Japan’s Okinawa prefecture is often described as the “Galapagos of the east.” Famous for its rich biodiversity, foreign and Japanese travelers flock to these tropical islands just to visit the home to some of world’s most breath taking flora and fauna. Despite its fame, a very important Okinawan coastal area is facing the possibility of destruction… again.Read More
Last week, the results from a 2.5-year underwater expedition were revealed. The French vessel, Tara, has surfaced over one million newfound aquatic species – certainly a great feat for science and discovery! However, it’s important to understand how this discovery, although large in number, doesn’t end our need to discover our oceans.
Great Lakes coastal wetlands provide over 40 million people with ecosystem functions such as flood protection and water purification. They provide refuge to countless species, including resident and migratory birds, moose, bears, beavers, turtles, and aquatic vegetation, making them highly biodiverse systems. With such, we know they need to be protected.
Photo by San Diego Shooter | flickr.com
It is well known amongst conservationists that assigning a dollar value to any aspect of nature is fundamentally impossible. Nature performs essential, yet irreplaceable tasks – such as nutrient cycling and oxygen exchange – tasks that, when compared to the value of a new laptop, for instance, fit no such price categorization. As established as this concept may be, are we certain that this is always true? Are there any scenarios where it is appropriate to associate a cost with the conservation of nature? Sure, perhaps ecosystem functions themselves remain priceless, but what if we consider the media? Strange? Farfetched? Maybe not so much.Read More
A recent paper published in Science describes the effects of over-fishing on seabirds. According to their findings, when fish populations drop below one-third, the number of hatched chicks decline for each seabird breeding pair.
You’ve seen the pictures. Polar bears, ‘stranded’ on a floating piece of ice in the Arctic, time lapse images depicting larger extents of visible rock landscapes as glaciers continue to recede over time, and maps illustrating regions of the world that would be underwater should our climate continue to warm.
Photo by Kalense Kid | flckr.com
We intuitively know that declining biodiversity cannot be a good thing. Food web flows, species interactions, and ecosystem functions become increasingly disturbed, leaving entire environments vulnerable to occupation by invasive species, disease, and eventual collapse. But researchers from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis have recently discovered yet another downfall of biodiversity loss – fewer species means less chances for our planet to cope with a changing climate.Read More
Two words make me nervous about the preservation of wildlife – poaching crisis. At the risk of sounding terribly alarmist, I think ongoing poaching incidents make the future of wildlife conservation seem bleak.
Water contamination has been a pressing issue for decades because of its implications for both the health of the environment and the species living within it. Now new research may shed light on a solution to fix this problem - using clams!