Uncommon lessons learned from the world’s most widespread bird.
UN Sustainable Development Goals: Life on Land
More biofuels are needed to counteract climate change. But producing them shouldn’t diminish food production or wilderness areas. The solution may be to grow more grass on recently abandoned cropland.
Even though new hydropower dam developments are intended to provide green energy, they can drown areas that are rich in plant and animal species. But this kind of collateral damage can be limited by strategic site selection, a new study shows.
Barnacle geese in the Arctic have been on a diet. So many now migrate to northern breeding grounds that in some places there’s less food to go around. The good news is that it doesn’t seem to restrict their population growth — yet.
The great tit and other birds can adapt to changes in their food supply as a result of climate change, but they run into trouble if the changes happen too quickly.
Agriculture is eating into areas that are important in protecting some of the most biologically diverse places on the planet. Most of this new agricultural land is being used to grow cattle feed.
The larvae of cotton bollworm attack our food. But the adults pollinate plants. So how can we stop them from destroying crops without using poison? Researchers in Trondheim are on the case.
Red foxes are moving to the mountains to feed on trash along roadsides. This is bad news for the endangered Arctic fox.
Inbred birds don’t live as long and have fewer offspring than non-inbred birds. Inbreeding is equally harmful regardless of where the birds live.
Once upon a time, lions were the world’s most widespread mammals. Now we know more about their genealogy – and that could make it easier to help the species survive.
Bats have received a lot of negative attention, but the chances are slim that the virus that causes COVID-19 was transmitted from bats to humans. The world needs bats – in ecosystems, for pollination and for seed dispersal. On top of that, they keep harmful insects in check around our homes, on farms and in cities.
It’s not easy being a tiny willow on the wind-and snow-blasted islands of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard. It turns out that Salix polaris, the polar willow, handles these tough conditions by growing as best it can in response to July temperatures — a response that researchers recorded all over the archipelago.
It took seven years, countless beetle penis field investigations, and hours upon hours on hands and knees in coastal wetlands. This is the story of all the research that has to happen before a new species can finally get its official name.
As forest areas shrink and become fragmented, many tree species face problems. They often rely on animals that can no longer disperse their seeds effectively.
Bushfires are a normal part of the cycle of nature in Australia. But not like this. And it is going to get worse.
Researchers wanted to involve local people living around Kenya and Tanzania’s Serengeti-Mara parks in developing a sustainable future for them and the parks. They developed a board game to get people talking to the researchers — and to each other. That game has now won an international award.
As reindeer go, the animals living on Svalbard might not be Santa’s first choice. They’re a smaller subspecies of their common mainland relatives, and to save energy they basically never run. But because they were nearly exterminated from Svalbard around 1900 — and were then protected in 1925 — the animals provide unique insights into how conservation can help species thrive.
Moose prefer to browse on deciduous trees. Then conifers take over and affect the species diversity in the forest. One researcher contends that Norwegian wildlife management is not good enough to address what happens in the wake of these large herbivores.