What We’re Reading- Nov 3, 2017

Fight During Over-head Flight: Bear Physiological Responses to Drones The drone landscape is rapidly changing as more businesses incorporate drones and attention from hobbyists increases.  Drones have also been proposed as a conservation monitoring tool, both for counting elusive species and for surveying/deterring poachers.  A group of researchers wanted to know how animals respond when…

What We’re Reading- Oct 20, 2017

Genetic Conservation of Trees Both climate change, disease, habitat loss, and invasive species have increasingly threatened tree species with extirpation.  The US Department of Agriculture recently held a workshop on conserving genetic diversity of native trees.  The workshop produced an open document with over 90 abstracts and conference proceedings describing the highlights of the meeting. …

Happy 4th Blogiversary WildlifeSNPits!

On our 4th blogiversary, a huge “THANK YOU” to all of our readers! This year we wrote 25 original posts and 21 What We’re Reading posts.  Our top post (by a landslide) was How to Write a Student Travel Award Application.  Who knew there was such demand for travel award tips?!  Our top five posts…

What We’re Reading- Oct 6, 2017

Blood Meal Biodiversity Sampling biodiversity can be difficult for elusive species or at locations that are difficult to reach or navigate within like thick jungle habitat.  But researchers have a clever new way of biodiversity estimates in these places, capture invertebrates that feast on blood, then sequence the blood meal to identify the host species. …

What We’re Reading- Sept 29, 2017

Genetic Diversity on the Sea Floor We have so much to learn about the biodiversity in the deep ocean.  But for the species we do know, we have barely scratched the surface of understand the genetic diversity of these species.  This meta-analysis reviews all population genetic papers (a scant 77) about genetic diversity and population…

What We’re Reading- Sept 15, 2017

If You Sing It, They Will Come (and Occupy New Habitat Patches) One of the biggest threats to species are small isolated habitat patches, where species can be extirpated (i.e. go locally extinct) from any patch.  The endangered Kirkland’s warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) lives in these types of patchy pine forests near the Great Lakes in…

What We’re Reading- Sept 8, 2017

Pro-Active Management of Genetic Diversity This paper quantified changes in genetic diversity in an experimental translocation of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) into four isolated populations from a single source population.  The authors found that translocating 10 fish into the experimental populations significantly increased allelic richness and heterozygosity in the first generation following translocation.  They also…

What We’re Reading- July 14, 2017

Words Matter A thought provoking opine which asks scientists if we’re being too careful with our words?  The authors discuss how the use of euphemisms to describe environmental challenges, scientific results, and interpretation/recommendations undermines conservation objectives, specifically of changing human behaviors.  They also challenge scientists to understand how we internalize euphemisms to justify our work…

Top 10 Reasons Science is Patriotic

Patriotism is defined as “having or showing great love and support for your country.” This Fourth of July, American bloggers Stephanie Schuttler and Emily Puckett show how supporting science reflects great love and support for the United States of America and is a democratic process in and of itself. Science inspires. Scientific and technological innovations made…

What We’re Reading- June 16, 2017

Ectotherms and Climate Change Ectotherms regulate their body temperature using external heat sources; for example, turtles bask in the sun or on hot rocks to warm up, then retreat to the shade when they become over heated.  Increasing temperatures due to climate change are expected to have physiological effects on animals and plants.  Heat shock…

What We’re Reading- May 26, 2017

Protect Krill to Protect Whales We previously wrote about the importance of krill (marine invertebrates) for supporting oceanic ecosystems.  This paper (sub) compared the movement of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangiliae) to tonnage of krill harvested around the West Antarctic peninsula.  The authors found a correlation between spatial areas where the whales spent the most time and…

What We’re Reading- May 19, 2017

Genetic Diversity of Snow Leopards Snow leopards (Panthera uncia) are endemic to the Altai, Himalaya, and Tibetan uplifts and adapted to high-altitude environments.  They are currently listed as an endangered species by IUCN.  This new paper investigated genetic diversity of snow leopards across their range.  They found that the cats have low genetic diversity in…