When a male peacock shakes his extravagant tail feathers, he makes sure that it is known. a new study has revealed that the broadband sounds produced by male peacocks when they are showing off to attract mates actually shake the feathers of female peacocks. learn more at earth.com
Thousands of hectares of rainforest are cleared each year to meet the growing global demand for palm oil. indonesia and malaysia collectively produce nearly 85 percent of the world’s palm oil, and one study reports that indonesia had the highest rate of deforestation in 2012.
researchers at the école polytechnique fédérale de lausanne (epfl) have analyzed the carbon costs and benefits of converting rainforests into oil palm plantations. learn more at earth.com
Some of the world’s leading primate researchers have investigated the influence of human activities on wild primates. the team found that the natural habitats of primates could decline by up to 78 percent this century across regions where the animals are commonly found. learn more at earth.com
The coral restoration foundation (crf), in collaboration with the georgia aquarium, is currently taking on one of the largest coral restoration efforts in the world.
the florida reef tract is a vital reef at the core of an extremely diverse and vibrant ecosystem, and the work being done by the crf could lay the groundwork for bringing reefs back from the brink worldwide. learn more at earth.com
A international team of scientists has found that mud volcanoes play a major role in the global methane cycle that has been largely overlooked and underestimated. sediment samples collected by the researchers at a depth of 200 meters in an underwater mud volcano contained microorganisms that were found to produce about 90 percent of the methane released from that depth. learn more at earth.com
The painted lady butterfly makes the longest known migration of any butterfly to date, according to new research from the british ecological society.
each year, painted lady butterflies travel over 7,450 miles and cross the sahara desert twice in the process as they migrate from europe to africa and then to the mediterranean in early spring. learn more at earth.com
Biodiversity is a word like sustainability or evolution, a complex concept wrapped into a buzzword few fully understand. it’s important to understand biodiversity, though, because often it is seen as a measure of success within conservation biology, and conservation biology is one of the most influential arms of the environmental movement. learn more at earth.com
A new study has revealed that ice loss in antarctica has increased the global mean sea level by 7.6 millimeters since 1992. the researchers also found that three millimeters of this sea level rise has occurred in the last five years alone. learn more at earth.com
An investigation led by the university of washington has found that if forage fish continue to be farmed at the current rate, their populations will be overextended by the year 2050 or possibly even sooner. the experts report that this threshold could be avoided with simple changes in aquaculture and agriculture production. learn more at earth.com
An international team of researchers has found that some of africa’s largest baobab trees are abruptly and rapidly dying out. the experts are reporting that most of the oldest baobab trees, which are known for being extremely resilient, are likely the victims of climate change.
referring to the discovery as “an event of an unprecedented magnitude,” the study authors explained: “we report that nine of the 13 oldest individuals have died, or at least their oldest parts or stems have collapsed and died, over the past 12 years.” learn more at earth.com
There’s been a line drawn in the hot desert sands of southern africa. on one side, you’ll find angry herds of biologists, activists, and conservationists stomping their feet; on the other – a pack of politicians and hunters bearing their teeth. consequently, with the recent ban lift on the wildlife trophy importation of elephants, it’s become an all-out primal battle between them on who represents the animal kingdom’s best interests. learn more at earth.com
Coral reefs are declining at an alarming rate worldwide. between coral bleaching, pollution, severe storms, and disrupting human activities like tourism and fishing, coral reefs which contain vital habits for marine wildlife, are struggling to adapt and recover.
now, a new study has found that sea level rise poses yet another threat to coral growth and preservation. learn more at earth.com