It crowds out native underwater plants, fouls boat propellers and smothers swimming areas in freshwater lakes across the northern U.S. The invader’s…

Why Doubt Invasive Species Impacts?

Invasive alien species are now found on every corner of the planet and rank higher than climate change as a current threat to endangered species. So then why, despite all the scientific evidence of negative impacts from invasive species, would people be resistant to taking action against them?

This Is What a Climate-smart Farm Looks Like 

How One Kenyan Farmer Went From ‘Nothing’ to the Envy of the Neighborhood

Dreams of the World: Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wild Places with Bernie Krause

Dreams of the World: One Dream a Time. This post is the latest in the series Dreams of the World, which profiles interesting people Kike meets during his travels.  Krause’s work navigates the realms of science and art. A musician, author, and ecologist, he founded Wild Sanctuary, an organization dedicated to the preservation and recording of natural soundscapes. Krause’s legendary…

Climate, and the Dividing Line Between Forest and Tundra

In northern Alaska’s Brooks Range, the earth as most of us know it comes to an end. From Fairbanks, the northernmost city on the North American road grid, drive up the graveled Dalton Highway. Unpeopled boreal forest stretches in all directions. About 200 miles on, you pass the arctic circle, beyond which the sun never sets in midsummer, nor rises in midwinter.…

Big, Bad Challenges for Spain’s Rebounding Wolves

Ever since I came face-to-face with a pack of wolves in rural Indiana, they’ve had a special place in my heart. At one wolf sanctuary, I was allowed up-close access. For the first time, I was able to feel their coarse fur and look into their deep, inquisitive eyes. These were not dogs. There was no immediate trust … it had to be earned.

All Plants Are Medicine; We Just Need To (re)Learn How

“All plants are medicine,” Dr. Jeetpal Negi, the herbal gardener at Navdanya, exclaims proudly with a hint of mystery to his voice. Dr. Negi bends down to examine a seemingly mundane but prolific weed, “this is used for eye health,” he says before popping the small white diamond-shape flower in his mouth. He stretches above his…

Lessons learned in tropical tree climbing

Oh yeah, I forgot about that… The beginning of any field study includes at least a few remedial lessons. For weeks before I start climbing, I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic that I have forgotten all my knots. I look over old gear lists trying to figure out what…

Tracing the Global Invasion of Brown Rats

Brown rats are found throughout the world, on its continents and islands, affecting human health and biodiversity, but where did they originally come from? Researchers this month sought to answer that question when they released a global phylogeography of brown rats from cities and islands around the world.

Tracking the World’s Largest Land Crab

Coconut crabs must be handled with extreme care; they have two powerful claws that can easily crush bone. I have previously studied red king crab and snow crab in Alaska, but coconut crabs are in a league of their own in terms of brute strength.