MarineBio Conservation SocietyEndangered Animal News   :: ScienceDaily

Illinois' imperiled eastern massasauga rattlesnakes retain genetic diversity

Tue, 14 Aug 2018 10:14:04 EDT ~ A long-term study of eastern massasauga rattlesnakes in Illinois reveals that -- despite their alarming decline in numbers -- the few remaining populations have retained a surprising amount of genetic diversity. Find out more...

Sea stars critical to kelp forest resilience

Mon, 13 Aug 2018 10:03:00 EDT ~ A study by a resource and environmental management researcher reveals that sunflower sea stars play a critical role in the resilience of B.C.'s kelp forests, which are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth. Similar to land-based forests, kelp forests provide essential habitat for species and also help remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Find out more...

Deep in the weeds: Using eDNA sequencing to survey pondweed diversity

Fri, 10 Aug 2018 13:26:05 EDT ~ Researchers have developed a protocol using environmental DNA (eDNA) to identify aquatic plant diversity, making ecological biodiversity surveys of these plant communities faster and less expensive. Their study on pondweeds -- an important bioindicator of aquatic ecosystem health -- allows researchers to overcome difficulties in monitoring and identification, and draw conclusions regarding plant diversity and water quality. eDNA is a rapidly emerging technique, but its use in aquatic habitats has been understudied. Find out more...

'Biological passport' to monitor Earth's largest fish

Thu, 09 Aug 2018 09:34:35 EDT ~ Whale sharks, the world's largest fish, roam less than previously thought. This new study used stable isotope analysis to demonstrate that whale sharks feeding at three disparate sites in the Western Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf rarely swim more than a few hundred kilometers north or south from these areas according to researchers. Find out more...

Models may help reduce bycatch from longline fishing

Wed, 08 Aug 2018 15:34:05 EDT ~ Hundreds of thousands of sharks, sea birds and other marine species are accidentally killed each year after becoming snagged or entangled in longline fishing gear. New models may help reduce the threat by giving regulatory agencies a new tool to predict the month-by-month movements of longline fleets on the high seas and determine where and when by-catch risks are greatest. Find out more...

For the first time, scientists are putting extinct mammals on the map

Wed, 08 Aug 2018 13:42:26 EDT ~ Researchers have produced the most comprehensive family tree and atlas of mammals to date, connecting all living and recently extinct mammal species (nearly 6,000 in total) and overturning many previous ideas about global patterns of biodiversity. The atlas shows where species occur today as well as where they would occur, if they had not been driven away or extinct. Find out more...

Capturing elephants from the wild shortens their lives

Tue, 07 Aug 2018 11:03:47 EDT ~ Humans have been capturing wild Asian elephants for more than 3,000 years, and this still continues today despite the fact that the populations are declining. An international team of researchers has now analysed records of timber elephants in Myanmar to understand the effects of capture. The study shows that even years after their capture, wild-caught elephants' mortality rate remains increased, and their average life expectancy is several years shorter compared to captive-born animals. Find out more...

Abandoned farmlands enrich bird communities

Fri, 03 Aug 2018 10:33:28 EDT ~ Abandoned farmlands hold potential for the preservation of wetland and grassland birds as rehabilitation zones. Find out more...

The end-Cretaceous extinction unleashed modern shark diversity

Thu, 02 Aug 2018 14:16:35 EDT ~ A study that examined the shape of hundreds of fossilized shark teeth suggests that modern shark biodiversity was triggered by the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event, about 66 million years ago. Find out more...

Trees travelling west: How climate is changing our forests

Wed, 01 Aug 2018 13:15:57 EDT ~ Many studies on the impacts of global temperature rise have suggested that the range of trees will migrate poleward and upward. However, new research suggests that more tree species have shifted westward than poleward. Find out more...