It's a common assumption that animal migration, like human travel across the globe, can transport pathogens long distances, in some cases increasing disease risks to humans. West Nile Virus, for example, spread rapidly along the East coast of the U.S., most likely due to the movements of migratory birds. But in a paper just published in the journal Science, researchers in the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology report that in some cases, animal migrations could actually help reduce the spread and prevalence of disease and may even promote the evolution of less-virulent disease strains. Read detailed report here.
Friday, January 21, 2011
There are many negative environmental impacts of globalization — increased pollution, depleted natural resources and an overtaxed food system, to name a few.
The East African blackwood tree (Dalbergia melanoxylon) — known as mpingo in Swahili — may sound exotic to people outside Africa, but chances are you’ve seen it. Its wood is prized for use in musical instruments like clarinets and bagpipes, as well as the traditional sculptures seen in African villages and on Western city streets. However, unregulated logging has seriously depleted much of the tree’s native habitat, posing a threat to the local economy as well as the species that dwell in these forests.
[Source: Conservation International Blog]
The Plant List is a working list of all known plant species. Version 1, released in December 2010, aims to be comprehensive for species of Vascular plant (flowering plants, conifers, ferns and their allies) and of Bryophytes (mosses and liverworts). It does not include algae or fungi. Version 1 contains 1,244,871 million scientific plant names of which 298,900 are accepted species names. It includes no vernacular or common plant names.
[Source: The Plant List]
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Species loss tied to ecosystem collapse and recovery; Conservation biologists regularly note the precipitous decline of key species, such as cod, bluefin tuna, swordfish and sharks. Lose enough of these top-line predators (among other species), and the fear is that the oceanic web of life may collapse.
[Source: Brown University]
[Source: Brown University]
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Archaeologists have developed oak ring width chronologies from Central Europe that cover nearly the entire Holocene and have used them for the purpose of dating artefacts, historical buildings, antique artwork and furniture. [Source of news and photo: BBC]
Monday, January 3, 2011
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has released a list of species that are Critically Endangered. Mentioned in the list are seven species of birds, one mammal and four amphibians/reptiles. There is also a sub-list of 22 species which are not endemic to India, but are Critically Endangered .