Biodiversity

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  • Red-footed Cannibal Fly!

    Ohio Birds and Biodiversity
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:07 pm
    The Slender Ladies'-tresses, Spiranthes lacera, is one of our smallest orchid species, but always a star. Yesterday, I led a group on a trip to explore some interesting natural areas in southeastern Ohio. One of our stops was a very interesting oak barrens that is regularly subjected to controlled burns. Plant life in this locale is spectacular, and includes one of the rarest plants in Ohio. I hope to write more about that species soon. On the hike back to see the rarity, we stopped to admire this diminutive ladies'-tress, which was a "life" plant for most of the group.But a fly, of all…
  • OPINION: Africans' Land Rights at Risk as New Agricultural Trend Sweeps Continent

    CBD News Headlines
    1 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    NAIROBI, Sep 1 2014 (IPS) - Agriculture in Africa is in urgent need of investment. Nearly 550 million people there are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, while half of the total population on the continent live in rural areas.
  • More trouble with tar sands: oil extraction leading to big forest loss in Alberta

    featured news from mongabay.com
    Morgan Erickson-Davis
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:51 am
    Tar sands operations have been the subject of much controversy over the past few years as expected economic gains for Canada the may come at the cost of environmental damage from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Now another negative impact has come to light - deforestation of the boreal forest overlying the oil deposits.
  • Thu 11 Sep 2014: 4.00pm @ DBS CR2 – Fatma Gozde on “Bridging Insitu and exsitu conservation of the Burmese roofed  turtle with genetics and stakeholder engagement”

    The Biodiversity Crew @ NUS
    weiting
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:17 pm
    Department of Biological Sciences, NUS Pre-Thesis Oral “Bridging  insitu  and  exsitu  conservation  with  genetics  and  stakeholder engagement:  a  case  study  of  the  critically  endangered Burmese roofed  turtle (Batagur trivittata)” Fatma Gozde Cilingir Ceyhan   Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences National University of Singapore Thu 11 Sep 2014: 4.00pm DBS Conference Room 2 (S1 level 3, Mezzanine) Supervisor: Asst Prof Bickford, David Patrick All are welcome Abstract: – Anthropocene defaunation has been taking place rigorously for 500…
  • BHL Is Currently Down

    Biodiversity Heritage Library
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:12 am
    The BHL website is currently unavailable due to technical difficulties. We are working to resolve the problem ASAP, and will notify users via Twitter and this blog once the website is restored. We apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience.In the meantime, you can access a majority of our scans via Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/biodiversity. 
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    Ohio Birds and Biodiversity

  • Red-footed Cannibal Fly!

    28 Aug 2014 | 6:07 pm
    The Slender Ladies'-tresses, Spiranthes lacera, is one of our smallest orchid species, but always a star. Yesterday, I led a group on a trip to explore some interesting natural areas in southeastern Ohio. One of our stops was a very interesting oak barrens that is regularly subjected to controlled burns. Plant life in this locale is spectacular, and includes one of the rarest plants in Ohio. I hope to write more about that species soon. On the hike back to see the rarity, we stopped to admire this diminutive ladies'-tress, which was a "life" plant for most of the group.But a fly, of all…
  • Sedge Wrens at historic Huffman Prairie

    26 Aug 2014 | 7:19 pm
    This innocuous looking field is the most famous place in aviation history. It was here that two famous brothers from Dayton, Orville and Wilbur Wright, learned to fly. Sure, their first powered flights took place at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903, but the following year the brothers returned to Dayton, Ohio, and fine-tuned their flying machines on this very field.Adjacent to the flying field is famous Huffman Prairie, and it, like the Wright Brothers' airfield, is part of the massive Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The base houses some of the most sophisticated aircraft in the world.
  • Rough Boneset, new to Ohio

    24 Aug 2014 | 5:09 pm
    A group of botanists explores a very special wet meadow in Athens County yesterday. I met up with Brian Riley, Dan Boone, Dave Minney, Andrew Gibson, Rick Gardner, and Susan Nash for a day of botanizing in southeast Ohio. We had a few targets in mind, and the Numero Uno plant was the white specks in the meadow shown above.As an aside, this was a sensational field trip for me. I seldom get out on dedicated botanical missions anymore, and only rarely with botanists the caliber of this bunch. I'm always looking at plants everywhere I go, of course, but it is entirely special to be afield with…
  • A tiny damsel, larger than life

    21 Aug 2014 | 8:53 pm
      I took a brief stroll around the work campus this afternoon, between showers. As is almost always the case, I had my camera in tow. The lenses vary, but this time the mega-macro Canon MP-E 65 lens was bolted to the Canon 5D Mark III. I wrote in some detail about this awesome niche lens HERE. The MP-E is not normally my default lens for traipsing about, as it does limit one's options. I like to have it in the pack and close at hand, but have some other more versatile lens attached to the camera.However, time was tight, and I had decided to just seek macro material on this brief foray. I…
  • 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…
 
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    featured news from mongabay.com

  • More trouble with tar sands: oil extraction leading to big forest loss in Alberta

    Morgan Erickson-Davis
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:51 am
    Tar sands operations have been the subject of much controversy over the past few years as expected economic gains for Canada the may come at the cost of environmental damage from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Now another negative impact has come to light - deforestation of the boreal forest overlying the oil deposits.
  • Meeting an Illegal Logger

    Tiffany Roufs
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:55 pm
    'I make six times the amount of money logging as I would working my small plot of land or even working legally in a pulp and paper or palm oil plantation.' An illegal logger explains the economic conditions in South Sumatra. Mongabay Special Reporting Fellow Robert S. Eshelman interviews an illegal logger in Indonesia on the topic of cleaning up commodity supply chains.
  • The Gran Canal: will Nicaragua's big bet create prosperity or environmental ruin?

    Jeremy Hance
    27 Aug 2014 | 11:52 am
    A hundred years ago, the Panama Canal reshaped global geography. Now a new project, spearheaded by a media-shy Chinese millionaire, wants to build a 278-kilometer canal through Nicaragua. While the government argues the mega-project will change the country's dire economic outlook overnight, critics contend it will cause undue environmental damage, upend numerous communities, and do little to help local people.
  • How do we save the world's vanishing old-growth forests?

    Jeremy Hance
    26 Aug 2014 | 1:18 pm
    There's nothing in the world like a primary forest, which has never been industrially logged or cleared by humans. They are often described as cathedral-like, due to pillar-like trees and carpet-like undergrowth. Yet, the world's primary forests—also known as old-growth forests—are falling every year, and policy-makers are not doing enough to stop it.
  • Scientists name new endangered species after the company that will decide its fate

    Jeremy Hance
    24 Aug 2014 | 10:33 am
    Scientists have discovered a new snail species near a cement quarry in Malaysia, which as far as they know lives nowhere else in the world. It lives on a limestone hill called Kanthan given as a concession to an international company Lafarge. The cement producer quarries the hill for raw materials. As a result, the scientists have named the species after the company that will decide if it goes extinct.
 
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    The Biodiversity Crew @ NUS

  • Thu 11 Sep 2014: 4.00pm @ DBS CR2 – Fatma Gozde on “Bridging Insitu and exsitu conservation of the Burmese roofed  turtle with genetics and stakeholder engagement”

    weiting
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:17 pm
    Department of Biological Sciences, NUS Pre-Thesis Oral “Bridging  insitu  and  exsitu  conservation  with  genetics  and  stakeholder engagement:  a  case  study  of  the  critically  endangered Burmese roofed  turtle (Batagur trivittata)” Fatma Gozde Cilingir Ceyhan   Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences National University of Singapore Thu 11 Sep 2014: 4.00pm DBS Conference Room 2 (S1 level 3, Mezzanine) Supervisor: Asst Prof Bickford, David Patrick All are welcome Abstract: – Anthropocene defaunation has been taking place rigorously for 500…
  • Fri 05 Sep 2014: 3.30pm @ DBS Conf Rm 2: Toh Tai Chong on “The use of sexually propagated scleractinian corals for reef restoration”

    weiting
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:12 am
    PhD Defense Seminar cum Oral Examination “The use of sexually propagated scleractinian corals for reef restoration” Toh Tai Chong Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS Supervisor: Prof Chou Loke Ming Fri 05 Sep 2014: 3.30m DBS Conference Room II (S1 Level 3, Mezzaine) All are welcome Abstract –  “Increasing anthropogenic pressures coupled with global climate change have resulted in the rapid degradation of coral reefs, necessitating the implementation of active measures to assist the recovery process. Recent advancements have facilitated the use of…
  • 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…
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    Biodiversity Heritage Library

  • BHL Is Currently Down

    2 Sep 2014 | 5:12 am
    The BHL website is currently unavailable due to technical difficulties. We are working to resolve the problem ASAP, and will notify users via Twitter and this blog once the website is restored. We apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience.In the meantime, you can access a majority of our scans via Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/biodiversity. 
  • On the Case: An Internship in Detective Work, Library Style

    28 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    Facade, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural HistoryMy earliest memory of the Natural History Museum is climbing the steps to see the “stuffed animal zoo.” It was a very rainy day and our plans of visiting the National Zoo were put on hold. However, my mom had an idea so that I- only about four or five at the time- could still see animals. I had no idea at the time what exactly she meant by “stuffed animal,” but I had a blast and returned frequently during our yearly trips up from Florida. The stairs seemed so much taller back then. Now they’re just a quick jaunt up to something…
  • BHL joins the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)

    26 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    The Biodiversity Heritage Library has joined the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) as an Associate Participant. GBIF operates through a network of global nodes to develop and maintain an open data infrastructure for sharing digital biodiversity data. As an Associate Participant, BHL will encourage open access and use of biodiversity data among its stakeholders and actively participate in the implementation of the GBIF Work Programme.“BHL provides open and free access to over 250 years of biodiversity information via web services and open APIs,” said Martin Kalfatovic, BHL…
  • Twitterchat on Martha, Extinction, & Historic Literature

    25 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    Pigeons. Selby, P. John (1845). http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/20191792  Please join the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), the Smithsonian Libraries, and the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) for a twitterchat on September 2nd, 2014. The chat will take place between 2-3 pm (EST) and feature Helen James, Curator of Birds and our recent Once There Were Billions exhibit in NMNH, and Martin Kalfatovic, BHL Program Director.This September marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the very last passenger pigeon, Martha. In honor of the event, our chat will focus on Martha and…
  • 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…
 
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    Tales from Toriello

  • Visiting a traditional market at Porrua de Llanes

    Ian Hicken
    31 Aug 2014 | 10:54 pm
    Once a year in a small village not too far from home is one of the most interesting fiestas in our area; Mercau Tradicianal. The market runs for two days, usually over the last weekend in August thereby making the most of the holiday makers who flock to Asturias in the month of August. The fair has only been running since the early 1990s but it has the feel of something with more history. It is loosely billed as a celebration of life before the industrial revolution.The market takes place in the small village of Porrua which has a central park that has a well kept circle of entangled and…
  • Making pear chutney - we love a pickle

    Ian Hicken
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:13 am
    We love pickles, chutneys and spicy salsas, and most years we will make several types depending on what fruit we have available. This year we had a very poor gooseberry harvest so one of our favourite pickles was out of the question however, we did have a healthy pear harvest.As with most recipes we adapt them to suit our own tastes and usually reduce sugar and maybe add some extra spices or heat. This particular recipe comes from a set of cards issued by a vinegar company many years ago: Sarson's. We have used this recipe before and found that the vinegar content is way too much, especially…
  • It's time to harvest the pears

    Ian Hicken
    22 Aug 2014 | 3:18 am
    It's time to harvest the pears, well at least one of our two pear trees. The tree is laden with fruit, the first time it has fruited in the 5 years we have had it. There aren't masses but we are pleased with what we have considering we don't spray with chemicals. The type is Manteca Hardy. Our other tree is a conference pear which did well last year but it doesn't have much fruit at all this year.The birds had started to attack and eat the pears which is always a good sign that they are ready for harvesting. Gawber, never one to miss an opportunity to climb, joined in the pear harvest and…
  • 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…
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    ConservationBytes.com

  • High-altitude ecology

    Corey Bradshaw
    28 Aug 2014 | 3:35 am
    A constant hazard in the Tibetan Plateau – yakjam I’ve been out of the social-media loop for a few weeks, hence the abnormally long interval since my last post. As you might recall, I’ve been travelling overseas and most recently blogged from Monterey, California where I was attending a symposium on invasion genetics. The next phase of my travels couldn’t have been more different. The reason I couldn’t access the blog was because I was well behind the Great Firewall of China. I was, in fact, in the Tibetan region of Gansu and Sichuan Provinces in western China…
  • 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…
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    Conservation

  • Most conservation science not available to conservationists

    Dave Levitan
    2 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Does anyone have $51 million lying around? Asking for a friend. Well, a whole lot of friends actually—all the thousands and thousands of people around the world who are actively engaged in some branch of applied conservation science, from saving the whales to reforesting Indonesia. It turns out that $51 million might be enough to
  • Paying Brazil’s farmers to conserve is smart economics

    Jason G. Goldman
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    The world is currently experiencing species extinction at an unprecedented scale. As biodiversity declines and species disappear, the roles they place in their local ecosystems will also disappear. Ecological equilibria will shift, pests will proliferate, invasive species will dominate, and in the worst cases, food security will be threatened and terrorism will increase. One strategy
  • Do driving restrictions work?

    Roberta Kwok
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    How can cities cut down on smog? One appealing solution is to restrict the number of cars allowed on the road. For instance, Beijing forbids cars with certain license plate numbers from entering part of the city on specific days of the week. But a new study suggests that this approach simply doesn’t work that well: About
  • Sunscreen saves humans at the expense of ocean health

    Jason G. Goldman
    27 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    In 2013, more than 202 million international tourists found their way to the beautiful, warm beaches of the Mediterranean Sea. Spain alone was host to more than 60 million visitors that year. In many cases, tourism is a boon to local wildlife, from manta rays to whale sharks to seals. But that isn’t always the
  • Is there a deforestation limit we can aim for?

    Dave Levitan
    26 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Deforestation is bad, according to just about everybody in the world who isn’t actively engaged in cutting down a tree right now. It isn’t a controversial position to say that we should save our rain forests and other major wooded areas, but it also isn’t a particularly useful one. A more interesting question to answer
 
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