Biodiversity

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  • Some more (extremely cool) wasps

    Ohio Birds and Biodiversity
    19 Aug 2014 | 8:27 pm
    I'm on a bit of a wasp jag, but so be it. Wasps are awesome. Yesterday, while taking a quick stroll around the planted prairie at work (described RIGHT HERE), I stumbled into two interesting species. The good ole Canon came through in decent form, and I managed a few images.There is a smattering of Queen Ann's Lace, Daucus carota, persisting in the prairie. I don't totally begrudge this Eurasian weed its space, as it is a good insect magnet. Not as good as some of the native parsleys, but not bad. Anyway, I was pleased to spot this smallish Hymenopteran busily scarfing up nectar. After a bit…
  • New skeleton frog from Madagascar is already Critically Endangered

    CBD News Headlines
    20 Aug 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Sometimes all it takes is fewer clicks. Scientists have discovered a new species of frog from Madagascar that stuck out in part because it "clicked" less during calls than similar species. Unfortunately the scientists believe the new species-dubbed the Ankarafa skeleton frog (Boophis ankarafensis)-is regulated to a single patch of forest, which, despite protected status, remains hugely threatened.
  • Next big idea in forest conservation? DNA fingerprinting trees to stem illegal logging

    featured news from mongabay.com
    Jeremy Hance
    21 Aug 2014 | 7:56 am
    As a professor at Texas Tech, Dr. Chuck Cannon has been, among other things, working to create a system of DNA fingerprinting for tropical trees to undercut the global illegal logging trade. 'If we just enforced existing laws and management policies, things would be pretty good, but unfortunately, that is where things fall apart in many tropical countries,' Cannon said.
  • Mon 25 Aug 2014: 9.00am @ DBS Conf Rm 1: Lucas Garrett Gibson on “The fate of biodiversity in modified tropical forests”

    The Biodiversity Crew @ NUS
    weiting
    21 Aug 2014 | 3:39 am
    PhD Defense Seminar cum Oral Examination “The fate of biodiversity in modified tropical forests“ Lucas Garrett Gibson Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS Supervisor: Asst Prof Bickford, David Patrick Mon 25 Aug 2014: 9.00m DBS Conference Room (S3 Level 5) All are welcome Abstract –  “Tropical forests hold half of all species on the planet, but are being rapidly lost or disrupted by agricultural expansion, logging, and other human enterprises. In my thesis, I examined the fate of biodiversity in modified tropical forests in three original ways. First, I…
  • Avibase, The World Bird Database

    Biodiversity Heritage Library
    21 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    As part of our BHL & Our Users series, we recently interviewed Denis Lepage, Senior Scientist at the National Data Center, Bird Studies Canada and creator of Avibase, an impressive online resource on the birds of the world.  With over 12 million records, the database covers information on about 10,000 species and 22,000 subspecies of birds, including distribution, taxonomy, and synonyms in several languages.Over the last 20 years, Lepage has devoted his energy and inspiration to building and managing this extensive resource. Denis recently contacted us to share the role BHL has…
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    Ohio Birds and Biodiversity

  • Some more (extremely cool) wasps

    19 Aug 2014 | 8:27 pm
    I'm on a bit of a wasp jag, but so be it. Wasps are awesome. Yesterday, while taking a quick stroll around the planted prairie at work (described RIGHT HERE), I stumbled into two interesting species. The good ole Canon came through in decent form, and I managed a few images.There is a smattering of Queen Ann's Lace, Daucus carota, persisting in the prairie. I don't totally begrudge this Eurasian weed its space, as it is a good insect magnet. Not as good as some of the native parsleys, but not bad. Anyway, I was pleased to spot this smallish Hymenopteran busily scarfing up nectar. After a bit…
  • Lytopylus wasp

    17 Aug 2014 | 7:12 pm
    Photo: Laura HughesThe more that I study Nature, the more that I am convinced that one must really look hard at the LITTLE things. At least if one wishes to really develop a deep understanding of ecology, and how organisms are linked together. I am fortunate indeed that I have many friends who feel the same, and will give a caterpillar about the same attention that they would a goshawk.In this photo, taken on a recent foray, David Hughes (front), John Howard (middle), and your narrator spend some time on the ground - not a rare occurrence for any of us. We were watching the bed of…
  • Sycamore Tussock Moth caterpillars

    14 Aug 2014 | 7:48 pm
    A stately Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis, rises from rich alluvial soils along a stream. White and brown barked Sycamore trees are easily recognized, and are the most conspicuous tree that defines the channels of creeks and rivers. They also play host to a variety of wildlife, some of which are Sycamore specialists, such as the beautiful Yellow-throated Warbler (at least in this part of the world).While far less obvious than the aforementioned warbler and much better at hiding, this furry caterpillar is even more of a Sycamore associate than the warbler. It is a Sycamore Tussock Moth…
  • Piping Plover braves Conneaut!

    13 Aug 2014 | 10:21 pm
    A typical scene at the "sand spit" at Conneaut Harbor, Ohio. Conneaut is wedged into the extreme northeastern corner of Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie. It is a legendary birding locale, and in this photo birders mingle with legions of typically much more intrusive users of the harbor. John Pogacnik and I had led this trip to Conneaut last fall, and we saw lots of interesting birds. But both birds and birders must dodge numerous cars and other vehicles on the sands, wind-surfers soaring over the waters, bird-chasing dogs roaring about, and a host of other people-related disturbances.In spite…
  • Carolina Wolf Spider rediscovered!

    11 Aug 2014 | 8:15 pm
    Your narrator wrestles with two savages that collectively outweigh him, and that's saying something! This pair of St. Bernards are named Chloe and Lula, and they're a barrel of laughs. Nothing like a 130 lb. dog that thinks she's a puppy and deserves to jump in your lap. And two of them means double the fun!The dogs belong to John Howard, a familiar name to regular readers of this blog and students of the natural sciences statewide and beyond. John lives in Adams County, smack in the middle of some of the richest biodiversity east of the Mississippi River. There is nowhere in this great state…
 
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    CBD News Headlines

  • New skeleton frog from Madagascar is already Critically Endangered

    20 Aug 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Sometimes all it takes is fewer clicks. Scientists have discovered a new species of frog from Madagascar that stuck out in part because it "clicked" less during calls than similar species. Unfortunately the scientists believe the new species-dubbed the Ankarafa skeleton frog (Boophis ankarafensis)-is regulated to a single patch of forest, which, despite protected status, remains hugely threatened.
  • U.S., Brazil Nearing Approval of Genetically Engineered Trees

    20 Aug 2014 | 5:00 pm
    WASHINGTON, Aug 20 2014 (IPS) - The U.S. and Brazilian governments are moving into the final stages of weighing approval for the commercialisation of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees, moves that would mark the first such permits anywhere in the world.
  • Organic Farming Taking Off in Poland . Slowly

    20 Aug 2014 | 5:00 pm
    WARSAW, Aug 21 2014 (IPS) - Polish farmer Slawek Dobrodziej has probably the world's strangest triathlon training regime: he swims across the lake at the back of his house, then runs across his some 11 hectares of land to check the state of the crops, and at the end of the day bikes close to 40 kilometres to and back from a nearby town for some shopping.
  • Climate change to 'severely impact' growth in South Asia

    20 Aug 2014 | 5:00 pm
    As more extreme weather hits South Asia, the effects of climate change are taking a toll on the economy, with the region at risk of losing up to 8.8 percent of their GDP by 2100, analyst Mahfuz Ahmed tells DW.
  • Penguins in urgent need of protection

    20 Aug 2014 | 5:00 pm
    All of them are definitely charismatic and collectively are one of people's favourite animals - yet the world's 18 penguin species are now at "considerable risk", scientists warn. And unless effective conservation measures that should include the urgent establishment of more Marine Protected Areas - including in the hard-to-police high seas beyond national jurisdictions - are taken now, penguins will be at even greater risk from future climate change.
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    featured news from mongabay.com

  • Next big idea in forest conservation? DNA fingerprinting trees to stem illegal logging

    Jeremy Hance
    21 Aug 2014 | 7:56 am
    As a professor at Texas Tech, Dr. Chuck Cannon has been, among other things, working to create a system of DNA fingerprinting for tropical trees to undercut the global illegal logging trade. 'If we just enforced existing laws and management policies, things would be pretty good, but unfortunately, that is where things fall apart in many tropical countries,' Cannon said.
  • Looming mining ‘tsunami’ set to take Africa by storm

    Morgan Erickson-Davis
    20 Aug 2014 | 3:17 pm
    Africa remains something of an untapped mineral resource, as the vast majority of extraction occurs elsewhere. However, a new report documents a surging tide of foreign interest in mining in Africa and cautions that the sector’s unchecked development and expansion could devastate the environment.
  • Why conservationists need a little hope: saving themselves from becoming the most depressing scientists on the planet

    Jeremy Hance
    19 Aug 2014 | 2:58 pm
    Here's a challenge: take a conservationist out for a drink and ask them about their work. Nine times out of ten—or possibly more—you'll walk away feeling frustrated, despondent, and utterly hopeless. Yet a few conservation scientist are not just trying to save species from extinction, but also working to save their field—their life's work—from slipping into total despair.
  • Logging of Russian Far East damaging tiger habitat, few intact forests protected (Part I)

    Morgan Erickson-Davis
    19 Aug 2014 | 11:23 am
    The destruction of Russian forests to supply timber to international markets is becoming one of the biggest threats to the world’s largest cat, the Siberian tiger. Russia has more forests than any other country, with more than half of the world’s coniferous forests. However, worldwide demand for high quality timber, along with weak regulations, has led to widespread logging of Russia’s trees.
  • Nothing else left to log: are eco-certified timber companies stripping Russia of its last old growth forests?

    Morgan Erickson-Davis
    15 Aug 2014 | 11:00 am
    Among Russia’s forested lands lie intact forest landscapes (or IFLs). These IFLs are large swaths of unbroken, old growth forests that encompass at least 50,000 hectares, harbor high biodiversity, and have remained mostly undisturbed by development. However, less than 10 percent of the world’s IFLs are currently protected. Now, a new report reveals Russia's IFLs may be threatened by certified sustainable logging companies.
 
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    The Biodiversity Crew @ NUS

  • Mon 25 Aug 2014: 9.00am @ DBS Conf Rm 1: Lucas Garrett Gibson on “The fate of biodiversity in modified tropical forests”

    weiting
    21 Aug 2014 | 3:39 am
    PhD Defense Seminar cum Oral Examination “The fate of biodiversity in modified tropical forests“ Lucas Garrett Gibson Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS Supervisor: Asst Prof Bickford, David Patrick Mon 25 Aug 2014: 9.00m DBS Conference Room (S3 Level 5) All are welcome Abstract –  “Tropical forests hold half of all species on the planet, but are being rapidly lost or disrupted by agricultural expansion, logging, and other human enterprises. In my thesis, I examined the fate of biodiversity in modified tropical forests in three original ways. First, I…
  • Undergrad part-time lab volunteers wanted for phytoplankton research (April-Dec 2014)

    weiting
    21 Aug 2014 | 2:20 am
    Do you have an interest in freshwater fauna? Want to learn about more about phytoplankton research techniques? Picture taken from Singapore Biodiversity: Freshwater Ecosystems by Yeo & Lim (2011) Project description: Sampling and experimental work on toxic cyanobacteria isolated form Singapore’s reservoirs. Two or more part-time volunteers are required for sample processing (cell counting) from September 2014 to February 2015. What you will learn Sample processing (cell counting) of samples collected from previous experiments Using of Sedgwick Rafter and compound microscopes Learning…
  • Tue 26 Aug 2014: 3.30pm @ DBS CR2 – Aloysius Teo on Carbon and nutrient cycling in litterfall in Singapore

    otterman
    20 Aug 2014 | 7:23 pm
    Department of Biological Sciences, NUS Qualifying Examination “How biodiversity and forest succession affect ecosystem functioning: carbon and nutrient cycling via litterfall in Singapore” Teo Xian Yao Aloysius Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences National University of Singapore Tue 26 Aug 2014: 3.30pm DBS Conference Room (S3 level 5) Supervisor: Assoc Prof Theodore A. Evans All are welcome Abstract: – Pervasive deforestation and land-cover changes within the tropics have led to the formation of large tracts of tropical secondary forests. While the loss of species…
  • Recycle your E-waste at Blk S2 and at Utown (From 20 to 27 Aug 2014, 11am)

    weiting
    20 Aug 2014 | 2:57 am
    This one-week E-waste recycling exercise is part of Dr Amy Choong’s efforts for her GEK1515 Environmental Biology students.  To make it convenient to staff as well, she has invited Cimelia staff to install two bins at these two locations (Utown Education Resource Centre and between S2 & S3) for a week so that you can also dispose of your e-waste. Please make use of this opportunity to get rid of broken appliances.Filed under: faculty, nus, people, teaching Tagged: e-waste recycling
  • Wed, 27 Aug 2014: 1.00pm @DBS Conf Rm II: Low Bi Wei on “The invasion biology of the African sharptooth catfish in Southeast Asia”

    weiting
    19 Aug 2014 | 3:44 am
    Qualifying Examination “The invasion biology of the African sharptooth catfish, Clarias gariepinus, in Southeast Asia“ Low Bi Wei Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS Supervisor: Asst Prof. Darren Yeo Co-supervisor: Dr Tan Heok Hui Wed 27 Aug 2014: 1.00pm DBS Conference Room II (S2 Level 3, Mezzaine) All are welcome Abstract – “The African sharptooth catfish, Clarias gariepinus, is a highly invasive species with known severe impacts, including native species declines through ecological (e.g. competition, predation) and genetic interactions (e.g.
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    Biodiversity Heritage Library

  • Avibase, The World Bird Database

    21 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    As part of our BHL & Our Users series, we recently interviewed Denis Lepage, Senior Scientist at the National Data Center, Bird Studies Canada and creator of Avibase, an impressive online resource on the birds of the world.  With over 12 million records, the database covers information on about 10,000 species and 22,000 subspecies of birds, including distribution, taxonomy, and synonyms in several languages.Over the last 20 years, Lepage has devoted his energy and inspiration to building and managing this extensive resource. Denis recently contacted us to share the role BHL has…
  • BHL Update at the EOL Executive Committee Meeting

    19 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    The BHL and Encylopedia of Life (EOL) share the vision of open access to knowledge about life on earth. BHL works to achieve this goal by providing open access to biodiversity literature. EOL tackles this challenge by gathering, generating, and sharing biodiversity knowledge in an open, freely accessible digital repository.BHL and EOL have been collaborating since 2007, sharing content, best practices, and expertise. Both websites are also extensively interlinked. Taxa identified on pages in BHL are linked to the corresponding species page in EOL. Likewise,  EOL species pages contain…
  • The Sea Dog: Exploring Man's Discovery & Classification of the Shark

    12 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    It's that time of year again! That special week set aside to celebrate the fabulously diverse Selachimorpha clade: Shark Week!If you were to ask an average person to differentiate between a tiger shark, Great White, whale shark, bull shark, or mako, most could probably do so, or would at least be aware that such varieties existed. This wasn't always the case. A mere six hundred years ago, sharks were known only by the bizarre personas recounted by animated sailors. And even when more accurate depictions and accounts began to circulate, the world was completely ignorant of the vast diversity…
  • BHL Africa Report from Internet Archive's Global Director

    7 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    Since it's initial organization in 2012 and launch in 2013, BHL Africa has been hard at work developing a strategy, framework, and methodology for contributing the valuable biodiversity information held within the node's participating institutions to BHL. Significant progress occurred in April and June, 2014, with the arrival and subsequent installation of Internet Archive scanning machines at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.Robert Miller presenting at National Museums of KenyaRobert Miller, Global Director of the Internet Archive, and his colleague Gemma Waterston (IA Satellite…
  • BHL Update at the 2014 North American GBIF Meeting

    5 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    The North American Regional Node Meeting of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) occurred in Ontario, Canada on July 21-22, 2014. The meeting, themed "Advancing Informatics, Engagement and Content," focused on progress updates and ongoing implementation tactics for the North American regional strategy. Discussions included the use of digital object identifiers (DOIs), collections and specimens in the GBIF context, organizational structure, and membership in both GBIF and the North American node. BHL's Program Director, Martin Kalfatovic, provided a "BHL Update for GBIF" via…
 
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    Tales from Toriello

  • Demonstrating at a street market - Rastrillo

    Ian Hicken
    17 Aug 2014 | 11:49 pm
    This past weekend we have been at a street market in a nearby village. It takes place every year and although small, it attracts a good number of people at this busy holiday time in Asturias. The proceeds from the pitch fees (6€ per meter) is donated to charity.We use this particular market to publicise Luis' chair restoration skills. It is also an opportunity to sell some restored chairs and stools in cane and rush, the proceeds of which go to fund Luis' mosaic studies. We take a piece along to demonstrate how it is done, this time it was a seat from a barbers' chair. More often than not,…
  • The watering hole - attracting birds into the garden.

    Ian Hicken
    14 Aug 2014 | 12:36 am
    La Pasera is situated on the edge of a rural village surrounded by fields and meadows. There is little reason for birds to flock to our garden for food as the entire countryside is like an over-stocked larder.There are plenty of untended fields, hedges, woodlands and meadows from which they can feed.Water is a different issue. The area is punctuated with limestone outcrops, caves and caverns which results in very little water collecting above ground. In addition, as there are no fresh water supplies in the immediate vicinity (the nearest being Rio Guadamia), in dry periods, water is in short…
  • Weekend Photo Blog

    Ian Hicken
    10 Aug 2014 | 7:08 am
    We take many more photographs than we use for the various blogs and sites we maintain so every now and then it is good to go through and pick out some photographs just for the sheer pleasure of it. Not that they are particularly technically good photographs but because they invoke a feeling and trigger many memories when we look back at them.I have been thinking about the old black and white and, early colour photographs from years gone by. Each one tells a story of past times, triggering memories you haven't thought about for a long while and, connects you and defines your place in the…
  • Aliens in the skies...

    Ian Hicken
    7 Aug 2014 | 7:24 am
    There is nothing more perfect than sat on the terrace on an evening and watching the clouds, setting sun, the darkening sky and eventually the moon and stars appearing.Living in a rural location, away from major towns and cities means that light pollution in minimal and we often have clear skies that shows off in their full glory, constellations, distant galaxies and planets within our own solar system. On rare occasions we will see what we think is the ISS (International Space Station) or a satellite traversing the sky and if we are very lucky, shooting stars. Sometimes, we might even have…
  • August at La Pasera

    Ian Hicken
    4 Aug 2014 | 10:35 am
    Summer is well and truly here. Along with the hotter weather, influx of tourists, much needed rain and more events than you can shake a stick at, it's all happening in and around La Pasera.We have had an exceptionally dry May, June and July with little or no rain which is unusual for Asturias. The clay ground had started to crack and the normally green grass became scorched and brown. Thankfully the rain came a few days ago and after several heavy showers and a few half days of persistent drizzle, the land is looking greener and the crops are perking up.We are currently harvesting lots of…
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    ConservationBytes.com

  • World Heritage Species

    Corey Bradshaw
    16 Aug 2014 | 11:53 am
    Having just attended the Baker & Stebbins Legacy Symposium on Invasion Genetics in Pacific Grove, California, I have had a rare bit of leisure time between my book-writing commitments and operating in conference mode. It’s summer here in California, so I’ve taken the opportunity to read a bit of The New Yorker in my accommodation. It is indeed a pleasure to have these micro-moments of ‘leisure’ reading. As it turns out though, work subjects are never far from my mind as I do this. So it interested me greatly when I read another fantastic article in the…
  • We generally ignore the big issues

    Corey Bradshaw
    10 Aug 2014 | 10:19 pm
    I’ve had a good week at Stanford University with Paul Ehrlich where we’ve been putting the final touches1 on our book. It’s been taking a while to put together, but we’re both pretty happy with the result, which should be published by The University of Chicago Press within the first quarter of 2015. It has indeed been a pleasure and a privilege to work with one of the greatest thinkers of our age, and let me tell you that at 82, he’s still a force with which to be reckoned. While I won’t divulge much of our discussions here given they’ll appear…
  • A fairer way to rank conservation and ecology journals in 2014

    Corey Bradshaw
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:30 am
    Normally I just report the Thomson-Reuters ISI Web of Knowledge Impact Factors for conservation-orientated journals each year, with some commentary on the rankings of other journals that also publish conservation-related material from time to time (see my lists of the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Impact Factor rankings). This year, however, I’m doing something different given the growing negativity towards Thomson-Reuters’ secretive behaviour (which they’ve promised this year to rectify by being more transparent) and the generally poor indication of quality that the…
  • Time to put significance out of its misery

    Corey Bradshaw
    28 Jul 2014 | 5:29 am
    If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll be no stranger to my views on what I believe is one of the most abused, and therefore now meaningless, words in scientific writing: ‘significance’ and her adjective sister, ‘significant’. I hold that it should be stricken entirely from the language of science writing. Most science writing has become burdened with archaic language that perhaps at one time meant something, but now given the ubiquity of certain terms in most walks of life and their subsequent misapplication, many terms no longer have a…
  • Another 589 scientists speak out against Abbott’s war on the environment

    Corey Bradshaw
    21 Jul 2014 | 5:15 pm
    I’m currently in Cairns at the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation‘s Annual Conference where scientists from all over the world have amassed for get the latest on tropical ecology and conservation. Unfortunately, all of them have arrived in an Australia different to the one they knew or admired from afar. The environmental devastation unleashed by the stupid policies of the Abbottoir government has attracted the attention and ire of some of the world’s top scientists. This is what they have to say about it (with a little help from me): – ASSOCIATION FOR…
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    Conservation

  • More scuba diving means sicker coral reefs

    Roberta Kwok
    21 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    The gorgeous coral reefs around Koh Tao, Thailand draw thousands of tourists every year. But frequent scuba diving appears to be increasing the rate of coral disease, threatening to spoil the natural resource that locals depend on for their livelihood. Compared to fishing, tourism may seem like a relatively sustainable way to boost the local economy.
  • A direct link between ivory trafficking and elephant decline

    Jason G. Goldman
    20 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    Over the last four years, the illegal trade in elephant ivory surged, while tens of thousands of elephants were killed for that ivory each year. Those patterns have coincided with increases in seizures of illegal ivory and with increases in ivory prices on the black market. But quantifying that illegal harvest has always proven incredibly
  • How can we translate conservation research into actual conservation?

    Dave Levitan
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    It’s easy to forget sometimes that the mammoth time, effort, and money spent on scientific research actually does have a point. We hope, as we engage in all that work, that it will actually yield results that we can, you know, use. But one tiny branch of research has shown in the past that people
  • Promoting happiness: A shift in zoo animal welfare

    Jason G. Goldman
    15 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    Zoos and aquariums are presently important players in wildlife conservation, both in the field (in situ) and at home (ex situ). A key concern in those institutions is how to evaluate animal welfare. Unlike humans, you cannot simply ask a non-human animal how they feel. Historically, approaches to animal welfare in zoos focused on looking
  • Otters feel the burn from wildfires

    Roberta Kwok
    14 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    In the summer and fall of 2008, two major wildfires burned more than 70,000 hectares of California’s Big Sur area. Now researchers have found that sea otters may have suffered as a result. Scientists have done plenty of studies on how wildfires affect land animals. Habitat, diet, and reproduction rates can all be thrown out
 
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