Biodiversity

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  • Northern Shrike, aka "Butcherbird"

    Ohio Birds and Biodiversity
    25 Nov 2014 | 8:33 pm
    Big fluffy cumulus clouds drift across a blue prairie sky. This is one of my favorite places in Ohio, Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area in Wyandot County. I've been coming here since I had a driver's license (before, actually) and have made scores of trips to Killdeer over the years. It's only about an hour from my house, so if time is tight and I need a short trip, this is often my destination. Rare is the trip to Killdeer Plains that doesn't produce something exceptional, no matter the time of year.Tall prairie grasses lit golden by the sunset. Killdeer Plains is a 9,000+ acre remnant of the…
  • US-China climate deal raises hopes for Lima talks

    CBD News Headlines
    25 Nov 2014 | 4:00 pm
    But challenges remain for United Nations meeting in run-up to a new 2015 emissions treaty.
  • New calendar celebrates primates and raises money for their survival

    featured news from mongabay.com
    Jeremy Hance
    26 Nov 2014 | 7:32 am
    Humans, or Homo sapiens sapiens, are really just upright apes with big brains. We may have traded actual jungles for gleaming concrete and steel ones, but we are still primates, merely one member of an order consisting of sixteen families. We may have removed ourselves from our wilder beginnings, but our extant relatives—the world's wonderful primates—serve as a gentle living reminder of those days.
  • Antonia Monteiro weighs in on the colour blue on NPR

    The Biodiversity Crew @ NUS
    otterman
    20 Nov 2014 | 12:00 am
    Free of teaching (it’s Reading Week), David Bickford was surfing the net, perusing NPR and happy to see colleague Antonia Monteiro quoted in a piece about blue color in animals [“How Animals Hacked The Rainbow And Got Stumped On Blue,” by Rae Ellen Bichel. NPR, 12 Nov 2014]. “Everywhere you look, organisms have been inventing different solutions to creating the same color,” says Antonia Monteiro, who studies butterfly wings in Singapore. Monteiro says a lot of animals use different materials to get the same effect. Butterfly wings are sheathed in reflective…
  • Of Birds and Poetry: Alexander Wilson and The Foresters

    Biodiversity Heritage Library
    25 Nov 2014 | 5:30 am
    Wilson, Alexander. The Foresters. 1838. http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/42435615.210 years ago, in an autumn not unlike our own today, Alexander Wilson set out with two companions on a 1,300 mile trek, mostly on foot, from Philadelphia to Niagara Falls. Enchanted by the natural beauty of his adopted homeland, Wilson, Scottish by birth, detailed his two-month-long adventure in an epic 2,219 line poem entitled The Foresters: A Poem Descriptive of a Pedestrian Journey to the Falls of Niagara in the Autumn of 1804.Portrait of Alexander Wilson. American…
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    Ohio Birds and Biodiversity

  • Northern Shrike, aka "Butcherbird"

    25 Nov 2014 | 8:33 pm
    Big fluffy cumulus clouds drift across a blue prairie sky. This is one of my favorite places in Ohio, Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area in Wyandot County. I've been coming here since I had a driver's license (before, actually) and have made scores of trips to Killdeer over the years. It's only about an hour from my house, so if time is tight and I need a short trip, this is often my destination. Rare is the trip to Killdeer Plains that doesn't produce something exceptional, no matter the time of year.Tall prairie grasses lit golden by the sunset. Killdeer Plains is a 9,000+ acre remnant of the…
  • Progress = Cinnabons!

    24 Nov 2014 | 8:25 pm
    Western North Dakota, just north of the small town (pop. about 1,750) of Watford City. All of those square or rectangular pale patches are fracking pads. The boom is on in the Roughrider State (so nicknamed to help promote tourism), and has been for the last eight years. In spite of ranking 48th among the states in overall population, North Dakota boasts the nation's best economy, and lowest unemployment rate. Want to rent a four bedroom modular home in Watford City? Be prepared to shell out up to $4,000.00 - a month! The high times are here.This growth has come with a steep price. The New…
  • Some encounters with mammals

    22 Nov 2014 | 7:23 pm
    A herd of Bison grazes the vast grassy plains of the Wilds in Muskingum County, Ohio. Their captive herd seems to be expanding, and there were a number of bisonlets among the ranks, so reproduction must be going well. The scene offers a tiny snapshot of the days of yore, when countless thousands of Bison roamed the Great Plains.Participate in the upcoming Chandlersville Christmas Bird Count on December 20, which covers the Wilds and surrounding areas, and you can marvel over the massive Bison, too. Details about the bird count are RIGHT HERE.I have noticed that people have an inordinate…
  • A rough day on Lake Erie

    19 Nov 2014 | 9:24 pm
    Lake Erie, as seen from the fishing access parking lot just east of the power plant in Eastlake, Ohio.I traveled to the Cleveland area and specifically Holden Arboretum yesterday, to give a program for the Blackbrook Audubon Society. The subject, fittingly, was "Birding Ohio's North Coast", and the talk largely outlines the Lake Erie Birding Trail guidebook, which was released earlier this year.The program was in the evening, but I went up early to meet with Brian Parsons, the Holden Arboretum's Director of Planning and Special Projects. The arboretum is engaged in some very exciting work,…
  • Odd looks of jumping spiders belie fearless predators

    16 Nov 2014 | 6:08 am
    A mustached jumping spider will stalk its mealCOLUMBUS DISPATCHNovember 16, 2014NATUREJim McCormacJumping spiders are the extroverts of the arachnid world.Most spiders prefer to stay out of sight and out of mind. Many remain well-concealed or emerge under cover of darkness.That is a good thing for the legions of arachnophobes. Such people would rather not know that more than 600 species of spiders occur in Ohio and that they are the most abundant predatory animals in the state.Many species are outrageous in appearance. The mustached jumping spider (Phidippus mystaceus) resembles a cross…
 
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    featured news from mongabay.com

  • New calendar celebrates primates and raises money for their survival

    Jeremy Hance
    26 Nov 2014 | 7:32 am
    Humans, or Homo sapiens sapiens, are really just upright apes with big brains. We may have traded actual jungles for gleaming concrete and steel ones, but we are still primates, merely one member of an order consisting of sixteen families. We may have removed ourselves from our wilder beginnings, but our extant relatives—the world's wonderful primates—serve as a gentle living reminder of those days.
  • Meet the world's rarest chameleon: Chapman's pygmy

    Jeremy Hance
    25 Nov 2014 | 11:33 am
    In just two forest patches may dwell a tiny, little-known chameleon that researchers have dubbed the world's most endangered. Chapman's pygmy chameleon from Malawi hasn't been seen in 16 years. In that time, its habitat has been whittled down to an area about the size of just 100 American football fields.
  • Reeling in religious messages: how faith impacts fisheries in Fiji

    Tiffany Roufs
    25 Nov 2014 | 10:30 am
    Marrying religion and conservation could be key to making Fiji's fisheries sustainable. Fijians have strong religious beliefs, which were primarily introduced by Christian missionaries in the 1835, and today profoundly guide their daily lives. Fijians primarily depend on fisheries close to shore for their survival, which is the case for most small Pacific island countries.
  • Jane Goodall: 5 reasons to have hope for the planet

    Rhett Butler
    19 Nov 2014 | 3:29 pm
    Jane Goodall is not only arguably the most famous conservationist who ever lived, but also the most well-known and respected female scientist on the planet today. Her path to reach that stature is an unlikely as it is inspiring. Told to 'never give up' by her mother, Goodall set out in her 20s to pursue her childhood dream: to live with animals in Africa. By the time she was 26 she doing just this.
  • A tale of 2 Perus: Climate Summit host, 57 murdered environmentalists

    Jeremy Hance
    18 Nov 2014 | 2:39 pm
    On September 1st, indigenous activist, Edwin Chota, and three other indigenous leaders were gunned down and their bodies thrown into rivers. Chota, an internationally-known leader of the Asháninka in Peru, had warned several times that his life was on the line for his vocal stance against the destruction of his peoples' forests, yet the Peruvian government did nothing to protect him—or others.
 
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    The Biodiversity Crew @ NUS

  • Antonia Monteiro weighs in on the colour blue on NPR

    otterman
    20 Nov 2014 | 12:00 am
    Free of teaching (it’s Reading Week), David Bickford was surfing the net, perusing NPR and happy to see colleague Antonia Monteiro quoted in a piece about blue color in animals [“How Animals Hacked The Rainbow And Got Stumped On Blue,” by Rae Ellen Bichel. NPR, 12 Nov 2014]. “Everywhere you look, organisms have been inventing different solutions to creating the same color,” says Antonia Monteiro, who studies butterfly wings in Singapore. Monteiro says a lot of animals use different materials to get the same effect. Butterfly wings are sheathed in reflective…
  • “The behaviour of giant clams” – Pamela Soo & Peter Todd, 2014

    otterman
    19 Nov 2014 | 4:51 pm
    Pamela who has not strayed far from marine life, says, “yay, clams! five years later, and most of the searching and editing on his part, my prof [Peter Todd] has finally found a home for my chunky, lengthy stackofa thesis! all the final year moments of madness distilled into nineteen pages of a scientific journal.” If you’re keen to peek into the madness, see the paper at Springer.com” (full download). Congratulations and thanks Pam and Pete! I’ll be using it in the LSM1103 Biodiversity mollusca lecture myself! Photo by Creative Kids.Filed under: journal
  • Tue 11 Nov 2014: 6.30pm @ Brookhaven – Book Launch of “Dynamic Environments of Singapore” by Dan Friess & Grahame Oliver (NUS Geography)

    otterman
    1 Nov 2014 | 8:35 pm
    From Dan Friess in Geography, On the 11th of November Grahame Oliver and I are having a book launch for our new textbook “Dynamic Environments of Singapore”, which was published earlier this year. I’d like to invite you to attend – there will be copies available for purchase ($30 – bargain!). Please find the details on the FASS Environment Cluster blog. An event co-organized by the FASS Environment Cluster and the Singapore Research Nexus.Filed under: book
  • Prof Chou Loke Ming officially retires today!

    otterman
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:13 am
    Prof Chou Loke Ming officially retires today – the end of an era which his Reef Ecology Study Team and many students in the department will continue to reminisce about for decades. I thought I’d share his commencement speech delivered to the graduating class on 10th July 2014. I loved his “coconut speech” delivered with his quintessential humour, dignity and an understated deep feeling. Thanks for the memories Prof! Prof Chou Loke Ming heads to TMSI next (See “Marine conservation veteran continuing passion after retirement,” by Audrey Tan. The Straits Time, 15…
  • Emails to Life Science undergraduates: field trips and research conversation opportunities

    otterman
    13 Oct 2014 | 11:07 pm
    Sent to AY2014/15 Sem 1 students reading LSM1103, LSM2251 & LSM3261. Field assistants for honours studentsSign up at: http://tinyurl.com/hons-fieldwork Our undergraduate research students are engaged in a variety of field observations following monkeys in the forest, studying freshwater streams, mapping the distribution of fruit trees important to civets, exploring trash in mangroves and a variety other work. This is an important period in their lives when they grapple with field work very seriously, examine the literature, evaluate their methods and collect data with specific objectives.
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    Biodiversity Heritage Library

  • Of Birds and Poetry: Alexander Wilson and The Foresters

    25 Nov 2014 | 5:30 am
    Wilson, Alexander. The Foresters. 1838. http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/42435615.210 years ago, in an autumn not unlike our own today, Alexander Wilson set out with two companions on a 1,300 mile trek, mostly on foot, from Philadelphia to Niagara Falls. Enchanted by the natural beauty of his adopted homeland, Wilson, Scottish by birth, detailed his two-month-long adventure in an epic 2,219 line poem entitled The Foresters: A Poem Descriptive of a Pedestrian Journey to the Falls of Niagara in the Autumn of 1804.Portrait of Alexander Wilson. American…
  • The Latest News from BHL

    21 Nov 2014 | 5:30 am
    Sharks, Passenger Pigeons, Scientific Illustrations, Crowdsourcing, National Agricultural Library, GBIF, and Semantic Metadata. What do all these things have in common? They're all BHL news stories from the past few months!Get the latest BHL project news in our latest quarterly report and newsletter! Don't get our newsletter? Sign up today!
  • Lepidochromy: Butterfly Transfer Prints

    20 Nov 2014 | 5:30 am
    This post was originally published on the Smithsonian Libraries' blog. It was written by Daria Wingreen-Mason, Special Collections Technical Information Specialist in the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History.Dorsal and ventral views of specimen from Waller’s Butterflies collected in the Shire Valley East Africa.Horace Waller was an English missionary and anti-slavery activist in the 19th century. In 1859 Waller joined the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa (UMCA). As Lay Superintendent to the UMCA, Waller befriended the famous missionary Dr. David Livingstone and botanist…
  • Digital Object Identifiers and BHL

    19 Nov 2014 | 5:30 am
    The importance and need for unique, persistent identifiers for reliable access to published literature has become widely accepted, and the literature for the biodiversity informatics community is no exception.  For published works, these generally take the form of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs). BHL has been consistently assigning CrossRef DOIs to monographic publications for three years. However, the number of items in BHL with DOIs remains relatively small with just over 68,000 assigned to date.  In addition to the remaining monographs, BHL now also has over 140,000 articles…
  • Rejuvenating Centuries' Old Botany with Phytogeography

    13 Nov 2014 | 5:30 am
    Here's a word of the day for you: Phytogeography.Phytogeography is a branch of biogeography that investigates the geographic distribution of plants and the effect that the earth's surface has on that distribution. To go further down the rabbit hole, biogeography studies the distribution of species and organisms now and throughout time. This research reveals important interdependencies between geology, climate, dispersal and evolution.Wallace's map, showing the zoogeographical regions of the world. The Geographical Distribution of Animals. v.1 (1876).
 
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    Tales from Toriello

  • Staying safe and warm this winter

    Ian Hicken
    22 Nov 2014 | 6:51 am
    It is rare to have any heating on in the house before the onset of November and unlikely that heat is needed after April. We have two sources of heating, log burners (one in the lounge and one in the studio) and diesel central heating which also heats the water. We rarely use the central heating apart from taking the chill of the house if the log burner hasn't been lit for a while. The insulation in the house is really good and once warm, it retains an ambient temperature for a good 12 hours. This is despite the high ceilings and open stairway. We source our wood from a local merchant…
  • A clifftop walk

    Ian Hicken
    15 Nov 2014 | 1:28 am
    Tomason Cliffs near our village (Toriello) looking westwards.I have always been attracted by the sea with its changing moods, sounds, colours, smells and the way in which it reflects light under different conditions. If in addition to all of that you add the stunning ragged limestone cliffs we get on the stretch of the Asturian coast near La Pasera,you could easily understand how little it takes for me to forget all I am doing and simply go for a walk along the cliffs. This is what I did this afternoon, I simply could not resist taking this walk knowing there was a storm coming towards Spain…
  • How we prepare the vegetable plot for Winter

    Ian Hicken
    6 Nov 2014 | 2:47 am
    As the days get shorter we start noticing a drop in the temperatures, especially first thing in the morning, that contrast with the hot sunshine we experience in the middle of the day. This warmth encourages a spur of growth not only in the vegetable plot but also in the garden and miniature gardens where the Lithops or pebble plants start to bloom.The hot and dry weather we tend to get by the coast at this time of the year encourages the last of the aubergines and peppers to ripen whilst the Winter crops start coming into their own. In another post I will write about what is happening…
  • Cycling in Asturias: El Fito viewing platform

    Ian Hicken
    30 Oct 2014 | 11:28 am
    Ribadesella with the Sueve Mountains in the backgroundCycling in Asturias is a great way to discover this beautiful part of the country although it presents some challenges: being a mountainous region. You need a certain level of fitness to be able to face the challenge that some hills present.You are never too far from a hill even when you choose the coastal routes.When you cycle off road, the paths tend to be poorly signed and at times you need to carry your bicycle as some of the paths are not very well maintained.Mountain biking really applies to off road cycling in Asturias but in spite…
  • Mosaicos La Pasera, an update.

    Ian Hicken
    25 Oct 2014 | 12:27 am
    As a mosaicist and whilst living at La Pasera, I have designed and created numerous decorative pebble mosaics that now adorn paths and a small terrace. My passion for this mosaic genre stems from my love for pebbles and a holiday we once took in the Greek Island of Rhodes where we saw many decorative mosaics been used as pavement. After returning home, Ian got me as a present, a book by Maggy Howarth titled "the art of pebble mosaic". Since then, I have completed a good number of mosaics that decorate our garden and have had several as commissions.For my latest pebble mosaic of a flower pot…
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    ConservationBytes.com

  • Why engaging in civil disobedience was my obligation as a scientist, parent and citizen

    CJAB
    24 Nov 2014 | 5:06 pm
    Another engaging post from Alejandro Frid, Canadian ecologist and modern moral compass. I also recommend that you check out his new book ‘Storms and Stillness: An ecologist’s search for optimism through letters to his young daughter‘. See Alejandro’s previous posts on ConservationBytes.com here, here, here, here, here and here. – Harper’s conservative government is working hard to turn Canada […]
  • Get serious about divestment

    CJAB
    20 Nov 2014 | 4:33 pm
    We are a sensitive and conflict-avoiding lot, aren’t we? Most scientists I know absolutely dread reprisals of any form, whether they are from a colleague commenting on their work, a sensationalism-seeking journalist posing nasty questions, or a half-wit troll commenting on a blog feed. For all our swagger and intellectual superiority complexes, most of us would rather […]
  • Give some flair to your scientific presentation

    CJAB
    18 Nov 2014 | 4:06 am
    – As the desert spring came to the great Centre Red, Scores of sandalled folk from tin birds descend-ed. Alice Town had been invaded, Bearded alike and unshorn-legged.   They sat and stared at words and the odd trend. Billies boiled to get them through to day’s end They swapped bush stories that made good sense, Trying to understand Aussie […]
  • Innate cruelty and exploitation: does biodiversity stand a chance?

    CJAB
    10 Nov 2014 | 9:30 am
    Earlier this year I took my daughter to the South Australian Museum, as I often do on weekends. We usually have lunch at the Art Gallery, and then wander the various levels of the Museum at a pace suitable for a 7-year old. The South Australia biodiversity floor is her favourite. Of course I’m a little […]
  • InvaCost – estimating the economic damage of invasive insects

    CJAB
    6 Nov 2014 | 6:50 pm
    This is a blosh (rehash of someone else’s blog post) of Franck Courchamp‘s posts on an exciting new initiative of which I am excited to be a part. Incidentally, Franck’s spending the week here in Adelaide. Don’t forgot to vote for the project to receive 50 000 € public-communication grant! – Climate change will make winters milder […]
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    Conservation

  • Accounting for meat: The hidden emissions in your steak

    Jason G. Goldman
    26 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    Each year, the average American chows down on a whopping 120 kilograms of meat. The same is true in New Zealand and Australia. Most Europeans and South Americans dine on slightly more than half that amount of meat each year. Combined that means that as a species, we’re eating some 310 metric tons of meat
  • Could seals follow acoustic fish tags to find dinner?

    Dave Levitan
    25 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    Humans making noise in the oceans is generally considered a bad thing these days. Ship motors, military sonar, and other sources have been shown to interrupt marine mammal communication, increase stress of many sea creatures, and simply drive some animals out of the area they’d like to stay in. A new study, though, shows that
  • Unlikely partners: Rhino poaching & sea snake exploitation

    Jason G. Goldman
    21 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    Each month, hundreds of squid fishing vessels return to port in Vietnam loaded not just with squid, but also with sea snakes harvested from the Gulf of Thailand. Each month, the seven major snake processing facilities move an average of 6,500 kilograms of sea snakes, which are sold for between $10 and $40 per kilogram,
  • Does climate change spell trouble for airlines?

    Roberta Kwok
    20 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    As if airplane travel weren’t already bad enough, scientists have found yet another problem that might arise with climate change. In warmer air, planes could have more trouble taking off and may need to shed cargo or passengers to get aloft. Airlines already deal with this issue: planes have specific weight restrictions depending on the
  • Sea star wasting disease is caused by a virus

    Jason G. Goldman
    19 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    For nearly a year and a half, sea stars – in particular, those of the taxonomic family Asteroidea have been suffering from mass die-offs. The cause of the widespread sea star mortality has been uncertain, so it has simply become known as “sea star wasting disease” (SSWD). But now a large group of researchers from
 
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