Category Archives: Climate, Environment and Biodiversity

Climate change and reptile sex

A recent study on turtle behaviour in response to temperature change has resulted in concern for the future of the North American painted turtle (Chrysemys picta). Soil temperature determines the sex of the turtle species, as is the case for … Continue reading

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Tracking biodiversity with flesh-eating flies

Flesh-eating carrion flies have recently been used by German scientists to provide DNA samples, allowing rapid resource efficient determination of mammalian biodiversity in an area. This is particularly useful for very rare mammal species that are difficult to locate using … Continue reading

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The ‘real’ rate of extinction

Scientists have suggested that extinction rates may have been over-exaggerated as a result of incorrect estimates of total biodiversity. A recent study proposed that there may be less plant and animal biodiversity than predicted and this has led to skewed extinction … Continue reading

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Controversial cat management

Gareth Morgan, a conservation campaigner and economist, has recently made a controversial suggestion to confine or eradicate cats from New Zealand because of their impact on wildlife. New Zealand birds are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of introduced mammalian predators … Continue reading

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Peatlands mitigate climate change

Wetlands International has proposed that reinstating drained wetlands is a cost-efficient, rapid and effective means of combating climate change. Although peatlands cover only 3% of the world’s surface they are said to have tremendous potential for climate mitigation as they … Continue reading

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Anticipating ecological tipping points

Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, intend to use past research and case studies of ecological tipping points to develop a set of early-warning indicators to predict, and hopefully prevent, delicate ecosystems from collapsing. Examples of detrimental tipping … Continue reading

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The buzz around pesticides

Evidence is mounting regarding the environmental damage caused by ‘nerve-agent’ pesticides such as Cruiser OSR, which contains the active ingredient thiamethoxam derived from the neo-nicotinoid family of insecticides. Cruiser OSR is used to treat rapeseed crops however, two recent studies … Continue reading

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