A quarter of all European bumblebee species threatened with extinction

Europe is still home to 68 different bumblebee species – of which according to IUCN 24 percent are now directly threatened with extinction and about half have clearly declining populations. The reasons: Habitat loss, agricultural pollution, climate change, and general … Continue reading

Disturbence of long ecological chains: how planting palm trees can affect manta rays

Palm tree on beachDouglas McCauley and Paul DeSalles did not set out to discover one of the longest ecological interaction chains ever documented. But that’s exactly what they and a team of researchers — all current or former Stanford students and faculty — did in a new study published in Scientific Reports.

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Biodiversity often means linguistic diversity

Biodiversity hot spots — the world’s biologically richest and most threatened locations on Earth — and high biodiversity wilderness areas — biologically rich but less threatened — are some of the most linguistically diverse regions on our planet, according to a team of conservationists.

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Prey fish species worth twice as much in the water as out

Fishing for herring, anchovy, and other “forage fish” in general should be cut in half globally to account for their critical role as food for larger species, recommends an expert group of marine scientists in a report released today. The Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force conducted the most comprehensive worldwide analysis of the science and management of forage fish populations to date. Its report, “Little Fish, Big Impact: Managing a crucial link in ocean food webs,” concluded that in most ecosystems at least twice as many of these species should be left in the ocean as conventional practice.

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In marine reserves reef sharks do well

After some good news about blue whales perhaps now there is also something hopeful to say about sharks. That however would still depend on whether we will be able to create and maintain protected areas in tropical reef systems along … Continue reading

Good news: we somehow killed just the right blue whales

Earth is a bit over 4.5 billion years old. Life on it is only about one billion years younger. And let´s say Homo smartphonensis is a mere three years old.

Mediterranean biodiversity versus a globalising planet: from Suez Canal to your tuna pizza

“In reserves off Spain and Italy, we found the largest fish biomass in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, around Turkey and Greece, the waters were bare” – Enric Sala, National Geographic Society.