Tag Archives: endangered species

Businesses Can Help Preserve Endangered Species, Improve Employee Morale With Small Landscape Changes

COLUMBIA, Mo.—Raptors, or birds of prey, some of which are endangered species, typically live in environments that provide natural land cover, such as forests and grasslands. Protecting endangered raptor species helps maintain food chain balance and prevents overpopulation of common raptor prey, such as snakes and rodents. As more businesses are built on the edges of urban areas, land where raptors once lived becomes industrialized, which raises concerns about the consequences of habitat destruction on raptor populations. Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that businesses can contribute to raptor preservation efforts by engaging in less development of lawn areas and increased planting or preservation of native grasslands and woodlots. (more…)

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Fecal Transplants Let Packrats Eat Poison

Herbivores Dine on Toxic Plants, Thanks to Gut Microbes

Woodrats lost their ability to eat toxic creosote bushes after antibiotics killed their gut microbes. Woodrats that never ate the plants were able to do so after receiving fecal transplants with microbes from creosote-eaters, University of Utah biologists found. (more…)

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New book explores ‘frontier’ metaphor in science

Leah Ceccarelli is a professor of communication and author of the book “On the Frontier of Science: An American Rhetoric of Exploration and Exploitation.” She answered a few questions about the book for UW Today.

Q: What’s the concept behind this book? Why did you write it?

A: I kept seeing appeals to the American frontier spirit in the public arguments of scientists. That rhetoric was often inspiring, giving scientists an exciting image of their work across the metaphorical “boundaries” of knowledge. But it was also troubling in the expectations it set out about the manifest destiny of scientists to push forward at all costs, and in the way it reinforced their separation from a public that funds their endeavors. (more…)

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UW Nautilus Expedition May Have Spied New Species

A University of Washington research team has captured color photographs of what could be a previously undocumented species of chambered nautilus, a cephalopod mollusk often classified as a “living fossil,” in the waters off American Samoa in the South Pacific.

“This is certainly a new taxon, but we are not sure if it is a new species, subspecies or variety,” said UW paleontologist Peter Ward, who led the expedition to Samoa and Fiji.

“The Samoan nautiluses are large for the genus, brightly colored, and very, very rare,” he said. (more…)

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Scientists Use Marine Robots to Detect Endangered Whales

Two robots equipped with instruments designed to “listen” for the calls of baleen whales detected nine endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of Maine last month. The robots reported the detections to shore-based researchers within hours of hearing the whales (i.e., in real time), demonstrating a new and powerful tool for managing interactions between whales and human activities.

The team of researchers, led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists Mark Baumgartner and Dave Fratantoni, reported their sightings to NOAA, the federal agency responsible for enforcing the Marine Mammal Protection Act. NOAA Fisheries Service, in turn, put in place on Dec. 5 a “dynamic management area,” asking mariners to voluntarily slow their vessel speed to avoid striking the animals. (more…)

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Three New Species of Venomous Primate Identified by MU Researcher

Research may help protect rare primate from illegal trades

A video about the illegal trade in slow lorises.

A venomous primate with two tongues would seem safe from the pet trade, but the big-eyed, teddy-bear face of the slow loris (Nycticebus sp.) has made them a target for illegal pet poachers throughout the animal’s range in southeastern Asia and nearby islands. A University of Missouri doctoral student and her colleagues recently identified three new species of slow loris. The primates had originally been grouped with another species. Dividing the species into four distinct classes means the risk of extinction is greater than previously believed for the animals but could help efforts to protect the unusual primate. (more…)

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Collaring Tapirs – Elephant look-alikes – to Help Them Survive

EAST LANSING, Mich. — A team of Michigan State University researchers will soon be heading into the rainforests of Nicaragua to help an endangered species known as a Baird’s tapir co-exist with local farmers whose crops are being threatened by the animals.

The animals were thought to be extinct in that part of the world until just two years ago when the MSU team discovered them still living there through the use of “camera trapping” – the setting up of still and video cameras in order to “capture” the animal. (more…)

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