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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.