The Friday Five: Conservation and nature stories from around the world that caught our eye this week

Grizzly bear (Photo by Erwin and Peggy Bauer/USFWS)

Grizzly bear (Photo by Erwin and Peggy Bauer/USFWS)

April 15, 2016 | by Wendy Ho

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 April 11, 2016:

Use it or lose it

Are birds on islands with fewer predators losing the ability to fly? There certainly are island bird species that are grounded or water-bound, such as the kakapo, kiwi and flightless cormorants of the Galapagos. Even island hummingbirds, the very species that rely on hovering to forage, are found to have smaller flight muscles and are evolving longer legs! Why? A 20-year study of island birds has been looking at the impact of low predator rates on the flight (or lack thereof) of these birds.

Read more about the cost of flight >

Tune in to some bat beats

Na na na na, na na na na, BATMAN! No, you won’t find the well-known theme song in THIS library, but an impressive number of bat sounds have now been catalogued to help identify bats in Mexico. An international team of researchers developed a method to classify calls to help accurately identify and differentiate bat species. The application can help scientists take audio surveys to a new level.

Read about this new technology >

What one year with “The Boss” tells us

In Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks, grizzly bear No. 122 reigns as the toughest and biggest grizzly around. From 2012 to 2013, scientists tracked the bear through collar transmission, gaining insights to the bear’s habits, range and usage of transportation corridors and public areas. Since the collar fell off, they’ve been relying on physical sightings and trail cams.

Find out what they learned >

Rhinos get a royal visit

Kaziranga National Park in Assam welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this Tuesday and brought the topic of rhino conservation into the limelight. Armed poachers continue to be the main threat to rhinos in the park. Since preventative measures were first put in place, the number of rhino deaths due to poaching has been on the decline. However, much more work is needed to help conserve these animals.

Find out more about rhino conservation >

Moose on the loose

Moose have begun moving into Alaska's tundra in the past 10 years. Warmer climates are leading to a rapid increase in the size of plants that moose rely on for foraging. As the climate warms, moose and species like  snowshoe hare are moving into new territories.

Follow the moose’s footsteps >

Wendy Ho (Photo by NCC)

About the Author

Wendy Ho is Nature Conservancy of Canada's editorial coordinator.

Read more about Wendy Ho.

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