Medication in the environment affects feeding behavior of fish

Credit: Erik Baatrup Scientists are increasingly warning that prescription drugs can affect wildlife and ecosystems when they find their way into the environment. In a new Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry study, investigators found that the anxiety and depression drug Escitalopram—at concentrations similar to those measured in the environment—can inhibit fish foraging and eating behavior. Interestingly, […]

Knowing berry pests’ varied diets may help control them

Spotted-wing drosophila cause billions of dollars in damage to fruit crops across Asia, North and South America, and Europe. Credit: Tim Martinson, Cornell AgriTech With New York state’s $20 million berry industry entering peak season, an invasive fruit fly is thriving. But little has been known about how the pests survive before and after the […]

Industrial fishing behind plummeting shark numbers

A blue shark swims past bait cannister. Credit: Dr Tom Letessier, ZSL A team of researchers, led by international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London), has discovered that sharks are much rarer in habitats nearer large human populations and fish markets. The team also found that the average body size of sharks and other […]

Energy development wins when it’s pitted against endangered species

A family of southern resident killer whales swims through the Haro Strait, between Vancouver Island in Canada, and San Juan Island in the United States. Credit: Shutterstock Widespread species decline at the hands of humans is a powerful tale. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, more than 27 percent of 100,000 assessed […]

Can we really restore or protect natural habitats to ‘offset’ those we destroy?

Forests will be lost to dams like these. Can they really be offset? Credit: Lynn Yeh / shutterstock In the forests of northern Sweden, a major train line cuts through land originally protected for migratory birds—so new seasonal wetlands have been established for the birds nearby. In southern Uganda, a huge hydropower dam has flooded […]

‘Mega-fires’ may be too extreme even for a bird that loves fire

A Black-backed Woodpecker visits its nest in a burned tree trunk. Credit: Jean Hall Fire is a natural part of western forests, but the changing nature of fire in many parts of North America may pose challenges for birds. One bird in particular, the Black-backed Woodpecker, specializes in using recently-burned forests in western North America, […]

Road verges provide refuge for pollinators

Verge before cutting. Credit: University of Exeter Roadside verges provide a vital refuge for pollinators—but they must be managed better, new research shows. With many pollinator species in decline, the University of Exeter study shows verges can provide food and a home for pollinators such as bees, butterflies and hoverflies. But the study emphasises that […]

Scientists to restore rocky intertidal seaweed to boost coastal biodiversity

Rockweed (Silvetia compressa) at Cuyler Harbor, San Miguel Island Credit: Stephen Whitaker Somewhat drab and unassuming, the humble rockweed’s olive-green or yellowish-brown appearance belies its importance in the rocky intertidal zone. “It’s considered a foundation species,” UC Santa Barbara marine scientist Robert Miller said of the seaweed, which anchors to rocks in the zone between high […]

A transparent squid with glowing internal organs recorded by deep-sea explorers

Credit: CC0 Public Domain A team of ocean explorers captured images last week of a surreal transparent squid with glowing internal organs in the Gulf of Alaska, as part of a study backed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In the brief video posted on Facebook, the camouflaged squid’s skin is completely invisible, allowing […]

Long-lasting effects of ironwork on mammal distributions over the last millennium

Ancient painting of traditional ironwork (from ‘Mines in Paintings and Illustrated Scrolls Collection Image Database’, from the collection of Engineering Bldg. 3 Library, Univ. of Tokyo) Credit: NIES Awareness is growing among scientists about the significance of pre-modern anthropogenic impacts prior to the Industrial Revolution on present-day patterns of biodiversity. In particular, pre-modern energy-intensive industries, […]