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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Florida’s Archbold Biological Station gives online access to unusual natural history collection

The Archbold Biological Station, a world-renowned ecological field station based in Florida, USA, is uploading its natural history collection onto the Internet for the first time. The diverse collection, containing 270,000 specimens of more than 10,000 species will provide researchers and students around the world, with access to this rich source of ecological data. This highly collaborative project, which involves […]

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