Tagged: conservation

Resolving a genetic mash-up: reconstructing an accurate evolutionary history of kākāriki - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Sep 10, 2021

Prioritising species conservation and over-stretched government funding is built upon an accurate understanding of evolutionary relationships and taxonomy. But what if that evolutionary history is wrong? More importantly, what are the consequences for endangered biodiversity as conservation funding and resources are re-assigned? Numerous examples have come to light in recent years where genetic techniques have shown previously recognised endangered or … Read More

New research reveals animals are changing their body shapes to cope with climate change - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Sep 08, 2021

Sara Ryding, Deakin University and Matthew Symonds, Deakin University   Global warming is a big challenge for warm-blooded animals, which must maintain a constant internal body temperature. As anyone who’s experienced heatstroke can tell you, our bodies become severely stressed when we overheat. Animals are dealing with global warming in various ways. Some move to cooler areas, such as … Read More

Why climate change is forcing conservationists to be more ambitious: by moving threatened species to pastures new - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Jul 19, 2021

Sarah Elizabeth Dalrymple, Liverpool John Moores University As climate change brings record droughts and floods, extended fire seasons continue to make headlines, and the role of humans in this terrible situation is now undisputed, institutional change has been slow and unsteady. In particular, conservationists have been wary of pointing to climate change as the biggest threat … Read More

Stoatally different! How the ‘science of individuals’ is changing how we see pests. - Hot off the press

Guest Author Jun 30, 2021

Jamie McAulay, Department of Conservation It’s just before midday and starting to drizzle as stoat trapper Ana Richards pulls a rotting stoat carcass from a DOC trap and scoops it into a plastic container, dripping. She’s 4 days into a 6 day trapping trip through Fiordland’s wild Murchison Mountains. From this rugged spur, the stinky … Read More

From Aptornis to Zosterops: What can be done about an extinction crisis 50,000 years in the making? - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Jun 28, 2021

Conservation comes down to values. Do we only focus on the charismatic animals and the things we can see, or do we conserve the out-of-sight, out-of-mind Lilliputs? If that world collapses, you can be sure ours is next. I’m standing in the basement of our National Museum Te Papa Tongarewa surrounded by the ghostly remains of New Zealand’s bygone bird … Read More

Despite major conservation efforts, populations of New Zealand’s iconic kiwi are more vulnerable than people realise - Hot off the press

Guest Author May 13, 2021

Isabel Castro, Massey University   Kiwi are moved between populations to lower the risk of inbreeding. Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, CC BY-SA Like many endangered species, Aotearoa’s flightless and nocturnal kiwi survive only in small, fragmented and isolated populations. This leads to inbreeding and, eventually, inbreeding depression — reduced survival and fertility of offspring. Mixing kiwi from different populations … Read More

The SMC Video Competition: Ecological Cluedo - Guest Work

Guest Author Oct 30, 2020

Recently, the Science Media Centre ran the third round of its 2020 SAVVY Video Competition for science researchers. With entries ranging from kea tracking to Beethoven’s piano pieces, we judges were incredibly impressed by the creativity and quality of submissions. This week, we’re featuring the work of the winner, conservation biologist Bridgette Farnworth. Our streams and lakebeds host … Read More

Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance - Guest Work

Guest Author Sep 11, 2020

Chantal Denise Pagel, Auckland University of Technology; Mark Orams, Auckland University of Technology, and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology Three people were injured last month in separate humpback whale encounters off the Western Australia coast. The incidents happened during snorkelling tours on Ningaloo Reef when swimmers came too close to a mother and her calf. Swim encounters with … 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