Where will the whales be? Ecological forecast models present new tools for conservation

Dynamic forecast models predict environmental conditions and blue whale distribution up to three weeks into the future, with applications for spatial management. Founded on a robust understanding of ecological links and lags, a new study by Barlow & Torres presents new tools for proactive conservation. The ocean is dynamic. Resources are patchy, and animals move in response to the shifting and fluid marine environment. Therefore, … Continue reading Where will the whales be? Ecological forecast models present new tools for conservation

Cross-species transmission: what is the role of wildlife in sustaining rabies spread?

Understanding the role of different species in the transmission of multi-host pathogens is vital for effective control strategies. In their latest research, Lushasi and colleagues present data from a previously unstudied area of south-east Tanzania following the introduction of large-scale dog vaccination.  Rabies is one of the world’s most feared diseases due to its high case fatality rate. Despite the existence of safe and effective … Continue reading Cross-species transmission: what is the role of wildlife in sustaining rabies spread?

Taming the wild uncertainty of a multi-species reintroduction project

Reintroduction projects are becoming more complex, often involving the translocation of multiple species. In their latest research, Peterson and colleagues use ensembles of ecosystem models to compare 23 alternative reintroduction strategies on Dirk Hartog Island in Western Australia  The idea of “rewilding” has gained popularity worldwide, and there is an interesting dialogue at play around the meaning of the term – some may allude to “playing … Continue reading Taming the wild uncertainty of a multi-species reintroduction project

Supporting biological pest control with different agri-environment schemes

Biological pest control is a key ecosystem service in sustainable agriculture. In their latest research, Edina Török and colleagues investigated and evaluated the efficacy of two of the most popular agri-environment schemes (AES): organic farming and flower strips. Organic farming and flower strips both have features that are beneficial for the natural enemies of crop pests. Organic farming is considered to be an environmentally friendly … Continue reading Supporting biological pest control with different agri-environment schemes

Can we save a migratory vulture population with captive-raised birds?

A new study by Steffen Oppel and colleagues shows that supporting a declining population of a migratory vulture with captive-reared young birds every year could delay extinction, and thus afford conservationists more time to reduce lethal threats along a migratory flyway spanning three continents. Since biblical times people have entertained the concept that animals could be saved from extinction in a man-made sanctuary. The concept … Continue reading Can we save a migratory vulture population with captive-raised birds?

A framework to prioritize disease risk between wildlife and livestock

In their latest research, Khanyari and colleagues develop a three-step framework to assess cross-species disease transmission risk between migrating wildlife and livestock in data-limited circumstances and across social-ecological scale. Shared use of land between wildlife and livestock can lead to disease transmission, harming agricultural livelihoods and impacting wildlife conservation. This is especially problematic when endangered wildlife live in close proximity to largely resource poor people. … Continue reading A framework to prioritize disease risk between wildlife and livestock

Streetlights disrupt both flying and crawling invertebrates—but not in the same ways

A new study by Lockett and colleagues explores how the proximity, intensity and colour of streetlighting impacts arthropods occupying different spatial niches, by simultaneously sampling flying and ground-dwelling invertebrates. It is well known that artificial light at night (ALAN) can attract and kill insects and other invertebrates, but do creepy-crawlies and flying invertebrates respond the same way? Does the colour and intensity of lighting matter? … Continue reading Streetlights disrupt both flying and crawling invertebrates—but not in the same ways

Weighing-in: universally applicable biometric conversion equations to support comparative assessment of invasive freshwater bivalves

Invasive bivalves continue to detrimentally impact freshwater ecosystems worldwide, with their ecological effects often being standardised by body size or biomass measurements. In their latest research, Coughlan and colleagues aim to derive universally applicable conversion equations to support reliable comparative assessment of bivalve driven ecological effects. As dominant filter-feeders, most bivalves’ ecological impacts are a result of their filtration or particle clearance rates (i.e. the … Continue reading Weighing-in: universally applicable biometric conversion equations to support comparative assessment of invasive freshwater bivalves

Semi-natural grassland strips promote agricultural biodiversity depending on species characteristics

New research by Maas and colleagues shows how the interplay between species-specific traits, functions, and services can inform more targeted, sustainable management of agricultural biodiversity. Agricultural biodiversity is declining worldwide, and its conservation does not work through one-size-fits-all solutions. Species respond differently to agricultural developments and new management measures, depending on their individual characteristics – which has major implications for the management of species-specific functions … Continue reading Semi-natural grassland strips promote agricultural biodiversity depending on species characteristics

Use of avian GPS tracking to mitigate human fatalities from bird strikes.

Air traffic has increased significantly in recent years, from 1.674 billion passengers in 2000 to 4.397 billion passengers in 2019.  However, this growth has come at a cost. In their latest research, Arrondo et al. review and quantify the characteristics of bird strikes in Spain, and analyse flight patterns of the species that caused aircraft crashes in Europe. Bird strikes have been a feature of … Continue reading Use of avian GPS tracking to mitigate human fatalities from bird strikes.