Male sea turtles are disappearing and not just in Australia. FAU researchers found that 97 to 100 percent of hatchlings in southeast Florida have been female since 2002. They are the first to show why and how moisture conditions inside the nest in addition to heat affect the development and sex ratios of turtle embryos, using a novel technique they developed to estimate sex ratios with a male-specific, transcriptional molecular marker Sox9.
A University of Delaware study has examined how light pollution lures birds into urban areas during fall migration, a trend that poses risk for the fowl that often fly into buildings and has increased with the addition of brighter LED lights. The researchers were interested in seeing what factors shape the birds' distributions and why they occur in certain areas.
Post-fire logging, rather than the wildfires themselves, is responsible for the steep decline in territory occupancy of the rare spotted owls living in the forests of California. The study's results coincide with the strong consensus among hundreds of US scientists opposing post-fire logging operations due to a wide range of ecological harms. The research is published in the open-access journal Nature Conservation.
Animal carnivores living in and around human habitation are declining at an unprecedented rate -- but they may provide crucial benefits to human societies. An international review led by University of Queensland researchers has revealed that predators and scavengers ranging from bats to leopards and vultures are valuable to human health and well-being.
Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium bovis that affects cattle as well as other animals and humans. Now, by combining genotyping M. bovis samples from cows across African countries, researchers have been able to study the diversity and evolution of the disease. The new results are published this week in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
California sea lions have fully rebounded under the protection of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, with their population on the West Coast reaching carrying capacity in 2008 before unusually warm ocean conditions reduced their numbers, according to the first comprehensive population assessment of the species.
In a study published in Scientific Reports, a research team led by Lounes Chikhi from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC, Portugal) and CNRS, Universite Paul Sabatier (France), and Benoit Goossens, from Cardiff University (Wales), and Sabah Wildlife Department (Malaysia), found that elephants might have arrived on Borneo at a time of the last land bridge between the Sunda Islands in Southeast Asia.
Double stranded RNA (dsRNA) can effectively reduce house fly fertility, and shows promise as a pest control method, according to a study published Jan. 17, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Neil Sanscrainte from the USDA/ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, US, and colleagues.
Climate change has scientists worried that birds' annual migration and reproduction will be thrown out of sync with the seasons. Because birds' songs are correlated with their breeding behavior and are easily identifiable to species, monitoring birdsong can be a good way to keep tabs on this possibility, and a new study from The Condor: Ornithological Applications takes advantage of this approach to provide new baseline data for the birds of northern California.
Studies of island bird populations have taught us a lot about evolution, but it's hard to catch birds in the act of naturally colonizing new islands. Instead, a new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances examines what's happened by looking at the genetics of a species that arrived in Hawaii in the 20th century through decidedly unnatural means -- us.