nature conservation

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.

Actually you know what. Just don’t mow. Get rid of your lawnmower. Turn your whole yard into a wildflower field or an edible garden. Lawns are the invention of the upper class to show wealth through wasted plots of grass that is meticulously tended for no reason other than to be grass. It’s literally an empty plot of land they kept because they had so much money they didn’t need it to grow food. Not using a yard as just a yard is an act of rebellion.

One of the main industries still supporting lawns is chemical pest control companies, and they’re also responsible for the insecticides that crashed the bird populations in the 40s and 50s as well as a lot of what’s killing bees and butterflies now. The herbicides they produce specifically targets “bad” plants like dandelions, buttercups, and clovers, which are plants bees rely on for early spring feeding. Grass is just grass; it would be great for feeding small mammals if people would let it grow more than three inches, but they won’t.

So, yeah. Kill lawnmower culture. Plant some native flowers. Grow some vegetables and fruit trees. Put out bird feeders and bee sugar spots and homes for both. Be kind to bugs and birds and rabbits and opossums and whoever else might wander by. Make your neighborhood a lot more beautiful.

In Honor of Earth Day 2017: PBS Nature’s Ask Box is now open for the next round of Tumblr’s IssueTime on Conservation and Climate Change!

NATURE  is so excited to work with Tumblr and the wonderful scientists, biologists and filmmakers who’ve agreed to be on our panel so that you can learn more about the environmental issues we’re currently facing.  Dig deeper into the issues with full episodes of NATURE, now streaming!

The Panelists:

Arnaud  Desbiez  is a conservation biologist who has been conducting research in the Brazilian Pantanal since 2002. He has worked on topics ranging from sustainable use of  resources  to  species  ecological  research and community  development  programs. In  the  Brazilian  Pantanal,  his  work  focused  on  the interaction  between  native  and alien  species, the sustainable  use  of  forage  resources  and  the  ecology  of  several mammal species.   In 2010 he started and now coordinates the Pantanal Giant Armadillo Project. Arnaud is featured in our most recent episode, Hotel Armadillo.

Patrick Gonzalez is Principal Climate Change Scientist of the U.S. National Park Service and a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. A forest ecologist, he conducts applied research on climate change and works with national parks to adapt resource management to climate change. Patrick has conducted and published field research on climate change in Africa, Latin America, and the United States and has served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the organization awarded a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Watch our recent episode about the challenges facing Yosemite, now streaming!

Chris Morgan is an ecologist, conservationist, educator, TV host/narrator and film producer specializing in international bear research and conservation. For more than 20 years, he has worked as a wildlife researcher, wilderness guide and environmental educator on every continent where bears exist. Chris  has narrated 13 films for Nature and was host and narrator for Siberian Tiger Quest as well as being the featured character in Nature’s three-part series ‘Bears of the Last Frontier.’ In 2015, he was also host and narrator for Nature’s Three-part ‘Animal Homes’ series and was featured in ‘The Last Orangutan Eden.’ Learn more about Chris’ story with this interview we conducted with him.

Learn More about Chris

Joe Pontecorvo is an award-winning producer, writer, and cinematographer. For the past two decades, he has traveled the globe; tracking Siberian tigers in the Russian Far East, living among grizzlies in the wilds of Alaska, and following orangutans through Indonesia’s peat swamp forest. All told, he has produced 14 broadcast documentaries for multiple networks, including National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and PBS. For his most recent project before ‘Yosemite,’ PBS Nature’s ‘Snow Monkeys,’ Joe and his wife, Nim Pontecorvo, spent nearly two years filming a troop of Japanese macaques in Japan’s Shiga Highlands. Go behind-the-scenes into the making of that film here.

Learn More about Joe

Happy Earth Day! Check back Saturday for answers! 

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The Brain Scoop
Wolves can be… Coy
 

Wolves and humans have a prehistoric relationship - and it’s complicated, to say the least. Between the 1600s and the mid 1960s, nearly every wolf in the lower 48 states was completely wiped out; the eradication of wolves was largely encouraged by government-issued bounties and extermination programs, carried out by farmers and ranchers who saw wolves as threats to their livestock and families.

But after the gray wolf received protection by the Endangered Species Act in1974 and populations started once again spreading across the United States, a funny thing began happening. The wolves - unable to find and therefore breed with other wolves due to scarcity of individuals - ended up breeding with coyotes instead.

And now, there exists a huge amount of confusion about some of these populations; wolves and coyotes are hybridizing at a rate faster than can be detected through scientific studies or can be managed by wildlife conservation laws and programs. How much DNA of an endangered species does an organism need to have before we consider it endangered itself? How can we enforce laws and regulations to manage - or restrict management - of population growth? 

We spent four months working on this video and it’s the most comprehensive episode we’ve ever made for The Brain Scoop. We even got the grossometer back in there. I hope you like it- and please do share! 

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Celebrate Wildlife Wednesday with Elephant Seals from California’s Piedras Blancas! 

The Piedras Blancas Light Station is a historic landmark on California’s central coast. Located on a rugged windswept point of land 6 miles north of Hearst Castle along California’s scenic Highway One, the Lighthouse was first illuminated in 1875, and today beckons the visitor a respite from the modern world.

The Light Station is named for the distinctive white rocks that loom just offshore. These rocks, and the rugged shoreline, are home to seabirds, sea lions, and elephant seals. Over 70 native plant species can be found on the 19 acres surrounding the Light Station.

The beaches stretching north and south from the Lighthouse have a large breeding colony of elephant seals.    

Photos and video footage by Bob Wick, BLM. Video created by John Ciccarelli, BLM.

A humpback whale swims off of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. It is the first time that a pod of humpback whales has been photographed underwater in Britain.

Photograph: Richard Shucksmith/Barcroft

Seabird selfie! 

Each year, Laysan albatrosses return to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to breed and lay their eggs. This one tried to get acquainted with the camera! 

You can help Laysan albatrosses by reducing the amount of plastic you use and always properly disposing of trash. Discarded plastic often ends up in the ocean, where to an albatross, it looks rather like food.

(Photo: Wayne Sentman)