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- March 17, 2017

An Endangered Generalist?  Soon after germination orchids must be colonized by fungi whose hyphae both enter orchid cells and create an extensive mycorrhizal network in the soil, thereby transferring nutrients to the plant.  Orchids may be mycorrhizal generalists able to associate with many different fungal species, or specialists only able to associate with one or a…

What We’re Reading- Jan 6, 2017

Pangolin Trade Network All species of pangolins are endangered throughout their range, due in large part to poaching for their meat and scales.  Using media reports, a team of researchers identified approximately 65,800 individuals were harvested and seized between 2008-2016 although the level of harvest not detected remains unknown.  Notably, only 117 individuals were reported poached in the…

Guest Post: How Sanctuaries Help Promote Conservation

Guest Post by Endangered Apparel Our planet is a pretty amazing place. It’s located just close enough to its parent star to produce the perfect temperature for live to thrive. Our atmosphere contains the right mixture of gases that benefit both plant and animal life. The gene pool has positively mutated enough to produce all…

Charismatic Megafauna Conservation vs Charismatic Megafauna Conservation

Prioritizing research efforts and on-the-ground action is essential for conservation, but also incredibly hard.  There’s plenty of debate about how best to set conservation priorities: save everything, triage/mathematical formulas for decisions, how to weigh expert opinion and societal values, etc.  Since conservation decisions can have real consequences for protecting species (and local human communities and…

What We’re Reading: May 27, 2016

Cut the (Coffee) Crap Still looking for an #EarthDayResolution? Well #CutTheCrap! Wildlife Alliance is working to raise awareness about animal cruelty, and rescue civets fed only coffee berries for the luxury coffee trade. The berries pass through the animal’s digestive track, changing the chemical composition of the mostly undigested berries. The berries are collected from…

The Evolutionary Argument against Wildlife Pets

What do sun bears, slow lorises, bobcats, and pythons all have in common? They are all part of the global trade of wildlife for use as pets. And these are only a few of the species kept as pets.  There are no shortage of pieces describing the ecological, conservation, and/or ethical impacts of having wildlife…

What We’re Reading: Jan 29, 2016

Improving morphological diet studies with molecular ecology I’m sure you all know by now that many wildlife species are threatened by invasive predators. Diet studies are often used to understand the specific impacts of predators, to guide management actions. Traditionally, this has meant sorting through scats and gut contents to identify as many prey remains as possible. Of…

What We’re Reading: Jan 22, 2016

“Jade of the Sea” Oh come on! Just as the world begins to apply pressure to elephant poachers and ivory consumers in an attempt to decrease the killing, trinket carvers are turning to another threatened species for raw materials, the giant clam (Tridacna gigas). The linked article has a lot of great information, everything to…

What We’re Reading: Jan 8, 2016

The Price of African Wildlife We hear a lot about the per kilogram cost of poached rhino horn and elephant ivory but less about the costs of legal trophy hunting. This Bloomberg Business article discusses both the prices ranchers and hunters will pay for buffalo and antelope. Unsurprisingly, males with large horns fetch a lot…

Behind the Paper: Spatial Assignment Not as Accurate as Promised

Imagine that you are an airport security screener in charge of searching for and identifying wildlife products and you came across 100 bear paws. Trade of all eight bear species is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and trade of severed paws is illegal. There are a number of questions…