Research Stories: The hunt for arctic aliens

Authors Ronja Wedegärtner and Jesamine Bartlett recall their team’s expedition in the high-Arctic Svalbard to monitor alien flora and publish their latest research which presents the most comprehensive survey of alien vascular species in the archipelago to date. Whilst we do not hunt for extra-terrestrial aliens that may or may not be hidden under the ice (as some on the more unbridled sections of the … Continue reading Research Stories: The hunt for arctic aliens

Seeing in the dark: Detecting and protecting cryptic nesting species using UAV thermal cameras

Authors Mike Shewring and Jim Vafidis share a video summary of their latest From Practice article using UAV-mounted thermal imaging to detect cryptic nesting European Nightjars in Wales, UK. Confirming the presence and location of cryptic nesting species is a significant fieldwork challenge in ecological monitoring. Nest sites can be located through direct observation or capture and radio tracking of breeding individuals; however, such work … Continue reading Seeing in the dark: Detecting and protecting cryptic nesting species using UAV thermal cameras

Lessons from an exemplary private wildlife reserve in Spain

Global conservation targets mostly lean on public initiatives and resources but expanding conservation efforts to private land is paramount to halt biodiversity loss and recover wildlife. In their latest From Practice article, two applied scientists and two practitioners analyse a success story of a private wildlife reserve – the Los Barranquillos Wildlife Refuge in central Spain – which has been running for the past two … Continue reading Lessons from an exemplary private wildlife reserve in Spain

Do we really need to plant a trillion trees? Tree islands are an ecologically and economically sound strategy for tropical forest recovery

In their new research, Karen Holl, Leighton Reid and colleagues compare the use of tree islands to other strategies for tropical forest restoration. Here they share their findings, including ecological and economic benefits, as well as lessons to carry forward. A video summary of the research is also available in English and Spanish. A version of this blog was originally shared by Natural History of … Continue reading Do we really need to plant a trillion trees? Tree islands are an ecologically and economically sound strategy for tropical forest recovery

A new threat to native bumblebees

In their recently published article, Bartomeus et al. show how the commercial bumblebee trade is affecting the genetic integrity of native pollinators. Here the authors provide a summary of their work. Bees, especially bumblebees, are threatened by human-induced rapid environmental change such as habitat loss, exotic pathogens and global warming. But some species are more resilient than others. This is the case for the buff-tailed … Continue reading A new threat to native bumblebees

The need for a code of practice for mosquito management in European wetlands

Bringing together multidisciplinary expertise, Martinou et al. build a framework that aims to balance the priorities of wetland conservation and mosquito control.  

Wetlands provide essential resources to human societies, and the associated biodiversity associated with wetlands has an estimated value ranging from US $44,597- ($)195,478 per hectare per year. Governments around the world have enacted legislation, policies and regulations including the Clean Water Act (United States) and the Water Act (Australia) to protect wetlands from a variety of human activities. Continue reading The need for a code of practice for mosquito management in European wetlands

Age is a better indicator of biodiversity for road verges than surrounding landscape

In their recently published article, Alistair Auffret and Evelina Lindgren show how historical maps can be a useful tool to identify which road verges can best support grassland habitats. Here the authors provide a summary of their work Road verges are by now quite well known to provide valuable habitat for grassland species if they are managed appropriately (Phillips et al., 2019; Vanneste et al., … Continue reading Age is a better indicator of biodiversity for road verges than surrounding landscape

Strategies for global rangeland stewardship: the equilibrium-non-equilibrium debate

The rangeland equilibrium-non-equilibrium debate produced several important advances in our understanding of rangeland systems. But, in their recent Review, Briske et al. ask if, collectively, these advances are still insufficient to inform the stewardship strategies necessary to sustain global rangelands? Here they provide a summary of their work. The rangeland equilibrium-non-equilibrium debate of the late 20th Century questioned the appropriate ecological model governing the function … Continue reading Strategies for global rangeland stewardship: the equilibrium-non-equilibrium debate

Camera traps reveal hidden treasures of the rainforest

In their new research, Mattia Bessone and colleagues demonstrate how camera trap distance sampling can be used to develop conservation strategies and protect threatened species. The impact humans are exerting on the planet is accelerating the loss of biodiversity, with animal species disappearing at such unprecedented rate that scientists have labelled the current era ‘Earth’s sixth mass extinction’. To preserve the remnants of wildlife we … Continue reading Camera traps reveal hidden treasures of the rainforest

Why bats matter when it comes to pollination

In their recently published article, Tremlett et al. call for greater management focus for wild bat pollinator populations due to the ecosystem services they provide for valuable crops. Here they share a video of bat feeding in action and explain a little more about their work. *Update March 2020. The corresponding article to this video features as the Editor’s Choice for issue 57:03. Read Associate … Continue reading Why bats matter when it comes to pollination