Ten years after one of the largest nuclear accidents in history spewed radioactive contamination over the landscape in Fukushima, Japan, a University of Georgia study has shown that radioactive contamination in the Fukushima Exclusion Zone can be measured through its resident snakes.
“Shark Week” kicked off on July 11th, and just in time, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has released five facts you probably did not know about shark conservation to raise awareness about this imperiled group of fishes and what’s being done to protect them.
A new study led by WCS-India documents how a big cat deity worshipped by Indigenous Peoples facilitates coexistence between humans and leopards.
About 100 additional wolves died over the winter in Wisconsin as a result of the delisting of grey wolves under the Endangered Species Act, alongside the 218 wolves killed by licensed hunters during Wisconsin’s first public wolf hunt, according to new research. A majority of these additional, uncounted deaths are due to “cryptic poaching,” where poachers hide evidence of illegal killings.
An invasive species of aphid could put some threatened plant species on Kangaroo Island at risk as researchers from the University of South Australia confirm Australia’s first sighting of Aphis lugentis on the Island’s Dudley Peninsula.
The story of efforts to conserve the endangered oribi in South Africa represent a diaspora of issues as varied as the people who live there.
A new study led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has updated the global population estimate for the Critically Endangered Grauer’s gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri) – the world’s largest gorilla subspecies– to 6,800 individuals from a previous global estimate of 3,800 individuals.
Abstract White-nose syndrome (WNS) is an emergent wildlife fungal disease of cave-dwelling, hibernating bats that has led to unprecedented mortalities throughout North America. A primary factor in WNS-associated bat mortality includes increased arousals from torpor and premature fat depletion during…
A new study published in the journal Diversity and Distributions predicts massive range declines of Africa’s great apes – gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos – due to the impacts of climate change, land-use changes and human population growth.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Center for Conservation Bioacoustics will begin a new era of innovation thanks to a major gift from the philanthropist and Lab Advisory Board member K. Lisa Yang.
Researchers set out to learn how extreme winter cold and heat affected 41 common bird species in eastern North America. They found that individual bird species respond differently to these weather events, and extreme winter heat may lead to longer-term changes in bird populations.
Researchers at the University of Adelaide are concerned video sharing platforms such as YouTube could be contributing to the normalisation of exotic pets and encouraging the exotic pet trade.
Scientists have confirmed the species and origin of a colony of wild African vervet monkeys that landed in Dania Beach more than 70 years ago. They escaped from the Dania Chimpanzee Farm in 1948 and settled in a thick mangrove forest near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in South Florida. The facility acted as a zoo and also provided primates imported from Africa as research subjects in the development of the polio vaccine and other medical research.
In previously unstudied gopher tortoise aggregations, researchers found that overall, 42.9 percent had circulating antibodies to an infectious bacterium that causes upper respiratory tract disease. Physical examination showed that 19.8 percent had clinical signs consistent with upper respiratory tract disease and 13.2 percent had some form of physical abnormality. None of the tortoises tested positive for Ranavirus or Herpesvirus, which represents important baseline data, since these viruses are thought to be emerging pathogens of other tortoise and turtle species.
The goal of the Headwaters to Baywaters initiative is to ensure healthy lands, healthy waters, and healthy communities for the greater Houston region. The Headwaters to Baywaters initiative was launched by five partner organizations: Bayou Land Conservancy (BLC), Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP), Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF), Houston Audubon Society (HAS), and Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC).
A study led by researchers at the Centre for Palaeogenetics in Stockholm shows that the last remaining populations of the Sumatran rhinoceros display surprisingly low levels of inbreeding. The researchers sequenced the genomes from 21 modern and historical rhinoceros’ specimens, which enabled them to investigate the genetic health in rhinos living today as well as a population that recently became extinct. These findings are published today in the journal Nature Communications.
Six feet of social distance may be the new norm between people, but a new WCS report says if you don’t want to disturb wildlife, you need to keep waaaaaaay back.
A study led by researchers at IUPUI shows that tracking the diet of blow fly using isotope analysis is an effective way to monitor changes in the environment without disturbing local wildlife.
Biodiversity Research Institute announces the formation of its new environmental consulting services division—BRI Environmental offering a full suite of services for evaluating and permitting renewable energy development projects, infrastructure projects, marine installations, as well as residential and commercial development.
Researchers with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Congo Program and the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation found that female putty-nosed monkeys (Cercopithecus nictitans) use males as “hired guns” to defend from predators such as leopards.
New Brunswick, N.J. (March 18, 2021) – With spring on the horizon, Rutgers master gardener coordinator Angela Monaghan is available for interviews on how to build a native plant garden. “Everyone can encourage native plant communities in their backyards and…
A new study in the journal Conservation Science and Practice finds that restaurants in urban areas in Central Africa play a key role in whether protected wildlife winds up on the menu.
Why are “ghost forests” filled with dead trees expanding along the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coast? Higher groundwater levels linked to sea-level rise and increased flooding from storm surges and very high tides are likely the most important factors, according to a Rutgers study on the impacts of climate change that suggests how to enhance land-use planning.
In the decade since a tsunami washed over the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, triggering the second-largest nuclear disaster in history, the surrounding towns have struggled to return to normal. But that’s not the case for the wildlife living in the area.
Mexican wolves in the American Southwest disappeared more quickly during periods of relaxed legal protections, almost certainly succumbing to poaching, according to new research published Wednesday.
New Brunswick, N.J. (March 2, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick wildlife experts Kathleen Kerwin and Chris Crosby are available for interviews on coyote ecology and behavior, how and when coyotes got to New Jersey and how to avoid human-coyote conflict. “The…
Scientists at the University of Adelaide have challenged the common assumption that genetic diversity of a species is a key indicator of extinction risk.
For the first time, scientists have successfully used satellite cameras coupled with deep learning to count animals in complex geographical landscapes, taking conservationists an important step forward in monitoring populations of endangered species.
In what may be a sign of climate-change-induced conflict, researchers have captured rare photographic evidence of a jaguar killing another predatory wild cat at an isolated waterhole in Guatemala.
A new kind of invasive species — a hammerhead worm that can grow to a foot, eats earthworms and produces tetrodotoxin — has been sighted over 100 times by citizen scientists in Georgia using the social networking service iNaturalist. David…
Canine distemper virus (CDV) causes a serious disease in domestic dogs, and also infects other carnivores, including threatened species like the Amur (Siberian) tiger, which numbers fewer than 550 individuals in the Russian Far East and neighbouring China. A new Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study has revealed that vaccination of endangered Amur tigers is the only practical strategy to protect them from a dangerous disease in their natural habitat in the Russian Far East.
A new study confirmed that the rabbit-sized rodent sequesters poison from the bark of Acokanthera schimperi, known as the poison arrow tree, into specialized fur for defense. The researchers also discovered an unexpected social life—the rats appear to be monogamous and may even form small family units with their offspring.
New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 20, 2020) – Evan Drake, a bat researcher and doctoral student at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available for interviews on iconic Halloween animals and misunderstood wildlife, as well as bats and COVID-19. Halloween is known for…
New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 7, 2020) – With deer breeding season underway, Kathleen Kerwin, a wildlife expert at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available for interviews on defensive driving to avoid wildlife-vehicle collisions, what to do if you see wildlife crossing…
Cornell University ecologists Aaron Rice and Amanda Rodewald are part of a cross-disciplinary effort to understand how human impacts and activities affect animals – from small birds to the largest whales – and the ecosystems we all share.
Land development in New Jersey has slowed dramatically since the 2008 Great Recession, but it’s unclear how the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to fight societal and housing inequality will affect future trends, according to a Rutgers co-authored report. Between 2012 and 2015, 10,392 acres in the Garden State became urban land. That’s 3,464 acres a year – far lower than the 16,852 acres per year in the late 1990s and continuing the trend of decreasing urban development that began in the 2008 Great Recession.
Using the Wood Stork, researchers compared city storks with natural wetland storks to gauge their success in urban environments based on their diet and food opportunities. Results provide evidence of how a wetland species persists and even thrives in an urban environment by switching to human foods like chicken wings and hots dogs when natural marshes are in bad shape. These findings indicate that urban areas can buffer a species from the unpredictability of natural food sources.
Rutgers researchers have created a miniature device for measuring trace levels of toxic lead in sediments at the bottom of harbors, rivers and other waterways within minutes – far faster than currently available laboratory-based tests, which take days. The affordable lab-on-a-chip device could also allow municipalities, water companies, universities, K-12 schools, daycares and homeowners to easily and swiftly test their water supplies. The research is published in the IEEE Sensors Journal.
How do different bird species respond to extreme weather events that occur for different amounts of time, ranging from weekly events like heat waves to seasonal events like drought? And how do traits unique to different species — for example, how far they migrate or how commonly they occur — predict their vulnerability to extreme weather?
The mystery of why zebras have their characteristic stripes has perplexed researchers for over a century.
Over the last decade, Professor Tim Caro at the University of Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences has examined and discredited many popular theories such as their use as camouflage from predators, a cooling mechanism through the formation of convection currents and a role in social interactions.
Grassroots knowledge from indigenous people can help to map and monitor ecological changes and improve scientific studies, according to Rutgers-led research. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, shows the importance of indigenous and local knowledge for monitoring ecosystem changes and managing ecosystems. The team collected more than 300 indicators developed by indigenous people to monitor ecosystem change, and most revealed negative trends, such as increased invasive species or changes in the health of wild animals. Such local knowledge influences decisions about where and how to hunt, benefits ecosystem management and is important for scientific monitoring at a global scale.
Addressing potential threats from predators has not slowed the dramatic decline of mountain caribou in British Columbia and Alberta, according to a new study by scientists from the University of Alberta and two other western Canadian universities.
In a perspective article published July 9 in Science, a team of wildlife biologists, infectious disease experts, and others propose a decentralized, global wildlife biosurveillance system to identify – before the next pandemic emerges – animal viruses that have the potential to cause human disease.
The invasive population of Asian longhorned ticks in the United States likely began with three or more self-cloning females from northeastern Asia, according to a Rutgers-led study. Asian longhorned ticks outside the U.S. can carry debilitating diseases. In the United States and elsewhere they can threaten livestock and pets. The new study, published in the journal Zoonoses and Public Health, sheds new light on the origin of these exotic ticks and how they are spreading across the United States.
A team of scientists warn that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were designed to reconcile environmental protection with socioeconomic development, are failing to protect biodiversity at their current of implementation.
Humans interact with animals in a huge variety of ways, including wildlife trade, livestock farming and keeping pets
New Brunswick, N.J. (June 23, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Steven Yergeau is available to discuss the causes of soil compaction and how to correct it to foster healthy yards. Soil compaction can impact lawns and gardens and cause…
A new WCS co-authored study in Science Advances assesses how climatic conditions within global terrestrial protected areas (PAs) may change over time and the resulting impacts on species protection.
A new study found that animals sampled in the wildlife-trade supply chain bound for human consumption had high proportions of coronaviruses, and that the proportion of positives significantly increases as animals travel from traders, to large markets, to restaurants.
New Brunswick, N.J. (June 15, 2020) – Kathleen Kerwin, a wildlife expert at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available for interviews on how to create wildlife habitat in your yard. “Creating backyard habitat for wildlife is a relatively easy way homeowners…