How to behave in sloth bear territory

Sloth bears are considered to be one of the most dangerous mammals in India.

Sloth bears are considered to be one of the most dangerous mammals in India. The number of sloth bear attacks annually rivals and may even exceed the total number of all bear attacks from the seven other extant bear species combined. Communities sharing their environment with these bears need clear-cut advice on how to behave to avoid bears and what […]

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The Orangutan Project: How a successful not-for-profit organisation is working to protect Critically Endangered orangutans from extinction

An orangutan looks out from a wooden box

The Orangutan Project was founded in 1998 by orangutan expert and conservationist Leif Cocks. Today, it takes a multifaceted approach to conservation, targeting the key threats facing the Critically Endangered orangutan population. Leif Cocks told us about the vital work of the Project, and about his own ethics which underpin the conservation work. Orangutans are facing an existential threat. As vast tracts […]

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Preserving biodiverse river corridors for sustainable city development

Pochote river channel

As the global population continues to soar and the number of inhabitants in cities climbs ever higher, sustainable development strategies are urgently needed to prevent catastrophic ecological decline in our urban environments. Understanding anthropogenic threats is the first step towards conservation: Jochen Hack, Professor of Ecological Engineering at the University of Darmstadt in Germany and leader of the interdisciplinary research […]

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That’s disgusting! How primates decide what not to eat

Many species either avoid food contaminated with faeces or thoroughly handle the food, trying to clean it before eating.

All animals need to find a way to avoid contact with pathogens when they are eating. For primates, Dr Cécile Sarabian, based at Kyoto University Primate Research Institute in Japan, shows that many species either avoid food contaminated with faeces or thoroughly handle the food, trying to clean it before eating. For the researcher, this is proof that this behaviour […]

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Scalloped hammerhead sharks have more complex migratory routes than expected

By assessing their migratory routes, the researchers ensure that populations of the scalloped hammerhead shark are protected through conservation and management tools.

Using a new method to study migratory routes of scalloped hammerhead sharks, Dr Claire Coiraton and Dr Felipe Amezcua, based at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, identified a more complex picture than previously thought. It turns out that not all sharks follow the same pattern of movements, with some preferring to stay in coastal areas while others opt for […]

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Reconciling forest and tree conservation with food security

Forests and trees are a critical resource for human communities.

Forests and trees are a critical resource for human communities. However, conservation efforts to prevent biodiversity loss increasingly conflict with the rights and access of communities using forests for their livelihoods and crucially to meet their nutritional needs. Prof Terry Sunderland of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, has long pointed to the importance of forests in contributing to food […]

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Action research creates a shared future for elephants and humans

An elephant population migrating within the Sahel region.

In 2009 a crisis faced the elephant and human populations of central Mali, when a vital fresh water source dried up. Reduced rainfall and increased human activity, including vast herds of domestic cattle, contributed to this critical problem. Dr Susan Canney of the University of Oxford and Director of the Mali Elephant Project, decided a new and prompt approach was […]

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Non-native lake trout suppression: A fisheries restoration success story

Introduction of non-native species can cause severe disruption to ecosystems. A rapid growth in lake trout numbers in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho threatened both native species conservation and the popular recreational fishery on the lake. This prompted Andrew M. Dux, Matthew P. Corsi and colleagues at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, along with Michael J. Hansen of the […]

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The great grunion run: Monitoring grunion runs to inform conservation

Grunion runs describe the unusual breeding behaviour of the California grunion, which come ashore on sandy beaches to spawn. Fertilised eggs then incubate in the sand and only hatch when scouring waves from the next spring tide reveal them. These life history traits leave both adult fish and eggs vulnerable to negative human impacts. Professor Karen L. M. Martin from […]

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Reading between the clicks: A new approach to echolocation

Biologists are increasingly appreciating the importance of bioacoustics in conservation. By understanding the soundscape of an environment we can learn far more than previously thought. This is also the case for animal behaviour, a classic example being echolocation in bats and dolphins. Dr Alyssa Accomando, from Brown University and the National Marine Mammal Foundation, is studying echolocation to determine how […]

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