conservation-biology

The bumblebee was officially added to the endangered species list.

 Please:

  • Go plant an organic flower native to wherever you are
  • Leave your “weeds” alone they probably aren’t hurting anything
  • Stop using/buying Roundup and all other insecticides, herbicides, pesticides. 
  • If you have a bee problem (which almost never happens) call a local beekeeper! They will remove them safely free of charge
  • Bumblebees usually nest underground and just wanna be left alone! They won’t hurt you. To prevent destroying their habit during hibernation, avoid mowing yards until April or May. If you do mow, raise the blades to the highest setting

Please save my fat clumsy fuzzy friends I love them and they’re very good pollinators.

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On April 26, 1986, a power surge caused an explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat, Ukraine. A large quantity of radioactive material was released.

On May 2, 1986, the Soviet government established a “Zone of Alienation” or “Exclusion Zone” around Chernobyl – a thousand square miles of “radioactive wasteland.” All humans were evacuated. The town of Pripyat was completely abandoned.

But the animals didn’t leave. And a new study, published this month in Current Biology, suggests they are doing fine. “None of our three hypotheses postulating radiation damage to large mammal populations at Chernobyl were supported by the empirical evidence,” says Jim Beasley, one of the researchers.

In fact, some of the populations have grown. These photos (mostly taken by Valeriy Yurko) come from the Belarusian side of the Exclusion Zone, and area called the Polessye State Radioecological Reserve. Kingfisher, elk, boar, baby spotted eagles, wild ponies, moose, rabbits, and wolves all make their home in the park. In some ways, human presence is worse for wildlife than a nuclear disaster.


Image credits:

  • 1986 Chernobyl - ZUFAROV/AFP/Getty Images
  • Wildlife photos - Valeriy Yurko/Polessye State Radioecological Reserve
  • Ponies in winter - SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Happy Valentine’s Day my marine bio lovelies!

I give you, all the above! Shark Love!

Instead of something cheesy to give your admirer, why not make a donation to your favourite conservation group? Show them you care not only about them, but the marine environment too!

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The Saimaa ringed seal (Pusa hispida saimensis) is a subspecies of ringed seal (Pusa hispida). They are among the most endangered seals in the world, having a total population of only about 320 individuals. The only existing population of these seals is found in Lake Saimaa, Finland (hence the name).This seal, along with the Ladoga seal and the Baikal seal, is one of the few living freshwater seals.

A “dew” covered green tree python (Morelia virdis). Pythons are non-venomous ambush predators, using their camouflage to remain hidden from sight until prey venture close enough to be captured.

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Since it’s on our social media pages, I can finally tell y'all this story.

Last week, our little Pokey butt helped save a life! The vet from the marine science center just south of us had a sick kemp’s ridley being rehabilitated that needed a blood transfusion, and we were able to help out! Though Pokey has a shoulder disease that impacts his ability to survive in the ocean, he is otherwise a healthy turtle. The donation of his blood helped the sick animal recover, and the staff is hopeful for a full recovery and release of the turtle.

I feel so privileged to have been a part of this. The turtle I care for every day helped save the life of another endangered turtle like himself! This incredibly tangible aspect of species conservation was a huge reminder of why I love my job and why I do the things I do. This right here is what zoos and aquariums are all about. Together we are an awesome, awesome force for good.

Steller’s eider (Polysticta stelleri) drake and hen

The Steller’s eider is the smallest of four eider species, and lives its entire life in the Arctic. They breed on the northernmost coasts of Russia and Alaska, and winter in the Bering sea, where they hunt for small mollusks and other marine invertebrates.

This striking sea duck is also facing a steep decline; it is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and as vulnerable by the IUCN. This is because the Russian population is declining slowly, while the North American population is in dire straits. Although they used to breed all over the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and North Slope of Alaska, the North American breeding population is now restricted to a handful of pairs in Barrow.

bbc.com
World's largest reindeer herd plummets
The size of the world's largest wild reindeer herd has fallen by 40% since 2000, scientists warn.

The world’s largest wild reindeer herd has fallen by 40% since 2000, scientists have warned.

They say that the animals, which live in the Taimyr Peninsula in the northernmost tip of Russia, are being affected by rising temperatures and human activity.

This is causing the animals to change their annual migration patterns.

The research has been presented at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

“There is a substantial decline - and we are also seeing this with other wild reindeer declining rapidly in other parts of the world,” said Andrey Petrov, who runs the Arctic Centre at the University of Northern Iowa, US.

The Taimyr herd is one of the most monitored groups of reindeer in the world. The animals have been tracked for nearly 50 years by aerial surveys and more recently by satellite imagery.

The population reached a peak of one million in 2000, but this latest research suggests that there are now only 600,000 reindeer.

“Climate change is at least one of the variables,” explained Prof Petrov.

“We know in the last two decades that we have had an increase in temperatures of about 1.5C overall. And that definitely impacts migration patterns.”

Industrial development is increasing in the region, which is also changing the animals’ distribution.

Continue Reading.

World Wildlife Fund, in collaboration with the London Zoological Society, published a study entitled, “Living Planet Report 2014,” that addresses the issue of global species loss. Overall, the report deduced that in the past 40 years, the world has lost a stunning 52 percent of wildlife. That means that if you were born in 1970, the world has lost over half of the species that existed at your birth.

The first step in making change is spreading knowledge, so share this infographic and let’s spread the word that the world’s species need our help now!

How do we tag humpback whales?

With a suction cup! Researchers in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary use tags like this one – which typically stay on for a day or less – to learn where whales are going, how they’re moving, and the noises they’re making and hearing. 

With data from these tags, we can better understand whale behavior and learn how we can best protect them from threats like ship strikes! 

Check out how it’s done:

(GIF: NOAA Fisheries Permit #14809; Photo: NOAA Fisheries Permit #775-1600-10)