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Category Archive for 'Wildlife'

Too many powerful fishing boats We all know the oceans are in trouble. Since “large-scale fishing” began in 1952, the abundance of large oceanic fish has decreased globally by 90%. Too many boats with too much capacity are chasing too few fish. Bottom trawlers drag nets across sea beds and coral reefs, cutting down everything […]

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Photo showing an orangutan engaged in the TUBE task. Photo used with permission of the researcher  William Hopkins. Mmm, love that peanut butter Apes are right-handed or left-handed, just like us. Not a big surprise, since they’re our closest evolutionary relatives. A research team led by William Hopkins of Agnes Scott College recently tested 777 […]

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Polar bear. Photo credit: wikimedia commons  Two-thirds of the world’s polar bears could disappear within 50 years due to greenhouse-gas emissions, said a 2007 report by the U.S. Geological Survey. The bears need Arctic sea ice in order to hunt the seals and other offshore prey that sustain them. But our warming climate is rapidly […]

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South African lion taking a break from his kill, a Cape buffalo. Photo: Sally Kneidel Lions extinct in 10-15 years? That’s the prediction of National Geographic explorers-in-residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert. The couple have studied and filmed Africa’s big cats for more than 25 years. They say that wild lions have declined from 400,000 in […]

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Photo: wikimedia commons People are good at detecting human personalities accurately, even from expressionless mug shots. A study last year showed that we can reliably tell who is extroverted, emotionally stable, agreeable or imaginative – just from their blank and expressionless faces. We can read chimps too A new study shows that we can also […]

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African elephants in Kruger National Park. Photo: Sally Kneidel Just saw a distressing news item.  In an interview published 1/27/11, scientist Ian Craigie says populations of big mammals in Africa have decreased 59% in 40 years. And those figures are only from protected areas such as national parks. If unprotected areas were included in the […]

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Text and photo by Sally Kneidel, PhD Attaching bands to birds is a longstanding method of studying bird populations. The bands allow researchers to collect data on birds’ movements and longevity. But scientists have been debating for 30 years whether bands on penguins may hurt the birds.  On aquatic or marine birds, such as penguins, […]

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Young chimps. Photo: Delphine Bruyere My husband and I raised one girl and one boy, close together in age. We tried hard to avoid gender-stereotyping our young kids in any way. They had the same toys, many of them gender neutral, for some time. Our son clung to the baseball fence, drooling As it happened, […]

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Readers, a woman who works for the Nature Conservancy asked me to post this article debating fake vs. real Christmas trees, by the Conservancy’s Frank Lowenstein. It’s also posted on the Nature Conservancy website. The debate is worth thinking about this time of year, although the solution is murky, for me.  Following is Frank’s article […]

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Most people are surprised to learn that unlawful traffic in wildlife and wildlife parts is the third biggest criminal activity in the world, after drugs and arms. The illegal hunting of great apes is so pervasive that it may threaten their survival even more than habitat loss does. Habitat loss is rampant these days, due […]

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