"In less than two human generations, population sizes of vertebrate species have dropped by half." That's the startling conclusion offered by the World Wildlife Foundation, as they release their biennial "Living Planet Report." But what does that mean?
In 1967, biologists Robert MacArthur and E.O. Wilson developed a new ecological theory: Island Biogeography. It wound up becoming crucial to the way we understand how animals adjust to living in a world that has been completely altered by humans.
Camera traps are just the coolest. In Nicaragua, scientist Miguel Ordeñana uses them to study carnivores, like jaguars and ocelots. And now the organization that he works with, Paso Pacifico, is teaching local kids to use them as well.
As our planet warms, certain plants and animals will no longer be able to live in their accustomed locations. By tracking a half-century's worth of data, scientists from CSIRO have determined where these species will need to go to find new homes.
A new automated system is helping to monitor the world's biodiversity by recording the sounds of nature and uploading them to the web in real time. Anyone can listen to the tracks, and approved users can help train the software to automatically identify species in the recordings. Researchers hope to eventually…
Joe Hanson, creator of the fantastic science tumblr It's Okay to be Smart, has a new YouTube science show by the very same name. He's teamed up with PBS to make it happen, and it sounds like they've got big things in store.
Previous analyses of the fossil record suggest that biodiversity tends to dip during warm, "greenhouse" phases of global temperature. Now, research published this week turns that conclusion on its head; a warming planet, it seems, may actually encourage variation in Earth's lifeforms.
The region of South Africa around the Cape of Good Hope has some of the highest biodiversity in the world. Exactly why that is has puzzled scientists... until now. It's actually all because ants are secret horticultural geniuses.
Sixty-five million years ago, an asteroid six miles in diameter cannoned into Earth. The collision triggered the catastrophic downfall of a vast and thriving dinosaurian ecosystem, ultimately ending with their extinction. Only that's not what happened. Not
at all exactly. (Cue Sam Neill's voice.)
Some species share the exact same territories, rely on the exact same resources, and are sufficiently closely related that they can easily interbreed. So why don't these just merge into a single population? Because they simply don't want to interbreed.
For over a decade, the Millenium Seed Bank Partnership has been working in collaboration with scientists from around the world to establish an insurance policy against the extinction of Earth's plant species. By 2020, the project hopes to have safely stored 25% of the world's plant diversity in massive, …
The whitefish of Europe's Alpine lakes were once a single species, but after the Ice Age they split into separate species, adapting their look and lifestyle to their particular watery home. But this amazing biodiversity would have to be sacrificed.
In 2006, researchers undertook an extensive search for Western black rhinos in Cameroon, the place where the species was last sighted. No rhinos were found. Researchers failed to turn up any evidence of their dung, tracks, or signs of feeding. Had the rare subspecies of black rhinoceros gone the way of the dodo?…
The number of species (and entire genera) that are recognized as endangered is growing at an ever-increasing rate. Conservation scientists report in a new survey that they expect the Earth will suffer major hits to biodiversity levels in the years ahead.
Earth's species are shrinking. As temperatures rise, plants and animals the world over are adapting, some more quickly than others, by becoming smaller — a trend that scientists say could have serious implications for ecological diversity the world over.
The Permo-Triassic extinction event happened 251 million years ago, killing off 96% of all marine species, and 70% of those on land. As bad as all that was, it now appears that land-based species recovered much faster than previously believed.
The rainforest ecosystem features dizzying levels of biodiversity, so much so that we can only estimate how many millions of species we still haven't discovered. But the actual reason why the rainforests are so diverse might surprise you.
A nearly four-decade-long biology project conducted in a woman's garden revealed four separate species of insects previously unknown to science. Seemingly, all you need to discover a new species is a bit of land, some traps, and a lot of patience.
The Belly Button Biodiversity project recently began taking DNA samples from people's navels to find out what bacteria is living within. Of the roughly 1,400 bacterial strains discovered thus far, at least 662 of them are completely unknown.