Friday, January 21, 2011

Long-distance migration may help reduce infectious disease risks for many animal species

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.
[Source: eurekalert]

Expanding Sustainable Timber in Tanzania

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: a working list of all known plant species

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]