Biodiversity & Conservation

Biodiversity damage mapped in global land-use study by the Natural History Museum & UNEP-WCMC

Infographic by Laura Cattaneo, demonstrating the history of biodiversity, population and land-use from the year 1800 until the year 2100. © Laura Cattaneo

Humanity’s use of land for agricultural production has come at a cost to local ecosystems worldwide, but some of the damage can be reversed, according to a major collaborative research project from the Natural History Museum, United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), and British universities.

Diversity prevents resistance: habitats rich in species make it easier to combat pests

In habitats rich in different species, pests don't become resistant to chemical control agents as quickly (© André Künzelmann, UFZ).

A diverse and species-rich agricultural landscape is also beneficial to farmers. This isn't just because there are plenty of pollinating insects, creepy crawly pest controllers and other useful helpers. Read more »

Using Gameplay to Challenge our Understanding of Sustainable Fishing

Screenshot of gameplay from the ecoOcean overfishing simulation game

A new and innovative computer game has been developed that allows players to experience and explore the complexities of sustainable fishing. The game has been used as an interactive stakeholder communication measure by the EC-funded SOCIOEC project, an initiative that was dedicated to investigating the socio economic effects of fisheries management measures of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The game allows players to directly investigate the effects of different fisheries management measures on fishermen’s behaviour. Read more »

Taking nature's best ideas to solve human problems

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The IBERS living walls on Gogerddan campus

A newly established Plants & Architecture Network has been set up between Aberystwyth, Bangor and Cardiff Universities with funding via Welsh Government’s Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and the Environment (NRN-LCEE). Read more »

Non-hooked birds: how to avoid seabird bycatch in the Mediterranean?

Seabirds are the most endangered bird species in the world due to fishing practices, predation and the loss of breeding habitat (image: Vero Cortés, UB-IRBio)

Night setting; bird scaring lines; weighted branchlines that sink rapidly; fish offal and bait covered on board so it doesn’t attract seabirds to the boats; deck lights kept at the minimum level, and discards not thrown back into the sea. Read more »

Germany’s “energywende” threatens migratory bats

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Soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus): A small European bat species, which is presumably migrating over long distances. Photo: C.C.Voigt

Numerous bats are killed by German wind turbines. The number of such turbines, already very high, is planned to be increased further. More than two-thirds of bats being killed by wind turbines on German ground are migrants on their way between summer and winter habitats. Due to its geographical location in Europe, Germany has consequently a central responsibility for the conservation of migratory bats. Read more »

You can hear the coral reefs dying

Lionfish in an Indonesian coral reef

You can hear the sound of former bustling coral reefs dying due to the impact of human activity, according to new research from the Universities of Essex and Exeter. Coral reefs are amongst the noisiest environments on our planet and healthy reefs can be heard by using underwater microphones from kilometres away. However, scientists have found that coral reefs impacted by human activity, such as overfishing, are much quieter than protected reefs, which can have a big impact on the fish and invertebrates which rely on the reefs for survival. Read more »

Primates are indispensable for the regeneration of tropical forests

Moustached tamarins (Saguinus mystax) contribute crucially to the seed dispersal of the neotropical tree Parkia panurensis (Photo: Julia Diegmann)

Primates can influence seed dispersal and spatial genetic kinship structure of plants that serve as their food source. This is the result of a cooperation project of behavioral ecologist Eckhard W. Heymann from the German Primate Center (DPZ) with plant geneticists Birgit Ziegenhagen and Ronald Bialozyt from the Philipps-University Marburg. Read more »

Surfers Against Sewage call for innovative new measures to rid the UK coastline of marine litter

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) has launched a crucial new environmental report calling for a 50% reduction in UK beach litter by 2020. The Marine Litter Report sounds the alarm for the UK’s trashed tidelines, highlighting the environmental impacts on marine ecosystems and wildlife, and the unaffordable costs to industries including fisheries and tourism. Read more »

Taxing ammunition pushes cost-sensitive bushmeat hunters to conserve wildlife

After the cost of ammunition increased, Amazonian hunters hunted much less small animals, like these toucans, than before. (Photo © Eriberto Gualinga)

Hunting of bushmeat is one major cause of biodiversity loss in tropical countries. Research has shown that consumers of wildlife are price sensitive and that the quantity of meat purchased is influenced by the cost of bushmeat and its substitutes. Now also the behavior of the hunters has been studied. Read more »

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