By Tricia Nguyen

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A male lion on the prowl in Botswana. Photo © Benjamin Hollis / Flickr

A Tale of Two Apex Predators

For many, the word lion evokes the image of a powerful creature, majestic and regal. For those who don’t view this animal in a particularly positive light, lions are a fearsome, deadly predator. What is often overlooked about these big cats is that they are quite fearful of humans, too, and they actively avoid areas with a lot of human activity (Smith et al. 2017). They have good reason to: a leading cause of lion mortality is humans who have pushed lion populations into being classified as Vulnerable. It would make sense for humans to stay away…

By Gina Mongiello-Lopez

Modern conservation efforts are faced with the struggle of saving ecosystems while preventing disruption to our lifestyles. As countries continue to develop and our population keeps growing, economic demand and output increase as well; and not always in an efficient way. Here we will explore one study done in partnership with First Nations of British Columbia where researchers investigated how traditional marine management strategies have the potential to transform the way modern conservation is carried out.

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First Nations Warrior Headdress.

What was the porpoise of this?

Colonization threatens indigenous lifestyles through systematic repression, such as religious convergence and forced assimilation, in many areas around the world. Eckert…

By Rachel McConnell

A (not so) long time ago in a stream (not so) far, far away…

This study, “Stream macrophytes increase invertebrate production and fish habitat utilization in a California stream” by Robert Lusardi, Carson Jeffres and Peter Moyle (2018) took place in the Klamath River Basin, specifically Shasta River. This has historically been home to an abundance of salmon and trout since more than half the Klamath Chinook salmon run thrive from the free-flowing southern Cascade snow melt. That was, until numerous dams were built in the Klamath Basin. Along the Shasta River, Dwinnell Dam blocks historic spawning grounds and restricts water flows for the salmonids. This stressor in addition to elevated…

By Samantha Lyons

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Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak butterfly, NPS photo by Jimi Sadle

Conservationists are getting fired up over fire-based conservation strategies! Fires may cause massive amounts of destruction in California and Australia, but they’re proving to be a surprisingly useful tool for rare butterflies. Researcher Erica Henry and her team are showing how fires and other management strategies can help regrow the habitat that endangered butterflies depend on — and how these management strategies can make these habitats more resilient to catastrophic hurricanes.

A Little Background on Burning and Butterflies

We think of fires as bad — and, in many ways, they are. Despite this, many natural ecosystems embrace wildfires. Although many plants burn up during…

By Benjamin LeBarron

A Tale of Two Critters

Some people are cat people. That’s understandable. They’re cute, they’re cuddly and they’re just adorable little balls of fuzz. Unfortunately, they’re also adorable little balls of death. Cats, specifically outdoor cats, are the scourge of ecosystems across the globe. An estimated 1–3 billion birds and 7–20 billion mammals fall prey to outdoor and feral cats each year. Now I’m sure your little Mittens would never do such a terrible thing, but the feral cats of Australia certainly will.

Some people are dog people. How couldn’t you be? They’re friendly, loyal and would never eat your neighbors’ pet…

By Emma Korntheuer

Picture your kitchen. The dried and canned goods in your cabinets, the produce in your fridge, perhaps a fruit basket perched on the counter. Imagine one day waking up and facing a reality in which one third of your food simply ceases to exist. What will you lose?

Globally, bees are responsible for 35% of our food supply, with many everyday crops relying on insect pollination to produce our fruits, vegetables, and nuts (NRCS, 2020). …

By Erica Kono

You wake up on a calm Saturday morning and look out the window. Out in the distance, you see a tree. You gaze at it vacantly, observing its leafless remains. It has been completely engulfed in water. You’re living on stilts, and the water quickly approaches year after year in the hopes to claim your home as well.

For those who live on the coast of Louisiana, this has become their chilling reality.

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A U.S. Geological Survey map from 1932 is compared to a satellite image from 2011 to demonstrate the amount of lost land. Photo by: NOAA,

What’s happening in Louisiana?

The stars must have aligned (in a bad way) because this boot-shaped state has been hit with a multitude of problems, including subsidence (sinking…

By Breanna Kellogg

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Phoenix Islands Protected Area, photo taken by Ron Van Oers

The Blue Paradox

In order to make effective policies for people, you have to understand how people work. Without much doubt, people respond to incentives, and environmental policymakers use these responses to implement environmental measures and construct a more positive human and ecosystem relationship. However, this incentive driven outlook can backfire when it comes to announcing a new policy. When people hear about an upcoming policy change and potential restrictions, people rush in and do as much as they can beforehand, undermining the purpose of the policy in the first place. This has been a problem that environmentalists face with…

By Mackenzie Kawahara

There are currently millions of people, many of which have never heard of or even seen a horseshoe crab in their lifetime, that have been protected by horseshoe crab blood. Commonly called the “living fossil,” horseshoe crabs have been able to survive nearly unchanged for the past 200 million years. These ancient aquatic arthropods are more closely related to scorpions and spiders than to actual crab, and they currently only have four living species in the entire world, but their numbers are in decline (Mohamad et al. 2019). As of 2019, the Indo-West Pacific horseshoe crab species…

By Emiko Inouye

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The Meadow Pipit is among the most threatened European insect-eating species. Source: Ron Knight

Europe may be facing a shortage of a very odd, sometimes unpleasant, often unwanted good: insects.

Recent evidence suggests that insect abundance is trending downwards. While that may sound like good news on its surface, it brings trouble for the many species of birds that rely on insects as their primary food source. Species like the Common Grasshopper Warbler, Northern Wheatear, and Meadow Pipit — all of which weigh less than an ounce as adults — are European insect-eaters that are seeming to struggle to keep their populations up in recent years. …

Daniel Karp

Professor in Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology

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