Tagged: ecology

Life’s a beach: NZ scientists on their favourite beaches - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 16, 2017

Many Kiwis have a favourite seaside spot they escape to in the summer and scientists are no exception. In this NIWA Summer Series article, six scientists reveal their summer getaway beaches and reflect on how these holiday hotspots are changing. Dr Ken Grange, Regional Manager, Nelson. Dr Ken Grange. Credit: NIWA. Beach: Rarawa Beach, east coast Far North How long have you been … Read More

In search of salmon - Field Work

Guest Work Dec 26, 2016

Phil Jellyman is jet boating up the Waimakariri River in Canterbury – not because it’s a fun thing to do but in search of salmon. The NIWA freshwater fish ecologist is planning to implant acoustic tags on the fish to find out whether irrigation schemes are affecting their migration to spawning grounds up river. Along the river he will install … Read More

Local extinctions: Climate change’s vanishing trick - News

John Kerr Dec 09, 2016

Now you see them, now you don’t. Hundreds of species have already undergone ‘local extinctions’ because of climate change, according to new a study. As overall temperatures increase around the world thanks to climate change, plants and animals are starting to shift their geographic range closer to the cooler poles of the planet, or higher up the slopes of mountains. Read More

Radical overhaul needed to halt Earth’s sixth great extinction event - Guest Work

Guest Work Nov 11, 2016

By Bill Laurance, James Cook University and Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University Life has existed on Earth for roughly 3.7 billion years. During that time we know of five mass extinction events — dramatic episodes when many, if not most, life forms vanished in a geological heartbeat. The most recent of these was the global … Read More

Reducing food waste could put birds and animals at risk - Guest Work

Guest Work Nov 10, 2016

By Ninah Kopel, The Conversation Well-intended efforts to reduce food waste could threaten some birds and animal species, a new paper has warned. Writing in the journal Animal Conservation, researchers have called for scientists to consider how food efficiency measures may affect animal populations that rely on landfill and other food waste to survive. The warning comes … Read More

Ancient rat dung a window into the past - News

John Kerr Nov 03, 2016

The bits of plant and animal matter found in fossilised rat poo can tell us a rich and detailed story of New Zealand’s past. Rat droppings are something most people actively avoid, but not Associate Professor Janet Wilmshurst. She has just been awarded a $830,000 grant from the Marsden Fund to take a closer look at preserved … Read More

Climate change: Biologists told to ‘pull on their boots’ and collect data - News

John Kerr Sep 11, 2016

An international team of 22 biologists have called on their colleagues to get cracking and collect certain types of data to help predict how the planet’s estimated 8.7 million species will handle a warmer future. “Our biggest challenge is pinpointing which species to concentrate on and which regions we need to allocate resources,” says Associate Professor Mark Urban from the University of Connecticut, lead author … Read More

Ice ages led to ‘explosive’ diversity in Kiwi species - News

John Kerr Sep 01, 2016

Ancient walls of ice separating kiwi populations have left their mark in the DNA of New Zealand’s most iconic species. A new study published this week in PNAS has revealed the enormous impact historic cold snaps had on the evolution of kiwis. Researchers based in Canada, in collaboration with Department of Conservation scientists, examined a database of kiwi DNA across the geographic … Read More

Climate impacts on southern species – where’s the data? - News

John Kerr Aug 23, 2016

We need to keep an eye on key species to track the impacts of climate change, but southern hemisphere countries like New Zealand and Australia are falling behind. The warning comes from South African and Australian scientists in an article published today in Austral Ecology. As the world warms, say the authors, we need long-term data to understand how plants and animals are changing … Read More

Whale of a problem: why do humpbacks protect other species? - Guest Work

Guest Work Aug 17, 2016

By Tracey Rogers, UNSW Australia A group of killer whales are on the hunt. They work together to submerge and drown a whale calf. But then more whales appear. The newly arrived humpbacks bellow a trumpet-like call, and wield their five-metre-long pectoral flippers like swords against the prowling killer whales. The killer whales are driven away from the … Read More