Counting Rays: Aerial Surveys Reveal Ample Populations in Southeast Florida

A unique long-term study quantified the abundance of whitespotted eagle and giant manta rays in Southeast Florida. Researchers conducted 120 survey flights between 2014 and 2021 from Miami north to the Jupiter Inlet. One or both species were seen on nearly every flight and both populations appear to be stable in the region. The giant manta rays were more abundant in the south and the whitespotted eagle rays were found all along the coast. Neither species seems to be deterred by the greater human population density in Fort Lauderdale/ Miami.

Study: Wild pig populations in U.S. can be managed

Recent conservation efforts have proven effective at controlling wild pig populations in the Southeastern United States, according to new research from the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Within 24 months of the start of control efforts in the study area located around the Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina, researchers found a reduction of about 70% in relative abundance of pigs and a corresponding decline in environmental rooting damage of about 99%.

Scientists issue plan for rewilding the American West

As the effects of climate change mount, ecosystem restoration in the US West has garnered significant public attention, bolstered by President Joe Biden’s America the Beautiful plan to conserve 30% of US land and water by 2030. Writing in BioScience, William J. Ripple and 19 colleagues follow up on the Biden plan with a proposal for a “Western Rewilding Network,” comprising 11 large reserve areas already owned by the federal government.