Tagged: Biodiversity

Meet 5 of Australia’s tiniest mammals, who tread a tightrope between life and death every night - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 29, 2021

Andrew Baker, Queensland University of Technology Australia has a rich diversity of mammals, with around 320 native, land-based species, 87% of which are found here and nowhere else. Many of these mammals are secretive, only active at night, and small, weighing less than one kilogram. Mammals are “endotherms”, which means they must generate their own heat and maintain the … Read More

Treated like dirt: urban soil is often overlooked as a resource - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 27, 2021

Roisin O’Riordan, Lancaster University When you think about soil, you probably think of rolling fields of countryside. But what about urban soil? With city dwellers expected to account for 68% of the world’s population by 2050, this oft forgotten resource is increasingly important. City-based agriculture is on the rise. But urban soil is more often associated with contamination … Read More

Seedkeeping can connect people with their roots and preserve crops for future generations - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 23, 2021

Natalie Jesionka, University of Toronto “All seeds are sacred, these seeds are connected to 10,000 years of human relationship to the land,” says Owen Taylor, co-founder of Philadelphia-based Truelove Seeds, who sells vegetable, herb and flower seeds that tell ancestral and regional stories. He adds, “seedkeeping refers to not just the saving of seeds, but also the keeping of … Read More

The secret life of puddles: their value to nature is subtle, but hugely important - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Mar 30, 2021

Gregory Moore, The University of Melbourne It’s official: Australians endured the coldest, wettest summer in at least five years thanks to La Niña, a climate phenomenon over the Pacific Ocean. Before we knew it, autumn rolled in bringing more rain. Tragically, it led to widespread flooding across New South Wales, but elsewhere it helped to create more puddles. Read More

Many New Zealand species are already at risk because of predators and habitat loss. Climate change makes things worse - Planetary Ecology

Guest Author Mar 24, 2021

Cate Macinnis-Ng, University of Auckland and Angus Mcintosh, University of Canterbury Islands are biodiversity hotspots. They are home to 20% of the world’s plants and animals yet cover only 5% of the global landmass. But island ecosystems are highly vulnerable, threatened by habitat fragmentation and introduced invasive weeds and predators. Climate change adds to all these stresses. In our … Read More

Time to make nature studies a compulsory school subject – before it’s too late - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Mar 22, 2021

Matthew Adams, University of Brighton The UK government is reported to be seriously considering making “nature studies” a compulsory subject for all pupils. It’s a move that was recommended in the recent government-commissioned Dasgupta review, a detailed analysis of the “economics of biodiversity”. The review is long and technical, but in among the tables and statistics, there are … Read More

UN report says up to 850,000 animal viruses could be caught by humans, unless we protect nature - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 01, 2020

Katie Woolaston, Queensland University of Technology and Judith Lorraine Fisher Human damage to biodiversity is leading us into a pandemic era. The virus that causes COVID-19, for example, is linked to similar viruses in bats, which may have been passed to humans via pangolins or another species. Environmental destruction such as land clearing, deforestation, climate change, intense agriculture and the … Read More

‘Compassionate conservation’: just because we love invasive animals, doesn’t mean we should protect them - Guest Work

Guest Author Sep 09, 2020

Kaya Klop-Toker, University of Newcastle; Alex Callen, University of Newcastle; Andrea Griffin, University of Newcastle; Matt Hayward, University of Newcastle, and Robert Scanlon, University of Newcastle On an island off the Queensland coast, a battle is brewing over the fate of a small population of goats. The battle positions the views of some conservation scientists and managers who believe … Read More

The climate crisis is also a biodiversity crisis - Guest Work

Guest Author Jan 08, 2020

Dr Andrea Byrom Like many of us, the summer break has seen me transfixed with horror at the scale and magnitude of the bushfire crisis in Australia. As an ecologist, I can’t help but be appalled at the loss of some of Australia’s most beautiful ecosystems and landscapes. And as someone who experienced all 20,000 (and counting) Christchurch earthquakes, … Read More

Dissecting the Insect Apocalypse - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 09, 2019

Tom Saunders Studies on insect declines published over the last few years have thrown up some scary headlines. “The insect apocalypse is here” proclaims the New York Times, warning the pace of insect declines could spell catastrophe within decades. It’s a grim picture, but how accurate is it? In late 2017, European scientists reported a 75% decline in insects over the last … Read More