From the Community: healthy green spaces, beak deformities and ocean acidification

National Geographic launches the new series Great Migrations, New Scientist outlines the multiple benefits of living near parks and other green spaces, scientists explore the physics of cat lapping, Brandon Keim from Wired Science joins researchers in an abandoned mine to test bats for White Nose Syndrome and the United States Geological Survey seeks help from bird watchers to track a recent spike in beak deformities. Here is the...

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From the Community: street lamps, traffic lights and nuclear energy

Songbirds become disoriented by street lamps, plants adapt to the conditions near Chernobyl, a newly discovered spider spins gigantic webs with the strongest known biological material in the world, traffic light experiment shows promise of reducing emissions and easing traffic congestion and researchers discuss the Daily Show with Jon Stewart as an outlet for communicating science to the public. Here are some of the latest stories in...

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White-nose syndrome still devastating bats and challenging scientists

A healthy Virginia big-eared bat in WV Credit: Jeff Hajenga, WVDNR In an effort to conserve and research the endangered Virginia big-eared bat, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo took in 40 bats in November 2009. The goal was to establish a security population and to scientifically develop husbandry practices in a subspecies that researchers have not attempted to conserve before.  According to a press release, “The possible extinction of...

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Video evidence of white-nose syndrome

The U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with Ravenswood Media, has produced an informational video about white-nose syndrome in bats (learn about WNS in this ESA press release).  The video doesn’t include the latest news — that Pennsylvania has ordered all bats taken from afflected caves to be killed — but it’s a good overview of the current state of information on the disease. Or, really, the lack thereof. In...

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White-nose syndrome forces cave closings

White-nose syndrome, a mysterious disease that has been killing hundreds of thousands of North American bats since its discovery in 2007, has now forced the U.S. Forest Service to close caves in national forests across the country in an attempt to rein in transmission of the disease. The disease is caused by a cold-loving fungus that infects bats’ faces and wings during the winter months, disrupting their hibernation patterns...

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