Is the way we choose which animals to protect out of date?
- "Umbrella" species are animals selected for protection because doing so protects other species in the habitat.
- However, there may be a better, more efficient way of picking umbrella species: ignoring shared habitats and focusing instead on shared threats.
- Using this new methodology, researchers discovered that seven times as many species could be protected using the same budget.
Thinning forests in the Western United States can save billions of gallons of water per year and improve conservation efforts.
- Recent research indicates that dense forests in the Sierra Nevada drain billions of gallons of water from the watershed each year.
- Unusually dense tree stands degrade the vitality of the land, plants, animals, and even the trees.
- Experts recommend managing forest restoration through controlled fires and the thinning of small, fire-prone trees.
Let's not kid ourselves: Coral reefs are in serious danger. But numerous ambitious projects are underway with the goal of keeping these ecosystems alive.
- Human activity has made it a serious possibility that coral reefs might cease to exist on Earth.
- It's tempting to give into despair over this prospect, but assuming the game is over already doesn't reflect objective reality.
- There is an increasing amount of research and work going into keeping coral reefs alive. Coupled with a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the next generation stands a chance of growing up in a world with coral reefs.
Project to map global 'species richness' highlights the variety of biodiversity itself
- Biodiversity is essential for ecosystems – and humanity – to survive
- These maps show the diversity of biodiversity itself: the hotspots are all over the place
- Compounding U.S. biodiversity data produces a list of 9 'Recommended Priority Areas', most in need of protection
While the blockbuster franchise might have given us a distorted view of science's capabilities to address species extinction, new research might come close to "resurrecting" lost species' DNA.
- Jurassic Park has fueled public misconceptions about science's abilities to bring extinct species back to life.
- De-extinction technology can resurrect genetic material from extinct species into their living relatives in a way that can assist conservation efforts.
- Fostering empathy for other-than-human lives through stories might be the key to addressing the current ecological catastrophe.