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Category archives for Ecology

Myth Busting for Mountain Lions

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been told that mountain lions target male mule deer (“bucks”) and, to a lesser extent, male elk (“bulls”). I remember one exchange in which a ranch hand in Colorado told me that if I walked out into the nearby sagebrush, I’d stumble upon buck carcasses just about…

Penguins Wanted

Voyage of the Yellow-eyed Penguin, Part Two (See Part One) The Search 8 November 2017 Port Ross and Enderby Island It was cold and clear and very dark when six hardy souls climbed over the ship’s rail and down into the little dinghy, surging up and down against Evohe’s hull. Hamish the helmsman yanked the engine into…

Seeing the Forest for the Apes: An Unlikely Partnership for Conservation

Look around your home or your office and you’ll quickly realize the sheer quantity of items and materials that are derived from the global logging industry. From printer paper to furniture and building materials, there is an unbelievable demand for wood and wood products. It’s simultaneously obvious but also easy to forget that for every…

Voyage of the Yellow-eyed Penguin

The latest numbers say that yellow-eyed penguins are still heading toward extinction on mainland New Zealand. Their only other breeding habitat is a handful of islands hundreds of miles to the south. In this four-part story I join a surreal voyage to the all-but-inaccessible Auckland Islands, where we’re trying to find out how this gravely endangered penguin is faring in the…

Neighborhood Watch: The Role of Male Mountain Lions in Structuring Social Behaviors

Editor’s Note: This is the second blog in a pair of blogs about a paper recently published in Science Advances showcasing collaborative research with Drs. Mark Lubell and Michael Levy of UC Davis, and Dr. Anthony Caragiulo of the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History. The paper provided the…

How Nature Is Nurturing Cities

Harini Nagendra has spent more than a decade studying the growth and functioning of cities in South Asia, supported in part by grants from the National Geographic Society in 2006 and 2011. In her new book, Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present, and Future she focuses in on the booming modern city of…

The surprising diversity of Sunda clouded leopard communication behaviors

Sunda clouded leopards (Neofelis diardi) are part of the Panthera lineage of felids that includes African lions (Panthera leo), tigers (Panthera tigris), and jaguars (Panthera onca). These are among the most charismatic wildlife species, but Sunda clouded leopards are the least understood and studied of this group. Sunda clouded leopards are found in Borneo and…

What’s the cost of a surf-and-turf dinner? 1,795 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

What’s the cost of an average shrimp-and-steak dinner? If it comes from the loss of mangrove forests to aquaculture and agriculture, it’s 1,795 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s about the same amount of greenhouse gases produced by driving a fuel-efficient car from Los Angeles to New York City. Clearcutting of tropical mangrove forests to…

Adding an Indigenous Perspective to a Global Scientific Effort

In an exciting collaboration to better understand the world’s most complicated watersheds, the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have joined forces to create the Global Rivers Observatory (GRO)—an ambitious effort committed to the continuous study of watershed health around the world. So how cool that they recently invited us…

A Krill’s-Eye Video of New Zealand Seabirds

Music video or science documentary? This is both! We took a GoPro-rigged buoy out into New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf, where multitudes of hungry seabirds were tracking swarms of fish and krill just below the surface of the sea. Featuring Darlingside‘s “The Ancestor” from the album Birds Say. Underwater footage courtesy of the Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust.…

The Sun Sets on Brazil

For the last three years I have been travelling and collaborating across Brazil to increase awareness of the role of invasive alien species. As my trip to the Pantanal comes to an end so too does this time working in Brazil.

The acquisition of apex carnivore scent by a subordinate carnivore

Apex carnivores are well known for their effects on ecosystems, which include keeping prey populations balanced and limiting the spread of disease. Another important effect apex carnivores have is structuring their ecological communities. For example both prey and smaller carnivores avoid areas and habitats that are frequently used by apex carnivores, which directly affects their…

Why WildSpeak

So bring on the rebels, the ripples from pebbles, the painters, and poets, and plays… here’s to the fools who dream, crazy as they may seem. –La La Land. Films and visual imagery capture imaginations and dare us to envision a better future. La La Land dazzled our hearts last December with whimsical, up-beat tunes strung with a message of foolish hope against great odds. When Emma Stone’s character performs her vulnerable, breathtaking audition song, “The Fools Who Dream”, her passion stemming from a real place of her own story makes us feel what she is feeling and believe in her dream. We root for her completely. We empathize.

Diving In… to the World of Food Waste

The phone call came as a surprise. I didn’t expect anyone to have my phone number, let alone call me. It was my eighth day in Taiwan, sixth day with a SIM card, and second time at a Louisa Coffee. I didn’t even have my cell memorized – something with a 0935… 74? The order…

In the Field with Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes

Much like anyone in the northern hemisphere on the first warm Saturday of the year, each spring the Eastern massasauga rattlesnake (EMR) emerges from the holes that it hibernates in all winter ready for some sun and a good meal to kick-start its growth and reproduction for the year. And each spring, a group of…