What We’re Reading- Dec 2, 2016

Birds of Differentially Colored Feathers Still Flock Together Yellow-winged warblers (left in picture) are threatened with extinction in Canada under SARA, and a candidate species for the ESA in the United States. Hybridization with the more widely distributed blue-winged warbler (right in picture) is considered a threat to the species. This paper (open) compared genomic…

Behind the paper: eDNA has great potential as a wildlife survey tool, but should be used properly

As many people know, two of my favourite topics are bandicoots and environmental DNA (eDNA). So I’m very excited about the online debut of my latest paper “A framework for developing and validating taxon-specific primers for specimen identification from environmental DNA” at Molecular Ecology Resources, which includes both bandicoots and eDNA. eDNA analysis is the analysis of DNA…

What We’re Reading- Nov 11, 2016

Pangolin Phylogeography There are 8 species of pangolins (Manis spp) distributed throughout Africa and Asia. All of the species are listed as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered with extinction on the IUCN Red List, primarily due to poaching for the chitin rich scales and wild meat. A new paper (sub) investigated genetic diversity in the…

Is Krill the New Palm Oil?

For Earth Day 2016, I wrote about how growth of palm oil plantations has removed habitat for many tropical species, and that plantations are expanding globally as demand for cheap oil increases.  But if demand for these cheap oils does not decrease, what other sources are available?  Some consider krill oil a potential replacement or…

Tips for a Nature-Themed Halloween Costume

Happy Halloween! The past two years I’ve embraced my profession and have decided to go with some nature-inspired Halloween costumes. Here are my tips for a successful costume: Always make your own costume. I do not sew. Using glue, tape, and garments from your daily wardrobe creatively can make can result in a pretty effective and…

When More Science Isn’t Better

I’ll never forget the first, and only, time I was turned down to give a presentation at a meeting. It’s pretty rare to get turned down for conferences, and if you do, you usually at least get asked to present a poster. It was for the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), my favorite conference, and I…

What We’re Reading- Oct 21, 2016

Ethics in Lethal Sampling for Research The editors of Biological Conservation recently rejected papers citing ethical considerations related to lethal sampling of the study organisms. They note that all of these studies had IACUC approval, but that approval does not necessarily make lethal sampling ethical, particularly for endangered species or species in protected habitats. The…

FWS Gives Conservation Scientists a To Do List

The US Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that they were changing how they prioritized species to be listed as threatened or endangered of extinction under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  (Here’s the final rule in the Federal Register- 81 FR 49248).  The Service claims that changing how 90-day petitions and 12-month status reviews are…

Is Man’s Best Friend Wildlife’s Best Friend?

Conservationists love to hate on cats because unfortunately they kill our feathered friends. The solution is easy (keep your cat indoors), but what about our other beloved pet, man’s best friend? You don’t hear much about the impacts of dogs on wildlife and dogs are a pet you have to let outside. Do they ever get the…

Happy 3rd Blogiversary WildlifeSNPits!

Today is our 3rd blogiversary at WildlifeSNPits and it’s time for a little reflection. Looking Back This past year we wrote  42 original and 14 What We’re Reading posts.  Our top viewed posts remain the two about jobs: Interview Questions for Ecology & Conservation and So You Want to be  a Field Tech.  Our most read…

What We’re Reading- Oct 7, 2016

(Mal)adaptation on an Invasive Species Soapberry bugs (Jadera haematoloma) are adapted to feed on the nutrient dense seeds of faux persil (Cardiospermum corindum).  Following introduction of the invasive golden rain tree (Koelreuteria elegans), some populations of soapberry bugs shifted hosts to feed on the invasive, which is easier to eat but less nutritious.  Adaptation was observed…