Posts tagged ‘Environment’

The food-chain effects of invasive species

Link: The food-chain effects of invasive species

A study tried to determine the effect that losing apex bird species in a large-scale environment would have, and to do so turned its eyes on Guam.

There, brown snakes were introduced by trade years ago. On the small island, insectivorous birds were the apex predators until the snakes were introduced, and have been almost entirely wiped them out. 

The study found that during the wet season, Guam’s spider web density was almost 40 times as high as nearby islands with healthy bird populations. During the dry season, that number dropped to 2.3 times as high. 

Another example of how dangerous a relatively benign non-native species may be to an environment, and the top-down effects they can have on the food chain.

Help map seafloors and sealife in this dynamic project

Link: Help map seafloors and sealife in this dynamic project

Help scientists identify seafloor types and living species in this engaging, citizen dependent project. The hope is to identify species, map populations, and get a better idea of the makeup of the northeastern continental shelf of the U.S. 

Despite just being released, over 200,000 images have been mapped and possibly even a new species. How reliable those mappings are remains to be seen, but with such a great amount of input the results should even out.

A fantastic project that really takes advantage of the huge citizen workforce that is available on the web. I’m looking forward to see what results Seafloor Explorer can give us, and whether any similar projects pop up.


Bolivian park dubbed one of most biodiverse places on Earth
Report states that there are 200 species of mammals, over 1,000 species of birds and a whopping 12,000 species of plants inside park.

A beautiful map of the world’s rivers by National Geographic. It’s astounding to think that all of that only equates to less than 1% of the Earth’s water.

However, regardless of how much it appears to be, there are a whole lot of living things depending on it. Of them, only one is actively poisoning it for the rest of the biosphere and only one has the ability to clean it up. 

As we advance technologically our methods for fixing it are becoming more effective and less intrusive. At the same time, the amount of pollution being dumped is increasing also. 

While it would be great to develop a viable desalinization process, it’s not something we can count on any time soon. In the meantime, there are a diverse number of things you can do to help. Recycle, live more green, and use your rights as a citizen to elect representatives who understand and are willing to make the necessary changes to keep our water and environment safe.

Following the common life cycle of many military technologies, drones are now being put to a more peaceful use: ecology. A growing movement is the utilization of drones and thermal-imaging to do everything from tracking illegal whaling ships, counting and protecting animal populations, and providing high-res photos of endangered habitats.

Nature finds a way.


7000th amphibian characterised

According to AmphibiaWeb the ‘glass frog’ species centrolene sibini is the 7000th species of amphibian to be identified. Three of the seven thousand have been characterised since 1985; equivalent to a new species every three days. Amphibulous.

The Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology is compiling a different kind of sperm bank, one that can hopefully be used to save our coral reefs.

While coral can produce asexually, sexual reproduction is necessary for the corals’ genetic diversity to maintain a sustainable level. That’s why Dr. Mary Hagedorn is constantly adding to her stock of coral embryonic cells and sperm in her one-of-a-kind collection.

At the rate coral reefs are being destroyed or bleached, they will be well on their way to complete destruction by 2050. Hopefully, with the help of Dr. Hagedorn’s work, we can delay or even avoid the incident completely.


Gotta say, 85% of my motivation in blogging this is that I love that japanese painting.

Also, climate change!


I always remembered which way round it was with “Hot babes, cool dudes”. 


Fun fact: Alligators work the same way!