Sundarbans in peril: interlinkages between science and society for addressing climate change

This year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) will be held in Glasgow in November. In the lead up to the conference, we’re asking our editors and authors to share their research at the interface of climate and ecology. In this post, Associate Editor Punyasloke Bhadury explains why protecting ecosystems is a priority not just for nature, but for society. Sundarbans, the world’s largest continuous mangrove … Continue reading Sundarbans in peril: interlinkages between science and society for addressing climate change

Tracking data can provide a data-driven approach for high seas conservation

A new Policy Direction by Davies and colleagues showcases a candidate high seas marine protected area (MPA) in the Northeast Atlantic, identified primarily from seabird tracking data, that is being taken forward under a regional process: the North Atlantic Current and Evlanov Seamount (NACES) MPA, under the OSPAR Commission.  The high seas are international waters beyond any country’s jurisdiction. Although out-of-sight, beyond 200 nautical miles … Continue reading Tracking data can provide a data-driven approach for high seas conservation

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

Calling all seabirds: restoring long-lost colonies on Desecheo Island

Lead author Jose Luis Herrera-Giraldo describes his team’s latest study using fake birds and loudspeakers to help conservationists restore the long-lost seabird colony of Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico. For scientists and conservationists, life on Desecheo National Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Rico is harsh with the islands’ rugged terrain, blazing hot sun beating down year-round, and fire ant. But for seabirds the island is paradise – … Continue reading Calling all seabirds: restoring long-lost colonies on Desecheo Island

Drones and Citizen Scientists – the future of ecology

Why are the United Nations advocating for citizen science and technology? Using an Australian case study, let’s see how drones and local communities may be the answer to large scale and ongoing ecological monitoring. In the past, research in inaccessible areas has been limited to either small samples sizes, due to high costs and safety issues, or lower resolution data from satellites. However, drones can … Continue reading Drones and Citizen Scientists – the future of ecology

Simple, low-cost tools can mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on incubating sea turtle clutches.

Successful incubation and production of male sea turtle hatchlings is threatened by increased global temperatures. In their latest research, Clarke and colleagues test the efficacy of two potential nest intervention approaches in reducing nest incubation temperatures in a nesting loggerhead turtle population in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. Sea Turtles Are Vulnerable to Climate Change The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts increases in global mean … Continue reading Simple, low-cost tools can mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on incubating sea turtle clutches.

Research Stories: A mission to tag giant mantas in northern Peru

Authors Kerstin Forsberg and Samantha Andrzejaczek recall their team’s efforts working with NGOs and local government, scientists and community to produce their latest research on the behaviour and conservation of manta rays in northern Peru. It was a sunny day in May 2018, and we were out in the waters of Tumbes, northern Peru, searching for endangered giant oceanic manta rays (Mobula birostris). Our team … Continue reading Research Stories: A mission to tag giant mantas in northern Peru

Habitat selection modelling reveals sea turtles use protected areas in greater proportion to their availability

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are designated regions to help conserve wildlife but how are they used by the species they protect? In their latest research, Kelsey Roberts and colleagues evaluate the use of these protected areas by sea turtles to help inform better design and management of MPAs. Scientists agree that area-based conservation efforts are key to preserving biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as ocean-based … Continue reading Habitat selection modelling reveals sea turtles use protected areas in greater proportion to their availability

Smaller adults and bigger juveniles: how global warming is affecting our fish populations.

There is mounting evidence that climate change is affecting commercial fish species. In their latest research, Ikpewe and colleagues investigate the effect of temperature on fish sizes in two neighbouring regions, displaying contrasting trends in warming. The warming of our oceans due to climate change is affecting marine life in numerous ways.  Fish populations, in particular, are experiencing changes in productivity, distribution, growth and the … Continue reading Smaller adults and bigger juveniles: how global warming is affecting our fish populations.

Combining seascape connectivity with cumulative impact assessment to support ecosystem‐based marine spatial planning

Cumulative impact assessment (CIA) is a simple yet promising approach to guide marine management interventions, but one not without limitations. Jonsson and colleagues report a novel method which combines CIA with seascape connectivity to account for remote effects of local environmental impact. Human activities are having a catostrphic impact on ocean biodiversity, meaning effective policies and management actions are needed to facilitate the sustainable use … Continue reading Combining seascape connectivity with cumulative impact assessment to support ecosystem‐based marine spatial planning