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

Gullchucks Estuary, BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Gullchucks Estuary, BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

September 30, 2016 | by Wendy Ho | 0 Comments

Each week, countless inspiring and informative stories are published about conservation successes or new discoveries in nature and wildlife around the world. Here are some of the conservation and nature stories from around the globe that caught our attention the week of September 26, 2016:

“Ivory on wings” targeted by poachers

Elephants have long been targeted by poachers for their precious tusks. Now the helmeted hornbill, a critically endangered bird in southeast Asia, is facing the same pressure. Poaching of this bird, dubbed “ivory on wings,” has soared in Indonesia since 2010. The species also faces threats from habitat destruction due to illegal logging.

Learn more about this endangered bird >

How small forests can help save the planet

Did you know more than half of United States' 751 million acres of forested land are privately owned by people with holdings less than 1,000 acres (405 hectares)? These private forests are largely untapped grounds for conservation, as they still play a significant role in carbon storage despite their small size.

Read on to learn about the importance of small forests >

Making new discoveries through an ancient, 300-million-year-old fossil

At Joggins Fossil Cliffs, a UNESCO world heritage site in Nova Scotia, a visitor stumbled upon a fossilized millipede that could be a new species. Paleontologist Melissa Grey from Mount Allison University says fossils found in that area could be up to two metres long, though the discovered specimens are much smaller.

Learn more about this discovery >

Great news for BC's Great Bear rainforest

Earlier this week, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge touched down in BC and visited the Great Bear Rainforest on the central coast of the province. The royal couple toured the area, despite bad weather. They were also there to dedicate the rainforest to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy — an initiative to increase innovation and collaboration on forest conservation initiatives in 53 countries around the world.

Celebrate the Great Bear Rainforest here >

Two species of snakes dance off: A behaviour never observed before

Not quite a dual to the death, but rather a civil combat dance between a cottonmouth and a copperhead, was recently captured on film. The behaviour has puzzled herpatologists of Auburn University, who noted this behaviour between two completely different species "should not have happened." Why? Snakes of the same species normally fight to gain access to a nearby female, but when two separate species are involved, this behaviour is pointless.

Watch the footage and read more about the possible reasons why this strange behavour is observed >

About the Author

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

Read more about Wendy Ho.

More by this author »