Tag Archives: habitat loss

Invertebrate numbers nearly halve as human population doubles

Invertebrate numbers have decreased by 45% on average over a 35 year period in which the human population doubled, reports a study on the impact of humans on declining animal numbers. 

This decline matters because of the enormous benefits invertebrates such as insects, spiders, crustaceans, slugs and worms bring to our day-to-day lives, including pollination and pest control for crops, decomposition for nutrient cycling, water filtration and human health. (more…)

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A Few Winners, But Many More Losers

Southwestern Bird and Reptile Distributions to Shift as Climate Changes

Dramatic distribution losses and a few major distribution gains are forecasted for southwestern bird and reptile species as the climate changes, according to just-published research by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of New Mexico, and Northern Arizona University.

Overall, the study forecasted species distribution losses – that is, where species are able to live – of nearly half for all but one of the 5 reptile species they examined, including for the iconic chuckwalla. The threatened Sonoran (Morafka’s) desert tortoise, however, is projected to experience little to no habitat losses from climate change.  (more…)

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Better Outlook for Dwindling Black Macaque Population in Indonesia

Since at least the 1970s, the population of critically endangered Sulawesi black macaques living in an Indonesian nature reserve has been dropping. But a new study by researchers at the University of Washington and in Indonesia shows that the population has stabilized over the past decade.

The findings, published in the January issue of the American Journal of Primatology, are from the longest ongoing survey of Macaca nigra and are among the first evidence that the monkeys may be in better shape. (more…)

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New Research Underscores Vulnerability of Wildlife in Low-Lying Hawaiian Islands

HONOLULU, Hawaii — If current climate change trends continue, rising sea levels may inundate low-lying islands across the globe, placing island biodiversity at risk. A new U.S. Geological Survey scientific publication describes the first combined simulations of the effects of sea-level rise and wave action in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, offering the most detailed and multifaceted assessment available of how island biodiversity may be affected by climate change.

The publication, “Predicting Sea-Level Rise Vulnerability of Terrestrial Habitat and Wildlife of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands,” by Michelle H. Reynolds, Paul Berkowitz, Karen N. Courtot, Crystal M. Krause, Jamie Carter, and Curt Storlazzi is available online. (more…)

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Sharks: Bad Creatures or Bad Image?

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Historically, the media have been particularly harsh to sharks, and it’s affecting their survival.

The results of a Michigan State University study, appearing in the current issue of the journal Conservation Biology, reviewed worldwide media coverage of sharks – and the majority isn’t good.

Australian and U.S. news articles were more likely to focus on negative reports featuring sharks and shark attacks rather than conservation efforts. Allowing such articles to dominate the overall news coverage diverts attention from key issues, such as shark populations are declining worldwide and many species are facing extinction, said Meredith Gore, MSU assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife and the School of Criminal Justice. (more…)

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Saving Wildlife with Forensic Genetics

*Using forensic genetics techniques, the UA’s Conservation Genetics Lab is working to protect wild animals and catch the criminals in cases of wildlife crime.*

Wildlife face many threats with spreading urbanization, including habitat loss and inbreeding when populations become fragmented and isolated. It doesn’t help that there is a billion-dollar international industry dedicated to the illegal trafficking of wild animals or wild animal parts.

The Conservation Genetics Lab at the University of Arizona is working to conserve and protect wild animals around the world. (more…)

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Species Extinction Rates Have Been Overestimated, New Study Claims

*However, researchers say, global extinction crisis remains very serious*

The most widely used methods for calculating species extinction rates are “fundamentally flawed” and overestimate extinction rates by as much as 160 percent, life scientists report May 19 in the journal Nature.

However, while the problem of species extinction caused by habitat loss is not as dire as many conservationists and scientists had believed, the global extinction crisis is real, says Stephen Hubbell, a distinguished professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UCLA and co-author of the Nature paper. (more…)

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