The Friday Five: Conservation and nature stories from around the world that caught our eye this week
Each week, countless inspiring and informative stories are published about conservation successes or discoveries in nature and wildlife around the world. Here are some of the conservation and nature stories that caught our attention the week of June 13, 2016.
The butterfly effect
Move over, ants. There’s a new bug in town. First observed by biologist and conservationist Phil Torres while in the Peruvian Amazon, the cherry-spot metalmark butterfly is stealthily stealing food away from the bullet ants. These ants are usually very protective of their food, often guarding the nectar-filled tips of the bamboo shoots, but scientists believe they are being tricked by the markings on the underside of these winged criminals.
Leave room for nature
According to respected biologist E. O. Wilson, species survival is dependent on sharing the Earth straight down the middle. In order to avoid a mass extinction event, Wilson suggests humans need to set aside half of the planet as nature preserves.
Over time, scientists have noticed a steady decrease in thickness in mussels due to ocean acidification from higher carbon levels in the atmosphere. Mussels aren’t the only victims of low pH levels; oysters and some species of algae are stuggling to produce adequate armour. According to scientists, these species and the thickness of their shells are an early indicator of the effects of ocean acidification on marine life.
While most areas of the world's oceans are suffering from coral bleaching, a new study has found a light in an otherwise dark corner of these waters: “bright spots” show areas where corals are flourishing, despite the heavy damage of neighbouring areas; proving that the conservation of reefs can go a long way.
It’s official: The Norwegian government has just announced its intention to become the first country ever to commit to zero deforestation. This promise to nature states Norway will no longer use, produce or acquire products encouraging or causing forest loss.