Restoring ecosystems, transforming lives

This post contributed by Jill Petraglia Parsons, science programs manager at the Ecological Society of America. In areas of the world where local people rely on subsistence agriculture, ecosystem degradation can threaten the lives and resilience of the community. On China’s Loess Plateau in Linxia County, Gansu, this was exactly the case for some time. Though this area was once incredibly fertile, decades of farming and grazing...

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From the Community Special Edition: Earth Day 2010

Inside the NASA tent on the National Mall Credit: NASA Scientists, reporters, policymakers, filmmakers…all across the globe, people are talking about the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. Here is what they have been saying: Agencies such as NOAA and the EPA call for Americans to take action by conserving water, recycling, being “seafood savvy” and getting involved with the White House’s Earth Day efforts; while NRDC provides four reasons...

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From the Community: Giant monitor lizard, seafloor scavengers and fruit fly aerodynamics

Climate change prompts migratory birds to stay home, Simpsons’ writer talks conservation and the U.K. announces newest and largest MPA. Here’s what is happening in ecology from the second week in April. Fruit flies in flight: Scientists analyze the locomotion of fruit flies and determine the key to their quick turnaround is simply a 9 degree wing-tilt difference (see above). Read more at “High-Speed Video Shows How Flies Change...

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ESA Policy News: April 9

Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by ESA’s Science Policy Analyst, Piper Corp. Read the full Policy News here. OFFSHORE DRILLING: CONGRESS DEMURS AS OBAMA ADMIN PROPOSES OPENING NEW AREAS FOR LEASING; ENVIRO REVIEWS, CONSTRUCTION WILL KEEP DRILLING AT BAY FOR YEARS-On March 31, President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced plans to open new areas—primarily along the Atlantic Coast and in the...

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Protecting the elusive, cave-dwelling troglobites

“Who will speak for the imperiled troglobites? Charismatic megafauna, they are not. Troglobites—not to be confused with troglodytes (cavemen) or trilobites (extinct arthropods)—are neither warm-blooded nor fuzzy. Most are invertebrates, including insects and crustaceans, but there are also troglobitic fish and amphibians—and all are as weird as they are rare.” Kaua’i cave wolf spider Credit: FWS That’s how Katherine Ellison...

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Peruvian boobies have the advantage as solitary hunters

Peruvian booby Just off the coast of Peru, the Humboldt Current produces one of the most productive marine ecosystems on the planet. Humans and animals alike have based their livelihood on the abundance of marine life that results from the deep, nutrient-rich waters of this coastal upwelling. Seabirds, which gather in massive groups off the coast to prey on schools of fish, have been completely sustained, until recently: Anchovy...

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