Conserving biodiversity as a priority

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Honeybees are disappearing. Contributing factors include the pesticides of industrial agriculture and urban developments encrusting on habitats. Wildflowers and areas of plant abundance are in decline. The bees are losing their food source. And so, too, could we. Aside from providing honey, bees are essential pollinators of cropping ranging from apples … Read more

Big lessons about biodiversity loss from a little French river

The Po, one of Italy’s key rivers, is running at historic lows because of an extreme European drought. Credit: © DELBO ANDREA, Shutterstock Even while drought is bringing many of Europe’s rivers to record lows and damaging biodiversity, the threat of catastrophic flooding following a dry spell lurks in the background. Some of Europe’s most … Read more

Study links protecting Indigenous peoples’ lands to greater nonhuman primate biodiversity

Nonhuman primates whose territories overlap with Indigenous lands include those from the Neotropics, top row; Afrotropics, middle row; and Indo-Malay, bottom row. Species include, from top left to top right: the critically endangered northern muriqui; the black-capped capuchin, a species of least concern; the Colombian night monkey and the munduruku marmoset, both classified as vulnerable. … Read more

Oft-overlooked grasslands build biodiversity, resilience over centuries

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Grasslands’ biodiversity and resilience to disturbances such as fire, heat and protection is the result of a slow process over hundreds of years, like that of old growth forests, finds new CU Boulder-led research. Publishing in the journal Science on Aug. 5, 2022, as part of a special issue on grasslands, … Read more

New global map of ant biodiversity reveals areas that may hide undiscovered species

An ant (species: Ectatomma tuberculatum) photographed in Costa Rica. Ants make up a large fraction of the total animal biomass in most terrestrial ecosystems, but researchers say that an understanding of their global diversity is lacking. This new study provides a high-resolution map that estimates and visualizes the global diversity of ants. Credit: Dr. Benoit … Read more

Biodiversity risks to persist well beyond future global temperature peak

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Even if global temperatures begin to decline after peaking this century because of climate change, the risks to biodiversity could persist for decades after, finds a new study by UCL and University of Cape Town researchers. The paper, published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciencesmodels the potential … Read more

Park rangers use butterflies to take planet’s pulse in a biodiversity hotspot

Yasuní encompasses more than 3,700 square miles of pristine rainforests and is home to two uncontacted Indigenous tribes. Credit: Keith Willmott In 2017, a group of scientists raised alarm bells by showing that flying insects had declined in Germany by more than 70% in the three preceding decades. Studies before and since then have shown … Read more

Western biologists crowdsource biodiversity data

Some of the wildlife at Western already recorded in the biodiversity inventory. Credit: Brendon Samuels The next time you find yourself walking across campus, take a moment to stop or slow down and observe the many living things that call Western’s vast land their habitat. And while you’re at it, take a picture. It’s a … Read more