Environment and Ecology

Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law - Planetary Ecology

Robert McLachlan Nov 12, 2019

Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt the whole #zerocarbonbill thing. Page 15?? … Read More

Climate change will fuel bush fires - Guest Work

Guest Author Nov 12, 2019

Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only minor, with New Zealand firefighters gearing up for possible deployment … Read More

The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds? - Guest Work

Guest Author Nov 05, 2019

Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as well as making the water safer for recreational activities and … Read More

A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolution - Guest Work

Guest Author Nov 01, 2019

Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits in the branches of trees to snack on later in … Read More

What to do about the Trade In Endangered Species Act - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Oct 24, 2019

A discussion document on our TIES legislation was introduced by the Conservation Minister recently. This Act is the main tool we use to as a party of the CITES treaty (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species 1973). The motivation for the proposed changes clearly comes from the dramatic decline in the elephant populations since 2009, generated in large … Read More

Zombie ants, updated - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Oct 22, 2019

Back in 2010, I wrote about the strange tale of the zombie ants, which do the bidding of their fungal overlords. (They’re not an isolated example; a range of parasites change their hosts’ behaviour. See here and here for example – though as you’ll find, the toxoplasmosis story may be even more complex than first thought.) There’s … Read More

Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Oct 17, 2019

Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural importance and food security); (5) facilitating safe recreational water use; … Read More

Collins crushes climate - Planetary Ecology

Robert McLachlan Oct 15, 2019

An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified by the New Zealand Government, of which Judith … Read More

Why are climate change skeptics often right-wing conservatives? - Climate: Explained

Guest Author Sep 20, 2019

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why are climate change skeptics often right-wing conservatives? Yu Luo, University of British Columbia; Jiaying Zhao, University … Read More