Earth

DENVER/May 17, 2018 - Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers from the University of Sydney have found a previously undiscovered hepadnavirus in an immunocompromised cat, and subsequently in banked feline blood samples. The research team published their results today in the prestigious journal Viruses.

Numerous bat species hunt and migrate at great altitudes. Yet the open sky had, until recently, not been on the radar of conservation scientists as a habitat relevant to a large variety of species. Christian Voigt and colleagues from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin have collated the current scientific knowledge on potential hazards to one group of animals flying at high altitudes, bats.

More Canadian cities will experience damage from the emerald ash borer than previously thought. As a result of climate change and fewer days of extreme cold, the beetle may eat its way further north than originally estimated.

Kim Cuddington, a professor of biology at the University of Waterloo, led the team that produced a probability map for North America showing where the emerald ash borer is likely to kill trees.

Tokyo, Japan - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University and Shimane University have created a transparent hybrid film that combines natural clay minerals and dyes into a material that changes color in response to environmental humidity. The color change does not involve breaking chemical bonds; the team uncovered a novel mechanism that makes the process easily reversible, for long-lasting functionality using environmentally friendly materials. Applications include environmental sensors, and state-of-the-art light amplification in displays.

Current global warming has far-reaching ecological consequences, also for the Earth's oceans. Many marine organisms are reacting by migrating towards the poles. Researchers at Geozentrum Nordbayern at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that marine animals have been migrating for millions of years when the temperature on Earth increases or decreases.

Marine animals follow changed temperature zones to the poles or equator

Many of the European mammals whose habitat is being destroyed by climate change are not able to find new places to live elsewhere.

30 of the 62 mammal species in the University of Exeter study will have their habitat substantially affected by climate change, but don't have the traits that could allow them to colonise a new habitat somewhere else in Europe.

These included at-risk species such as the wolverine (classified as "vulnerable" in Europe), and others not classified as under threat, such as the Eurasian elk, the Iberian wild goat and the Pyrenean chamois.

Boulder, Colo., USA: Research undertaken in South Africa's Kruger National Park (KNP) has shown that some of the world's most sensitive and valuable riverine habitats are being destroyed due to an increasing frequency of cyclone-driven extreme floods.

A team of researchers believe that, paradoxically, climate change may result in Quebec's national and provincial parks becoming biodiversity refuges of continental importance as the variety of species present there increases. They used ecological niche modeling to calculate potential changes in the presence of 529 species in about 1/3 of the protected areas in southern Quebec almost all of which were under 50 km2 in size.

BOSTON (May 17, 2018) Airborne marine biologists were dazzled by the diversity and abundance of large, unusual and sometimes endangered marine wildlife on a recent trip to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument, about 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod. Scientists with the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium observed dozens of dolphins mixing with schools of pilot whales plus more than a dozen of the very rarely seen and mysterious Sowerby's beaked whales.

(Millbrook, NY) Ecologists have long known that agricultural and sewage pollution can cause low oxygen conditions and fish kills in rivers. A study published today in Nature Communications reports that hippo waste can have a similar effect in Africa's Mara River, which passes through the world renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve of Kenya, home to more than 4,000 hippos.