Birds which beg their parents the most for food are not always those who receive the most, according to the new analysis. (Image credit: Camilla Hinde)

Which chick to feed? How birds choose

  Which chick gets fed first in a brood seems to depend more on the environment than a chick’s begging or its size. That’s what researchers report after reviewing data on 143 different bird species. When food is plentiful and supplies are stable, birds will usually feed the chicks who beg the most and are […]

Recovery is possible for global fisheries

The world’s declining fisheries could recover in less than a decade if management reforms are implemented in time, according to researchers. Researchers looked at 4,500 fisheries in the world, representing about 78 per cent of the reported global catch using state of the art bio-economic models. The researchers found that while the majority of fisheries […]

Recipe for a waste-free world

A series of comment pieces discuss the circular economy – where industrial outputs become inputs so that goods at the end of their life turn into resources for other uses. In the first article Walter Stahel, who coined the concept of the circular economy, argues it is time to shift to a “resource-miser” economy. He […]

Conservations silver bullet

Removing invasive mammals has major benefits to an island ecosystem, according to a new study. As this type of conservation effort is expensive, researchers set out to understand the impact of this strategy. The benefits they saw “highlight the importance of this conservation measure for protecting the world’s most threatened species.” Original research paper published in the Proceedings of […]

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A bird’s eye view of birds

The view seen by humans (left) and drones (right) when trying to count seabird populations from either the ground or the air. (Image credits: Jarrod Hodgson) A new study compares the accuracy of monitoring of sea bird colonies by UAVs and traditional human ground counts and demonstrates that population estimates can be improved with this […]

How much warming has China caused?

As China has become increasingly industrialized over the past few decades its fossil fuel use has grown, along with its greenhouse gas emissions, and particulate air pollutants. Yet new research shows that its contribution to global warming has remained remarkably stable. Authors of this study show that China is responsible for about ten per cent […]

Changing grasslands in North America

The productivity of grasslands in North America will increase in future climate scenarios, despite higher temperatures and increased drought, say researchers. They developed this forecast using a new model of the region’s hydrology and vegetation, incorporating data and images gathered from a network of cameras.   The model showed an earlier start to the growing […]

Cutting away at the mystery of leafcutting bees

Leafcutting bees use pieces of various plant leaves to build their nests, however determining which plants they prefer has been a challenge. In the past, researchers had to either observe leafcutting bees visiting a plant or identify pieces of leaf in the nest in to know which plant the bees relied on. Now, using DNA […]

One of the newly discovered species of whip spider found in the Amazonian rainforest. (Image credit: Guipponi & Miranda)

Newly discovered and already at risk

Eight new species of the Whip spider have been found in the Brazilian amazon, underscoring how little is known about biodiversity in this rainforest. However half of the newly discovered species’ habitat is threatened by human activity from dams and mining. Original research paper published in PLOS ONE on February 17, 2015. Names and affiliations of selected authors […]

Global snapshot of the Vegetation Sensitivity Index (VSI), a new indicator of vegetation sensitivity to climate variability. Areas in green (red) have comparatively lower (higher) vegetation sensitivity. Grey areas are barren land or ice covered. (Image credit: Seddon et al)

Mapping ecological sensitivity around the world

The areas of the world most sensitive to climate variation have been mapped by researchers. Using 14 years of satellite data researchers were able to develop the vegetation sensitivity index. The index is based on three variables that drive vegetation production – air temperature, water availability, and the degree of cloud cover. The researchers believe […]

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